With the passing of 2011, it’s easy to fixate on what’s next; forgetting all that’s been accomplished in the last 12 months. I tend to make resolutions when and where I need them, not always around the beginning of a new year. Sometimes it’s when I decide I need a change with work, to refocus my priorities, or to - yes indeed - shed a few pounds. What I try to do is remain grateful and present with all the neat stuff that’s actually be achieved to-date. Perhaps it’s a mini State Of The Union; a personal catch-up; sometimes I even take myself out to coffee to compile it. First I make a little list of things I really happy about or even proud of, and then I go on to make a list of where I see myself in a year’s time. It usually works, and even when I’ve made some pretty spectacular bets, have come up good 12 months down the line.
In the last year, I have made some incredible girlfriends. I can’t believe that at this time last year, I didn’t know TC, Eryn, Claire, Gem, Arabella and even those I knew before like Sarah, Josie and Big Ring Burner Rachel Turner… I feel a lot closer to. For this, I am super grateful. In a year’s time, I hope I can be an even better friend, and especially to not let work or couple-dom get in the way of these amazing relationships.
I’ve started my own business. Yes, as a consultant, so it’s not like a bricks and mortar shop yet, but it’s something. And even though it scares me shitless on a daily basis, I love almost every minute of it. Being a bit of a strategic gun for hire has meant getting to meet some incredibly creative, talented and extraordinarily smart people. I’m very very grateful for this. I feel smarter because of them. I’m also sort of proud of myself… if cautiously so… for not being afraid to do this. In a year’s time, I’d like to be doing more work overseas… particularly in China and North America. I’d also like to make more money, but I want to learn to live on less, and really appreciate the stuff I already own.
I’ve fallen in love. As trite as this sounds, love is awesome. In a year’s time, I want to be even more in love. I don’t ever want to take love for granted. But I know that I couldn’t have found love if I didn’t find myself first, and it took a deep and at-times sad period of loneliness to do this. As work has taught me, it’s like a roller coaster: falling to the depths of the unknown are what allow you to create momentum to get to new heights. I think I had to learn how to be happy alone to learn how to be happy with someone else, and yes, for this I’m incredibly grateful. Grateful as much for the loneliness as for the love.
I’ve learned how to bike race. I can’t believe that at this time last year I had never lined up on a start-line, never been dropped by a peloton, never sprinted for a finish line. All of this is new. And yet it feels like I’ve been doing it forever. Reminding myself that it’s new puts things into perspective. There is still a lot to learn, there’s still room for improvement. It also reminds me of all the women out there who are going to be heading out for their first races in the early spring, and who by the end of the season we’ll think of as old-hat. In a year’s time, I would really like to have my Cat 2, perhaps even my Cat 1 license. This is ambitious, I know, but I’m in better shape than I was last year, and I know how to race now. However more than points chasing, I want to help a lot of other women find what I’ve found in the sport, so I want to do a lot more group rides and skill sessions and let other people learn through my failures, and let my failures become permission for them to also go out and try something hard.
In the coming year, there are a few things I will do.
- I will ride the route of the Giro Donne with some of my closest friends. This will be hard, but it will be an experience of a lifetime.
- I will race and complete the Cape Epic without any major injury. Knock on wood.
- I will buy less, but better. Coffee, meat, clothes, bike kit, furniture.
- I will turn my phone off at night.
- I will read more novels.
- I will actually read all the magazines I have subscriptions to.
- I will continue learning how to be more present and listening better.
- I will spend more time with my girlfriends, new and old.