Normally I have a theme for a year, instead of a resolution, but I cannot seem to find or remember what 2012's theme was supposed to be. I suspect that I didn't declare it would be the year of really big challenges, of endless obstacles, and of a lot of hard things, but that is what 2012 became. This has been one of the most challenging years I have ever experienced, and while I keep thinking about how hard it has been, I cannot ignore the great things that have resulted from these challenges. There have been unexpected twists, challenges I set and challenges put in front of me, and at the end of it all, I think that this has been a growing year, a dramatic year, and one I will be glad to put behind me. When I started writing this, I was about to list out all of the shit that I have faced, and when I was thinking about how hard this year has been, I just did not feel like re-living that part of it.
My husband and I had a son and bought a house in March. This has been a truly magical, awful, wonderful, impossible challenge. Overnight we went from renters in a cool neighborhood to an urban family in an older, more residential part of the city. Our son grew from being this small creature that felt more like an odd demanding pet to a little person with a lot of determination and personality. This little adventure is only going to bring more struggles and joy, and I can't wait to see what happens next.
I also discovered peace in running. I never particularly enjoyed running, but it went from being a way to escape from the house to something I need to do to keep on an even keel. Following a really awful labor and scary (albeit ultimately okay) birth experience, I had something to prove to myself, and I needed to come to terms with my own mental and physical strength. I needed to prove to myself that my son's birth experience was not a fluke, and that I am stronger than I give myself credit for. I needed a physical challenge of some kind, something a bit scary, but also something that I could do with others and alone, and I found that through running. The Tough Mudder was a team challenge that required help from friends and strangers, and I had to offer help throughout the 12 mile obstacle course. The Philly Half Marathon was something I wanted to see if I could do, and finishing that course was one of the most proud moments I've experienced in my life.
I did some great work during a harried election season, and am so proud of what I accomplished with some wonderful young women both at work and through organizations. And after what feels to me most like a break up, I now have the opportunity to give real thought to how I want to organize my career decisions moving forward and to determine what I really want to do and how I will approach my day's work.
This year seems to have been nothing more than a Phoenix year - good things arise from the bad, but during this year, it was hard to see this as a pattern. Apparently I had a number of lessons that the universe felt it was time for me to learn, and a year like this can wear out the strongest people. But I have always believed we are never given more than we can handle, and that if faced with a challenge we have a responsibility to confront the challenge with gusto, do our very best to manage the experience, and then to learn from it. I believe that 2013 can only be an easier year, in which I will benefit from the lessons learned in 2012.
The theme for 2013 can only be one of reflections and streamlining. It's Simplicity, in all things. I have already started making lists to better organize and simply my home life. I have a getaway to my secret island hideout planned in 11 days to organize my psyche. I am clearing away the bad, and focusing on the things that really matter. Simplicity. 2013, I am ready for you.