2013: A Look Back At Some of My Highlights

New Year’s Eve & Day are my favorite holidays.  I get a little sappy and a lot introspective around this time.  While I believe in regular reflection and goal setting throughout the year, I can’t help but find this to be an appropriate time to take stock of where I am, how I am doing, what I’ve done, and what is next.

santa ornament - editedThere was a time when this process was primarily a negative one for me.  I would stop to reflect on what I didn’t accomplish or what goals and dreams were out of my reach.  In recent years, however, I’ve taken to heart just how important it is to give equal billing to what I have done.  Rather then quickly glossing over accomplishments or milestones in order to continue moving upward and onward, I now recognize the value in celebrating the victories (large and small) that are behind me.  And, while some believe that you gain wisdom mostly by rehashing your mistakes and failures, I also see the learning that presents itself in evaluating what has gone well.

To this end, here are some of the highlights, milestones, and victories that took place for me in 2013:

  • 26.2 miles = Done! – The experience of running my first marathon have been shared in depth here and here, so I won’t say Me with medal 3 - editedmuch more other than that it stands as one of the single best days of my life.  I can’t wait for many more!
  • Goodbye, Gluten – Going gluten-free was not something that I ever intended to do.  It was (and still is) extraordinarily difficult for me, but 7 months later, my vastly improved health stands as evidence that it was what I absolutely needed to do.
  • 1500 miles – It took me nearly right up until the end of the year to do so, but as of last weekend, I have run over 1500 miles for the year.  So cool.
  • 71 books – I love to read and always have.  For me, books are a never-ending source of education, escapism, and inspiration all in one.  I track my literary adventures over at Goodreads.  If you’re interested in seeing what I’ve been reading, please head over and say hello (username: srrose).
  • Facing down an old fear . . .  The dentist! – I’ll admit that, prior to 2013, it had been quite some time since I’d dragged myself to the dreaded chair.  It is an experience that long struck fear in my heart.  Having little or poor dental insurance for a long time had supported me in running away from this fear, but I finally did it.  After several trips to get all caught up, my teeth are happy and healthy!
  • Cultivating creative confidence – This year saw me take some big strides in levels of self-confidence related to creativity and pasta with italian peppers - editedcooking.  I can’t say that I produced the largest quantity of creatively driven output this year, but I found myself trusting my instincts more, feeling stronger in my skills, and being open to experimentation.
  • Keeping THIS going – I know that I’ve had periods recently of reduced posting, but I’m thrilled that I’ve been able to keep this site going.  I love it.  I love the process of it and that I get to connect with so many incredible people around the world because of it.

I’m certain that I could go on a bit longer, but I will end my list on that note.  So, thank you to every person out there who has been a part of all of this with me in 2013.  I’m looking forward to seeing what next year will bring.

Happy New Year!

34 comments on “2013: A Look Back At Some of My Highlights

  1. sueslaght says:

    Happy New Year to you! Congrats on the year of the first marathon. I agree one of the best days of my life. Good for you to be patting yourself on the back rather than looking at negatives. Looking forward to following your adventures in 2014!

  2. benwoodhouse says:

    Yeah well done on first marathon. That’s what 2014 will hopefully bring me. Gluten is a pesky so and so for sure. Happy new year!

  3. Awesome :).
    Have a rocking 2014

  4. Jim Brennan says:

    Congrats on your of your achievements in 2013, and you are on your way to many more in 2014. Your honesty and enthusiasm is what draw me to your blog, and that picture of you exudes the personality that comes across in your writing. So many things I relate to, I’m a celiac, marathoner, and hate going to the dentist. We all have our stuff, remember that. Keep true to yourself, and you will attract a following. Happy New Year!!!

    • Thank you, Jim! I also appreciate the honesty in your writing and loved having your book be a part of my reading this year! I hope you have a safe and happy New Year (and that you’re all healed up soon)!

  5. Laura says:

    Congrats on a great year and your first marathon! An amazing accomplishment! My resolution for this year is a trip to the dentist. 100% dreading it… 🙂

  6. Ani says:

    These are all amazing! Congratulations on some amazing accomplishments and I’m sure 2014 will be even more successful!

  7. piratebobcat says:

    Great year! Happy new one too!

  8. Julia says:

    I really enjoyed reading this post. This positive outlook, or look back, on your year is inspiring. We live in a culture that tends to follow the deficit model of finding fault and looking for what hasn’t been done. Reading about your victories and how you will turn your mistakes and misses into goals is fabulous role modelling. Thank you.

  9. livedreamrun says:

    Congratulations on your accomplishments…especially on your first marathon! Definitely an experience like no other, and I completely agree…mine was one of the best days of my life, too. Happy New Year! 🙂

  10. I love your list! It made me really happy to read a list of high points. I can’t believe you read 71 books! I am just getting going on GoodReads so maybe we’ll meet there!

  11. I love this post! Congratulations on finding such a wonderful perspective. I wish you all the best in 2014.

  12. Joanne says:

    So many great accomplishments in 2013 and I know you’ll keep moving forward in 2014!! Happy new year chica!!

  13. I love this reflective post! Congrats on your accomplishments!

  14. just wanted to let you know we nominated you for a blogger award over at our blog! keep it all up in the new year.

  15. Congrats on an amazing year! I can’t image running a marathon, that is an incredible accomplishment.

  16. Jim Brennan says:

    Shannon, I hope you are off to a good year in 2014. Stay well, and stay in touch. Move Eat Create!

    • Thanks, Jim! Things are well, I’ve just been busy and feeling a little creatively uninspired. I think I’m starting to get it back, though and am hoping to be back blogging in the next week. By the way, congratulations on the Runner’s World piece – so cool!

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