Thursday, May 31, 2012

(Missing) The Comforts of Home

My, my. I had two pretty craptastic days here in New Zealand.  One small wrong/bad thing after another kept happening.  Yesterday, I woke up for a 5 a.m. webinar featuring James Prochaska, PhD and William Miller, PhD discussing the transtheoretical model and motivational interviewing as they relate to health promotion.  As soon as it was over I went back to sleep and this messed up my alertness for the rest of the day.  In fact, I ended up walking back and forth from Abbey College to various points on campus four times because I kept forgetting things.  I was not a happy camper.

The real icing on the cake was when I was at MInT booking appointments.  It was my first time calling families to set up 12- and 24-month appointments.  There's a lot of detail to remember when calling the families: parent's name, child's name, which appointment I'm calling for, checking if a DXA scan needs to be booked, asking if the child would be okay wearing an accelerometer for a week, setting up mailing an online questionnaire, double-checking mailing addresses, asking if they'd like a text reminder the day before...the list goes on and on.  Well, my first call was to book a DXA scan for a child in the study and the sibling who was "green" but we still needed a DXA scan.  To do this, I have to have the MInT calendar open to view my available time slots and I have to have a Google calendar to view the available DXA scan time slots.  I didn't juggle the calendars, the information, and trying to personify a super friendly research assistant very well when I was talking to the father.  So, I apologized and handed the phone over to Bonnie to finish booking the appointment.  Oh dear.

When I read that paragraph back to myself it doesn't sound like a big deal, but finding ways to cope with stress can be a challenge.  Now, I understand why graduate students drink! 

For the most part, a few deep breaths is all it takes for me to simmer down.  But, what I crave most on stressful days is the comfort of what was familiar.  Sometimes, I just want to sit in a comfy pair of sweatpants on my own couch with my family/friends/dog from home (maybe with a big bowl of macaroni and cheese, too).  I've been fortunate enough that a handful of these people are on Skype or Facebook at the same time that I am, so I can chit chat and whatnot.  But, these moments are too few and too far between.

So, to family and friends out there - shoot me an email, message me on Facebook or set up a Skype date!  I'd certainly appreciate it.


The only thing constant in life is change. - Rochefoucauld

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