Your last challenge for Reverb15 is to write your manifesto for 2016.
Here are my resolutions/goals for last year: 2015. I am a big fan of making resolutions. I am so-so about keeping them, though I will say that I did a pretty good job of working towards or achieving nearly everything on my 2015 list (though the PR in question was on my 10k time; was not by any stretch of the imagination impressive to begin with so anything was going to be an improvement; and was a PR by less than a second. Still counts!)
Here’s what I want to do this year (This is really boring stuff, guys):
1) Read More: I read a lot. But pleasure reading has not been on the agenda for years. As the year came to a close, a few one-time quirks put a lot of my usual year-end work in Q3 rather than Q4, and I was able to do some fun reading between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I forgot how much I like to read for enjoyment. It is weird to live a life where you forget the pleasure of a thing that you enjoy so much that it used to define your very existence. I need to make time for this again.
2) Train Smarter: I want to continue to run, and I have had two joint reconstructions in two years. I am medically cleared to run, but in order to avoid further injury, I need to accept that whatever I am doing on my own isn’t going to cut it as I get older and come back after these kinds of setbacks, and I need to hire a coach.
3) Cook More: Paul and I keep having this discussion wherein we say that we want to cook at home; take a cooking course; etc. We are both very competent cooks. I have even purchased a set of dishes and cutlery for Paul’s house. Cooking sounds like a really fantastic idea, if you don’t think about the fact that I will likely have been in seven or eight different countries by the start of March.
4) Practice Patience: I find myself getting annoyed easily these days. I don’t have a lot of free time. My husband and I live in different countries. I travel a lot. I have a lot of personal and professional obligations. I have found myself taking it personally when people behave the way people will (which is to say, in self-interested, or careless ways). 95-99% of the time, it is not about me. But sometimes, I lose my shit about this nonetheless. I need to learn to be patient; I need to discipline myself into not taking things personally. This includes having patience with myself when I forget to be patient.
5) Dog Training: Roo has been working on some training to achieve a therapy dog certification. He has mastered the basics, and is generally an awesome dog anyway. However, he cannot for the life of him master lay down, and he is still terrible on a leash about 50% of the time. I know that the leash terribleness is due in part to the fact that during a crucial stage in his training when he was a pup, I was hit by a car, and with my arm in a sling, I was sort-of lax about leash discipline. But I am baffled as to why lay down! is not in his repertoire.
6) Addition Not Subtraction: I think the thing is, at this stage of my life, I want to focus on adding things to it, not taking away. I am also trying to enhance my own life by blocking out the noise brought in by other people. I love interacting with people; I love having close relationships; I love entertaining and seeing people and visiting. I genuinely loathe the everyday detritus that comes from our 24 hour-social media-outrage culture. I am trying to learn to add to my life without that kind of stuff taking away from it.
7) Buy Shoes: This is dumb; this is obvious. I just need to buy a proper pair of running shoes to accommodate my changed biomechanics so I don’t get injured again. I’ve grown really frustrated with demos; I’ve narrowed it down to a handful of pairs and brands. I have worn Sauconys for the better part of 20 years, and am finding little in their range to handle my changed body, post-surgeries. (Do not recommend the Kinvara. I have never found a shoe as awkward and uncomfortable as the Kinvaras.)
In sum, I have grown up to be the most boring person in the entire world. But I am living a bold and exciting day-to-day, and I suppose the only thing that makes this kind of life sustainable is a strong foundation. I don’t need to manufacture any drama to make things interesting. I suppose my intention is just to keep working on the basics.