52 Mondays: #1

January 2, 2017

As I worked on putting away Christmas gifts and cards today, I reflected on 2016. It definitely wasn’t the best year for me. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t the worst by any stretch of the imagination. I had my fair share of both ups and downs.

First, and definitely the hardest, was saying goodbye to my best good friend, my sweet dog, Shane. I got Shane when he was almost six months old and it was love at first sight for me. A coworker had brought him into the office. She and her husband had gotten Shane from another coworker who was allergic to him. They decided they couldn’t keep him because they already had a dog; two dogs and four kids was just too much for them. So, she brought Shane into the office and I happened to be one of the first to meet him. When she asked me if I wanted Shane, I was puzzled. Here she was with this great dog; he was sweet, smart, well behaved, and seriously cute; and they didn’t want him. When she explained the whole situation to me, I asked what would happen if no one took him. When she said he would probably go to a shelter, I didn’t hesitate in taking him.

Shane and I had a bond that was so special. He was definitely a mama’s boy. He followed me around the house; he went to bed when I went to bed and even slept on the pillow next to me at times; he would let me put my head on him like he was my pillow (no one else could get away with that!); he was my little buddy. I taught him tricks; high-five was one of my favorites. I even taught him to play dead though he wouldn’t stop wagging his tail when I would say “bang”. We never did get the hang of that one. It probably didn’t help that I laughed at him the whole time, likely encouraging the wagging tail. He was the greatest dog on the planet (I’m biased but whatever; I’m allowed).

The day before my birthday, I said goodbye to him. It still stings. It has been six months and one day and it still stings just as much. I’m crying as I type this. He was suffering and I couldn’t let it continue. He was 16-1/2 and arthritis made it hard for him to get up even to go to the bathroom. I saw the sadness and tiredness in his handsome face and I knew it was time. I made the appointment and cried for two days before I had to take him. It may have been the right thing, but it wasn’t easy. And I hate it.

Shane took a piece of me with him when he left. I love that dog and I miss him so damn much. He was the greatest; plain and simple.

sweet-shane

I can’t put into words how amazing this little guy was. It’s definitely true that pets make our life whole.

The next day, I turned 40. Turning 40 didn’t really bother me; it’s just a number and, as I’ve told many people, I’ve been happier as I’ve gotten older and truly found myself. Exercising and running probably have a great deal to do with that. Also, I’ve had some really great people come into my life as I’ve gotten older and I’ve become quite close to several of them. I’ve learned a lot about friendships and I’m so grateful to have people in my life that I can call true friends.

My friends helped make my 40th memorable. Several of them came to Orlando and we spent the weekend celebrating at Disney. The weather was hot and miserable but it was so great to spend time with my friends. And, wearing a 40th birthday tiara around Disney World is one of the greatest ways I can imagine to spend my birthday! It was truly a magical and memorable weekend; a memory I will cherish.

big-4-0

A girl couldn’t ask for a better celebration for the big 4-0.

I’ve thought a lot about my Shelby too. Shelby is my crazy, sweet girl. I don’t have the same bond with Shelby that I did with Shane but that doesn’t mean I don’t love her. I have felt that I haven’t given her all that she needs since Shane’s passing. I don’t ignore her by any stretch, but I definitely feel as though I haven’t been the best pet parent that I could be to her. Losing Shane has been a struggle but I can’t “neglect” Shelby because of my emotional struggle.

sweet-shelby

My sweet, sassy, crazy Shelby. She’s keeps me on my toes and I love this special little lady.

I reflected on myself a lot while I was thinking. I’ve been working on trying to be a better person, both professionally and personally. I don’t think I’m a bad person but, after being given some constructive criticism that I really took to heart, I’ve really tried very hard to think before I speak and to be mindful of my actions. I don’t know if I’ve been successful at bettering myself, but I know that I have given, and will continue to give, a solid effort.

I thought about exercising and running. This year hasn’t been stellar. At all. I’ve had some injuries; while nothing serious, it has been enough to push me backwards. In reality, this all started with my stress fracture in 2015. It has been a downhill spiral from which I haven’t truly recovered. I’ve put on a lot of the weight I had lost and that’s led to a general lack of motivation that I’ve truly struggled to overcome.

Despite the injuries, I did get to do a couple of destination races and mark two more states off my list. I went to Virginia and to Utah. Both race courses were beautiful. The races were tough and I struggled, but I got through them. And, despite the races being tough, I enjoyed my trips. Race-cations are always nice!

Lastly, I thought about my blog. My original goal with my blog had been to do race recaps and reviews. And, while I still want to do that, I realize that I haven’t done the best job of keeping up with those as I finish races. Let’s face it, posting blogs on January 1 about races that happened two months (or more) prior, isn’t really keeping on top of my “work”. I should change my blog to “How to Effectively Procrastinate”.

So, in all this pondering, I decided a few things. And, hopefully, these things will help me stay on track and help me be more accountable.

  1. I’m going to write a blog post weekly. There are 52 Mondays in 2017 and I plan to post a new blog each week on Monday.
  2. My blog is going to include workouts from the week, good new recipes that I try, races that I run; the good, the bad, the ugly. There’s going to be a lot more randomness!
  3. I’m going to start tracking again. Food, exercise (weights and cardio), mileage when I run/walk, etc.

There’s definitely way more to my plan that those three things, but those are the basics of the RunBrandyRun “resolutions” for 2017.

I’ve truly got a lot for which I am thankful. The fact that I can sit here and write this means I have many blessings that I should not take for granted. My situation could always be much worse and I am grateful daily that it is not. Life isn’t always easy and I realize that, even when times get tough, life could always be much harder.

My ultimate goal for 2017 is to find balance in my life. Sure, I have goals (like many people) to lose weight, be healthier, become more financially stable, etc. But, if I could just find balance, I think everything else will fill into place.

What are your goals this year? Did you make “resolutions”? When you reflect on 2016, what did you learn or for what are you thankful?

Until next time…gotta run.

~B

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