I’m not going to pull any punches. 2016 was an awful, awful year. I can probably count the good/exciting things that happened last year on one hand. It was challenging health-wise. It was challenging relationship-wise. And the biggest one was how challenging it was to how I viewed myself as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, etc. There were many moments where I had absolutely no idea who I was. And don’t get me started on how pathetic of a blogger I was in 2016. Yikes.
This year things are going to change. 2017 is going to be the year that I reclaim my life.
One of the things that has been difficult to adapt to once becoming “officially” disabled is not have a routine in place like I had when I was working outside of the home. I always classified myself as an almost Type A personality and I thrive with structure and a plan. Learning to be able to not have a panic attack when things don’t go according to plan has been one of the biggest and most difficult adjustments that I have had to make since I started my journey with chronic illness.
I always thought it had to be either/or. Either you have structure and a plan or you just let whatever happens happen.
But this year, I’ve decided I can have both. I can create enough structure to feel like I have a sense of purpose in my daily routine but also give myself enough room to step back as needed when my body needs a break.
I have made a list of 7 things that I want to do in 2017:
1. Blog at least 3-4 times a week and post 1 video post a week.
I definitely plan to up my blogging game this year. Like I said before, last year was just pitiful, although I’m not sure the year before was much better. A New Kind of Normal is definitely not what it has been in the past and I want to change that. One of the ways I want to strengthen the blog is by focusing on the topics I enjoy the most. Obviously chronic illness and health advocacy is the main topic but underneath that umbrella I want to focus on faith and beauty/style.
My faith is absolutely what keeps me moving forward in my journey with chronic illness. There is absolutely no way I could do this on my own.
Another important issue I want to focus on is reclaiming the confidence and fierceness I once had. I think sometimes with chronic illness, we feel like our bodies have betrayed us and/or has become difficult to recognize or accept because of the impact illness has left behind such as scars, tubes, weight changes, etc. I absolutely love everything beauty and style related so I want this to be another area of focus on the blog and the subject of many of the weekly videos. I want to share spoon-friendly ways to feel beautiful, glamorous, or flat-out hot.I want to focus on affordable brands/products as well as indie brands/small businesses as with chronic illness, budget is almost always a factor.
A proposed schedule is as follows: Tuesdays- blog post focused on chronic illness; Wednesdays- beauty/style; Fridays- faith/inspirational; and Saturdays- Chronic Style video.I am hoping that many weeks I will be able to squeeze in a Thursday post which would likely be more related to family/lifestyle. This schedule is not set in stone but provides enough structure so that I feel like I’ve got a plan.
2. Work outside of the house at least once a week.
Our little one stoplight, college town as the most amazing little coffeeshop and my goal is to work there at least one day a week to get my butt out of the house and around other people. I am an introvert so spending a lot of time alone due to illness doesn’t stress me out as it would someone who is extroverted like my husband but I still need to make getting out of the house more of a priority. I think that by going to the coffeeshop and being in that type of environment will also be beneficial for achieving goal #1 as well.
3. Find an exercise that I enjoy and stick with it at least 4 times a week.
If I had my choice of being able to do any exercise I wanted, I would absolutely go back to running. Whenever I would run, it felt like I had direct one-on-one time with God. All I could hear was the pounding of my feet on the pavement and the prayers of my heart. I started running long distance my freshman year in high school and continued running throughout college. I had some periods of time since becoming chronically ill where I have been able to take up running again for certain periods of time but unfortunately with all of my adhesions, it just isn’t an option right now.
This means I am on the search to find something else that I enjoy and can stick with. I love dancing so maybe I’ll find some fun dance workouts or even just blast some of my favorite jams and have my own dance party to get the juices flowing. I know that being more active is healthy for my body but it will be good for my spirit as well.