All right. I said I was planning to change my monthly wrap-up to a quarterly format, but I’ve changed my mind. Over the last few weeks, I’ve found myself looking back at last year’s monthly posts multiple times when searching for specific information. Additionally, while some sections of these wrap-ups (like goals) would benefit from revisiting only on a quarterly basis, other sections (like health or highlights) do better on a monthly basis. So I’m sticking with the monthly wrap-ups, minus goals, which will be reviewed quarterly. Without further ado, here’s January!
I read quite a few books this month! Eight total, most of which I really enjoyed. My favorite was The Vanishing Stair, with Song of Blood and Bone coming in quite close to top. I also abandoned one book (Aspergirls) and wish I’d abandoned Gut Reactions (review forthcoming). That latter book made me so angry that if I’d had a physical copy, I would have ripped it in half just for the pleasure of doing it. Which is too bad, because until the last fifth or so of it, it was a really great book. Major rant-post coming on Monday.
I watched quite a number of movies this month. Only one (Into the Spiderverse) was in theatre. At home, a bunch of movies I’d had on my hold list at the library started showing up. I watched both Jurassic World movies (the first was good, the second awful), The House With the Clock in its Walls (meh), and Colette (excellent!). I’m steadily working my way through a backlog of movies I’ve wanted to see for quite some time. Next up: Mary Shelley, which Jason and I hope to watch this weekend if we get time.
January was a physically tough month for me, for two general reasons. The first was all the medicine issues. Antibiotics for weeks, hives and inflammation all month, having to get off all my normal meds (including sleep meds and anti-depressants) because of the hives, etc. The second has to do with overdoing it on the exercise. I’m actually going to talk about this more in a separate post, because it’s a lesson I keep having to learn over and over and over again and it helps me to write it through more extensively. In the meantime, though, I’ll just say that since late November, I’ve exercised almost every single day, sometimes without any rest days for longer than two weeks at a stretch. By early January, my body rebelled, and despite the exercise and daily calorie deficits, my weight wouldn’t budge until I took a few days off. Total stats for the month: 25 days of exercise, for 23 total hours, including 25 yoga and 38 miles. Calorie deficit: Equal to 4 lbs. Actual weight loss: Half a pound. (Measurements: same as on Jan 1st) On the plus side, that half a pound of loss puts me at ten total since September 23rd, and some of the clothes in my closet now fit when they didn’t in the fall. Yay! –>
In non-weight-related health news, I discovered two things this month. First, I’m pretty sure that the rashes and hives were related to my sleeping pill (Lunesta). The first time I got the facial rash (December) was within a few days of taking it, but I thought my face was just raw because I had a cold and was using a lot of tissues. The rash went away in the ten days of Lunesta disuse (insurance requirement), then came back again in January – only this time I didn’t have a cold, and I also got hives. I don’t think Lunesta was the only reason for the hives, but I also haven’t refilled my prescription, and I’ll be back to the drawing board with my doctor next week. Second, in getting off my current mental health medication, I’ve discovered that it was doing me more harm than good. It was a mood stabilizer, given to me because I had some manic symptoms during the super-stressful summer. However, those “symptoms” were just coping mechanisms, and the meds were premature. Since I began taking them when I felt stressed and awful anyway, I didn’t notice that I stayed low-energy, exhausted, and stressed long after the stressors went away. But in getting off the mood stabilizer, I’m emotionally feeling so much better. And I’m processing negative emotions like anger in a healthier, non-internal way. So that’s good. At some point I may need to get back onto an anti-depressant, but honestly, I’d like a few months to try to balance myself naturally.
Highlights of January
Given that my health issues basically took over nearly every waking moment this month, few other moments really registered at the time. Looking back, I see a couple highlights of the month to give it a little bit of brightness:
- putting up the artwork and shelves in my bedroom (above)
- exploring TED talks with Laurence
- finalizing our November vacation plans
- finding my meditation “happy place”
- discovering some old photos and videos of my kids from back in 2013/2014 that had all of us rolling with laughter
- it’s always wonderful when you discover you can shop in your own closet!
Coming up in February
Taxes. Sigh. Usually I look forward to these because I actually enjoy all the math involved, but the new tax laws passed last year make me very angry. They only negatively impact people with children who make less than $157k per year. Instead of getting a large refund like normal, we’ll be paying extra taxes this year. Frankly, I don’t mind paying more in taxes – and I’d especially not mind paying more if we actually got things like health care, school funding, etc out of it – but I’m really angry that our government passed a law that will ONLY hurt families that don’t earn a ginormous salary. I won’t rant about it, though. Instead I’ll look forward to a few fun things: the Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, my blogoversary, and planning for my upcoming Buzzard Party for my 40th birthday on March 1st!