I think that the majority of people go into a new year with high hopes and cautious expectations. We never ever know what good times will be bestowed upon us and we certainly never know what bad times will fall our way.
At times throughout 2008 I often said "it can't get any worse", but at times it indeed did. At least 2 times I thought seriously that it really couldn't get any worse, and it also seemed that my eyes were going to fall right out of my head from the tears.
But it always got better, one way or the other. Sometimes I found solace in myself. Sometimes in a few DEAR to my heart friends, and sometimes only through prayer, forgiveness and the grace of God.
And always, ALWAYS I managed to find some good in the bad, and held onto my mantra of: everything happens for a reason. We may not always understand the why or the how, but it does indeed come to find its way to let you know.
Running: I have had the best year of my running 'career'. I managed to PR after PR after PR after PR in the Spring. I managed a PR at the half in Houston in January after coming off an injury that sidelined me from the full. I won the lottery and made it into NYC Marathon. I trained my heart, soul and left my guts on the roads and 'hills' of Houston in the searing heat of the summer in training for NYC. I wasn't going there for the 'experience' of it, although yes that was indeed great (although the experience wasnt the race itself but the time I got to spend with my sister and my niece). I went to NYC and RAN that marathon like I meant it.
I strategized long before I got there, but always kept my confidence at bay realizing that nothing ever goes as planned. In my case, it went better. Since NYC I haven't had much time to recover (really not at all) and I've had to make the difficult decision to run the half instead of the full in just 3 short weeks from now. There were times that I have almost (almost) thought of not doing it all. I've just had some setbacks in training, but they too, will subside (as they always do). Running in 2008 has been perfect. There really isn't much more to say than that.
I am (at the moment) in the best physical shape and health than I have ever been before. But just wait...it ain't over. This last statement should come as no surprise. I have big goals for 2009.
Family (those that I was born into): I can't say much more than this year has been phenomenal in this respect. My family has grown into something that I cherish more than ever, and I do have the regret that it took this long in my life. But I am forever grateful for my growth and maturity and that I can now say my sister is indeed my life long best friend for life. Never did I think we would get to this point, but I thank God every day for it happening.
Family (those that I choose to be): While there are fewer than ever before, the ones that I call my friends (family) now I feel like were brought to me for reasons I will not disclose here. There are um....3 from my past that I feel are still with me everyday and I respect and miss them dearly but our life paths have drifted us apart, but again they are in my heart everyday (HJ, SS and LTT), I love you more than words can say). To those new but dear, dear friends (DE, BB and AH) you have brought me tears of joy and helped me through some of my toughest times this year. I think of you as sisters and my heart jumps for joy when I think of the happiness your friendship has brought to my life.
To the one that I consider my best friend, we've certainly had our share of hardships, but you, and only you are the one that makes me happy and thankful every. single. minute. of. every. single. day. that you are a part of my life.
To those of you who are my blogger friends, and who have provided inspiration, hope, messages and emails of encouragement, I think of you as friends as much as those that I can actually see and hear.
I lost Harley this year...I still miss him so much, but I know I did the right thing and he's in kitty heaven and at least I had 17 years with him. Some ask if I want another kitty. No, I don't think so. I can't replace him, nor do I even want to try.
Career: I won't dwell on this too much, but I am indeed thankful for the uprise in my job (and financial) situation. It has made me open my eyes to new possibilities and to the realization that loving what you do every day and excited to get out of bed and go to work, CAN BE FUN and rewarding. While I have never had to worry about money or ever having to budget, bah! I am doing alright and while I don't have that 'security', did I really ever at all anyway? No. I absolutely adore my job and what I get to do and contribute every day to like minded individuals, old and new runners alike. And when you have those people constantly come back and thank you SO MUCH for your advice, whether on nutrition, clothing or training, it makes the long hours on my feet every day worth that much more.
Love: Ah yes...the love category. Its been a roller coaster, there is no denying that. I am not going to dwell on this either, as it doesn't need dwelling. As I said, everything happens for a reason...why some people come into your life, why some of them leave and never come back, why some never leave, and why some leave and do come back. I may have made some mistakes along the way this past year, I am mature enough to have learned from (some) of them... but when it comes right down to it, love conquers all. It might not always make sense, and if it did it wouldn't be near as fun I don't think.
All I know is that I feel grateful that I have the heart that I do. That God has given me the emotion(s) to feel what I feel...sometimes so much so that it overwhelms me. And right now...at this moment...I don't think of 'what if'. I am just loving every minute of happiness, regardless of the consequences if something doesn't always go right.
So all in all, in so many categories, I have thought of the percentage of good vs bad. Some had higher percentages in the good and some had higher percentages in the not so good. What I intend to do is flip the percentages where they were higher in the bad and make them higher in the good in 2009.
I have my plan (and goals) for 2009 and I will post that later...