New Year, New Self-Evaluations
At the beginning of this New Year, as many people do, I find that I seem to be questioning myself every single day over my future and the next moves for my life. I used to feel more confident about most of my personal affairs, but now I sometimes feel as if I am just treading water and not really making much headway in any particular direction. Therefore, asking myself questions allows me to consider all the directions I could go in and determine which route would be the best one for me. Sometimes my questions are trivial in nature while at other times they cause me to stop and think a bit about what my answer will be. When I look at them all at once, they act as an informal survey of where I am in my life and what my top priorities are.
One of the more important questions I have been turning over in my mind is, “What else do you want to do with your writing career?” For most of the past year, the majority of my writing output has been for this column. I have been tinkering in my spare time with some short stories, character outlines, and settings, but I have not fully developed them yet. I feel that I can now get back to them and refine them as well as work on other ideas I have been thinking about. I have also decided to start a blog so I can write about things which interest me and develop more ideas for my other writings. Writing a blog was actually a step recommended by some of the creative writing textbooks I had in college; they said a blog could greatly expand my audience and lead publishers and other writing entities to my work. I am very excited about this opportunity because it will give me a platform to experiment with new genres of writing and see which styles I am most suited to.
Another question weighing heavily on my mind is, “Can you conform to a better diet and exercise plan?” During my college years, I fell behind on the active lifestyle I had been developing, a sacrifice I felt I had to make because of the amount of school work I had to complete. Since my graduation, I have attempted to develop a better diet plan with some positive results. Even with the tactile issues in my mouth that affect me, I have greatly increased the variety of foods I eat, and my meals now consist of mostly fruits and vegetables with lean meat and healthy snacks on the side, but burgers and other fast food items can still appear depending on circumstances. Developing a healthy diet has been a continuous challenge for me all of my life, but I am determined to continue adding more and more nutritious foods.
I have also started walking on the treadmill on a regular basis. For about 30 minutes each day, I take a walk on the treadmill at a steady pace. Between my revamped diet and regular treadmill walks, I have lost nine pounds so far. I have found that I can move about more easily and am able to perform tasks that were hard for me to do before such as lifting or moving heavy objects. I am most impressed with my increased range of motion, and I want to expand my exercise program to continue to help with my low muscle tone and other motor issues.
To this end, I have signed up for hippotherapy (physical and occupational therapy on horses) at a nearby barn which will help me to continue to develop my coordination and strengthen my muscle tone. I participated in a hippotherapy program as a boy, and not only was it a lot of fun but it also helped a great deal to improve my physical issues. I am thrilled that there is a program nearby I can join as an adult, and I am looking forward to starting in the spring.
One other question I am considering the answer to is, “Can you truly reach your goals and are you willing to work hard for them?” I now realize that in order to do this, I will indeed have to work hard and make some improvements which I am very willing to do. I am continuing to study my books on job interviews and working on how to best prepare for them. I am planning to meet with someone I met at a job fair last year to conduct mock interviews and formulate appropriate and relevant answers to any type of question that I may be asked. In addition to starting a blog, I am looking into other opportunities for freelance writing work which reflect my interests. Finding more work will help me to become more autonomous and able to take care of my own affairs.
After considering all of these questions, I now think this year will have a lot of big changes in store for me. Last year felt a bit rushed to me with graduation and new aspects of my life happening all at once. This year, I want to focus on getting these new aspects under control and plan out a new and steady course. I am very excited about all of the changes happening to me, but I want to keep my bearings and not have them overwhelm me. This year has a lot of new possibilities in it, possibly the most I have ever had. It raises the question in my mind, “Where do I go next?”