The Death of a New Year’s Repeat

New Year’s resolutions give me the heeby-jeebies. Big time. And yet, every year, I find myself making them. And breaking them, almost immediately. It’s a sickness. Someone should make a pill for it.

For the past, oh, I don’t know, say gazillion years, one of my New Year’s resolutions involves running. That I’m going to start running. Keep running. Find my stride. Enter races. Place in said races.

*Enter daydream sequence here* Que music: Chariots of Fire, of course. It’s a rainy race day; but true athlete that I am, no amount of drizzle will keep me from putting one foot in front of the other in an effort to be the very best I can be. The finish-line ribbon is just ahead. So is one other runner. Some Amazon with long, sculpted legs of steel. She looks like she was bred to run. She’s probably been running since infancy. She doesn’t know how hard I’ve worked; she can’t understand the obstacles I’ve had to overcome (yes, in my daydream, sheer laziness is a plague one cannot blame oneself for; it’s simply a mountain to climb. I told you this is a sickness). My legs pump faster, harder. I cross the finish line first, barely. My opponent weeps out of joy for me.

Seriously. This daydream has to be brought on by some kind of chemical imbalance. Big pharma, where are you when I need you?

Anyway…

I used to run. Two miles every day in high school through my first year of college. I loved running. Not because I was good at it, or fast…oh, no. Not at all. In fact, I believe my running style could best be described as Drunk girl slowly being chased by no one. But it was just me, solitary, on some lonely country road in south-central middle-of-nowhere Kansas. Endless skies. Dusty gravel. Pretty, simple country birds. Cows. Sometimes a tractor or truck would pass by. But it was such a quiet, simple place to be. I’ve never loved running because of how I felt doing it; I’ve loved it because it was a way to be totally, utterly alone.

These days, I’m never really alone. It’s not for lack of opportunity – the hubster is awesome about letting me have ‘me’ time whenever I want/need it. I don’t take him up on it as often as I should – not because it’s something I don’t want, but because I find when I am alone, I still can’t shut off. I can’t get there like I used to. I can’t find a way to get to that flat-line buzz I used to have all those years ago, as a teenager running alone in the country. Maybe that’s one of the caveats to being a grown-up: you can never fully shut off like you could when you were younger. Too many burdens in daily life to accomplish it.

This year is nearly finished. I’m going to turn thirty-three in a few days. And I’m thinking, once again, about what I want this next year to look like. I know I’ll find my way to New Year’s resolutions; it’s compulsive, I can’t help it. And running will probably make its way onto the list again. Not as an ill-fated foray into escapism, but as a means to other ends (namely, shedding baby weight after #4 comes in April). Because I think I may have finally come to terms with the fact that the thing that I was striding for in running is something that’s out of my grasp…something I’ve lost in my adulthood, that has its place only in childhood – that short, short time of life when trouble can be forgotten by simply putting one foot in front of the other.

I know that sounds like a dark and gloomy place to start the new year, but really, I don’t feel that way. I’m as hopeful about this coming year as any other that has passed. I’m just done chasing that particular rainbow. I may never be able to travel through this life without the burdens adulthood places on my shoulders, but I’m strong enough to carry them. I don’t need to escape them. And that feels pretty good – recognizing my own strength, and not shrinking away from life and the curveballs it’s guaranteed to throw at me on more than one occasion during the next 370-some-odd days.

I want to hear about you, sweet friendlies. Does the year’s-end prompt introspection in you? Are you replacing New Year’s resolution repeats with newer, improved resolutions? Don’t be shy!

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18 thoughts on “The Death of a New Year’s Repeat

  1. Tameri Etherton says:

    Ohmygosh, I love that picture ~ what you look like in your head and in reality. That made me almost fall off my chair! I’m totally like you, I make resolutions and then, as if on a dare to myself, I break them within three days. I don’t know why I do it, but it’s like you said, a compulsion.

    This year I’m not making any resolutions. I’m calling them goals and I’ve already set them up and am implementing them so when Jan 1 comes along, it’s not this huge pressure thing to be perfect.

    33? You’re a baby! Ah, I remember 33, it was a good year. I had my son that year. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and you’ll find yourself exactly where you need to be. I love this post and the message throughout.

    Happy Birthday in a few days, Myndi!!

  2. Emma Burcart says:

    That picture is hilarious! It is fun for me to see that there are other people who loved running without being super fast. That is where I was. I gave up running a few years ago because I got too extreme with it, like I tend to do with most things. I was running marathons and still training for them when I didn’t actually have one scheduled. I went to the gym twice a day. It was crazy. Then I had a reality check brought on by my family. Now I have had a few years of moderate exercise and want to try adding in a little running to the mix. Nothing crazy, though. I have no desire to go over five miles, ever. Hopefully I can bring some fun back into my moderation. Thanks for the post. It inspired me!

  3. Fabio Bueno says:

    I like your attitude. Some of us set unrealistic expectations year after year, and when we realize we’re not living up to our lofty goals, we get depressed. I’d rather set a doable goal for health habits than think I’m going to turn into an Olympic athlete just because the calendar says so.

  4. prudencemacleod says:

    Hey Myndi, When you are raising small children it is hard to find both the time and the energy simultaneously. Please don’t ever think that ability to forget everything in the moment is lost forever. The children will grow, you will come back to being Myndi instead of just mom. The year I turned forty I took up cycling and regained that very feeling of disappearing into the moment, stress free. Loved it. You can get it back. 🙂

  5. coleen patrick says:

    I often dream of running, not as in a goal dream, but sprinting in my mind as I sleep. I love it because I feel like I can run forever–which is def not the case in real life. I am that struggling little girl (love that pic!)
    Last year I signed up for one of those email running prompts, but then life intervened and well, thankfully they somehow stopped sending me them. Anyway, even though I’d still love to one day be one of those people who run 5Ks every other weekend, I am now addicted to my pedometer. Amazingly I am a really good walker. 😉

  6. Natalie Hartford says:

    I am very similar. I like to set New Year’s resolutions but…I don’t often keep them. I think it’s nice to have goals and a direction for the year but I am also happy to bob and sway with the flow of life. Sometimes I recognize I am too “relaxed” and not focused enough but….tis life! LOL! I also find that when I evaluate my year, maybe I won’t have check marks beside every goal but I’ll have mastered some goals that never even made it to the list…so everything works out!
    Now…as for running…I only do it when someone very scary is chasing me.

  7. Louise Behiel says:

    i stopped setting resolutions some years ago for the very reasons you mention, Myndi. I do set goals that I work with and provide me a plan for the coming year. that makes me less likely to be a failure and helps me feel good.

  8. Rosie says:

    Great post!
    I’ve never made New Year’s resolutions as I can’t see the point. If I decide to do something I will do it. The chances of everything I want to do all starting from the beginning of a year are slim! So I started a few of my would-be resolutions months ago.
    I know what you mean about running – that is exactly why I like to run. Me time.
    Hope you have a very Happy Birthday.

  9. Lesann says:

    That picture is awesome! I think we all feel that way about some part of ourselves. I never bought into the resolutions around New Years because it always seemed like a set-up. As soon as someone (even myself) tells me I “have to DO something”….fail. Epic fail. Just because.

    Now I do affirmations instead. A total cop-out but because it isn’t a didactic arrangement, I keep them. Psycho-head babble, yes!

    As for the running….whatever gets you in your happy place and alone time…make it happen. = )

  10. Patricia says:

    Great picture Myndi! This post ties directly in with my New Year’s Day post! It’s all about resolutions, or lack of them. I hope you can stop by.

    Running’s not all it’s cracked up to be really. You seem to have found time for the important stuff too so there’s something to be said for that.

    Happy New Year and good luck in the resolutions!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  11. Kristy K. James...Living, Loving, Laughing says:

    Hi, Myndi…great post. You need to rerun it every year!

    I’m getting ready to run an errand so I don’t have time to read all the responses. If I’m repeating the thoughts of another, I’m sorry. 🙂

    But I think it’s human nature to reflect on what we did…and did not…accomplish over the past 365 days, with more emphasis on the ‘did-nots’ than anything else. At least that’s true for me. This New Years Eve I know I’ll be thinking back on all the great changes this whole indie publishing experience has meant to me. The trials and tribulations, the wonderful people I’ve been able to meet…as well as the Herculean effort it’s taken to get where I am today. Which, granted, isn’t as far as I’d hoped to be, but still closer to my goals than I was six months ago.

    I don’t know if I’ll make any life changing resolutions, ones I’ll stick to anyway, but I do plan on 2012 being one of the best years ever. My goals and priorities are different now because of the journey I started back in June. The main thing is just to be happy with the choices I make and the things I choose to do. That pretty much encompasses everything. Whether I list them or not is another story. Getting to the pool and walking on my treadmill at least three days a week. The pool…I might actually follow through with that one. Most of the time. The treadmill… Um… I kind of hate my treadmill. Which is why it mostly gets used for holding my cases of bottled water.

    Happy New Year, Myndi! Glad you’ve come to terms with where running fits into your life now. 🙂

  12. Liz Schulte says:

    I am a notorious resolution maker and at the first sign of failure I cut and run from them as quickly as possible. So my plan is to rethink resolutions this year. Instead of resolving to do something and setting myself up for failure, I am going to set five goals. Because I can miss a day of working towards a goal or a week and it does make the goal null and void like a resolution. It may just be semantics, but hopefully it works. Good luck!

  13. patriciasands says:

    Resolutions? I gave up on them a long time ago. Introspection? It never ends … but in a good way … as writers it goes with the territory. (Witness our blogs!) Running? You picked the two perfect photos to which many of us might relate.
    My take on life is that every day is a gift with its own challenges and rewards and I wake up each day raring to go.
    Happy Birthday Myndi – oh to be 33 again. Onward!

  14. Nikki says:

    I’m just waiting for 2013. I might feel like being productively introspective. Introspection for 2011 is not too helpful at the moment. 🙂 but it’s good to find that balance yo are speaking of. You can still be expectant and hopeful to find yourself accepting things. I always thought resolutions at new years were a bit like superficial faith. Kind of like wishful thinking. Do u know what I mean.Not based on anything firm. Like the picture needed he laugh. 🙂

  15. Paige Kellerman says:

    “Drunk girl slowly being chased by no one.”

    LMAO..hahahaha. I didn’t think anyone else had figured out how to label my running style…good job, Myndi! But, for the most part, I stick by my motto, “Never run unless you’re being chased.” Seriously, thinking about working out while you’re pregnant? Girl, sit down until that baby decides to stroll into the world. The only sweat you should be breaking is when you yell at someone to get you the remote.

    I’ve always considered working out to be a falling hazard, so I avoid it, but I wish you all the luck in the world when you decide to become the hot running momma again!

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