Looking Forward to 2013

Here's a bit of a personal blog. I hope you don't mind.

The goal is to always look forward, right? Looking forward has always been a difficulty of mine. I tend to dwell too much on the past year and on the failures instead of the successes.

We moved this year due to financial, emotional, and physical issues. My husband was supposed to start school locally, and we hoped job opportunities would be more plentiful. Instead, best laid plans were not fulfilled. My husband is in school, but it is online. And, job opportunities were not as plentiful as we had hoped.

But, I should mention the positives:
  • After a year and a half, I started speaking again. Granted, with speaking, I am still having to strengthen my vocal cords. I end up having a sore throat after too much speaking, and singing? Well, let's just say I can barely get through a verse before I start coughing. BUT, I am speaking!
  • In the last month, I've started walking again. Walking is proving to be more difficult than speaking.  With walking, I have been using my walker full-time in our apartment. Just last week, I was able to walk a mile with my walker. It was such an accomplishment. Like speaking, though, I am having to strengthen muscles so I don't get so tired or so sore after walking for short periods of time. After two years in a wheelchair, my legs have experienced muscle atrophy. My knees, lower legs, and ankles hurt every time I take a break. I'm not in physical therapy, so to improve my leg muscles, my husband is joining me on the exercise bicycle at our apartment's gym.
  • We get to spend more time with my stepdaughter! Before we moved, it was a hardship to drive so far to visit. It didn't make sense for her to stay with us when we lived out in the middle of nowhere, but now we live less than a half hour away from her, and we live in an urban area rather than a rural area. She stays with us every weekend, and it has been such a joy to be able to spend so much time with her.
As I look forward to the coming year, my primary goal is to work through the Serenity Prayer. No, I am not in any 12-step group, but I think a lot of people know and could benefit from reflecting on the Serenity Prayer - asking God for peace, courage, and wisdom:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

As I said in my intro, I tend to ruminate on the things where I have failed. Truthfully, I struggle with the last part of the serenity prayer - the wisdom to know the difference. I tend to internalize, thinking everything negative that has happened in my life is a result of my action or inaction. It's time for me to "let go and let God", as they say - yes, another 12-step reference, but it's true. I love that this is a prayer. It's not solely my responsibility. Yes, I need to ask, and after 35 years of ruminating on failures, that's asking a lot of me! But, then I can look for opportunities to work backward through this prayer.

Then, there are my secondary goals:
  • Walking - yes, I've started, but I want to be walking with a cane (or even better, without any assistance) as quickly as possible. I want my independence. I need to take the initiative to work on strengthening my legs and focus.
  • Singing - one of my favorite things to do. Realistically, I would never make it on any of those reality singing competitions, but I love to sing. It frustrates me that I have to struggle so much. Again, I need to take the initiative to work on strengthening my vocal cords and focus.
  • Writing - best of intentions? Well, that was the plan for 2012, but focusing on the "best of intentions" wasn't enough to make me a prolific writer this year. So my goal for 2013 is motivation to write. I'm so thankful to those whom I have profiled in the past still keep me up to date. While my writing has been intermittent, it is an incredible encouragement that there are still those who have faith in me.
  • Research - I have mentioned in the past that my career goal is to be a scholar-practitioner. Not only do I want to know how to plan research, I want to do research. I have already applied for two different paid research internships that would take place in the summer of 2013. Whether one or both pan out, I also would like to seek volunteer opportunities with the University of Washington. I'm not ready for a full-time job yet, and given my lack of research experience, I feel my best action plan is to ask to observe and participate on a very part-time basis as an unpaid research intern. I'll find out in January whether I've been accepted for either internship, and I'm trying to stay optimistic!
Readers, will you join me in holding me accountable to my 2013 goals? I would appreciate your support!
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