I swear, it seems like a month ago that I wrote Hang on 2016, I’m not Ready and here we are again, staring at another round of New Years resolutions.
But because the arrival of 2017 is as inevitable as Donald Trump taking office, I am begrudgingly taking stock of what I did/did not do well in 2016 and setting some goals for the new year.
In last year’s post, I had 4 goals:
- 12 marathons in 12 months √ (well, a combo of marathons, halfs, and tris)
This is my proudest accomplishment of the year. I genuinely did not know whether I could pull it off, but I am a stronger athlete now than when I started, even though my disease has progressed and made walking and talking more difficult.
This time last year, I hadn’t yet come up with the idea of dedicating each race to someone with ALS who inspires me, but that became as important to me as the races themselves. They taught me so many lessons about kindness, leadership, individualism, sacrifice, family, perseverance, writing, and love. I am grateful for each of you.
- Ramping up Team Drea for another year of racing and fundraising √ We have now raised a total of $150,000!
For this, I give the credit entirely to Team Drea who worked harder on fundraising than I did. They baked cakes, raffled off a gorgeous handmade quilt, organized turkey trots, hiked 179 miles, participated in virtual races, sold beauty products and donated the profits, and relentlessly pestered friends and family to donate.
Team Drea members ran their first 5ks/half marathons/full marathons, became Ironmans, became triathletes, did long distance swims, ran 8 months pregnant, and trained hundreds of hours to challenge themselves and appreciate the ability to do so.
Actually, THIS my proudest accomplishment of the year, even though I can’t really take the credit. They did the work.
- Selling our house and moving somewhere that makes sense for my current/impending physical needs √ Hello NC!
It has been a good move for us. Instead of DP commuting 2 hours a day via Metro, he now commutes 20 feet to his office in our ADA-accessible apartment. My parents are 3 miles away and they have helped us immensely – from taking our recycling (since somehow, even in 2016, our building does not recycle) to swimming with me 2-3 times per week. It has been good for us to reconnect.
- Writing a book X Such a fail
Despite an awesome writing class before we left DC (and my friend Ana diligently checking in weekly), my momentum got packed up in the move and must still be in a box somewhere. Aside from short bursts of commitment, the blog this year mostly felt like a long, excruciating series of apologies for my absences. While structuring the posts around my 12 races started out promising, by the end of the year, it felt tired, repetitive, and shallow because I wasn’t dedicating enough time to writing anything else. For evidence, see the fact that I haven’t actually finished writing them…
Reflecting back on the year, I want to be satisfied. I’m definitely grateful — so many families dealing with ALS would not have a list like this. But I know I’m capable of more. As Darcy Wakefield said, ALS creates a “fast-forward life”…if you want to do it, do it now.
Still, my goals for 2017 look a whole lot like 2016:
- 12 races (here’s my list if you’d like to join me!)
I’m also starting pilates-based PT and have found TWO new acupuncturists (to even attempt to equal ONE Liana) so my health is #1 on the list.
- Support & Expand Team Drea and raise $100,000 for ALS research
Oh yeah, we started the Team Drea Foundation in 2016 and that was nowhere on the list. That was largely thanks to DP’s firm helping us pro bono and Frank, the former foundation exec with big vision and deep local connections who dropped into our lives. Goal #2a is to make him proud of all the work he has put in.
$100,000 because I think it’s a stretch, but doable. And because I need a number to keep me focused. So, we’ll see.
- Find another place to live…or decide to stay put
Our apartment is very nice, but it just doesn’t quite feel like a permanent home. From the 3-year-old above us who is incapable of going anywhere without running, stomping, and yelling to the nagging thought (and impending tax shocker) that we are “throwing away our money on rent,” we are house hunting again.
…but damn, we sure like not being responsible for repairs, maintenance, or a mortgage. So again, we’ll see…
My parents (who won’t like me saying this) are also due for a place that will better fit their needs. Which I am going to push for (and help). They may find that 3 miles away is not enough 🙂 That’s Goal #3a.
A book? I don’t know…maybe. I think I’ve learned that I need to write for me. It’s like opening a release valve. Like working out. The phrase “I run to burn off the crazy” applies to writing too.
I’ve also realized that I need a place to write…one that isn’t quiiiiite so close to the TV. So I bought a new desk for our Team Drea-themed guest room and have signed up for a writing class in February. So again, we’ll see…
- Practice discipline, patience…and forgiveness
If you haven’t read in between the lines already, these are hard for me. I like having to do lists and checking things off. I also hate it. (Similarly, I like house hunting and also hate it).
Without a job or kids to keep track of, it’s pretty easy to say “eh, I’ll just get to it tomorrow” and flip on another Dr. Phil rerun. But pretty soon days turn into weeks and weeks turn into 2017.
On the other hand, I do kind of have a terminal illness which makes things harder and requires more rest.
So again, we’ll see…
What are your goals for 2017?