Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014: My Year to be PROACTIVE




Proactive adj. serving to prepare for, intervene in, or control an expected occurrence or situation, especially a negative or difficult one; anticipatory.

I'm tired of being in "solve the crisis of the day" mode.  Every day just seems like a dash to tamp down a fire -- sometimes, I get it put out, but usually I only manage to beat it back to a smoulder.  I know that fire will roar to life again soon, but for right now, a smoulder has to be good enough so I can move on to fight the next raging inferno.

I had a huge wake-up call a few weeks ago, when I woke up in the middle of the night with an awful pain in my leg.  It wasn't getting any better, and by the time hubby woke up and turned on the light, I could see my left leg was twice as big as my right.  I had a very bad feeling about this one -- and unfortunately, I was right.  This current malady presented exactly the same as when I had a blood clot when I was pregnant with Luke, and after a few hours in the ER, the doc was ready to offer me a job when the ultrasound confirmed what I had suspected.   I had all sorts of blood drawn when I was pregnant and post-partum, and the only explanation was pregnancy hormones.  My doc is not going to bother to re-draw now, because it's pretty obvious how this one came about.  No -- I'm not pregnant. I'm inactive.  Two days a week, I spend six hours driving Jude to therapy and sitting waiting for him, and then spend one or two days each week at duPont's Wilmington campus (a 2 1/2 hour round trip, plus sitting for doctors).  I come home, put out the immediate fires, and collapse on the couch.  I need to become more proactive with my health.  I can't say "I'm too tired to exercise," any longer.  I have to now do it every day to counter the inactivity.  As much as I dislike the treadmill, a few minutes each day to get the blood moving is definitely better than a week on the couch unable to walk. 

As I was sitting there on the couch, I was trying to consider my "Word for 2014," and this idea of being proactive with my health made me think about the rest of my life:
  • I don't want to be looking at the calendar and saying, "Oh, crud, that's tomorrow??"  Sure, there are some things that will have to be the night before -- like baking for the school bake sale -- but I want to be prepared for it so I'm not running to the grocery store after dinner and starting cupcakes at 9 pm and yawning as I frost them close to midnight.
  • I don't want mornings to be a mad scramble for who has which uniform, who has the right envelope for art club, which therapist are we seeing and do I need schoolwork for that session or not. 
  • I don't want every dinner to be a "surprise."  Or late getting to the table because of lack of planning.

Clearly, some of this means better planning, and making time for that.  That is going to take time (and effort!) to find a system for doing this that works for me and our family.  But I also need to learn to look ahead before I say "yes" to something. 

  • It means sometimes saying "I'll send something for <school function>, but it has to be xyz that I can buy a week before, I can't cook/bake at the last minute even though that's what I've always done."
  • I need to be realistic and say, "No, I can't take that appointment because it fits the doctor's schedule; if we have to wait another week, so be it, but I can't realistically squish a 90 minute drive into 60." 
  • Instead of jumping in to help one of the kids with a project, or getting involved in my own project, I am going to have to find a way to put my health first, even if it would be easier to just help and get it over with.  I actually joined a gym a few years ago, but got so wrapped up in helping with homework that I never went - there just weren't enough hours in the day.  It's going to mean everyone in the the house will have to adjust a little bit so it all balances out, but the process starts with me saying, "I can't help you right now, you'll have to wait."  Not a bad thing for them to learn, right?  Kids will also have to learn to ask for help earlier in the process (or at least at the start, I'm going to have to ask them if they need help sooner, so we can plan a timetable together), rather than waiting until an hour before bedtime. 
When it comes to blogging, I need to start thinking what I want to write about, and plan.  I want to start to think ahead on what I may want to write about in a season, and try working a bit ahead so I'm not up until the wee hours finishing things.  I don't want to give up my "in the moment" style of writing -- I want to still be me, but also need to get over the feeling of having to write about our homeschool activities in real time.  If it's a great idea, it's ok if we did the activity a week ago -- it will still be a great idea in a week!   I need to start doing a better job of scheduling ahead, and maybe even solicit some guest posts.  (If you're reading this and want to guest post,  pitch me an idea!)  But that's part of the being proactive and planning the post, rather than reactive and saying, "I gotta get this finished because I haven't posted in several days!"


I'm not big on New Year's resolutions.   Usually they are blown by the second week of January. I also don't really like "plans."  That's how we wound up homeschooling in the first place.   So I'm not going to call it a "resolution" or  "plan" for the new year, but rather a new way of living with a symbolic date to start: in 2014, I'm going to work to become more proactive instead of reactive.







Join the crew in setting a theme for your 2014.  Link goes live at 8 am EST on New Year's Day!


Word for 2014

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2 comments:

  1. I like proactive. I blogged recently about being intentional which I think of as sort of the same thing. It's hard to be proactive sometimes, but it is a much better way to function than constantly being in a crisis. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Meg @ Adventures with JudeJanuary 6, 2014 at 2:10 AM

    There has to be - I'm sure that 90% of my snapping and stress is from feeling like I'm always behind.

    ReplyDelete

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