New Years day. A day to feel instantly renewed and ready to face the brand new year! Well, not so much for me. I sat comatose on the coach for the majority of the day nursing my New Years hangover (insert shame face) and a bad cough I have been trying to kick for two weeks. Throughout the day, I found myself mindlessly scrolling through Facebook and I was struck by the number of my friends who updated their statuses noting how challenging 2014 was and that it also had some exciting and memorable moments. I thought to myself, wow, I’m not alone. 2014 certainly had some high points, but it had a great deal of stress, challenges and sadness. While I celebrate and enjoy the high points, I unfortunately continue to feel overwhelmed by the sadness, illness and struggles of many close friends and family.
As a little break from these challenges, I decided to move on and visit some old photos of fun times
Fun in college with my swimming friends.
My incredible trip to visit my best friend from high school in Panama, who was there for 2.5 years in the Peace Corps.
The beginning of my foray into running and my first marathon in 2008.
I won’t bore you with my entire digital photography archive from the past 10 years. It made me laugh, smile and also yearn for a period in my life that was in no way free from stress, but my friends all seemed happier and life certainly seemed a bit less complicated.
Life is certainly not a cake walk. I came to the realization, that maybe all of this means I am finally a “grown up”? But, even as an adult do you need to feel overwhelmed by unfortunate and bad things that happen to those around us? I refuse to let this be the case any longer. I want to make a concerted effort to be positive and optimistic each day. With that in mind, my only goals for 2015 are: focus, purpose & gratitude for happiness in 2015.
Everyone who knows me will not dispute the fact that I am a type A, intense person, for better or for worse. I set the bar very high for myself and I do not stop until I achieve that goal. The last few months of 2014 were a very challenging at work, but also a period of tremendous growth in my professional life that I have craved since graduating from college.
I was so far out of my comfort zone, but I was thriving and happy. I confirmed that I loved my career path, the people I work with, but I was completely spent at the end of each day. Luckily, in 2015 I will welcome a new boss and better work/life balance (fingers crossed). I hope to continue this same focus on my career, but on a manageable scale so I can focus on pursuits equally, career, personal life, training and the list goes on.
This goes hand in hand with focus, but I am hoping to be more strategic in all facets of life in 2015: Training, career, personal life, friendships, and hobbies. I am the queen of taking on too much and feeling frazzled and overwhelmed, so I would like to approach things by thinking about how it will impact my schedule, husband and most importantly, my happiness.
My husband constantly reminds me to think about how adding something to my schedule will impact my schedule long term. He also always carefully points out that something will need to come off to make room for the new addition. He also recognizes that sometimes adding things to my schedule with purpose bring a great deal of happiness to my daily life. An example of this was joining Cambridge Masters Swim Club after a long hiatus and years of swim training on my own.
I missed swimming with a group for the motivation, friendships and team camaraderie. Swimming by myself certainly was convenient, but it was not fun. I began to toy with this idea of rejoining CMSC as OWS season was ending. I decided to join and my first practice back with the team I immediately felt at home and had I a huge grin on my face. The pool is truly my happy place. This addition has had a significant impact on my schedule, as it requires me to wake up at 4:45 am when I am going to practice. It means going to bed at 9:30pm at the absolute latest (ideally, closer to 8:30) and having my bag and lunch for the entire work day packed the night before. In a time when the work felt never ending, it provided me with a fantastic outlet, the opportunity to train with a dedicated group of swimmers, many of whom have become good friends. I am thrilled to continue this in 2015.
For my amazingly patient and incredibly supportive husband. There are not enough words to express my love for him. I try to make it a point to tell him thank you and how much I appreciate every small gesture he does for me. I am also thankful for the fact that no matter what is going on, what we are feeling, we always find a way to laugh together.
I have incredible gratitude for my amazing friends, many of whom who live far away and go to great lengths to stay in touch. I want to make sure that I approach each day by being gracious for what it brings me, and also approach every situation with positivity.
So that is it. I am excited to have a new year to tackle new challenges, goals and experiences. I look forward to filling out my training and racing calendar, but for now I am focusing on positivity in 2015. Most of all, I am looking forward to following this mantra…
What are your resolutions and goals for 2015?