Revisiting #hospitweet Resolutions!

It being 1st January 2013, it seemed right, if not a little rash, to revisit the last piece I wrote on The #hospitweet Blog. This blog, regular readers (Hee!Hee!) will recall,  detailed my reflections on coming to terms with having to undergo heart surgery. It helped me a lot to blog about it, my feelings and my aspirations for the future.

The final post set out some Resolutions, and so, nearly three years on from that post I’m going to review what I stated then as my intentions and review, refine and reset my objectives. I suspect this is going to be a painful exercise as I haven’t even re-read the post yet! Am I brave, foolish or do I just know I have to get “back on track”!

So here we go …

“I hope I’ll be disciplined enough to go to the gym twice a week (Resolution One) and to augment this with walking to work (Resolution Two) – once the weather improves.”

Well the first one didn’t last, and I haven’t seen the inside of the gym in the whole of 2012, and I suspect 2011. I have been meaning, honest, to go back but the motivation just doesn’t seem to be there. I guess this will be the easiest of my 2013 resolutions to make, but the hardest to keep – but I’ll try. I know I have to, because my fitness levels have dropped a lot from the heady days of my first year of retirement in 2011 when I was walking so much. So the second one I stuck with right through to retirement and through most of 2011 until September when I was suddenly unable to feel I could do a couple of walks … physical or mental, who knows? Since then, although I’ve walked a bit, it’s not been to the same degree as I did in 2011.

So, for 2013 and beyond, couple the two together into one as 2013 Resolution One – “Get fit and walk more”.

“Firstly, I’ve learnt how much I need to feel in control of myself: not in control, but in control of myself – there is a difference. When I’m not, I get anxious. I really had never recognised that and would not have described myself as an anxious person, now I do and that’s scary and the most important thing that faces me now is to find ways of reducing that anxiety state (Resolution Three).”

This was a revelation to me – I’m not “a control freak”, I just need to be in control of myself. When I had all that time to think and the opportunity to reflect and think about myself, as a person, how I work (or don’t as the case often turns out to be), I began to realise how difficult it must have been to be around me at times. I think I’ve made some significant progress to mitigate my anxiety levels. Just knowing what’s happening to me has on many occasions allowed me to control my reaction, but further progress hopefully will, and needs to, be made.

I think for 2013 this will be best achieved by 2013 Resolution Two – “Work on your patience levels, not everyone is like you!!!”. We then turn to a success story …

“Then there’s reflection and recording. I’d already discovered amazingly after 40+ years of zero-reflection that this was something I should work on; and this, and my other blogs are therapeutic in that sense. They are also practically very supportive as a means of capturing ideas, feelings and observations that previously had been soon forgotten. Reflective thought takes a lot of practice; I’m just at the beginning of the journey – but I have taken the first steps and I must continue on that journey (Resolution Four).”

I’ve kept going, and I know I’m far better at reflective thought than I ever was, but I also know that I’ve a way to go before I could truly say it was embedded in my behaviour. If that happens, perhaps I’ll also be at peace with myself and my anxiety levels will have dropped to more “normal” levels. I think perhaps the challenge here for me is to continue to be reflective, but perhaps not so public about it all. That will be really difficult because I really enjoy blogging. Along with my photography, it’s the most creative thing I do, so perhaps that’s the answer – put more effort into photography and reflecting on the process and output. Perhaps “Moments like these …” will be the major focus of my efforts this year.

Yes let’s make that 2013 Resolution Three – “Really work on your photography and write about the experience”. Now we turn to “the dark side”.

“Thirdly, there’s depression and stress. I would never have thought that I was someone who got depressed, or who got stressed, but I do both … and I believe (for me) that they’re inter-related and are usually the result of me not recognising one state or the other. So I must listen to my mind (as well as my body) and behave accordingly. As another very close friend and colleague has just said to me, I must “focus on the fun things” – that I intend to do (Resolution Five).”

So true … “focus on the fun things” … but I’m beginning to think that as well as fitness, my diet has a lot to answer for as well, or rather my poor diet!! I’m not going to go into details here, just go straight to the resolution.

2013 Resolution Four – “Drink less alcohol, eat less sugar be kinder to my body.” Full-stop.

” … So, I suppose Resolution Six is to slow down a bit, try and relax …”

I’ve truncated this one, you’ll have to go back to the original to get the context and the shocking truth :-). They say you can’t teach an old dog, new tricks … perhaps they’re right. I always seem to need to be doing something. I’ve still got piles of “stuff” around me, to sort, read, process, DO! Will that ever change? I hope so, but to get there I need to clear the decks first.

So, for 2013 Resolution Five – “Get that loft sorted … now!”. Excuse me, must get upstairs and on with de-cluttering my life, or at least our loft!

Week 3 – Ups and Downs

Learning Points …

Last week was a bit of a roller-coaster. It had it’s ups – watching NW & NH in Denver do such a good job for the JISC and UKFAM; having TW visit and “patient-sit” me while Jenny went for a hospital appointment; having a lovely walk and chat with EW who was also “patient-sitting” me; and catching-up with a few things in respect of affairs I’m dealing with in Hastings. It had it’s downs – the urticaria and the “night sweats” both got me down quite a bit, but I had a really bad day yesterday when I got quite depressed. So what do I take from last week?

  1. Getting something “substantial done” is a big call – pottering is about all you can manage after an operation like this. You get extra-ordinarily tired, even when you don’t think you’re doing anything.
  2. Following on from this, I think I can fairly say that you suffer a progressive energy drain as the days away from Day 0 increase. I shouldn’t be surprised at that, should I? After all my body is mending itself … bigtime. Patience is not a virtue I possess. It’s hard when it’s being imposed on me.
  3. When the adrenalin rush comes, as it it did for a couple of days last week, do you ride the wave or throttle back? I really don’t know – I’ll tell you next week. I do know that Friday was a really low-day and that Jenny had to work really hard to motivate me to do anything. I felt really sorry for myself but it was interesting how a chance meeting with a neighbour (DJ) caused me to “buck my ideas up” and “snap out of it”, causing me to believe that I don’t need to stay in a depressed state for any length of time. I’m sure there will be other days like Friday, but now I know what to expect!
  4. Celebrate the fact that broadly I achieved the objectives I set myself last week. I did specify the PC; I have almost come to a decision about BT Vision – though we used it last night to watch the Frost/Nixon film; I did write a couple of blogposts (and I did a lot of reading and viewing of the Educause 09 Conference in Denver); I did spend some time on my own and in some small ways did more for myself. So on balance I ended the week in a better place than I started. Bring on the champagne – forgot, I’m off wine for a couple more days.

Hopes and fears for Week 4 – I think I’ve got myself into a better place mentally for the coming week. Have had two “setbacks” so hope to learn from them. An obvious fear I have is that I start feeling sorry for myself. Having written that down here – I trust it won’t happen. 🙂 I’m really looking forward to a couple of visits by friends next week. I realise that they could also be tiring, so I must make allowances and take proper rest as well.

Objectives – not so many this week I feel. I think the coming week will be a reading and watching week. Got some stuff I want to read, I may have got to the moment when I can give some time to some serious reading. I also want to watch more of my Michael Palin Travel DVDs; Planet Earth; and the Lord of the Rings – it’s about time I gave that another outing otherwise I’ll wonder why I ever bought it in the first instance. Also I think I’ll work my way through the complete Beatles collection which I bought a few weeks back. I’m surprised from my sampling to date how much I’m enjoying the tracks I didn’t like at the time, and how extra good the ones I did used to enjoy are now in re-mastered stereo. The most serious objective is to do more walking. Been too much “in my head” this last week, must get out and exercise more – it would be good to find some trousers though that don’t chaff the scar on my leg; that would make things easier. Perhaps I’ll resurrect my “joggers” from the bottom drawer. 🙂