I took advantage of a small lull in classes and studies this past Friday and absconded with my not-so-trusty car to Grand Rapids, Michigan. After all, I have a new member of my family! My nephew, Connor, named after a Terminator character (yes, my brother is an eccentric computer whiz), was born on January 4th and I had yet to see him. As I was staring down at the cute little guy, I realized that he had grown using instructions from a quarter of my genome — a fact that had not been lost on me, having just finished a Medical Genomics midterm one day prior. It was a surreal moment that was only amplified by my newly gained knowledge. I didn’t want to let him out of my sight, but alas, I had allotted only 24 hours for my trip so I had to bid him adieu.
Mom and Dad had obviously earned a spot on my highly rationed list, so I rushed home to make it in time for dinner and walked in the door to another welcome surprise; my younger brother, Jake, was also there for dinner! Catching up with my family, during my impromptu trip, reminded me how important it is to take periodic breaks from studies to reconnect, regain sanity, and nourish perspective. And, of course, family always provides people to practice my palpating and adjusting skills on, so school wasn’t completely lost on me Friday! Jake helped my self-prescribed procrastination along by accompanying me back to Chicago the following day for a weekend getaway of exploration.
Saturday morning brought with it phenomenal weather, so Sarah, Jake, and I seized the opportunity to go to the Lincoln Park Conservatory and Lincoln Park Zoo. I had never been to the Conservatory and I was quite pleasantly surprised by the thoughtful layout and the staggering diversity of plants. After months of cold, bleak winter the vibrant hues of color, displayed in a sun-filled, warm building warmed my soul. The total cost of both attractions was $0.00 — a positive that allowed us to drink a couple alcoholic beverages guilt-free.
Keeping the spirit of the weekend alive, Jake and I went for a bike ride along the lake on Sunday morning in the wonderful weather. Even though the weekend was busy and packed full of activities, I felt as though my batteries had been recharged. I can’t overstate the importance of wisely planning little breaks from the daily routine of studying. It’s easy to get lost in it all. Burn-out. Little breaks allow me to reengage school and studying with renewed vigor and fresh perspective.