Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Today is the last day of 2010. I have to say that this has been a pretty awesome year. I kept my job in the face of massive layoffs, 'ran' six miles every day for a month, learned about sustainable agriculture by working at a CSA, ran my first half-marathon, came in third in a national art competition, donated 10 inches of my hair to other women affected by cancer, designed and built an award-winning gingerbread house, and best of all, I finally feel I have started living life beyond cancer.

For the past four December 31st's, I have made the same resolution: I want to be alive next December 31st. As I sat on a plane this afternoon, flying home from a quick warm-weather getaway, I looked down at the black and white landscape- snow and trees seen from the aerial perspective, I remembered my resolution.

And I decided, this year, I think I will make a different one. Surviving another year doesn't seem like a resolution I need to make. I feel like this is a monumental shift in thinking for me, and a pretty significant accomplishment. Resolving to do something other than just be alive in 365 days means I finally feel secure in the knowledge that my life is not measurable in days, weeks, or even months. I finally feel confident in planning the life ahead of me in years.

When I was twenty-one, I was told that there was a 50/50 chance I would live to see June 2011. Five years. 50%. At the time I was told this, I remember articulating that the statistic made me feel as though I was being robbed of my invincibility. But looking back, I think it wasn't my invincibility that was lost. I never thought I was invincible. What was taken from me when I was provided with that statistic was my future. I stopped planning in decades, or even years. I started living on a much shorter timetable. Looking back, that shift makes me really sad. At twenty-one, I doubted whether I would live to graduate, find a job, or find someone who could love me, cancer and all.

But I have accomplished all of those things. And so much more. Each accomplishment brought me closer to the belief that I could live my life. A full, long life. So this year, I will not resolve to live until next December 31st, because it should be a given. I will make a different resolution, if you want to call it that at all. I prefer to think of a resolution as a promise, because promises are meant to be kept. So I promise to keep writing, running, and not just surviving, but living, for the next 365 days...And beyond.

Happy New Year!

Hope, Love, Run,
Marathon Girl

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