Happy New Year!

Happy New YearIt is January 1st, 2016 (edit: technology troubles prevented me from posting this then) and I, like many others, am trying to get my life together. I understand the frustration from people who look down upon those who take the new year (specifically resolutions) seriously– after all, it is an arbitrary fresh start and anyone who wants to make significant changes in his or her life should be able to start anytime. Regardless, I am a fan of the prospects a new year brings, and I am looking forward to 2016 and making some positive changes in my life!

Before that, though, I would like to reflect on 2015. I tend to be pessimistic, and I faced a lot of challenges this past year. It seemed like the challenges would not let me go… once I finally got to my much desired winter break, I ended up spending the majority of it sick (I have been to an urgent care 4 times this past month, and each time I was diagnosed with a different infection). Luckily, I spent a lot of that time in the safety and comfort of my parents’ house in Florida, where my mom took care of me and I still managed to spend a day in the Magic Kingdom! Then, on the 13-hour drive back from Florida, I learned that my boyfriend (W.) was in a serious car accident on his own drive to North Carolina for his grandmother’s memorial service. He was driving in the mountain area in east Tennessee and hydroplaned due to the intense rain, spinning and crashing into a semi-truck. Thankfully, he emerged without a physical scratch (but his car was totaled). I ended up changing my route to meet him where he was and to take him home the next day. Indeed, 2015 ended with a lot of challenges, but I am very grateful because ultimately everyone that I love and care about, including myself, is relatively healthy and okay.

I would be remiss if I did not reflect on the positives of the past year. I am extremely Type A, and I like to track everything I do in various journals. Here are some accomplishments from the past year:

I read 38 books.

I ran 196.4 miles. 

I biked 306.5 miles. 

While these numbers are not super impressive to me, when I consider all that I went through the past year (working 12+ hour days in the summer months, starting a new job), I am still content and know there is room for improvement!

Additionally, I completed my first half marathon in January 2015 at Walt Disney World, explored trail running in the MRTC trail race series, completed a year of service at BRIDGES through AmeriCorps, and got a teaching job. I am a fan of traveling which was lacking a bit this past year, but I did get to go camping and visit my family in Florida several times. Overall, I enjoyed a lot of experiences this past year, but I want to continue to challenge myself and experience more.

2015 ended on a good note. I had a perfect night; W. and I spent the evening in downtown Memphis, first eating and celebrating at the Peabody Hotel and then staying across the street where we relaxed and played Scrabble (I won, but not by much). The balloon drop at the Peabody Hotel was fun, but the people watching was even better.

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Letter game strong. (Seriously… why these letters!?)

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Fancy celebrations. 

My winter break is coming to a close, and I spent the day getting ready for the upcoming year by goal setting and setting up my new bullet journal. I am participating in a nutrition program for triathletes called Swim Bike Fuel, which I am excited about. This year I want to complete my first Olympic triathlon– and maybe even a half iron man! I have some other personal goals as well to help me feel more fulfilled in life. In two weeks I am starting a lyrical dance class with my friend Teal, which will be new and fun. Unfortunately, I decided today to drop my Little Rock marathon registration down to the half marathon. All of my recent illnesses (the worst being an upper respiratory infection and pneumonia) have prevented me from running for several weeks now. I am hoping to get back into it this upcoming week, but I am definitely too behind in training at this point for the full. The half is a good goal though, and I don’t feel as bad about dropping down as I thought I would. I am going to try to PR from my previous half, and use this to set a good foundation for the upcoming triathlon season. I also want to focus on caring for myself more. For me, radical self-care involves making choices that benefit me, intentionally setting aside time to do things that make me happy (reading, writing, art), exploring different opportunities available to me, getting outside, traveling…

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Most of my “to-read” pile. Look forward to these book reviews!

Overall, I welcome 2016 with open arms. I take my horoscope seriously (it is often eerily accurate), and it is optimistic. So, I shall be, too. One of my favorite bloggers, Meredith at Swim Bike Mom is all about making 2016 the best year ever. I’m down.

Look forward to a more specific update of how I spent my winter break! I hope the new year is treating you all well :).

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The first two pages of my new bullet journal!

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