I vividly remember the hubster finishing his first year of med school and thinking, “Woo. We’re a quarter of the way through it! Wait. Only a quarter…?” Back then, I had a tough time imagining what the next 3 years of med school would entail. Hint: It was a rollercoaster of stress, combined with small wins and big defeats, with the ultimate victory being the those 2 magnanimous letters: Dr. (And a boatload of student loan debt to boot too, but *sigh* we won’t talk about that.) The point is, we made it.
Long distance marriage living is sort of like that. So I guess, in a way, I’m thankful for those 4 years of med school to prepare us for these 4 years of an ER residency. Yuck! I never thought I’d say that.
Read our prior check-ins here:
It hasn’t gotten easier.
I’m used to the new normal by now, and actually enjoy certain aspects to my time alone, but it’s still tough. The goodbyes are worse, especially if we’re in the middle of an argument. What? Never mind. No one ever argues, right?
We try to have our next time together planned before we actually say goodbye, but that’s not always possible with residency schedules. He’s been really great at picking up an extra shift or switching with other (awesome) fellow residents, so he can piece together a few days in a row together.
[On the top of the Coba Ruins in Mexico.]
Flexibility is key.
On average, we see each other every 3 weeks. The longest we’ve gone is 6 weeks, and neither of us realized it had been that long because we were both so nose-deep in work. By the time we realized it, we were already seeing each other in a few days.
He’s done the bulk of the traveling to South Florida, especially during the winter season. In fact, he was down here on a break for nearly 5 days, flew back up to Michigan for a meeting and flew back down to Florida on the same day, just to enjoy the rest of his break with me in the Sunshine State. #browniepoints
I put in some PTO and we’ll be headed to the other side of Florida for some rest and reflection, and maybe an umbrella cocktail or two.
A love/hate relationship attending events alone.
I actually tend to miss the hubster more when I’m around friends. Weird, right? I think it’s partly because I want him to share the same experience with me.
Now, attending local group meetings and races? I’m cool riding solo.
Keeping our eyes on the prize.
There are moments when the frustration of living 1400 miles apart is overwhelming. What a lot of people forget when they actually live with their partner, is those daily, small interactions are really important.
[This is how I started FaceTime after a bad day.]
Sure, we supplement it with funny FaceTime moments, like when I successfully installed a new drain in our kitchen sink and wanted to show off my accomplishment. Plus, we call each other every day and, much to the hubster’s chagrin, I ask him to choose a calling schedule when he’s on ER shifts because those day/nights shifts change each week and I like to avoid waking up grumpy pants or talking to a zombie. (Sometimes they are one in the same.)
But, on those overwhelming and upsetting days (or weeks), I often have to remind myself of our end goal. Him: focus on continuing learning and perfecting his doctor-thing; me: focus on my writing, this website, my career and traveling more. This time will fly by, like medical school eventually did.
[Good friends keep me sane.]
Haters gonna hate.
We’ve come across our fair share of confused looks when explaining to people we’re living apart temporarily while he finishes residency. I know it isn’t traditional, but what about the name of my site screams that I’m traditional?! Many people also have this misconception about earning mucho dinero once med school is done and how it’s my time to sit back and chillax as a doctor’s wife. If people only knew how little doctors earn during their residency and the real sacrifices we both have to make in order to make residency successful, they may not speak so fast. And what about me says I’m the stereotypical doctor’s wife? Psssh. For the time being, I’m the breadwinner, baby!
Here’s to another successful 6 months until our next check in!