Somehow I’m always surprised when the New Year arrives. This is a bit strange as it shows up like clockwork on January 1. It’s not like it can sneak up on me.

I look back at 2016 and, if you can subtract RA out of the equation (wouldn’t that be nice?), it was a pretty good year. It was the first year since I was a teenager that I haven’t worked full time and I filled it with travel and books and learning new things. (More about that in this earlier post: here.)

But after so many years of a demanding career, it’s hard for me to feel like I actually accomplished anything. For a results-oriented, bottom-line, micro-managing kind of girl, that’s a strange and not altogether comfortable feeling.

I’m used to looking ahead at my calendar and seeing it filled with projects and deadlines and meetings (and paychecks!). 2017 looks like wide swaths of desert punctuated with the occasional oasis of a trip.

I have no doubt those calendar pages will get filled. For one thing, I have committed to increasing my advocacy. With all the changes coming to health care — from new treatments to new health legislation, it will be a very interesting 2017.

And while I’ve given up making New Year’s resolutions, I want to keep up the progress I made on improving my health in 2016. There are more pounds to shed; more miles to trek.

I know there will be challenges in the new year. My health insurance situation is going to change mid-year and that’s worrisome. I am almost out of options on biologics. I really expect this one to fail. I just started on Simponi Aria — the infused version of the injectable Simponi which I was on several years ago. While I loved the medication when I was on it before, it eventually quit working for me, so my hopes for the infused version aren’t great. I may be looking at a couple of surgeries — never fun, but if they make things better, it will be worth it.

Do I sound bleak? I’m really not. The unknown has always enthralled me and while my calendar pages may currently be blank, it’s just because I don’t know what’s going to fill them yet. And while that may temper my anticipation, it whets my imagination (which can be a dangerous and wonderful thing).

I do know that there will be many changes in 2017. I hope that those changes are good for all of us and that you and yours enjoy a year of both health and happiness.

Thanks for checking in.