The Siberian American: Real Talk: My Struggle to Focus on the Present

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Real Talk: My Struggle to Focus on the Present

March 20. Ever since I found out the date Chris will find out where we’re going for residency, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. All I can think about is that little sheet of paper he will receive on March 20 could have almost any city in the United States on it.

Here’s the thing: I’m used to change and take it fairly well. I have moved 18 times in my life and have never really been attached to a house or a place. Part of me craves a new adventure. The problem is that I’m a planner. We will find out where we’re going on March 20 and will need to move sometime in June. It takes me longer than that to plan our vacations! 

My biggest struggle so far is focusing on the present. Right now, I am completely focused on the possibility of moving. I keep thinking this will be the last time we will go to the State Fair or this is the last time it will be this easy to spend Christmas with both of our families. I have been asked about summer plans and can’t give clear answers. My boss knows my situation, and the thought of leaving my job makes me want to cry.

However, these anxious thoughts aren’t actually getting me anywhere. Worrying about the future is not going to make March 20 arrive any quicker. The truth is, even though I am anxious about not having a lot of time to plan once we find out where Chris matches, this is such an exciting time.

Chris is graduating from medical school and is ready to take the next step forward in fulfilling his passion. He is traveling all over the country, interviewing with programs to find the right fit for him. I am his travel agent, booking flights and researching the cities.  He receives new interview invitations every day, and we get to pick where he goes. It’s a time filled with many possibilities, and if I keep worrying about things I can’t change, I will miss it.

My goal is to enjoy this season of life and live in the present. Life is beautiful, and I don’t want to miss a single second. 


  1. just reading about this is putting me into anxiety / planning mode. I hate not knowing things, and I can't even imagine knowing we have to move but not knowing where. But you are right. Life is right now, and being in the present is so important. I am always looking forward to or planning something. I need to slow down :)

  2. You are such a wonderful and supportive wife and I'm sure the place that he gets matched to will fit perfectly into your lives!!! :)

  3. It's a struggle not knowing, but keep having faith!!!! Everything will work out and you will be at an amazing place, I know it!

  4. It must be tough knowing that you're going to move but not know where; especially when you want to dream about a certain city or plan things out. It will be hard to make a big move in such a short time but at least you guys have each other and support one another, that helps! :) So exciting that he is going on so many interviews!!

  5. I know what you're talking about because I'm SUCH a planner. I get stressed out if I don't know what I'm doing next weekend, let alone where I'm moving next year! It sounds like you guys are a good team, though, and it's not like you're not experienced with moving. Just try hard to pick a city you're both excited about and I'm sure it will work out :)


  6. I'm a lot like this too. I've moved over a dozen times and I'm kind of always just looking ahead to when I'm going to move next. You're right about needing to stop and live in the moment.

  7. I have the hardest time living in the present too. I like to plan and be certain about things. It's so great that you are so supportive of your husband!

    Philippians 4:6-7New International Version (NIV)

    6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds.

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

  8. It's so hard to not stress about the unknown and all the possibilities. Sometimes you just have to sit back and know that you have an amazing partner that will be there no matter where life is going to take you!

  9. I love the real talk. I can imagine that it's hard to NOT have that in the back of your mind all the time. I admire you for making an effort to live in the present and be thankful. That's not an easy thing to do but so worth it. Hey if you're a reader... a few books come to mind. Let's All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs and One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I've read both and they have really helped my mindset.

    -Claire @

  10. Olya, I'm loving the real talk. If I'm honest, I'm in the same boat {it's hard to live in the present and be thankful all the time} and my husband's not about to move us to an unknown area in the next few months. I'm inspired by your transparency. Two books that I've read that change my mindset are Let's All be Brave by Annie F. Downs and One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. If you're a reader, you should check them out!

    1. Thanks, Claire! I love to read. I have heard a lot about the Ann Voskamp book and will definitely pick it up! The other one sounds good too. It is so hard to live in the present, but I know the Lord is with me as we continue this journey! :)

  11. You have moved 18 times?! WOW! That's incredible!
    It is such an exciting time to think about being done with the med school phase and moving on to residency!! What a huge accomplishment! I would be like you, wondering where we will end up next and daydreaming about the next phase of life. Totally normal! But I bet as the holidays roll around you will much more involved in living in the moment and enjoying the fun! March 20th will be here before you know it!! xoxo

  12. This reminds me so much of a friend of mine. Her husband is a doctor and just started a fellowship, so they moved across the country (again). I met them right after they moved here when they started residency. It's such a crazy process. I can see why it would be hard to wait!


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