Thursday, September 2, 2010


I always knew that residency would cause Mr. Dawkter to change and grow, but never did it occur to me that it would bring change in me. I knew that it wouldn't be easy for me, but I also knew that it would be much harder on him. After all, he is the one working the long hours and trying to balance and adjust to an incredible amount of responsibility while trying to learn as much as possible.

But what I have recently been surprised to discover is how much I have grown as a woman in the past three months. I find myself doing things I would have never done before. I find myself stronger and more independent than ever. With the doctor gone most of the time I have learned to make my own plans (even more so than medical school), and not to wait around for him or get disappointed when he gets home late at night. I'm learning not to feel sorry for myself because I don't get to spend weekends with my husband because he is working, instead I find things to keep myself busy and content. I've learned to do things I've never done before and I've overcome little fears.

For example, before three months ago I had never picked up a paint brush outside of painting paper, canvas or ceramics. Now I've learned to paint walls, trim and doors - not incredibly challenging, but nothing I have ever considered doing before. And rather than waiting for the husband's help, I find myself figuring things out for myself. For example, I didn't want to wait for him to take the doors of the hinges - so I did it myself. I've also learned lawn maintenance, pest control, weed control and how to grow grass. Today I even went and bought tires for my car. All of this - on my own.

I've also managed to conquer my fear of bugs and spiders. Well, I shouldn't say I've conquered my fear, but I've overcome it to the extent that I have killed dozens of bugs. When you're home alone there is no one to come running to your aid when you scream that there is a spider in the house! I cannot even tell you how much I hate spiders - and today, I killed one with my bare hands! Gross I know, but those things are fast and I didn't have time to run and get a paper towel!

And last but not least, I've picked up running (more like slow jogging). When I see how much Mr. Dawkter challenges himself physically and mentally, it makes me want to challenge myself. (Running has never come easily because I've battled with asthma all my life). But, I've started running with the goal of hoping to train for a half marathon next spring. Running has also become a great outlet for my frustrations in my personal life, so if nothing else, the dark cloud has pushed me to become a little physically stronger. In the last month I've gone from zero to 3.4 miles.

Although I didn't expect residency to change me, it is neat to see that it is molding me into what I believe is a stronger, better (and hopefully better) woman.


  1. So you're saying I'm going to have to learn to kill spiders in a few years? Eek!

    Joking aside, I'm glad that it's made you stronger!

  2. Bravo. I had the same realization a few months into residency too. It's an empowering feeling and I'm sure your husband is also happy to see you are thriving despite the obstacles!

  3. This post was completely motivating and empowering. Although Russ isn't in residency, just doing rotations, I still feel like I hold back or wait around for when he has time and lets face it...there is hardly really any "time"! Reading your post just made me want to go out and run 3.4 miles! Although, I would probably DIE before I would complete that - is there a training schedule you are using? Or are you just doing it yourself?
    Way to go, lady! This is awesome and you totally motivated me today!!! THANK YOU :)

  4. This is AWESOME!! It really makes a difference. I'm happy for you. Keep at it, girl!!!

  5. Wow, that's great to hear. You're both learning and changing and that's a good thing!

  6. Incredibly encouraging, thank you.

  7. way to go! It is kind of amazing the changes that come when they're away; I'm even finding this in med school.

  8. That is so awesome! That's how I felt, though to a lesser, non-homeowner extent, last year. Go you!

  9. I love it all! Doors on the hinges? Very impressive. I decided a couple weeks ago to make burgers on our neighbors grill since I was sick of waiting for him to have some time (it was always the man's job at my house).

    Thanks for the insight into residency. I worry about what it will be like all the time. Especially since my husband talks very seriously about going into the same specialty as Mr. Dawkter.

  10. Thank you so much for posting this. I really needed to hear some encouragement today!


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