The first day of the rest of your life…

Here we are then. New Year’s: time to count our blessings, celebrate our achievements (or draw wisdom from our disasters!) and generally give thanks for another year.

It’s the end of a very significant one for me – the end of an era as mum at home with my four beautiful children, and the beginning of a first step into a future of working with words: writing, editing and proofing for real money. Discovering being a parent of teenagers, having far more potential for planning and organising my own time, and maturing into a new season of life, teetering on the brink of 40…

Running has been a beautiful expression of the new degree of autonomy and strength the last few years has developed in me. Making good decisions about food and exercise – both for my own sake and the sake of my family – feels like a good metaphor for life in general. Taking responsibility and no longer accepting the dissonance between what I know to be true and how I live is a gradual process, because you can’t change everything at once. But I’m continuing to assess and reform areas of my life, and the way we do things as a family, and I know this reformation mindset will continue throughout the next year, and the next…

So – there are things I wish had gone differently this year. For one, I wish I’d listened more wisely to my body when I had to take a break from building core strength, but didn’t go slower with running milage and speed. I’m now seeing a physio who’s getting me back on track with my knee and I’m confident I’ll make progress on it next year. It may take me the whole of 2016 to get back to where I was this summer, but I can live with that, and I know I’ll be stronger when I eventually move past that old milestone.

There are other things, too. I can see things I want to change – global systems, local patterns, family culture, personal habits… I’d love them to radically and totally transform with a click of my fingers, and I’d be Perfected Me in a Perfect Environment

But it doesn’t work that way. I’ve watched many of my loved ones assessing their lives this year, taking a deep breath, and addressing one thing they want to work on. It’s very, very hard to do alone. But every day is a chance to make a good decision, and with your cheerleaders behind you, you can do it.

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As well as the stuff that needs work, it’s important to be actively grateful for the stuff that’s good. I’m thankful for a year of health (sore knees don’t really count when it comes to real health). For my husband: his friendship, his kindness, his sense of humour. For my children – not perfect, but full of life and brilliance, and growing all the time. I’m grateful that I get to share life with a wide variety of incredible, wise, wonderful people. Together we are embracing the possibility of change, and taking one step at a time. Moving forwards, despite setbacks and mistakes. Seeing how far we’ve come. Celebrating. Running on.

Happy New Year!

 

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