What I've learned in 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012

As 2012 comes to a close, it feels right to talk about what I learned this year and what I hope for next year. 

1. We are capable of so much more than we realize. This year, I was able to run not one, but two half marathons. On February 26, 2012, I completed my dream of running the Disney Princess Half Marathon at Disney World. It was one of the happiest experiences of my life, despite the fact that I limped through miles 10-13 and could barely walk the next day. On May 5, I ran the Indy Mini Marathon with many of my best friends running it with me. There is something so calming about running, even when your body is screaming. If anything, I learned that we are capable of so much more than we realize. We're able to push ourselves past self-imposed limits -- physically, mentally, emotionally. It's true what they say... when there's a will, there's a way. 

2. Great things come to those who wait. For, quite literally, years, I have been wondering when I would finally meet the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life -- someone who would love me, support me, challenge me, nurture me, laugh with me, and be the other complete person I was looking for. I have found all of this, and more, in Dan. I knew before we even met... when we were talking on the phone before my first half marathon. He has been supportive and caring in every aspect of my life... running, teaching, and new undertakings. I spent the majority of my early and mid 20s wondering when it was going to happen, when I would finally find him. But what I have learned is that GREAT things come to those who wait. And there is a fantastic reason that I waited this long for this man. Great things are coming. 

3. Nothing in the world matters more than people. I have long boasted that I am surrounded by the best family and friends in the world. I really, truly believe this with all my heart. I am so lucky to be supported by loving, strong, hilarious people. They keep me young. They keep me honest. They keep me laughing. They keep me motivated. Nothing in the world matters more than people. Surrounding ourselves with positive, open, loving ones make life so much better. Very little else matters. People are instrumental to happy lives.

4. Kindness is key. Working with teenagers every day, I'm sometimes disappointed with their decisions. But, more often than not, I'm amazed at their kindness to one another, when talking about their families, and when making decisions that impact others. Kindness is key. Without kindness, love, and compassion, we're not going to make it very far. This year, I want to focus more on kindness -- toward others and myself. I often have the tendency to be highly critical of my own performance. But, kindness is something that should be present everywhere. Kindness is key. 

5. Everything happens for a reason. It may sound cheesy, but everything happens for a reason. Even the terrible things that happen in our lives help to teach us something, make us stronger, or rethink a current stance. This year, I'm planning a giant undertaking with my friend Erin. We came up with a book concept a few years back, and currently, we're in the process of copyrighting our manuscript(!!!!!!!!!!!!!)! This book is YEARS in the making, and takes many of the bad experiences we've had and turns them in to something positive. All of these things have led us to this place. And hopefully this year, we'll be seeing a giant payoff for our less than shiny moments. Everything happens for a reason. 

6. An organized life is a happy life. Besides stretching more, one of my biggest goals of 2013 is to get organized. My house is clean, but I'm a small-time hoarder and have lots of piles. My friend and coworker Ashley has started her own fabulous organization business and has truly inspired me to organize me house, one small chunk at a time. It's amazing how much better it feels to purge things that have no use, organize items so I can easily find them. There is something so cleansing about having things in order. An organized life is a happy life. 

2012 was one of the best years of my life. I have so much to be thankful for. And while in some ways I'm sad to see it come to a close, I simply cannot wait for 2013 and all of the wonderful things coming! 


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