Throughout the years, my childhood bedroom changed with the seasons. As soon as the spring weather grew warmer, my mom would predictably hand me a large plastic bin so that I could carefully fold all of my sweaters, sweatshirts and thick pants into storage. The empty space was then filled with t-shirts, cotton clothes, shorts and skirts that were desperate to be unfolded from the bin. I used the outside of my closet — the two brown sliding doors — to express whatever new interest I was in. I admit, at one point it was covered with New Kids on the Block posters that I had carefully clipped out of Teen Beat magazine. Other times, I had inspirational posters of famous runners. Another time, I had created my own music touring company and made marketing posters with shiny, white posterboard and Crayola markers for myself as an artist. My life as a pre-teen was filled with adventure and imagination! It’s amazing to look back on who I was nearly 25 years ago and see how those early messages shaped me today.
While the inside and outside of the closet changed, I had one part of my room that always stayed the same: a rectangular cork-board displayed just to the left of my bedroom window that was covered with cards, notes, and photos of me and my friends.
Tucked away, barely dangling, on the bottom right hand side of this cork-board was my list of “New Years Resolutions.” Years had gone by, but those resolutions had stayed up there through most of my teenage years.
While some of them have been long forgotten, there are ones that I vividly remember writing when I was 14 years old:
- do not weigh more than 110 lbs
- exercise every day
- kiss a boy
- get good grades
- be nicer to my siblings
Yes, I did finally kiss a boy. Yes, I did manage to get good grades. Pretty sure my siblings are cracking up about the “being nicer to them” one. Exercise every day? I did achieve for a while. Do not weigh more than 110 lbs? This didn’t stick.
For most of my life, I have placed such a huge emphasis on how I look and how much I have weighed. So much that it caused me some serious problems in college and for a few years afterwards. But, as I reflect back on the quarter of a century (good heavens….) since that first list of New Year’s Resolutions, I shifted my “resolutions” to “intentions.”
I truly can’t remember the last time I made a New Year’s Resolutions list – maybe it was just after I had kissed a boy (check!)
This year, I will turn 40 years old. And, so I’ve made a list of my intentions for the year. I’m writing them down here to not only hold myself accountable but to also draw on your encouragement, strength and incredible cheerleading abilities! Readers and friends, you’ve gotten me through a ridiculous amount of challenges — and these intentions are about as challenging as they come for me!
As you read through these, I’m asking you to think of your own intentions. And, if any of them line up with mine (or have in the past), please let me know! I need your help to keep going! For years, you have all been my support system through a mastectomy, oophorectomy, training for a 1/2 marathon, and reframing my thinking. And, I need you again! Let me know what you’re doing and share YOUR intentions!
Liza’s Intentions for 2015 (aka the Year of 40)
Intention #1: Run at least 40 miles a month. I know. Some of you run 40 miles a week. I get it. For me, this is a huge challenge. For the past six months, I have been building up my mileage and training faithfully for a half-marathon. I recently registered for a half-marathon that I was VERY excited about. But, a few months ago, my body decided to work against this goal, and I’m afraid I’ve been sidelined. I went through a bit of a depressive period after this, and I know that exercise will help me deal with my feelings of failure. So, yes, 40 miles a month (or 10 miles a week) is a big deal.
Intention #2: Write 40 more pages of the dissertation. For the past 4 years, I have been actively pursuing my doctorate full time (while also working full time). This year, I’m in full dissertatin’ mode. I want to finish. I will finish! So, these 40+ pages represent the results, finding and discussion sections. Graduation 2016 — I’m coming for you!
Intention #3: Take 40 weeks of photos with the kids. When my youngest child was born, I took photos of my children every single week for a year. I love those photos. But, over the years, I’ve let that time slide. I was also so embarrassed by how I looked (post-baby) that I didn’t get in those photos. I want my children to remember me in their photos, and so this intention is really allowing myself to be remembered.
Intention #4: Write 40 new posts on the blog this year. I love writing and connecting with all of you. Yet, my medical problems consumed so much of my energy these past few months and I fell into a slump. Now, I’m back and realizing my support system is so strong here (where would I be without you all???). So, 40 new posts are coming!
Intention #5: Be freed from 40 lbs. This one is a hard one for me to write down. Because of my very troubling history with weight and body image, I’m always uncomfortable stating that I want to lose weight or need to lose weight. So, I’m choosing to call it “be freed” from it. In 2014, surgical menopause and stress resulted in me packing on weight that feels unhealthy for my body. So, freeing me from the weight means I can breathe easier, move my body more fluidly, and have more energy. Here, I’ll really need your support and encouragement to keep going!
PLEASE know that I
don’t want to can’t do these alone. I need your stories, your struggles, your experiences to keep me going! Feel free to leave a comment or message me about your own intentions or progress! What are your intentions for the new year?
Peace, love, and rebuilding the road paved with good intentions,