Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Recap

At the beginning of 2011, I made a conscious effort to spell out my goals in black and white for the whole world to see. As I sit here on the last day of 2011, I thought it would be important to revisit my list and see how I fared. (You can click on the section titles if you'd like to read the goals in their entirety)

My professional goals:

-Be a consistent competitor (read: pep talks and new PR!)
-Have a successful Outdoor National Championships. (read: nationals recap)
-Perform well at the World Championships in Daegu. (read: the start of world championships)

Grade: D-
I must say that I didn't do so hot on my professional goals this year. Yes, I jumped far…further than I have ever jumped in my life and that is a total positive. But, I don't think I made consistency my middle name this past year and I definitely screwed up at Nationals which prevented me from even going to Worlds. That was a HUGE disappointment.

My spiritual goals:

-Complain less. (read: answered prayer)
-Give more. (read: high school track)
-Stay focused on what's important. (read: an offering)

Grade: B
I definitely think that this last year I have experienced a ton of spiritual growth and that has allowed me to really have a better perspective on a lot of things. I definitely have given more in time, talents, and treasures and I feel good about that. I'm headed in a good direction. I am not a perfect angel, but I can spot a faint halo in picture at times.

My relationship goals:

-Ask God to continue to work on the woman that I am, so that someone will want to catch a grenade for me. (read: coincidences)
-Be nicer to people. (read: encounters)
-Learn to love. (read: true love)

Grade: C+
Ok…so nobody has actually volunteered to catch that grenade yet, but I do think that God has worked on me this past year. More than anything He's made it clear to me the kind of relationship He wants for me and I'm content to wait for that. I also make everyone I go on a date with to take the love languages test so that I can be aware of their love language. :) Outside of my romantic relationships, I have become nicer. I hope.

Overall, I'm wouldn't say that I accomplished everything I wanted to this past year, but I like the idea that I can see quite clearly where I made improvements and where I need to work even harder. Most of these goals will probably be making a reappearance this coming year, and hopefully by this time next year I can give myself some better grades. :/

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Heaven has a new angel...

A little over 11 years ago my father passed away suddenly. It was the first time I ever experienced death in an extremely personal capacity and it rocked my world. I had a half-brother who was just a toddler at that time that I mostly saw during the holidays when I was home from college. Needless to say, we never truly bonded and after my dad passed the whole dynamic was very weird and complicated. For years I didn't know how to contact him or how to be part of his life. After a while there was updates and pictures, and suddenly the boy in front of me wasn't the child I remembered, but a young man that I really didn't know, but wanted to. But like I said, it was complicated. Very much so.

Two years ago my sister was able to spend the day with him while I was in Europe over the summer. I wanted to know all about it…what was he like… was his personality like our Dad's…did he know anything about us…was it really awkward or did it seem natural. Of course it was a little awkward because he hardly knew us. A few months ago she asked if I wanted to try and hang out when I was home after my season and I nervously said yes, because I wanted to get the awkward part over with so we could be the family that we should be. But it never happened.

We always think we'll have tomorrow to do something. Next month to make it happen. The following year to see things through. But we aren't promised any of that.

Yesterday I was having lunch with my best friend and out of the blue she asked me about my brother. "Oh, I was supposed to see him a couple months ago but it didn't happen. Maybe soon, I hope, but it's a really complicated situation." A mere 20 minutes later my sister called to tell me our brother passed away from complications from a severe asthma attack.

I don't try to understand the why of death, because sometimes it's just more then my comprehension allows. But I do firmly believe that the grief is ours--those of us who are still here and wanting more of the relationship we feel we didn't get enough of, the memories we thought we could still make, and the time we felt we had to make everything better. CJ was only 14 years old, but his purpose on earth had been fulfilled so he was called home to be with our Dad and with his heavenly father. I know that. But I didn't ever think that I would only have this short time to do everything in my power to make sure I knew him as best I could. I didn't make the most of it because I thought I had tomorrow.

So I'm grieving. Crazy as it may seem, our heart knows who our family is.