Here's my gratitude list for the past year:
- Another year sober. Whew. I have no regrets about the wine I didn't drink and still feel deeply grateful to be here. Trying to quit smoking reminded me of how difficult it was to forge a life without alcohol.
- I celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary and was happy about it. There were many times that I didn't think we'd make it over the past few years, but we did. In doing so, I feel like a bit of a champion - it wasn't easy to work through some of our issues, but I'd say that our relationship is stronger and more honest than it ever has been. However, I also found myself worried that fate was tempted to throw a few curve balls, because I'm not sure I'm allowed to have a peaceful house. But then I remind myself that everyone deserves to have a peaceful house and it's okay to be happy.
- I came close to breaking 4 hours on a challenging marathon. The best part was that I managed to enjoy most of the race and felt speedy. I knew what I was up against and was able to accept things as they were (massive cramping at mile 21) without losing faith in myself. I realized that my biggest issue during my first races was that I allowed fears of failure to destroy my confidence, which made it all the more difficult to finish.
- I left a job that was lifeless and dead-end. It took too long really and I wish I'd done it sooner, but I am very happy where I've landed. I do fear the challenges ahead, but it's a relief to know that I will be challenged and that I will have so many opportunities to learn.
- I had the courage to sign up for an ultra and the courage to not run it. I'm still battling with recovering from my injury, but I'm beginning to see the courage it takes to face limitations and work towards strength with hope (sort of like getting sober). I falter, but overall, I continue on.
- I've quit smoking more times than I can count, but I'm finally able to admit that it's too difficult to keep quitting, so I may as well stay quit. After banging my head against that particular wall eight thousand times, I can finally see that they joy of inhaling is not better than the pain of quitting. I used to say that I loved smoking (like yesterday) and would always miss it. Now, I think that I might miss it sometimes, but it's quite possibly not the cigarette itself, but all that I bound to it over the many years I smoked.
- I've learned that I feel ever so much better when I don't eat flour or sugar. There was a three month period last year when I followed this diet faithfully (with the exception of a slice or two of homemade pizza) and felt like a million dollars. It's time to commit to this way of eating.
- My daughters have grown so much and are so mature and healthy. I love to watch their lanky, unaware, relaxed happiness. It wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't quit drinking. There is no wariness in their eyes. It's such a blessing.
- Despite my deplorable writing habits, many of you have kept me on your blog roll. Thank you for that - knowing you're there and that my words (even the old ones) have helped continues to keep me sober.
For the year ahead, I hope to become a better sober, smoke-free, runner, worker, mother, wife. I hope to remain healthy and engaged with life and to find some balance. It would also be nice if some money appeared for a real vacation this year.
I'll do what I can and leave the rest.
Happy New Year.