At the end of each year, I like to reflect on what the last year brought into my life. Much like a daily gratitude journal, a yearly reflection allows me to assess how far I have (or have not) come. Before I look forward to the next year, I take account of my lessons learned.
2017 brought much into my life. I proved to myself that I am a capable endurance runner and much braver than I thought. I tackled trails all alone that would have scared me in years gone by. Kenny’s and my relationship grew to a whole new level of wonderfulness. I was given the opportunity for a temporary promotion which I feel I tackled successfully.
On a rougher note, our boys had a difficult year in a few ways. By association as parents, we did too. And juggling Kenny’s return to school was a tough transition for the family. But through these experiences, we grew to be an even closer family.
While in a few ways, 2017 was one of the most difficult years of my life, in others, it was a year of tremendous growth, love, learning, and adventure.
Learning from the past is critical to plan better for the future.
Looking ahead to 2018, I do not care for New Year’s Resolutions. Like many, I do not see value in making a promise that is destined to be short-lived. Resolutions like, “I will never eat another piece of candy again” are bound to fail! Instead, I prefer to use any new beginning as a chance to determine how I would like to grow and commit to focusing on those actions next. This happens at various times throughout the year, but after the winter holidays, and with the returning of the warming energizing power of the Sun, the New Year is a fitting time to re-examine my focuses and commit to them out loud.
As I step into 2018, I have established three areas of focus for my life:
Intimacy in My Most Important Relationship
I cuddle with my kids. I share meals and stories with friends. At times, I spend more time with co-workers than I do my spouse. But oh sweet intimacy, only my best friend/partner/spouse receives that. I divulge thoughts and feelings I would not share with anyone else. I give my physical being to my spouse. I trust him with every bit of my vulnerability. Yet despite the importance of intimacy in setting this relationship apart from all the others in my life, it is easily lost in the daily chaos. For 2018, I would like to focus on making intimacy in my marriage a higher priority.
Getting my Children Outdoors More Often
My boys are pretty active. They jump on the trampoline every day, play on their swing set, love bike rides and swimming. Inevitably however, they get overly excited about playing on their tablets or wanting to find “easy” entertainment. Yet, whenever we venture into the great outdoors, they always find joy in it. Getting dirty is good for the body, mind, and soul and while I do it regularly for myself, I don’t drag my kids along often enough. For 2018, I would like to focus on getting my boys into the great outdoors more often. Camping, hiking, swimming in lakes and rivers, kayaking, paddle-boarding, mountain biking….anything that leads to fresh air, dirty feet, and a joyful heart.
Running with Women Who Are Stronger and Faster than Me
I love the times when I have runners who join me to push themselves. I find great joy in helping other women find their next level. But when I am destined to be the slower runner, I get nervous, anxious, fearful. What will they think of me? Will they assume that I am a terrible person because I can’t run as fast as them? What if they never want to run with me again or even be my friend? HAHA….It is just ludicrous the ideas that go through my head when vulnerability knocks down the door. Yet, the times I have overcome my fear, I have found great pride in myself at pushing to a next level. For 2018, I would like to focus on allowing myself to be vulnerable and dare to chase that next level of accomplishment.
Setting focuses for the year remind me of the intention I like to set before a run or yoga class. There are always areas I want to improve in my life and if I try to do them all at once, I will fail at everything. Breaking down my goals into smaller focuses will give me a chance to make some real progress towards the woman I want to become while not losing the beautiful parts of who I already am.
The journey continues……