A year ago I wrote a final blog post on Management Craft. My reasons for retiring the blog were that I 1) needed to focus on health and 2) needed to create more balance in life (especially since I have a "real" job now) and 3) was struggling to write fresh content and found that I was repeating myself a lot.
Well, it has been a year since then and I still hear from many of you - my dear readers. You ask how I am doing and hope things are OK. I thought I would share how the year off blogging has been, how I am doing, and what might be next.
Not blogging has been simultaneously glorious and agonizing. I caught myself on several occasions having a wee inspiration and wanting to share it on the blog. That was the agonizing part - holding back. Once a blogger, always a blogger. I think in blogger terms. I write like a blogger even when something more formal is in order.
Another agonizing thing has been missing your feedback. I like being plugged in and I appreciate the energy that is created by a community.
The glorious thing about not blogging is not feeling pressure. Sure, pressure is a choice and self-imposed, but I did not worry about whether my blog was being tended to. I liked the idea of one less thing on my list.
I would like to report that the year has been put to excellent use, but I am not sure how I feel about that, or if it is true. I have focused on my health in ways including:
- In May, I started a year-long clinical trial at the NIH in Bethesda, MD. I have been flying up there at least monthly to participate in a vaccine trial. The jury is still out regarding if it is working or not, but there is hope and no real downside except the travel time and some unreimbursed costs.
- I trained for and completed the MS150 bike ride from Houston to Austin. I will be doing that again this coming April. It was very hard and hurt a lot! But it is also very good training.
- I did walking, pilates, yoga, weight training. I wear my Fit Bit and shoot for 12,000 steps per day. Our two energetic dogs help because they demand two walks a day regardless of weather or my malaise.
- Alas, I am not yet a skinny thing.... my 49 year-old hormone container (joined by my non-existent thyroid) is fighting me all the way. More drastic action might be needed to breakthrough the work-weight barrier. :-)
In terms of the cancer, I am about the same. And that is a good thing.
My day job is going well. I get to work on some interesting projects and with a lot of smart folks.
And what about writing? Well, I took off most of the year from writing but then found that I needed to add some wordsmithing back into my world. It felt like I had shut down my life a bit TOO much. I reengaged with writing by taking an online humor writing course. That was fun!
And I am working on a new business book, my first in several years. It will be called Double the Love and I intend to use some of those newly honed humor writing skills to make it a more interesting and fun read.
Getting back to the point about shutting down too much... About three months ago it hit me that I had become too focused on cancer and that it was taking up too much time. I spend a lot of time with doctors and then evenings on the Facebook groups for Medullary Thyroid Cancer. Then worrying about which foods, supplements, juices to consume or NOT consume. I spent lots of money on books about cancer and coutless evenings reading them (it is amazing what we know and what we don't know about cancer). I drove hundreds of miles, and flew thousands, to consult with experts.
It was just too much, and I realized that I had no goals that were not cancer related (beat cancer, slow it down, etc). I am the queen of goals and I had no goals! I wrote the book on making big things happen (Two Weeks to a Breakthrough) and yet I had nothing, other than cancer, on my agenda.
Cancer is a distraction, not my life. I need to get back to living. That's why I decided to start engaging with writing again. I am still searching for the goal that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up (my litmus test that the goal is a good one and worthy of the effort it will take to bring to fruition). This is somewhat disturbing to me... that I don't have a goal. I am not sure what I want to accomplish and that is a weird feeling.
I am also not sure what that might or might not mean for this blog. Should I resurrect it like a favorite soap opera character or do I need to start fresh somewhere else? Not sure.
If you are still out there, please leave a comment and tell me what you think. And let me know what your goal is - I could use some inspiration. Happy new year!