Dec 30, 2012

Leaving the back 40

Well, it's the end of the year.  It's easy to think about all the things I didn't do in 2012.

I didn't learn to floss my teeth.
I didn't play with my kids enough,
or mop my floor enough,
or weed my garden enough,
or use my indoor voice enough,
or support my loved ones enough.

My laundry was never done.
I wasn't always happy.
I ate more ice cream than is reasonable for an entire lifetime.
My mile time is still painfully slow.
My abs are more sloppy than steely.
And the crack in my van's windshield has reached epic proportions.

I didn't always follow through on spiritual promptings
or say the most meaningful prayers.
My family has not mastered reverence
(or anything like unto it) at church.
Sometimes I play hooky and take a nap during Sunday School.
I'm kind of judgmental.
I'm not the best example for my dear young women.
And I'm certainly not the best friend.

But there's one thing--ONE thing--that I'm really proud of doing this year.
I didn't give up.
And let me tell you, that was really super hard some days.
There were plenty of times this year when I was about twenty feet 
below the end of my rope.
That's not a fun place to be.

Somehow I found the rope again and started to climb.
I slipped off a lot of times and had to find it again.
But through it all, on my good days and on my bad days,
I kept going.

Aside from my firm belief in a Savior and His atonement
And my ability to repent and receive His grace from day to day,
And doctors and friends, of course,
The thing that saved me this year was running.
The treadmill literally saved me.

Somehow I dragged myself to the gym.
Somehow I managed to run from the couch to a 10K.
Somehow I learned to love steel cut oats and broccoli and apples.
Somehow I lost 40 pounds.

I love a screen shot from my Cardio Trainer phone app.
It's a literal, visual reminder of how far I've come.
The image says a lot more to me than miles and hours.
The image stays stuff about endurance and patience
and hard work and sacrifice and self-discipline.
The image gives me hope for the future.
I can do hard things.
I don't do hard things for the sake of doing hard things.
But occasionally, when hard things come, I can conquer them.

These pictures prove it.

So here's to a new year.
I'm in a phase of self-discovery.
It's hard and I don't really like it most of the time.
I want answers that don't come easily
And resources I don't have
I have friendships that aren't working
And responsibilities that are overwhelming
And difficult/wonderful/exasperating/fabulous children
who stretch and mold every fiber of my being.

But this year taught me that I can survive.
I'm actually thinking about making seven Bartle t-shirts that say 
"I survived 2012."
And then maybe I'll burn my calendar.

So here's to a new year.
Wait, I already said that.
I guess I've got a long way to go.
But I can do it, 
And so can you.
Let's do it together, okay?
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