I’m overwhelmed with gratitude by the heartfelt notes I have received about my recent FB post. Hearing from so many people I know from different corners and eras in my life reminded my how truly blessed I have been to get to know each of you – many people that have entered my life because of ALS.
In the 10 weeks since returning from South Africa, I traveled to Florida, Hawaii, and Dallas, hosted our cornhole tournament and another fundraiser, done 2 marathons, and my dad had back surgery. That sounds like a lot, but I still found days and weeks to hole up on the couch, ignoring my email, to do list, and back-burner projects that have been nagging at me for months. Contented to play hours of Sudoku, glued to the impeachment hearings, and just zone out – realizing no one was going to make me do a damn thing.
In short, I felt distracted, down, and mad at myself for not making the most of my precious time here on earth. I’ve struggled with time/priority management before (who hasn’t), but I’ve never flat out REFUSED to thrive before. It scared me.
Your support reminded me how much I have to be grateful for, how loved I am, how I’ve impacted others, and how it is okay to just be sad sometimes. I’ve read every comment and I thank you.
Of all the many things that helped me get a grip, this pic a friend sent me showing where kids are living in east Africa. Talk about perspective:
How can I feel sorry for myself from the warm, cozy comfort from our own home when all I’m fighting is a Sudoku addiction and a terminal illness which is obnoxious, frustrating but still so far allows me to do marathons?
The other big help has been working through an advance copy of Meredith Atwood’s Year of No Nonsense and listening to her podcast, The Same 24 Hours. I’ve been working with her as a coaching client and I thought I could just learn some tips & tricks in order to take the world by storm like she’s doing, but I’ve discovered far more nonsense in my life that I need to address…minor things like core beliefs, negative self-talk, and priorities that need to be reworked.
So instead of new year’s resolutions this year, here’s what I’ve come up with. A list of priorities to structure my own year of no nonsense:
- I WANT to feel productive, but not overly stressed out. This means accepting and adjusting to the fact that daily activities take longer for me than they typically would.
- I WANT to prioritize my health and my husband. Fundraising for ALS research should be subservient to those two priorities.
- I WANT to focus on the 50 marathons and the documentary. Other fundraising activities have a lower priority and will only be taken on if they are manageable and promise a significant return.
- I WANT to write the memoir to the best of my ability, which means giving it the time and attention it needs and deserves.
- I WANT to share my story from a place of gratitude and inspiration, not “pushing” it for a buck. I am letting go of fundraising goals and trusting that we will figure out how to fund both research and the documentary.
It’s not a formula, not a quick fix, not prescribed in the book. It’s just an honest assessment of where I am now and where I want to go.
For the Philly Marathon tomorrow, I just want to have a good race and see where I am. While I had multiple PRs early in the year, all the way down to 3:30, my last two marathons were in the 4:15 range. Yes, the trike’s derailleur got damaged on the way to Maui, and yes, I flew overnight to get back for RDC, and no, I haven’t been training much…so we’ll just see.
But I am bringing all of you with me. Thank you for helping me and if you’re ever struggling, please reach out.
And just a little bit of this…