A look back on 2019

A little snow overnight put me on the treadmill this morning. It was a good day for that kind of monotony on my easy four-mile run. New Year’s Eve is a time for self-reflection and mediation and it’s very easy to get lost in thought when you don’t have to think about much else for 40 minutes.

2019 was a real “running year” for me. I spent the entire summer training for the Chicago Marathon (“Three reasons why this year’s Chicago Marathon is extra special”) and completed that on October 13 (“Gratitude for the 2019 Chicago Marathon experience”). I ran a total of 19 races (not purposely 19, but that rounds out the year rather nicely I think).

A real game-changer for me this year was my job at Fleet Feet Chicago which I started on January 23rd (“Why I love my lowest paying job). While I was working as the Regional Director for Let Me Run when I first came out here, it was only about 10 hours a week. I was working from home and most of my interactions with others was via phone or email. I hadn’t really made too many connections here yet; my daughter was living on campus downtown and I only saw Kurt on weekends.

Loneliness and depression took hold of me in the last quarter of 2018. I began to understand how my husband must have felt all those years without a job. I began to get a glimpse of the dark place that eventually engulfed him. It scared me. I knew I needed to get out of the apartment for even just a few hours a week. I remembered hearing that after our basic needs are met, we need “someplace to go and something to do.”

I thought a retail job would give me the flexibility I’d need and when I thought of an employee discount that would be most beneficial, I immediately thought of Fleet Feet. As luck would have it, they were hiring – and liked me! My co-workers (and the customers) helped bring me back. 2019 will always be remembered as a special year because of those new connections… now friends.

This year I reached a milestone in survivorship marking five years since my last cancer treatment (“What a difference five years can make“) and five years since my husband’s suicide (“Five Years“). Sometimes I get frustrated with myself because I feel I should be doing so much more, although I have learned to trust the universe and understand that sometimes my visions take longer to become reality than I’d like, but they always do come to life eventually.

Calming the demons that can take hold of my psyche every so often put me in a better place for the big step I took this summer as a mom and a girlfriend. Although I’m still paying the rent, my daughter is residing in her own apartment (“Reflections on the first day of school”) while Kurt and I made the leap and became “domestic partners” this year (“The day that changed everything”).

2019 will always be remembered as a special year because of all of this…including the messiness. On the treadmill this morning I reflected on how life is far from perfect, but today – the last day of 2019 – I am grateful for all of it…the miles run, the friendships, the job, the roofs over our heads, the food in our pantries…having someplace to go, something to do, and someone to love.

Lake Michigan. Chicago, Illinois. August 2019.

The sun is about to rise on a New Year…a new decade! – What are you going to do about it?

2 thoughts on “A look back on 2019

  • January 1, 2020 at 8:53 am

    Happy New Year Mary and Kurt… may 2020 be all you hope it will be!

    • January 1, 2020 at 8:58 am

      To you and Mike, too, Carol!


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