Tag Archives: monthly goals

Reflections and resolutions

New year 2015 celebration resolutions goals The Stolen Colon ostomy ileostomy urostomy colostomy Crohn's disease ulcerative colitis inflammatory bowel disease ibd colon stephanie hughes blog

This is the time of year where we always look back at the preceding 365 days to think about all that we accomplished (or perhaps didn’t) and look ahead at all of the potential there is for the next 365 days. I probably say this every year, but I love New Year’s! I love any opportunity that I am given to start over, refresh, reinvent myself. I am a big believer in new beginnings and second chances.

I also tend to be fairly quiet around this time of year, as I come off the high of holiday craziness and spend some time thinking about what this past year held, the accomplishments and the disappointments, and about where I want to go next.

I took a look back at my goals for this past year that I set out on January 1, 2014. My 5 main goals included: Implement changes for The Stolen Colon, Get organized/save money/stay on budget, Stay focused on another semester of grad school, Run my third half-marathon, and Plan an amazing vacation. I am very pleased to say that I accomplished every one of these goals in the past year. Maybe not as fully as I would have liked at times, but I’m glad to be able to read through this and know that I did follow through on some things. What I’m disappointed about is that I really didn’t stay focused on these things. Some of them were things that just naturally happened, but I really wish that I had continued to remind myself of these goals and not just hoped that they would happen at one point or another.
Continue reading

Recharge and refocus

Life has a crazy way of just happening. That hit me like a ton of bricks over the past few weeks. I feel like I have been all over the place and I haven’t had the easiest time handling it.

I took a summer course for grad school. It was only a 5-week semester, which is great for getting 3 credit hours in that short amount of time, but it meant a lot of work over that time period. I felt like I had hardly any time to just relax and breathe over the session, much less spend time on other projects. Plus, there’s something to be said for brain exhaustion. It’s much more difficult, at least in my experience, than physical exhaustion. I just finished up the course at the end of last week and I still feel like I’m making up for being so tired.

On top of that, in the past month, I have been working on a number of big projects at work, I celebrated my 4-year anniversary with my husband and we almost bought a new house. It’s probably a good thing that didn’t work out, because I can’t imagine being in a spot right now where we would be packing up our house and going through the process of buying another. Things are already crazy without that!

But I’m ready to move on now and get back to a normal life. I have missed blogging and spending time with my friends online. I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and I have been putting some thought today into what I hope to accomplish here over the coming months. I am trying to be more thoughtful with my goals and to not overload myself so I don’t get sidetracked along the way. So here’s what I’ve got so far, as I try to keep it simple…

  • Get back to regular blog posts on The Stolen Colon (at least twice weekly).
  • Run 3x a week for 2+ miles.
  • Start home renovations (We decided that even though we aren’t selling right now, we should still get the house ready for when we do.)
  • Enjoy 3 weeks of break before the next semester starts.
  • Spend some time outdoors (when it’s not 90+ degrees.)
  • Start back the semester strong at the end of the month.
  • Travel to Florida for work-trip. (Anyone in the Orlando area wanna hang out??)

So now that I’ve taken some time to get back on track, I’m ready to get moving again! See you again soon.

Arrivederci, inverno

I will never understand how the months continue to fly by so quickly that you hardly even notice them coming or going. It seems that every time I turn around I’m looking at another month and another set of things that need to be done in the following four weeks.

april spring flowers warm hot weather season stephanie hughes stolen colon crohn's disease ulcerative colitis inflammatory bowel disease ibd blog ostomy

On the bright side, however, Spring has finally decided to make its way to North Carolina. And it’s really coming on strong. I believe we got up to 86-degrees today. And while I usually do like a bit of more transition in between my seasons, I am not complaining about the heat because all I care about is the fact that the cold is gone! And I’m just hoping it’ll stay that way.

March was a little sad for me on here. I hate that I didn’t get the opportunity to write more on The Stolen Colon, but things have really picked up around here. But thankfully (and hopefully!) April is my last month, at least for the foreseeable future, where I have more things to do than I have time to do it in. So as long as I can make it through the next 30 or so days, I’ll be in the clear.

I have a few major events going on this month. I actually am heading out-of-town next week for a work trip in Florida and I will be gone for four days. Two days after I return is my third half-marathon race. And just two weeks after that is the Take Steps Walk for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation and I am on the planning committee. And during all of this, I am having to conduct my research for my grad school project and getting the information ready to present as a final report. Needless to say, I am a little worried about being able to get it all done.

Usually in times like this, I just take a deep breath and take it a day at a time. But the fact that so many of the things going on this month need a lot of leg work and planning done beforehand, that practice doesn’t seem to be working well for me. I am having to think about three steps ahead and try to get as much done in each day as I possibly can.

There is good news, however. Well, first of all, let me say that none of this is bad news. These are all things that I really love and enjoy and I am so glad to be participating in all of them… I just wish they didn’t happen to be going on all at the same time. But I do have big plans for unwinding afterwards. My husband and I are planning our first trip to Europe!

As soon as we get to May, I have my final paper due that first week and then three days later we will be boarding a plane for Italy. I am so excited! We haven’t taken a big trip since our honeymoon and, like I said, this will be both of our first trips to Europe. And I am so looking forward to not worrying about anything that I need to be doing and just enjoying the history and the food… and the wine!

It’s going to be amazing. Although, I haven’t had much of a chance to really think about it because there are so many other things that need to be thought about right now. But in the back of my mind, I know that all I need to do is push my way through the next five weeks and prepare for an incredible trip.

  • The Stolen Colon
    • Plan things ahead of time so I don’t run out of time and not put up any new content.
  • Grad School
    • Finish research and interviews for my project.
    • Work in small amounts whenever I can so I’m not overwhelmed with too much all at one time.
  • Work
    • Enjoy my first work trip to Florida!
    • But don’t let the trip put me behind on everything else I need to do.
  • Training
    • Finish out the final two weeks of my training strong.
    • Run a great half-marathon! (And hopefully PR!!)
  • Personal
    • Work hard on the CCFA Walk for the next three weeks so we can put on an amazing fundraiser for Crohn’s disease & ulcerative colitis research.
    • Finish up planning for trip to Italy.
    • Find some time to breathe.

So we march on

march goals monthly walk boots shoes stephanie hughes  stolen colon crohn's disease ulcerative colitis inflammatory bowel disease ibd blog

I’m feeling a little better today. I have taken the last week to get caught up on some things. I wrapped up my midterm, spent some time with friends, drank a little extra wine… I also got a hair cut this week and I already feel lighter.

I’m realizing what I think my issues my stem from. First of all, straight up, I’m just doing too much. Figuring out what to cut out, though, is the real issue.

Secondly, as some of you commented on my last post, my chemicals may be a little out of whack. I have been focusing more of hydration and taking all of my vitamins. I think it’s helping already. But I do worry about something a little more serious there. The problem, here, is that I am not sure what to do about it. Normally, I would reach out to my GI, at least to get his advice, but I don’t actually have one anymore. My GI moved on to the research field about a year after my surgery and I haven’t had a need to follow-up with one since. So I doubt any other doctor would want to give me advice without seeing my first, even if there’s not much they can do to help.

Finally, I’m noticing a pattern in my writing that I tend to get a little depressed around this time of year. I think it’s a combination of cold weather and hitting a wall after taking on too much responsibility at the beginning of the year. I should try to remember that next year… But it’s usually around the beginning of March that I pull out of it with the help of my birthday and Springtime!

And I guess that’s part of the reason I love March. It’s definitely not Spring quite yet (at least for longer than 48 hours here in NC), but we had a saying when I was a kid: March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb. And that is the truth here in the South. The first week or two is still pretty chilly, but you can look forward to some beautiful weather by the time the month is over. It may be 32-degrees outside right now, but we’re looking forward to 65 by this weekend!

This month, I’m not worried about goals, I’m focusing on enjoying myself and remembering that life is about being, not doing all of the time. Here’s what I’m looking forward to this month:

  • Starting up an IBD Meetup and getting to know some other people in the area.
  • Learning Italian as I drive to and from work every day.
  • My 10 year high school reunion. (How is that happening already??)
  • Lots of basketball.
  • Joining in a run challenge with friends at work. (And hopefully making it through 12 miles by the end of the month… okay, I’m not so sure I’m actually looking forward to that.)
  • Spending too much money at Anthropologie.
  • Celebrating another birthday!