My 2013 Year In Review

While 2012 was a year dominated by my recovery from Guillain-Barre Syndrome, 2013 was more of a transition year. It was the year I learned how to live with GBS and its lasting effects, and got back to living.

The biggest thing that happened in 2013 was returning to work, which I did in early April after taking a few months off to complete my recovery and to try to find alternate part-time work. The time off certainly helped, and part time work would have been nice, but I lucked out with my first contract job. It was capped at 40 hours per week, had plenty of work from home, paid me a good rate, and was, in general, a good welcome-back-to-the-land-of-the-living role.

But returning to work certainly had an impact on my my recovery, and on my life. For the first few months, it was everything I could do just to keep working. When I got home, I was exhausted. On the weekends, I crashed. When I had a bad stomach bug in July, I had a bad GBS setback that took a month or two to get past. When I was just about back to normal from that setback, I broke my foot and spent the next few weeks back on the couch. Returning to work didn’t cause all that, but I certainly didn’t have any energy buffer  that allowed me to deal with the regular things that come up in life. One of the things to remember about having a long-term chronic condition like GBS is that the bad health things that other people get during a year—like colds, the flu and broken bones—can and do still happen during recovery.

But aside from the GBS, I did have a few other notable events during the year:

  • I got to see my son play in his first baseball game, and begin to learn Tae Kwon Do.
  • I watched my daughter learn how to do handstand, cartwheels, do vault and balance beam in her gymnastics class.
  • I continued to work on editing Nowhere Wild, with each edit bringing it noticeably closer to being done.
  • I rebuilt the muscles in my back and neck so that I rarely suffer from the migraines that plagued me during 2012. I continue to do exercises on a daily basis to keep everything aligned properly.
  • I did four major speeches at Toastmasters. I wish I had been able to continue that after I went back to work, but it just wasn’t possible with my schedule and my energy levels.
  • I published 60 blog entries… which is admittedly pretty low for me, but again, I had to budget my energy.
  • I published an on-line novella called 38 Years Old (Never Kissed a Girl)
  • I spent a lot of time watching TV, including binge watching series like Sons Of Anarchy (Season 5), Breaking Bad (all seasons except the end of season 5, please don’t spoil it for me), Under The Dome, Mad Men, Deadwood (Season 1), Orphan Black, Game of Thrones, Homeland, The Walking Dead, Dexter (Season 4), Veronica Mars (Season 1), and many, many others. I almost feel ‘caught up’, but I’m definitely ready to do something else.
  • On the day job side of things, I really learned a lot this year, and pushed myself as hard as I possibly could to recover from a two year learning absence. Tech moves fast, and in my line of work, if you get left behind, it’s really hard to get caught back up. I still have a long way to go, but I feel much better about where I am now, than where I was back in March.
  • As for the stats on this blog, I had a few less visits this year than in 2012, but that’s to be expected since I didn’t write nearly as many blog entries. I still enjoy writing the blog, but have been choosier about what I write about these days, both because of the type of work that I do, and because there are a bunch of things brewing that I just can’t write about—yet. I know, I’m such a tease. I’m pretty sure that 2014 will have a number of significant announcements, and many more blog entries.

So today we say good bye to 2013, and tomorrow we’ll welcome 2014. Thank you for stopping by, especially to those of you who have offered support during these last two very difficult years. I hope you all had a great 2013, and I look forward to chatting in the New Year!

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