I am ringing in the New Year with a touch of bronchitis and absolutely obscene amounts of tea and honey and cinnamon. My original plan for this day involved a jazz brunch and board games, then it was a bottle of wine and a coloring book, then it was maybe a poker brunch, and it finally wound up being hot tea and cornbread and pajamas all day.
Kind of glorious, really.
Last year was somewhat inauspicious for me, health-wise. I haven’t fallen quite so desperately and frequently ill since I was in, oh, middle school. Something about my body decided to just up and take a vacation in 2014 and allowed flu and pneumonia and bronchitis in with the ubiquitous sinus headaches and asthmatic wheezing. Clearly I’m going to need to reassess my frequent habit of passing over the orange juice while grocery shopping.
I’m feeling rather accomplished, moving out of 2014. I achieved some pretty dearly held professional and personal goals and I’m still basking in the feeling of self-adoration that arose when I finally completed the knitting project I’d been lugging around since July 2013. That was a blanket for my mother, who is constantly chilled, that I intended to be cozy and big enough that she could fold it double over her lap while sitting on a couch. Much to my bemusement as I made repeated trips to buy yarn, it devoured five large skeins of Loops’n’Threads in a basket-weave pattern and ended up being large enough for her to drape as a coverlet on a queen-sized mattress. [Half of me has sworn off anything other than a baby blanket ever again. The other half is glancing blearily around and wondering where I left my project bag.]
In the personal realm, I rediscovered the joy of a truly engrossing book. I stopped waiting for the moral support/security blanket of company and reacquainted myself going out and doing things that I find interesting. I attended educational seminars. I volunteered for a local group that fights to maintain the environment of the Boston Harbor Islands. I increased my involvement with the pet rescue organization I love. I participated in a couple of public radio events that I had never previously considered.
In the professional realm, I coordinated my first-ever client and site-based meetings. I learned a little something about financial processes. I re-evaluated my concepts of data architecture and started restructuring my processes. I have indoctrinated several coworkers to the cult of Tea Makes Everything Better. I have grown closer with my team, who are all amazing people, and I am having an absolute blast living vicariously through their “remote,” work-at-home offices in Florida, Texas, New York, and elsewhere (I get pictures of dogs and alligators and ice slides!). I am incredibly proud of the work that we do and I was stunned yesterday when I ran some preliminary statistics and discovered that my team saw an increase of 23% in intakes from 2013. That certainly explains a lot about the way we’ve all been feeling – more than half-crazed and usually sleep-deprived and always behind on everything no matter how long the hours we put in. I am super pleased to have an actual number to replace my incredibly scientific “I think this department is growing a lot!”
[On a side note both personal and professional, I gained some knowledge of the Marvel superhero universe this past year. I’ve decided I want to grow up to be Pepper Potts. Or, more like, Team Manager for the Avengers or the X-Men or something. If you know any budding superhero groups seeking a badass chick to keep them on time and in line and stocked with caffeine and baked goods, let a sister know.]
I’m going to be concentrating on my work-life balance in 2015. Back in the days of grade school, volunteering was mostly a chore. Even if I happened to be motivated for a particular project, other people in the group would be slogging through it unenthusiastically. The key difference between volunteering as a teenager and as an adult is that adults volunteer for causes they’re passionate about and willing to work for. Teenagers volunteer for whatever they think will be both least boring and least labor-intensive. Working on the adult!volunteer side of the scale is far more rewarding. I think I’ll try using volunteer activities as a bridge between the daily plodding and dashing of the office and the nightly brainless collapse into sleep.
Goals for 2015 – a calmer, more confident working!Meg, a more engaged and active resting!Meg.
Bronchitis or no, I think I’m off to a fair start of this 365-day cycle.