Twenty miles. My hips tightened up around mile 15. My nutrition was never quite right. By mile 17 I couldn't find a pace that wasn't a minute slower than what I've been walking for months. A toe, which had been fine when I left my house, somehow ended up gashed and bleeding. But I finished the longest walk of my training cycle. I was somewhat single-minded in my focus to finish. I could see the bus stop I wanted to reach. I could see the school next to it, and the restaurant across the street. And even though everything hurt (and was cold, and a little wet), I knew I'd get there.
The grieving process is a funny thing: raging emotions; distractability; forgetfulness; and a general feeling of sluggishness and apathy can all accompany the process. And, as a slow process, I can sit in the middle of it and see that I'm a bit (or a lot) off balance, but no matter how impatient I get, or how hard I try to regain my balance, I just have to wait it out.
I've thought a lot about that this year. Regaining my balance. The clearing of the brain fog. The return of my ability to focus. I really wasn't sure I'd ever get back to a place that felt right. And many days I know I'm not there yet.
And then I look at all I've accomplished this year: emptying my parents' house; training for a marathon; going back to school; making pretty great strides towards a career transition (and if you know anybody at this company, can we have a chat next week?). All those things have required an immense amount of hard work and intense focus. Yes, I've had some mis-steps. Yes, I've fallen down (both literally and figuratively), and things haven't always turned out the way I hoped. But I'm moving forward. After a few years of feeling trapped on a hamster wheel, watching the rest of the world pass by while I stayed stuck in place, I am so very happy with all I've accomplished this year.