Here it is, three hours to a new year on the west coast of America. As a child, I was intrigued that other places were in the new year, while we remained in the old for a while longer. In a sense, this reflect life. Moving onto the new is difficult. It requires letting go of the old in order to move forward. Some people struggle to hold onto the old for more time. Change is inevitable. Acceptance of change is vital to a balanced life.
This past year has been one of monumental change for me. Like the new year, I have been slow to accept some of the changes and struggle still to hold unto the old. I was told recently that my injury will have permanent effects. It is doubtful I’ll be able to continue in the Army Reserve. I am not ready to accept this. There is so much I have left to do. I think the Army could gain from my service. I hold onto the hope of complete recovery. At least recovery to the point where any left over issues don’t interfere with life. Am I struggling against the inevitable? Or maintaining hope?
The concussion is a source of many of my changes over this past year. Much of the change has been positive for me. I have a closer relationship with my friends and family and am not so isolated. I am more thankful for what I have in my life. I don’t take things for granted anymore. Even my running was impacted. Two weeks before the accident, I came in second in my age group at a marathon. After the accident, I was not able to run for several months. Today, I ran 7.5 miles at a park. I have worked to build my physical body back to strength and increase my mileage slowly. Of course, I went home and took a two hour nap after the run. I’m not back to my normal running self yet. It was a great day for a run.
This year also brought the crossing of one of my loved ferrets, Taliesin, to Rainbow Bridge. Taliesin lost his battle with lymphoma. Until his last day, he was a happy, loving boy. He had unique personality for a ferret. He loved to be kissed and held. He made up a game where he would leap at me. I caught him, kissed him, rolled him on his back, and tickled him. When I released him, he war- danced and dooked wildly. He would then leap at me again or get me to chase him.
This year also brought Brigid into my house. She is a regal cat now- almost 8 months old. She is quite prim and proper, except when she gets into my friend’s fireplace.
Over all, it has been a good year, even with the injury. The lessons and struggles from the energy became areas of growth. I hope 2012 is less “interesting.”
With every New Year comes the opportunity to set resolutions. I decided to focus my energy into three main goals. I chose my goals using SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely).
Goal One: Run a marathon in the summer or fall. Marathoning was a large part of my life prior to my injury. It is an important part of my recovery. I have two marathons I am considering right now: Missoula, MT in July and Portland, OR in October.
Goal Two: Play my horn again. I plan to practice 30 minutes at least 5 days a week by the end of summer. I hope to be able to join a community band. PLaying in a band will depend on my ability to manage sensory input improving enough. Currently, I think the environment would be too stimulating. I love music. I let it go for a few years when things got busy professionally. It’s time to claim it.
Goal Three: Return to work full-time. This goal is hopefully Attainable. The when will depend on symptom improvement. Even if I cannot achieve the goal, it is worthy to work towards.