iStock_000005464787XLargeWow. The last few months have been an absolute whirlwind. As I settled in for the holidays, I was — like everyone else — enjoying time with the family, taking a break from the world, and optimistically planning what 2014 was going to be.

I was looking to make creative New Years Resolutions and was pumped for the new start a new year seems to provide. I had completed my two month off season for my triathlon training and was thrilled that I hadn’t seemed to gain more than a few holiday pounds. No problem there. I was excited to get back at it. My first training workout was scheduled for January 6th.

I did work out that week. I did a few runs to get my legs used to those again (ugh) and I tried to start my writing schedule that I had so carefully designed in my calendar. No excuses. This was going to be a great year.

But the reality was that my computers (all of them — tablets, table tops, smartphones) were conspiring against me. Updates, reboots, slow internet connections. Gaaa! For all the time I spent at my desk determined to write that week, I composed nothing. Nothing.

It wasn’t starting out to be the year I had planned at all.

And then the other shoe dropped. My mother passed away on January 13th. She had been diagnosed with cancer 5 1/2 years earlier and had been quite ill for the previous year. It wasn’t something I talked about. I had only revealed her condition to my most regular clients and coaches in August, when it became clear that 2013 would likely be her last year. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust others with the information, but rather I considered it to be an intensely personal circumstance and one that, I felt, might be diluted if it were shared with too many others. Even writing the words here now, feels a little like over sharing.

Needless to say, everything stopped. Not just stopped, but became irrelevant. Life drew into sharp perspective. The family’s important job of supporting each other was priority. So was letting go of the “shoulds” — not because I was being immature or running away, but because the previous year had been full of responsibilities and it was finally time to release. So, I spent time going to movies with friends, meeting up fun people for a meal, and taking long, lazy walks with the dog. I didn’t have the energy for training. I was exhausted. My clients were amazing — so patient with me.

And so, now — the week of February 17th — it feels that my 2014 is actually beginning. And truly, that’s just fine. If 2014 is having a languorous start, so be it. Even with the extra layer of “cheese” that has attached itself to my butt and thighs with the extended off time, I’m still optimistic. As frustrated as I get from time to time (like with the nasty, nasty cold I survived last week), this is a time to be gentle with myself. It’s not always easy, but hey miracles do happen…this is the first day I’ve actually written since last year. My schedule is, apparently, up and running.

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