Retrospecting 2015

At the turn of the year, I listed some personal goals on a napkin at a quaint Boston bar. While I’ve shown favoritism and neglect to different parts of that list, my life has been overwhelmingly enriched in 2015. I’m grateful that I continue to find a balance of spontaneity and intention, of self and world, and of chaos and solitude. Life is rich.

Despite a never-ending freeze and record-setting snowfall for Boston, I managed to brave (and still love) the snow, while training for my first marathon, cheered to the finish by my lovely sister and her dashing fiancé in Dallas in April. Thanks, Katie and Jameson, and congratulations!

You’ll find contrarians, but I remain — after 107 inches — fond of the white blanket of peace when Mother Nature brings her gentlest reminder to slow down, stay home, and cherish the warmth of friends, family, and neighbors. I do fear winter for the dark and cold air that keep me indoors, but the raw temperatures can be equally exhilarating. Snow’s welcome in my yard, and you’re welcome to come see for yourself. Hot chocolate and baked goods await us.

I hit the ski slopes for the first time in March, hopping blindly onto one lift and dropping straight down onto a steep, icy, black diamond on day 2. Thanks, Coach Brian! I still feel the adrenaline of my full-speed, still-learning-to-slow-down, catch-me-if-you-can descents as I left fear in the wind.

Big D Texas Marathon, Dallas; skiing at Lake Tahoe, NV; Mississippi River at St Louis, MO

Anxiety struck again around Mother’s Day, flying standby for the first time to surprise Mom in Nashville. Without a seat on the direct flight I had hoped for, I stubbornly stayed in the terminal long enough to overhear a boarding announcement for St Louis, and I met Brian for the final day of his eastern cross-country drive. While I still prefer a ticket with my name and a seat number, for a few short hours, we were a family of five — er, six! — at the dinner table. Worth it. Try it.

The summer brought a seemingly endless string of joyful moments, each week rivaling its predecessor. I capped an adventurous month working in Berlin with the coziest (hygge in Danish) weekend in Copenhagen, reunited with study abroad mates. And peaking the list of “fulfilling life events so far”: an August day hike through the White Mountains’ Presidential Range. 18 hours, 11 summits, 9,000 vertical feet, 24 miles. To anyone fit for a challenge, I highly recommend this small stretch of the Appalachian Trail. Go places.

after biking to Saco, ME; hanging with “friends” in Copenhagen; Mt Madison Summit, White Mountains, NH

Summer stretched into fall, and I squeezed in another endorphin rush with a 108-mile bike journey from Boston to Saco, Maine. A dream of mine for several years, biking to “the beach house” exposed the essence of coastal New Hampshire and Southern Maine. A self-powered journey brings remarkable pride to the soul and humility to the body. Push yourself.

As the days have grown shorter, I’ve stayed closer to home. Between training for a second marathon and sleeping well, I’ve also made time to cook more often and explore new foods. Understanding proper nutrition isn’t any easier when you’re fighting a mouth full of sweet teeth. Favorite recipes are welcome, especially hand-written and most especially hand-delivered.

Uncomfortable scenarios, even where I’ve sought them, have brought me to my most vulnerable physical and emotional state. I’m stronger and still always seek happiness. I know that in the coming year we will continue finding fear to inspire, space to rejuvenate and energize, and vision to create what we believe the world can be.

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