"If you could live one year of your life over again in the identical way, which year would it be and why?"
This is the prompt this week from Sandiegomomma, the woman who mesmerizes us weekly with a writing prompt. Sometimes I feel inspired, sometimes I don't. This one caught my attention and I started scrolling back through the years, all 54 of them. Hmmmmm.
Possessing the trait of looking back over the past with a hefty amount of regret over this or that decision, this or that choice, it's not easy to find an entire year when my memories tell me that things were just about perfect and I wouldn't have changed a thing. Funny that the year in mind is 1982; how timely. I've written several posts in the past weeks about this time in my life; remembering my mentor in Medicine and remembering Michael Jackson, both who died unexpectedly and who rocked my world, although in different ways. 1982 would have been that year.
I was 27, going on 28 and completing my last year of Internal Medicine residency and looking forward to beginning a 4th year as Chief Resident in June of 1982. Enjoying the peak of my academic knowledge as a general internist was a sweet treat. Sure, I later trained as a nephrologist with sub specialty focus but right then, I knew more about Internal Medicine than I have at any other time in my career (this isn't unusual by the way). The pinnacle was a grand place to be; well trained and ready to take on whatever might come my way. Students and residents looked up to me and faculty seemed proud of me. I was working with TEA, the mentor of all mentors, launching into a year of intensive responsibility and opportunities to hone my skills further. What a great year to be a doctor; the absolute best.
And on the personal side, I'd been married five years to a great husband. We lived in a cozy two bedroom bungalow with Pearl, the cat, Toby, our Weimaraner, and Spike, the mutt devil-dog. Our respective parents, both sets healthy and active, lived close by and were important in our lives. Healthy parents. Wow, what a blessing that was in retrospect; something I clearly took for granted as though it would never end. I had endless energy; could stay up all night on the job and keep working through the next day, my brain on "go". Sleep came easily, minutes after falling onto the pillow at night. I didn't lie awake worrying about tomorrow or stewing about the past. I lived each moment as it came and those moments were just fine.
Michael Jackson's music blasted in the background and more than once, his singing and dancing got me out on the dance floor to boogie on down. It was a great year. 1982.