Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy 2012!!!

Happy New Year everyone! As this is my first post of the new year, I wanted to reflect on a couple of things. I recently looked over my resolutions for 2011 to see what I could improve upon for this year and to see how I did last year. Here are what my past goals were and how I finished:

* Try to get in better shape = did not happen in any sense of the word. I was working out for a little bit of time, but apparently, exercising past a certain level of intensity makes my migraine pain stronger. While that could be used as an excuse, I was also pretty lazy about it.

*Eat healthier = I wish that I could say that I was doing this as much as I would have liked. I tried really, REALLY watching what I ate at the beginning, but like exercising, it ended pretty quickly.

*Work on my book = I am proud to say that I did manage to do at least a couple of things for the book. I have a potential protagonist's name, the potential format of the book, and a potential first line. I know that it does not sound like a lot, but I'm just glad that I was able to get some ideas rolling around. Notice that I did say everything was "potential" as everything with a book in progress (at least in my case) is subject to change.

*Pay of debt = I am very happy to say that I was able to pay back money that I owed to a University, as well as pay back money that had been loaned to me about 4 years ago from my Uncle. I have also been paying off twice as much as the minimum payment for another one of my loans, as well as paying on a student loan, saving to pay back my Grandfather for a car that he bought me a couple of years ago, and paying off water bills. I can definitely say that my finance skills have improved tremendously.

*Learn something new every day = I can say that I am definitely learning something new every day. Constantly reading a book or a magazine, watching certain shows, even working - I feel like I am constantly learning something new.

*Stop swearing so much = I'd have to say that I do it about as often as anyone else does, although I make more of a conscious effort not to if I don't think it fits the situation.

*Grow in my faith = I do feel like I have grown in my faith this past year, going back to where I started I guess you could say. I started reading my Bible more often and have spent more energy than I had been on my faith.

*Complain less and show more gratitude = I would love to say that I did wonderfully on this, but I'm not 100% sure that I did. I definitely have more gratitude for my life and the things and people that I am lucky to have in my life, but my complaining about things such as migraine pain probably didn't happen less often. I still need to work on remembering that complaining about something (depending on the situation) isn't necessarily going to change it.

*Read 75 books in 2011 = Ha! Yeah right. For the second year in a row, I failed to even get close.

After looking over all of the things that I tried to get through and resolve last year, I have found that I am still a work in progress (hard to believe, I know). There are things that I am probably always going to have to work on and things that I definitely improved upon. This year, I decided to narrow down my list a little bit. Here are my New Year's Resolutions for 2012:

1. Continue to pay down debt - I feel that I did a pretty good job of that in 2011, but seeing it happen and making it such a big goal definitely made me able to appreciate that I am doing it on my own now. I would love to pay off at least another loan or two this year.

2. Read 38 books this year - I figure that it is time that I adjust my goal a little bit more. I could continue to keep it at 75, but I would like to make sure that 38 is feasible before I make goals that are just too far out of reach. Plus, I am going to finish the Bible this year.

3. Be more open-minded about possible migraine treatments - I have always been a little apprehensive about trying some new things to help with my migraines when they have never caused problems before. It has been suggested that I switch my birth control to something with less hormones to see if that is what is causing them, or possibly trying Botox (which I have never been fond of because I don't like the idea of botulism in my head), which has been proven to work on some patients. I have also ready about a migraine surgery, but I don't think that is something that my neurologist would consider at this point, although I have heard great things about how it increases the quality of life for the people who have had it. The biggest thing that my boyfriend and I think is causing or attributing to my migraines is my sleep apnea, which I did not have when I weighed less. So I have decided that when I get my tax return back (if not a little sooner), I may join Weight Watchers
online. I have never paid for any program or anything before, and it hasn't gotten me anywhere because I haven't found the willpower to change. I am thinking about trying it out for 3 months and really put my all into it and see if it is something that I can stick with. But I am going to look more into it before I make my final decision.

4. Don't take frustrations out on others - I do have a habit of taking things out on other people, especially my boyfriend, when I get incredibly frustrated. Most of the time, it has to do with my migraines. I forget that a lot of people don't know what they are like, thus not being able to understand what the pain is like. Plus, migraine pain isn't the same with everyone. I have been working really hard on remembering that other people are not necessarily causing my migraines (although there are situations where that is not true). I know that I have improved in that aspect, but I need to make sure that I live by a quote I once read somewhere: "Just because I'm in pain doesn't mean I have to be one."

5. Make better decisions - Instead of saying that I am going to lose weight this year or exercise more or something like, I decided that it isn't always just about the weight. It's about the decisions that I make about how I live my life in general. It's the decisions about how to spend money, what food to eat, procrastinating, etc. I want to make sure that I am living the life that is the best for me. I realize that there are things in life that I have no control over (as much as I would like), but the things that I can control are my decisions. I have decided that it's time for me to grow up. I don't always have to make the best decisions, because I know that no one is perfect, but I do know that I need to make better ones.

While I know that these resolutions cover a wide spectrum of things, especially the last one, I know that life isn't just about one thing or another. 2011 turned out to be a pretty good year - I was hired the end of March for a wonderful job that has allowed me to pay bills and take care of myself without having to rely on my boyfriend and save money, which I have never really done. I have learned the value of being able to spend time alone and the value of being able to spend time with my boyfriend - plus the job has greatly improved our relationship as we don't see each other as often, thus making us value our time together more. While that is one thing that was an incredible blessing, my migraines did not get tremendously better. I will say that having a regular sleep schedule, always getting about 8 hrs and 15 mins of sleep has definitely helped, but the pain is still hard to work through most days. I'm determined that this is the year that I will not doubt myself. This is the year that I have made the decision to fight back. I'm going to do everything I can to keep pushing through the pain, to keep faith and hope that I will get better.

Here's to a Happy 2012 - may it be full of love, health, and happiness.

Peace and Love

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