Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Looking Forward!

Here it is - the end of 2014. A traditional time to reflect and resolve. I did that this year and - scratch that. What I did was OVERdo that this year! Well, no sense pummeling myself about that. Instead, I've been using that experience as a means to figure out what is to be gleaned from that experience.

Mind you, I had some incredible successes this past year and some wonderful "mountaintop moments," including the publication of Wanna Cook? and seeing FryDaddy complete his graduate studies and come home to live with me and be my love full-time. I reached my goal of competing in a 5K race and, along the way, discovered that I like my version of jobbling. I attended my college reunion and caught up with a number of women who helped form me into the person I turned into. Likewise, I attended the Whedon-based Slayage conference and connected with an amazing circle of scholars who helped shape me professionally. Honestly, it was a very good year in many, many respects.

But the ending needed work. I took on too many challenges, both personally and professionally, and I buckled under the weight of all those obligations. That would have been fine, but I refused to admit that I am not Supergirl and that led to some long, dark nights of the soul. And - oh yeah - cancer diagnosis.* So in some ways it was a pretty lousy year.

Therefore, the key question was what to do, what to do?

Colanders & sloths. It's a thing.
Then I had an epiphany. (Not the Epiphany party I've thrown for years, though. That's one of the things going by the wayside this year as a concession to December's surgery.) I don't want this coming year to be about outside things as much as I want to make it about inside things. Yes, I hope that side effects of that will be a return to healthier habits, but my focus this next year is going to be just on being kinder to myself. As corny as it may sound, the cancer diagnosis, with all its attendant fear, uncertainty, and occasional moments of actual terror, has been a bizarre sort of gift. I've had to slow down. I've had to let others take care of me and no one wanted to hear me apologize for it. I honestly can't list all the kindnesses that have been shown to me during this ordeal, nor can I list all the people who have been so joyous when I had good news to share at different stages of this misadventure.

So - my resolution for 2015 is simple - be kind to myself. Instead of crash dieting and setting checklist and checklist for myself, I want this year to include changes such as:

  • Not eating lunch at my desk while I check e-mail every workday
  • Eating a lunch that consists of real food, not just a meal shake and a granola bar
  • Building breaks into my day instead of having meeting after appointment after conference
  • Making time off a requirement instead of a "wow, wouldn't that be nice?" Seriously, religions that observe a Sabbath are on to something in this regard.

Oh, there's plenty more I'd like to do, but it's a very, very good start that will already require me to make some real changes in order for me to put my own well being at the top of the list in ink instead of tentatively writing my name lightly in pencil at the very bottom of the page.

It sounds so simple, but I think it might be harder than it looks.


*By the way - surgery was a few days before Christmas, which made for an interesting holiday, but I was so glad to get it done! And - calloo, callay! - the pathology report came back excellentwonderful with a report of clean margins on the excised tissue, which translates into "we got it all." You'll hear more about continued treatment for the next few months (radiation is coming and I doubt it gives me superpowers), but things look good, good, great on that front!

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