So I have been thinking all this week about what I really want to take out of 2012 and how to make some good and REAL changes in 2013 and how to write about all of the above. I started listing all the highlights of the year and it was sounding like braggy mcbraggerson and besides, good year, bad year, my hope is always that there was some sort of growth in any given year and there were plenty of lowlights in 2012 too. They just happened to be surrounded by things like skiing in Austria and chatting up LeBron James.
Thus, I present to you the five big lessons of 2012 in no particular order.
1. Travel now.
I think maybe because it took me a year to save up for the first big trip of my life (NYC for high school graduation) I got it in my head that travel was sort of this once in awhile, special thing that you planned extensively for and spent a fortune on. But the last few years I have been trying to say "yes" to things I once might have worried myself out of. I did absolutely everything I wanted to this year and if you are smart and you don't need to stay at the Ritz all the time, you can do really cool things and not destroy your nest egg. Travel has made me a more interesting person but it's also made me a more interested person and our ever shrinking world needs more brains that want to know the whys and ifs and hows of our neighbors.
2. Forgiveness is a thing. Taking care of yourself is also a thing.
I think I am finally finally getting the point that you can truly forgive someone-let go of past wrongs , quit being angry, move on with your life-but not put that person in a position to rock you again. My biggest dating hurdle has been hanging on forever, just hope hope hoping someone deserves that giant benefit of the doubt I keep giving him and well ladies, he probably doesn't. So you let go. There is no victory in continuing to give someone access to you who really shouldn't be in your life. This one is really tough but makes you feel like a badass if you can pull it off. (this says it all)
3. Bodies need rest. Especially old ones.
I worked really hard this year. I did a lot of FUN things this year. I did not sleep enough this year. That dumb college manta "sleep when you die" gets in my head and I tend to push past what is probably healthy. It doesn't help that I rarely regret the fun things I do instead of getting to bed. However. As my doctor gleefully reminded me, if I would like to keep doing fun things when I'm old and/or you know, grow a baby at some point, I need to be better about sleep. And leafy greens. It might mean a little more discipline and a little bit more NO that I know how to say but I would like to still be traveling and forgiving when I'm 80 so I'm willing to bank a little more rest now to get there.
4. Family first.
I knew this one. And then the busiest year of my life happened and my brother did an Ironman, my uncle died, my nephews moved to relatively inconvenient places and my sister got pregnant and it seemed like everything black and white got grey. I wrote about my decision to go to my uncle's funeral and at the time it really did seem like a difficult choice. Six months later with the pressure of the Olympics a distant memory, I'm relieved that I never have to say I wasn't there for my dad because I had a lot of packing to do. That 36 hour trip is a very sweet highlight of the year as is Logan's race weekend. I will never forget sitting in a hotel room in London, Emily telling me they might have to cancel their trip to Paris and starting to cry hysterically. Even in the center of 2012 awesomeness, all I wanted was to see my sister. I don't ever want to lose that perspective.
5. A job is a job is a job
I spent wayyyyyy to much of 2012 stressed out. I got on a plane to Austria on January 5 and I didn't feel like the pace slowed down until October. I put an enormous amount of pressure on myself to kill it this year and didn't do a great job of having outlets to channel the stress and worry. I have a prescription sheet from my doctor that actually says "yoga and meditation 3 times a week". My sister-in-law Tasha and I did a ton of yoga while I was in St. George and I even went on Christmas Eve. Just these few weeks of taking some time to be still and clear out my mind has calmed me down in ways I didn't think my frenetic personality could be tamed. So I think I'll be obeying the Doc.
In 2013 I want a little bit more perspective. A little more breathing. A little less of the world on my shoulders. I feel like maybe 1-5 were lessons I took a long time to learn but I'm trying to put them all into practice in meaningful ways so I don't forget.
And if the universe is cool with it, I'd sure like to fall in love in 2013. Neither the world nor Katie Clifford needs another break up song.
Happy New Year.