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Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Projects and Goals

It’s that time of year again. After a 2011 that saw many goals not obtained and many projects wanting for a slot in 2012, I’m really looking forward to the New Year and the opportunity to get back on track.

Now, in all fairness to 2011, it started with the MS symptoms getting worse and worse and me having no idea that my troubles were anything worse than needing to tweak my diet to improve the fatigue and probable back surgery to fix my mobility. My projects list centered on changing my food balance, recovery from surgery and more exercise. I had no idea that in May I still wouldn’t know what was wrong. I expected to be in recovery by then! As it worked out, the classes I’d planned to do in rehab were taken during the worst of the stress with all of this. I earned my first B and an incomplete that is now a D! It was not at all a time to try to learn a new computer language! I’ll be able to fix the D when I retake XML. It kinda sucks to not be on the Dean’s List for the first time since 1984!

All the medical and school stress had an adverse effect on my weight loss too. I lost 40 pounds in 2010 and felt ambitious about at least that much more in 2011. Humph. Did you know stress causes enzymes in your body to do weird things that actually hold on to fat? Imagine, the stress causes weight to fluctuate and even makes you gain despite a balanced, reduced calorie diet and exercise! Yeah and that causes more stress, which make weight loss even harder and you find yourself thinking seriously about a whole pint of Ben and Jerry’s with hot fudge and whipped cream but no cherry on top because you’ve decided that fruits and vegetables are mocking you.

No. I did NOT do that! But, maybe I thought about it once or twice this year!

The point is that while I was totally brain-muddled in a class I thought would be much easier for me, being shoved in an MRI tube three different times and tested for a possible brain tumor, my weight loss goals were not progressing. I lost 6 pounds in 2011, as of mid-December. I’ve probably gained that much back in the last 2 weeks of festiveness, but as is usually true with Januaries, I’ll shed that by the end of the month and start again, this year without the stress of the unknown or even school as I’ve taken the semester off.

So now, after getting myself organized with what’s wrong with me, what medications I need, a good diet and my physical therapy exercises. I’m ready to move forward…starting with looking back. I have some things from last year that were unfinished or left with alterations I have to put in place.

Updates from 2011 Projects and Goals

Medical Project

Last year the medical project was all about getting an MRI, surgery if needed, repairing myself physically. I wanted to get back to aquatic therapy!

Well, we know it wasn’t at all that simple! This year, now that I’m on a medication, checkup pending, that seems to really work for me, I’m medically concentrating on my therapy exercises, learning to use the AFO and shoring up some key places in our home with devices that will assist me. I’m specifically thinking of the hand shower David and I are installing in the shower in January, a wheeled cart for moving things around in the kitchen and boy, I’d love something secure to grab on at the top of the stairs. I know grabbing the window sill on the top stairs and the doorknob on the bottom ones is not really good for those pieces of hardware that aren’t made for lifting a person and if they give out that’s really unsafe for me.

In addition to the assistive devices and keeping up with my medications and vitamins, I want to do some research on other herbal and homeopathic things I can incorporate, like the turmeric and lemon tea, the taste of which I’ve really grown quite fond.

Weight Loss & Exercise Goal

My weight loss goal is pretty much the same as last year, but this year I WILL do it. I don’t blame myself for 2011 not being as successful as planned. I didn’t gain, I just didn’t lose much. Actually that’s okay. Remember I’d accepted that my face would hollow out and I’d look sick for a couple years. Well, losing as little as I did this year, my face has tightened back up from where it had been and I look better. (Score one for seeing the rainbow, not the rain there!)

So, I’m recommitting to my healthy diet after the holidays, just as last year, but knowing what challenges are before me and knowing what stress does helps me a ton! I’m going to incorporate meditation and relaxation time into my day, just a few minutes a day, but I’m going to reclaim essential mental balance. A lot of people will laugh at that because I work really hard to be mentally balanced, have since my early 20s! But the uncertainty prior to diagnosis was a fierce emotional toxin!

Exercise will be my therapy exercises and my stationary bike. It would be nice to think by late spring I’ll be able to either work on my upper body with the wheelchair or strong enough to walk short distance with the walker and AFO at the park. I’m going to let my physical therapist help me decide if and when that’s realistic.

Scrapbook Goals

Okay the goal last year was to keep up 2011 while finishing 2008 and keeping up on the project I was working on. The due date for the 2008 books was December 31, the 2011 books January 31 and I want that project done by February 29. 2008 is now the catch up goal for 2012. I got a good chunk of 2008 done, but only about half. I’m in June 2011. It’s not out of the question that I’ll finish by the end of January with a couple scrapping weekends, but I may realistically move that date back to the end of February. We’ll see where I am in a few weeks. The project is a gift and that is now the number one priority. I really can’t extend the finish date because it needs to be proofread and edited before it can be printed. Full disclosure and details on this MAJOR project will come after it’s given!

So 2012 scrapbook goals:

Priority Project complete and ready for proofreading February 29, 2012
2011 books completed with a flexible deadline of January 31, 2012
2008 books complete and ready to print December 31, 2012
2012 books completed January 31, 2013

House Uncluttered Project

This was an ambitious project to juggle in with classes and probable back surgery for just 2 rooms this year. It also ended up being an epic fail as a 2011 plan. The plan for 2012 is even bigger!

Knowing my limitations and requirements now, I’m a little more capable. That is lots of chairs, walkers and a telescoping feather duster will allow me to do more. Taking the semester off from school is Multigoaling! I’m going to start with the atrium off the kitchen where many of my boxes from Grandma's house are still stacked. I have a vision of at least one shelving unit for easy access of the modern kitchen appliances that were never that abundant in the 1950s. David and I were also discussing baskets for the K-Cups instead of stacked open boxes on top of the bread box.

From that room I’ll move out to finish the main level of the house, including some handicap access updates. I’m hoping that can be completed by the end of February. Remember I can’t do a physical 8 hours a day and anything that includes moving big things or heavy boxes will wait until David comes home.

It’s a lot, yet I don’t think I’m setting up any unrealistic ideas for myself. And for the physical work, the psychological rewards will be huge on many levels!

New Goals for 2012

Blog Goals

The big goal for the Chronicles of Nani has already started. I wanted to commit more to my regular blog features and add a few. I wanted to commit some time every day I post a blog to reading blogs and commenting. Call it corporate citizenship. I want to really appreciate those who stop by my cyber coffee shop. I’ve been doing well at keeping The Chronicles up and I’ve really been enjoying making friends and being a bigger part of the cyber community. I guess my blog goal is to continue what I’ve been doing, try to offer at least one digital scrapbook freebie a month and encourage everyone to get me those Friday By Request ideas!

Employment Goal

This is a biggie! I need to get back to work, but it’s still an awful job market and now I am officially physically disabled. It’s without a doubt scary. The New York chapter of the National MS Society is hosting a series of teleconferences in the beginning of 2012 about looking for work and having MS. I’ve registered for all 6 teleconferences/webinars.

I hope to be newly resume-ed and ready to get back to applying by fall. But I truly have a lot to learn. For instance, and this is the scariest question for me, when do I disclose my disability? Should I be upfront about needing assistance or do I walk in “Surprise!” for an interview with the walker when they can’t legally throw me out and try to impress them to the point of forgetting about it? I will attend the conferences with my questions in hand!

So there are my personal projects and goals for 2012. As always, this or something better. Ambitious? Sure, but if I made it through 2011 and I can still smile, I can do ANYTHING!


jojo said...

I love reading your year end wrap up and hopes for the comin 2012. I am hoping to get by here more often and get to know you better. Oh yeah, that and get healthy, lose weight, unclutter my mind and home, do more diy projects...and have a better attitude. It's all doable right?
Take care and Happy New Year, thanks for stopping by and leaving such sweet comments!

Edna B said...

Nani, you've set yourself some pretty impressive goals for 2012. I will be very happy with myself if I can keep track of my household expenses and receipts better, and maybe lost a few more pounds.

I have no doubt that you will accomplish just about everything (if not all) on your list. You have a wonderful outlook and attitude, and that will definitely help you to attain your goals.

You are also an inspiration for others (myself included) to work a little harder to meet our goals.

Let's tip our glasses and welcome a great new year. Here's to 2012! Have a great night, hugs, Edna B.

Debbie said...

oooohhhhh you are a scrapper too. we are in the exact same place, working on 2008 while trying to keep current. i failed!!

you are very ambitious. my goal for 2012....get up, show up and do one thing fun, every. single. day.

easy right!!

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

It's good to have goals and dreams, even if we don't always achieve them in the end.

So great to have met you Nani -- you are an inspiration! :)