I saw this quote a few weeks back on the always inspiring and thought-provoking Carla Birnberg's Instagram, and it definitely gave me pause. I found myself reflecting on the past few years. And this summed up the past couple of years for me in a really beautiful way.
I can say unequivocally that 2013 was the hardest year of my life. I cried tears of frustration when I faced the OR for the sixth time. And I cried gut-wrenching tears when I lost my Dad suddenly just a few months later. These were setbacks and losses I was not prepared for. And I found myself standing in front of the universe, arms out-stretched, asking, "Why?"
"Why this? Why me? Why now?'
This is not the first time the powers-that-be have laid me bare. And I very much doubt it will be the last. But it has definitely been the most profound to-date. 2013 left me with a lot questions. Questions that rocked my very core and left me questioning who I was, what I wanted, and where I was going.
2014 was the answer to those questions.
As always in my world, this year continued to present challenges. I started a new job. I was learning how to navigate my grief. I lost my Nana after a hard fought battle with cancer. I had surgery #7. And we bought a house. I don't think anyone would categorize the list above as symbols of a restorative year.
But for me it was.
For the first time, I found myself able to embrace the idea that,
Serenity is not the absence of Conflict,
but rather the Ability to Cope with it.
There were bumps along the way. But I think what I have come to realize is that those challenge and those struggles only have as much power over your life as you are willing to give them. And I was no longer in a place where they held much power.
There were bumps, and there will always be, but a whole lot of living has been accomplished in between those things too. In the past it felt like my life was on hold. I was working really hard, but getting no where. Last year I felt like I started moving forward again. I started making progress. And I was living the life I wanted. I just had to let go of my own self-imposed limits.
I started to realize that despite my desire for the "perfect year", that "relaxing month", or that "ideal training season", life holds just as many beautiful moments without it. I didn't need to give up on the life I wanted, I just had to be willing to do things a little differently (and maybe also be willing to work a little harder).
I learned that I am not in control of everything. And I will not always be in control of where life takes me, but I am in control of how I allow it to affect me. Giving into the fear robs you of your potential, your joy, and of your life. So I try to chose happiness.
2014 was about choosing happiness.
And I think it is a choice that will serve me well as I navigate the year ahead.
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,