Year in Review — 2015: Ride the Coaster

I am ready to have 2015 in the rear view mirror. While there were so many great things that happened this year, the few lousy things just cast dark shadows over everything. So, in no particular order, I present my 2015.

  • Running. I ran my very first half marathon this year in September. My goal was to do it in less than three hours, and I did it in 2:56.17. I even celebrated with a tattoo — all I had to do was believe. And train hard. I remember very clearly one morning after a 5 mile run, telling Jim I didn’t think I could do it. I was hurting all the time. He told me that he knew I could do it. I didn’t want to let him down, nor did I want to let myself down. So I just kept on pushing and it was well worth it in the end! I also continually improved my PR times with every 5K I ran — including beating Jim across the finish line at the last one we ran earlier this month! I even got my daughter to run her first 5K, and I was so proud to be with her every step of the way.
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    My half marathon tattoo!

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    Me, Jim, and Becky after she ran her first 5K.

    Wearing my half marathon finisher’s medal.

  • 25 years. Jim and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. I can say that I have gained quite an understanding of my marriage after looking back on the past quarter century. I’m sure I loved Jim when I married him, but I also know that I was desperate to get married — I was the last one of my friends to do so and dammit, I wanted my white dress and big party! That made for a rocky start. And we definitely hit a lot of big bumps along the way. When our daughter left for college, I was terrified to be alone with Jim. I knew we were at a tipping point. Either we would break up or grow together. I was pretty convinced it would be the former, but I was wrong. We turned to each other and grew exponentially. You know how people say they married their best friends? Well, Jim and I were most definitely not best friends 25 years ago, but we very much are now. I am the luckiest girl in the world.

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    Jim and me on our wedding day, 25 years ago!

  • Back to the classroom. After 2 years in my tech position, I returned to teaching language arts half my day and doing the tech job half the day. Big mistake. I thought I could balance it. Wrong. I feel the need to apologize to all the teachers I work with because for the past 2 years, I really felt like they could count on me to be a help to them, but this year, I am overwhelmed, less accessible than I have been in the past, slow to respond, and generally not the person I want to be for my colleagues. I promise to continue to manage my time better for all of you and be the help you need!
  • Travel. I am so fortunate to be able to have the travel opportunities I get. This past year, I got to go back to India, and I loved it even more the second time around! I love the buzz, the life, the activity that is always there. There is always something interesting to see there, whether it is beautiful or heartbreaking. I loved settling into a routine while I was there — I especially enjoyed going to the park with my dad and Brenda; they walked and I ran. Then we would have coffee on the balcony. Those moments are the best memories from my trip! I also got to travel with my dad and Brenda to Dubai, which was dazzling to say the least. I loved the opulence and the modernity. Again, there was always so much to see. Domestically, I got to take 2 trips to Key West! The first was in June to celebrate my daughter’s 21st birthday. I was surrounded by family and friends on that trip and every moment was pure joy. The second trip was in November with friends and it was heavenly to just be in the warmth and relax. (BTW, while there in November, I got to do a running bucket list item — I ran Duval Street! It was so cool to be there before all the hustle and bustle started. I love looking at my little GPS map and seeing my straight line covering the length of Duval Street!) I also went with our friends Larry and Cathy to the Indy 500 in May. That was one of the most wonderful trips I’ve taken! I always have so much fun with Larry and Cathy, but this was exceptional! They showed us the ropes of how to make the most of the Indy experience, and I felt like a little kid all day, I was so excited! I can’t WAIT to go back next year!
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    I decided to have pink hair when I went to Key West in June!

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    On the balcony of my hotel room in Dubai.

  • Family. I gained a deeper appreciation of family this year. I found myself growing closer to my brother and his family, which makes me so happy. I look at my cousin Robyn and her brother Peter, and I envy their relationship. I love that I feel like I can just call my brother just to talk. I love that we have fun when our families get together. We seemed to just kind of co-exist for the past few years, but this year has been different. My brother and his family are a lot of fun. I’m glad I got to re-discover that! I’ve also learned that when it comes to family, I can spend a lifetime loving people but have that love thrown back in my face. I alternate between being hurt deeply by that and not giving a single fuck (sorry for the language). I’m being purposely cryptic here, BTW. I don’t want to stir up drama; I just want to note that this year, family was in the forefront of my mind and heart, both positively and negatively. It is interesting how in some instances, family relationships changed just in an evolutionary way and how some changed because situations were thrust upon us and we had a common experience bonding us together.
  • My daddy. The day after I came home from my November trip to Key West, I was back on a plane headed to Houston because my father had suffered an sudden cardiac arrest. By all accounts, he should have been dead. But by whatever means — great medicine, angels, power of prayer, divine intervention, sheer luck, being at the right place at the right time — he is alive today. He walked out of the hospital one week after he should have been dead. I still get to have my daddy in my life. That’s the best gift I could ever ask for. Check out the story about what happened to him here.

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    Brenda with Miguel, the absolute best ICU nurse in the history of ever. We will all be forever indebted to Miguel for the wonderful care he gave my father and really all of us.

  • Suicide. My grandfather killed himself a few weeks ago. I am a tangled mess of guilt, anger, love, hate, and confusion. And I don’t want to talk about it much. But there it is. One of the most significant events of my whole life.

I’m ready for 2015 to be gone. I’m excited and apprehensive about 2016. One thing I learned this year — life is one helluva roller coaster.

About renbog

I have opinions and I have passions and I like to write.
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