In the spirit of looking back and then forward, I have spent some time reflecting on what worked for me in 2016. A later post will detail what didn’t work, and what I plan to do about it.
What worked for me in 2016:
I made my writing a priority, and it paid off. I wrote regularly, which made the time I spent more productive. When I don’t write at least every other day, I lose all momentum. Also, I met regularly with my critique partner, and her wisdom and accountability were immensely helpful.
I am working in the hospital again, attending deliveries and taking care of new babies. I love both. This was an unexpected opportunity after I thought I had given it up for good, and so far it’s working well on many fronts.
I have made a concerted effort to be a better advocate for my patients. This has meant a lot more phone calls to other doctors and medical providers- sometimes having to beg for help on my patients’ behalf- but it is paying off in better care for my patients.
Monthly meal planning. The longer I do it this way, the easier I gets. We’re eating more vegetables, which is good for everyone.
I feel like my biggest accomplishment this year was growing out my hair. (That shows you how I feel about 2016.) I found a salon that specializes in curly hair, and I finally can live with it again.
Calling up our refugee friends and getting together with them. It used to take a ton of energy and effort. On the way back from church on Christmas Eve, the mom asked me (via her son, translating) all sorts of questions. It’s progress, and I’m grateful.
We are spending more time with our parents. Sam has been traveling to Chicago to see his family every 3-4 months, and I’ve been spending one weekend a month with my parents. It costs us a lot in terms of our nuclear family time, but it is good and important.
I’ve started asking for more help. Sam and the kids have really stepped it up at home, and at church I have just said no, though not as often as I probably should.
I’ve stopped listening to the radio on my way into the clinic each week. It sounds like a small thing, but those 15 minutes of prayer before I have to face so much sorrow and sickness is a real gift, and it has made a huge difference in my empathy and focus.
I hope to continue all of these habits in 2017. What were your successes in 2016?
Next up: what didn’t work, and what I plan to do about it.