When I race there are two cities that effect me emotionally like no other cities do. The first is Ventura, California where I started running again. And the second is San Francisco where I ran my first marathon. This weekend I raced in San Francisco and it brought up the usual thoughts and feelings that I am flooded with when I am here. I was reminded of the adversity that I faced getting to my first start line and crossing my first finish line. There were about two decades of my life that I didn’t allow the thoughts of accomplishing those goals to enter my head. I believed that they were unreachable. But one brave moment, a little prayer spoken and a giant leap of faith taken would show me that I was mistaken. That the dreams I had were not gone, they had just been quieted.
My race this weekend wasn’t monumental as far as accomplishments go but it did remind me of something important. Obstacles and setbacks will only derail me from reaching my goals for as long as I allow them to. It’s my choice to give up or to keep chasing my dreams. And if I let them, tough times can be used to motivate me to dream even bigger.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you believe that nothing is impossible!!!
In 2016 I survived. BARELY. In 2017 I recovered. THANKFULLY. And in 2018 I lived. HAPPILY. I feel like I loved and found peace and contentment in every moment that I was given this year. I felt joy and found happiness even on my toughest days. And for some reason this came easier than it ever has. I let go of A LOT. Sometimes maybe more than I should have. But I make no apologies. It’s what felt right in the moment that I was sitting in. Sure there are things that I wish I could change and things that I wish I had done differently, but for the most part, 2018 was exactly what I needed it to be. It was life, my life, unfolding and evolving in the most normal of ways. I needed a year like this. BIG TIME. And I am grateful that God blessed me with it. As each day passed I tried to cherish each moment as a treasured gift. I think I did a pretty good job of that. I took each situation and circumstance for what they were and stayed in the moment. I was PRESENT feeling my way through and learning what I could. It was not a year full of change or movement or victories, but it certainly was a year that was packed full of wonderful memories. Memories that were made with some incredible souls. There is no doubt that 2018 was a good year for me.
So what then, can I expect from 2019? The last few days of 2018 I spent a lot of time trying to come up with my New Year Mantra. I have done this for so many years now that it should be easy. But it never is. I really put a lot of thought into it because this one word will follow me for the next 365 days. It is a reminder of what I choose to accept and bring into my life. Last year I chose the word “Free” and I can’t tell you how accurate that became. In 2018 I allowed myself to be freely me and I loved it. Even the messy parts. I didn’t push too hard to grow. I didn’t push too hard to succeed. I didn’t cling to or reach for much of anything. I was just grateful to have the moments God felt I needed. I guess years like this come when you overcome some ugly things. Well, at least it did for me. And again, it felt right.
I remember after my mom passed away, I asked God for some time to JUST BE. I didn’t want to grow or change or mature or be anymore than what I was. Basically I asked for a life break! But it wasn’t what I wanted long term. I just wanted enough time to allow what happened to me to sink in so that I could move gracefully into my future. And He graciously let me have it.
I feel like that was what 2018 was for me. A break. A time when I got back to the basics of ME and nurtured the NEW me that I became after being sick again. This me is different for sure. But I wouldn’t necessarily say it came from growth. It is more along the lines of acceptance. In a good way. Like finding peace over things that I cannot or won’t change. Being content with less. Processing more. Seeing situations clearer. Thinking harder. Appreciating more. And loving deeper in every day that passed and in every experience I had. And never wanting more.
So after a year like 2018, what one word could possibly hold the meaning to all I want 2019? I absolutely loved everything about 2018 but I believe that it’s time to feed the passions that God has poured into me. Again. To do this I need to feed my soul with beautiful things and avoid toxicity as much as possible. I need to make sure that the people who I walk through this life with and the people who I choose to expose myself to are genuine, kind and live with good intentions. I want reciprocal and loving connections with humans who are REAL. I truly feel that God has been calling me for more and to accept less from others could hinder my reply to His calling. To deny the fire that He has placed in my heart would be innately wrong. I see it as squandering the days that I have been given and living disingenuously. But this is a tough one for me. Putting myself out there again, taking chances, setting goals, and chasing dreams is especially difficult coming out of the year I just had. I was comfortable and safe. But I cannot deny that God is moving me to live my truth. Oh boy, is He ever! So I guess I just have to trust Him and know that I’m ready for whatever my future holds. I need to believe that I am capable of whatever He places on my heart and I need to live faithfully, genuinely, passionately and bravely in their pursuit.
Well, I hope you all have a YEAR where you live authentically!!!
This morning I was looking at my Facebook Memories and realized that 5 years ago today Sidney and I attended a traveling college open house event. She was at the beginning part of her junior year and this visit would be the catalyst to more than I could have ever imaged. This would eventually be the university Sidney would choose to attend.
In the post I struggled with all of it. I guess nothing has changed there, HA! But it was amazing to see how much time DID change things. I remember that day perfectly. It would be the beginning of so much; a pre-college stay on campus, tours of the city, the application process, a portfolio, her senior year of high school and what would come to be her final year at home. What a journey it has been. To see how much she has grown is incredible. She has accomplished much. As I progressed through all of that with her I could not deny that she was on the right path. She FIT perfectly through every door that was opened for her. I watched her fall in love with all of it. And because she had the courage to take a chance on herself she has now created a wonderful life for herself. Despite being so young at the time my baby girl chose her future wisely. She listened to her heart and committed to nurturing and growing the gifts and talents God gave her. And in what seems like the blink of an eye … “my baby” girl grew up.
A lot can happen in 5 years. Nothing in our lives looks the same as it did back then. Applying this knowledge to our futures fills me with a sense of excitement, but also with a little MOM sadness too. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the simpler times when my big kids where little. I do. But watching them mature and seeing them chase their dreams and achieve their goals brings me overwhelming amounts of joy. I have mentioned before that this process comes with many ups and downs for me. I don’t do any of this gracefully. I feel my way through it. I’m thankful that my kids allow me to SIT with all of it in my own way. After all, it’s not just them who has been growing in all of this. I have learned and changed too. I am honestly fascinated at how so many lives can grow together yet still be on their own personal paths. I have come to believe that THIS is what life and love should look like when they are set in motion over a lifetime. And I don’t think I have ever been a part of something more beautiful.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you look back and move forward!!!
Yesterday Libs took the PSAT. She took one last year, in her sophomore year, and did well. We also arranged to have her take an unofficial SAT about two months later just to see how she would do. The test evaluator was pleased to see her score since Libs was technically about 18 months out from taking the official SAT. When the evaluator found out that Libs had forgotten her calculator she changed from “pleased” to “shocked” that Libs did as well as she did.
Telling you all of that is not to brag about my smart kid. Trust me, she IS smart, but it’s because she works so hard. Heck, Libs welcomed all the testing last year just so she could see where she was AT educationally. She’s always thought this way. She is the kid who checks her student portal obsessively after a test or big project. So much so that we had a year when we had to implement a time cutoff to check grades because she would get upset if they weren’t posted. It would ruin her whole evening. That limit really helped her balance fun and work and helped her to see that there is a time (and importance) for both. Anyway, Libs has some lofty college goals and when she started verbalizing them to me we had a long talk (several actually) about what it would take to achieve them. She knows it won’t be easy but she knows what she has to do to make it all happen. When I saw her commitment to her goals and saw how it was all effecting her I went to her counselor, coaches and favorite teachers to let them know what she wants. All of them were on board. Libs has the support of MANY. An army of people who see that she CAN achieve the goals that she has set for herself. As a mom, I couldn’t be more thankful. But I have to say that yesterday has been a stark reminder of times that are soon to change. Again. I’ve been down this road twice before. It is a beautiful road but it does have its’ thorns. The reality of my third baby growing up is creeping in. As much as it all fills my heart with joy, I find (ONCE AGAIN) that my heart can ache at the same time. I have no doubt that when it’s time for Libs to head to college that she will be ready. She will embrace the new life laid before her. She will thrive as an adult. But until then, I will cherish every last childhood moment that I am blessed to share with her.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you see it all happening again!!!
There is NOTHING like seeing my children overcome adversity and succeed despite the odds stacked against. To watch them persevere mentally and physically, amidst self doubt, just fills this mama’s heart with pride. And seeing them come to the realization that taking a chance on themselves is worth it, will ALWAYS fill my heart with joy. I can attest, when your child realizes that they ARE capable of reaching goals and living out their dreams, it is truly a beautiful moment.
Well, I hope you all had a day where you rose to the occasion!!!
What makes us not pursue our heart’s desire? I know the answers are vast on this one. Fear. Guilt. Time. Obligations. Money. I am sure that most of us can come up with a list a mile long. I know I have! And I’d say that probably most are valid and reasonable excuses. Reasons that make our decision, to not chase our dreams, absolutely understandable. BUT, if I’ve leaned one thing in my five decades it’s this … every time I’ve been given one teeny tiny arrow pointing me in the direction of my goals, it has been a good enough reason to make them a priority. And ultimately it has all brought me a lot of joy.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you GO FOR IT!!!
I crack myself up. Every Sunday I wake up with the same goal. But after decades of having children I have come to realize it’s absolutely impossible to achieve. But hey, I’m no quitter.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you get to do NOTHING!!!