Monday, January 2, 2012

And the cycle begins again

It is January 2, 2012.  A new year has begun!  With the beginning of each new year my thoughts become a swirl.  My thoughts are hopeful, yet melancholy as I reflect upon the year that is just ended and at the same time look forward to the year that is ahead.  Dreams of what will be are mixed with regrets of what could have been and thoughts of the goals that were conquered.  It is a time to reflect and a time to celebrate and also a time to look ahead and plan all the great things that are going to happen in the new year.

I am a person of lists.  During the first 2 weeks of each year, I create a plan of what I am going to doing in the coming year.  As the old year ends and the new year begins, I assess my list of goals for the just completed year and see how my accomplishments compare against my plans.  Unfortunately 2011 didn't turn out exactly the way I had planned.  A stress-fractured fibula in my left leg that was followed by a herniated disc in my back prevented me from accomplishing many of my goals.  All of my athletic goals for 2011 were thwarted by these injuries.  It is hard to hike 500 miles, climb 5 fourteen thousand foot mountains, work out at the gym 100 times and ride my bike for over 1000 miles when you are dealing with these kinds of injuries.  Achieving other goals like getting several large house projects done, reading 25 books, organizing my stamp collection and donating a bunch of blood to Bonfils are doable even with a broken leg!  As a result my achievements for 2011 are a mixed lot of success and failure.

In general I can't say that I am very satisfied with the outcome of 2011.  Obviously the injury played a very significant part in my dissatisfaction with the year.  Another issue was the overall direction of my life - particularly in the relationship area.  The entire year was a state of flux and I felt as if I were a yo-yo - being taken from extreme to another without any control.

2011 is now the past and 2012 is the present.  Regardless of what happens 2012 will be a better year than this most recently past year.  This year is starting with a bang as there are a ton of things happening in very quick order.  The work year gets off to a very quick start with a series of conference calls all this week in preparation for a trip to India that starts on January 7th.  On a personal level things will also get off to a quick start as I will be undergoing another medical procedure tomorrow - Tuesday, January 3rd to help stabilize my back pain in advance of my trip to India.

Shortly after I return from India on January 14th I am anticipating that I will be undergoing surgery to repair once and for all the herniated disc in my back.  The surgery will remove a significant portion of the disc between my L5 and S1 vertebra and ease the pressure on my nerves - which should eliminate the extreme pain in my back, my hips and my leg.  I will meet with the neurosurgeon later this week to discuss the surgery and hopefully get the exact date and time for the surgery scheduled.

On top of all these activities Zack has a lot of things going on that will launch him onto success and great things for the year.  During the time that I am in India he will have to adjust to being without me for an entire week.  Right now my plans for what will happen during that week are not yet totally completed, but regardless of where he spends the week, it will enable him to grow and mature.

The lists of plans and activities for 2012 is going to be very long when it is complete.  I have a lot of missed time to make up for from 2011.  We have big vacations planned and many other adventures that we are going to get up to.  On top of those adventures, I will be working to expand my social circle.  In that area my goal is to add 5 people to my list of friends that I can call at a moments notice with whom I can go out and do something.

There is some uncertainty in all of these plans.  One of the big objects of uncertainty is whether or not we will continue to live in our current home.  The place has really gotten too big for us.  There are several big projects that are scheduled for the winter/spring, but after that the place would be in order to sell.  There are many things that factor into the decision of what we will do, so there isn't an easy answer to that question at this point.  All I can say for now is that time will tell and whatever way we go, it will be the right decision for Zack and me.

As this year starts I do feel inspired and eager to take up the new challenges that face me.  As soon as I am 100% physically healed, I will hold my head high and charge into the new year with a determination, purpose and positive attitude that I have not had in several years.  It will be a good year no matter what!

The energy and determination I feel toward this year is best illustrated by the Shakira song - "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)".  This is a great song that is upbeat and shows a lot of joy and determination.  This is going to be my theme song for this year!

The last couple of days around here have definitely been interesting.  Last Friday morning I had to go to the airport to pick up Tim, Celinde and Cole who were on their way back from North Carolina.  Before I left to get them I called Nancy.  When I reached her she sounded like absolutely crap.  On the way back from the airport, I stopped at Cranbrook so Celinde could take a look at Nancy.  The sight was not pretty as Nancy was extremely sick.  Celinde ended up taking her to the hospital ER to get her checked out as she looked pretty dehydrated.  Nancy spent the day in the ER getting pumped full of fluids and antibiotics.  Thankful she wasn't so sick that she was admitted for an overnight stay.  However Nancy felt sick enough that she wanted to stay at the house.  The next day because she was so sick it totally changed all my plans for New Years Eve.  But she is at last feeling well enough and will be going back to Cranbrook tomorrow.  This is obviously not the best situation that we have faced and it is easy to see that Nancy is really starting to show her 80 years of age.

Today we also had our second sessions with the professional organizer.  She has done wonders in a very short period of time to get Zack's room in a much more organized state.  She will be returning one more time to work with Zack on an overall organization plan and to teach him some important lessons about getting organized and staying organized.  Having the support of the profession organizer has definitely been worth it as it has sped up our cleaning and organizing process.  It is amazing how quickly you can make decisions about what to get rid of when you have a professional organizer looking over your shoulders!

There are a ton of different thoughts and ideas that are running through my head tonight, but I think I am going to close it off at this point as most of those other thoughts and ideas are separate blog entries in and of themselves.

As we enter the new year I'd really like to thank all of you who read this blog.  My readership continues to grow and I really appreciate all the comments and e-mails that you all send me.  It is gratifying to receive your feedback and your thoughts and ideas.  My hope is 2012 will provide me with even more opportunities to write interesting, self-reflective blog posts.  Please always continue to provide me with your feedback and thoughts as I would constantly like to improve my writing.

To each and everyone of you, I wish you the best and most prosperous 2012.  May all of your hopes and dreams for this year come true!

Thanks and peace to all! ~J.

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