Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Finally Starting the New Year

So far 2009 has been pretty okay. I know that sounds like I'm having a 'blah' start to the year but I really don't mean it that way. I just mean that it is so far just typical day-to-day stuff. We are now 14 days into the year and I have only done a few things of note. Of course we all have to get out of holiday mode and jump feet first into the normal work and home activities and I think that is a little shocking after all the holiday parties, family visits and days off of work. On the 1st Thomas and I decided to take it easy and just relax - we treated the day more like a lazy Sunday afternoon. We had two friends, Thomas' Dad, one of Thomas' brothers and three of his nieces over. We cooked a simple meal of spaghetti and watched movies - that's it - and I loved it. No big meal with tons of leftovers and no big family gathering to bring out all my neuroses.

On the 2nd I had lunch with a few friends (these are friends that I have met over the last two years through my letterboxing hobby). It was a nice visit and we all seemed to be looking forward to the new year with much Hope with the coming change. After lunch I returned home and as I walked into the house I had this overwhelming urge to de-christmas (not sure if this is a real word but it fits) and try to get the house back to its normal state so that I could really begin 2009. Six hours later Thomas and I had packed up all the decorations and put them into storage, cleaned the house, and returned to our relatively normal lives. Taking the Christmas decorations down this early is very unusual for me. I love Christmas and I love the decorations - they usually go up the weekend after Thanksgiving and stay up to about the second weekend in January. But for some reason I wanted them gone and I wanted to move on with the new year.

The next week was about getting back into a routine - work, household duties, sleep, exercise and recreation. The last seven months of 2008 were very difficult for me. When my retina detached in June my life changed drastically. About three years ago (when I started letterboxing) I also started exercising more and really tried to make my life healthier - which included losing weight (something my doctor really was pushing for). I did really well, losing about 50 pounds over time and building up to exercising daily and hiking 2-3 days a week (averaging about 5 miles per hike). I was feeling great and my health was incredible (my doctor's words). But once my eye problems started I was destined to complete the year with very little activity. My summer was spent indoors just sitting and lying around - no exercise, no housework, no going to my job, no lifting anything more the 15 pounds, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. My energy level was at an all time low and I had gained weight. In September I was allowed to return to work and was able to start exercising again. But I was so deconditioned that I wasn't able to do much and after a full day at work I had no energy to do anything. Then in November I had to have another surgery and the process started all over again. Mid December I was cleared to return to a normal activity level without restrictions and I have slowly started getting back into exercising. I am pretty much back into the shape I was in three years ago and it feels like I won't be able to regain what I had last May. But I am trying. With the cold and snow I haven't been able to hike but I am walking on the treadmill daily. When I first started walking again I only lasted about 20 minutes and I was so out of shape that I wouldn't even make a mile. As of today I am walking three miles on the treadmill in just under 50 minutes. I still have a long way to go and I am a little more hopeful but I still have a long way to go - the added weight and the decreased energy level have really played on my psyche and all I want is to feel better - and things are looking up.

I am also continuing my daily picture taking. I started As I See It 2009 on the first and have found that I really love challenging myself to go out each day and look at things differently and then pick a picture to post. I feel that I am getting better at framing subjects and making the picture more interesting. I am looking forward to learning more this year. Work is also back to a more normal routine, I missed so much time from work with the eye surgeries. I am actually glad to be back to the routine - it sure beats sitting around the house and not being able to do anything. I am able to complete a full eight hour day and still have the enery to do things at home afterwards - a very good feeling indeed. As for more recreation - a trip to Texas in March is being planned. My friend Diane and I are going to do some letterboxing and visit some friends. It should be a fun trip and will be a much welcomed adventure. So it seems that this year is starting to take shape and I am really looking forward to whatever comes my way.

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