2011 was a hell of a year. Christmas Eve 2010, my mom was the victim of a head-on collision near my parents' neighborhood, and this resulted in a 4 week hospital stay in D.C., followed by a lot of rehab at home. It was very hard seeing my mom have to go through all this, but my family and our friends really pulled together and got through it; when I feel angry about it, I think about all the support and well-wishes she received, and it helps.
There were other not-so-happy things going on last year. I am notorious for trying to fix things I can't fix, and otherwise manage things that are really out of my control, and the results are usually disastrous. It's hard striking the balance between fighting for what you want and knowing your limits. Slowly, I'm learning that I'm not as powerful as I think I am, and sometimes I need to let things happen the way they're supposed to.
There have been so many positive things happen in 2011, too. I got into all this paleo-stuff a little over a year ago, and I sure didn't expect it to enrich my life in so many ways. Of course, I'm the most grateful for feeling better; not being sidelined by pain and discomfort is a wonderful thing. Additionally, my dietary overhaul led to an exercise overhaul. Like so many, I used to dread going to the gym; when I would go, I'd do my 30 minutes of cardio, and dick around on the Nautilus-type machines, making no discernable fitness gains. After learning about weightlifting and kettlebells, I LOVE going to the gym. I'm still not in as great shape as I'd like to be, but it's pretty cool that last year I was too intimidated to go near the free weights, and now I get approached by people at my local big-box gym asking me about what I'm doing, and giving me kudos on my progress. When I work out at Southern Maryland Crossfit, it's always a humbling experience, and it gets me thinking more about those delicate balances- I want to push myself and improve, but I need to be careful about comparing myself too much to others. I can barely snatch 65lbs, and clean 95lbs on a good day, but I never even thought I would be trying snatches at all, and the first time I tried to clean an empty bar, it was a hot mess (there was some funky reverse-curling going on, and I thought I was going to break my wrist). I haven't come as far as I could have, but I have come pretty far.
I'm also so, so I happy I had the privelege to attend the Ancestral Health Symposium. It was hella exciting to be in the same space with all my favorite writers and thinkers, and it just feels great to be among like-minded people. There were more warm-fuzzies to be had at the MovNat and Whole9 workshops I attended in the fall, and I've been having such a great time interacting with my friends from Highbrow Paleo! Let's face it; many of us that eat this way are pretty hardcore about it. We love talking about our meals, what we got at the farmer's market, how much bacon we ate yesterday, what kind of workouts we've been doing, etc.; most of our friends and family probably don't share our rabid enthusiasm, and that's totally fine. Of course it matters most that that I feel good about what I'm doing, but there is something to be said for belonging to a community. I'm grateful to have found a group of smart, fun, and opiniated folks to talk with about all this stuff so I don't have to annoy the crap out of my "real-life friends" and family as much. That said, I'm definitely troubled by a lot of the in-fighting that's been going on in the larger paleo community as of late; our "thought leaders" have a lot of different opinions and of course healthy debate is a great thing. Unfortunately, things have gone way outside the realm of "healthy debate," and prominent folks in our community have been acting really nasty towards one another and alienating those of us who look to them for guidance. I don't get why they don't all just give the best advice they can, disagree respectfully, and remember that we really all have a lot in common. It makes me a bit sad to see this behavior from people I respect(ed?), but I'm just taking what I can use and leaving the rest.
As for resolutions, I don't really have one, but I've definitely tightened up on my diet this month. I'd been getting a little crazy with the candy again and after the holidays, it's definitely time for a reset. I'm also trying to get a handle on my technology addiction by barring myself from using my phone, computer and iPad after 8:30 on worknights. I have such a hard time focusing on tasks, and sometimes a hard time falling asleep, and I believe all the bright flashy lights and social networking are contributing! Hopefully the January tech diet will prove helpful.
I'm very excited to see what the year will bring. :)