I got up early this morning to run. But currently, I’m sitting on my couch, in front of the warm fire-place, dressed and ready to brave the cold, with my coffee and my laptop. Not exactly running. And it’s January 2nd, which basically means I should be at the height of motivation, right? I know I’ll get it done, but I’m not itching or worried or stressed. I’m enjoying my coffee. And my fireplace roaring. And my quiet house. And I’m so ok with that.
2017 was a year. It began last January with a valley, a rather big one. Then, the clouds lifted and things started to settle into a new, better normal. Sorry. I know that’s pretty vague, but some things ain’t for bloggin about.
Rob and I have walked through a lot this past year, in our marriage(15 years don’t come easy), in our parenting, in our seasons, particularly for me as I’ve adjusted to having all the kids in school, to goals coming up short and unmet expectations of myself, to traveling back and forth from Memphis to spend time with my dad, as well as so many other things that ain’t for bloggin either. It’s been a year.
I’ve blogged some. Run some. Trained some. Worked some. Invested some. But I wouldn’t say it was a year where I gave absolutely everything I had to something, not something tangible anyway, and I think it’s because those things are becoming less meaningful to me as I get older. As my marriage roots grow deeper in a world that tells us our marriage is all about our happiness (it’s not. It’s about glorifying God in our circumstances, hard as they may be) and our kids grow I’m finding myself drawn more into home, into family, into words and books, into soul things, into my close friendships, into day dates with Rob and long drawn out conversations with him. To being still and not rushing. To tasting my coffee. To traveling. Seeing the world. Investing in my husband. Talking to my kids. Being present right where I am in a world that begs our attention be placed elsewhere.
It’s all so rich.
I love to run. I love my church and extra activities. I love my kid’s school. I love to train and race. I love being a trainer. I LOVE to write. In fact, writing is up there at the top. And yet, I have found myself slowing down in 2017. It wasn’t a goal I set last December 31st. In fact, I’d say most of the goals I wrote down on paper did not come to fruition, but this goal of resting and being still became my new mindset based on my new realities. And I learned to settle into that. I care less about what people think, about pleasing, about running a race, be it literal or the race of comparison, or of chasing those Jones’s, of having more and doing more. God brought about a sense of contentment, of sureness, in me this year.
For the first time, probably since having kids, I slowed down, in part because I could, with all my kids in school, but also because some of our circumstances demanded slowing. I didn’t sit in front of the TV all day, not that kind of still, well some days it was ha! But I found my spirit less restless. I found I was ok to miss a run or let the load of laundry sit a bit longer or to tell people no. Simply no. No explanation or excuse or long reasoning behind my no, just no. And I’ve always sort of been a yes person.
So yea, this year was an absolute surprise, filled with a lack of completion of any of the goals that I had set for myself. It was a year rich in growth, probably more so than any year of our marriage or parenting life. And that is worth so much more than a PR or stellar racing schedule or met monthly miles or weight loss or cutting out carbs. I’m telling you, that while those things are so worth while and I am so on board with setting big goals, I’ve learned(and am still learning), to hold them loosely. Because as hard as we try, we are not in control.
God reminded me this 2017 year, what’s important, and I mean what’s REALLY important. And it’s not for you or anyone else to see how fast I have gotten(or haven’t ha) or how many races I run or how awesome my pictures are or how many cute workout shirts I’ve acquired or how many followers I’ve gained. I am caring so much less about the surface of it all, and more about what’s underneath. Am I being sincere, genuine, engaged in my family, bold in my faith, unafraid of change or challenge, trusting a God I know who works it all for our good, and HIS glory? Am I growing and changing and diving deeper into maturity and wisdom?
Am I investing in people and relationships? Am I swinging the doors of our home wide open to welcome anyone in? Am I gracious and compassionate and generous? Am I self focussed, or other’s focussed. Am I willing and able to feel joy on behalf of someone else’s success? Am I ok to be in the background, not hitting the “big time” or the world’s version of successful? Am I an encourager? Am I cheering on my husband and my kids? These are the things that matter most! While I love a good goal race, I’m finding that it’s taking a back seat, because it’s not my identity.
Running has come and gone for me this year. Through illness or injury or life circumstances, it has not been a consistent presence in my life. This has reminded me that I can live without it. Do I love being sick or injured? Absolutely not. I’m human, and frustration often gets the best of me. There have been moments of tears this year as I have watched one goal after another pass me by. BUT, it has been so refining. So good for my soul. So my question to myself is that will this refining continue? Am I open to what God has for me, for us, this year as we forge ahead with more goals and dreams and desires? Will I accept what He brings no matter what?
I hope so.
I pray so.
These are the things. The rich things in life that matter. This is what has mattered to me in 2017 and what I pray becomes even more of a reality for 2018. Do I have goals for this new year? You bet I do. Am I holding them loosely knowing they could change in an instant? Absolutely.
I haven’t picked a word yet. I usually have a word for the new year. We leave for Colorado tomorrow and it is by far my favorite week of the entire year. The mountains are my place. I’m hoping God shows me a word for the year, maybe in the trenches of the mountains this week. Maybe not. Maybe this year is about an open hand. A willingness to be used. To try big things. To try small and quiet things. I don’t know, but I know time will tell. Meanwhile, when I think of some things I’d love to do this year, here is the breakdown..
I’d like to lose some weight, which I’ve been saying I would do for the last two years. And this is NOT something I openly discuss(clearly until this very moment) with anyone but my husband, because ya’ll, women and weight loss is a tricky road. I’m getting older and just can’t eat the way I used to. Wamp wamp. But I love food. I also love feeling good when I run, and when my food choices start to make it impossible to feel good running, it’s time to make some changes. Nothing major. Nothing cut out of my diet FOREVER. Just small changes that will make a big difference. Ok, enough of that. Let’s move on shall we?
I got a new bike for Christmas, so I’d love to get nice and comfortable on the road and try my hand at triathlon again. I’m aiming for one half marathon, a sprint or two and maybe an Olympic distance triathlon this year. I’m thinking possibly a half iron in 2019, but as my super wise husband says, there is no need to boil the ocean. Take it slow and don’t try to do it all in one year. So that’s the plan.
I want to read more. Which requires sitting and being intentionally still.
I want to write more. More on running and fitness, more about marriage and parenting. My heart and soul come alive when I write(cheese) so I want to bump that up on my priority list.
There are more goals, but they are really “all the time” goals. Like parenting or marriage stuff, places to travel. It doesn’t all have to happen in 2018, but it’s a place to start right? I pray your year is filled with blessings, from the inside out. Thank you to those that read and comment and encourage. You are an enormous gift. Now I have a run to get to I suppose, so Happy New year friends. Our pastor prays this over us each Sunday, and it’s my prayer for you….
“May the LORD bless you and protect you
May the LORD smile on you
and be gracious to you
May the LORD show you his favor
and give you his peace.” Numbers 6:25