I’m not always a new years resolution kind of gal. Sometimes I figure up some resolution that sounds good and spout that off when we go around the dinner table explaining the thing that most of us know we are not going to actually do. This year, I was already on the path of the two resolutions that I put down on the table, although at the time I didn’t know if there was any possibility of reaching them. So, when it was my turn to proudly tell what it was that I wanted to do in the year 2013, I decided not to say one thing, but two.
What was I thinking?
In that moment of stupidity (or over-confidence- you decide) I said that this year I was going to finish my dissertation and graduate with my Ed.D. as well as run a marathon.
I think what my thoughts were at that time was that if I couldn’t finish one, at least I might be able to complete the other. Not a bad way to think if you’re sitting in my shoes.
So on May 1st I found out that one of my goals was achieved. I couldn’t believe it. After defending my dissertation on April 8 and being told “well, we are not ready to sign off on it, but we’re not NOT going to either. You have two weeks to do this list of things to your dissertation and we will review it again and then decide.”
So, for the next 2 weeks, those of which I was supposed to get my first half-marathon in with my dear friends (which I was truly excited about) as well as a family trip to Kansas (that I still went on but spent a lot of time in the hotel room emailing my editor and putting on the finishing touches… again) I got it done.
Did it live up to their expectations? Well, I gave it to them on a Sunday, they said they would give me their decision by Friday, but didn’t hear until Wednesday, May 1st. In those days leading up to the final decision I couldn’t sleep (unless I repeated “Hawaii 1, Maui 2, Palm Trees 3, Beaches 4, etc. etc. over and over- I know, pathetic.) My stomach hurt and I would sometimes just burst out crying. I’m not usually like this people, at least not this extreme.
But, May 1 came around and the moment I got the email from my chair (around 7:30am) I ran upstairs to tell Kyle and I burst out crying- like hysterically. I think in that initial moment Kyle thought I didn’t pass, but I quickly told him that I did. In his confusion of not having a vagina he asked if that was what I wanted.
Well OF COURSE silly, I’m just a little emotional is all.
So, I was able to graduate. I was able to sit with some amazing colleagues and friends and get garbed and hooded and all that pomp and circumstance that comes with receiving a terminal degree. I WAS DONE. I still don’t completely believe it. I don’t belong in that same group of people who have letters like Ph.D. or Ed.D. at the end of their names. How did I deserve this? How did I get here?
I’m not sure I’ll ever fully believe it.
But the graduation was sure fun (even if was a make-believe event that happened in my own mind)! Much of my family was able to fly in for the event. My mom and dad, Beth, Grandpa Ken and Brenda and Dave and Sandy. I was so excited that even though it all came together in the last minute- my family members pulled it all together to be by my side to watch me walk down that terminal degree isle.
After the graduation we had a fantastic brunch in St. Paul and then a fabulous party at my house with SO many of my dear friends. It felt good people, REALLY good.
And now we are on to my second goal of running a marathon. Although it is a exceptionally high expectation to actually finish one, the goal I have set for my time is pretty reasonable. Finish before they take stuff down. 7 hours. I have 7 hours to go 26.2 friggen miles on my own two feet. (Yes, the thought of stashing a scooter somewhere along the way has crossed my mind.) I’m not totally sure if I can do it- I’ve had some IT band issues which makes my knees barely workable, and you know- it’s FAR, but I have hope.
When I stated those two resolutions on January 1, 2013, never did I imagine how much each goal would help/affect the other. Running gave me time to think, to be by myself without having to write, and to focus. Writing also focused me, as well as making me antsy from sitting all day which made me want to run. These two goals have given me one thing- the ability to see my strength and my desire come to fruition. At least one of my goals come to fruition. Who knows if I would have had that drive had I not been training for a marathon?
When my friends went to the Gazelle Girl half-marathon in Grand Rapids Michigan while I grumpily sat on my computer in the St. Olaf library, they came back and gave me something that helped me believe in myself. After the half they discovered a organization called “Fellow Flowers” who “are a women’s running movement that honors, shares and celebrates the reasons behind why women run…because we believe that every woman has a story and every woman runs with a purpose.” My friends picked out a flower for me that had a saying attached. They felt this saying defined me, and their belief that this was who I was gave me the strength to keep going.
This is what they picked: “Love. Passion, commitment, and spirit. Caring for the world around you. Bringing it- every damn day. It takes strength to do what you love.”
Thank you friends and family for believing in my strength- in me. Without you I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Now, bring on that marathon! (What???!!!)