December 31, 2011

On Endings and Beginnings, Running and Joy

On Endings and Beginnings

It’s been a long December and there’s reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last.
– Counting Crows

It’s been a long year.

I could elaborate on that statement with all sort of detail, but a few highlights aught to do:

  • My company completed our first full year of post-merger integration
  • I sold a home, bought a new home at the beach and moved
  • I traveled almost 200,000 miles for my company
  • My youngest son’s water polo team took the gold medal at the National Junior Olympics
  • I got pneumonia
  • I made some really good new friends
  • I took up running

I try not to classify the events of my life as good or bad anymore.

The greatest truth is that you can’t really know what the final impact of an event will have on your life will be until you get enough distance from it – and I suspect that sometimes the only real perspective is looking back over years or decades. So these days, I try not to pass judgment. Events happen – in the moment they are joyful or sad, invigorating or stressful. This is the ebb and flow of the tide of my world.

What I can say is that this year has been so rich with experience it has felt much longer than others somehow. All too often I have the sense that time rushes by, passes too quickly – but not this year. Somehow 2011 felt – bigger.  Like time expanded to allow for a lot more stuff to happen.

Now on the cusp of the New Year, I am feeling ready for change. I am not one for resolutions, so you won’t get that from me here. Maybe the most important thing I learned last year is that even when life is crazy and busy and stressful and hard, you can still make time for love and friendship and music and dancing. You can still grab a hold of the small moments of joy and run with them.

If I plan to do any one thing more or better in the New Year it is just that – run with the joy.

Yesterday I was recounting my day here on Catalina Island to Aaron the Bartender.

He said: I get the rest of it, but why were you running? I mean, what are you running from? Bears?

I laughed.

And while I briefly mentioned the blog and my one-year running experiment, later I thought a little more about the question. Truly, I am not running from anything. I am also pretty sure I am not running to anything or anywhere in particular. But maybe, just maybe, part of the reason I am running is to be able to keep up.

Being “in shape” is not just about our physical bodies – it’s about having the overall endurance to keep up with the busyness of our lives. I want to be able to navigate the hard stuff with the ease of an athlete and still have stamina left at the end of the day to play with my kids or to have a late night out celebrating with friends. Running is helping me to build that endurance – and while I don’t plan on using that to finish a marathon, I can use it to get more out of the day-to-day exercise of my life.

I have no reason to believe that my life is going to slow down in 2012. So what I want for for this New Year: More energy to really create, experience, and appreciate the moments of joy in my life. And I will keep running because I think it’s helping me get there.

Blessing to all of you on this eve of new beginnings.


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  1. nancy
    December 31, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    Love you and wish for you and the boys a wonderful 2012..filled with love, laughter, and good health….so proud of all that you do…xoxo