2012 in Review

Oh hey.

It’s me. 

Yes, I went to Michigan for Christmas and sort of forgot about blogging. Oops.

Holiday roo

But seeing as it is the end of 2012, um, today, I would be remiss if I didn’t spend some time reflecting on the past year. It’s been one of my toughest years, but also one of my best, and I think that warrants some recognition. After sitting down and really thinking about it, I realize there’s a lot here. Let’s break it down, shall we?

Running

St pete half

Frustrating and disappointing. That’s how I’d describe this year in running. I remember signing up for not one, but two marathons last year on January 1, confident I’d train seriously and kick the marathon in the butt. Not so much. While I did run 2 half marathons this year, the full just wasn’t in the cards. After a painful hip and back injury during my first go at training, I hesitantly began training for NYC in the summer. It wasn’t nearly as manageable as I’d thought. I was exhausted all the time and didn’t enjoy running the way I had in the past. I was frustrated with myself–and disappointed that I wasn’t better at the whole marathon training thing. After all, I’m a runner–we runners seem to think we can do anything. And many of my friends in the running world had successfully trained for and become marathoners. It was just really hard on my body in a way I hadn’t expected. Couple that with the fact that my evil injury returned, and I was doubly frustrated. But by the time NYC rolled around, all the frustration was gone. I’d had a great final 20 mile training run a few weeks earlier, and I felt ready.

IMG 20121014 114417

And then it was cancelled. I know it was a freak thing with the devastation of the hurricane, but it was really tough to have all that training thwarted by Mother Nature. I attempted Richmond the following week, but my knees weren’t up for it. Essentially an entire year of training wasted. I ran a half the following weekend and haven’t run since. 

I’d love to say I’m ready to get back to running again in 2013, but I’m not. I have zero desire to strap on my Garmin and pound out some miles. It’s not that I’m bitter; a marathon wasn’t for me, and I’m ok with that. I just think I got seriously burned out. Hopefully my love for running will return at some point, but for now, I’m ok with taking a break. We’ll see what the next year holds.

Health Issues

I know I’ve mentioned some health issues over the last several months in an obtuse way, and I’m not going to discuss them here, but I do think I’ve overcome them–at least I hope so! Between the stuff that was going on with my health and my running injuries, it’s somewhat strange for me to look back and realize that I wasn’t in great health this year. But I’m feeling great now and excited to keep myself healthy!

Vegan salad

Here’s what that’ll look like:

  • Drinking 3 liters of water a day (I used to always do this, but I’ve fallen off the wagon, so to speak)
  • Continuing to eat a mostly vegan diet
  • Incorporating strength, cardio, and stretching (yoga) into my regular workout routine
  • Getting lots of sleep–8 hours a night would be amazing. We’ll see. 😉 

ROO!

DSC07877

I had no idea how much becoming a puppy mother would change my life. Having Roo is the best thing I’ve done for myself in a long time. She’s my companion, my friend, sometimes my antagonist, but always one of my greatest sources of happiness. 

I wrote a guest post on how she taught me to be resilient, and its success surprised me! Feel free to check it out over on Pick the Brain. 🙂

Happiness

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Happiness has been something I’ve chased for a very long time. I couldn’t understand why other people were happy and I just–wasn’t. It was always something I had to work at–something I had to convince myself of. But I realized that it’s a practice, just like anything else. Some people show a natural affinity for a lot of things. They’re good at sports or singing or, I don’t know, Quiz Bowl . . . but the rest of us have to practice. I finally understood why I wasn’t happy; I wasn’t practicing. Instead, I was practicing being unhappy. Feeling sorry for myself. Sprouting negativity. Always seeing what could go wrong instead of what could go right. You know something? It was exhausting. I didn’t even realize how exhausting until I stopped doing it. As many things in life as there are to be down about, there are twice as many to be happy about. We live in an awful world and a wonderful one, but if you keep dwelling on the bad, the wrongs, the betrayals, that becomes your reality. You have to choose–and it is a choice.  As I say to Roo all the time, you have to choose your choice. 

Next chapter

Friends

This year I have met some of my best friends. I couldn’t exist without my daily email exchanges with Paula or my weekly Skype dates with Corey. It’s weird to think that a year ago, I didn’t know these girls very well, and we’d never met in person. Now, Paula’s been to D.C. to visit me, and I’m spending my birthday in Trinidad with Corey. If you think blog friends aren’t real friends, it’s just not true. They are there for me in a way that most of my “real life” friends never have been. I am so fortunate to have such amazing people in my life.

Friends 2012

That’s not to say that I don’t have other fantastic friends that I haven’t met through blogging. But all of my best friends are in Ann Arbor or Richmond or New York or Seattle or Orlando or Port of Spain, which makes my existence here in D.C. a little lonely. It’s tough because I realize that I don’t really have any friends in here. No best friends anyway. Tonight, I’ll ring in the New Year with my puppy and a bottle of champagne and probably be asleep before midnight. I’m ok with that, but isn’t life meant to be shared? It would be so nice not to be alone, but I’ve got Roo, and for now, that’s enough.

Work

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Yes, this is representative of my work life: wine and Wheel while catching up on email in the evening. 🙂

Last but not least: work. Lots of changes this year. I moved to a new city for a new job and continued to work my old job at the same time for 5 months. Not recommended. And one more change: as of last week, I left the job I moved here for. I got a call back in November to interview for a job I had applied for back when I began my initial search. It was my dream job, and (I figured) a long shot at that, but interviewing couldn’t hurt, so I went. The interview couldn’t have gone better. The women I interviewed with were amazing–so talented and smart. But the thing that struck me the most was that I could tell they felt excited about me. I know that might sound odd, but to feel like my skills were valuable was something I hadn’t felt in a while. And it was a good feeling. When they extended the offer, I knew I had to accept. It just feels right, and I can’t wait to get started. 

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29 thoughts on “2012 in Review

  1. Congrats on your new job!! Who knows, maybe the year will be full of miles? Maybe it won’t be – but you’ll find something else that you’re passionate about. I hope to see you in person SOMETIME this year. Maybe we can do some more pillow cuddling. Cheers to a happy and healthy 2013 🙂

  2. Running will come back to you eventually. It always does. I’m gonna take a break from it in the New Year myself and probably just stick to 3 milers.
    Oh, and I will be visiting you again. I’m thinking March. We can take a couples picture in front of the cherry blossoms. 🙂
    Love that pic of you and Roo!

  3. Congrats on the new job! Such a great feeling to know your skills (and you as a person!) are going to be heavily valued. GREAT news!

    2013 will bring amazing things for you, I know it. And maybe your love for running will return – only time will tell. Sometimes that break is what you need. Once you actually start missing it, you’ll get the urge to lace your shoes back up again. Until then, enjoy the break! You deserve it lady 🙂

    And ditto on what Paula said – you & Roo are too cute!

  4. Corey @ Learning Patience says:

    It seems you have had quite the year of growth….we both have! So happy we met and have became such excellent friends girlie!! 🙂 You are amazing and I feel so blessed to have such a fabulous, motivating, incredible person in my life!!!

    xoxo from Trinidad

  5. Alison says:

    Ya for new beginnings in 2013!! You are such an amazing woman, friend and puppy mother. Overcoming obsticles has helped shape you in the awesome person that you are! I can’t wait to hear what this year brings you 🙂
    Love love love.

  6. I think you should be impressed with all that you’ve accomplished in 2012! Keep your hopes up and stay optimistic for 2013.

    I’m staying in alone as well, although sans pup and hard cider instead of champagne. 😉 Happy New Year!

  7. Beth Roy says:

    Dear Melissa,
    Thank you for sharing your last year’s happenings with me. It has helped me give perspective on my own life. And I needed that. Your description of not feeling happy really hit home. I hadn’t realized till now that I was doing the same thing with wasting energy on negativity. My life hasn’t been all peaches and candy canes but you make me realize that to move forward to happier times, at some point I just have to let go of the past. Thanks for helping me grow as a person.

    I know we haven’t met but I look forward to your blogs. I really appreciate how genuine you are. You speak from the heart and that is so wonderful an touching.

    Happy New Year Girl!!!

    ~Beth

    • Happy New Year to you, too!!! Thank you so much for the sweet compliment. It means a lot that you enjoy the blog 🙂

      Best of luck to you on your journey–one saying I always remember is “Sometimes you have to pause your pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” XOXO

  8. thoroughly enjoyed all the pics in this post. I’m glad to have followed your journey this past year. Stay well, my friend. You’re gonna have a fantastical 2013. xoxo!

  9. So happy to read about your growth and happiness! What a year for you! I love your perspective and outlook on life (hence why you are one of my favorite bloggers) and I enjoy reading along with your journey.
    Congrats on your new job and best of luck in 2013!

  10. I loved following along with your journey this past year. The growth and perspective that you always show is why you are one of my favorite bloggers. Congrats on the new job and wishing you the best 2013!
    xo

  11. Congratulations, Melissa! I’m so excited for you to begin your new job!! Will you have to move again? Glad to see that 2013 is already starting on a high note for you!!

    This past year was one filled with good and bad. I’m glad that you are able to see both and not focus on the negative. I was VERY negative about 2012 (I guess losing your home with Sandy can do that); however, when I began to look back I was able to see the positive too. I’m still glad 2012 is over tough! 😉

    Best wishes in 2013 and always!
    XO

  12. your blog post was amazing! you are such a positive influence on so many of us out here in blog land! just reading everyone’s comments and hearing all of them say the wonderful things about you, should add to your collection of 2012 memories!! i resonated with a lot in your post, as i do alot. sometimes life is just a challenge, isnt it?! it does not matter where we are all at in this journey there will be obstacles along the way….it seems that you have chosen the road to happiness, and i am betting that 2013 is going to be a great year for you!!! congrats on landing yet another kick ass job! i am glad you reached for the stars and got it!!!!
    happy 2013……the best is yet to come! xoxo

    • Awe, thank you for your sweet words, Terri. Yep, it is always a challenge, but I guess you can rise to it or let it beat you down. Those people who say you have a choice really are right! All the best to you! XOXO

      ________________________________

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