When I entered Medical school the concept of summer vacation ended. My new year started at the end of May or June. Residency started on July 1. So I stopped having the traditional summer vacation. When I first started private practice in 1996, I moved to a new town, took my specialty board, started a practice and discovered YMCA summer camp for our son.
Summer was busy with physicals for school and camp, GYN exams, adult physicals and community projects. We altered our schedule so my staff could make all of the Little League Baseball games and we were a team sponsor. Also, it was busy in the hospital because of heart attacks, strokes and accidents. The office had the usual summer accidents and illnesses. I always managed a few days off around Labor Day, after everyone was back in school. I love this weekend. It is that transition for me from the hectic hot summer to fall. I know, technically it is still summer.
I started in Academic Medicine in 1996. I spent the summer orienting myself to my new position and helping the new residents. For 6 years, I went through the stress of the new interns and helping the senior residents adjust to their new roles supervising the interns and assuming more patient care responsibilities. It was exciting and stressful. I had many sleepless nights. Then after making it through July and August, I was off for Labor Day weekend. I have fun memories of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Williamsburg, and Atlanta.
One year, we took a two-week vacation in August 2004 at the insistence of my practice manager or maybe it was a direct order. We got in the Buick Riviera and drove to Birmingham and saw family. We drove back and stopped in South Carolina, and then Virginia Beach and Williamsburg. We had the music and blasting. My son enjoyed every moment. We have a rule about staying in hotels, stopping at malls to rest and eating in restaurants. It has always kept us safe on the road. On that trip, I got my hair braided and decided to go natural. It was a shock for many people, especially my staff and my patients. I haven’t looked back in now 20 years.
For several years, I had a position that required me to be on call every day for two years and I spent three Labor Day weekends on call. It was total disruption for us. We did not go anywhere. I think I secretly mourned the loss of that time away. For the past three years, it is mine again but now my husband is the one working on the Saturday and we can’t go away.
This past summer was no exception for me and I spent it anxious about a new electronic health record implementation and feeling overwhelmed. Now this Labor Day, I am relaxing. I walked with my friend. She did 2.3 miles and I did about 4.6 miles. I have decided to walk 5 instead of running 3 and maybe prevent long-term knee problems.
On Saturday, we watched one of our movies from the TCM Tennessee Williams movie collection “Night of the Iguana” directed by John Houston. I also have “Sweet Bird of Youth” and “The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone.” My husband surprised me with a copy of “Belle.” This one I watched Sunday night. It is a powerful movie. I especially liked the “extras” on the DVD that tell the story behind the writing of the screenplay.
Happy Labor Day!!!