Saturday, March 5, 2011

A year by any other name

If 2010 was my year for living in the flow and being true to my inner voice then I figured I should think about a new moniker for 2011. I could call it '2011' but that's not exactly a unique idea. It's already also been named the "International Year of Forests" and is the 'Year of the Rabbit' but somehow neither of those really grab me at a personal level.

Anyway, for want of a better name I called 2010 the year of being 'authentic'.  Maybe that sounds a bit new age but basically it was about doing what I wanted to do and being who I wanted to be (Authentic: “an emotionally appropriate, significant, purposive, and responsible mode of human life”).  And I'd say it worked out pretty darn well. I've never had a better year, done more, seen more or travelled further. So all in all, I thought I might try and figure out what I'd work on this year.

Normally my New Years Eve resolution is simply "bigger, better, faster, more..." and I haven't left that behind. Still liking that idea a lot and keeping it as the basis for living but this year can also be the year for learning to listen to my gut.

You know how sometimes we can 'be in two minds about things'. It can be hard to listen to the inner voice of wisdom and really know what you want or who you are. Biologists describe our brain as a triune brain. Their version is basically the mammalian, limbic/reptilian and central nervous system brains. I have a different triune: Head, heart & guts. (Logic, feeling & intuition. AKA: Neocortex, reptilian brain & subconscious).  Above all I trust my intuition (when I’m smart enough to listen to it), then logic and lastly feelings.

Not saying feelings aren’t valuable of course or that I completely disregard them (they are terrific for alerting you to an issue or an idea) but I’ve learnt not to make decisions based on them. Logic meanwhile is great at gathering/analyzing data but at the end of the day, the subconscious can process SO much more info than the conscious mind.  So... (at the risk of waffling) I am learning to listen to my guts/intuition and have the courage to act on it.  All goes well when I do. Things not so well when I don’t listen to my gut.  Lots of examples but I'm sure we all have them.  The telltale is that 'after the fact' thought that "I knew I shouldn't have done that". That's also where feelings come in. Sometimes you feel bad about something you did (or didn't do) and usually that's the indicator that I didn't listen to my guts. A classic example that too many of us can share is finding your car broken into and thinking to yourself "I knew this dark street wasn't a good place to park but I was in a hurry to...".  This year, I'd like to learn to listen to my guts more often BEFORE I park the car in a dark street again lol.

Lessons abound in life - I just need to listen to them.  Last years lessons went really well. The more true to myself (authentic) I was, the better life has become :-).  This year can be the year of being more in tune or more intuitive (Intuition: "the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning". Methinks this year will be possibly be more challenging because I’ll have to not only tune in to my instincts (hard enough sometimes) but also to actually act on them (the harder bit).

Learning to snowboard...

I'm still here in the snowfields of Colorado but the original plan of learning to snowboard this season has bitten the dust. Sadly, I managed with customary grace, to break my ankle in the process.  Not so badly that I can claim a medal but still badly enough that I’ll be on crutches for four weeks. On the good side I won't need surgery and it should stimulate my writing - if at the cost of my snowboarding.  Still... if this is the worst thing that happens this year it will be a good year.

I'd originally thought it was simply sprained but after four weeks and still limping I got some x-rays done. They were all clear so I continued limping for another two weeks until I got bored with that and did some googling on ankle injuries. Only to find out about a type of ankle fracture that almost never shows up on x-rays but is so prevalent among snowboarders that it is called 'snowboarders ankle'. Turns out that it accounts for less than 1% of reported ankle injuries but in snowboarders, these fractures account for 15% of all ankle injuries...  (Clearly I'm not exactly a trendsetter with this one lol).

So off I trotted to get a CT Scan. The CT scan produced over 300 cool images and the fracture is visible in only 3 of them. At least it turns out that I wasn't just malingering.  I now know that I have a "fracture involving the medial aspect of the talus".  So, the moral of the story is: 'If you have a badly sprained ankle that is taking ages to heal, get a CT scan'.

On a brighter note, I did at least manage to get the basics of snowboarding sorted before I did my ankle. And whilst thinking that my ankle was only sprained I managed to limp around and spend 2 weeks kayaking in Belize, go indoor skydiving and get back into pistol shooting again so I can’t really complain.   Meanwhile in between the odd outing to lectures about Shackleton or watching Chinese acrobats do things that I couldn't do with or without ankle injury, I at least have a view out over Lake Dillon and the mountains beyond while I write. A tad frustrating for an outdoor sort of a guy but what can you say...A few weeks on crutches and I should be fine to dance again. Actually I couldn't dance before but you get the general idea...

Luckily the apartment has fabulous central heating – a must for a warm weather guy like me :-)