(Originally published December 28, 2022)
I would typically do an analysis of last year's goals and see how closely I achieved them, what went right and wrong, and use that information to set goals for the next year.
The fact that I didn't burn my goal-setting planner (Powersheets - Cultivate what Matters) by February is pretty amazing.
That said - I managed to put together my best life this year, with a little help from modern western medicine and a lot of help from the list of people and organizations that helped me navigate this new journey.
Wendy's list of 2022 accomplishments:
- Survived. This was not a given at the beginning of this year. Mantle Cell Lymphoma is no joke and I was in tougher shape than even I recognized when I started this journey. Painkillers, attentive doctors, an amazing support system, and a sense of humor helped.
- Started the process of learning how to paint. I leveraged Skillshare and worked through a number of their tutorials. I also received a craft store's worth of art supplies from my friends upon hearing my diagnosis. Art is a welcome distraction. I'm amazed at the sheer number of paintings I created. Some of them are even good.
- Participated in, and completed, Inktober 2022. My Instagram has the results of that exercise as well as some of my paintings from earlier this year. Some of the drawings turned out well. I learned that the quality of the result was proportional to the amount of motivation and focus I was able to muster on any given day. I suspect that is true whether I'm sick or not.
- Designed a planner and had it printed for friends and supporters. It was good to have a project and also remind myself that I am still capable of learning new technologies, even with short attention span theatre playing in my head.
- Designed some t-shirts for friends and supporters - courtesy of an ex-boss lending me her Cricut. I now have bits of sticker and iron-on vinyl throughout the carpets in my house. It was worth it.
- Managed to travel a bit during the back half of the year. This was entirely unexpected in January.
- I had a chance to see some long-time friends in Pittsburgh
- Made it to Michigan for Reeling and Healing, where I learned how to fly fish and discovered that my car stamina was better than I expected. I met some amazing people, the "Michigangsters" :).
- Spent 2 weeks with my Mom travelling through the Southeastern US and visiting my extended family for a week in Florida. It was an unexpected opportunity to see everyone in person.
- Took the Amtrak Auto Train home, including a stay in one of the private bedrooms. For those of us who are immunocompromised, this was a fantastic way to travel and it was much easier on both Mom and I. Grateful that the 2 of us had the financial resources to do this.
- Ran a personal fundraiser for the Lymphoma Research Foundation in July. I am still quite humbled at the amount of support it received.
- Finished my first crochet project in almost 5 years.
- Attended a perfumery class with a friend. Even made a couple of scents I would wear in public.
- Successfully completed 100 miles in 10 weeks for an online walking challenge. I'll admit, that goal was a bit aggressive. I'm going to do the same thing in 2023, but this time spreading it out over 50 weeks.
- Finally, I was able to navigate the administrative detritus of cancer treatment and chronic illness without bankrupting myself or my family or pissing anyone off (too much).
I learned a lot about myself this year.
I learned that all of those years spent with "self-improvement" and "goal-setting" pay their biggest dividends during challenging times. For me, it wasn't about "improvement." I discovered that I'm actually fine. All that work was training for my life now.
Hunter S. Thompson famously said, "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Looks like I made it to the big league this year.
May you and your loved ones have an amazing 2023.