Thursday, January 1, 2015


I used to do resolutions which were top 10 lists for personal, career, health, writing life, etc. (see below). I was way too ambitious then, or maybe I really *could* do all those things then that I can't do now... Who knows? All I know is these long lists create too much expectation now. I'm thinking of a new strategy: one new thing to accomplish for each of these categories of my life, then check in on July 1 to see if I can sneak in another goal for the second half of the year. Who's with me?
And because I'm serious, here are my top 1 lists (2 different categories for body, mind or soul). You can create your lists according to your needs. This just works best for me.

1. Health (body) -- Exercise more regularly, even if it's easy. Just make it regular. MS means I shouldn't overdo it because of the risk of overheating, but while I'm in remission, I need to get my ass moving again. My arthritis, carpal tunnel surgeries and stomach issues have stopped me cold in 2014 and I need to overcome that.

2. And on the Multiple Sclerosis front (body) -- Drink more alkaline water. (Why alkaline? The normal diet of most people is far too acidic. Drinking alkaline water, like San Pellegrino sparkling natural mineral water, may be one way to achieve a more balanced pH. Or maybe not. Why does this matter? An acidic system is also inflammatory, and inflammation is a key problem for systemic diseases like MS. Here's more if you want to read up:
The more I can do to focus on anti-inflammatory food, supplements, even water, the better I can maybe help myself with the constant challenge of inflammation (which also impacts my arthritis). So I am hoping to keep a water journal and use my phone to remind me, if I have to, to hydrate. If not with San Pellegrino, then with electrolyte water. I always feel so much better when I do! Maybe it is all a panacea but I hardly think I can hurt myself by drinking more water. And hey, if nothing else, this study shows it might help me with my reflux:

3. Career (mind)-- Develop my career down a path that allows me to work days only so I can slough off third shift. As much as I love the lab, I don't love how shift work impacts my health. For healthy people, overnight jobs can take a toll on the circadian system, and that leads to imbalances across the entire body of systems. This switch will involve more networking with my website and some entrepreneurial effort, which begins on Jan 2 when I get a business license. I'll keep working in the lab until I can find a suitable alternative that pays close to the same thing, but I've made it my goal to start the migration back to the 9 to 5 lifestyle. It could mean shifting slightly from sleep technology to health literacy or sleep health education. goal was never to be Queen Sleep Tech.

4. Intellect (mind) -- Go back to reading for pleasure daily. Started doing this in November and I'm on a roll. I read a lot for work but never for fun. I have struggled to read for pleasure because of blurred vision from fatigue and failure to actually be able to comprehend words during a flare (which is why I left my editing life). I still read very slowly but that matters less than the escape I can achieve riding the waves of someone else's words.

5. Personal (soul) -- Practice more meditation and pranayama for health, relaxation and wisdom overall. What used to be criticized for being New Age snake oil now has some scientific evidence behind its efficacy for those with neurological disorders. 

6. Writing life (soul) -- Copy everything I have ever published and bind it into a single notebook; I find that going back and looking at my previously published work can be motivational for generating new writing. I hope to be motivated to do more nonfiction writing--about MS, about sleep, about mental illness--and having this piece of external "proof" of my validity as a writer is no small thing. Living with being a stay-home mother for most of my kids' lives, working as a writer: these are all ways to become isolated, and in isolation, we can lose sight of our presence out in the larger world.