Happy New Year, friends!!! I cannot believe how quickly 2012 flew by…saying good-bye to this past year is somewhat bittersweet!
It was an incredible year full of wonderful memories and experiences. I still look back on our wedding, wishing I could relive that day every day of my life – it is a very rare thing to be in a room filled with people you like who are all there to support you! Without a doubt that will remain the best day of my life. But 2012 also brought us an amazing honeymoon in St. Lucia, 2 marathon PRs, visits from amazing friends, and a lot of life lessons I wouldn’t trade for the world.
While I’ve loved the wonderful moments, 2012 has also been a tough year. I’ve battled significant injuries, physically worked as hard as possible to finish school, experienced a roller coaster of emotions trying to get through the failures of science, experienced exhaustion on a level that I never knew existed (seriously, I don’t know how parents are able to handle their own lives and take care of kids!), and battled some serious mental demons. So while there are wonderful things I’ll be sad to leave behind in 2012, I can’t help but think of the Counting Crows lyrics, “Been a long December and there’s reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last.”
With that in mind, I want to take a few minutes to reflect back on the goals I set last year for 2012 and create some new ones for 2013.
1. Figure out what I want to do with my life. I definitely failed at this one. While I’m now just 1 experiment and a few months away from graduating (fingers crossed, at least, because I’ve learned not to anticipate anything before you have it written down), I still have no clue what I want to do with my life. One thing I do know is that IF I decide to stay in science (and that’s a really big if right now), it needs to be the absolute right fit for me. The project needs to be something I’m passionate about, that doesn’t require working weekends or 12+ hour days, and that has more flexibility. The lab needs to be the right environment for me. And I will definitely not be working holidays anymore. If I can’t find that job, I’ll figure out a way to make a living until I know what it is I want to do. But I want a job where I can actually be happy again, because I really miss that.
2. Run a sub-2 hour half marathon. This didn’t happen, either, though we did PR the half marathon! This goal is getting moved to the list for 2013!
3. Run a sub-4:30 marathon. DONE!!!! Hands down, Philly was one of the best moments in 2012 (the emotions I experienced crossing the finish line still make me cry), and this is an accomplishment I will always be proud of.
4. Avoid being a bridezilla at my wedding. Well, all of my bridesmaids are still talking to me, and I’ll be in my maid of honor’s wedding in October, so I’m pretty sure I accomplished this (girls, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong). I had so much fun with my best girlfriends before and during my wedding, and I would do just about anything to get them all together again! Without a doubt, having my friends from across the country all in one place was truly a special part of our wedding.
5. Take a spinning class. Yeah, that didn’t happen either. Maybe in 2013??
6. Read at least one non-school or work related book every month. I started out really well with this one, but as things got busier, I didn’t make as much time for books (instead I got behind on our magazines and still haven’t quite caught up…though you should see the pile that Matt is working through). I love this idea, though, and hope to revive it for 2013.
7. Learn to actually swim. Want to know how much I failed at this? I didn’t even visit our pool ONCE this year!!! I would LOVE to become a better swimmer so I can start going after my triathlon goals. Maybe I’ll be able to spend more time at the pool next summer once I’m not working 7 days a week. And maybe I’ll be able to convince Victoria to help me out?
So out of 7 goals, I achieved 2. Yikes! I guess if the bar is set that low I have a good chance at beating those odds next year?!? Like I said earlier, it’s been a crazy year so I’ll take it and move forward.
In addition to the remaining 5 goals on last year’s list, I have a few more to try to tackle over the next 365.25 days:
1. Get a dog. Yeah, not really a goal, so much, but I have wanted a dog like crazy for a really long time. The building we live in doesn’t allow dogs (super lame) and my work schedule hasn’t been conducive to owning a dog. But I promised myself a Westie when I graduate, so getting a dog is kind of like having the goal of finishing school, right?
2. Take better care of my body. Yes, running is great exercise but the last couple of months I have pushed my body harder than it deserves. I’ve asked it to train for 2 marathons while not taking any time away from work, essentially never giving it time to rest and recover. I’ve asked it to wake up early and go for long runs and then work long hours. I haven’t done as much yoga and stretching as I should have, and I’ve done just about no weight training. In addition to all of this, I want to do things to FEEL better about myself, too. For example, I want to get my hair cut more than once a year and maybe get a manicure every now and then.
3. Join a gym when we move. After we started running, we gave up our gym membership and didn’t do the strength training we should have been doing to supplement our running. When we move, I really want to find a gym that also has a swimming pool…and one that hopefully doesn’t break my bank account.
4. Be more outgoing and social. Even though a good number of my college friends live in DC, I hardly ever see them. And there are a ton of amazing bloggers I keep wanting to get together with, but never have the time. In an attempt to survive grad school, I feel like I’ve put blinders on and tried to just push as hard as I can to get through it all. As a result, my social life has become almost nonexistent, and I hate that. I’ve certainly learned that people are what matter the most in life, and I want to devote more time to my relationships than I have been. I want to be a good friend again!
5. Travel more. I spent so much time focused on school this year that after we came home from St. Lucia, I pretty much entered a cocoon and haven’t done much since. I would love to spend some time visiting friends, relaxing, and seeing new parts of the world this year!
And because this is all a lot of words with no pictures, I want to share the two most adorable cats in the world with you! Matt’s parents adopted brother and sister tuxedo kittens this week, named Harry (the gray one) and Hermione (the black one), and my heart melts at every single photo we get. They’re so freaking cute I can’t stand it!
Meet Harry and Hermione!!!
Your Turn: What are some of your goals for 2013? What are some of your favorite accomplishments from 2012? How did you ring in the New Year?