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Scrubs

Or, as we jokingly refer to them as... Brooke's lingerie. Or workout attire. Dinner dress. Weekend jump suit. 

I hate folding laundry. I always have and I suspect I always will. It's just one of those things I truly wish was not part of my routine. I'm not one for "do it easy" gadgets ... but I've come close to buying one of those folding boards. I balked realizing even though a template for folding would be provided - I would still have to manually move various aspects of the shirt to achieve the template shape. I would rather shovel horse shit in a dusty stall than fold clothes. When I was 16 I worked at The Gap. I swore after "Black Friday" I would never perfect fold another pair of jeans. 

Well, that promise to myself didn't exactly pay off. 

But scrubs... I had a particular hate for folding scrubs. It may seem silly that I could actually "hate" an article of clothing, but I did. With a passion. Osama Bin Laden and scrubs. They were equals. 

Seeing scrubs triggered resentment. When I would fold a scrub top it was almost as if I was neatly organizing my wife's adulterer. It was as if I was saying... "you've robbed me of a spouse, but, let me neatly get you stacked and ready to do it all again." 

I would think of finishing grad school only to go into early retirement to stay home with a 6 month old in a strange city... days on end - alone. A new, clueless dad in a strange city... learning the definition of colic... alone. 

I would think of weekend calls and canceled plans. I would think of strangers who knew my wife better than I did. A strong statement since we have known each other since we were 13. They would laugh and make jokes over drinks I couldn't comprehend. I would hide my head in embarrassment as they discussed vaginas, gynocamastia (however the hell you spell it), or vulvas. 

I would become envious of a career with purpose. While I was folding this uniform someone else was wearing a carbon copy of it... same color and all. Doing great things. Making a difference. It wasn't fair. 

I would daydream of a different life. A life in which I wouldn't have to fold those damn things any longer. At some point I began to drink while folding. Then drink a little more. Then realize it didn't matter if I was folding the scrubs at 8 am or 8 pm - I was drinking. Drinking to escape the "poor me's"... the isolation. Even when surrounded by three small kids I had never felt so alone. People told me I was doing important work - supporting an important career. All I heard was "your spouse is incredible, but, it's really cool you fold laundry and grocery shop."

I was miserable. I wasn't playing music. I wasn't exercising. I wasn't guiding rafts... or kayaking. I wasn't traveling. Exploring. I was a lonely, depressed, isolated Mr. Mom. 

Then something changed. I put down the bottle. I started working a program of gratitude. I started "faking it until I made it"... And, at some point, I made it. Or, more accurately, am in the process of making it. A process that will continue to evolve if I hold steadfast to the principals I practice in everyday life. 

Today I folded this stack of scrubs and subconsciously thought "I'm grateful for these damn things. I'm grateful for the life they have provided my family and I. I'm grateful I was able to keep it together... just enough... to see the love of my wife through medical school. Residency. A career." 

I'm thankful for my sobriety and healing. And, my new found purpose(s). 

I'm thankful for a lot of things... but today I was simply thankful for the life those scrubs have provided for me and my kids, the thousands of lives that have come into this world under their watch, and the lady that puts them on every day.

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