This is a frontier of tension; it is at once beginning and end, origin and completion. Here is where two opposing forces reach toward each other to create a vital frontier filled with danger and possibility. ~John O'Donohue
I'm a threshold kind of gal. I like to reflect. To remember. And, I need to dream. To plan. Though I continue to see that the journey is often far more important than the destination, it is vital to have a destination in mind. It gives shape to the journey. And, it gives me the courage to press on even when the journey is difficult.
At the threshold of a new year I reflect, and pray, and ask God to help me start in the right direction, knowing there are likely to be surprises and course changes along the way.
When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision. ~Paulo Coelho
I set only one goal in this area last year. I confess: I blew it. I wanted to read through the Bible. I got off to a good start and found it to be a source of joy. But I got derailed in the spring and never got back to it. I am going to forgive myself, and pick up where I left off. New year. New start.
My other goal is to spend time with the saints this year. Reading their lives, understanding how they related to God. I know I will be challenged, humbled, provoked. And inspired.
This was a demanding year, physically. I ran three marathons: Disney in January, Run for the Red in May, and Wineglass in October. My goal in two of the three was to qualify for Boston. I missed it by 50 seconds. But I did best my previous PR by 18 minutes and I learned a lot about myself in the process.
The endurance element has always come more easily to me than speed. So this year I play to my strength. My goal is to run the Grand Teton 50 mile ultra-marathon in September. It is a challenging trail ultra with almost 10, 000 feet of vertical gain (and loss--almost as punishing), plus high altitude to contend with. But this I know about myself: It has to be pretty. When you ask crazy things like this of yourself, the mental fortitude is at least as important as the physical. Beauty will feed me. It will make me stronger. This I know.
Since I have a granddaughter coming in April, I will probably sit the spring season out, with the exception of the Oak Barrel Half-Marathon in April. Just for fun.
I failed pretty miserably in my goal to write something every day. But I have become a good bit more comfortable with the re-writing process. With refining and honing. Removing extraneous words. Using more potent language. This year I want to try my hand at two genres which feed me as a reader, but intimidate me as a writer: fiction and poetry. If I come up with anything that is not abyssmal, I will give you a peak. I also am ready to attempt a longer format work than a blog post, though I am still a little fuzzy about how that will look.
I don't exactly know how to explain it, but wrestling with a foreign language opens closed places in my mind. New vocabulary helps me see things differently, more completely somehow. This year I will sit with my French short stories and poems, and a dictionary, and attempt to teach my mind to think French without always needing to think it in English first. My ultimate goal is to read Le Petit Prince all the way through with comprehension.
It has been miraculous to watch how God has used gratitude to cultivate grace in me this year. I am grateful for friends and for my priest who have challenged me in this area. If I can glimpse even an iota of all I have been given, it is almost impossible to be resentful about that which I lack. Grace is the natural outpouring of a grateful heart.
This year I wish to be more intentional about encouraging others. It comes naturally to me "in the moment". But I want to schedule coffees, write notes and emails, and otherwise pursue those who are hurting and need hope. I am available, Lord. Use me.
How about you? What are your dreams for the year to come?
"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic and power in it. Begin it NOW!!" ~Goethe