Saturday, January 18, 2014

34 - Part 2 - Reflections and New Horizons

Downtown Disney, Disneyland, January 2014
So… I looked back at my birthday blogs from last year and they were generally disappointing as far as goal setting went. Here are the links to Part 1, 2, 3, and the summary.

So here's what I realized in all that…

It wasn't that I was aimless. It's just that, if I'm being completely, soul-searchingly honest, I was just trying to survive with my sanity intact. I mean, sure, I wanted to get healthier and budget better and all that, but I was also dealing with 3 big things:

My Sailor was deployed. Yes, we signed up for this. Yes, he's been-there-done-that before and so have I. But no, it's never ever 'easy'. If it ever gets 'easy' to not hear from someone you love, there is something very wrong. My Sailor and I generally like each other and appreciate each other's company. Deployment is a strange beast. I can't say it's like any other traveling job on the planet - because they each have their own challenges. Pilots have the risks inherent with air travel. Drivers have the risks inherent with traffic and long hours on the road. Submariners? Well, they have all the challenges of being in a boat designed to sink, plus warfare concerns. So, yeah, it's a lot. It takes a certain breed of person to handle all of it. My Sailor does a pretty good job with it, and I'd like to think I'm not too shabby at flying solo myself. Sometimes I actually enjoy it, but that doesn't mean it's ever easy.

My Dad was fighting Pancreatic Cancer - the 3rd deadliest form of the disease.  While it's natural for all people to lose our parents at some point in our lives, cancer is an awful, ugly painful thing that does awful, ugly painful things to families. At the time, I couldn't have dealt with any of it any differently than I did. I called. I prayed. I stayed positive. But that didn't mean it didn't suck. Knowing pancreatic cancer from its reputation in the medical community and from its terrible success in claiming the life (and causing the fame) of Randy Pausch, it was really a long period of time holding our breath for things to get better or to very quickly get worse. A little less than 4 months from this time last year, I was flying down to California to help see my family through my dad's last few weeks.

Adoption… still.Yup, the crazy adoption journey was stuck at a stand still then. We were finally able to make a big push in the fall of this 2013, but I was sort of hoping my dad would be able to meet his grandkids. That didn't happen - at least not in the flesh. But I know he lives on in me. And ya know, I turned out okay, and my grandfatherly influence was minimal as a child.

That said, it was very easy to fall into the same trap this year. (Though 'trap' may not be fair. Some years, we just need to lick our wounds and get by; I trust that I did what I needed to do. This year isn't a year for that.) I have nearly as many reasons to do the same thing, but something has happened recently.

The happier I am with my fitness in specific, the less patience I have for parts of my life that aren't satisfying me. I'm awfully tired of just 'skating by'. I need to make some changes, set some specific goals again, and reach for them!

So here are the things I'd like to see accomplished this year.

#1 - IMPROVE TIME MANAGEMENT.  In 2013, I suddenly got good at showing up to things on time. At first, I thought it was just My Sailor rubbing off on me. As a 'creative type', I'm notoriously late for most things. But I found myself on time more often then not (if not early) to the gym for my appointments with Trainer Guy. I was pretty much running on time to meet friends, and I'm usually a day ahead in all of my writing deadlines. I've been great about setting deadlines for myself with the adoption paperwork/training and completing it within those time frames. BUT I'm awful about using my time wisely on things I don't particularly care for (like my day job). Which brings me to my next point.

#2 - WRITE EVERY DAY. Even if this means I stay up late or do it over coffee. Even if it's a sentence. Even if it's NEVER something that gets published, WRITE. Setting aside time to give myself a creative outlet will make me happier, which will make things around me more relaxed.
  2a - Seek out professional help to change careers.  Are you tired of hearing me complain about my job? 'Cause I'm really tired of complaining about it and saying, "I'm going to be a writer!" and then not getting there. I mean, I AM  a published writer several times over, but not a PAID writer yet, and I want to start getting paid for what I love (and do anyway). Start up magazines are great, but usually pro bono I don't mind getting involved in projects I believe in, but I need to start finding things I believe in that can help out momentarily as well. They are out there! I have a friend who has been-there-done-that successfully so I'm going to pick her brain to see where I need to adjust my strategy. Maybe I need a day job that takes less mental energy so I have the space to be creative? Maybe something else needs to change? But I'm certainly not afraid to ask for help. I think right now my ideal combo would be to write and do some personal training on the side.  Sunshine and Trainer Guy are willing to let me pick their brains to figure out what I need to do to get my foot in the door.
  2b- Build a Writing Calendar. I do well with deadlines. Why not capitalize on that and give myself some deadlines I can write to?

#3 - KEEP GOING on the Fitness Front!  I've already taken steps toward this one. It's pretty clear that I've made significant headway this year in my training, body type, confidence, and shape. In fact, I can hardly believe I didn't crop my hips out of a single photo from our recent vacation. That's pretty much completely new for me.
I used to think that this sweater made me look bulky. Now I realize it wasn't the sweater...
So I am committed to continuing in the fitness routines I've been in. I have an indoor rowing competition a week from Sunday (YIKES!), the Expedition Everest Challenge in May, My First cross fit Throwdown in February, and probably a powerlifting competition in March, so it's going to be a fit year with no time to slow down on that front - which is exciting.
  3a- Hike a different trail every month, rain or shine. I think this can be a great one. Company or not. Rain or shine. 12 months. 12 trails. There is so much natural beauty in Washington, it's a crime that I spend so much time indoors.
  3b- Get certified in at least 1 area of specialty to work towards becoming a Trainer.  Sunshine mentioned something today that might just stick with me. I have some background medical knowledge. What if I used that to help people who have some unique needs in training? It would require lots of study and a wide variety of work outs. I have a feeling I'd be able to learn a LOT now the job, shadowing, or volunteering. However it happens, this might be a great way to do something I feel like I'm not right now. See, with my day job, I basically keep doctors out of jail or make rich people richer… I'd like to give back to society in a...different way. Something that feels a little more rewarding than just keeping a professional in the black and out of orange.

I think those are some pretty ambitious goals for my own personal new year. It would be great to work in a show, but it has to be the right show, at the right time. Time is a valuable commodity right now. One I'm not willing to sacrifice on a part I'm not really excited about or on a show I feel is less than awesome. If that means I end up more on the patron/critic side of theater, I'm okay with that. (I'd be even more okay with it if someone wanted to pay me to go to shows!)

And with that, the birthday shenanigans come to a close.

I have 2 words for you 2014…


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