Mom died on December 14, 1995 at the age of 42. She had been battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma and developed pneumonia just before Thanksgiving, landing her in ICU for about a month before her passing.
Needless to say, the time between Thanksgiving and December 14 is always a little difficult, with some years being easier than others. One year I actually forgot! Then I ended up feeling even worse.
This year was HARD. For a week I agonized over whether I could get myself to the cemetery or not. For a week I woke up every day thinking, “6 more days until Tuesday.” “5 more days until Tuesday.” I relived December 14, 1995 multiple times in my head every single day. I had no patience for anything or anyone. I just wanted it to be Wednesday. I needed it to be Wednesday. When is it going to be Wednesday???
One of the best things anyone has ever told me was just this past week, “You’ve been getting to “Wednesday” for 15 years and it won’t be any different this year.” True, and obvious, yet the reminder and confidence boost was apparently what I needed to get me through the past few days. And guess what? It’s Wednesday! And the worst Tuesday of the year is behind me.
What does this have to do with Mile Stones? Everything.
I liken this year-long cycle to an endurance event. I’ll use the marathon because I’ve done a few, and after my triathlon in May, perhaps I’ll find more similarities. But for now I’ll refer to the marathon.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
- Ready or not, like it or not, and as far away as it may seem, race day IS coming.
- During training, you will have bad days and you will need rest days. Every breakdown can end up a breakthrough if you let it.
- No matter how well you stick to your training plan, you could have a great race that day or you could have a terrible race that day.
- If you push yourself, your mind and body will respond. You’re stronger than you think.
- You need spectators to get you through the toughest miles. Let them.
- People who haven’t done a marathon will not relate, though they may try. And that’s ok. They want to show that they’re interested and just don’t really know what to say. Smile and take it as a show of support.
- If you need to walk, walk. If you need to crawl, crawl. You do what you need to and just. keep. going.
- Carbs definitely help.
- The only difference is that in real life, there is no finish line. You take some recovery time and start training again.
From this year forward, December 15 will not only forever be referred to as Wednesday, but it will also be another one of my finish lines in a string of many to come.