As we rolled over into 2017, I made the conscious decision that I wasn’t going to set any New Years resolutions. To be completely honest with you, I just wasn’t feeling it this year.
While that might sound quite negative, my intentions were actually pretty positive. It’s not a case of foregoing goal setting or giving up on hope or ambitions. But rather that I want to take an unpressured approach to the year ahead.
I’m simply going to take things as they come. If I manage to achieve what I want, then that’s fantastic. But equally, if I don’t, well… there’s always next year!
I’m setting no expectations and instead choosing to be grateful for anything positive that does happen for me.
What I am doing instead
One thing that I am totally getting on board with, in 2017, though, is the concept of having a word for the year. I kind of subconsciously did this last year and found myself relying on a specific word to help me through the difficult times.
My word for 2016 was hope
2016 was certainly an up and down year for me where my health was concerned. I started the year feeling pretty poorly and, though it was only natural to fear that my health was regressing, I clung onto the hope that I would feel better again.
I thankfully did but my progress was short-lived. My health then plateaued and I felt like I had completely stalled in my recovery. Frustration took hold for a while but eventually hope made me look for alternative strategies and lead me towards Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). When HBOT didn’t work out for me, hope then got me through one hellish setback after another.
Hope kept me going
I never wrote about it at the time but I wanted to give up many times in 2016. I was ready to throw in the towel and stop trying so hard to get better… but hope wouldn’t let me.
My “Word of the Year” for 2017
When thinking of a word for 2017, I was initially drawn towards words such as strength, persistence and determination. And while these are great words and would do well to carry me forward, I’ve made a conscious decision that, in 2017, I will not be putting as much focus on my health. I felt that these words would definitely do that and so I decided against them.
Given the fact that I am recovering from Lyme disease, it may sound a bit surprising that I don’t want to focus on my health. Don’t get me wrong, I am going to continue to treat my Lyme disease and I will still very much actively be working towards recovery. The difference is, I’m not going to let it consume me.
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The last few months have felt very full on
I’ve had to get used to a new diagnosis, along with new health regimes and treatments. Treatments that have resulted in me experiencing numerous herx reactions (an exacerbation of symptoms caused by bacteria die-off), meaning I’ve spent a lot of time feeling rough AF. Understandably, this has also meant spending a lot of time being unable to do many of the things I wanted to.
Following my diagnosis of Lyme disease, I also had to work through a lot of emotions and mental stuff I didn’t anticipate having to deal with. And while I no doubt still have a challenging road ahead of me, I want to make room for other things in my life.
That’s why my word for 2017 is going to be joy
Joy very much feels like a doing word. In 2017, I want to do more of the things I enjoy; including things I’ve not done for a while and possibly even some completely new hobbies or challenges.
In the last couple of weeks, I definitely feel like I’ve turned a corner with my health *madly touches wood*. I am starting to feel better in myself, I am experiencing less payback and I am recovering quicker from any payback that I do experience. While I can still have bad days, they aren’t as bad as they use to be and I’m starting to see less of them.
I’ve been here before and I’m glad to be back here again
In fact, I will tentatively say I’m starting to feel the best I have in a long, long time. And while I will, of course, continue to work away at improving my health, I feel like I am in a good rhythm with everything and I don’t have to think about it as much.
My energy is finally starting to shift in a positive direction and I feel I am in a position to start doing more of the things I want to do; the things that have had to take a backseat while stuff relating to recovery took shotgun.
I am under no illusions
I know that the road ahead won’t be plain sailing and I won’t be feeling the joy all of the time. But, we are only in the 2nd week of the year and so far I have:
- Spent time gaming with pals (Overwatch is slowly taking over my life!)
- Completed a watercolour painting
- Spent time with both sides of the family
- Began reading a book (reading is something I’ve only recently been able to do without payback)
- Had a spa day with my mum
- Signed up for a beginner’s Spanish class (I’m hoping this isn’t being too ambitious!!)
Making time for things that bring me joy is going to be my priority this year and I’m definitely off to a good start! Already I’m feeling happy, motivated and ready for wherever 2017 takes me!
What do you think about choosing a word for the year? Is it something you would do? Or do you prefer the more traditional New Years resolutions? Let me know in the comments down below.