Monday, January 5, 2015

Where have you been?

It's been quiet on the blog. I'm still here!

Happy new year! Christmas vacation ended today and it was hard to wake up to an alarm.  The class I taught had recess around 11 a.m.  I made a mental note that in the past two weeks it wasn't uncommon for me to still be wearing my pajamas at that time.  And, I will admit, there were a couple days that Sydney and I only got out of our pajamas to shower and then put on fresh ones.  Isn't that what vacation is for?  December should be a "happy-at-home, stay-cation-mindset" month.

Our Christmas in predawn.  Our usual sleepy child had us up at 5 a.m.!!  By 7 o'clock all the gifts were opened, a pot of coffee was empty, and breakfast was cooking.  By 10 o'clock John and I were back in bed for a much needed nap.  The week after Christmas brought a second Christmas disguised as a visit from my parents and my dear aunt from Virginia Beach.  There were endless cookies eaten, many games of Uno played, the working of a 700 piece puzzle, and fun shopping trips.  New Years Eve was spent with friends.  The real gift of the season came on January 1 as we gathered with our guests to watch our Buckeyes capture victory over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl!  What a game! Nail biting, teeth clenching, breath holding, palms sweaty kind of game. What a great day to be a Buckeye!  I woke up on January 2nd still feeling like it was a dream.

Glorious Buckeyes
  I reflected on my expectations and all my "shoulds" for the past year.  I keep these in the deep folds of my mind.  It's never quite the safest place to go alone.  Luckily I have a few friends to share these Coo Coo's Nest thoughts with.  After listening, they don't run away from me.  They just help me untangle the Great Expectations and bring them back down to earth in a gentle way.  I looked over my journal for 2014, and again I was reminded that greater plans than what I cook up usually occur.  Prayers and people I placed into my God Box didn't hold the heavy weight they did when I placed them in there.  That's not to say the year wasn't without a tribulation or's just to say that as another year drew to a close I was again able to see progress and that is a very good thing.

Kindness was my word of 2014.  I wrote about it last January.  If you missed it, you can read it by clicking here.  I wrote about how I wanted to practice more kindness towards others, especially myself.  I've also made progress there.  I was able to more often ask myself "what were you learning?" instead of "what were you thinking?"  This too is a very good thing.
NYE 2014

I also continued to run.  I conquered my first 10K and was pleased to finish in less than 1 hour.  Just before my second anniversary of becoming a "runner," I ran my furthest distance yet.  I ran 10 miles.  I did it on a solo run and it felt pretty damn good.  This prompted me to sign up (with a little less fear) for my first half marathon.  See, I'm only half crazy. :)  It's the Marine Corps Half in Fredericksburg in May.  I am scared.  I am excited.  

2015 asks for a new word.  My word this year is present.  I don't mean it as a noun, like a gift.  I mean it as an adjective.  In that form it holds this meaning:

1. being, existing, or occurring at this time or now; current
2. at this time; at hand; immediate: articles for present use
3. being with one or others or in the specified or understood place
4. existing or occurring in a place, thing, combination, or the like

I like this word already.  It’s a gentle challenge that I need.  I can use it when I’m a runner, wife, mom, sister, daughter, and friend.  It will help me to just be.  It reminds me:  breathe in, breathe out...repeat.

Last night Sydney was having trouble going to sleep.  Probably because we stayed up too late and slept in too much over our break from school.  Nevertheless, I decided to just lay in her bed with her to help her settle down.  I didn't “do” anything except be present.  I felt her silky hair against my cheek.  She held my hand.  I listened to the sleepy music filling her room from her cd player.  It reminded me of the nights we listened to it rocking her and Elliot to sleep.  I love those moments as a mom.  I love the reminders of where we've been and the present moment of where we are.  They become intertwined.  Sydney drifted off to sleep and I stayed for a moment.  Just long enough to feel really present in that moment.  Breathe in, breathe out...repeat.  What a way to end vacation.

Cheers to 2015
What will your year ahead hold? 

As always, thank you for reading.