Focused on the future: Here’s what you’re leaving behind to make 2022 a better year

January 13, 2022  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

Despite the latest surge of COVID-19 cases, faculty and staff are focusing on what they can do to make this year better than the last. And much of that has to do with leaving things behind that aren’t bringing joy, happiness or success into their lives — both personally and professionally.

For instance, one colleague is leaving social media in the past and instead spending their time reading and exercising.

Another is planning to create better work-life balance by not checking work email after hours when they are “home” from the hospital.

Here’s a closer look at what faculty and staff are leaving in their “chuck-it bucket” as we dive headfirst into 2022:

Ann Fisher, director of annual giving and data services, Office of Development

I have a few things I would like to toss in my chuck-it bucket:

  • The scale: I exercise daily, eat well and generally take care of myself. I am at a healthy weight and I need to stop trying to “lose those 4-5 pounds” that I don’t need to lose. The number of the scale does nothing to represent my overall health or wellbeing.
  • My age: Like the scale, it is just a number. For my 50th birthday in 2020, I ran the Free Press Marathon…virtually. It was my fourth full marathon. Last year I ran four half marathons in three months. I plan to keep on running as long as I am able. We need to push aside these false beliefs that strength and beauty decline with age. They are just different.
  • Stress and anxiety: These last few years have brought a lot of additional stress and anxiety. From politics to pandemics, school shootings and learning how to work and learn differently. This year I plan on doing things that will help me kick stress and anxiety to the curb — meditation, reduced screen time, more time outdoors and with family and friends, more reading and listening to music. 

Jeff Hurren, Pharm.D., medication safety officer

I’m going to chuck overextending myself! Kindly saying “no” is actually saying “yes” to rest, spontaneity and other opportunities.

Katie Thompson, administrative assistant, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics

I am going to live 2022 more or less better by:

Spreading MORE joy
Being MORE positive
Being MORE helpful and willing
Being MORE accepting — starting with myself
Being MORE satisfied with where I am who I am and what I have

Living with LESS debt
Being LESS judgmental
Being LESS Anxious
Being LESS in need of MORE stuff
Drinking LESS pop (more or less … ?)

Sankari Arumugarajah, research lab technician

I am planning to leave behind negative thoughts and feelings about the world — along with criticism about others. I will replace it with positive thoughts, gratitude and try to look at only the good quality in others.

Lisa Baleja, patient services associate, Rogel Cancer Center

In 2022, I am going to get rid of worrying about things I can’t control. The weather, wind storms and losing electricity, something breaking and needing to get fixed (i.e  appliances or my car). I can’t control those items, so I will learn to deal with them and not stress myself out about them.

Jenny Macy, senior business systems analyst, Michigan Data Collaborative

I’m planning to chuck most of social media. If I spend less time looking at social media, I can then use that time in positive ways — reading books, exercising and talking to real people.

Erica Tselios, administrative assistant, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery

This year my husband and I both are prioritizing our health and wellness and tossing old habits aside. In December, we purchased a Hydrow Rower machine and have done a row or on-the-mat yoga or pilates exercise every day since setting up our rower and haven’t missed a day in 2022 yet!

Beth Moraunt, guest services specialist

My job does not require me to answer my email when I’m not working, so with the latest Outlook update, I decided to not download the new app to my phone as a mean to create a better work/life balance. The first couple of weeks I found myself reaching for my phone to check my email several time throughout my day off. With each week, I’m finding that urge to grab the phone to check my email is becoming less and less.  

This is one step in the right direction to help manage a healthy work-life balance.

Nanci Lefebvre, supervisor, Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory

My goal is to leave negativity, pessimism and gloom behind. I’ve committed to be more tuned into the good things (big and small) that happen every day, and to savor these positive things that bring me joy.

April Wyncott, M.P.H., M.B.A., program manager, Network Based Research Unit, MICHR

My chuck-it bucket would include releasing the emotional baggage of the old year and then opening up to a refreshing approach to the new.

Therese Smith, R.N., B.S.N., utilization review, Care Management

I sit way too much, so I will leave that behind and begin moving more each day!

Marisa Hildebrandt, lab manager and safety coordinator, Gudjonsson Lab

My chuck-it bucket for this year includes clutter. I have a habit of saving ticket stubs, playbills and other paper memorabilia. This year, I’m going to put everything I really want to save into scrapbooks and toss the rest. A few books on the shelf or coffee table are better than piles of clutter everywhere.

Tami Walker, clinical care coordinator

In 2022 I am chucking “negativity” and focusing on “positivity.” I want to embrace what brings true joy to my life. As the pandemic rages on, it has been mentally/emotionally exhausting. I do not have a “stay at home” job as I am a nurse in a specialty clinic setting and through it all I have felt despair and sadness many times. By taking on a more positive mindset/attitude, surrounding myself with positive people, and doing activities that bring me happiness and joy, I hope that 2022 will be a better year.

I have learned after 30 years of caring for patients here at Michigan Medicine that life is short, so make it as sweet as possible!