Day 14: A picture of you last year - how have you changed?
The first picture was taken last October; the second picture was taken this evening. I feel like I've changed a lot in the past year. In the fall I was just beginning to learn how to balance work, home, and a baby. I doubted myself a lot. I worried that I wasn't giving Aniston enough of me. I felt torn between work and home. If I worked late, I felt guilty because I should have gone home to spend time with Aniston. If I went home at 3:15, I felt guilty because I should have spent more time in my classroom catching up on things. I never thought stress could have such a physical impact on a person, but it certainly caused some problems for me. My heart started doing really scary things. After wearing a heart monitor and having a stress test and echocardiogram, the cardiologist diagnosed the problem as premature ventricular contractions. I've always had PVCs (which had been misdiagnosed years ago as a mitral valve prolapse), but the severity and frequency had increased tremendously. The cardiologist attributed the change to the amount of stress I was under. What a wake up call! I knew then that something had to change. I started managing my time better. I asked Bradley for help more often. When I started feeling guilty, I focused my thinking on everything I had accomplished that day. I started giving myself time to do things I enjoy, like reading. I started running and discovered that I actually like it. It's a little bit of time during the day that is completely mine and, even though it sounds selfish to say aloud, I love that time. Although I have a prescription to help manage the PVCs, I haven't had to take it in months. It still happens sometimes, but not nearly as often as before. The balancing act is always going to be hard, but I think I've found what works for me. I've also managed to finally lose all the baby weight plus most of the weight I gained during fertility treatments. I feel better than I've felt in years. I was happy then, but I'm much happier now.