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Why I am not rooting for midnight

Posted on Dec 31, 2018 in Life

2018 was a challenging year for me, and I am not glad to see it go.

The past 12 months have included grief, heartbreak, health challenges, ego-busting professional changes, financial fears, and failed resolutions. That 10-mile race in April I set my sights on? Didn’t happen. The partner I was sure to find? Still missing. My best unconditional love four-legged friend? Dead.

And still.

And still, I am not wishing it gone, or grateful to have gotten “through” it. Not going to post “good riddance 2018.” I am not rooting for midnight. Because perhaps above all else, I have come to value time.Time and small gifts. My inventory has finally evolved to be less focused on what I think should have or I wish would have happened but rather on how I reacted to what actually happened. Was I honest? Was I kind? Did I think about others? On this score, I think I had a *little* growth spurt.

And maybe it is age, but my gratitude these days centers less around accomplishments and things and events, and more around the “mini-miracles,” the unexpected things that happen when I stop making plans. Beauty arrives in spades when you start breathing more slowly.

I will never, ever forget (and will be forever grateful) that Bonnie answered the phone at 12:30 am and took me to the vet where I put Jack down. And I surprised myself by handling heart rejection this year like an adult and without avoiding the pain. My physical recovery took more time than I planned, forcing me to address my monkey-mind. I did a 10-day silent meditation retreat and started practicing regularly. My ego was appropriately professionally realigned, and with that has come fear but also relief, because work is not the most important thing.

I could never have planned that my brother would move home to Chicago, that Notre Dame would make it to the Cotton Bowl, that I’d eventually run my fastest 10K at age 51. My little emotional struggles helped me really understand I am loved, as my friends and family showed up for me. And perhaps most notably, the photos in my 2018 folder are filled with pictures of people I love, flowers, birds, water, trails, swimming pools…a lot of simple things really.

All in all, I hope I am kaput with feeling disappointed by unmet January expectations. The unforeseen is better. Sober reality is a wilder ride. Oh, I’m not done with big dreams and big plans. I am throwing down some doozy 2019 markers and will do my best to achieve them. I just know that the things I don’t plan, the good and really hard, are where the magic is.

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