If 2011 was the Year of Sports Joy…

1 Jan

I made one resolution last January 1st.

To survive the year without being featured on The People of Walmart website.

This resolution was easy to keep since I never stepped foot in a Walmart.  Nor did I ever wear anything (even alone in my apartment) that was People of Walmart worthy. (At least not in my opinion.)

I didn’t make any other resolutions but I did tackle a number of things on my bucket list (haphazardly, none of them were really “planned” for 2011).

  • I watched the Red Sox play the Phillies.
  • I watched the Red Sox play (and, more importantly, beat) the Yankees at Fenway Park.
  • I ran my first marathon.  And had my parents there to witness the entire nerve-wracking weekend.
  • I saw both of my baby sisters happily married.  The childhood fear of “how do I take care of them if something happens to our parents” is no longer a fear.
  • I coached two friends through their first half marathon and it was an amazing feeling.
  • I watched my first NFL game and it was the Patriots vs the Eagles.  And I got to attend my first tailgate.
  • I gained 15 lbs but my size 2 clothes still fit (so I think it must be mostly muscle).
  • I saw some of my writing posted on sports websites and won a very unimportant contest on Why I Bike.
  • I saw one of the Premier League teams win (Manchester United).
  • And lived in Boston during a championship win (go Bruins!) And got to see my first Playoff game from an amazing suite with my sister.
  • I spent Valentines Day watching the Celtics practice.
  • Got to see my first cranberry bogs.  While biking on the most beautiful day of the year.
  • To see my sister star as the principal dancer at a major ballet company.
  • I ate alligator.  This was definitely NOT on my bucket list. But can I add things retroactively?

2011 was, in so many ways, the year of sports firsts. And sports joy. And I’m already well on my way to experiencing lots more sports joy in 2012.

But my resolution for 2012, if I were to set a resolution, is to Choose Joy.

To not wait for the right circumstances or the right person or the right job with the right salary or for the MBA to be finished.  There is no reason to postpone Joy until then. Choosing Joy before there is a reason to be joyful might seem ridiculous but it also seems right.  Too often I wait to be happy retroactively, once I see how things turn out.  Too often I am swayed by circumstances or busyness or the incessant needs at work.  And then I miss the chance to find joy.  Or circumstances change and I am bitter and disappointed.

There was a lot of disappointment in 2011 and a tad of bitterness as well.  And I’m not pleased with myself.  I cannot change the fact that I have hopes and expectations nor would I want to change that. But I can change how I react – with grace, with maturity, with vibrance and with joy.

I hope that 2012 will be the year of great growth in grace, maturity and vibrance.  And bucketfuls of joy.

Today, Day 1, has already been a battle.  I am grieving my inability to run right now. A huge chunk of my daily happiness is missing and hard to replace.  I had to spend 3+ hours doing pre-classwork.

But I was purposeful in practicing gratitude that I can walk without pain even if I can’t run. And I will have an MBA degree, mostly paid for by my company, after the end of all this homework. And each day is an adventure that we cannot predict how it will unfold.  And right now, I am choosing to find joy in that.

(But my dear Red Sox, I am unashamed in stating, for the record, that if you want to make 2012 a year of greater sports joy, I would not protest.)



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