Looking back on the year, here’s how I did with nurturing my Mind, Body, and Spirit.
I did okay on this one. My new job for Veritas Studios started in February and subsumed almost my entire year. Fortunately the work was challenging and worthwhile. I learned so much, and although there were too many long hours and bad days, the job enriched my life. I believe that Slangman’s World is a good thing for kids and parents and for the world, and I’ve never been able to say that about a job before. In this way, my job also nourished my Spirit.
I wrote a new novel, Above World. My second book! This was a major Mind victory and one I did not adequately savor before jumping into the beating myself up phase. But I wrote a book, and not all of it is crap. I had really wanted to revise it as well, but that didn’t happen. (See Spirit.)
Major fail on this one! Although I started the year well, my work schedule destroyed my kung fu studies. I worked way too many hours, missed tons of classes (including all my Tai Chi classes) and ended up getting sick several times. I ate poorly, also due to late hours and an office full of junkfood. Ultimately I didn’t gain any weight, but I can tell that I replaced muscle mass with fat, and that’s no good.
It was also a year of injuries for me. I tore something in my shoulder last December, and it still inhibits my workouts now, over a year later. It caused endless problems throughout the year. I also had problems with feeling faint and dizzy in class, mostly due to poor hydration and being out of shape. I broke my toe and suffered a series of small but irritating setbacks. In general, I did not respect my body. I did not spend enough time caring for myself physically.
This one is a mixed bag. Although I felt fulfilled by writing a novel and by working on Slangman’s World, I could have done more. After Blue Heaven, I barely wrote for the rest of the year. I told myself it was okay (and I believe it was!) because work was taking so much of my time and energy. But deep down, I missed creating something wholly my own. I developed an adversarial, angry relationship with my writing which is only now beginning to fade.
The most important aspect of Spirit for me is my friends. Friends are my religion, after all. While I think Chris and I handled our poorly matched work schedules well, I was not as good a friend as I wanted to be this year. Too many correspondence lingered in my inbox unanswered, too many phone calls went unmade. I lost track of journals and started missing out on important events in my friends’ lives. I gave everything to work, and I should have saved more for my friends, and for myself.
This is my great sadness of 2008, and the failing for which I am most ashamed. If I do nothing else better in 2009, I hope I will at least be able to show my friends how much I love them. I hope you all know anyway.
When I think about 2008, all I see is work. I told myself it was okay to put writing and kung fu aside because the work was important. I believe in dynamic balance, and sometimes one aspect of your life needs more time and attention than the others. In this case, though, I let it go on too long, and too much in the extreme. When I saw that I’d attended kung fu exactly once in the month of October, my heart (and Mind and Body and Spirit) just melted with sadness. I would have been a better employee and a better person all around if I’d respected what I knew, deep down, that I needed. And that includes more time with my friends.
2008 was quite a ride for me. Lots of great new adventures, some crappy days, but nothing horrible. And I think I learned a lot about what I need to be happy going forward.
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