2014 Year in Review

I really can’t believe another year has passed. Time seems to only be speeding up the older I get. It’s even more mind boggling to think that May marks four years since I graduated from college. That’s enough time to have earned another degree. Enough time to have….done a lot of things.

As you might recall from my first post of 2014, I love the fresh start of a new year. I love reflecting, setting goals and putting plans into timelines. I love having a clean slate (or at least feeling like I have a clean slate). If for no other reason than to simply have these entries for myself to look back on, here’s some 2014 reflection and looking ahead to 2015. And even if you’re sick of resolutions (and all the new people at the gym!), I hope you enjoy my musings.

Last year I set somewhat specific goals at the beginning of the year, most of which I didn’t follow through on. (Isn’t that how it always goes?) I love the idea of setting goals, and I do think in many ways the act of putting goals on paper (or in this case, on Internet) is motivating to me. However, I also tend to get caught up in the prize, in the actual goal itself, and don’t take time to slow down and take in the process. So this year, I hope to slow down and appreciate the becoming.

My desire for 2015 is to be more intentional, to learn when to step up and when to step back, and to not be so timid on this blog and elsewhere. Here’s a great piece from Everyday Feminism on how to be a better ally. Here’s to consistent reflection, re-examination, and the constant work of dismantling systems of power and oppression in 2015 and beyond.

2014 did had many bright spots. Stevoid and I did a fair amount of traveling, we visited my cousin in St. Louis in May, traveled to South Bend, Indiana for a wedding and a long weekend of exploring, and of course we traveled to the Smoky Mountains in November. I am so grateful for the time away, the time enjoying each other and people we love. I want to dedicate my life to fighting for a world where everyone has a high-quality of life — complete with fulfilling, well-paid work, quality health care, and a balance of leisure, travel and adventure. There is enough heartache and struggle in the loss of loved ones or in the deferment of dreams. All people everywhere, are entitled to work, health care and leisure.

From our trip to St. Louis in May to visit my cousin, Megan and her boyfriend, Danny.
From our trip to St. Louis in May to visit my cousin, Megan and her boyfriend, Danny.
From our trip to South Bend, Indiana -- we spent an afternoon exploring some wineries in Michigan and of course stopped by Lake Michigan! Beautiful.
From our trip to South Bend, Indiana — we spent an afternoon exploring some wineries in Michigan and of course stopped by Lake Michigan! Beautiful.
From our trip to the Smoky Mountains!
From our trip to the Smoky Mountains!

Running is still a constant in my life for which I just might be the most grateful. Sometimes when I really think about it, it still blows my mind that I run for fun. FOR FUN. Last year I set really specific goals around races, distances and times. While I will always strive to improve, I have also learned (after many months of beating myself up mentally), that is isn’t always about improving. Sometimes it’s just about doing. Running does not come easily to me, and I am often frustrated by that. But in another way, I’m also thankful because it makes even the small accomplishments that much sweeter.

I didn’t reach any of my time goals for 5K and 10K distances, but I did completely kick ass in my second half marathon in October. It was probably the most fun I’ve ever had in a race. I think I just might really like long distances. (WHAT?! IS THAT YOU, ERIN?! Also, “long” distances meaning 8-13 miles, of which I only run when training for a half marathon. Heh.)

Running

One thing I would like to change in 2015 is to train more with a running buddy. I have intentionally avoided this because running with other people frustrates me. I can’t tell you how many times I have “inspired” a friend to start running, and then said friend signs up for a race with me or goes on a short run with me and absolutely kicks my ass. I know said friend loves me and still thinks I’m awesome, but it’s kind of a shitty feeling when you’ve been at this for years, and Suzie Q comes out and blows past you. For some people, maybe this is motivating, but for me it’s mentally draining. I mean, hi, I’m slow. Like the slowest. I just haven’t been able to find a buddy yet who hangs out in the slow lane like me. BUT I do have one friend I have run a couple races with (HI KELLY!) who is much closer to my speed (although still faster), and we’ve decided to run more together this year.

I’ve been focused so much on running the past couple years that I have neglected other types of workouts, so I’m hoping to add more variety to my routine this year. I’d love to take up yoga (or at least try it). I am much more motivated by a race, an event or competing with other people than I am by a number on a scale, so obviously I’ll be racing in 2015. But I hope I can work other types of workouts into my life as well, while still reaching for milestones.

And then there’s writing. And reading. The two first loves of my life. I had high hopes for this blog and my booklist in 2014. Then life happened. And zoning out to hours of Netflix was my coping mechanism for life. While I know television won’t be disappearing from my life any time soon, I am really hoping to cut back a little. When I’m stressed and tired and only wanting a bottle of wine and a mindless show, I hope I instead seek out a quiet walk or a moment of meditation. I hope I get lost in characters in a book or use words to write out my frustrations.

I did take a big step by upgrading this blog and buying my own domain (!!!!). I know nothing about web design or color pallets, and it’s frustrating trying to make this blog look pretty when I have no idea what I’m doing. But ya’ll are actually here for the words right? Good. Because I’m committing to one post a week.

All in all if I could sum up 2014 in one word, it would be….chaotic. This year, when life feels heavy and the to-do list too long, I want to commit myself to counting my blessings (cheesyIknow), and taking a step back. Because the world is big, and we’re one tiny speck in the universe. Because the good stuffz — human connection, acts of kindness and love, giving and receiving — are the meaning of this journey. At the end of the day, life is just too damn short.

Kansas For Blog

Here’s to you, 2015.

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