Thursday, December 31, 2009

'is it worth it, let me work it....' (a.k.a. thoughts on the coming year)

it's the last day of 2009 and i'm resisting the urge to review. of course it's natural to think back on the year and ponder all the good, the bad, and the ugly, but really, this new year's eve, my heart is looking forward. i'm actually just ready for 2009 to become a series of memories so that i can forge ahead into what's next.

here are (some of) the reasons why....

1. i have some fitness and weight loss goals that i want to bring about. no time like the present to get moving!
2. i have a stack of books that are calling my name, just waiting to be read.
3. i have fun plans on the horizon in less than a month.
4. i have lots of new cookbooks to peruse and use as inspiration to create fun, healthful meals.
5. there's always the possibility of professional growth and new opportunities. at the very least, i still have a great job, and i'm super thankful for that.
6. i have some beautiful people in my life, and some of the ones who are far away, i may even get to see this year. that makes me sublimely happy.

there are probably a million more reasons, but the bottom line is this: tomorrow holds promises that today could not fulfill, and i'm ready for what lies ahead...not just what will come to me but what i can and will bring about by my hard work and dedication.

i'm well aware that some of my dreams may not come easily, but where's the satisfaction in having life handed to you like some type of freebie? putting in hard work means that, at the end of the journey, you understand the worth of what you have.

and me? i'm ready to have it all. so let's get to work!

happy 2010, everyone. may this year knock your socks off!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

on the eve

it's december 24 and i'm working. i've just eaten a lackluster salad from whole foods and am contemplating how proud i am for NOT buying any treats from the chocolatier next door to my office. in fact, i'm strongly considering heading to the gym for a quick workout before returning home to my parents. i feel the need to get moving....

this morning has been highly productive workwise; while revising and formatting a doc, i was listening to the festival of lessons and carols from kings college, cambridge. what a flood of memories i always get when hearing those crisp, clear tones and robust, harmonically rich refrains. it makes me think of being a child and sitting in the pew on christmas eve, waiting for the moment at the end of the midnight service when we all lit our candles and quietly sang 'silent night' as the clock struck midnight. and even though we were so far from bethlehem, i couldn't help but feeling that 'the hopes and fears of ALL the years' were present in those simple lyrics, sung in a dark church by hundreds of voices, united in one moment of peaceful acknowledgement.

so much has changed since then about my life, but much inside of me...of what i want and who i am...is still the same. i have walked a rocky path, again and again, to that manger to see what God has placed there. and many times i have failed to follow that star in the east (or the one inside my heart) and have tried to walk my own road, on my own terms. but the truth is that no matter where i wander, the mystery and wonder of this time always bring me back to that child...to the reason He came....to the reason He died. and i cannot help but feel so grateful for all the chances i have to rise and fall, to trip and veer and stray....and to come back home again.

i hope tonight to go with my parents and sit in another pew and sing those songs and pray those prayers i've known nearly my whole life. and although december 25 may not mark the actual day of Jesus's entrance into the world, i'm thankful to have this time to spend with those i love, to sit and reflect on all that His life and sacrifice have meant to me, and to thank God for the gift of music, of peace, of good friends, and of second (and third, and fourth, etc.) chances.

and to whoever you are who may be reading this, may you be reminded that there is always a chance to turn toward a new and better life, toward a new way of thinking and being, toward forgiveness for yourself and others. may the knowledge of this gift flood your heart this day...and always....

Monday, December 07, 2009

working it out

tonight i am celebrating. you may be thinking it's a monday, sarah. what could you possibly have to celebrate on a MONDAY?

well, that's a valid question, but here's the thing (two things, really): 1) i'm finally nearly over the bronchitis that i contracted over thanksgiving week this year that rendered me positively immovable when i visited my parents the weekend before and 2) because of #1, i was able to get myself back to the gym tonight where i ROCKED the elliptical. i must give a serious shout-out to blackalicious, whose tunes and rhymes gave me the vibe to keep on movin until the time on the machine ran out.

all of this effort is to the end of participating in the journey i've been on since this summer to change my physical body once and for freaking all. i've talked about it before, here and there, and know that i had to get through a lot of emotional baggage before i'd even be ready to consider such a venture, but i've done the work on my heart and mind, and i was just waiting to be ready to tackle this. in the past, my efforts have been stalled due to some combination of illness and self-sabotage (the latter usually because of some romantic endeavor that wound up falling flat anyway). this time, however, i feel different. for one thing, i've kept this thing up for about 6 months now, so it's much more a way of life than it is a 'diet', and despite minor setbacks (such as the aforementioned bronchitis and the afore-aforementioned case of the SHINGLES), i am making progress, little by little. i have a support system in place, a plan to get me where i want to go, and sheer determination, the grace of God, and a hope for a better life to drive me.

so tonight, when i went back to the gym after my two-week period away, i was reminding myself that you can do this, girl. keep the machine moving. keep choosing your dreams. keep your head up and remember that no one has given this to you. this is the gift you give yourself. and you deserve it.

and i know that i do. i really, really do.