Thursday, December 30, 2010

Year in Review

As most people are doing this time of year, they are taking stock of their lives over the past year and setting goals for the upcoming year, I am doing the same.

Things I have done in a nutshell:
  • traveled to a foreign country
  • zip lined in the jungle and rappelled down a 120 meter waterfall
  • camped a whole lot - nothing new there
  • became a red head
  • signed up for online dating service
  • went to Vegas - twice
  • volunteered for two charity events - bike ride and beer run
  • raised a shit load of money for charity
  • made some new friends via Twitter and other social media outlets
  • took up running
  • completed my first (and not the last) half marathon
  • walked in a parade
I look at this list and I realize I did alot this past year. Many things I thought I would never do and a few things I do more frequently.I'm very proud of this list.

I know many people set new goals for themselves each year. I have a few as well. Some are private but some I will share.
  • complete a half marathon sub 3 hours
  • care less about my weight but focus on a more healthy overall lifestyle
  • join a book club
  • go back to school and finish my degree - this one seems the most scary to me
  • volunteer more with causes that mean something to me
  • be an awesome mentor to runners for Team Challenge
  • spend more time with my nieces. They need a good role model.
What are your goals for the new year? Can I help you accomplish them?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It Didn't Totally Suck

I was expecting the worst and pleasantly surprised.

I'm talking about Christmas. The last several years, I have pretty much boycotted the holiday.

Let's recap the past few years, shall we.

2009: Only a few months after my dad died. Things between my sister, mom and I are strained to say the least. I barely talked to any of them. They made some accusations that I could not forget. I go over to my sister's and she makes a snide comment about me bringing the dogs, which she knew I was going to do. I am there all of 6 minutes, tops. I drop off my food and presents, pack up the dogs and leave. I end up going to a movie with a friend. I hear from none of them for 2-3 months.

2008: Only a few weeks after Randy died. So not in the mood to begin with. Christmas morning started out crappy when I got the phone call from mom's girlfriend saying that mom is having a heart attack and they are taking her to the ER. Lovely. Spend most of the day at the hospital. Dad isn't doing much better. He is still recovering from chemo and radiation and pretty weak.

2007: Randy and I are in the middle of divorcing. We accepted an offer on the house and I was trying to find a new place to buy. Things between us were estranged and he wasn't really even living in the house much at that time.

Fast forward to this year.

As in years past, one tradition is to go out to dinner on Christmas Eve with P, K and Stb. It is always a good time with friends. While out for cocktails, I get a phone call from mom that she is not going to be at my sister's. Oh well. I have learned to not expect anything from her so it really doesn't bother me too much. Get home a bit late and it seems that Santa has left me with a bit of a hangover the next morning.

I call my sister mid-morning to find out the plans. She is all sorts of crabby because the oldest niece and her were fighting and so my sister decided to not do anything. Note: Sister has more of an attitude problem than niece does. I was now starting to dread this. Wondering how I can get out of actually going over there this year. I realize that it is not all about me but I should go over there for the kids. I take a bit of a nap and head over there.

I get there and am shocked that my mom is there. Hmmm, wonder what happened but am not asking. Middle niece is so happy to see me. She hands me a little bag and tells me to open it. I don't even have my coat off yet. I open it and it was an ornament that said Aunt on it. It was really sweet of her and she was so happy that she picked it out all by herself and the school's Secret Santa Workshop.

I go into the living room and hang with the kids for awhile. Getting hungry so go into the kitchen for food. Thinking I should probably talk to mom and sister for a bit. We chat and by this time the kids are getting antsy to open gifts. Head back into the living room. Dole out the gifts. Youngest niece opens one of her gifts from me. It was a pink messenger bag that could convert into a back pack. It had been in the middle of her list so didn't think it was a big deal. She did. When she seen it, she screamed. LOUD! You would have thought she won the lottery. She was so excited about it. She sat down on the floor and proceeded to inspect it very carefully. A few minutes later, she came over to me and was showing me where all her stuff would go into it. Pencils, pens, folders. She wanted to put her stuff into it right then and there. When she realized that it was a whole week before she could use it to go back to school, you would have thought her cat died.

Middle niece got lots of books from me. She loves to read and I will do everything to encourage that. Once the gifts were all opened she grabbed a book and sat on the chair and read.

Oldest niece was fairly easy. Being 15, she wants clothes and cash. She got gift cards and one of my old Coach purses. She loved it. I did give her the lecture that it was a fairly expensive purse ($150) and that she needed to take care of it and make sure to not leave it laying somewhere. She assured me that she would. I hope so.

For a change, mom and sister listened to what I asked for. I told them gift cards. Barnes & Noble, Target. I really don't need much but can always find things to buy there. I did ask for the registration to the Summerfest 1/2 marathon this year. I ended up with Summerfest gift cards. Perfect. I will definitely use those!

The kids wanted to go play football outside. I was still a bit tired and didn't have the clothes to be outside for more than a few minutes so I had to decline.

It was starting to get late and I wanted to get a nap in before bed. (Hey, it was my holiday to do with as I pleased. Nothing beats a good nap with snuggly pups.) So home I went.

It was a nice time and I was just happy it didn't totally suck.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Run, Run Away

Well, kids. It's that time. Time for Vegas, baby!

Way back in August, I signed up for this crazy little thing called a half marathon. Running 13.1 miles. Me. hmmm... Who would have guessed it??

After months of training. The time is finally here.

I think back of the milestones I have accomplished over the last few months.

Running 3 miles without stopping to walk.
Run/walking 10+ miles.

It seemed like every Sunday at our group runs, I was setting another personal best. You know how cool that was/is? Very.

When I first signed up, I thought that I would just walk the half marathon. But then I started training and realized that I can run. It certainly wasn't easy. That's for sure. But I guess, most things in life aren't easy. So a running, I went.

I looked forward to the Sunday runs where we would gather as a group and get to know a huge group of runners. There was always a silly question that we had to answer. I got to know a few things about some people that I really didn't need to know.

Wednesday runs were always just 5-6 of us and in the end only another girl and I. They were nice as you got to know people a little better and bond more. The Wednesday group did a great job of really pushing me, supporting me and not letting me quit when I wanted to. I like to think that I gave them the same support and pushed them.

As I write this, I think and wonder how just 4 short months ago, I set up a journey that has changed me. I like to think it changed me for the better.