Another year has passed by so ever swiftly. I  make a conscience effort of  not living in the past but I do feel it is important to look back on the good, the bad and the ugly. This, for me, develops a stepping stone on areas of needed growth as well as holding some joy for the breathtaking moments that I will be sure to conjure up all my remaining living days.

Here is what I have learned in 2016.

-I need time by myself.  Neglecting this results in a pissed off mom, resentful wife and a not engaged friend. Furthermore, I need this daily. Gs nap time is such a precious piece of my day. This is my time to reboot and do whatever it is that I need to do. Nap. Read. Declutter. Watch a pointless TV show. Bake. Mediate. Sit outside in the quiet. I am well aware that the nap will be making an exit soon but knowing just how important this is to my being, I just know an alternative will be found. Waking up early in the morning to have some “me” time is also critical. I have to start my day before the kiddos rise. Christmas break was a wonderful respite and we did sleep in every single day. Now that school is back in session, my goal is to be up at least 1 hr ahead of everyone else. This ensures I get to have a hot cup of coffee, mediate and make my to do list.

-Running is part of who I am and denying this piece of me leads to toxic behavior. Truth be told, I still get giddy, nervous butterflies everytime I lace up. Sometimes more than others. I think this is because of the anticipation of what the run will bring for me. Sometimes it is a struggle with every single step. Others runs, it feels like I am an Olympian that could run an ultra without even trying. Every run is different and teaches a new lesson. After running the Chicago Marathon, I took a 3 month break from running ( well, everything). I ran maybe 4 times. These 4 times were social events just to see some of my dear running friends. Luck was on my side and I did get in the 2017 Chicago Marathon. To be honest, I did take a few weeks to contemplate if I wanted to do another marathon. Marathon training is intense. Other areas of my life go away. Resting, eating proper foods and following a strict training schedule dominates who I am for 10 months. Dear hubby is the lead duck on the weekends ( especially when the long runs hit the 15, 16,1 7, etc mile marker). After much consideration and even some daily praying, I want to run Chicago again. Running another marathon is good for me- body, mind and soul.

-I think I had a social media addiction. Facebook would be the first thing I did when I woke up and the last thing I did before bed. I would feel left out of the loop if I did not stay logged in and aware of what all my 200+ “friends” were doing. Kiddos and hubby would not get the full me because I was distracted by some other persons life other than being engaged in my own. The hours wasted on this makes me want to throw up. Guilt is still present. For lent a few years ago, I gave up Facebook and I remember reading so many books with the free time that I had.  While most of 2016 I was logged in, I am proud to say that the last few months I have definitely cut back on my social media time significantly. Enforcing a time limit has helped and some days I deem as no Facebook days.This makes me feel less cluttered and more engaged at home. I am now also excited to actually see friends and family because I have not seen every facet of the past 3 months documented on a timeline. The only reason why I do not think I will give up Facebook completely is because of my irun4buddy, Jacob. This is how we communicate and I post for him my runs with pictures, jokes, etc.

-The election brought up some hidden demons that have been a part of me for 30 years. I do not and will not get political now but I have to admit, I was shocked at what surfaced. It also provoked conversations, internal and external, on how to raise a daughter vs a son. I am still working through all of this and I think I will be for a while. Self reflection is a good thing.

-Following a vegan diet is best for MY body. I have dabbled in being vegan on and off for a few years now. When I am 100% on the “V train”, I feel my best. I get better sleep. My skin looks freaking amazing. I actually cut about 30-45 seconds off of my overall pace. My clothes fit. I have a sex drive. All and all, vegan is best for me. I am not a preachy vegan. I truly believe that everybody needs to find what works best for their body. My one friend swears by Paleo. Her results are the same as when I am vegan.  For the last 5 months, I have kinda eaten anything that I have wanted too. The results are not pretty. I hit the resist button a few days ago and I already feel amazing. This is a work in progress for me but knowing what makes me feel the best is such a huge step.

-Cancer truly does suck. Seeing one of best friends get up everyday and help her daughter fight is heartbreaking and sometimes even takes the breath from my lungs. To continue to see just how brave, resilient and strong P is, is inspirational. This also keeps her parents going ( at least on most days) and fighting the good fight. Some days the diagnosis seems unreal. The desire to skip all of this and to get back to “normal” is an overwhelming feeling. P is here to teach us all. The lesson is not yet revealed but I know it will be. Maybe it is to be more grateful, more loving, more resilient. Maybe its all of that. Or none. To be a witness to so much strength will forever be life changing.

2017 brings with it a much clear perspective on goals that I want to accomplish. Instead of running on the hamster wheel or having most days feel like groundhog day, I feel clarity, focused and determination.

Cheers to the New Year! Hoping 2107 brings to you whatever is needed in order for your life to be amazing!