19 things I learned in 2019:
1. Reminded myself to be independent by traveling alone. That it isn’t selfish to take time and a trip to center, recharge and energize my own soul. *I started off the year planning my first year that I took a trip on my own. Not like a 2 hour down the road trip, but a LEGIT- I WENT TO BARBADOS for 3 days trip! ALONE! I was embarrassed that I was going to do this, felt selfish and silly. I came back feeling that it had been NONE of those things, honestly. I felt like it was so nourishing, rejuvenating and I needed that time and silence to search my soul for some direction. It was perfection. I’m going away again on a trip by myself 2020, and I still feel a little guilty, but MUCH LESS! I’m learning!
2. Friends you grew up with have a very special place in your life. Long story short: I couldn’t wait to get out of high school. My heart was in a broken place, I felt so lonely and unloved and I needed to start over. It’s interesting and very GOOD to my heart to be now in touch with some high school friends or reconnected. Some were just people who I knew their name, but now I see how much I adore them! There is something missing to some extent when you don’t know anyone who knew you as a child. It feels somehow like the people who knew you for the first 18 years of your life really know who “you are.”
3. It’s hard to see people leave the world who were special to you, even if you haven’t talked in years. This was a year that some people left the world that I still cannot understand.
4. I am at the stage that I am very aware of my “bucket list” items. Big Sur Marathon has always topped my list of something on my bucket list, and I’ve for a few years now applied to get into it- there is a lottery system. I FINALLY got in on the last round last fall and ran it in April 2019. It was EVERYTHING I knew it would be… AND EVEN MORE! I am so glad to be looking AHEAD to things I know I want and making them reality.
5. I age. I always thought since I look young in some ways that maybe I wouldn’t ever look too old??!! OMG. I really think this year- the past 2 years have been the BEGINNING. I finally am taking care to put moisturizer around my eyes/face, I see the difference in the skin on my LEGS!!!! And hands! Ewwww!!! I didn’t think I would have these changes until I was like 70??!! And… yep, I just started wearing “reader glasses”…. I only do it when laying in bed at night reading and my kids think it is hilarious when they come in and see it. It’s fantastic. (no pictures needed for this one, haha!)
6. I still love to do races, even if I’m not “racing”. I had so many years where I only did races with super focused goals, totally “on spot” training that I wouldn’t know what to do if I was just going out to “do the race.” Now that I’ve been struggling with my hip and hamstring, particularly for Big Sur (and then all my other races this summer), I am really limited in intensity. There isn’t even a breath of hope that I would be close to my old times, and I have been able to still go out and TOTALLY enjoy the journey of the race.
7. Reaching out is always worth it. So many times- this year and always, I questioned and hemmed and hawed (I’ve never written that out before!!??!) and went back and forth and didn’t want anything to be taken the wrong way, etc. But I thought each time—better to risk than to NOT reach out and find out or wonder if it would have lifted someone up. Likewise, there have been so many times where someone has contacted me, messaged me, and I was like “HOW DID YOU KNOW??!!”
8. This year, I have been finding that contentment in life doesn’t mean I am lazy or that my ambitious former self has died or given up. I’m learning to be more selective of where I spend my time, less fearful of not joining the race to get ahead, and more able to be present and in the moment. I enjoy my level of reaching, but also sitting on my porch in the summer; I love feeling at my most challenged physically and in life, but also spending time quiet and doing the most basic daily life with my kids and dogs. (and sitting lazily by the side of the pool, as well as churning out lap after lap in the summer!)
9. I appreciate spending my time with people of varying ages. I’m so lucky in my job, in life, all aspects—I get to meet, talk to and interact with young kids (in kids yoga which is particularly meaningful to me) and my friends little’s, all the way up to an older generation. There is so much we can learn from others. So interesting to see that we are all along paths, and all where we need to be.
10. I love visiting in new places. Even for an afternoon, I love going to new places, and seeing towns, buildings, trees, and people. I’ve enjoyed doing a few new races this year that I haven’t done before, going to new cities and towns with the kids sports tournaments and games, and vacations. I’ve loved going to Roanoke, VA Beach in the winter, Big Sur, new beaches and places in Florida, Charlotte, but also finding great little nooks of places in my own town and area to enjoy, new wineries, etc.
11. Every year, the dynamics of some relationships change, and that isn’t a bad thing. Everyone is growing, and sometimes it doesn’t fit as well as it used to. Sometimes I feel sad, worry, think, ‘what is wrong with me” that something has changed. But, it is just natural and life.
12. Day by day, I see myself growing more solid in my faith. There will always be uncertainty and questions that we will never know the answers to, but it is so wonderful to be able to say, “I KNOW.” I know my God is with me, he is FOR me, and He loves me. (and that was from one of my favorite sermons from a few years ago from church, but I will never forget those words).
13. Time one on one with each of my kids is a lifeline for me. This year, I loved traveling with Phoebe alone to a few of her volleyball tournaments, getting our nails done once, walking on the beach and more. This fall, I was SO lucky to spend time with Forrest going to a concert in the city, and he was my standby pool buddy this past summer, who would always either come with me, or meet me there if he knew I was by myself, and…..he’s always up for a mom/son date for a milk shake at Chick filA.
14. I don’t like “stuff”. I started the year going through, day by day with a friend and I holding each other accountable, getting rid of STUFF! It was meant to be a month. We continued for about 3 months. It was awesome. I feel now like it didn’t even make a dent. I still do a monthly purge of what I can, but I want to keep going and do more. Holding on to STUFF to me is a bit of fear and “gripping” and… well, holding on.
15. I stand by my passion for GOALS. – sometimes goals are just INTENTION. Many people are so set AGAINST setting new years goals and intentions, and I don’t understand that. Everyone should be able to trust themselves with their goals and be strong to commit to themselves. Goals don’t need to be unattainable. There is no reason to not have a GOAL that you are working towards at all times in life. (even if sometimes that goal is to take 2 weeks to come up with a well- defined goal for the next year or decade).
16. Moments matter. I am learning day by day, moment by moment to let go of expectations and experience reality as it is, appreciate it for what it is, and be truly content in the moment. I am so thankful for my yoga practice that allows me to practice finding myself able to let go of the future and the past and practice the value of just NOW.
17. I always feel guilty that I don’t market more for my business. If I were really good, I would be active on social media, I’d be reaching out, getting things written about Rising Sun Fitness, etc… But I am continually reminded from so many angles that the only kind of marketing you need is an amazing product. If it’s good, people will spread the word, and I am so grateful when people have done that for me. I also love doing it for others. Likewise, I sometimes feel guilty because I don’t have a tri-team, a tri-club. I sometimes take myself through unnecessary negative self-talk making myself believe that I’m not as good or not worthy. But this year particularly has reminded me that… IN THIS actually may lie my STRENGTH and what sets me apart! I don’t waste time on marketing when I could be actually strengthening myself as a trainer and coach. I understand the angle of athletes not being able, willing, desiring to be on a club or team for running and triathlon, but simply pursuing it for themselves and what fits into their lives.
18. Gratitude, compassion, empathy, love. Sometimes I feel too much of these, and it hurts so much, is so intense. I don’t regret it one second. This is life fully felt. *This past week, in watching one of my favorite movies “Serendipity,” the character who is an obituary writer in the movie says at the end, “The Greeks didn’t write obituaries, they asked one question when someone died, “Did he have passion?” THIS.
19. Rest. I’m learning to let myself to this, and learning to try to not feel guilty when I do. The guilt factor/ mental harassment that I give myself is the hardest part. And I realize my body can’t benefit from the slowing down, stillness and silence when I am inside beating myself up for thinking that I am lazy.
20. I have so much more to learn, and I intend to be fully present for that learning in 2020!