“Don’t be afraid; people are so afraid; don’t be afraid to live in the raw wind, naked, alone…Learn at least this: What you are capable of. Let nothing stand in your way.”

Tony Kushner, Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approach

Readers.  I’ve been gone.  I haven’t written for months.  

It’s taken me this day to realize just exactly what happened in 2015, and the only one I’ve come up with is…Can’t.

I can’t blog.  I can’t run.  I can’t do this again.

All year long, I said things like, “When you hit 55, it all goes downhill, fast.”  “It’s too cold to run in the morning.”  “My running days are over.” “I definitely don’t want a relationship anymore.”  “When your skin is this old, every day is scarf season.” “Maybe I had my shot at love already.” “I like to move into a new job every year or so.” “I don’t want to write this blog anymore.”

All year long, in all of my writing, I start to accept the notion that I am well on my way out.  All of the things that I love, I simply put down.  I think I was getting ready to be old… dead?

But I didn’t know until now that I was feeling this.  Until I saw this video this morning.  I met Billy on Twitter, seemingly a million years ago. Back when I was hungry, and hung on every word that runners said, what my coach said.  Because then…I wanted it, and wanted it badly.  Back when I was completely engaged and excited with my 50 year old self, running my first marathon.  I didn’t realize how masterfully this man could weave not only a story, but could also ignite a desire for life in me on this New Year’s Day.

Get a cup of tea.  This is a must watch.

I spent the morning of January 1 as I always do.  In reflection.  And I realized that if saying “can’t” to everything was working, then I would be satisfied.  And.  I am so. Not.

Then I saw the video.  I cried all the way through it, because I somehow knew what was coming.  What I didn’t plan on was the overwhelming realization that I gave 2015 a big…pause.  A big shrug of the shoulder and acceptance, erroneously, that my time at the table was done.

So.  I got a pen.  A piece of scratch paper.  I started writing.  Throwing out my pathetic, self centered journal writing from this year.  And.  I started to focus.  I wrote goals.  Crossed things out.  Smiled at some recollections of a hungry runner.

It’s not pretty, but here it is.  The short list for 2016.

  1. Run a race.  Any race, of any type.  I’m a road runner, but if it’s a trail, well.  I guess I’ll be running that.
  2. Stay purposefully single.  Stay where I am.  Lean in to this relationship-less path.
  3. Embrace my colleagues, and go with their purpose.  I’m at a New Year’s Eve party, and get in a corner with another teacher, and realize.  I love to teach.
  4. Swim.  More laps.  And in those laps, meditation.  More of this.
  5. Enjoy my age.  I will be 57 next month.  It’s time I enjoy it, laugh, wear scarves, understand that just because I’m 57, well.  It’s just an age.
  6. Keep loving my tribe.  All of them.

I start.  Today.