Looking back at 2015 I did okay on meeting the goals I had set. Never mind that they were the same goals as the year before…and probably the year before that so I after three years I ought to have finally accomplished something.
To recap from 2015.
I had set a goal of 1,500 miles again. In 2014 I did 1,800 and last year I was well over 2,100. Most of that was walking the dogs, of course, but I did swap out swimming for running most of the year and that helped the mileage total climb. I really didn’t swim very much last year at all for a variety of reasons. I chalk it up primarily to burn out from swimming in general. Thanks to LJ leaving the way she did and the ensuing chaos and the (mostly self-imposed) stress of trying to hold the program together without a head coach or any support from the Y, I lost my motivation to make the time to get to the pool. It was just easier to put on my sneaks and go for a run.
The biggest change this year is, of course, giving up swimming. When the only thing I felt about the coming fall season was dread and anxiety, I knew I was burned out and it was time to back off. Hell, I couldn’t even make myself get IN the pool. Thanks to LJ leaving the way she did and the ensuing chaos and the (mostly self-imposed) stress of trying to hold the program together without a head coach or any support from the Y, I lost my motivation to make the time to get IN the pool. It was just easier to put on my sneaks and go for a run. For coaching, originally I planned to do just one or two days a week. But after a couple of days of sitting with that decision, THAT didn’t feel right either. So I stepped father away and agreed to just sub as needed. When I wasn’t contacted at all during the fall to sub at all, the decision to just make a clean break when my “work a shift or get terminated as an employee” notice came was an easy one.
K decided to make a clean break from swimming too and that has been a good decision for her and for the family too. Not having to spend 15 hours a week at the Y, plus driving there 5 or 6 days a week, has given her plenty of time to try other things – guitar, fused glass, year book, movie club. We took a self-defense class together at BZ which was fun too. Not having swim on my plate - Every. Single. Day. – has let me do things like sleep later than 3am. I tell people that I didn’t realize just how exhausted I was until I wasn’t as exhausted anymore. It’s helped with my health overall – I don’t fell as awful all the time as I did while I was coaching every day.
I miss the kids and I miss some of the parents who I liked talking to. Every once in a while I check out how the kids are doing on meet mobile and I see some of them at high school meets when I am working them. I miss the illusion that I was making a difference in kids’ lives. I’m still a bit out of sorts trying to find something that has meaning to take its place. I’m hoping inspiration will hit in 2016.
The other big change for me in 2015 was switching neurologists and heading to Jefferson Headache Center. My initial appointment included an hour with a pshrink to talk about all the ways the headaches impact my life and to make sure that I’m not crazy or drug seeking or so depressed that I need to be hospitalized or something. I loved the pshrink. He was the very first person who actually understood how awful it has been to have headaches 3, 4, 5 + days a week for all these years. I honestly teared up when he told me that even on the days that I didn’t consider the headache to be an actual migraine that ANY symptoms were part of the migraine process and that living like this is completely unacceptable when there are things we can try. After I saw him and completed my psych testing, I saw the neuro. He ran through a ton of options and recommended either Botox or a clinical trial. He thought the Botox could be helpful for me. So I signed up for that and scheduled my first appointment at the end of June.
I’ve had three doses (?) of Botox so far. They’ve tweaked the placement of shots each time to try and give me a better result. The first time I got 35 shots. The 2nd time I got 46 (!) and this time (right before Christmas) I got 38 shots. It’s the same amount of stuff, just distributed a little differently on my scalp plus the standard forehead, temples, occipital region, and traps. I’m used to not being able to move my forehead – there’s just enough muscle control that I can raise one eyebrow and look slightly insane. I also wake up each morning looking like my face was folded in half between my eyes. I’m not sure what’s going on with that. In terms of headache relief, I’m still undecided if it is working as intended. I had two really bad weeks from Sept – Dec but the rest of the time I had long stretches (two weeks at one point) without headaches and the headaches I did have seemed less painful and way less frequent. But with the less pain has come more nausea and more vision disturbances. So now I have three different anti-nausea drugs to take (no sedation, some sedation, and total sedation) plus my twice a week allowance of imitrex when I need it. I figure if I go a couple of weeks without taking it, I can spare myself an extra dose or two during those bad weeks (like this one has been).
So…to make a long story short, the jury is still out on whether it is working or not. It seems to be but it could be coincidence. I’ll see how I do going into the spring and summer and then decide whether to continue.
So that’s 2015, but what about 2016? I need some new goals for this year. I have tons of vague thoughts floating around, but very little in the way of concrete plans, which is why I am actually sitting down and writing for the first time in 6 months.
1. Become an NCAA official. This one is actually done already. A couple of weeks ago, a long time PIAA official (the last active official from when I was a kid and my parents were officials) who I like a lot encouraged me to do it. I looked into it, paid my $29 membership dues to the Collegiate Swim Officials Association, and studied for the test. Since I am a current PIAA official, I only have to take the shorter renewal test rather than the 100 question “become and official” test. Since pretty much all the rules are the same (a few little differences), easy peasey. I am not a CSOA certified official. Of course the season is almost over now so all I will do this year is buy my shirt and shadow a meet, but I’ll be ready for go for the 2016-2017 season.
2. Target 1,800 miles for the year. I’m not going to set limits on how I will get there b/c I don’t want to feel like I HAVE to run or a I HAVE to swim on a given day when I don’t have time or motivation.
3. Be able to do 5 real pull ups. I had a pull up goal for when I turned 40 but I have gotten out of the habit of training for them and I’m not sure I could even manage 1 anymore.
4. Read my bible (app) every day. I was AWFUL at reading scripture last year and I can really feel the hit my faith took. This year I want to commit to reading something every day. I subscribe to 3 different daily devotions, plus I have a daily bread in my purse and my sister gave me a cool new devotional book for Christmas. All of them have scripture references associated with them. I also have two daily reading plans on my phone. From all those sources, I think I can manage to read a chapter or two every day.
5. Pray regularly. As my faith has gotten stale, my prayer life has suffered (chicken/egg?). Prayer doesn’t have to be long and involved to be effective.
6. Take a class at the gym each month. Once a month? I think I can manage that. And maybe I’ll even like it.
7. Continue to write in my gratitude journal. Instead of carrying it in my purse, I think I’ll put it by my bed so I can do it before I go to sleep.
8. Get out of my rut at work. I’m not actually sure how to approach this one. I am ashamed to admit that my confidence has not recovered from the crap last spring. The combo of simultaneous bullsh*t at work and bullsh*t at the Y really did a number of me. The things that were said and done continue to bother me WAY more than they should and I find myself second guessing myself, questioning everything I do, and interpreting things that wouldn’t have bothered me in the past through a very discouraged and, I acknowledge, distorted lens. I feel totally uncomfortable at work and I am too often certain that everyone holds the same opinion as the bat, sh*t crazy person(s) who started all this nonsense. I have taken some steps lately to try and get out of my rut, but I’m not entirely certain that they are good decisions and that I’m just not doing things out of desperation. Right now I have something in the works to join a team at HQ. It would be an official but collateral duty that would be limited to 20% of my time for about 3-4 months. I worry that 1) I won’t be good at it; 2) won’t be allowed to cut back my real job to accommodate the additional 20% and that I’ll actually be doing 120%; or 3) I’ll hate it. The good thing is that I like the people on the team very much and have worked with them in the past on other things. And if I hate it, it’s only for a couple of months. At least it will give me something to focus on during the dark, cold winter months. I’m hopeful that doing some of the other things in regularly in my life will make me feel better about work and life in general.
9. Get outside every day. Speaking of dark, cold winter months – I am committed to getting out into the sunshine for 15-30 minutes every day. It will be easy when I am at home – the dogs will enjoy a lunch time walk. When I am in the office though, it will be challenge since I don’t usually (ever) take a lunch break.
10. Take my vitamins. I am getting better at this one. It’s a habit I need to get into just like flossing or putting anti-aging serum on my face before bed. Right now I am taking a calcium/magnesium combo and a b-vitamin combo, both of which are supposed to help with migraines (and PMS). I just started taking fish oil too (huge pills. So gross). I also intermittently take two supplements which are supposed to help with anxiety and sleep, especially when it is so dark and cold out. Those are the ones I have to get into the habit of taking every day.
11. Write. Dare I commit to actually blogging more than once a year? Right now I don’t have anything that is actually worth writing and certainly not worth reading. Maybe finding some purpose elsewhere and getting some confidence back will give me more motivation to write. I have an acquaintance who is a freelance writer and sometimes I think I’d like to try that. First I have to get back to blogging and then maybe I’ll try writing ABOUT something.
How about you, dear readers*? Any goals for the year?
* and of course by this I mean, mom, my sister and my friend A who are the only ones who ever read the blog to begin with!