Recently, my 8-year-old said something to the effect of, "If you say dumb things, that makes you dumb."
As I think of goals for 2018, I'm now thinking of it in terms of "if you do dumb things, you're dumb."
After a series of years running marathons and two 50Ks, 2017 was humbling.
2017 running mileage: 507 miles
2016 running mileage: 1,001 miles*
*Many of these were pure crap [see crappy Wisconsin marathon 2016 report], because of a torn hip labrum that resulted in hip arthoscopy surgery in January 2017.
2017 biking mileage: 802 miles
2016 biking mileage: 540 miles
I found this year that I really like doing weights classes and yoga. I used to hate both. I rediscovered enjoying bike riding, including a 50-mile ride with my 25-year-old son and a few great running friends on a really hot fall day in Michigan
(I will never forget my son changing his clothes in a dumpster in Three Oaks, Mich., after the race)\. And us laughing about it, while I changed in a car, for crying out loud.)
I also found this a challenging year that had me weigh a job offer in California, where in my heart I want to move, but it was not the right thing for us.
It also took me to a therapist, as I tried to figure out why I was so pissed off at the world. Turns out, I was entering menopause. NO ONE TOLD ME HOW MUCH IT WOULD SUCK.
I ditched the therapist, rediscovered my wonderful regular doctor and now feel sane and normal, if a little sweaty from time to time.
I also returned to running in May, four months after what was a successful surgery. I'm very grateful to Dr. Nho.
This year I will turn 50. As I think about a second century of life, I am determined to do lots of things.
I think the most important is to be a good, kind older person.
I spent a good deal of the first century of my life taking from others, being needier rather than giving.
I'd like to reverse that, and be the giver.
I'm also really worried about all of the crabbiness and negativity that would be easy to cave in to. When someone cuts me off in traffic, and my normal, first reaction is to swear and be pissed off, I am *trying* to remind myself that people, most people, are trying to do their best.
(My husband thinks this is ridiculous.)
There's a lot about life that makes it easy to become jaded and negative, that sucks the joy out of you.
I don't know if it happens to everyone in their 40s -- the decade I like to say when people become their parents, whether they like it or not.
Our politics, the poverty we see daily, the nasty words on social media and news shows -- I still can't believe that this is it.
I see it in people I know who can't forgive, who keep score. I've been guilty of that so many times. I don't want to be that person anymore.
Recognizing my good luck to have had the upbringing and opportunities not afforded to all, I think about how trail running and yoga and hanging with good people and reading books reminds me that there is more to this world than all of the shouting that goes on.
There's some pretty good things about life. I want to enjoy them more, and share them with people who need them.
I want to avoid being another shouter, and do more good. If you have ideas, send em along.
As for running and biking, here are my plans:
--Frozen Gnome 10K trail, January (this is no ordinary 10K and my fourth year of this amazing race)
--Lifetime indoor mini triathlon, January
--Lakefront 10, April
--Ravenswood 5K, April (my hood!)
--Apple Cider Century bike ride, September
--DPRT marathon, October (I ran this trail marathon in 2015 and loved it)
I know I will still say and do dumb things this year. But hopefully, I'll do more good, too.