Samhain is a little over two weeks away, and like clockwork, my focus moves inwards. A lot has happened this year. On October 7, 2017, I told my department chair that we were moving back to NYC and proposed teaching fully online while coordinating the department’s distance learning initiatives. He agreed and here we are. I’m teaching three courses this semester while finishing my Instructional Technology Certificate. Once that’s done I’m starting my Quality Matters (QM) training so that I can become a peer reviewer which will lead to a Master QM. I’ve been toying with doing another Masters in Educational Technology and Instructional Design. It would be through SUNY Buffalo’s Education Department and would be 100% online. Why? Well, let’s just say that I’m contemplating my future and my career: what makes me happy … what makes me miserable … what I truly want … and what I really don’t want anymore. I know this sounds cryptic, but it needs to be at this moment. I will say, that at this point in my life, balance and quality of life far outweigh tenure track or full-time teaching gigs. Experiencing the death of both of my parents and Ed’s father, and realizing my own mortality, has certainly shed light on my current situation and my own goals, dreams, and desires. More on that as the old year ends and the new year begins.
This year was also filled with horrific health issues. It was around this time last year that I started to have trouble urinating and was taking Ducolax almost regularly. I had issues with my bowels for a few years and concluded that I must have some dietary problems like gluten intolerance. How did I know that the fibroid I had since my early 30s was in an area that would cause havoc when it grew? It most certainly caused havoc and three emergency room visits for a foley bag because I couldn’t urinate! Until my operation this June, I needed to self-catheter almost everyday, especially in the morning. Alas, Melvin — the fibroid — was to blame and a hysterectomy was in order.
How am I doing? I’m good, but not 100%. I no longer need to take Ducolax and my urination is normal, thank Goddess. However, I’m only four months post-op and I still haven’t gotten my normal energy levels back. I need to be careful not to overdo when I walk and work out; if I do, I’m exhausted and my core muscles feel like they’re on fire. And let’s face it, my portions are way to big for the amount of exercise I’m currently getting. Yup, I gained back every single pound I lost when I started Bat Fit in 2012. I’ve decided that I’m not going to beat myself up about it. There was a lot of living done in those six years: Mom died. I finished my dissertation and got my PhD. I got my first full-time teaching gig and moved to Texas. I moved back to NYC. Ed’s pop died. I had surgery. It’s no wonder that I’m back to where I started! For cripes sake!
With that said, I’m back in the pool today. I’ll supplement my swimming with weights and 30 minutes of dancing 3-4 days a week. And, of course, we’re going to be eating home a lot more. It’s time to get back to cooking and eating the way I used to: smaller portions of homemade food that is made from whole foods. I’m limiting the amount of overly processed foods we eat. And I’m certainly limiting how much we eat out! It’s too expensive and I can’t control what goes into the dishes. My goal is to lose 40 pounds by my birthday in June. That’s 5 pounds a month, which is more than achievable.
As for everything else, like I said, there’s been some major soul searching happening around here. What seemed so very important doesn’t seem important at all! And those dreams and goals that got left to simmer on the back burner are calling to me with an urgency that surprises me. My life is changing again and this time it feels for “keeps.” I’m excited and happy and more energized than I’ve been in a long, long time.