Clearly wrapping up 2021

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Every New Year’s for the last few years, I think to myself, this year will be better. Every year seems worse than the one before that! I started detailing all the stuff that’s happened in the last five years, but truly, it just sounded whiny to me. It’s never been all bad, and I absolutely try to focus on the good.

You have to feel your feelings, too, though. Yes, I have friends who have gone through things much worse than me, but a wise friend once told me it’s your stress, and she was right.

Truthfully I don’t think this pattern will change in 2022. I knew in my heart — and told my spouse, siblings and some friends — early in 2021 that I didn’t think my mom had much time left, long before she broke her hip. She may stabilize with Hospice care — or not — but I just want to see her made as comfortable as possible for as long as possible and be able to stay in her apartment and enjoy the activities she still loves.

So 2021 brought no races, not in real life, and not virtually. I didn’t need that stress, and frankly, I also prefer to wait until life is a bit more normal. I have, as I have many times in the last three years, spent half a year going back and forth, doing my best to help my mom, and even with the vaccines, that wasn’t easy and I couldn’t be there as much for her as I’d like to be, with visitation at hospitals and rehabs still often restricted.

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A few scenes from our trips to Long Island, Maine, Lake Minnewaska— and the hike right before we canceled a vacation due to mom’s surgery.

Of course there were also many bright spots in 2021 — you always have to look for the silver linings! We took our first couple of short trips in more than two years. We have managed to remain healthy. We have a roof over our heads, and plenty to eat. I took a foam rolling course and earned my level one Coach’s certificate from RRCA. A new treadmill is on its way. We continued to do daytrips, too, discovering some new lovely places.

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A few of the many lakes & waterfalls of our day trips

In fact, I scrolled through my photos from 2021 recently — so many new places visited, and of course old favorites revisited.

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Olana through all four seasons

Mileage has been low, but I keep on moving. There are benefits to that lower mileage — some of the annoying aches I had disappeared. Some quickly, some took their sweet time, some seem to like to revisit but for the most part my body is in better shape with less pounding (although maybe a few extra pounds).

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Scenes from the most recent solo hikes

Although none of us know how much time we have, there is time for me to race in the future, but the time for being with my mom is dwindling.

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Yoga . . . everywhere

My daily (sometimes twice a day) Yoga practice is a habit now. It was almost a streak, although I didn’t keep track. I missed a few days here and there, but I can count them on one hand. I didn’t really set out to have a daily practice last year, but I’m grateful that I established that. My body appreciates it — and my mind too. Just like running, I feel so much better after I practice Yoga.

December Goals:

  • Run 3 x week. YMostly. there was one week I only ran 2 times. It was the best I could do that week.
  • ST 3 x week. Y/N.  ST was kind of hit or miss this month. I did better than November — I managed at least 2 x week, falling short of my 3 x week one week, I think.
  • Continue to work on Spring Challenge. N. I’ll be bringing this one back in December! 
  • At least one hike. Y. Actually this wasn’t a goal — but I did it! I explored new places on my own on the way to or back from my mom. I did not get lost.
  • At least one real rest day a week. Y. I need them, I really do. Often something just crops up, usually something to do with my mom, and it ends up being far more stressful than restful.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. Y. Weight is better. Still room for improvement, to be sure, but feeling more comfortable in my clothes. 

Which leads me to January Goals:

  • Run 3 x week. There could be a little running break sometimes in the future, but I’m trying to hold out until it’s really necessary. It’s not like I’m running a whole lot anyway.
  • ST 3 x week. I will settle for 2 x week if necessary. 
  • Continue to work on a new Spring challenge. There was a lot of time spent at my mom, but while I don’t expect that to change, I’m hoping at some point I’ll have time to work on stuff for me.
  • At least one real rest day a week. In normal times this isn’t at all difficult for me — I enjoy rest days! For the foreseeable future this may be difficult, but it’s so important.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. I was in a happier place with my weight in November & December. Winter can be a challenge but what’s life without a challenge, right?

Looking Forward
Sometimes you have to look back to look forward. I gave five reasons why clear was my word for 2021. How did I do?

2021:

  • Clear my mind regularly. Y. I’ve been meditating a long time, and yes, it’s a mostly daily habit. Sometimes twice a day. It makes such a difference! For instance I get white coat syndrome and my blood pressure tends to go up at the doctor. I get there early, I meditate, and lately my BP at the doctor reflects what it normally is for me at home.
  • Clear away the clutter. Y/N.  Despite efforts to tackle the clutter again, it crept back in. Half of this year I was frequently away from home for days at a time. On the other hand, I did bag up and donate a lot of clothes — of course I bought new clothes at the end of the year. Those end of the year sales always seem to get me! I think the scales are tipping more to the clear away side, though.
  • Clear away what is not serving me. Y/N. I think I did clear away some thoughts (but not all) that aren’t serving me. 
  • Be clear on my goals. Y. This blog definitely helps me to be clear and accountable for my goals!
  • Cue Yoga classes clearly. Y/N. Cueing comes naturally to some people; me, not so much. I haven’t had the opportunity to teach as much as I’d like. I’ve even tried to teach Mr. Judy, just for practice. Let’s say that lasted about a day.

I detailed my goals for my 2022 word (compassion) in this post here. I’m not really big into goal getting at the moment, life continues to be uncertain for the forseeable future. Things crop up I have no control over. Sometimes go with the flow is the more compassionate thing to do.

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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24 thoughts on “Clearly wrapping up 2021

  1. What a year! I had to stop for a moment to think about something you wrote. I know others are going through worse moments than me. That is how I “justify” not feeling too bad about my moments. However, why shouldn’t I? Like your friend said, it is MY stress. You did GREAT this year, Judy! I know it hasn’t been easy and there is so much we can do and handle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s ok to feel down or bad. Although sometimes looking at people we know who are going through such hard times can actually make us feel better. And some people go through all that always with a smile on their face! It’s pretty amazing.

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  2. Hopefully things get better or less stressful in 2022.

    Other than running and racing, you had many successes. Obviously yoga has become your niche. Not a bad thing if you enjoy it.

    I lost 3 friends. None of which were old enough to die. And my stresses stay off social media for now.

    But for me, a year that I can race and run with my friends is a good year.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is your stress and no one can tell you how to experience it. You have had a lot to deal with the past few years. It is really difficult to watch our parents age and feel helpless to change things. I am glad you have this space to connect and find support from your running community. Hoping the new year brings you peace and health

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, I fully agree, Judy: the time with our ageing parents is dwindling and we need to make the most of it. Especially with having your mom in the hospice, there is not much time left. I understand that your visits are the top priority right now.
    You can always race again later on if you want to.

    I used to have a lot of clutter, too. It got a lot better when I decided a few years ago to only buy new clothes if it’s absolutely necessary. This year, I spent nearly nothing on clothes (except running shoes, of course!). Less clutter, less expenditure. It’s a win-win!

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  5. It has been a hard year and I think you’ve dealt with it admirably. Races are stressful and not doing them if we don’t love them (as I don’t) can be the best thing, for sure. I love your nature pics as well as those of your daily life, and I’ll look forward to following your doings in 2022.

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    1. I do enjoy racing. Not as much as some, but I like the challenge. Life is just challenging enough though & it would feel like too much pressure if I were trying to train for something. Luckily I have many forms of movement I enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I hope that the things go better in the next year. 2021 was very difficult for everyone.
    I also think that every year seems worse than the one before that and not only for the pandemic.
    I try to think positive but I don’t succeed. Too many things happened even if I prefer not to talk about these.
    I also love doing daytrips.
    I hope that the new year brings you only good things. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think you are so right that everyone needs to experience their own situations in their own way. When we see people who have experienced trauma, some will go on to develop PTSD and others wont, even if they went through the same thing. It’s so important to acknowledge your own feelings and give yourself the tools to work through them however you need to.
    This was such a strange year because it felt like so many people were back to normal while many others struggled big time. I’ve had a very rough end to 2021 and it’s hard to think that 2022 will get better, but we need to remain hopeful. I know your family has been through alot and you have been so strong throughout it all, especially during these crazy times!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately things won’t get better for my mom; this only ends one way. So there’s that. I will still try to find the joy in life where I can!

      I’m sorry the end of 2021 was so rough for you, Lisa! Here’s hoping to a better start to 2022!

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  8. I’ve always felt like everyone’s experiences are unique to them and one idea I’ve tried to embrace and emphasize to others is “you do you and I’ll do me.” In other words, no comparison, no judgement. No one goes through what you do and experiences it like you do.
    I am hopeful that better things are to come for all of us. Wishing you plenty of compassion in your life in 2022!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Donna! Compassion is a work in progress — that’s part of why I picked it! If you asked me, I’d say I’m a compassionate person, but there are times I struggle with it, too. That’s life & growing, I guess!

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  9. Your stress and how you experience your stress is unique to you – you have to deal with it the best way that works for you. I know 2021 has been a very stressful year for you, but I think you have handled everything with such patience, grace and compassion.

    Liked by 1 person

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