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Lives of Doctor Wives: Survivor Perspective: Make New Friends...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Survivor Perspective: Make New Friends...

This year I am leading my daughter’s girl scout troop. It is official. I have become Ella Griffin-my mother. But that is an entirely other topic.  Anyway, as many of you remember, one of the fave songs in girl scouts is “Make new friends”. The lyrics are something like “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold.”  I have found this song truly grates on my last nerve, but the premise of the song strikes a chord with my life.  Part of being a troop leader is the endless explanations you must provide on every girl scout tradition. In addition, you must then provide answers to the alarming amount of questions on said traditions. While dealing with the deluge of questions following the philosophical explanation of this song, I was forced to explain my friend inventory to my daughter and the other girls. It was not something I really had thought about at all. The “keep the old” part is done-I am an expert at that. However, the make new friends part is definitely giving me a bit of  trouble.   In training, I found having friends in medicine was an absolute necessity. We truly are the only ones who “get it”. There is no need for explanation of Q3 call, or the fact that your husband absolutely cannot leave the OR to attend your 3 year old’s star performance of “This little light of mine”. It is how I survived. I was very lucky to make other friends, but all my best friends are/were doctor’s wives.
So now that we are post-training, I have realized that I may actually  be quite nervous about making “other” kinds of friends. I have made “other” friends, of course as I am an extremely social person. But allowing them into our lives, into our daily situation is difficult. In the 8 years we have lived in Nashville, I have only allowed 3 friends into my inner circle that were not in medicine. 3 people. Period. I have  a ton acquaintances of course, but these 3 have made into the inner circle. All 3 of these chosen ones have husbands who have similar schedules: one is a very successful a song writer, another is a CEO and the third is Financial Planner and they work constantly. This realization has made me wonder-am I a friend snob? Or has medicine shaped my life so much that I no longer have time for anyone who has a husband who is actually home by 5:00 and available to go to lunch or make every PTA meeting???  I am hoping the answer is none of the above.

We often  talk about how medicine affects our children. And I am a firm believer that my children are better for this journey. Does that seem the same for me? In many ways, I am stronger and happier because of it, but is the friend thing say something terrible about me? I have decided that it does not. Being a doctor’s wife is a strange life. Our husbands deal with life and death daily. They spend their weeks saving those they can, and loving on families of those they cannot. They are expected to be super human in many instances and robotic in others. The words “how was your day?” are never easily answered. We are a special lot.  Our children are special people and  they deserve a special kind of protection. After much thought, I truly believe this is what drives my friend selection. I am overwhelmingly protective of my family and my husband. I was always been that way-but medicine has brought out an entirely new form of this in me.  Without even realizing it, I have truly become crazy about protecting us.  Now that we are not under the umbrella of training and constantly surrounded by other resident/ fellow families I am still gravitating towards that safety net of familiarity. My husband’s job is keep people alive, but mine is to guard our hearts. Without even knowing it, I have become an expert at this and I am grateful. Just another life skill that surviving training has provided to me and I will wear this guardian badge proudly. “Guardian of hearts” looks pretty great on my resume –I think I like it.



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