What I Learned in January
1. Sometimes it really is just about starting.
I struggle mightily with procrastination. I tell myself it's not out of laziness or a desire to get out of hard work, but from a place of anxiety and uncertainty about decisions that have to be made to complete a task. But I've been shown over and over in January that I just have to make myself START. A scary email to send? Just write it and let it sit in my drafts folder for a while. Once it's mostly in writing, finishing and sending it isn't so bad. Have some scary phone calls to make? Force myself to do just one and the rest aren't so scary.
2. Calling your senators and representatives is the most effective form of political activism from home.
Many of us have received a crash course in political activism over the last few months, and things only kicked into higher gear since the inauguration. After spending time tweeting, signing online petitions, and commiserating on several Facebook pages, I've been told by several sources that the most effective ways to get the attention of our elected representatives are to show up in their offices in person or make phone calls. Showing up in person requires a little more effort and coordination (but I'm going to get there. Baby steps.), so I'm starting with phone calls. I called and spoke to a staffer at Senator Cornyn's office and it wasn't so bad. His number is in my phone and I will be calling him and my other two elected officials in Washington a lot more often.
3. High altitude issues are no joke!
At the end of January, I was in Denver for a conference and went to the hotel gym to run on the treadmill. I tried to do my usual Couch to 5K running/walking intervals and was having an incredibly difficult time keeping up. I had to stop multiple times and was feeling very out of shape. When I finished, my chest burned like I had been running in the sub-freezing temperatures outside instead of in the climate-controlled fitness center of a nice hotel. Only on my way back up to my room that I realized it was the altitude. I've never had issues with altitude before, but this was pretty significant. I took it easy the rest of the trip and just walked on the treadmill and all was well.