Right before my sister, Renee, and I went to Ireland, I discovered the Golden Crown Literary Society and discovered that they were having their annual conference in New Orleans a few days after we were scheduled to return. I debated whether to go; after all, it would be a valuable networking experience for my writing life and it was in New Orleans.
Last weekend, we headed back to Little Rock for a wedding; one of my oldest and dearest friends (who was a witness to our wedding in 2007) married one of my new friends that I met at a Writing Workshop in 2013.
Who knew that one of the most valuable parts of the weekend would be hanging out on the deck with a bunch of UAMS 2013 grads?
I feel like in most of the articles, social media posts, and blogs I read about the residency experience that we focus on what our medical partners aren't giving us--their time, attention, a break from doing the dishes or laundry. What about what we're giving ourselves?
My initial motivation for starting "The Other Half" when I did came from reading Erica Camp's "What I wish I knew: Advice for Spouses of Doctors and Residents." It was when I got to #4 that I really rolled my eyes, refilled my wine glass, and started typing.
Not too long ago, someone asked me if the term "resident widow," referring to the status of a spouse of a resident, was a term I came up with. I didn't really think it was, and a quick Google search confirmed this. (See here; at least one other person in the world has used it).
In starting this blog I've been thinking a lot lately about whether I'm just whiny or if there is a larger issue with non-traditional spouse relationships in the larger world of medicine. I fear the whiny label because frankly that's how a lot of the younger wives sound to me when they complain about their doctor husbands not paying enough attention to them.
I got your attention with that headline, didn't I? Let me explain.
I'm working on a new fiction project that involves an extra-marital affair. I, myself, am a serial monogamist. I used to think that I didn't get the whole affair thing. And, on many levels I still don't. But, I remember remarking to a friend in the first year of residency that I think I can understand how it happens better now than I ever could before, at least in medical marriages.
When I was in graduate school and when I had my first full time job (and when I was a professional adjunct at multiple schools) I always felt like I was between arriving where I was and leaving for the next place. I feel that way again right now, in the middle of residency.
This blog is written from the perspective of an older medical spouse who happens to be childless by choice. I hope that husbands, older spouses, those childless by choice, and others will find this entertaining and occasionally useful.