At the close of 2016, I resolved to write more. I promised I would submit at least one piece of writing for publication. Instead of doing either of those things, I stopped writing for pleasure all together. I've written plenty of occupational therapy evaluation reports, IEPs and progress notes. I've written research papers for class, grocery lists and workout plans and a grant proposal. But midway through the year, just as I began to move beyond my self pity cycle of injury and feel physically like my strong self again, without ever making a conscious decision, I simply abandoned my blog.
So why did I stop writing? Looking back, I recognize that I developed doubts about the identity and purpose of my blog. I lacked clarity about who I was writing for and what I hoped to gain from writing. Big, pressing, weighty issues in our country and world made me start to feel like my writing was trivial and self centered. I wasn't using my blog to make a difference. I wasn't sharing expertise or developing my professional network. I didn't have a product to market or incentive to monetize. I didn't feel like what I had to say was all that important these days. So what was the point?
Last week I was out on a cold, windy run along the Charles River when unexpected feelings started working their way up to my throat and then tumbling over in my mind. I thought about my defunct blog. I asked myself whether I missed writing and what, if anything, I had gotten or wanted to get out of the creative process. I felt strongly that this was an endeavor I wish to continue.
It's really difficult to pick things back up after a hiatus. There's an undeniable gap in the narrative documentary of this space that isn't easy to go back and fill in. And so, in the spirit of reflection that permeates the close of a calendar year, I am looking back on 2017 with the intent of moving forward into 2018.
Here's a glimpse at life in 2017:
At the beginning of the year, I struggled with a herniated disc, sciatic nerve pain and a blown out IT band.
I moved through recovery and learned lessons from my experience with physical injury, like how to shift my passion to support others and how to persistently advocate for myself to get the help I needed to heal.
I took my first ever summer away from my occupational therapy career and picked up a gig hauling produce, recycling and compost by bike. Spoiler alert: I sucked at it.
I bought a new bike, signed up for swimming lessons, and completed my first triathlon in July.
I traveled to Copenhagen, London, and Ireland with my loved ones.
I made my debut as a race organizer with the inaugural Parlor Sports Classic, raising funds for the Quell Foundation through the Falmouth Road Race.
I committed to a vegan lifestyle, eventually even giving up dairy ice cream. Thank goodness for FoMu.
I joined the Heartbreakers Running Club and fell deeply in love with coached track workouts.
I started a new school year and invested my professional efforts into supporting social emotional learning for my students and developing my cultural competency as an educator.
I ran 5 half marathons in 3 different states (VT, MA, NH) and 1 foreign country (Ireland).
I was officially accepted into the Boston Marathon (!!)
I set new PRs in the Half Marathon and 5K.
And now, as 2017 comes to a close and I set my focus on the year ahead, I can genuinely admit:
I am documenting and reflecting on a part of my life that I value and that brings me joy. I am putting it in public space, which is kind of a weird idea, but the process is for me. It doesn't have to be big and important and world changing.
I am writing this blog for myself.