The end of December always necessitates reflection, and I find comfort in the ritual of looking both backwards and forwards, savouring it slowly, spreading it out over the strange, quiet days between Christmas and New Years where turkey bunwiches and cookies and cheese become diet staples. It’s worthwhile taking the time to celebrate the hard work and successes of the year, while also being open to the lessons from the mistakes and failures, since you can’t have the good without the bad, and vice versa.
With that being said, I’m pretty darn good at beating myself up for my failures, and a lot less good at celebrating my successes, and I want to change that habit and focus on the positive here. So, without further rambling, and for my benefit more than anyone else’s, my positive year in review:
I finished the Run Motivators Invincible Challenge of 1200 miles in 2019 on December 27, and really poured on the bike miles in the last six weeks. I ran my fastest postpartum 10k at the Jasper Rocky Mountain Half Marathon, and used that race as a stepping stone to completing the Titanium Half Marathon in Lloydminster as a stroller half – having done every training run with my little co-pilot, crossing the finish line together was one of the highlights of the year. Thanks to the support of family and friends we also raised $1275 in support of STARS, so pushing that stroller for 13.1 miles was definitely worth it. All of that training with the stroller also allowed us to take advantage of Vermilion’s beautiful provincial park and paved trails. I attended 30 yoga classes, and even though I’d hoped to make 40, those 30 made a big difference! I also tried step-classes, actually scheduled regular massages, and, perhaps best of all, started playing hockey with the Colts again.
We made the big purchase of a new house and moved HOME, which was my favourite part of the year since I finally feel at peace. I learned to let go of places where I couldn’t be myself, and found the freedom to decide where to focus my energy. While I enjoyed teaching high school part time in the first half of the year, when I jumped into the world of post-secondary in September I felt truly at home; I love working with adult students as an academic strategist and specialized tutor. We discuss and debate interesting ideas, and I get to nerd out on showing them the ropes of academic writing. I help them organize their schedules and strengthen their study-habits; I’ll have everyone mind-mapping eventually. I’ve also enjoyed writing occasionally for Sweatpants and Coffee (this is one of my favourites) and doing a monthly “10 Questions with . . .” piece for Alberta Mamas (this is one of my favourites), as well as some social media content creation on the side. The self-directed and creative aspects are perfect for me!
I finished the 50 Book Pledge for the fifth year in a row, which is a nice start on my quest for 50 consecutive years. I mustered up the courage to join a writers guild and was inspired to begin “writing every Monday, no matter what” by blogging here on The Faucet. I finally joined a book club and continued to volunteer with West Reel Film Club, sharing my dorky love of Canadian documentary too.
I threw light on my really important things all year long. My word of the year – elucidate – was fitting.