I don’t do resolutions. I mean, I sometimes make them, but they don’t seem to necessarily turn into anything after that. So, some intentions.
- Get healthier. I’ve been working really hard to build up cardio and some strength, and that’s made a world of difference as I continue to recover from cancer and treatment. I want to keep going, to make sure I’m as strong as I can be when it comes back. I’ve also been trying to figure out a fun cardiac arrythmia thing, and have been cutting out every possible risk factor (no alcohol or coffee since June, 2022, and using a CPAP machine to prevent sleep apnea) - but I seem to have doubled-down on eating garbage comfort food and sweets. I need to rein that in a bit. I’ve gotten into better cardio shape, but have put on a bunch of weight since summer 2022 and I want to lose that again. So. Keep exercising daily, but eat better. I’m also planning to become more active in social groups like joining BCC and to stop finding excuses to join our merry band of nearly-geriatric cyclists. And to commit to riding in the Cancervive fundraiser again in 2023.
- Don’t be cocky about the pandemic. It’s still going on. I had COVID twice in 2022, within 6 weeks. I was pretty sure I had it a third time over the holiday break, but tested negative several times so maybe it was just a really bad cold. But I got cocky. I wore masks less often than I should have. I waded into the campus food court to grab food (which is where I am 100% convinced I contracted COVID (at least) twice). I’ll be wearing masks more, and will be bringing my lunch more. My immune system is still kind of hot garbage, and I need to be more responsible.
- Figure out a healthier approach to my work. I have had a pattern forever of trying to Solve The Problems, rather than just working on the parts of things that I actually have control over. It’s good to understand where things fit in the broader context, but I think this has been the root cause of burnout for a few years now - putting me into a Quixotic role of trying to change things that I am not responsible for and having no way to actually make the changes, while perhaps neglecting some of the things that I am able to change that might contribute to addressing the bigger challenges. So I carry the stress of Big Problems That Need Solving, and the frustration of not being able to solve them. Part of this pattern has been to take on tasks because “if not me, then who?” rather than “who is the most appropriate person to be doing this, and if we don’t know who, what does that tell us?”. I need to stop taking on tasks because that just papers over structural and systemic issues. I’m also hopeful that wrapping up 6 years worth of work on a PhD will leave me with some time and space to rethink this stuff.
- Be a better partner, friend, and colleague. I’m hopeful that I’ll feel this after working through the other things on this list. But I know I’ve been distant and withdrawn from social and professional circles for at least the last couple of years. Yes, there have been extremely valid reasons/excuses, but I want to break out of this pattern too.
- Make some art, dammit! I’ve been pouring everything into my research projects and writing the dissertation. Now that that’s wrapping up, I will have more time. Pick up the guitar and play it again. And explore photography again. And who knows what else?
I don’t know if they’re resolutions, but there are a few things I want to actively work on in 2023. That’s a start.