That Was So 2013
It's all over. And people from every far corner of the world, from Tasmania to Tokyo, Swaziland to Switzerland, Poland to Portland, and even in my snow-covered hometown of Chicago, are celebrating the end of 2013, and the beginning of a brand new year.
I'm sure many out there have their New Year's resolutions all planned out. Whether it be finally shedding that "freshman 15" (regardless of how many years ago you were a freshman), or saving more money for retirement, or completely reinventing yourself, the challenges we set for ourselves are endless. For me, I've never been a fan of the New Year's resolution. Last year however, I decided to try something slightly different, so instead of setting a specific goal that was measureable and all that, I decided to try living my life in a slightly different way. I decided to try to make life decisions, both big and small, with a simple mantra in the back of my head: "Live life more simply."
Some things were big changes -- I moved into a smaller apartment, realizing that I didn't need the larger space that I had. I chose not to buy a new car, realizing I could get by on public transportation (although that is starting to wear on me... see my previous blog post). Some decisions were less drastic -- I decided I didn't need all the clothes I had, so I pretty much cut my wardrobe in half and donated most of my clothes to the Salvation Army. I've tried to be more accommodating when dealing with other people, attempting to live a less rigid lifestyle and be more fluid and flexible in my day-to-day dealings with others. All in all, I think I'm in a better place, and at the end of the day I can confidently say 2013 was a good year.
That being said, 2013 is, well, over. So I have to start thinking about 2014. I'm going to continue with the "living simply" mantra because I think it's a great way for me to stay grounded. But I also think I can focus on my work life a little more and try to create a better working environment for myself.
I think when we look at changing the environment around us, there are two ways to do so: The first is to change aspects of your current environment to better suit your needs. The second is to completely change the environment you're in. Apply this to work as a PT and I can try to change the aspects of my current job that I don't like, or I can find a new job. Obviously there are some things I have no control over at my current job; for instance, I would love if my commute were shorter, but I can't move the entire hospital closer to where I live.
So putting those "unchangeable" things aside, I often wonder if I should be a little more forceful in my requests to try to make my current working environment work better for me. I've been at my current job four-and-a-half years and I have a little seniority, so do I start to use that to push for things I want? On the flip side, if I start looking for a new job, I can change some things that I wouldn't be able to with my current job. For instance, I could find a new location closer to my house, thereby shortening my commute (no hospital relocations needed!). But there are risks here too; the PT job market in Chicago has slowed quite a bit over the past year or two and it can be pretty daunting to update a resume and reference lists, apply for jobs and interview.
All in all, there are a lot of unanswered questions for 2014, but I know what I want to work on and I have 365... well, 364 days now... to work on it. Let the fun begin!
Best wishes to you all for 2014!