As we wind down in 2015 and head towards 2016, a lot of us look back and take stock of both the good and bad. 2015 has been a pretty good year, but this is not “that” blog post.
In 2014, we got hit with a lot of snow in the Boston area. According to that report, in February alone we got nearly 65 inches. That is just about as tall as me (yes, I’m not very tall ha!). It seemed like it snowed every day for about two months. There was nowhere to put it. Now, those of you that know me know that I don’t mind cold weather or snow, but when you are getting hit day after day, at some point enough is enough. There is nowhere else to put it.
Anyway, what I didn’t talk about with many people is that I slipped twice on ice while shoveling, once landing myself in the emergency room after one of the February storms. That was the second fall. That second fall put a chain of events in place where basically I have not felt right for quite a long time. Things bothered me enough that I went to the doctor in the summer of 2014. I was dealing with the effects of falling until late spring/early summer of this year. It got to the point where I was in quite a bit of discomfort and pain. It was literally uncomfortable to stand, sit, or lie down; no position worked. To be honest, for the better part of 2015, I’ve been miserable.
Unfortunately, my schedule since going to the doctor in 2014 has been pretty crazy. I have been on the road a lot, and I did my best to not make it show, but I was suffering quite a bit. It was a challenge to be on planes for 6+ hours, and even worse, I basically could not sit still while working. When it really was exacerbated to the point of it affecting work, I knew it was time to take care of this problem. I’ve tried not to let it show, but I can say there have been private moments where my pain was excruciating to the point of tears. Now, imagine standing up and teaching a class for four days or doing a preconference session at PASS Summit. By the time Summit rolled around, there were times I had to sit. Summit Squared (PASS and MVP) was my final breaking point; I had to do something. It was hard to work this way, let alone do anything normal. Having to take things like Aleve just to get through the day is not my modus operandi. Some of you may have noticed me walking with a slight limp at one of the Summits. Now you know why.
This is the first time anywhere I’m talking about any of this outside of a small circle of friends and family. I’m not looking for sympathy. There’s a point to all of this. As an aside, those of you who have been asking about the book, here’s the major reason I didn’t get it done by Summit as much as I wanted to. The pain was too much. I’m honestly surprised I made it through 2015 and got as much done as I did looking back.
The good news is that post-Summit Squared, I was going to be off the road for a bit. I made a doctor’s appointment, and am now getting treatment. For the first time in nearly two years, I’m feeling better and closer to normal. I have a way of dealing with what’s wrong. I joke it’s suffering for my art, but I literally left this alone from the time I first saw the doctor in Summer 2014 to fall of 2015. In that time, clearly things got worse. I ignored my body. That was not the most brilliant thing I’ve ever done.
Now that things are back on track, don’t be like me. To be the best you, a big part of that is being healthy. There’s mental health (i.e. needing to take a vacation to recharge the batteries; I’ve blogged about this in the past) and there is your physical/general health. That’s what I’m talking about here. You’re no good to anyone if you are sick, run down, in pain, etc. Sure, you can put a brave face on it, but silently suffering doesn’t work long term. Take it from someone who has been there and is now doing what I should have a year ago.
As you look toward 2016 and your resolutions, take stock of where you are mentally and physically and make sure you carve out time to take care of yourself in the new year. It’s hard to do with all of our personal and professional obligations, but you have to do it. I’m glad I finally did. The difference really is night and day.