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Ups & Downs : May 2017

May 31, 2017

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Life this month = board studying.
No other real exciting updates. Or maybe I don't have the ability to think of things to write about... either way - - board studying. That's life lately.



FUN THINGS ON THE INTERNET
1. Some super cool photography (and risky human beings).
2. Maybe you've heard about gravity lights - but if not... seriously, check it out. This is such an amazing idea! I used kerosine lamps throughout my service in the Peace Corps. This is a much better alternative for people who need light!

28 Trips Around The Sun

May 4, 2017

28 full trips around the sun.
That's wild.

Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday and made my day so special. It filled my heart with joy to hear from everyone - in multiple languages, from all around the globe. My network of friends and family members across the globe continue to brighten my life.

As the globe keeps spinning and the lives around us keep moving, I wanted to take a few moments to reflect on some of the lessons I have learned, and continue to learn, with each journey around the sun.


  • Taking the time to truly just exist is one of the most difficult and rewarding things to do. Sitting & being a witness to my own thoughts during meditation has brought out some of the best and worst sides of me this year. Our minds are so powerful... choosing our thoughts and then acting accordingly can affect our lives in such profound ways. 
  • While I'm nowhere near perfect, I'm more and more aware of the respect my body deserves on a daily basis. The relationships I choose to maintain, the food I choose to eat, and the physical conditioning I choose to participate in all have a dramatic effect on my health. The foundation we begin to build now will have very direct effects on our health later down the road. I'm not making perfect decisions daily, but I am still proud of my efforts to stock our home with more whole foods, brew my own kombucha, and get my butt moving as much as a can.
  • Carving out time for self care is one of the greatest gifts I've found I can give myself. Snuggling with my pets or my mom's baby goats, taking the morning to ski with my husband, or calling an old friend to catch up is an easy remedy for burnout and exhaustion. The hardest part is stopping to slow down. Just a few minutes of self care can make all the difference in the world.
  • Chasing my dreams doesn't happen to be easy. Sometimes I think back to my life plan when I was in my early 20's... and I'm doing it. I graduated. I joined the Peace Corps. I went to medical school. I got married. It's easy to forget that I'm so lucky. I've worked so incredibly hard to fill my life with the things that make me the happiest - but there have been a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to go along with it. The life I've chosen is worth it. Despite the chaos, it's worth it to live life each day working toward something. I'm exactly where I should be
  • And on that note... I'm learning this lesson too. If the door doesn't open, it wasn't meant for you. 
  • My husband is genuinely my favorite person on the planet. I don't know how I got so lucky with him either, but he continues to amaze me with his unfaltering loyalty and support. It's such an adventure to be with someone who has dreams and aspirations as big as mine and to have to opportunity to cheer for each other along the way. 
  • Life gets ugly. And hard. The past two years have thrown a lot at me -- with many lessons in life and death and what I want my years of life to look like. I cherish every day I am given. 
Here's to the next trip around the sun - and all the adventures, lessons, and celebrations that will come with it. 

Ups & Downs : April 2017

April 30, 2017

UPS

  • I finished up my second year of medical school. WHAT A WILD RIDE. I'll be writing an honest, in depth post about the first two years soon! I'm SO happy I made it. And I'm incredibly proud of myself. I'm quick to downplay things that I do, but these past two years have been the hardest so far. I'm seriously thrilled to say I made it through successfully! 
  • My blog got a new make over. I've been thinking about a new theme for my blog for quite some time, and this weekend, I finally got to do it! I used this blog theme from Etsy, and I can't recommend it enough! Eve (the Etsy owner) even offers a free installation of the theme. She was incredibly easy to work with and she helped me with everything I needed! 


DOWNS

  • The last three weeks of second year. WOOF. It was a lot of work finishing up all of my classes! BUT, I adore my classmates and great friends. Somehow we all got through it. 


IN PROGRESS 

  • Board prep. Time to finalize all the details of my study plan and start knocking out my studies! 


WHAT I HOPE TO REMEMBER

  • Even when you think you can't make it through the tough times, you just do. Sometimes you get through rough patches quite gracefully, and other times it's a struggle. Either way, I hope to remember that hard work and determination can get me through a lot. I remember starting medical school and not having a clue how I would ever get through it :) But you just do. 


FUN THINGS ON THE INTERNET

Breakfast Quinoa

This is such a simple recipe! Make it at the beginning of the week and have your breakfast ready for the week.

Breakfast Quinoa
Rinse 1 cup of quinoa & strain
Add rinsed quinoa to crockpot
Add 2 cups of water
Add 1 can of coconut milk (full fat)
Add some spices (cinnamon or nutmeg are my fave choices)
Add a dash of salt

Turn crockpot on low for about 3 hours

When it's done, put all your quinoa in tupperware to eat throughout the week!
I like to add a splash of almond milk when I reheat it & then add some honey, fruit & walnuts.

Get creative- you can add any kind of toppings you like! Enjoy!


Terrible, (Thanks For Asking)

April 21, 2017

I had several hours of psychiatry lectures at school today. All very uplifting - ADHD, mood disorders, schizophrenia, suicide. You know, all the things we all love talking about as a society.

I left school thinking about one of my favorite podcasts that I discovered this year. It's called Terrible, (Thanks For Asking) and it is hosted by Nora McInerny. She brings people on the show to talk about awful, terrible, crazy life situations that make people uncomfortable to talk about... but yet, so many of us go through. 


Every time I tell someone about this podcast, they immediately look at me like my whole world is crumbling. "You listen to what?!" I get it. It's weird to admit that I enjoy listening to a podcast about terrible things people experience. But I enjoy it because it's real. It's genuine. And it's so incredible human. 

My life experiences, along with studying psychiatry, have made me realize that we tend to tip-toe around things that make us uncomfortable. Death makes people squeamish. Eating disorders cause people to whisper and change subjects. Depression and bipolar disorders are stigmatized and looked down upon. 

Can you imagine how uncomfortable it would make someone if you responded to their "how are you" with a "Terrible, thanks for asking... followed by whatever horrible, dark feelings you actually had!?".  No one actually wants to know. So we cover it all up with a "I'm good, how are you!?"

But here's what I believe. 

Some people don't want to know the truth. Some people really don't want to deal with the dark, twisty turns in life. And that's ok, I forgive them. 

But there are many of us who DO what to know the truth. We are interested in how other people are doing. We genuinely care. But what we lack is the ability to know how to respond to what they say. There's a fear of not knowing what to do with the information. 

My challenge to you is this: just listen. Listen to your friends, family members, and colleagues. Just sit still and listen. Embrace the silence. Realize that your words probably can't fix it anyway. Be a human and be there. 

If life hasn't slapped you in the face yet, it will. And if it has already, chances are it will again. Life is hard, guys. We need to stop pretending it isn't. There are incredibly beautiful moments and chapters in life, don't get me wrong. But I think it's wild that as a society, we prefer to neglect and ignore the hard parts. 

I think we need to start talking about the hard parts. We need to normalize problems people encounter. If someone is really not doing well, you're giving them a huge gift by just listening. 

Mental health issues exist all around us. Tough life stuff happens to all of us.
Isolating people and the issues they face certainly can't be the answer. 
Let's re-write our response to some of the ugly situations in life.

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