The friends I trust the most have all told me I'm very hard on myself. My mom says the same thing. So I gotta believe it. In an attempt to work against this, I'm making myself list some positives from this past year.
1) I read a lot.
Gosh I got through a buncha books in the past twelve months. Most of 'em were good, only a few felt like a waste of time. When I read, I feel most like myself. You can analyze/criticize that statement, but I'll stand by it. When I'm not reading, something vital is missing in my day. So, as far as books and reading, this was a lively year. If you want to see the variety of titles I tackled, check me out on Goodreads.
2) I ran.
Thanks to my "100-mile May," and following that with good goals for all the subsequent months, I probably ran more this year than ever before. Yes, I struggled often, but the highs were more numerous than the lows. Many of my favorite moments in a typical day take place on the road with my long-time running partner, Katie. I'm also thrilled about all the good friends who have joined in various challenges with me, whether running, biking, or doing other types of workouts. My friends keep me going in every area of life, but especially in my pursuit of health and fitness.
3) I went on antidepressants.
Now it's public. Before now, I only shared this with a few friends. Normally, I'm an open book about EVERYTHING but with mental health, there is so much tendency toward misunderstanding. Oh, well. If I can encourage one person to get help with depression, I'll withstand the judgment of a few others. I've needed help with my depression for decades. Diet, exercise, a good husband, and lots of counseling have all helped before, - but these pills have removed the fog that so often descended on me despite all the other help I had.
4) I camped.
Camping is one thing that takes a LOT of my energy but I'm always glad when I do it. This year, our family camped together a couple times and it was worth the effort. Getting away from our everyday lives with my kids is a treasure. (And our family porta-potty has revolutionized certain aspects of the experience.)
5) I flew to Christ's wounds.
Thomas A Kempis, in The Imitation of Christ, tells his reader, "If you fly to the wound in Christ's side, you will find comfort in all your troubles." Whether it has been an issue in a friendship, a bad disposition toward my husband or kids, anger or sadness or fear --- my imagination delights in the image of "flying" to Christ's wound. It's a wildness of our faith that recommends finding solace in a wound (of all things!). And my soul is comforted and restored by the time I spend physically and spiritually near to Jesus.
Happy New Year! Let's all look for the positives and blessings in this upcoming year.