If this sounds like a very late new year resolutions post, that's because it is. I never quite finished expounding on my goals for the year, but I wrote 10 things down, so I figure it's worth posting. Plus, I'm going to have lots of cause to post more in the coming months, as I (plan to) chronicle my upcoming foot surgeries, so I may as well resurrect the blog now.
I started out last year's resolutions post saying, "This past year was one of the most challenging years of my life." But 2016 has proven to be a hearty rival. The year was heavily mixed with positive and negative events, emotions all over the place. The good: I ran again, I swam, I came back to yoga, I wrote a lot (just not here), I blossomed at work, I loved my family hard. The bad: I injured myself again and couldn't run, I gave up on biking (but later picked it back up), I floundered trying to find purpose, I distanced myself from friends, and I nearly drowned in my anxiety. But I tried, in big ways, to accept each situation I was in if I could not change it. I wasn't perfect, and it didn't always work, but the effort is what I remember as I look back on the year. And that counts for a hell of a lot in my book.
On to the assessment of what I set out to do in 2016:
2016's Goals in Review
- Have more faith in things.
Despite having a lot of difficult thoughts and feelings about my life and the world around me, I did attempt a more positive outlook. I'll always be a realist, but I'm learning that's not synonymous with pessimist.
- Meet swimming goals.
Yes! I completed a challenge of swimming 111 miles from September 2015 to 2016. And continued to swim throughout the year, but perhaps with less gusto.
- Write more.
I did this, but you wouldn't know it. I only published 10 blog posts last year. It just wasn't a priority. But I filled a journal with all the things that weren't appropriate to say publicly, and that was more important, and it's given me some interesting personal insight into everything I experienced throughout the year.
- Visit a new place.
Not really. I did travel more, but mostly for work. I went to several cities (one of them twice) that I've been to before: Boston, Atlanta (x2), Minneapolis, and Columbus/Dayton/Yellow Springs.
- Follow through with grad school.
Funny story. I completed one course in spring, decided I didn't like that program, and withdrew. Then I got antsy for something meaningful in my life, again, and reapplied to the program I'd applied to before starting this other one, and got accepted. Again. So I'm starting it for real in spring, and I'm very excited this time.
- Nurture close relationships.
Sort of. I had a hard time determining what a close relationship was last year. Family-wise, it was not difficult to know, and I treasured those relationships with all my heart. The friend sphere was different. I felt outside of the friend group I knew primarily from running, and, with a couple of exceptions, I struggled to feel connected to other friends. I think I came around at the end of the year to a more solid understanding. I'm giving myself an A for effort.
- Allow new relationships.
I did. Once. When the year was almost over. It counts.
- See my potential.
This was a strange and vague goal. I'm not even sure what I meant when I wrote it (potential for what?). I actually believe I have great potential :)
- Spend more time making food.
I did this, and I loved it. I also learned I love making food for other people.
Check. It wasn't a lot, and I had my stops and starts, but I did it as much as I reasonably could have. And I appreciated every single run.
- Get outside of my head.
I don't know if this is a possibility, but I really want it to be.
- Do what feels uncomfortable.
I don't mean like running a naked 5k; I'm okay not doing that. More like breaking my routines—which I cling to dearly because they make me feel safe. Initiating more friend-type things, going to events where I likely won't know anyone, and maybe even considering a triathlon.
- Blog more.
I started this blog way back in 2008, when I ran my first 5k (in 36 minutes!), and running was a whole new world to me. I geeked out about running, and soon racing, and I wanted to document my trainings and other experiences. It's been a ton of fun, even though the past couple of years have seen rough times, and the running element of my posts has become less and less. So where do I go from here, now that I'm not focused solely on running and racing? Perhaps the year will bring into light an answer.
- Visit a new place.
This one stays on the list. Perpetually. My travels used to revolve around an event, like a marathon. It's been a long time since I've just gone somewhere to explore the place. And there are so many places I want to explore—within and outside of the U.S. I just need to plan to do it, without any other reason.
- I want a house.
That's not exactly the language of goals, but saying "buy a house" sounds too scary. Maybe I can just settle in to someone else's ...
- Run, but keep doing the other stuff.
I've found some balance in branching out to other activities. I still favor the endurance sports, and primarily running, but having options gives me variety so I don't get bored, challenge so I don't get complacent, and a sense of peace in knowing I don't have to give my everything to one sport, so I can let go of the need to be perfect in my pursuits.
- Allow new relationships.
This deserves another go-around.
- Show more gratitude.
- See more of Florida.