Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Where I’m at

Now that it is December, holidays approaching, I have been reflecting on this past year and looking forward to the next. I am trying to summarize to myself how the last 12 months have gone, and how I have changed. I am trying to visualize the good things to come in the new year and determine how I am going to make that happen.


2010: Surrender

2010 certainly was no joyride. It will go down in the books as one of the shittiest years of my life. It started with my mom getting cancer, and ended up with my in-laws seriously injured in a horrible accident. The people around me struggled too, my best friend got divorced, a close friend lost her babies, another friend’s mother also got cancer. Throughout the year I struggled with depression and anxiety. I fell apart.

It wasn’t all bad of course, there is a bright side. My mom (and my friend’s mom!) beat the cancer, my close friend got pregnant again and is about to give birth, and so on. We made it through, and we grew closer. My family and my friends, we all clung to each other through our tragedies and drew strength from one another.

This year was very Real. It’s hard to explain what I mean by this, maybe you understand. Life has the potential to deeply, profoundly, suck.

This year I became a Grown Up. I learned the fragility of life. I lost my innocence. I was forced to be responsible, to take care of things.

In therapy I learned to appreciate myself exactly as I am. That I am special.

I discovered a love of yoga. And of climbing. And I rediscovered my love of running. I retired my desire to impress people with my accomplishments.

After I was knocked down, I rebuilt myself from ground up. The events of the year forced me to look at my life, my values, and decide what stays and what goes.

In 2010, life had its way with me. I had no choice but to surrender to the events and the feelings and let it wash over me. It tossed me around and spit me out. And yet here I stand.

I learned I am unbreakable.


2011: Promise

2011 is going to be great. It just has to be. I am going to make it happen! I know there will be challenges and it won’t all be rosy rainbows, but I am prepared. I have a tool box and a first aid kit and I am a Strong Grown Up Woman.

I am going to stay close with my family and friends and nourish the bonds we created through last year’s shitshow. We are going to have dinners, adventures, game nights, vacations, and hours-long phone calls. I am going to tell them I love them as often as possible.

I will stay positive and hopeful in the face of whatever comes my way. I am going to keep my stress and anxiety at bay with yoga and running and by being open about my feelings. I won’t let things build up.

I’m going to have fun! Although I am officially a 30-year-old Adult I am going to play, laugh, and be silly.

After taking a much-need break from competition and racing and getting my head straight about what running means to me, I am ready to get back out there! I definitely still don’t want to get crazy with training and I’m not going for any PRs or anything, but I am ready to have Goal Races again. Nothing is final yet, but I’ll keep you updated. At this point it’s looking like a 20 mile trail race, a marathon, a relay, and a 50k.

Zach and I are going to spend lots of time outside having adventures in nature. Trail running, hiking, climbing mountains. We’ll spend as much time in the outdoors as possible because it refuels our souls.


So, that’s the plan. I have three weeks left of 2010 and I’m going to make the most of it. Consider it a “warm up” to my great 2011 ahead. I am going to enjoy the holidays and keep my spirits up. On January 1st I am starting it all off with a nice long run and a big yummy meal with friends to set the tone for the year.

Thanks, as always, for reading. Happy Holidays.



Petraruns said...

Lovely, wonderful post. I share a LOT of what you have been posting about and I love to see this growth. It is truly inspiring.

And let me know if you need some help on the relay team - looking for ways to celebrate that I'm 40 next year!

Amy said...

Such a great post, and such a great attitude.

Yesterday, on someone else's blog, I read this:

"I vividly remember a moment when I first got sick, sitting in the hospital room that had been my home for the previous six weeks, thinking to myself, "I have two choices; I can rant and rail against God and scream 'Why me?!?!?!' or I can move on and make the best of things." I chose the latter.
You can only play the hand you're dealt, and if it's all you know, it's all you've got to work with."

And it is so true. You are one of the strong ones - a survivor - and an awesome grown-ass woman. :)

Kim said...

really great perspective jen. much love to you and your family!

aron said...

what a great post Jen. You have had quite a year and have come out of it stronger than ever. 2011 is going to be a great year for you with that attitude and outlook. You are amazing <3

Lotusphx said...

Amen to "2011:Promise"!!
Love and Peace -

My Life and Running said...

Love your 2011 plan to play, laugh, and be silly! Right behind you!

kelsalynn said...

Beautiful post! I'm sorry for what 2010 had in store for you but you came out stronger on the other side and 2011 will be that much better because of it.

I can't wait to read all about it this year!

Ewen said...

Well, I'm not going to say anything different... Great post Jen. You're in a good place in your life. Continue to grow and create. Stay close to family and friends. Happy 2011!

Michael said...

Woderful post, Jen -- your 2010 was my 1999, the year I was diagnosed. You've got the right perspective, and its refreshing to hear. Bring on 2011 -- you'll crush it!

Susan said...

I'm sorry 2010 wasn't exactly fabulous, but I love your attitude for 2011! You've been strong this entire year and it's great how awesome your family and friends are. Lucky girl, even if it doesn't seem like it all the time!