Last week I posted my review of 2012. This post talks about what I’m looking forward to about 2013.
Settling in to Our New House
We were completely done moving into the new house by the end of October, but we’re far from being completely settled in. Our two spare rooms have stacks of unpacked boxes. My half of the home office is setup, but we’ve barely started on Sherri’s half and there are stacks of stuff to be sorted all over the place. That said, the rooms that are setup are looking awesome. Oh, and I’m very much looking forward to our first Spring and Summer here so we can see what blooms in the yard. Hopefully we’ll be able to plant a veggie garden this year as well.
Making Progress on My Asthma and Chronic Cough
Moving to the Pacific Northwest has not been great for my health. A short-while after moving to Portland, I started experiencing severe respiratory allergies (to dust mites and mold) and an increase in asthma symptoms. In fact, my symptoms were so slight prior to moving to Portland, I didn’t even know I had asthma or allergies! The allergies manifest mostly as congestion and decrease in breathing ability. I’ve also developed an unshakable cough. I’ve seen nearly a dozen doctors and specialists in the process of treating my cough. Together, we’ve ruled out pretty much every cause aside from allergic sinusitis/rhinitis, asthma and a slight predisposition towards respiratory infection. In a way, that’s a good thing. I don’t have lung disease or a serious viral, bacterial or fungal infection. (Did you know you can get a fungus ball in your lungs?). What I do have is difficult to control asthma and an immune system overreacts to two allergens that are, unfortunately for me, ubiquitous in this climate.
Having exhausted most other options, I started immunotherapy last month. Immunotherapy (allergy shots) is a treatment for allergies where you receive a series of injections of the very proteins you are allergic to (e.g. dust, mold, insect stings, pollen; it doesn’t work for food allergies). The injections start out at a low concentration, and increase gradually over several weeks. Know one knows exactly why allergy shots work, but we do know that they fundamentally change how a person’s body responds to allergens and reduces its response over time.
I’ll admit to not feeling a lot of optimism that this treatment would have an effect. I’ve tried a number of different medications over the last couple of years and nothing has made more than a dent in my cough. However, my pessimism seems to be unfounded. The allergy shots are already giving me quite a bit of relief. My sinuses are clearer, my lungs feel better and I’m coughing less.
Now, I’m not out of the woods yet. I still have quite a way to go before immunotherapy is complete. And, my body is so used to coughing at the slightest trigger, that it’s going to take quite some time for it to unlearn that response, even if we completely address what got it going in the first place. Nevertheless, for the first time in a long while I feel some hope about improving this chronic illness. That motivates me to stay on top of my treatment plan and to slowly work in regular exercise.
Getting Regular Exercise
I’ve always had trouble maintaining a regular exercise routine for more than a couple of months at a time. And over the last couple of years, my respiratory issues have made any kind of regular exercise feel impossible.But now I’m making progress on my cough, and so it’s time to get back to regular exercise. My basic plan for this is: home treadmill (we now have a Precor 9.27), fitbit and yoga. I’m particularly excited about the treadmill. Having it in the room next to my home office means I’ll be able to make use of it throughout the day, taking the breaks I should be taking, and won’t have to face the cold, wet Portland winter or a neighborhood completely lacking sidewalks to do so. Plus both Mom and Sherri will be able to use it as well.
Oh, and if you’re a Fitbit user, send me a friend request!
Family Trip to Hawaii
In March, we’re heading to Hawaii with both of our moms. I’m really excited about the opportunity for the four of us to spend time together and get to know each other better. Oh, and if all goes according to plan, our trip will coincide with Dori’s 70th birthday!
Events & Speaking
This year I will continue my involvement in Open Source Bridge, BarCamp Portland as well as the Open Source Day at the Grace Hopper Celebration. I will also be speaking at PyCon, and perhaps a few other conferences (we’re submitted to OSCON again). I’m very much looking forward to all of these events, especially OSB because it’s our 5th year, which I consider an important milestone.
Reconnecting with a Spiritual Community
A number of colliding factors prompted me to stop practicing with our Zen community a few months before Sherri and I got married. I have yet to find another faith community to practice with. In truth, I haven’t been seriously looking. In part this is becuase it’s take a long time to heal from my experiences and I just haven’t been ready. But I think I am now. There’s a Unitarian community in our neighborhood, and I think we’re going to start there and see how things feel.
Seeing Firefox OS Launch
Since switching to my new role on Mozilla’s Technical Evangelism team, I’ve been working exclusively on efforts to get developers involved in Firefox OS. I’m very much looking forward to making more progress towards the successful launch and growth of this initiative.
In 2012, I set a reading goal for myself of 24 books. Two per month seemed like a perfectly good challenge. Well, I read nearly double that amount. In part this is because I “read” a lot of audiobooks. I do this while walking or doing chores. It’s nice to be able to read when I otherwise wouldn”t be able to. And in some cases, switching between a written book and a spoken book helps me understand the material better (and Amazon’s Whispersync for Voice makes this seamless). In any case, clearly last year’s goal was too conservative, so this year I’m setting a goal of 60. That’s more than one book per week and I’m not sure I can meet it. But it’s important to set reach goals every now and then. Want to join me? Head on over to GoodReads, sign up for your own challenge and send me a friend request.
What about you?
What are you looking forward to in 2013?