Pages

01 November 2013

OpEleanor, Year 3

Two years ago, Megan issued a challenge to herself and others. Using a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, we were all challenged to "Do one thing every day that scares you." 

Two years ago, I was facing an interesting crossroads. One I've kind of been stuck in ever since then. One of my fears would be putting in to words how quickly I could see everything I've made here crumble, so I just don't talk about it. 

I live here now. That's all. That's not changing, unless God shows me a different plan, but He seems to be continuing to provide and point me towards opportunities here.

Two years ago, the idea of 30 days of facing fears was daunting. And you want to know a secret? It still is today.

However, in the last two years, I've had countless #OpEleanor days that weren't in the month of November. I've successfully completed this "30 day" (but really, lifetime) challenge for much of the past 720+ days. 

Things that were fears, almost feel like they aren't anymore. (Do you know how many times I've gotten on a plane in the last two years? I often feel like all I ever do is look at airfare!) When I face challenges in life, I have a friend who will regularly tell me to "Eleanor it". And that often helps me power through those moments. 

Some of you have followed along long enough to know how 'simple' some days are. Others are new. I would invite you to join our journey. Blog it, tweet it, Facebook it. Journal it if you need to be more private (I definitely have 'vague' days - where only one or two people might know what my fear was - and that's absolutely okay!)

Look up the hashtag on twitter and instagram - there are some incredible people doing incredible things during the month of November. I am glad to be included in their group.


13 October 2013

Altitude


I've now been in Breckenridge for 29 hours. I have spent the last 10 hours with a headache, four hours ago, it got to the point that I almost passed out before dinner.

Logically, I know it was mostly because of a combination of altitude and hunger. But, I'm frustrated because I've drank a ton of water today (well over 100 ounces, in fact) and should at this point be able to handle higher altitudes.

The last time I felt this bad in the mountains was on a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. I don't even think I did any walking or hiking, but I definitely didn't have enough water and I was absolutely miserable on Trail Ridge Road. (Or, wait, thinking about it now? I was absolutely miserable in Glenwood Springs at New Years. Like, couldn't drag myself down the hall to hang out with friends because my body was so miserable.)

We started out this morning with a four mile hike, something I couldn't do a year ago. I was actually really impressed by myself and my progress today. I enjoyed the hike, we went at a comfortable pace and K and I even ran several minutes on the way back down the trail. We ended up at an old mine and took some lovely fall pictures. I love a day when I get to take my camera out for a good walk. When we came back to the condo, we had lunch and I almost fell asleep, but was awakened with the offer of a trip into town for window shopping.

All was good until we got back from town. That's when I hit a major wall and could barely drag myself out of bed. I settled in, paid for wireless internet, and treated myself to quiet time, while wishing that I could nap. I am not a napper, generally - it's hard enough for me to fall asleep at night without messing up without messing things up with a midday nap.

I can only hope that during any and all future trips to the mountains that I can figure out how to keep myself from ending up feeling miserable, as I spend much time wishing to be in the mountains and missing the convenience of their location back where my parents live.

12 October 2013

Restless

I'm currently sharing a room with a ten year old.

Wednesday night, K invited me to join her family for the weekend - "my room has two beds, please come!" We see each other not often enough anymore, life is just busy for all of us. However, this weekend was free and so here I am.

I spent the hour after her bedtime on the phone in my car. This served two purposes. First, it let her fall asleep without me in here on the computer or watching a movie (or Doctor Who). Second, I got to talk to a friend who I hadn't talked to in months.

However, sitting in your car in the mountains at 10pm might not be the smartest decision. I may never feel my fingers again. The temperature dropped to 20 something and I'm not at the point in the year where that doesn't phase me.

I came back in to a ten year old grinding her teeth. That's a new one. I've joined her family on about two vacations a year for the past seven years. K and I have shared a room on at least 90% of those trips. I have never heard her grind her teeth. She's always been a quiet sleeper.

It might be a long couple nights if this keeps up. However, the vacation to the mountains will be totally worth it.

11 October 2013

Support

I wrote last week about October and pink and shopping.

And then tonight, this showed up in my facebook inbox.
OK pretty ladies, it's that time of year again...support of breast cancer awareness! So last year's game was writing your bra color as your status...or the way we like to have our handbag handy. Last year, so many people took part that it made national news... and the constant updating of status reminded everyone why we're doing this and helped raise awareness! Do NOT tell any males what the status means...keep them guessing!! And please COPY and PASTE this in a message to all your female friends. The idea is to choose the month you were born and the day you were born. Pass this on to GIRLS ONLY and let's see how far it reaches. The last one about the bra went all over the world. ** Instructions: The month you were born is the Place you are going, and the day you were born should be how many months you are gone.... January -Mexico; February - London; March -Miami; April - Dominican Republic; May - Paris; June - Rome; July - Hawaii; August - California; September - New York; October -Puerto Rico; November -Las Vegas; December -Australia. If your birthday is 21st January, YOUR STATUS SHOULD READ: "I am going to Mexico for 21 months". Don't reply to this, put your answer in a facebook status on your wall. Please do it, don't be a spoil sport!.
Would someone please care to explain how this raises breast cancer awareness? How does this support ANYTHING?  (I'm going to California for 8 months and I'm not supposed to tell anyone what that sentence actually means, how I came up with the where and the length, unless they are female, in which case I'm supposed to spam them with a group facebook message. Yes. That's logical.)

Please, if you are looking for a list of ways to support breast cancer awareness and research, click here. That link provides four big ways that you can be supportive to someone dealing with a cancer diagnosis, breast cancer or otherwise.


06 October 2013

Faith

Tonight's sermon (yes, tonight, I attend an evening church. Because I absolutely hate getting up and ready to attend service by 9am, especially if you consider that I often work Saturday nights until late), was on John 3:1-21. This is a passage I've heard countless times, but that tonight I knew I was going to get a lot from.

Last week, the pastor spoke on Jesus in the temple, which my friend and I both agreed we expect to be more of a history lesson and less of a "how does this change/affect our lives now." Turns out, in big ways. That involved tears from both of us.

I've been struggling lately. I've spent a lot of time saying that I trust that God will provide, and turning around and worrying about how everything is going to work out in the long run. But you know something? Every month, everything works out and provision is there, often in unexpected forms.

I knew walking in that this sermon would be hard. It actually almost kept me home. (A really bad reason to stay home from church? Being afraid of the sermon. That's why they exist.)

I was reminded over and over tonight that I am inconsistent. I say one thing, act one way, and the minute things get difficult revert to old ways. Ways I know aren't okay, thoughts that are hurtful. I know that following Jesus means following him always. I also know that it is incredibly easy to slip into patterns where He takes a back burner and I keep pushing forward for my own selfish reasons.

I need to reevaluate. I need to make better choices. I need to be more consistent.

As was pointed out this evening "Jesus didn't come to reform your life, he came to destroy and rebuild your life."

I need rebuilding, and it's going to be tough.

05 October 2013

Roommate

I live in a one bedroom, 650 square foot apartment (for the next 26 days). I have had a friend staying with me for the last week.

In that time I have learned some critical things about myself and my tolerance level of others in my home.

a. Dishes left in the sink are only okay if they are my dishes.
b. If you're going to cook and use all the pots and pans I own, I'd suggest cleaning up before I wake up in the morning.
c. Turn off the lights.
d. My fear of a raised electricity bill is real (see c)
e. Some clutter is okay, some clutter is not. I'm not sure exactly what my line is on this.
f. If you come home at midnight or later, I am not responsible for waking you up when I need to leave at 7.

We are apartment hunting today. It will have 2 bedrooms. And hopefully 2 bathrooms, although that's negotiable.

I'm hoping having more individual space will help with many of the things on the list. As will more time, and setting more boundaries for one another.

If not, it'll be a really long year.

03 October 2013

October

Every year, in the closing days of September, I walk into a store and am hit by the pink. Pink ribbons on everything. Pink coloring on things that aren't pink the other eleven months of the year. I'm reminded that October reminds me of pain, loss and mourning.

It doesn't matter if I've been doing really well, or if I've been struggling. The pink comes and it feels like I'm back at square one.

It's been over four years. You would think after four years, I might be able to see pink, know that it's breast cancer awareness, and not want to fall apart.

You'd be wrong.

My aunt was diagnosed at 57. She died less than two months from her 59th birthday.
My mom's other sister was diagnosed at 57. She is currently cancer free. She turned 58 in April.
My mom is a year away from 57. How am I not supposed to be filled with fear?

I've seen the pain. I've had to say goodbye. I withdrew from my other aunt because I couldn't deal with it again. I cannot help but be terrified that my mom is next.

Everyone says that time heals. I've also heard countless times that it's okay to mourn still. And every July 12th, I mourn. Every September 5th, I remember.

And every October, I hate shopping.

02 October 2013

Trails

In March, I quit my teaching job. There's a lot more to the story than that, but that's a whole different blog post. Since then, I've been working a bit a substitute teacher, while applying for full time positions, and a lot as a part-time nanny.

Two afternoons a week, I watch two little boys in a community north of the city. I like their community. It's a bit bigger than my hometown. But it's a lot quieter than the city. I feel safe when we leave the house to go for walks. I don't have to worry about traffic while the older boy rides his strider bike. Now that the baby is six months old, life has gotten fun at this house. He's eating solids. He's rolling like crazy. And his brother has just about figured out the word 'gentle'.

The weather has also stayed nice the last few weeks. Which has led to a lot of outside time. There's a really cool trail that circles an area where a lot of prairie dogs live that we have walked around many, many times. You'd be surprised how easy it is to convince a barely three year old to walk 3/4 of a mile when he can watch for wildlife along the way. The baby also enjoys every step of the way - he's started babbling along the way and big brother loves to tell me "he's talking to you!" and we make up stories about what the baby is saying to us.

The perk of all this walking is that these days I hit my steps goal without any issue - I track with a Fitbit and love the ability to see my progress and know how much more I have to go. Also, in the last week or so, the baby finally seems sturdy enough and I finally am confident enough to actually do some jogging with the jogging stroller. I've written briefly before about my attempts to run and how poorly that usually ends up. Turns out, when I just let myself go naturally without trying to follow a plan or push too hard, I actually kind of like it. It's also fun for the older boy since he likes to ride his bike as fast as possible, so we race each other a bit.

All of this activity leads to another perk. Tired children. And soem afternoons I get lucky enough to have two small children napping at the same time. Or one exhausted three year old watching a show on the iPad while his brother takes a bottle and passes out. Either way, we all reap the benefits of getting outside and are going to be disappointed when the weather changes and we can't do so anymore.

01 October 2013

Restart

It's been four months since I wrote here, and you know what? I didn't really miss it. Usually when I skip long periods of time, I open the page and just don't write. Lately, however, that doesn't seem to be the case. I think I just needed the break.

This has been home for many years. I think my first post was almost eight years ago (if I wasn't typing on my iPad, I'd double check that). I've created an identity for myself under this username. I've written in good times and bad times and felt support from people I now call friends.

I remember when I wouldn't add anyone to my personal Facebook who only knew me as nannyanya. This doesn't happen anymore, and I'm glad. There are still many who don't know my real name, and it always surprises me to realize that. It also helps me feel confident that if I needed to or wanted to I could go back to a fairly anonymous online identity.

I happy with how I use social media, and with who I've let into my life that way. I'm also completely comfortable with the fact that many people who have known me for years don't know this exists. It's nice to have a space to vent when I need to, without worrying about what family and friends might think/say/judge.

I want to start writing again. I think I'm going to challenge myself to post daily for October. It wouldn't be hard to see that I've never been successful in such a goal. This time around I have someone who has said they will hold me accountable. Let's see if that helps.

03 June 2013

Enchanted

Last night, I took K to her very first concert. We went to see Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Joel Crouse. K has been singing along to Taylor in my car for years, and the presale opportunity was one I could not pass up.

We had amazing seats on the floor and I knew she'd have a good time, even though I worried about noise and if she would be able to see. The giant video screens took care of that problem and she said she was fine, even after Ed Sheeran who hurt my head.

We bought glow sticks and batons and I taught her all about how you have to wait for the artist who you want to see, and that you might not really like the opening acts very much. (For the record, we loved Joel. Ed was not so kid friendly and if you weren't familiar with his music, he was really hard to understand.)

Right before Taylor came on stage (after the second 'intermission' - I'm so glad K has a dance background and has gone to shows so she gets downtime), I realized there were people sitting in VIP seats right behind us and the only thing separating us was a barrier. There was also a second stage that we realized that Taylor would be on at some point, meaning she'd be SUPER close to us. All of a sudden, someone was asking if we were ready. K replied 'yes!" and it took me about five seconds to realize that it was Taylor's mom.

She stood behind us and sang every word to her daughter's songs. At the point when Taylor came through the crowd to the smaller stage that was behind us, there were three or four groups of girls who'd been chosen to come down and stand in that VIP area. We all turned around to watch and Andrea Swift realized that K couldn't see because of the girls standing in front of us. She told her to stand on the chair next to us and then to jump over the barrier. She set K up in HER chair and stood behind her once she realized that K was unsure about being separated from me, even though I knew she was fine and she was like ten whole feet away.

K settled in and watched as the stage turned around as Taylor performed and rose up super high. I have a million pictures of the back of her head watching. You can tell how intently she is focused on what is going on in front of her.

When Taylor had gone back to the other stage, the girls sitting next to us helped K get settled standing on chair for the rest of the show. The smile on that little girl's face never went away, even as she sang every word to Love Story and We Are Never Getting Back Together.

It's an experience I am so glad I got to share with her, and one I know she will never forget.

02 June 2013

Dancing

Last October, I started dancing at the same studio K attends. It was an effort to do something active that I would enjoy, and I knew the instructor would be understanding and kind about the limitations of my body, especially with my back injury.

I really only wanted to do ballet - stretching is wonderful and stretching properly has helped my range of motion greatly. But, I was the only adult interested in staying for ballet. The class before ballet is tap and the instructor convinced me to try it one week.

I have sat through a million weeks of K's dance class. I have left the room during tap on many, many instances. There was no reason to expect to enjoy it.

But I did, at least kind of.

At the time, the class was working on a routine for The Nutcracker, which I knew I was going to be out of town for. I was shocked with how quickly I picked up the routine, even knowing I wouldn't have a reason to perform it.

I kept going to class, only skipping a couple weeks here and there. The others in the class are all great, and hopefully we'll catch up for happy hour or something this summer, while there are no classes.

The routine for the spring recital was much more difficult and I was doubting my ability to learn and perform it until yesterday, the day of the performance. I knew there were parts that I couldn't do "right", but I'd also learned how to fake it. I was surprised when I fell asleep Friday night rehearsing in my head.

The first performance was terrifying. I could tell you 900 ways in which I was pretty sure I'd screwed up. Afterwards, everyone said it was great.

The second performance was still scary, but definitely felt better. Until the last move when I managed to stumble on a spot in the floor that is uneven. I know that I missed some steps. But I recovered, finished and ran off stage.

At this moment, I'm not sure if I'll go back next year. It'll depend on what I'm doing for work, and how finances play out. All I know is that I'm glad I took a chance this year.

28 May 2013

What I wish I'd Said

Saturday at the Celebration of Life, they invited anyone who wanted to share a memory or a story to do so.

I have incredible stage fright, and was unable to, especially as emotional as I was. However, thinking about it, the stories I could tell from 19 weeks as his teacher and another 19 week watching football and baseball?

Here's what I wished I'd said:
I had the privilege to walk into a classroom of fifth graders at the beginning of the 2010 school year, as a long term sub. No one knew exactly how long the assignment would last or how attached we'd become to one another. I knew most of the students from spending the previous 2 years subbing at the school.
Before long, I was invited to a football game. And then another. It's a small town, you know all the players before long. And their team? It was good. I tried to instill in my kids that being a leader counts more than anything, but I can't lie, it was a blast to celebrate week after week.
I also had high expectations. You don't turn in your work? You're not playing. I knew the coach was only obligated to collect eligibility twice during the season. I made sure that my boys knew I would be reporting weekly. They all looked at each other, and were shocked when week after week I sent home eligibility reports.
I'll never forget the end of the second quarter. It was my last week as their teacher. It was the awards ceremony. This child was on the honor roll list. Because when you turn in your work, you earn the grades. He had no idea, but I'm pretty sure I'd called mom so she knew to try to be there. He had worked so hard and had such a good month that he also earned Student of the Month. I don't know who was more proud: me, mom or him. 
Even after I was out of the classroom, I made sure they knew that if I knew when and where I'd be there. Baseball season came and I spent countless hours sitting with mom keeping score. I grew close to sister and her friends and I knew that it mattered if I was there, even though he'd NEVER admit that. 
I'm not even going to pretend that every minute was great. He gave me a hard time, on many occasions, but we also understood each other. He knew how far he could push and he did so often, as most ten year old boys will do.
While I'm sad that I moved and didn't get to watch him grow in the last couple years, I'm so very glad he was in my class. I would trade nothing from that school year.



23 May 2013

A promise is a promise

I am sitting in the Phoenix airport.

On my way home.

For a funeral.

(I am supposed to be flying to Houston. For a friend's birthday.)

Sunday, I learned that one of my students (one of my football boys), was killed in a terrible accident.

I think of these kids regularly, when times were especially hard at my job this year I would read letters from them and remind myself that yes, it is possible to have an amazing group of kids in an amazing classroom.

When I heard of this death, I knew immediately I had to go home. However, it's a holiday weekend. Airfare was outrageous. But I am so blessed with people in my life and although I still had to spend some money that I didn't really have, I was able to find an acceptably priced flight.

So I will be home for the weekend. For my kids. For his parents.

Because as much as this is totally awful, I promised these kids I would be there for them always. I expected the next time I saw them to be next year at eight grade graduation, not this year, the week before they finished seventh grade.

A promise is a promise no matter how hard the follow through might be.

12 May 2013

Life

I open this space regularly. I begin drafts regularly.

I hit publish, well, never.

There is a fear in being vulnerable. There is a fear in speaking writing my mind.

I just looked over my 13 goals for 2013. I realized I've met not a single one of them. It's almost halfway through the year.

And you know what? I'm okay with that.

I made some major life decisions in the last two months or so.

One of them included leaving my teaching position. It was toxic and killing me. I was withdrawing from life into a depression that I hadn't experienced before. The thought of waking up in the morning and walking through those doors was more than I could handle most of the time. I began and ended days in tears. I cried through my lunch. I wished for reasons to not be there. I had migraines and fevers and cough that lasted a month. I was dying and afraid to say the words I needed.

Nothing is worth that. Nothing.

It took 48 hours for a friend to comment on how happy I was. 48 hours. 2 days.

In two days, six months of depression and stress were lifted away enough that life seemed manageable again.

Sometimes the hard decisions are the right decisions.

22 January 2013

Does this count as two days in a row?


I stole this from Issa.

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
My parents. They are the least creative people alive, if you know my first and middle names.
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
Um, last night. Upon dealing with work stuff.
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
I have teacher handwriting. Sometimes, that drives me crazy
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
Turkey
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
No
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
Sure? What kind of question is that?
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
Yes
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
Yes. 
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
Absolutely not
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
Lucky Charms. Or Fruit Loops. Or pretty much any that my mother wouldn't buy while I was growing up
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
I'm far too lazy for that. I only own like two pairs of shoes with laces anyhow!
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
No. I dig for strength and can't find it often.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Peanut butter chocolate
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
I honestly have no idea
15. RED OR PINK?
Pink
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
The way I stress about everything
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
My babies. My best friend's daughters. I ache for their cuddles on hard days.
18. WHAT IS THE TECHNIQUE THAT YOU NEED TO WORK ON THE MOST?
Do you want to ask my dance instructor?
19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
None at this moment. Purple Toms all day.
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
A small handful of chocolate chips
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
I was listening to Switched at Birth. Right now, nothing
22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
Purple
23. FAVORITE SMELLS?
Cookies. Clean blankets.
24. HOW IMPORTANT ARE YOUR POLITICAL VIEWS TO YOU?
Important enough that I almost lost friends. I'm not talking about it.
25. MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY OR BEACH HOUSE?
Mountain. I'm not a "beach" fan. Unless it could be a beach house at Tahoe? Then I'd get both!
26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
Baseball
27. HAIR COLOR?
Blonde.
28. EYE COLOR?
Blue.
29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
Nope. But I have keratoconus so it's only a matter of time.
30. FAVORITE FOOD?
Carbs
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
Happy endings. I don't do scary.
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
I honestly couldn't say. I could like 15 minutes of Mary Poppins on Sunday, does that count?
33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
Magenta
34. SUMMER OR WINTER?
Spring/Early summer
35. FAVORITE DESSERT?
Ice cream
36. STRENGTH TRAINING OR CARDIO?
Cardio
37. COMPUTER OR TELEVISION?
Computer
38. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
Savvy
39. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
People still have mouse pads?
40. FAVORITE SOUND?
Music
41. FAVORITE GENRE OF MUSIC?
Country. Christian.
42. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
Which home? I guess the answer doesn't change. Toronto.
43. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
44. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
In the San Fernando Valley, California
45. WHERE ARE YOU LIVING NOW?
Denver-ish
46. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR HOUSE?
Brown. I think. I just moved here, I should know this
47. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR CAR?
Silver
48. DO YOU LIKE ANSWERING 48 QUESTIONS?
It wasn't bad

21 January 2013

Struggle

I started the year with hefty goals.

I also promised to focus on the successes, not to dwell on the failures.

I'd like to pretend that I'm doing well with that. And maybe in some ways I am.

I've also been struggling. More than I thought possible. More than I have in several years.

January has always been a bit of a rough month, but February has historically been much worse. The first time I realized that I had a tendency for depression was my sophomore year of high school. It was the first weekend in February. I remember feeling helpless and hopeless. And all alone.

This continued the next three years, and there were many other times that were difficult. But that first weekend in February? Haunts me to this day, nine years later.

So, I'm struggling to understand why now? Why the second week of January? I was in tears every day this week. And explaining why I was upset didn't help. Because it's hard to explain why every little thing sets you off. I don't know why. I just know that it does. I feel weak, when I know I'm supposed to be strong. I feel lost, when I should know my way.

And the worst thing is, I feel whiny when I try to vent.

I have friend who are here for me, and people who care. I know this, and yet I don't accept this. Trusting people is hard. Opening up is seemingly impossible. How am I to know that someone's concern is genuine?

So for tonight, I'll write. I'll get the words out. And then, in the morning, I'll just pray that I find strength.

02 January 2013

Fresh Start

I spent the weekend in the mountains with my Bible study group.

It was an interesting weekend filled with laughter and bonding and lessons.

And a lot of discussion about "fresh starts". Turns out, we all need them. It's so easy to look back on a year and mark the failures. It's much harder to find the successes, even if small.

Last year, I opened up more. I learned to trust. When the walls came crashing down around me, I didn't run away. I didn't put up the barrier again.

Last year, I took on a challenging job. It is far from my goal, but I get up every morning and go to work. And I do my best.

Last year, I took risks. I traveled. I met "online" friends. I didn't let fear stop me from doing things.

Last year, I got hurt. It brought me down. I gained a lot of weight because I couldn't be active. In September, I began a challenge with friends. I lost every.last.pound. from the injury. Now, I'm working towards bigger goals.

And that's what I'm choosing to focus on, as I head into a new year. A year sure to be wrought with challenges and failures. A year sure to be marked by successes.

Those successes are what I want to learn to focus on more.

Many of them, hopefully, will relate to my 13 Goals for 2013.