2013 is nothing more than a Times Square Ball drop from being in the books.
As excited as I am for 2014 to arrive, I’ve been thinking over the Christmas holidays of the incredible year 2013 was for myself and my family. As I’m sure yours was also, our year was filled with ups and downs. So today I’m going to conclude my writing for the year by sharing the biggest victories and disappointments I encountered this past year.
3 Big Victories
1. No More School! By far the biggest victory that occurred in our household this year was Mrs. Luke1428’s completion of her Master’s Degree in Accounting and then subsequently being granted her state CPA license. This was the culmination of almost three years of intensive study, discipline and sacrifice on her part. Most evenings, she would come home from a full days work at her accounting firm and study well into the night.
Honestly, I’m not sure how she did it but our entire family is thrilled for her (and also thrilled she’s done!)
2. He Do Run, Run. In January of 2013, I set a goal to run a marathon in under 4 hours. I had completed my first marathon in Atlanta the prior fall and wanted to best my time on the next attempt. So I put a new training schedule in place and began to run and run and run.
By the time the marathon arrived in October, I had run over 800 miles in my training. The extensive training paid off as I was able to run the Baltimore Marathon in 3:54:20, an almost 15 minute improvement from my Atlanta time. A big victory for sure that taught me a lot about patience and how to respond in moments when you question your goals.
3. In the Blog Zone. I was very pleased that in 2013 I was finally able to find a rhythm to my blog writing. My Monday-Wednesday-Friday format has worked well since June. In addition, I’ve been able to incorporate issues related to personal finance and my faith in the Friday Hidden Nuggets Series. That has been the biggest breakthrough for me personally and I’m pleased it’s been well received by my readers.
3 Big Disappointments
We really don’t like to relive disappointments. The hurt is often so great we would just assume file it deep in a drawer somewhere and pretend the event didn’t happen. But the reality is that we do experience disappointments and dealing with them often teaches us more about ourselves than our victories.
I learned a lot through the trials of these three experiences in 2013:
1. Dealing With Injuries. While taking a stride on a marathon training run in August, I felt a twinge on the bottom of my left foot. I finished the run without much pain but the next morning, the heel and arch on my foot was pretty stiff. I rested for a couple of days then continued my training.
The pain would come and go, then eventually stay as I continued to train. I had to cut back on my amount of activity and use KT Tape on my foot for my long runs. Those adjustments allowed me to complete the training regiment and the Baltimore Marathon on Oct. 12th.
I rested my body after the race but the pain continued to linger into November. Finally, after several unsuccessful attempts at some short distance runs, I went to a podiatrist in early December. The diagnosis? Plantar fasciitis – a breakdown of the plantar fascia tissue that runs from the bottom of the heel through the arch and connects at the ball of your foot.
The treatment?…medication…physical therapy…and no more running.
The injury kept me from achieving another running goal for 2013, which was to run 1,000 miles in a year. I made it to 853 miles before I had to shut it down. I would have made it to my goal because I essentially didn’t run for the last two and half months of the year.
I don’t know when I’ll get back out there. The pain has not completely gone away. I’m frustrated in myself for not seeking treatment sooner. Because I let the injury linger, the healing process will most likely take longer.
2. Evicting a Tenant. I was forced for the first time in five years of being a landlord to evict a tenant from one of our rental properties. The ordeal dragged on for several months, finally ending up in court. You can read about the details as I wrote an exhaustive post about the incident.
The issue that confused me the most through the whole eviction process was not being able to understand what was going through the mind of my tenant. I clearly held the right position and had done everything I could to rectify any concerns he had about the property. I simply could not connect and make him see his legal responsibility to honor the contract and pay the rent.
It boggles my mind how people can be so obviously negligent and irresponsible and furthermore, not seem to care a lick.
3. Losing a Student. By far the biggest disappointment of the year came less than two weeks into our new school year, when we learned one of the 10th grade girls at our school and a student in one of my classes committed suicide. She was a lovely and sweet girl, yet with deep, personal issues that ultimately pushed her over the edge. Her loss hung like a dark cloud over the whole first semester of school as students and faculty attempted to piece the puzzle together and find answers that weren’t really there.
We are all thankful she’s in a better place…but we still wish she were with us.
The only solace that came from her passing is that so many people were touched through the story. This post regarding the incident was my most widely read and shared of the year. I can’t help but believe someone is alive today because they read how her actions deeply impacted our school community and decided against such an act for themselves.
Big Moments on Luke1428
There were some other highlights and big moments on Luke1428 this year. These are the next 10 posts that garnered the most comments from readers in 2013:
I’m really looking forward to 2014. Thank you to all who frequented this blog in 2013. I appreciate your friendship and support.
Here’s wishing you a Happy New Year!
What was your biggest victory in 2013? Your biggest disappointment? What big thing are you looking to achieve in 2014?
Prior Post: Knowing When to Give Yourself a Blogging Break