Monday, June 24, 2013


Each December and June I outline projects for the coming six months.  Usually there are six, some perennial that never get done, a  few finite that get checked off.  My health or weight is always among them but never gets its check mark.  I want to do research and to have my writing more widely acknowledged.  These past two half-years I have had twelve, which makes weekly planning easier than when I had six but the focus was better with fewer in number.  While away, I had some time to work on the coming semi-annual projects, choosing to limit it again to six with end points that are more finite than in the past.  The other six remain in the background.  Eventually I will get around to becoming more proficient with the harmonica and settling Dad's estate but they are secondary to the things I really have a desire to accomplish.  My health is not on it for the first time in decades.  But that is something that needs to be absorbed into ordinary activities and not a point of isolated focus.

So here are the six, subject to another week's or so modification, all with accomplishment deadlines of next New Year's Day.

  1. I will have submitted a poster proposal for next year's Endocrine Society meeting.  This is something very doable, though I am not sure I really want to go to next year's Endocrine Society meeting in Chicago.  My interest has shifted from the technicalities of endocrinology toward the way it is practiced, how one disseminates the principals to a core of residents who will soon be primary practitioners and hospitalists actually doing the work.
  2. I will have submitted a formal estate plan to an estate plan attorney.  This one just needs a couple of Sundays or perhaps a Fourth of July and Labor Day to review forms, fill them out and then find an attorney to guide me.  It has been procrastination at its most overt.
  3. The places in my home where I actually spend my time will be decluttered and clean.  I spend time in the kitchen, bedroom and family room couch.  I eat in the dining room and have created a favorite nook with a fold-down desk in the living room that should be more of my professional area than it currently is.
  4. My blog will be widely read and commented upon.  I have a book on Blogging for Dummies that I mostly read.  I understand the principles and have two topics, the decline of synagogue life and professional dissatisfaction with life as a physician that I know have a potential audience.  One of the phenomena of AKSE and I'm sure a lot of other places is that as people vote with their feet and the baalebatim complain about attrition, nobody solicits the thoughts of the dissatisfied to try to accommodate them without disrupting the core activities of the synagogue.  When I recently decided to become an observer, setting aside any active participation, I got an expected measure of negative feedback in the form of scorn for having acted that way.  What I did not get was any solicitation whatever of why I came to my conclusion.  If nobody wants to solicit my thoughts and my thoughts are important just the same, I will have to volunteer and disseminate them.
  5. I will have submitted four articles for print publication.  Another perennial.  But finite.
  6. The denouement of my professional career will be put in place.  I set my Retirement Countdown Clock as a birthday present to myself a few months ago.  While I like what I do, I like other things as well and really do not want to spend my final years in active practice doing exactly what I've done before.
Seems like a pretty decent list with reasonable justification.  Next step is to carve out dedicated time to do these things, which means a schedule and time in which patients are not continually coming at me.  I think I can do these.  Will assess progress each month.

No comments: