Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Home Stretch

This is the last push of studying before I take Step 1.  (Please take note of today's music selection.)

I am having some trouble staying focused, but my motivation is the thought of what comes after the test... approximately 3 weeks of doing absolutely nothing. I've got a stack of books all ready to go by my bed, The Hunger Games uploaded to my Kindle, 3 new movies bought from another closing Blockbuster, seasons 1 and 2 of Breaking Bad from my brother, and several more seasons of the West Wing to go through. I'll also have two more weeks of FitWit, a 10-class yoga pass and a CrossFit groupon to use, plus plenty of time for obedience classes with the pup AND for getting back in touch with many, many friends for the first time in months.

I had originally scheduled my exam for the 20th, which, as you may know, was last Friday.  It's sort of a long story, but to keep it short, I am instead taking it on the 31st.  In Colorado.  For those of you keeping track at home, this is in different state than the one I am currently in, it is on the last day possible for us to take the test, and it is also on my birthday.  There are two lessons here: one, that I AM AN IDIOT.  And two, that on February 1st, I will have aged a whole year, but I will also be the happiest woman on the planet.

Yeah.  And if you wouldn't mind adding me to your prayer list, I would sure appreciate it.  For real.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Keeping Me Sane

Right, so I realize that ever since I got her, approximately every other post on this blog has been about my adorable puppy.  

If you're here because you want to read about what it's like to be in med school, I apologize.  When I started this blog, that's what it was supposed to be about.  It was definitely not supposed to be a blog about someone's obsession with their pet.

really never thought of myself as a crazy-dog-lady type, or even someone with the potential to be one.  I guess it's really true that you never stop learning new things about yourself!  And it's also another important lesson for me in not judging people when I'm not in their shoes, which I have a strong tendency to do.  But I digress.

I can only say in my defense that Izzy is by far the most (okay, the only) exciting thing in my life at this current juncture in time, and unless you want to read post after post that says, "Let's see... today, I studied.  And then I studied some more.  Then I took a break, and then I kept studying!", well, then... this is what you are going to get.  Plus, I mean... just look at her!  So cute!!!  I can't help it.  

The other day my brother asked how the studying was going with the pup around.  This is a frequently asked question these days.  I told him that while she is definitely a lot of work, and she definitely keeps me from studying as efficiently as I probably should, she also makes me incredibly happy, and having her around to play with has also really kept the stress at bay lately.

He commented, "Well, you do seem really... sane, for studying for Step 1."

Life is all about trade-offs, right?  I think in this case I am getting a great deal.  Exhibit A -- the perch she gets into when she really wants to get a good look at what is going on down below our window:

Oh, nothing... just getting a better view...


What a goofball.  Love this pup.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Study Snack Fail

So.  I wanted to make Muddy Buddies for a delicious study snack.  And I wanted to make them with Nutella.  Sounds amazing, right?  So I looked up a recipe, and modified it a little to use Nutella instead of most of the peanut butter.

 If you had been there, you would have thought it was my first time attempting to prepare food.  I mean, it has been a while (Trader Joe's frozen entrees are literally keeping me alive these days), but still -- I'd like to think that I am at least semi-competent in the kitchen.  This was a total disaster.

If you have ever read a bottle of Nutella as thoroughly as I have, you know that there is a statement about not microwaving it.  I think I now know why.

Following the directions, I put the chocolate, butter, peanut butter and Nutella in the microwave to melt them all together.  The box of Rice Chex was a little more than the recipe called for, but I figured it was a close enough approximation, so I used the whole thing.  Got my mixture out of the microwave, stirred until it was smooth (it was sort of thick but I just went with it), poured it over the cereal, and then, following advice I read somewhere about this mixing best with your hands, I shoved both my hands into the mixture and proceeded to try to stir everything around.

The bowl I had used was definitely not big enough.  Cereal was spilling everywhere.  My chocolatey mixture was clumpy and not evenly coating the pieces.  Even if it had been smooth and easy to stir, there was not enough of it for all the cereal.  And now both my hands were totally covered with it.

Crap.  This is not going well.

So I licked off my fingers of one hand to melt a little more chocolate and a little more peanut butter and add it to the mix.  It began to stir a little better, although it was still getting everywhere.  Close enough, I figured.  

I scooped half of it into a ziplock bag, poured half the powdered sugar in it, and proceeded to try to shake it up with my one clean hand.  The zipper broke open and powdered sugar flew everywhere.

Whoops. Sorry, Izzy!

At this point I realized that I didn't have a clean bowl to put the sugar-coated pieces in, so I had to grab a whole stack of bowls from under the counter with my one hand and get the biggest one from the bottom. 

Izzy was hovering around my feet this whole time, begging me for some and barking at me when I didn't give her any. 

I found another ziplock bag and tried again with the second half of the mix and the rest of the powdered sugar. This time, I washed my hands off and used both of them. Much better.

As my sister is saying to me a lot these days, "Ohhh my."

Anyway, the whole fiasco ended with Muddy Buddies that at least approximate how they are supposed to turn out.  Lots of cereal pieces lumped and clumped together, but those are the bits I like best anyway.

On second thought, definitely not a fail after all. :)

Also, because this is hilarious (but almost not because it is SO accurate), and because my awesome friend Tommy makes a cameo appearance in it, you must watch this video:

There are about four or five of these "shit med students say" parodies on YouTube, and this one is by far the best, and I'm not just saying that because I know someone in it.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Why I love Wikipedia, donate monthly, and am concerned about SOPA and PIPA.

Many of my friends and family have been mildly alarmed, since I started medical school, to learn that Wikipedia is my most frequently consulted resource.  And it is not just because I am the med school equivalent of a lazy high school kid, looking up the quickest and easiest thing to find.  

Yes, Wiki IS the quickest and easiest way to learn something most of the time.  But it is also, nearly always, an excellent and accurate source of information -- and I am not the only one who thinks so. In fact, I would guess that 99.9% of med students and residents use it as much as I do.  It was essential for getting through lectures by some super-specialist hotshot doctor rambling on and on to 1st and 2nd-year students, who were all looking at each other, thinking, "What the EFF is he talking about??  I have never even heard that word before!!"  A quick Wiki lookup would tell me more in 2.5 seconds than I would ever have gotten from the lecture on my own.  And not only that, but many times the articles would be way more detailed than I wanted.  We even had a lecturer last year who told us to use it as a resource -- and told us that he had read all the articles related to what he was teaching us, and that they were all legit.

I became a monthly donor.  And my boyfriend, after first being horrified, and then making a lot of fun of me, donated to Wikipedia in my name for my birthday last year.

Today, Wikipedia is blacked out in protest of the proposed SOPA and PIPA ("Stop Online Piracy Act," and "Protect IP Act") legislation in the House and the Senate, respectively.  

In their own words:
"Wikipedians have chosen to black out the English Wikipedia for the first time ever, because we are concerned that SOPA and PIPA will severely inhibit people's access to online information. This is not a problem that will solely affect people in the United States: it will affect everyone around the world.
"For over a decade, Wikipedians have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Wikipedia is a tremendously useful resource, and its existence depends upon a free, open and uncensored Internet. SOPA and PIPA (and other similar laws under discussion inside and outside the United States) will hurt you, because they will make it impossible for sites you enjoy, and benefit from, to continue to exist."
Freely shared information allows us to enjoy and benefit from so much via the internet.  In effect, this legislation would be harmful, if not fatal, to any website containing user-generated content, because it would be required to police every single thing posted to ensure that it did not contain even a link to a page suspected of copyright infringement, or risk being "disappeared" from the internet by the government.  Sound familiar?  Among other things, SOPA and PIPA also essentially outlaw software designed to circumvent censorship mechanisms, including, ironically, programs used by democratic activists to get around internet censorship in countries like China and Iran, whose laws are not unlike SOPA and PIPA -- even anti-censor programs developed by organizations that are currently funded by the State Department for these exact purposes.  

A couple more good articles can be found here and here.  Educate yourself about the proposed legislation -- if what you learn is concerning to you, contact your representatives and tell them you oppose it!  Just go to Wikipedia's homepage - they have made it easy for you.

Full disclosure: I can't say I don't have a vested interest in this issue.  If Wikipedia is shut down, I might not finish med school.  Seriously.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pooped Pup

Today I took Izzy to -- wait for it -- doggy daycare.  

I know, I know!  I seriously never thought I was going to be one of those people, but evidently the second I got my own dog, I totally became one of those people.  (As my sister put it, "You are like such a dog lady now.")

Well, whatever.  There was a groupon-type thing, it was a good deal, I bought it, I took her to doggy daycare, and she loved it!  This morning was her "temperament testing" to see if she would get along with the other dogs.  HA.  She trotted right on back to the play area without so much as a backwards glance at me, and when I came to pick her up four hours later, she didn't want to leave.  The owner said, "She did great!  She has no fear whatsoever - she loves playing with the big dogs."  OMG, I feel like a proud parent.  That's my girl!  (Seriously, who am I right now?)

Anyway, doggy daycare turned out to be the best idea ever.  Izzy played nonstop for four straight hours while I had totally uninterrupted study time, and when she got home, she ate lunch and then PASSED OUT, pretty much for the rest of the day.  I have never seen her sleep so hard.  She usually monitors my location at all times, even while she dozes, but this afternoon she didn't stir even an inch.  Win-win!!

Bonus pic: last night's sunset.


This morning's post comes courtesy of my sister.  I think this is so cool!  And it is impossible that you won't smile just a little.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

How Izzy Spends Her Day While I Study

Blink, blink, blink... need more coffee.

Let me guess... you're going to sit here all day and study.

Fine, then.  Guess I'll get comfortable.

Hmmm... what's happening on Ponce?

Weather's nice.  Siiiiigh... 

Back to napping.

Time to try a new spot.

Ugh, you're still studying??  This is how I feel about that.

I know, she has a rough life.  Try not to feel too sorry for her.  

(Don't worry, she was actually not inside all day long... we drove to the airport, stopped at a coffee shop for breakfast, went for a short run and she had a nice long wrestling match with a neighbor's dog.  She was actually pretty pooped all day after that!)

Friday, January 13, 2012

When the End Comes

In honor of someone I love, and someone he's losing.

How Doctors Die

It’s Not Like the Rest of Us, But It Should Be

by Ken Murray
Years ago, Charlie, a highly respected orthopedist and a mentor of mine, found a lump in his stomach. He had a surgeon explore the area, and the diagnosis was pancreatic cancer. This surgeon was one of the best in the country. He had even invented a new procedure for this exact cancer that could triple a patient’s five-year-survival odds—from 5 percent to 15 percent—albeit with a poor quality of life. Charlie was uninterested. He went home the next day, closed his practice, and never set foot in a hospital again. He focused on spending time with family and feeling as good as possible. Several months later, he died at home. He got no chemotherapy, radiation, or surgical treatment. Medicare didn’t spend much on him.
It’s not a frequent topic of discussion, but doctors die, too. And they don’t die like the rest of us. What’s unusual about them is not how much treatment they get compared to most Americans, but how little. For all the time they spend fending off the deaths of others, they tend to be fairly serene when faced with death themselves. They know exactly what is going to happen, they know the choices, and they generally have access to any sort of medical care they could want. But they go gently.
Of course, doctors don’t want to die; they want to live. But they know enough about modern medicine to know its limits. And they know enough about death to know what all people fear most: dying in pain, and dying alone. They’ve talked about this with their families. They want to be sure, when the time comes, that no heroic measures will happen—that they will never experience, during their last moments on earth, someone breaking their ribs in an attempt to resuscitate them with CPR (that’s what happens if CPR is done right).
Almost all medical professionals have seen what we call “futile care” being performed on people. That’s when doctors bring the cutting edge of technology to bear on a grievously ill person near the end of life. The patient will get cut open, perforated with tubes, hooked up to machines, and assaulted with drugs. All of this occurs in the Intensive Care Unit at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars a day. What it buys is misery we would not inflict on a terrorist. I cannot count the number of times fellow physicians have told me, in words that vary only slightly, “Promise me if you find me like this that you’ll kill me.” They mean it. Some medical personnel wear medallions stamped “NO CODE” to tell physicians not to perform CPR on them. I have even seen it as a tattoo.
To administer medical care that makes people suffer is anguishing. Physicians are trained to gather information without revealing any of their own feelings, but in private, among fellow doctors, they’ll vent. “How can anyone do that to their family members?” they’ll ask. I suspect it’s one reason physicians have higher rates of alcohol abuse and depression than professionals in most other fields. I know it’s one reason I stopped participating in hospital care for the last 10 years of my practice.
How has it come to this—that doctors administer so much care that they wouldn’t want for themselves? The simple, or not-so-simple, answer is this: patients, doctors, and the system.
To see how patients play a role, imagine a scenario in which someone has lost consciousness and been admitted to an emergency room. As is so often the case, no one has made a plan for this situation, and shocked and scared family members find themselves caught up in a maze of choices. They’re overwhelmed. When doctors ask if they want “everything” done, they answer yes. Then the nightmare begins. Sometimes, a family really means “do everything,” but often they just mean “do everything that’s reasonable.” The problem is that they may not know what’s reasonable, nor, in their confusion and sorrow, will they ask about it or hear what a physician may be telling them. For their part, doctors told to do “everything” will do it, whether it is reasonable or not.
The above scenario is a common one. Feeding into the problem are unrealistic expectations of what doctors can accomplish. Many people think of CPR as a reliable lifesaver when, in fact, the results are usually poor. I’ve had hundreds of people brought to me in the emergency room after getting CPR. Exactly one, a healthy man who’d had no heart troubles (for those who want specifics, he had a “tension pneumothorax”), walked out of the hospital. If a patient suffers from severe illness, old age, or a terminal disease, the odds of a good outcome from CPR are infinitesimal, while the odds of suffering are overwhelming. Poor knowledge and misguided expectations lead to a lot of bad decisions.
But of course it’s not just patients making these things happen. Doctors play an enabling role, too. The trouble is that even doctors who hate to administer futile care must find a way to address the wishes of patients and families. Imagine, once again, the emergency room with those grieving, possibly hysterical, family members. They do not know the doctor. Establishing trust and confidence under such circumstances is a very delicate thing. People are prepared to think the doctor is acting out of base motives, trying to save time, or money, or effort, especially if the doctor is advising against further treatment.
Some doctors are stronger communicators than others, and some doctors are more adamant, but the pressures they all face are similar. When I faced circumstances involving end-of-life choices, I adopted the approach of laying out only the options that I thought were reasonable (as I would in any situation) as early in the process as possible. When patients or families brought up unreasonable choices, I would discuss the issue in layman’s terms that portrayed the downsides clearly. If patients or families still insisted on treatments I considered pointless or harmful, I would offer to transfer their care to another doctor or hospital.
Should I have been more forceful at times? I know that some of those transfers still haunt me. One of the patients of whom I was most fond was an attorney from a famous political family. She had severe diabetes and terrible circulation, and, at one point, she developed a painful sore on her foot. Knowing the hazards of hospitals, I did everything I could to keep her from resorting to surgery. Still, she sought out outside experts with whom I had no relationship. Not knowing as much about her as I did, they decided to perform bypass surgery on her chronically clogged blood vessels in both legs. This didn’t restore her circulation, and the surgical wounds wouldn’t heal. Her feet became gangrenous, and she endured bilateral leg amputations. Two weeks later, in the famous medical center in which all this had occurred, she died.
It’s easy to find fault with both doctors and patients in such stories, but in many ways all the parties are simply victims of a larger system that encourages excessive treatment. In some unfortunate cases, doctors use the fee-for-service model to do everything they can, no matter how pointless, to make money. More commonly, though, doctors are fearful of litigation and do whatever they’re asked, with little feedback, to avoid getting in trouble.
Even when the right preparations have been made, the system can still swallow people up. One of my patients was a man named Jack, a 78-year-old who had been ill for years and undergone about 15 major surgical procedures. He explained to me that he never, under any circumstances, wanted to be placed on life support machines again. One Saturday, however, Jack suffered a massive stroke and got admitted to the emergency room unconscious, without his wife. Doctors did everything possible to resuscitate him and put him on life support in the ICU. This was Jack’s worst nightmare. When I arrived at the hospital and took over Jack’s care, I spoke to his wife and to hospital staff, bringing in my office notes with his care preferences. Then I turned off the life support machines and sat with him. He died two hours later.
Even with all his wishes documented, Jack hadn’t died as he’d hoped. The system had intervened. One of the nurses, I later found out, even reported my unplugging of Jack to the authorities as a possible homicide. Nothing came of it, of course; Jack’s wishes had been spelled out explicitly, and he’d left the paperwork to prove it. But the prospect of a police investigation is terrifying for any physician. I could far more easily have left Jack on life support against his stated wishes, prolonging his life, and his suffering, a few more weeks. I would even have made a little more money, and Medicare would have ended up with an additional $500,000 bill. It’s no wonder many doctors err on the side of overtreatment.
But doctors still don’t over-treat themselves. They see the consequences of this constantly. Almost anyone can find a way to die in peace at home, and pain can be managed better than ever. Hospice care, which focuses on providing terminally ill patients with comfort and dignity rather than on futile cures, provides most people with much better final days. Amazingly, studies have found that people placed in hospice care often live longer than people with the same disease who are seeking active cures. I was struck to hear on the radio recently that the famous reporter Tom Wicker had “died peacefully at home, surrounded by his family.” Such stories are, thankfully, increasingly common.
Several years ago, my older cousin Torch (born at home by the light of a flashlight—or torch) had a seizure that turned out to be the result of lung cancer that had gone to his brain. I arranged for him to see various specialists, and we learned that with aggressive treatment of his condition, including three to five hospital visits a week for chemotherapy, he would live perhaps four months. Ultimately, Torch decided against any treatment and simply took pills for brain swelling. He moved in with me.
We spent the next eight months doing a bunch of things that he enjoyed, having fun together like we hadn’t had in decades. We went to Disneyland, his first time. We’d hang out at home. Torch was a sports nut, and he was very happy to watch sports and eat my cooking. He even gained a bit of weight, eating his favorite foods rather than hospital foods. He had no serious pain, and he remained high-spirited. One day, he didn’t wake up. He spent the next three days in a coma-like sleep and then died. The cost of his medical care for those eight months, for the one drug he was taking, was about $20.
Torch was no doctor, but he knew he wanted a life of quality, not just quantity. Don’t most of us? If there is a state of the art of end-of-life care, it is this: death with dignity. As for me, my physician has my choices. They were easy to make, as they are for most physicians. There will be no heroics, and I will go gentle into that good night. Like my mentor Charlie. Like my cousin Torch. Like my fellow doctors.
Ken Murray, MD, is Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at USC.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Izzy Report

The pup has made the big move to Atlanta! And we both survived the trip more or less intact!

So, for those who haven't heard, I officially adopted Izzy a couple of weeks ago after realizing that there was no way that I could give her up--she is just way too stinkin' cute. I think everyone in my family was secretly (and some of them not-at-all secretly) glad that I did so that they can keep seeing her, too. 

Anyway, for the trip back, I bought the biggest pet carrier that would fit under the seat on the airplane, paid the pet fee, basically stuffed her into the carrier, and for the first and last time ever, carried her on. I swear, if my flight had been even five days later, there is no way that she would have fit into that carrier. But she did, and I found out how stressful it is to travel with a pet, even though she did great the whole way, and now she is here! (I will soon be listing a nearly-new pet carrier for sale on Craigslist.)

She is adjusting pretty well, although she is definitely missing having all the other fun people around. Now she is just stuck with a boring old mom who sits and stares at her computer all day.

Doesn't really look like a comfortable headrest to me, but she can fall asleep anywhere.

So far we have enjoyed a couple of short jogs around the new neighborhood, we have met lots of people and dogs around the building, including Foxy, the next-door-dog-neighbor (and ever since she has been sitting by the front door and whining... hoping she'll get over it fast), and we paid a visit to my friend Megan, who also has a pup, Riley, but Riley wasn't home this afternoon.

Izzy is getting used to the noise on Ponce, which you can hear from inside the apartment since we directly overlook it--she is not a huge fan of motorcycles or firetrucks--and working on getting less scared of all the cars zooming by when she has to go out to pee.

She still gets the hiccups about 6 times a day, still likes to use her mouth on everything and sometimes bites a bit too hard, still has horrendous gas (that is, thankfully, pretty rare), and still cuddles like a champ on the couch while I study. 

I'm so happy to have her here... I just hope she is happy to be here, too.

Here are some bonus pictures from our last few days in Ft. Collins:
Awesome chew toy: an empty 5-Hour Energy bottle.

You can see in this one where I painted her nails red a couple weeks back (I know, I am that girl).

I think this one is hilarious because it looks like she is chugging it down.

Who, me?

I'm discovering that it is surprisingly difficult to get a good shot of a rambunctious puppy.

Much easier when she is passed out (which is, thankfully, many hours of the day.)

As long as she is as close as possible to/on top of a human, she is pretty content.

Not gonna lie, I'm pretty jealous of her life right now.

Puppy nose.

Sometimes when she sleeps really hard she sticks her tongue out like this.

Monitoring the street from her favorite perch.

I see you, squirrel!

My pup who apparently thinks she is a cat.

Just wanted a more relaxing view?

Not quite... sure... how to get down...
Being helpful with the dishes.

I think you missed a spot on that one...

Not really sure, but it's pretty cute.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Resolve This!

I have been thinking a lot about New Years' Resolutions.  (And yes, I am aware that I am a week late on this post.)

Inspired in part by this article, I deactivated my Facebook account.

I love Facebook for the ability it gives me to keep up with people I don't talk to regularly (and, my life being what it is, this would be just about everyone, including my own family)... I get to see when people get engaged, I get to see pictures of their weddings and their babies and their latest adventures.  I LOVE the random interactions that happen when people I would never expect leave a comment on my wall, or a reply to something I have posted.  It can really make me feel connected, and loved, or even just entertained.  This is sort of sad, but I have actually learned a lot of breaking news from my Facebook feed, too, like Kim Jong-Il's recent death.  I also get to see a lot of priceless gems like this, thanks to people posting them on Facebook.

This might sound totally silly (and it really is), but lately I have been feeling like I spend so much time keeping up on others' reporting of their lives online, on Facebook and blogs and the like, and then I spend even more time (though not nearly as much) recording and reporting my own life online, that I have ended up feeling like I am not really living my life.

And not only that, but for all the connectedness and the happy news and the glimpses into people's lives that I would have never otherwise had, maybe just as often, seeing all that stuff makes me sad.  It makes me envious of that person's trips to fabulous places, and that person's straight-out-of-Martha-Stewart-Magazine wedding, and that person's picture-perfect, nonstop fun, ridiculous life.  I love seeing pictures of friends' kids as they grow, but then it starts to feel like every other girl I know is getting pregnant, and that is great for them and everything, but then I remember how I am racing up to 30, and there are no babies on my horizon, and maybe I really want babies, and maybe I just want to have lots of babies instead of doing all this school shit, and maybe a small or not-so-small part of me is really worried--for the first time, like actually thinking this might be a real possibility--that by the time I get through all this medical stuff and come up for air, I won't be able to have any babies.  Or, best-case-scenario, maybe I can still have one or two, but I definitely won't ever get to see them.

It is totally embarrassing that Facebook and the internet at large have taken up so many of my precious hours.  But it is way worse what they can do to my head.  

I really, REALLY want to be a doctor.  I also REALLY want to be a mom and have a big family.  And I REALLY want to be good at both of these things.  But what I am doing right now is hard work, and it can feel discouraging.  And the carefully crafted public presentation of other people's lives and careers and spouses and kids can easily, insidiously, seep down the cracks left by my insecurities and doubts.  And then I forget that other people's lives are not perfect, and they are not always happy, and no one really has it all together, despite what their timeline may lead you to believe.  

And I forget that just because I don't have a baby right now, doesn't mean that I won't have one in the future, and that it won't be an even better time for that baby to come along, because, thankfully, I am not in charge of the overall plan for my life, and I don't have to be.  But I do have to get better at remembering that, and trusting that right now, I am doing what I am supposed to do.  And I need to remember that happiness is possible right now,  no matter what else is going on, and that that IS within my control.  So, in that spirit, I decided to get off Facebook, and see if it made a difference.

THEN, I saw this, talking about this, which was inspired by the same article above!

Cool.  And also totally reaffirming of my decision.

I love this Eleanor Roosevelt quote... I think it is a good motto to live by, and a great resolution to make.  And although this might make me sound pathetic, one of my things that I did one day that scared me was to get off of Facebook.  

Another day, I took my droopy tank top off and did a yoga class in nothing but my yoga pants and purple sports bra, not caring how I looked or what the people around me thought.  Again, might sound pathetic, but I think that for the vast majority of my life up until now, my self-consciousness would have made doing that not even a remotely conceivable option.  And guess what?  I totally lived through it.  In fact, doing yoga without all that extra material around was really nice--it was easier to move, I felt more focused, less distracted.  Maybe there's a lesson there: get rid of the stuff you think you just can't possibly discard, and then find that you are able to do what you want to do even better, unencumbered.  

She must have been awesome to know, don't you think?

Also, for the curious, and because I wrote them out and posted them--supposedly, resolutions made public have the greatest chance of success--the rest of my New Year's resolutions are here.

*All images in this post I found on Pinterest.

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