Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

I haven't posted in forever because I really felt I was changing from a mommy blog to a whining about my foot blog.  The change from a mommy blog is kind of natural since the kids are getting older, friends are becoming a bigger part of their lives and privacy is becoming far more important.  I don't really care if the kids' friends find my blog and read about Logan swallowing pool water until he puked at nearly every swimming lesson when he was a preschooler, but I don't want to write anything that would embarrass him now.  Kaylin is a teenager and at the age when friends are the biggest part of her life.  Seemingly EVERYTHING she does involves friends and while I have written about them in the past, I have never felt comfortable doing it, even when things are kept pretty anonymous.  Again, if her friends found my blog, they would absolutely know who I was writing about whether I used real names or not.  Out of respect for my kids I am officially going to stop mommy blogging as of today.  I don't mean I'll never write about the kids, but no more day to day silly stuff that might come back to embarrass them.

So, then, what is the point of this blog?  I'm not really sure and maybe it doesn't have one.  After all the years I've put into it, I'm not quite ready to scrap it.  I imagine this year I will either find another use for it or else it will fade into oblivion.  I'm still writing quite a bit for work and for personal pleasure.  I'm also now a board member in charge of the newsletter for the local Audubon Society.  My term starts in January so I still have no clue what that entails.  I'll probably find out soon.  I'm also working on some stuff for AAZK (zoo keeper group) that could potentially take a lot of my free time.  I guess right now I will plan to update the old blog about once a month.  It will probably be more often if exciting things are happening and less often if everything is same old, same old.

Moving on to my whining about my foot blog...  Since my last update in November, I learned that I have a new and different entrapped nerve in my foot.  I assumed my nerve issues were left over from my surgery last year, but that seems unlikely because of the different location of the pain/sensations.  This news hit me kind of hard because it meant that I had yet another issue with my foot.  I got 4 or 5 weekly alcohol injections that got progressively worse to the point I went from basically losing every weekend to pain to spending the entire week- shot to shot- in excruciating pain.  Work was horrible.  The doc wanted to put me on a prescription for nerve pain and tried to get me to go back on prescription pain meds.  (Meaning arthritis meds, not Vicodin.)  No.  I have terrible side effects from that stuff.  I'm going to stick with my vitamins and all natural anti-inflammatories.  I have no side effects and they work at least as well as the scripts.  I decided to quit the shots and just see what happens.  I still have some pain, but the nerve issue seems to be slowly improving.  I'm just going to wait and see what happens. 

My giant fear when I missed a bunch of work due to a torn tendon back in July was that I was going to reinjure myself and have no more paid time off.  Well, I'm coming around to my anniversary date on January 30 and at that time will get 6 more weeks of sick time.  I have enough E-time saved up that as long as I can make it through next week without major injury, I can make it to my anniversary date with paid time off.  Not that I have any real thought that I will have another injury, it's just very comforting to know that I won't be BOOM, out of work and out of pay.

Over the past several months I have spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to decide what to do about work.  Zoo keeping is what I love and what I am passionate about.  I find my work fulfilling and meaningful and I think I'm pretty good at it.  Some of my friends have left/are planning to leave the field claiming they want to do something to "make a difference".   Good for them, but I don't feel that way.  I think I have and am making a difference doing what I'm doing.  I have a few more tricks up my sleeve and a few more things I'd like to accomplish before I move on.  If I had the opportunity, I'd move into zoo management in a heartbeat, but it's highly unlikely.

My new plan is to put my all into my projects (that will mostly be unpaid things I accomplish on my own time but are important and fulfilling to me) and try to accomplish as much as possible before my time is up.  As of this moment, my plan is to continue working at the very least until I have another major foot injury.  If/when that happens, I will re-evaluate.  I am doing what I want to do and will fight to do it until the bitter end. 

Otherwise, things are going pretty well.  We all have this week off of work/school and Gene and I spent the past two days tearing out the living room carpet and prepping the floor to put in that fake wood.  Our house just isn't worth huge expense and we have too many pets to have carpeting.  The kids are playing with friends and staying up ridiculously late and sleeping in ridiculously late.  We're not going anywhere and we're all happy to stay home.  Oh, Logan and I did go to Chicago for the day on Saturday in search of snowy owls.  We spent most of the day searching along the lakefront, but I think it was too warm and too crowded with people.  We saw lots of gulls and mergansers, but no owls.  Logan took his metal detector, but his treasure hunting didn't last long with all the disgusting stuff found on the big city beaches.  It wasn't the best birding ever, but we had a good time.  At least it was a beautiful day!

Happy New Year!