So, every year people make resolutions and every year I have participated in this tradition. Almost every resolution I made over my lifetime lasted a month or two before dwindling off…EXCEPT last years! Here is a link to my 2018 Resolution blog post for specifics.
Honestly, over the last year I have done a much better job of prioritizing and evaluating my needs. Physical and Emotional energy are hard to monitor or anticipate given that Transverse Myelitis had altered how my resources are accumulated, stored and used. If you want to read about my experience with TM here is a post on the beginning: The New Normal (long read) .
Now – back to my resolution that I made last year and how I feel like I met my goal. I really wanted to make better choices & be my own best advocate. Since I got sick in 2015 it has been quite an adjustment, both mentally and physically. Since I plateaued, my hardest battle has been a mental one. Balancing what I used to do or what I want to do; with what I can do now. This decision, like any comes with pros – cons and sacrifices. Many times, it was fighting to let go of my guilt of not being the mom, spouse, daughter, granddaughter or friend that I was or wanted to be. In addition, learning to manage my finite energy and time has difficult to say the least.
With doing fewer activities I have been able to enjoy the things that I do to a fuller extent. The time that I spend with friends and family, albeit less, I am more present and able to fully engage. With not overextending myself I have stayed healthier this past year; both mentally and physically. Scheduling downtime and allowing myself time to rest or take breaks while out and about has also had a positive impact. Fighting the thoughts that a 32-year-old should not need to rest or take a break have empowered me because I am standing up for myself and my best interest – even if it is to myself. This has given me the courage to stand my ground when people question my decision for not doing what I used to, or what they think I can. This is especially important when what people are asking for is mental energy. Remembering that this brain power (mental energy) is just as important as physical energy has been the key.
I have done better at taking time to see friends. This has helped with my happiness immensely. With working from home many times my interactions are limited to my household and conference calls. As much as I truly LOVE working remotely, it can be isolating if you do not make an effort to connect with others. During the time when I am able to connect with my close circle of friends, I am reminded of who I was before and who I still am. It shows me how some things didn’t change and how lucky I am to have such wonderful friends in my life.
As much as would like to report that I have knocked this resolution out of the park, that wouldn’t be truthful. I have struggled with continuing to show my negative emotions to people outside my household and even within my household at times. Sometimes pretending to be that everything is okay seems easier than disclosing the pains, struggles and emotions. I also have not been consistent with asking for help when I need it. This year I did much better with reaching out for assistance, but I really should have spoken up before I got to the point where I needed it.
Going into 2019 I plan to continue last years resolution. This is an important lifestyle change and may take many years to rewire my brain and habits before this is second nature. I anticipate struggling again, however I have optimistic that it will continue to get easier each year!