January’s prompts were:
Last year was the first time in a long time that I focused on my mental health. A big part of this was working with a psychologist to develop strategies to cope with the negative emotions that often come when living with chronic pain. Another part was overcoming my tendency not to speak up when being asked to push beyond my physical limits. I’d much rather be in pain and suffer the consequences than feel like I’ve disappointed someone else. I’ve made a lot of progress through these counseling sessions, and I think this is a great time to sit back and reflect on all those things I learned about myself and what I need to be the best me so that I can continue to grow in 2018.
Okay, I’m going to cheat and lump these two together. My big goal for 2018 is to get back to archery. Back in 2011, my husband took me to an introduction to archery class, and I was immediately hooked. I kept going back for lessons and then eventually started attending the leagues at the range. Despite my extreme anxiety of competing, I also even participated in some in-house competitions. Archery was such a positive influence in my life from introducing me to some amazing friends to boosting my confidence. However, I abandoned it in the last year because I’ve been having a lot of issues with my shoulder and upper back on the right side which is what I use to draw my bow. At some point, I started getting scared that I might permanently injure myself if I continued to practice through the pain, so I stopped going. I can’t deny though that I miss practicing and the archery community. My focus will be on addressing my shoulder/back troubles via physical therapy, massage, etc.; while my aim will be to get back to the archery range by Spring.
In both 2016 and 2017, I challenged myself to expand my reading. I used to read all the time, but once college and graduate school started, I had so much textbook or academic paper reading that I had no interest (or time) to read much else. Now I’m getting back into reading, but I’m stuck in a fantasy (especially YA fantasy) rut. Don’t get me wrong; I love these books. However, there are so many other genres out there, and I think that I really should branch out and explore. I know for sure that I want to read at least two nonfiction books this year.
It can be easy to get down on yourself and your body when pain is such a constant in your life. For me, a good way to get myself out of this rut is to treat myself to a little luxury or change things up. Most commonly this involves refreshing my look at changing up my hair. That’s precisely what I did this weekend when I decided to go bold and get some purple! For once, I feel like my hair is as sassy as I feel