Friday, January 21, 2011

the long-awaited LASIK post, of course. (Part 3)

once i realized that i was seeing and walking around without my glasses on, it was pretty exciting. my vision wasn't perfect, and the eye drops clouded things a bit, but i could see! it was then that i realized that my eye discomfort was gone, and that the excessive tearing had stopped. for those of you scared to death now because of my account here, know that things only get better after this. i expected lots of discomfort; i was told it was possible to experience extreme dryness, swelling, scratchy feelings or sandy sensations for a couple of weeks. turns out one night of tearing and melodramatic flopping around is the worst that it gets!

when i went in to the doctor for my post-op visit that morning, the doctor explained that i was seeing 20/25 in my right eye and was slightly farsighted in my left eye, which for some reason he said was a good thing. eventually, he said, everything would even out. the doctor signed my form confirming that i was safe to drive without any glasses or contacts and sent me on my way!

some celebratory pancakes were definitely in order.

and order them we did! the doctor had previously said that patients can usually see well enough to drive themselves to their post-op appointments, but they strongly suggest having a driver, as they expect you might still be "kind of loopy" from the previous day's regimen of sleeping pills and pain meds. i spent most of our trip to Perkins fixated on the fact that not only could the people sitting around us see me, but i could see them. still a little slow from the prior day's drugs, i was probably a pretty boring pancake mate for poor old Hubs. plus, i had made him wake up early to take me to my post-op appointment, which i don't think he was very happy about.

the rest of the weekend was pretty low key. for the first few days, aftercare includes putting one or another type of eye drop in your eyes about once every hour while you're awake, so i spent most of my time doing that. had you stopped by that weekend, you would have found me clutching several obsessive-compulsively folded tissues, with a sticky, slimy face. after surgery, you're not allowed to wipe your eyes for at least 2 weeks, which means if the eye drops run out, you sort of have to leave them there. the grandma nurse in the staging area explained that i was supposed to only blot extra tears at cheekbone level. i, of course, stared at her like she was crazy. "just let the tears come down to you," she insisted.

thus began a long week of trying not to touch my eyes. i'm a perpetual eye digger, always in there fishing out bits of makeup and other debris. the worst part about this was that my eyes felt so normal i kept forgetting that they were still healing and that i couldn't touch them. but the doctor had explained at the meeting the week before the surgery that if you rub your eyes, you could dislodge the flap, since it's not 100% healed back in place yet. the thought of this made me so woozy i wasn't about to take any chances. so blot at cheekbone level i did, for at least a few days. until the cloudy anti-inflammatory drops left so much white crud in the corners of my eyes that my OCD took over and forced me to dig it out. carefully! with the corner of a tissue! don't tell Dr. Hale. and while you're at it, leave out the part about how i wore mascara to my company holiday party a week later.

... oh, did i mention? you're not allowed to wear any eye makeup for TWO WEEKS after surgery. i naturally had scheduled my surgery before i knew it was exactly one week before our company holiday party. i spent the large part of my time in the staging area suppressing the desire to shout WHAT DO YOU MEAN TWO WEEKS. THIS IS SO UNREASONABLE. i knew if i brought it up they would only be suspicious of me, and maybe send spies to make sure i wasn't breaking the post-op rules. so i kept my trap shut. and then dragged my beady-eyed, sticky-faced self to work for a week, with much grumbling and complaining.

"but no makeup for two weeks? that's not such a big deal. seems like a small price to pay for the gift of fuss-free vision for the rest of your life!" you're definitely right about that. but that did not stop my grumbling or complaining. especially once i realized that the tape they gave me to put on my eye shields at night left glue on my face that was impossible to remove. (you might recall a string of twitter and/or facebook posts in which i ranted on and on about the agony of face glue.)

i actually vaguely remembered, in the midst of all my grumbling, that the doctor was telling us at the pre-op meeting about other patients' recollections of the worst part of the surgery. he mentioned the suction cup eyeball holder thingy, and then said that lots of people hated the tape for the eye shields. he and i simultaneously scoffed at what babies those people must be. tape? on your face? what a small price to pay for visual freedom! ... NOW I KNOW. here's a magic tip i didn't manage to scrounge up until more than a week after surgery: olive oil. it's your best friggin' friend. (gotta give credit where credit is due. mucho thanks to homegirl Alison for that face-saving tip!)

they say you only have to wear the shields while sleeping for a week or so, but if you're worried about poking yourself in the eye, that you can continue to wear them. two weeks later, i still wear them at night like the overachieving valedictorian of LASIK surgery. "but didn't you wear makeup only one week after surgery?" okay, first of all: SHHH. second of all, i live with Hubs, The Mightiest Sleep Flopper Of All Time. for his peace of mind and mine, i wear the shields. (also, i found some athletic tape to use that doesn't leave so much extra glue. it's not as sticky, but it gets the job done.)

all in all, that's pretty much the worst of it, folks. i mean, the eye drops give you a bad chemical taste in your mouth, and they cling to your eyelashes and leave a sticky residue. but i was stunned at how petty my complaints about post-op life quickly became. shouldn't i be in pain? writhing in agony because my eyes feel sandy and i cannot rub them? but i most definitely wasn't uncomfortable in the least. at their worst, my eyes only ever felt sort-of like i had contacts in. after only a few days, the drops taper off, and after a week you only need regular tears. i still have moments where my eyes feel a little dry and i drop a couple tears in, but only every few hours. and my vision is getting better by the day. sometimes my eyes feel tired in the afternoon, after work. but by morning they're good as new again. and i can read the alarm clock!

that's the most incredible part—seeing clearly (well, mostly) and yet forgetting constantly that you had just had surgery. like, basically yesterday. while awake! biggest trip of life, folks. i'm tellin' ya, this LASIK nonsense might actually live up to the hype. (hint: IT TOTALLY DOES.) this, coming from the world's biggest scaredy cat. no joke, folks. ♥

read Part 1 here
read Part 2 here.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

the long-awaited LASIK post, of course. (Part 2)

so yeah. i had quite a bit of work to do on both eyes, but all in all, a minute's only a minute, right? it wasn't so bad. i just kept telling myself what Ryan tells us at kettlebell workouts: you can do anything for a minute. plus, it was nice; the doctor counted down at certain time increments to keep me focused and let me know how much work there was left to be done. he also hummed along with the Mexican music they had playing softly in there. i wonder if they knew that would relax me, rather than make me crave chips & salsa? (not that it doesn't do that, also. but i digress.) it made me laugh, and i wondered how many times a day he hears that song while he's lasering away.

when the laser was done on each eye, the doctor flopped the flap back down, flushed my eyes with some fluid, and got to work getting the flap in place. he used what looked to me like a soft foundation brush to smooth out the flap and make sure there were no wrinkles or bubbles. at the time, i realized that it should have grossed me out, but i found it rather comforting for some reason. i still think about what that looked like and felt like, and remember it as one of my favorite parts (second only perhaps to the excited vaporizing self-talk.)

when everything was back in its place, the doctor and technician sat me up, got me all full of drops, and did a quick check to make sure everything was good. then, while i clutched my tiny bear tightly, they led me down the hall back to the waiting area. earlier, i had watched another girl come out of surgery, smiling, but with her eyes very red and puffy, and watering like crazy, eye drops streaming down her face. it looked uncomfortable. i wondered, as i stumbled out of the surgery room, if i looked the same, and if it scared the other people waiting their turn in the staging area.

the nurse gave me a pain pill, some more drops, and then handed me back my bear and my little kit of drops and medications. she directed me to take a sleeping pill as soon as i got home, tape my eye shields on, and go right to bed. she said if i could sleep through the next 6-8 hours, i would miss all the uncomfortable parts of post-op recovery. i made obsessive mental notes of everything she said, and rejoiced inside that she let me keep the bear. he was so soft and small and wearing an adorable t-shirt. animals with clothes are awesome.

she led me down the hall again, to a different room than where she left Hubs waiting for me. the hall looked like it was under water, just like they said it might, and everything seemed very bright. Hubs was in the new room, waiting for me, annoyed that they had let him sit in the room with all the other patients' drivers until the very last second, when they moved him to this smaller, much quieter room. i could also tell he was bracing for me to completely lose it, as i had warned him i might do. he said some encouraging things, the nurse handed me off, and he guided me to the elevator and out to the car.

the drive home was sort-of surreal. i could see where we were going; obviously i knew the route well, but it looked completely different. everything was a little blurry, but not in the way things look when i'm not wearing glasses or contacts. it looked more like i was looking out a frosty window; everything had a soft, cloudy haze over it, which made the ride rather dreamy. mostly though, instead of feeling calm, i felt tired and anxious. i was working really hard to mentally hold on to all the information they gave me at the surgery center, so i could make sure to tell Hubs so he could help me remember. moments like this, even when i'm under the slightest amount of sedation, always send me into a panic that i'll forget something critically important.

anyway, Hubs got my nervous ass home, and struggled to get me tucked into bed while i rambled on and on about needing to take my sleeping pill. i asked for him to put in my Frida DVD, and when he turned on the TV, i realized that he had put it in already, knowing i would ask for it. (srsly guys, he's SUCH a keeper.) i couldn't really see the TV necessarily, through all the drops and plastic eye shields, but i could hear it, and that was enough for me. i've only seen it about eleventy billion times, and even just listening to it calmed me. i chuckled a bit that the surgery room was playing the same type of music. it made me happy that the day seemed to have a cohesive soundtrack.

Hubs brought me a bowl of my favorite butternut squash soup, with a scoop of Greek yogurt in it, and a square of leftover cornbread my sister had made the weekend prior. i downed it in record time, and he brought me more. about the time i finished the second bowl, i started to feel sleepy finally, and laid down to listen to the movie and fall asleep. everything was going so well! i was going to sleep straight through till late that evening, maybe till the next morning, and when i woke, i would be able to see! i reminded Hubs to check on me occasionally to make sure i hadn't had a freaky reaction to the meds and stopped breathing, and he lovingly complied. i closed my eyes and thought about staring up at the bedroom ceiling the night before, trying to remember what it looked like without my glasses on. then i fell asleep.

a mere four hours later, my pain meds wore off.

i woke up in total panic, as is my custom, and started feeling around frantically for the intercom thing Hubs had left me to use to call for him if i needed anything. i was too tired and weak to remember how to use the talking part, so i pushed the button that makes the crazy beeping tones. about 27 times. when i realized he couldn't hear me, i began flopping around and moaning melodramatically. my eyes felt swollen, painful and were tearing in an epic fashion. between the tears and the eye shields, i couldn't read the chart that explained what eye drops i should take and when. i couldn't find my other sleeping pill, and i definitely didn't know where my other pain pill was. when it became clear that Hubs could not hear my pleas for help, i flopped out of bed and dragged my limp body to the top of the stairs and called for him. it became immediately obvious that he was not home. i realized he must be working out, just minutes from our house, and had probably only planned on being gone an hour or so. leave it to me to wake up in a panic in the only hour he was unavailable.

i dragged my now sobbing, heaving self back to bed, and dramatically flopped around, feeling for something familiar. i eventually found that my other sleeping pill had fallen out of its envelope and onto the floor. i grabbed it, took it, and continued flopping around and moaning. soon i found my kit full of eye drops and instructions, and wrestled with the instructions sheet for a while. i think at some point, i must have found my pain pill and taken that, because i remember after Hubs returned that there was lots of exasperated attempts to communicate to him that i had lost my pills, but then found them and took them.

then i remembered that if i woke up, i was supposed to take some eye drops. but i couldn't read the chart, and was apparently in too much agony to remember that both the chart and the eye drop bottles were color-coded for my convenience. more flopping and moaning ensued. when i remembered the color coding and found the correct bottle, i found that in trying to help me tape on my eye shields, Hubs had done an exemplary job. so good, in fact, that i could not get them off. so i commenced moaning and flopping around, this time with a little less vigor, as the sleeping and pain meds were probably starting to kick in at this point.

soon enough, Hubs came home to find the melodramatic scene in the bedroom. i can't imagine what it all looked like, or what he thought had happened, but i could tell he immediately felt horrible. (please keep in mind that this story should in no way condemn poor Hubs for supposed neglect. in his defense, when he got ready to work out and left, i was so fast asleep that his pounding around looking for gym shorts didn't wake me, and he had plenty of reasons to believe i might not wake up for days.) he pieced together my moaning, half-sentence attempts to tell him what had happened, apologized about 87 times, and helped me peel off my eye shields and put in my eye drops.

once we got my eye shields taped back on, i felt immediately better and ceased all the moaning and flopping around. Hubs stayed with me for a while until it was clear i was asleep again, and then brought in his Kindle, on which he had playing some soft music. Over the Rhine, to be exact. he knows me so well.

the next morning, i woke up at like 7 am. realizing that poor Hubs had probably been up till Lord knows what hour the night before playing with his various new technologies, i went back to sleep. eventually, it got to be about 8 o'clock, and i couldn't sleep anymore. i got up, peeled my eye shields off, and got to work putting in eye drops and brushing my teeth. i felt groggy, but not in the normal morning way. more like i wasn't tired anymore, but everything was sort of moving in slow-motion. it took me a while before i realized i could see.

to be continued... still... ha...

read part 1 here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

the long-awaited LASIK post, of course. (Part 1)

it was in the midst of some serious document-writing blockage and a rush of feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of incredible content on the web that i realized i ought to harness all this nervous energy and finally tell you about my LASIK surgery. (i'm not shouting about it, by the way. LASIK is actually an acronym. for laser-assisted-something-something-something. i forget. but anyway.)

if you want the short version of the story, just know this: it went well! i'm still getting used to be able to see the bedroom ceiling at night, but altogether i think it was a worthwhile experience. so if you're on the fence, get saving your pennies, and just go through with it already. you won't regret it. probably.

long version? good. i was hoping you'd ask! like i said, i'm still getting used to the idea of being able to see. my vision isn't 100% perfect, but i've been told that my vision will probably fluctuate a lot for the next 4-6 weeks and then finally settle down. it's a little frustrating to not always be able to read the chalkboard at school (for lack of a better illustration), but i've been cleared to drive! which reminds me, i ought to try to make it to the DMV one of these days. (did you know, after you have LASIK, you have to have that vision correction thing removed from your driver's license?? crazy, i know.)

so here's the story, in as linear a fashion as i can muster. if you're curious about all the pre-op visits and requirements and goings on, you can write me individually. but it's all really not very exciting, so i'll skip that here.

instead, i'll start about a week before the surgery or so. one of the reasons i chose the LASIK center i did was because it was quiet, the staff seemed kind and personable, and their pre-op process was thorough. part of that pre-op process was a meeting with the surgeon, in which he was to explain everything that goes on on the day of surgery—all the sounds, sensations, smells (yes, smells)—so that there are no surprises. the aim is to get everyone's questions answered and to educate you enough on the process to ease much of the nervousness most people deal with going into the procedure.

i don't think there's ever been a single person before who came out of that meeting with a higher level of anxiety than what they went in with. leave it to me to pull that off.

so i spent the next few days fanning my flushed face, taking deep breaths and trying to convince myself that if i didn't calm down, i would likely pass out on the day of surgery, they wouldn't be able to complete the procedure, and i'd be blind for the rest of my life.

i decided to work on the morning of the day of my surgery, which wasn't a big deal as it wasn't scheduled until about 2 in the afternoon. it was actually kind of nice; you could say i had a bit of anxiety going into surgery, so working that day gave me a bit of a distraction from my obviously impending panic.

i hyperventilated all the way to the surgery center, which is luckily only about 10 minutes from my house. this wasn't helped by the fact that the office has this strange entry system that requires that you take an elevator to the second floor just to get to the reception desk. (if you know anything about my intense hatred of elevators, you would understand this did not improve my anxiety level.)

having finally made it to the desk, i signed in, and was so nervous that i missed initialing most of the blanks on my consent form, and the poor technician had to keep pointing them out to me. then i went to the bathroom again, just in case. then i hyperventilated in the waiting room until Hubs gave me his iPod so i could play Angry Birds. (Angry Birds never fails me.) before i could beat level 20, the technician came to get me, and led me down a hall to what seemed to be the staging area.

the staging area was a strange, tiny room with three plush leather recliners lined up diagonally, with hospital curtains in-between. a seemingly crabby, grandma-esque nurse sat me down and ran me through all the steps leading up to surgery. (i'm not sure why she seemed so crabby, it turned out she was actually very nice and nurturing, and was very reassuring when i wobbled out of surgery.) she gave me about a million eye drops of differing varieties, 5 mg of Valium, a long list of post-op instructions i was pretty confident i would not remember after surgery, and then told me to sit and read a magazine while they bought in another girl to prep and my Valium kicked in.

i don't know much about surgery, but Valium did not seem to be much more than a placebo. and considering my extreme suspicion of it going in, i don't think it helped me much at all. all i remember of realizing its effects was wildly fluctuating between emotional responses: one moment i'd be twitching and wiggling in my recliner, the next i'd be strangely calm, but still thinking obsessive, nervous thoughts.

the stack of magazines on the end table next to me held a Large Print edition of a magazine, which featured a cover piece titled something like "Doctors Confess Their Fatal Mistakes." it was super comforting, as you can imagine.

soon, an annoyed technician came and gave me more numbing eye drops and whisked me into surgery. i don't know why, but all my reactions seemed slow, and it was almost like i didn't have any depth perception. i can't tell if that was the effects of the drugs they gave me beforehand or my own neuroses catching up with me, but i do know that it made for an awfully awkward stumble into the surgery room.

the surgery room has two large machines, with a reclining, sort-of dentist-style chair in-between. they had previously explained that the first laser cuts the flap from your cornea, and the second does the correction work.

they got me wrangled onto the chair, put a kind of space-age foam pillow around my head to keep it in place, gave me an adorable teddy bear to hold on to for dear life, and swiveled me under the first machine. this was the part i had heard was uncomfortable. and it was: while your eye balls are numb, and you can't feel the laser doing its work, they have to use a strange sort-of suction cup on your eyeball to keep it in place. it's strange and uncomfortable to have vacuum pressure on your eyeball, but not painful. i was told, however, that i would lose my vision in the eye that was under the suction thing once they turned the suction on. i could still see the lights on the ceiling out the corner of my eye, and in a clumsy panic, told the doctor that. he assured me that it was okay, i might still be able to see a little around the edges. i didn't believe him, of course, but what choice did i have once they had my eyeball in a suction thing?

turns out the laser is seriously not a big deal. i was told i would be able to see the flap, and was worried that thinking about my eyeball flap would give me the willies and i would certainly pass out. but the flap-making portion of the surgery was actually pretty quick, the machine was silent, and i couldn't actually see what was going on.

to my relief, once they swiveled me out from under the first machine, they announced, "well, that was the hard part. the rest is easy." i was stunned. i think i gasped out something like "wow, really?! well that wasn't SO bad..." they put a bunch of drops in my eyes and swiveled me in place under the second machine.

this part was weird, i admit. the flap-making laser doesn't actually cut the flap free at first, it merely perforates the flap enough that the doctor can peel it back later. (i know, gross, i can't believe i'm writing this. *shudder*) it was at this point i think the Valium must have kicked in, because i didn't flinch at all while the doctor came at me with dental-looking metal tools and wiggled my eyeball around until he peeled back the flap. i think at the time i realized i should be really wigging out, but was so interested by what was going on, that i sort of forgot to freak out.

the next part was fun! they told me to stare at the blinking red light while they ran the second laser and it made machine-gun-like noises as it did the correction work on my eye. they had warned us at the meeting a week earlier that we might smell something similar to burning hair or plastic. "it might smell like you're on fire," the doctor explained. "you're not on fire, don't worry." it's because the laser literally vaporizes your extra eye tissue in order to reshape the cornea. so, in my strange Valium haze, while they worked the second laser, my thoughts frittered between frantic thoughts like, "FOCUS. FOCUS ON THE RED BLINKY THING. DON'T MOVE. DON'T MOVE." and, in a dreamy, slow voice in my head, "THEY'RE VAPORIZING ME! COOOOOOL...." it's true, this part of the surgery is completely painless. i could feel that the laser was working though; i could feel it in my teeth, like a cold, faintly buzzing feeling. i felt like i must be a cartoon x-ray of myself, it was awesome.

they told us that, depending on how severe your prescription was going in, they would need to do about 30 to 60 seconds of work on each eye. my right eye required 58 seconds of work. my left, 59.

to be continued...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

tweet, tweet!

well hello there, folks!

i'm writing from the other side of LASIK surgery, and all's well with the world. (well, not all. but all eye-related things, at the very least.) it's a little hazy over here, but surprisingly awesome! i'll be sure to write about that experience one of these days. i don't even have a good excuse not to have written it already. i tried to think of one, but meh. at this point, if you have high expectations of me, i'm very, very sorry. so. LASIK post to come, soon! ... ish!

in the meantime, i've succumbed to a little internet trend you might like to call Twitter. so far this Grandma has even managed to putter her way through a few Tweets! and for this, i'm awfully proud. so, if you like snark, socks or oatmeal, stop on by and join both my followers. three's a party or something, right?
tweet, tweet!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Winter Cleaning

oh, the obligatory New Year's post. (as i write this, i realize that i managed to somehow avoid the obligatory Christmas post. whoops. here, read this one instead. it's way better, anyway.) lots of folks have written funny or inspiring New Year's reflections, but this one is so far my favorite. it lifts me out of this ridiculous tiredness i've been slothing through lately, and made me examine how i've sort of tumbled into this new year feeling very unprepared. blindsided, even.

we spent the weekend with my family, celebrating a rather quiet Christmas. it was wonderful, and in preparation the Hubs and i spent several days maniacally cleaning. it was sort of awesome, and i arose from the dust, as usual following these sorts of projects, with a fresh satisfaction with our house and our life. cleaning always feels like revival to me. or it could be, that in the little private revival i've been experiencing lately, that everything is tinged with a little extra hope.

i wish i could say i have only positive things to say about the year ahead, but the truth is, even in the midst of an exciting time of growth, i'm going in trapped in a very self-critical fog. so what you're about to experience is a bit of a year-in-review project, intended specifically to fix my focus and motivate healthy change. and my prayer is that that be our theme this year: change, as only God the Creator can implement. breaking unhealthy cycles, facilitating greater effectiveness, cultivating boldness, courage, wisdom and above all, love.

and so in that light, i give you this: a collection of significant happenings this past year, and perhaps a few goals for the coming year.

- 30 pounds lost. (5 pounds gained back. and this is according to the last weigh-in before the holidays. ugh.)
- more blog writing! this one, rather awkwardly, resulted in my Grandma printing out a seemingly well-loved, snack-related post and distributing it to the whole family at Christmas. yeah. so... Hello there, Family! Welcome to the blogosphere. wow, it sure got cozy in here fast, didn't it! ha ha... ha. (oh jeez.)
- first ski trip Out West. this was a humbling, and simultaneously thrilling, experience. this is when i start to think that perhaps the Rockies are God's country, just a little.
- running! in April, i began the Couch-to-5K running program, somewhat begrudgingly, and ended up falling in love with running, something i never dreamed would ever happen. this resulted in three 5k runs, all with varying degrees of success, and one super fun 4.5-mile Mud Run. all culminating in...
- stopping running! it would be unfair to dwell only on the excitement of running without acknowledging the struggles as well. in late September, i developed a foot injury and have begrudgingly benched myself since. this has proved to be an unending source of anxiety and dissatisfaction, forcing me not only to curb my workout plans, but also to wear only supportive footwear. i'm pretty sure the only suffering more horrifying in my life so far has been the lice i mysteriously contracted in college. this one hasn't made me cry or lose my mind or try to claw out of my own skin yet, but there has been much moaning and flopping around in a distressed fashion. for your sake, prayers for a speedier recovery!
- the Death of our Debt. no joke! as of spring of 2010, we are officially debt-free, not counting the mortgage on our house. we killed it all in a little under a year: 3 vehicle payments and several years' worth of student loans (we never carried credit card debt.) we're exceedingly grateful for Dave Ramsey's ministry in getting us started on a plan, something that, aside from getting us financially in order, has done amazing things for our marriage. if you plan on getting married anytime soon, don't be offended when you unwrap a copy of The Total Money Makeover from us. we know you think you don't need it; we thought that once, too. just read it. and then do it. you can thank us later.
- a new church home. this one has been tough for us. after moving to the Brookfield area, we loafed around for, oh, about a year or so before really getting serious about getting back into a community. not long ago i started to realize how much i missed it, and how much my heart ached for it. being ridiculous and cynical, finding a good church is always a horrible experience with us. but we're learning to love The Church, because Jesus does, and re-learning how to do this church thing all over again. it's usually humbling, but often rewarding; the distance has given me a more appreciative perspective, compared to the hater days of my youth. it's rare for me these days to actually feel like i'm surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, and i'm so excited at the chance to enjoy that, like new, all over again.

- greater productivity, more hard work.
- shorter blog posts. (sorry, guys. it's a problem i have.)
- a better marriage
- a healthier family
- a cleaner house
- a greater sense of urgency
- a more effective life, as evidenced by a smarter and more intentional use of my time and my money.

and now, in acknowledgment of the total lack of privacy and anonymity on the internet, i expect not just awkward encouragement, but also some serious grief from all of you, when i'm seriously slacking. go right ahead internet, BRING IT.