Setting Goals

Check this out – I’m posting again within a few days my last post. I don’t know what to think about this – maybe I’m getting some of that ambition back? It would be nice.

I’ll start with a short health update: I haven’t been able to experiment with the magic combination of supplements because, unfortunately, I got a cold. I can’t help but feel my physical response to getting a cold is exaggerated. I mean, for most people, they get a little stuffy, maybe a little tired, but they can function. When I get even a small cold, it just wipes me out. I forced myself to have a good time with my gaming group yesterday because I have so few interactions anymore with real people who aren’t doctors. Since I last posted, I also managed to do some research on nitric oxide, and I learned something hilarious – the supplement I’m taking seems to be the herbal equivalent of Viagra! No, the doctor isn’t crazy for prescribing that to me. Viagra was originally developed to help people with heart problems, basically by modulating the nitric oxide pathways in the body, thereby opening up blood vessels. The reason we know Viagra as a drug for erectile dysfunction is that the pharmaceutical companies found this to be a more profitable way to market the drug.

Today, I’m going to get back to the original topic of my blog, to some degree. I’ve been feeling that since I’m kind of trapped in my house, sentenced to doing low energy activities, I should use that for some practical purpose. I just hate feeling like I’m doing nothing, like I’m useless. I’ve got some goals related to knitting and outside activities, so I thought I’d share them, to make me more accountable. Here they are, more or less in the order I manage to think of them:

  1. Write a book. I have no idea whether this book is just for me, for only close friends, or for the world, but I want to write a book on what it is like to live with a long-term, mysterious and invisible illness. I won’t know for whom I am writing the book until I’ve finished it because it is kind of personal, and I just don’t know what I want to share and with whom.
  2. Finish all of my knitting and crochet WIPs. This has failed in the past, largely because I see something new I like, and I just toss the old stuff aside like dirty laundry. I know that by denying myself the freedom to cast on something new I only manage to trigger a rebellion and I suddenly feel a burning need to cast on a ton of new projects, so I’m going to set guidelines like, “I have to finish three projects already in progress before I cast on a new one.” Of course, then the new one will soon become one of these old projects, so I am really just making the problem worse by adding to it, but at least I am taking a few steps forward as well. And who knows, maybe being trapped into this disciplined yarn crafting might just be the trigger my body needs to get better. 🙂 I will gladly discard my newly instated rule if I have energy and can do other things that don’t involve sitting down. It would be a reward, in a sense. If I don’t get better, seeing that pile of half-finished projects get smaller would be a different kind of reward.
  3. Do a wardrobe purge. This is a smaller project than the others, probably something that will take a day or two, but it’s something I really need to do. I’ve lived in parts of the country that have had relatively consistent weather since I was fifteen years old. First it was Hawai’i, then Florida, then San Francisco (I am using the city here rather than the state because SF really is different than the rest of California in general. They get seasons everywhere else in the Bay Area, but not so much in SF. Southern California has a consistent climate, too, but it’s warm, whereas SF is cold. Even in the summer.). Now I have to have clothes for multiple seasons, and some of them are worn out, some don’t fit anymore (due to weight loss), and some I just don’t like. The volume of clothing I need has become comparatively greater than before. I need to get rid of what I don’t wear, then supplement the areas of my wardrobe that are lacking. The latter part will be harder, since I really don’t have the energy for shopping trips that involve trying on clothes. The goal, though, is just to get rid of stuff. The replacing will come later.
  4. Blog more often. This goal is a little vague, but I want to aim for once a week right now. I won’t get too hard on myself if I only manage every other week, though. I think that it might help me achieve my goals if I write down the progress I’ve made. Sometimes I feel like I’ve done nothing until I’ve made an accounting of it. Right now, I need to see that I’m not entirely useless for my self-esteem. I have none left after all this being sick business.
  5. Spin a skein of yarn. Also a small goal, but I just haven’t spun anything in a long time, and I really want to. I got a lot of fiber for Christmas (Amazon.com allows you to add things from other websites to your wish list now, so I went to Etsy and added the pretty things I saw), my fiber storage is overflowing, and, well, it’s a way to get new yarn without having to go shopping for it. Plus, spinning is a very mild form of exercise (see how your calves feel the day after spinning for a few hours), and I really want to try to get exercise. I miss simply moving around.
  6. Sort out my digital pictures. This is a medium-term project. I have hundreds, maybe thousands of pictures on my hard drives, and I want to do something with them. I’ll probably put quite a few on Facebook, I’ll print some to hang on my walls, maybe I’ll showcase pictures of kittens I had before I started keeping this blog… the idea is that I don’t know what the point is in having all these pictures if they are to remain unseen in a hard drive.

So, I’ve listed goals of varying time commitment and difficulty. I think that I might start with a smaller goal (like spinning a skein of yarn or the wardrobe purge) sooner so that I can get the accomplishment momentum going. The book, WIPs, pictures and blogging will be things that sort of happen in the background, perhaps concurrently, or perhaps I will focus on one of them at some point just to have the achievement. I will make regular updates about them, just to keep me on track.

There are more goals I have in mind, but making them something I have to commit to right now would simply be setting myself up for failure. There are things I want to do like finishing the painting in the house (there is still a lot of wall space left unpainted) and getting back to fostering, but my health limits those. It’s downright dangerous for me to get on a ladder, for example, because all it takes is one black-out and I’ve fallen and broken my neck. Of course, my over-arching goal is to get healthy, but I don’t think I have much control over that. Control that I haven’t already exerted, I mean. I go to the doctors regularly, and I take my supplements regularly, no matter how nasty they are (and let me tell you, some are quite powerful). I’m planning to see a new specialist in Los Angeles for a diagnostic procedure called non-cognitive biofeedback. Admittedly, this one seems a little… out there… but I’m at the point where I’m thinking anything is worth a shot. I cannot go on like this anymore.

So, for now, I’m focusing on what I can do. Modest goals.

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2 thoughts on “Setting Goals

  1. Purge that closet so we can go shopping!!!

    In all seriousness, I think it is great to have written down some goals. I go crazy on the days when I know I need to do ‘stuff’ but I don’t know what to do. Going back to a list from time to time is the best way for me to be productive.
    I keep a master list of the big things, and then a smaller daily list which is all the regular crap you have to get done in a day, plus one or two little parts to the overarching goals.

    • Deal – when you come out, we’ll go get new clothes!

      Yeah, I had trouble with to-do lists for awhile. They quickly became to-avoid-at-all-costs lists. I’m mostly doing this as a way to add some structure, some purpose to my life. I was kind of hoping this nightmare would go away, but now that it’s looking more unlikely, I need to resign myself to working within its confines. I like that you add pieces of your big goals to your daily tasks. It makes the big ones more reachable, I think.

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