Sunday, September 29, 2013

More Than a Year Later...An Update

My last post here was more than a year ago - June 2012. During that neglect, there have been some mighty big changes in my world. They have largely put my creative writing on hold until now, but I'm excited to be getting back to it.

The big news (and one that will eventually lead to a blog name change, or me finally getting off my but and just buying a domain already)is that I am now Mrs. Colleen S. Harris-Keith, wife of Mr. Jed Waters Harris-Keith. It's a whirlwind romance story that I will be blogging about separately, for those of you who want to read it. For now, let me say that I found and married my best friend, it is the very best decision I have ever made, and my life has changed for the wonderful-ler. (You'd think a poet could come up with a better word. I'll work on it.)

The past year has also been characterized by trying to get my rheumatoid disease under control. A much less romantic story, punctuated with inflammation flares impacting all of my joints, bouts of related colitis, frustration, missed work, lots of doctor visits, and trying out lots of medication combinations. The bright side is that I have wonderful doctors who listen and are willing to help, a husband who does everything under the sun to make my life easy and my world easier to negotiate, and family and friends who support me. I'm still achy, my GI tract is a hot mess, but I am using the cane a lot less, and after my most recent stint in the hospital and doc-ordered homestay, I'm doing more to take care of myself.

In the vein of taking care of myself, I've found that the gymming I'm accustomed to tends to be too high-impact for my joints. I have taken up swimming, which has been surprisingly therapeutic both in terms of an exercise that doesn't cause instant pain and swelling, and as a sort of meditative time. I've been on pause for the past three weeks while recovering, but am looking forward to getting back into the pool this week.

In addition to getting married, Jed and I have added to our family. We are the proud parents of basset hounds Otto (7 years), and new baby boy Igor. Ridiculously cute videos available at my YouTube channel. I highly recommend bookmarking them and watching when you're low. Also, if you are under the impression that basset hounds are lazy (which they are not, until they hit about 7. Unless you add a puppy to the mix.)

Since my last post here, I've defended both the prospectus (November 2012) and proposal (September 2013) for my dissertation. What this means - the first three chapters are written, the instrument is approved, and next steps are IRB approval, piloting, then distribution, collection of data, crunching of data, and writing the results. With luck and health, I'm hoping to be hooded in May 2014.

The focus moving forward is on my health, both physical and mental. I've let the craziness of the past year distract me and I've not been writing much, aside from the dissertation and some scholarly project stuff. My creative writing has been on hold, but I'm starting to get itchy, so expect more in the coming months here.

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