My theme for 2022

22 comments on My theme for 2022
2 minutes

I was going to choose health as my theme for 2022. I’m a little overweight and my blood pressure is a little high. I’ve become largely sedentary again, and I eat and drink for comfort more than I do because I’m hungry. While I’m not having too much trouble sleeping, the quality of that sleep isn’t great and I am tired all the time.

I was having unusual hair loss on top of that fatigue, so I had my doctor run a complete blood panel, especially checking my thyroid. Every test came back normal. When I mentioned that moderate exercise was creating shortness of breath and tightness across my chest, she sent me to a cardiologist, who gave me a stress test. It, too, found nothing.


I’m an anxious person by nature, but I’ve been more anxious than usual. Sometimes I’ve been anxious enough to freeze up and be unable to act.

Work’s been crazy hard. Home’s been crazy hard. There’s nothing in my life right now that’s not crazy hard. It’s had a negative effect on my health. I need to pay attention to it. That’s why I thought health would be the right theme for 2022.

But it’s not. My health issues are symptoms, not causes. I need to get at the root.

I came into 2021 not great at saying the hard thing when I needed to. As I wrote in last year’s theme post, I’m a go-along-to-get-along kind of guy. I want to find the common ground. I believe deep in my spirit that when people are aligned, incredible things can happen.

But I seek that common ground to a fault. What I finally, finally learned in 2021 is that I was too often aligning to things that weren’t in line with my values and needs. It’s why I chose congruence as my 2021 theme: saying yes only when I truly could support that yes, and saying no otherwise.

Then 2021 proved to be very hard, especially at work. In collaborating with peer and superior leaders, I aligned to some things that turned out to be bad decisions. It took months for those decisions to prove themselves to be bad. Now we’re in a mess, and we’re trying to find our way out — and we do not agree on how to do that. It’s a strong test of living congruently, and I’m finding it to be wicked hard.

I think this is the wrong time for a new theme. In 2022, my 2021 theme needs to continue: congruence. I’m not done yet becoming comfortable being out of alignment with others when it’s right for me. Being confident in standing firmly for what I believe in and think is best — it feels to me like the most important thing by far for me to work on.

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22 responses to “My theme for 2022”

  1. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    Gotta say Jim, health is the focus for me now…similar story to yours. Testing out fine at the docs, but don’t feel right. All of a sudden, in my older age, what I eat has completely influenced how I feel. Not enough potassium? I get a heart tick and charlie-horses. Trying to lose weight, don’t get the right balance of food on a reduced calorie intake and have zero energy. Who knew that a person would get to an age where just minor changes in diet would influence so much. In the last year, I’ve spent way more time thinking about, and planning to eat, food, that I never did in my entire life.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I am starting to understand why people want to retire — it’s because our bodies require so much more attention and we need time to give it. I am already starting to struggle with body maintenance and care given that I work full time.

  2. John Avatar

    Focusing on yourself is tough, but the payoffs are huge. When someone asks for something, no is a valid answer, so is, “I’ll get right on it, as soon as I finish my own stuff”. Just remember to take the time to do something you like, that’ll go a long way to keep your head straight.
    Every time a doctor tells me I’m fine, I walk away muttering “quack” to myself. If I’m fine, why do I feel so bad!
    Good luck, keep us posted, and know there are people out here pulling for you.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks John – it’s cliche but I do need to be better at saying No.

    2. Andy Umbo Avatar
      Andy Umbo

      John, you got a laugh out of my last corporate internal ad agency, the term “I’ll Get Right On That”, was acknowledged by all as similar to saying: “It’ll be a cold day in hell before I even get near to touching that”.

  3. Roger Meade Avatar
    Roger Meade

    I too am a person who prefers to be agreeable. I have almost always just kept silent when confronted with ignorant folks voicing opinions with no basis in fact or common sense.
    I have had friends that grew up and lived in rural, nearly 100% white areas, who could not have had significant interactions with very many people of color, yet are outspokenly racist. I am getting better at speaking up when I hear that. I worked with a fair number of black guys (a male dominated industry) and a lot of white guys. The ratio of jerks from one to the other was just about the same.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      You are wise to keep silent in those situations because you’re unlikely to change anyone’s mind with even the most rational, evidence-backed argument.

  4. brandib1977 Avatar

    Health is my theme for this year. I took a few hard blows last year and used it as an excuse to eat poorly and then to become more sedentary. It has to stop because my weight, cholesterol and blood pressure are all up. It’s not good.

    In my experience, things can be hard at work if home is calm and things can be tough at home if work is good but you can’t have it hard everywhere. Not for a prolonged period anyway.

    Take care of yourself, Jim. You deserve to show yourself kindness.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Yesterday I stepped on the scale and registered the highest weight of my life. Most people would say “what weight problem” if I were to complain, but ALL of my jeans are uncomfortably tight. I need to address this, but in my 50s simply eating a little less isn’t working anymore!

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        That’s terribly discouraging and honestly, I’m in a similar boat. I knew that I was engaging in self destructive behavior last year and I did it anyway. It’s time to ante up so I recently joined Noom. It sounds insane but I already feel better simply by having a better handle on things and by being more mindful.

        You’re struggling in many ways right now and I suspect it would do you good to take charge of your health but now may not be the best time. Just do your best.

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          I did Noom for a while and it worked for me. I quit it when there was a bug in the software they wouldn’t fix that blocked me from using the service. Weird.

          1. brandib1977 Avatar

            That is weird. Four days in and I’m pretty happy with it. The app seems to function fine so we’ll see.

  5. Khürt Williams Avatar

    I’ve long believed that health is wealth. If go-along-to-get-along is not congruent with your long term mental and physical health you will be left with the consequences long after others have drained it from you. And that will surely affect your wealth.

    Take care of yourself.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      “you will be left with the consequences long after others have drained it from you” – oh yes. So true.

  6. sloppy buddhist Avatar

    Wonderful goal Jim…my little black box has been very healing for me over the past years so I hope that you find this quiet joy and make more art ~ sending all good things hedy ☺️🕊💫

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks so much! I hope to find my photographic groove again soon.

      1. sloppy buddhist Avatar

        🕊it’s there it will re-emerge…🤓👣everyday there are beautiful moments…be well Jim🕊

  7. abearman3000 Avatar

    With respect, I suggest you find ways to move more each day. Start off easy if you need to, like with a long walk, ideally in the woods. Start the habit of exercise any way you can, but start! Formally schedule it if you are too busy with work. Key is getting outside, away from home & work & computers. Good for your head and body. Good luck!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It’s cold now in Indiana, and I dislike the cold a great deal. I bought an exercise bike and have been using it! I’ll return to riding outside when the weather turns.

  8. NigelH Avatar

    Congruence is not always easy as there will be times when your goals and philosophy do not fully align and so there is a choice between assertion and submission …which can be a fine line. It sounds as though you want to move towards assertion which is a worthy path and seeks a win for all.
    Regarding your health, I read a simple method for making new habits a while back, which made sense to me

    here’s to a better 2022 for you and your family Jim

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks Nigel – I value alignment, and I seek it. What I have to work on is not running to alignment without first doing my own critical thinking — and if I disagree, be courageous and say so, in a way that seeks to find a position I can live with.

      The main thing I need to overcome right now is emotional eating and drinking. I’ve used food and drink to cope with stress, and stress has been considerable.

      I wish I didn’t hate exercise-for-its-own-sake kind of exercise. I’ll work all day in my yard, and I love to take a long bike ride when the weather is nice. But work out just to work out? Yecchh. Somehow I need to overcome that.

      1. NigelH Avatar

        I’m the same, i cannot do workouts and ‘ fitness’ but doing a 20 to 50 mile bike ride or enjoying a long walk? That i can do. I even tried putting my bike on an indoor trainer but couldn’t get any motivation to use it even with apps and whatnot to simulate the real thing

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