In teaching hospitals, residents and fellows learn from their experiences by with regular M&M (morbidity & mortality) meetings. It is a chance that review decisions, including mistakes, in a non-judgemental and non-punitive environment with the goal of improving future outcomes. I have been fortunate that throughout my training as a scientist and to have mentors who have approached failures and disappointment in the same way: as learning experiences. Applying it to the rest of life is not always easy, but it’s usually a productive and rewarding experience.
I didn’t get a ticket for Fjällräven Polar 2019. Despite knowing the small chance of success going in, it was disappointing to see the results. I finished 56th in the popular contest (in North America) with 111 votes. I’ve learned a little more about the way the contest works. I am also overwhelmed by the support I received and where this support came from.
I set out to match votes with a donation as a way to express my thanks for my supporters. This year, I chose the Pacific Postpartum Support Society for what this contest represented to me: a way of self-care and re-connecting with my own interests after becoming a mom. I’m at a stage of life where I’m unable to commit much time to volunteering in the community, but am fortunate that I can contribute financially. That was very rewarding.
Blogging was not a requirement of the contest, but was an excellent outlet for the many thoughts that kept me up through the night during the competition. It was also a way to stay accountable to my voters. In this month of writing, I realized how much I enjoyed writing for an audience (as small as it may be). It keeps me honest. So, I have decided to continue blogging into the new year. This is my way of pursuing my passions elsewhere.
Experiencing the northern lights by dogsled has been something I have wanted to do since my early twenties. It’s something I still haven’t done. Applying to Fjällräven Polar, I felt alive and hopeful, working towards a dream. Chasing Foxes is about aspirations. It is about living intentionally and longing deeply. It is about working towards goals recognizing that one may well fall short, but doing it anyway, and finding enjoyment in doing so.