June 06, 2012

Achieving Life Goals is a Gift

I blog about joy in thoughtful gift giving, and let me be the first to say that I strongly believe that
time is a gift you give to yourself.

We all have a limited amount of time given to us in this lovely life!  How many of us put ourselves absolutely last on the priority list MORE often than we would like to admit (raises hand).

After Christmas, I wrote about gifting yourself.  Giving yourself time and permission to do things that make you happy and make you feel ALIVE.  In my opinion, part of gifting yourself is giving yourself permission to DREAM.

Do you have BIG goals and dreams? Of course you do! I know I do, and while some are easily achievable, others involve a lot of time, effort, sweat and tears.  Today I thought I would share some of my "life list" with you - this list embodies some of the things I hope to achieve in this crazy life.
  • Visit Monet's house in Giverny
  • Go dog sledding
  • Learn to snowboard or ski
  • Ride in a horse-drawn sleigh
  • Get motorcycle license
  • Fly in a hot air balloon (we *almost* got to do this in Italy in 2010 - we had the flight booked but the weather was unfortunately too poor)
  • See Cirque du Soleil
  • Swim with dolphins
  • Complete a Master's degree
  • Volunteer abroad (short-term)
  • Run a Marathon
  • Write a Book
  • Own a cabin or retreat
  • Act in a Play
There's a reason why I'm sharing this today (in particular) and that reason is TWO of the things on this list are finally being realized in 2012!


Celebrate with Me!
(Image source: decor8)


Gift #1

Back in 2008, I decided to pursue my Master's degree part time.  I took one (or sometimes two - stressful!) courses at a time while working full time.  In the middle of all of this hard work, life happened!  I got married, a few years later, we had a baby.  I took a leave of absence for a few semesters while I got hang of being a mom, and then wrote my major research paper at the end of my maternity leave. Along the way there were new friends, interesting classes (some less than interesting classes), deadlines, study groups, some stress and confusion, feeling like an idiot, feeling brilliant, tears and smiles. I worked hard and I'm grateful to everyone who helped me through. Even through I worked for the result, in the end I feel like achieving this life goal is a HUGE gift.  Last week I officially got the piece of paper to prove it.



Gift #2

In 2009 I was running fairly regularly with a great group of people and had watched my husband and many friends complete a marathon.  Not one to be outdone, I decided that it would be a fabulous goal to complete one as well.  I didn't want to run just any old marathon.  Nope, I needed a BIG goal, something that I would be excited about.  I looked at lot's of marathons and decided that THE marathon for me was the New York City Marathon.  This goal has been much more than just lacing up sneakers and runnin' a lot!

You see, the New York City Marathon is one of the world's biggest marathons.  You have to be fast (REALLY FAST) in order to qualify.  That wasn't happening.  So I decided to go with my heart and enter the marathon lottery (which gives us slower runners a chance!).  The lottery (at the time) provided guaranteed entry within FOUR years.  This year, 2012, makes year 3, and guess what? I'M IN!


This gift will certainly present a lot of challenge and soul searching - and those are gifts as well.  Sometimes the hardest things are the most rewarding, don't you think?  The race is November 4, 2012 and I hope you will all join me in spirit, and cheer me along in my journey!!!!!!


(this was my attempt at throwing some orange confetti!  I can't even begin to tell you how many times I have switched this picture, because I thought they all looked totally lame, but in the end, I'm leaving it in)

xo
Alison

p.s. what do you think of my little DIY photo backdrop?

p.p.s would love to hear YOUR big goals and dreams!  Leave a comment below!


2 comments:

  1. Congrats on achieving your Masters! I am sure that this was no easy feat while working and raising a family! Good luck with the NYC marathon - I have a friend who is running in it this year as well. I am sure it will be an amazing race:)

    p.s. love the DYI backdrop, clever!

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  2. So pumped! hmmmm....trip to NY in November....gotta see if I can swing that:) Congrats and xxox Cyra

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