It’s inevitable. As much as I tell myself I am not going to do that thing at the end of the year and “reflect”… I think it is just human nature to take stock in ourselves every so often. And since the rest of the world is screaming new year, re-set.. well it’s a little hard to resist.. even though, one of the things I am and have been striving for is originality.
I stopped doing New Year’s resolutions a long time ago. My life’s value is not based on items getting checked off some list that I came up with that supposedly is intended to “improve” me. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve got lists. I’ve got more than lists. In addition to this blog and my almost daily shares in various groups, I have journals, many, many paper journals, (I think 7 currently in use soon to be 8 when my next grandson arrives; they each will receive one filled with our experiences and memories from the first few years of life when memories don’t always stick with us.) I’m retiring my gratitude journal that I started in 2018 and have written in on and off for years and I started a new one yesterday, January 1. I have a hiking one to remember and capture special moments from each of those experiences and the rest are filled with thoughts and ideas and possibilities of where I might want to explore and things I may want to try. Hopes, dreams, happiness, triumphs, sorrows, frustrations, anger, fear, gratitude, poetry, important memories, they are all intermingled. Writing down my thoughts is an integral part of my being.
I found my 2022 list of things that had piqued my interest in one of my journals entitled Walk by Faith 2 Corinthians 5:7 on a page adjacent to this bible verse: Philippians 4:8. I don’t think it was coincidence to place my thoughts there.
So what was I thinking about in early January 2022 ? The number one thing on my list was Love Hard every day! This, I can say I absolutely excelled at.
A few other items – hiking, reading, blogging, bible study every day, volunteering, 11k steps a day, lose weight, do more yoga. I joined multiple challenges this year – 52 hike challenge. I closed out 2022 with hike #83/69/52 a peaceful hike mostly along a slightly frozen brook. The gentle water flow washing away any lingering negatives thoughts and leaving me refreshed and clear to find my path to new positive thoughts. This year instead of the #52hikechallenge, I signed up for #thehikers365 #myadventurechallenge and I logged my first 5.5 miles yesterday. When I reach 365 miles of hiking, a tree will be planted in my honor. Win/win I am encouraged to do something I love and it will be good for the environment too.
I completed the Catskill’s Fire Tower Challenge, a fabulous experience, with the support of #myhikingfamily. Big D even tackled one with me, priceless. I participated in a 52 book challenge, by year end I finished 33 books, many of which I probably would never have even considered reading. I have joined again, there is a brand new list of topic ideas to explore. I missed two days of bible study all year. This is a permanent part of my life. I gained weight instead of losing, time for a u-turn; and I have surpassed 11k steps most days, some days, doubling and tripling. Yoga was sporadic once the 30 day challenge ended in January. Hitting the mat as soon as I am done here! The thing I feel brought me the biggest reward, I became a Certified Domestic Violence Response Team Advocate this year.
Many firsts this year, including hiking in the Catskills, rock wall climbing, turns out that my favorite moment is after you reach the top and they say “let go” and you release your grip on the wall grab onto your rope and propel yourself down. What a rush! And kind of poetic because I finally feel confident that I have released once and for all an emotional hold that has had its grip on me for years. No anger, no sadness, no anything, just peace. I also went ice skating, and it was so much fun.
I discovered that Joe Jonas is my favorite Jonas brother and that I’m wild about Harry. I found myself not scrolling by a “motivational” speaker – Adam Cam.. not sure if it is his voice, his matter of fact attitude and method of dispensing non-fluffy wisdom, or that he reminds me of Roy Kent who was a huge factor in my ability to complete that awful, boring, blah 20 mile mammoth march in October (yeah so I am doing another one, but this time up at Letchworth State Park and the views promise to be amazing.)
One last this year, I am pretty certain I will not be running any more half marathons. While this last one was pretty awesome running with mountain views the entire time in Arizona, running itself brings me no pleasure so I’d rather focus my energies on things that I enjoy. 5ks, 10ks.. sure, but training for and running anything longer, probably not gonna happen. Oh am I’m going to stop reading Jets fans comments on FB.. sheesh what a fickle bunch of people.. makes my head spin.
So here we are, the first Monday in 2023, and I am sipping my coffee, just finished my bible reflection, in the glow of my still up Christmas tree feeling content. I have no big declarations of change on the horizon. I am going to keep doing what I am doing, except for a few tweaks here and there, because it is serving me well.
I like who I am and where I am at. I discovered this quote recently and it is the center of my brand new gratitude journal: “This place where you are right now, God circled on a map for you.” Hafiz
Recognize your place and be the best person you can be on any given day. Don’t focus on if it was or you were “better than” the day before. Be in the present moment and make the most of it, keep doing that every day and hold onto faith that it will all fall into place…eventually. Happy New Year.