So 2012 was a pretty awesome year. How can I top that? Assuming we adopt a child in 2013 (which is a likely assumption but we could still possibly wait longer), this could be the most life-changing year we'll ever have. Here is the huge benefit of a runner adopting a child - I don't have to stop running even for a minute. I won't miss a beat. That is pretty exciting my friends.
The end of this year found me running less and stressing more, and my goal for 2013 is to continue to set challenging goals and find ways to de-stress. It's difficult for someone with my extremely anal personality to not want to excel at everything 100 percent of the time, but that's not realistic. I need to set challenging but realistic goals and push for them.
Goal number one is a bit outside my reach. After trying for several years to conceive a child, we made the decision at the end of 2011 to start the adoption process. We're ten months into that process, and I am hopeful that this is the year we will become parents. I know it will change everything in the craziest and most exciting way, and I look forward to it as much as I look forward to the many miles I'll have to run to maintain my new mom sanity. I realize it's harder to make the time to run once one has children, but I know fantastic and dedicated running moms who have done it. I will seek to follow in their footsteps.
Goal number two is The Happiness Project. A few years ago my BFF bought me the book The Happiness Project for Christmas. It's an absolutely eye opening look at achieving one's true happiness and what that takes. After reading the book I decided I'd do my own happiness project, and then I just kind of didn't. I let it slide, and I underestimated how much that project could change my life. This year I will work on my own happiness project. Stay tuned for more on that.
Goal number three is to leave work at work. I love what I do. I believe in it, I live it, and I put 120 percent into every single day. And night. And weekend. I bring work stress home not because it's expected but because I don't want to let anyone down. Not my members, not my co-workers, and most importantly not myself. But here's the thing I've come to realize in the last few weeks I've been away from work - work is not my life. I've let it become my life and define my life, but my successes and/or failures at work should not define me as a human being. I should not stress with a gut wrenching knot in my stomach about the decisions I'm making every day. A wise boss told me a few years ago that in our line of political work - nobody dies. Most failures can be fixed or at least mitigated, and in a few years there will be a new battle that makes this one seem insignificant. I've got to leave it on the field.
Goal number four is be part of change. I work in a job where placemaking and vibrant communities is what we preach. I live in Lansing, and I'll be honest - I don't love it here. But I want to be part of the change that creates vibrant communities aside from my job. While in Detroit a few weeks ago to visit the Detroit Institute of Art I marveled in how much promise is in that city and how much I want to be part of that change. I'm 90 miles away, and that makes it harder. But I can be part of the change in my own community. The question is how, and that is a question I'll work on answering.
Goal number five is run. Run regularly, run hard, and continue to set new running goals. I want to break five hours in the Pittsburgh Marathon. I want to break a two hour half marathon. Maybe this is the year I'll try a triathlon, but I won't make any promises. At any rate I'll knock a few more states off my list of where I've done races, and I will reach my goals.
Goal number six is to be a better wife, a better friend, a better family member. In the last year I got really involved in my work, my stress, my own cocoon of what I felt I needed to do. Most of my conversations revolved around said stress. This year I'll say yes more often to that impromptu glass of wine with my neighbors. I'll call my parents and siblings more. I'll stop doing housework to watch one of our favorite television shows with my husband without feeling restless. This year I live for now and enjoy these moments.
Last year one of my girlfriends got me a cute little catchall that I keep on my dresser. It says, "Enjoy the little things in life for someday you'll realize they are the big things." That is my mantra for 2013.