I have been slow about choosing my new Word for the Year this time. I had several in mind, including a second dance with Surrender, but finally the word Progress has risen to the top. “Progress, not perfection” is one of my new favorite mottoes. I want to spend 2020 recognizing and celebrating my progress, however small it might be. There are things I want to accomplish but I know they can’t all spring forth fully formed, so Progress will be my friend this year.
One area I want to Progress in is my writing. I spent much of 2019 thinking about all the things I wanted to write about but not writing much of anything. Part of that was because one of the big things I wanted/needed to write about involved a minor child and I didn’t (still don’t) feel comfortable telling her life story online without her permission. So that’s off the table, and yet it consumed so much of my time and thoughts last year. But we have made some Progress and will continue to do so. You just won’t read about it here.
Spiritually speaking, I have always struggled with making time to read the Bible. I mean, I know all the reasons why I should, yet I just keep letting it slide. I found a new app that reads the Bible to you (it’s called Dwell and this is not a paid plug by any means), and now I am listening my way through Proverbs by using my AirPods at work. It’s not perfect but it’s Progress and I’ll take it.
My health/weight has improved but there is still some room for further improvement. I have twelve pounds to go til I reach my goal weight, although frankly I will still be okay if I don’t lose any more. I did not do much exercising (please see previous post if you need a reminder of why) but hope to change that in 2020. I would also like to add some weight/resistance training to build muscle.
Let’s go back to my health issues of 2019 for a moment: I ended my year in a pretty painful way as I was waiting for my knee follow-up in January. Finally someone suggested (and not for the first time, but this time I listened) that maybe I should get some blood work done to make sure that my pain wasn’t caused by some kind of system-wide inflammation, like an immune system disorder, which would also explain my elevated platelet levels for the past 2-3 years. I called my primary care doctor and asked about it, and they had me come right in. My doctor was shocked at my appearance (to be fair, it was probably my worst pain day ever) and sent me for labs. The next day I had my knee follow up and while the orthopedist didn’t seem to fully appreciate the desperation I felt, he gave me a steroid shot in the right knee (the worst culprit) and some powerful anti-inflammatory meds. Within 24 hours I started feeling better, thanks to the miracles of modern medicine.
But then…the blood test results came back. One of the markers for Rheumatoid Arthritis was positive, and not just a little bit positive. Furthermore, my platelets were higher than before. (for the record, I saw a hematologist three separate times and was assured each time that it was not a big deal). I saw a Rheumatologist who has now diagnosed me with RA, and she believes this explains my shoulder pain as well as my knees and hips. While I am happy to have an answer, I have to admit I am a little annoyed at having one. more. thing. to think about health-wise. It doesn’t seem fair that I lost a bunch of weight and NOW my body is choosing to fall apart.
RA is not uncommon in women my age, and right now I am feeling pretty good. I understand it may have “flares” and other times when it’s hardly noticeable. My RA doctor is planning to start me on a medication to hopefully keep it in check, as soon as she gets the results from the many, MANY tubes of blood she had drawn when I saw her last week.
Another area where I want to see Progress is in my reading. Honestly, I am a spoiled reader. I read what I like, and I don’t necessarily read things that might be “good” for me. Like non-fiction, for instance. I was introduced to the enneagram (7w8, in case you are wondering) this past year and I have been trying to get through a couple of books about it but I just can’t seem to make myself read them even though it’s a subject that interests me. Also, I used to post book reviews on GoodReads fairly regularly and I gave myself the year “off” in 2019 then I discovered that I was forgetting what I had read, and I wanted to know how many books I read last year. So I’m a few books behind on GR but I posted three reviews this afternoon. (even though I’ve already read like eight books this year. None of them non-fiction though.)
2020 may have had a rough start but things are already looking better. Progress is progress, however small the steps, and I intend to celebrate every little baby step along the way. A little bit better, a little at a time.