Tuesday, January 01, 2013

It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times

At midnight we welcomed a new year.  The earth completed another revolution around the sun, and the Mayans and doomsday Jesus freaks whipped out calculators to check their math.  Seeing 2012 off is bittersweet for me, as there were many new beginnings and positive achievements.  However, in a way I'm glad to see it go.  It was definitely a year that felt like a ride on the Cyclone - lots of sudden ups and downs coupled with sharp turns, and at the end your brain is so rattled around in your skull you're not sure if you want to take advantage of the discount and go for another spin.  

At this time last year, I had a lot to look forward to: brand new job, Mom's new kidney, somewhat-new boyfriend, the Olympics, IMNY training, a clean fridge, friends' weddings and babies.  As time passed, I found myself struggling and fighting, seemingly more so than I have in a long time.  After all the work I put into clearing out the food stash mom assembled over years, everything was replenished two weeks after she returned home.  Mom is still alive, I'd laugh to myself, but then juggling work with assisting her left me frazzled.  The bike anxiety I tried so hard to conquer never fully went away.  Sometimes I felt great on a ride, while other times I could barely hold it together.  It's gotten to the point where I have not touched my road bike in three months.   Panic jumped out of the trees during the Escape to the Palisades half, but luckily a friend racing with me helped me push through it.  The anxiety started to elbow its way into other areas.  During crunch time on my first assignment, I almost burst into tears for no outwardly apparent reason.  In a cramped room full of men, that would have been devastating.  Lately I've noticed my heart race if someone drives too close to the cars parked on the passenger side of the road.  

I'm not 100% sure what I'm so afraid of - failure, injury, being alone - but it upsets me to experience it.  Perhaps it's lingering disappointment over missing some great opportunities.  Maybe trying to do too many things left me overwhelmed rather than engaged, or the time spent helping others has been at the expense of my individual goals and dreams.  Significant fatigue has started to ebb and flow, whether I'm over-scheduled or being lazy.  Getting out of bed for early workouts became more challenging, and in one case I blew off a race (I wasn't registered so no big loss, but still).  Since I moved out of my apartment, splitting between my parents' house and TT's apartment means multiple trips back and forth and the frustration of not having everything I need in one place.  Often I overbook or forget about plans and then get stressed when I'm sprinting between obligations.  TT and I fight a fair bit too, mostly over what I consider petty items, which only makes me feel worse. These all pale in comparison to a health scare that took over six months to get some reassuring news, and that's nothing compared to what friends and family encountered with deaths or storms.  

Maybe I'm being too hard on myself, as usual.  This year Mom had her first rebirthday and has been thriving since her transplant.  TT and I celebrated 18 months in October.  I bested my 10k, half marathon, and marathon times and completed my first half Ironman.  My new job is fantastic, and even though I did not add a new country to my passport stamps I got to visit a few new cities.  By collecting rent I have saved a fair bit of money for my next place.  Over the past twelve months I feel very connected to friends and family and have been able to reach out to people I haven't seen in a while.  I feel bad for feeling bad, but it's what I'm authentically feeling.

Coming into 2013, I feel a combination of things: exhausted, guardedly optimistic, hopeful.  This year, instead of setting a bunch of goals and twisting myself into a pretzel to complete them, I'd like to focus more on finding joy every day as much as I possibly can.  I sense the universe telling me to take a break, and it seems better to simplify, take better care of myself, and go with the flow rather than list out a bunch of goals and drive myself crazy to achieve them or feel disappointed when life throws a wrench in the works and it doesn't materialize.  This in and of itself will be incredibly difficult for results-oriented, overachieving, type-A-minus me.  Maybe it's a bit selfish to focus on my wellbeing and stop over-committing, but it's something I feel like I must do.  Here goes....