It’s been a while since I sent an update. Something about nearing a new year being a time of reflection. So many people hustle and bustle about, but it is important to slow down and reflect. My mentor often talks about highlighting the good and letting the rest fade to grey. I like to think of my facebook posts as a highlight reel I share with friends and family. It is not all sunshine and rainbows in my life all the time. But I don’t want facebook reminding me every year of the bad day I had. I find a lot of joy in going through my pictures and remembering all the fun things, both big and little, that I did all year.
Overall, 2018 was a big year around here. My oldest graduated high school and started college. My youngest graduated preschool and started kindergarten. I ran the Ragnar race in Tennessee, hiked up a mountain in Utah, and performed with a local dance company in two different shows. Mike left his job in California and works mostly from home.
Happy and sad times
The saddest memory of the year is definitely the passing of my grandma. She celebrated her 89th birthday last December, and shortly after fell ill. Grandma was diagnosed with lung cancer that had metastasized to her brain. Much of her time in the hospital and rehab center, but in March, she came home and passed surrounded by family. The day before she died, the chaplain came and we all held hands and prayed. It was so powerful and moving, a positive in a sad memory. There were probably about 30 of us in the dining room, around her hospital bed that day, and you could feel the love and grief, so palpable in the air.
Much of the year was joyous, even if it wasn’t how I envisioned. I wanted to take the littles camping again this year, since they enjoyed it so much last year. We never made it, and then my parents bought a summer home on a lake. So, I brought them down several times to check out the beach, fish off the pier, and try out my parent’s boat. Our vacation is yet to come, over winter break. We will be spending a couple days in the Dells. The little kids have started swim lessons, so they can go down the slides safely. They don’t know yet about the trip, but I am super excited. The college one is going to be home for break and will be joining us on the trip too, so that is another reason to be excited.
My physical activity
I have really enjoyed my Ragnar races, and have decided to train and run an ultra next September. So now that my dance show is over, my main exercise will again be running. I am thinking that I will do more on the row machine on super cold days, but who knows. I do actually enjoy getting outside, even if I find the weather to be dismal. Ragnar’s are relay races of about 200 miles. A regular team is 12 people, who each run 3 legs. An ultra is a team of 6, and you run 3 doubles or 6 single legs. I wrote about Ragnar SoCal last year. My non running days, i am really wanting to dive more into Barre workouts. So at least for December, that will be my focus.
My physical health
When it comes to my health, I have a lot of things brewing. I have started seeing a new dermatologist. She seems great, and I am ready for some improvement with my psoriasis. I am currently getting cortisone shots in my scalp. My first shot did a lot of good, but as is always the case, didn’t last. The second shot didn’t do much for me, and I was almost hesitant for my third appointment. She noted that the build up of plaque had decreased, and some areas are even clear. That made me feel better. We talked about itching out of habit versus and actual itch too. I often wonder if my head itches, or if I’m just so used to scratching that I think it itches.
My chiropractor has been studying Advanced Kinesiology stuff (I know it is controversial, but I am down for most anything). At my most recent appointment he reset my body’s internal clocks. Including my cortisol and melatonin clocks. I have yet to decide if it is placebo or long lasting, but so far, I have been amazed with how much I am accomplishing in the evening hours, and how I am not pining for coffee mid afternoon. He also recently adjusted my pelvic floor, which is something most women would probably benefit from. Clearly, I have done extra damage with all my dancing and running. There was some pressure in my sacrum for a few weeks, and it was getting bad at times.
My greatest accomplishment this year, though, has to be publishing my own health and weight loss journal. It is like my baby that I am so proud of. I had a lot of help, and it was a ton of work and heartache. My first book was published when I won a writing contest 30 years ago. I have a feeling that my next book is less than 30 years away though. When you look at all this, it is mind bobbling to think of what major thing I will accomplish in 2019. Or even what to focus on. I just know that with the right plan though, I can really do anything I set my mind to doing.
My book is self published, which was a huge learning curve for me. The journal went through several publishing companies, and of course, drafts. And then once it went out into the world, it still had typo mistakes. I am making it a goal to get some additional editions out next year. I want people to be able to go on a year long journey, without having to keeping using the same journal 4 times. It is kind of surreal still, when I think that I took my wishes for a journal and turned them into a reality.
Christmas card tradition
Well, i wanted to be a little introspective, give a peak behind the curtain. But this is suddenly sounding like the handwritten letter one would write in a Christmas card. I guess maybe that is where the tradition started. Take a moment to reflect on the year. Then highlight the good in the year, share it with friends and family. With social media, so many people don’t reflect, as they continually share all year long. It can be difficult to see where you have grown, and where you have become stagnant, when you don’t look back on the journey.
Next year, man, where will I go?
Besides running the Ultra Ragnar, I have signed up for a retreat in Colorado. We are going white water rafting…put that down as bucket list worthy. I have also taken a role as the Community Coordinator for the Healthy Kids Running Series in Grayslake. Five weeks in the spring, and five more in the fall of little ones running though Central Park. It will be glorious. I am also attending a live event with a business group I belong to, and we are meeting in California. I am ready to plug more into that group and see how much more I can get out, and also give to the group this next year. Dance will continue, in fact, I have reached out to a friend about auditioning to do a duet with her in the spring showcase. Have I lost my mind? Maybe.
Within the house, Grace will make her first communion in May, so we will spend a couple months preparing for that. Jack and Tyler don’t have too many big changes coming up. I would like to see Mike finish his masters. But I am not going to pressure him, I understand the workload required.
What have you accomplished this year? Where have you bettered yourself? What are some of your goals, hopes, and dreams for next year? I’d love to hear from you in the comments. If you need some direction on your reflection, check out this post.