It’s been – a year.
I publish these Year In Review bits every year. It’s more for me than for you. I enjoy looking back, recalling a year that always seems to fly by and crawl along at the same time.
Not 2019, though.
2019 felt long.
2019 was long.
It’s wasn’t a bad year, but it certainly won’t be a favorite year. I learned a lot about myself in 2019. I struggled with my place, my goals, my desires. At one point, the complacency I found myself living in day to day drove me mad. I also had some really good times, had new experiences, made new friends, new memories, took on new challenges.
It goes without saying that the hardest part of 2019 was my mother’s death. Her health had been poor for a while, but as the calendar turned to 2019, we truly thought she was on the mend. She went into the hospital in March and never came out.
Her death was a catalyst for me.
She was a great mother. She lived to be a mother. She would never say it, but I know there were things in her life she regretted, things she wished she had done differently. I know she wanted to be a writer at one point, that at the risk of being too frank, she settled more often than not. After her death, while thinking through her life and its hardships, I saw a life that was full – and yet still so incomplete.
Her death inspired me to sit down and evaluate my own hopes and goals. That complacency was no longer welcomed. I want more.
A couple of months after my mom died, I made the decision to close my barre studio. I won’t go into the hows and whys of it, but it had to be done and it was the right thing to do. I learned a lot from owning a business and there was a lot of it that I loved. There were also pieces I didn’t enjoy as much.
At the end of the day, I can say I did it. I opened the barre studio I daydreamed about for three years. I met a goal, got to experience it, and ultimately used that experience to shape my visions for the future.
2019 brought about a number of weightlifting meets as well. I love competing. I love training for a meet. I love training with a goal in mind. My favorite meet of 2019 was the North Carolina State Championships. I went 6/6, hit a competition snatch PR, a clean-and-jerk PR, and a meet total PR. I finished second in my weight class.
A fun fact – I finished second in every single meet I competed in in 2019.
I also became a USA Weightlifting referee and suffered my first “real” injuries. I gave myself a concussion with a barbell a week after States, then hurt my wrist the Saturday after Thanksgiving while snatching. Those injuries taught me (tried to teach me) patience and the importance of rehabbing an injury fully.
2019 is the first year in a long time I didn’t leave the country. I still traveled, however. I went to Memphis twice, Gulf Shores, and Knoxville. The Memphis and Gulf Shores trips were to celebrate one of my dearest friend’s bridal shower, bachelorette party and wedding. And I absolutely wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity to see Garth Brooks play Neyland Stadium.
I started coaching recreational gymnastics, launched Strong By Sarah, made my writing more public. I made some decisions about where I want my life to go, spent a lot of late nights writing and reading. I’ve spent the last two weeks of 2019 enjoying a much slower pace, a much needed slower pace.
My word for 2019 was “Abundance” and I’d say I did have an abundant year – abundant in lessons, in learning about myself, in seeing the beauty and grace of others when life gets hard. It perhaps wasn’t what I had in mind when I set my “Abundance” intention, but it was abundant all the same.
With 2019 behind me, I’m welcoming 2020 with open arms.
It’s going to be a big one.
A good one.
But a big one.
Thanks for the lessons and the memories, 2019.
You were a fine one.