Welcome to 2012!
I’m still sort of mulling over in my mind the requisite retrospective on 2011, meanwhile penning multiple (albeit short) lists of resolutions.
Yesterday morning at 7:45 I headed down the hall to wake Gimli up for work. Oscar was stomping along in front of me in his sister’s shoes, and I scooped him up in one arm and swung him into my hip so he wouldn’t make quite so much noise. As I straightened, the walls tilted and spun and I caught myself with the other arm against the wall to keep from falling over.
It scared me.
I took a deep breath, then hefted myself away from the wall, took two steps and had to find the wall again. The word “swoon” comes to mind as the perfect word to describe the feeling of the room spinning around me, the way gravity went out of balance/alignment, the way my head felt. Vertigo.
I waited a little longer this time, and when I stood up again I was fine.
I’m not sure if it was from lack of sleep, dehydration, or wonky blood pressure – or all of the above – but it scared me and scares me still when I think about it, especially because I had Oz in my arms.
This year, my top resolution is to lower my blood pressure and cholesterol through diet and exercise. I don’t want to become dependent on medications to keep my bp low, although I will if I have to. I’m too young for that (so much for aging gracefully). One of my college frenemies has become an ardent vegan, and thanks to his persistent posts and links on FB I’ve decided that my second resolution is to decrease consumption of meat. I don’t think I’m ready to go vegan, or even vegetarian at the moment, but I’ve realized that my favorite 3-4 dishes to cook are, unintentionally, vegan. But I still enjoy the occasional steak, and we can’t get stuff here like tofu that would make me feel better about the kids getting enough protein (Oz won’t eat eggs or cheese so that kind of limits us as well). So I’m not sure where I’m going to fit the exercise in – ideally I’d like to work in a combination of yoga and pilates somewhere – but I think the first two resolutions do dovetail nicely. And will hopefully preclude any further dizzy spells. Because that – did I mention? – was scary.
I sat down this morning (back at Cheers! Yay!) and added up my work hours over the past year, working out the monthly average for the year, and quarterly. The encouraging result is that from the first quarter to the last I more than tripled my monthly average of work time, and overall showed a steady increase. My best month was August, when we didn’t go anywhere and didn’t have any visitors. I have an abstract to write for this year’s professional conference in November, and I HAVE to finish transcribing my interviews so I can do some proper data analysis. I have about 7 hours’ worth to go. And I realized that I really should start thinking about job applications… it’s early, to be sure, but I need to be in a position to start interviewing at the conference in November. Gimli has said he’s willing to relocate to any place I can find a job, and is encouraging me to look outside the US (of course). But on the other hand, a friend of ours who teaches at the big state university in our city in the States sort of gave me a tip that there are plans afoot to dramatically expand the humanities and social sciences programs there in the coming year or three, and my specialization would position me extremely well for a strong application there. So there’s that. Lots to think about in both the short and long term.
I was mulling over Magpie Days’ post on goals (she’s an American poet living in Switzerland), and what it made me think was that even though one might not have reached or exceeded one’s goals for the year, there is still value in setting the goals – let’s say you only achieve 60% of your goal; what if you hadn’t set the goal at all? Or what if you had set a much more modest goal? 60% of a more modest goal would be much less than you actually achieved, and 60% of zero is zero. So maybe it doesn’t matter if I failed – by a really long shot – to meet my original goals for 2011. I did a lot more than nothing, and I am a lot closer now to my ultimate goal of a PhD than I was last January. So I’m choosing to think positive about this one and not beat myself up about it. At least for today.
And I do have another goal for 2012 – to read every post on the 2011 Creme de la Creme list (and the 2010 one because I missed that one almost entirely).
Best to all who stop by here, for 2012. May your deepest wishes come true.