Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy New Year!

Last year I set a goal to "get my house in order," literally and metaphorically. I’ve gone a long way toward accomplishing that goal, though I suspect it is one that requires a lifetime to fulfill and even then, there will still be items not crossed off on the to-do list. Still, I’ve made progress: I got new living room furniture and replaced the old, scarred mismatched night stands in my bedroom with a set that matches my bed. I’ve organized my closet (a daunting undertaking, filled with the ghosts of fashions past) and cleaned off my desk at work. I’ve gathered ideas for major revamping of my bathroom and kitchen.

I’ve deepened my spiritual life, and have become more consistent in my running (or, as I like to call it: controlled stumbling.) I went to a wonderfully fulfilling, enlightening weekend retreat with the poet, David Whyte, on the theme of Solace. (For more information on this poet, check out his website at http://www.davidwhyte.com/.) Local peeps, he’s giving a free lecture at CC on January 28th, 4 P.M.

So the end of 2014 looms and I feel content with what I’ve accomplished, though mindful of where I fell short. There certainly are areas where I didn’t give my best effort, where ego triumphed over love, and where I stubbed my toe on the sharp corner of discontent. This proves, for those of you who were wondering, that I am human, after all! :)

I wanted to share with you some of my goals going into 2015, both as a means of holding myself accountable to them, and to opening myself to any encouragement you want to give! :)

I have decided to run four half marathons, one a month, June-September. Before you question my assertion that I’m human, let me just add that my version of running is a run/walk combo (known as the Jeff Galloway method) in which I run four minutes, walk one. Psychologically, I know I can keep running for four minutes as long as there’s that one minute break. I am going to begin a training program that will prepare me for this. The farthest I’ve run is a 10K, which is 6.2 miles, so almost half of a half marathon! My time for that was 1:23, so I’m hoping to finish the half marathons in 3-3 ½ hours. See below for links to the races I’ve chosen.

Another running goal is to run a sub-36 minute 5K. My current PR is 38:41, so this seems do-able and hopefully the training for the half will help in my pace and endurance overall. I want to end the year having run 1000 km (that’s just over 621 miles but sounds so much more impressive to say 1000!!).
I would like to make some progress on my bathroom remodel, and continue in my efforts to make my house more of a home; a sanctuary, rather than just shelter. I would like to do something to make my yard more inviting as well. I am the most uninspired "gardener; it’s all I can do to make sure Sam mows the lawn in the summer. But there’s always hope!

So now, we say goodbye to 2014 and welcome, with all the hope we can muster, the uncertain days of 2015. I am reminded of this quote by poet Rainier Marie Rilke: "Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final." And that is all we can do, after all, isn’t it? I offer best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2015, and the courage to let everything happen to us and to keep going, and this final poem by another of my favorite poets, John O’Donohue:

A Morning Offering
I bless the night that nourished my heart
To set the ghosts of longing free
Into the flow and figure of dream
That went to harvest from the dark
Bread for the hunger no one sees.
All that is eternal in me
Welcome the wonder of this day,
The field of brightness it creates
Offering time for each thing
To arise and illuminate.
I place on the altar of dawn:
The quiet loyalty of breath,
The tent of thought where I shelter,
Wave of desire I am shore to
And all beauty drawn to the eye.
May my mind come alive today
To the invisible geography
That invites me to new frontiers,
To break the dead shell of yesterdays,
To risk being disturbed and changed.
May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.


Here are the races I’ve chosen for the summer.

June 13th (the weekend before my 53rd birthday) Huntington Beach Fun in the Sun

July 4th The Colorado Springs Half on the Fourth

August 16th Run the Rockies Trail Half Marathon

September 6th Half Marathon at the Happiest Place on Earth!!

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