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My 2013

December 5, 2012

For me, 2012 was a transitional year. I started a new job after over four years at my previous company. New job, new role, new industry. I’ve learned a lot and met incredible people – I am excited for what’s coming around the corner. I also learned a little bit about my health – namely that I’m dairy-sensitive. This has resulted in a new approach to how I eat and plan meals. And a new blog. And, finally, I’ve focused a lot of time and effort into my relationship, especially in a support role, and shaping my life to include a new person.

One thing that strikes me about the past year is that I’ve let it happen to me. Everything has come at me; there’s  been little that I’ve sought out myself. I believe that everyone has years like this and, honestly, they’re needed. When you create a cluster of change in your life there has to be a period of finding a new normal. And that’s what I’ve done.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about what my goals will be for 2013. While I’ve never really formalized or written it down in the past, what I want the next year to look like is speaking to me, which makes it easier. It’s a fairly important year (in my opinion) in that almost exactly halfway through 2013 I’ll turn 30. It’s not quite 40 but it also means that I’ll need to start thinking about making important life decisions that I may have been putting off.

Back to 2013. While I still reserve the right to add, modify or remove from this list, I can sum my plan up in three overall goals:

  • Revisit my commitments
  • Make inroads to optimal health
  • Get back into the networking scene

Revisit my commitments

I love giving back to my city. I enjoy helping my friends and family. I have absolutely no issues giving my time to many different events and causes to make my community a better place. But towards the end of this year I’m starting to wonder whether splitting my time between so many organizations is the best idea. Not only for myself, but the causes I’m trying to help. I want to ensure that not only am I learning and growing from my experiences, but also that I am lending my talents and skills to these organizations so that my contributions are valuable. By the end of 2013, I’d like to scale down my larger commitments to three and make a better effort to meld my interests and volunteer roles.

Make inroads to optimal health

As I mentioned, I found out in the second half of this year that I’m extremely sensitive to dairy. Not just milk but any product derived from milk. As well as goat’s and sheep’s milk. This has severely changed how and what I eat. Here’s a list of things you may not have known contain milk or milk derivatives:

  • Most broths & bouillon powders
  • Protein shakes (whey)
  • Any sort of chips except plain (in the seasoning)
  • Many french fries (in the beef flavouring)
  • Breaded chicken strips (they dip the chicken in milk before breading)
  • Many caramel-coloured sauces

Oddly, Oreos do not contain dairy (what in the heck are they made of??)

My point is that much of what I used to eat is now off-limits. And the issue with going to food courts is that quite often the people serving you have no idea what is in the products, unfortunately. I’ve done a lot of work and research into how to modify my eating habits. Cooking is more of an adventure now when the original recipe calls for dairy products. But I could do better. I won’t say I haven’t slipped a few times. I have also “patched” the situation by finding a few foods I can eat at the food court, which does not necessarily mean healthier eating.

Plus, I’ve learned in the past few weeks that my lower back pain is a little more serious than I had anticipated. I’ve been seeing a chiropractor for years but the pain has been more persistent and severe the past year – I visited a physiotherapist for the first time and she’s let me know what I somewhat expected: the muscles in my core are very weak and the compensation is creating the pain in my back. I’ve been barred from any exercise except swimming and biking, and am doing stretches/exercises in addition to physio.

So, what’s the point? I’d like to do a better job of taking control of my eating habits and exercising. My goal by the end of 2013 is to be in the best shape of my life, physically and health-wise.

Get back into the networking scene

Thanks to all the changes in my life my networking has been minimal this year. There’s just no better way to put it. At first it was work: a lot of energy and time goes into any new position, which is as it should be. I’ve also been spending more time at home because there’s someone else in my life. I’ve been feeling under the weather a lot this year and not sleeping well, thanks to my dairy sensitivity. It’s only in the last two months that I’ve managed to start sleeping through the night again. And part of it is just me. Let’s face it, I can’t excuse my absence at every single event.

I miss networking. I miss chatting with people in my field. I miss the insights, the conversations, the nuggets of knowledge. Networking makes me a better professional; really, a better person. In 2013, I will endeavour to attend at least a couple of events a month. Naturally, I won’t make it to every single event, life happens, but I will be more of a presence in the Calgary digital media & communications scene again. You’ve been warned!


Enough about myself – anyone else have goals for 2013 they’d like to share?

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