Defining 2012

Before the dead rat and the angry goose and the wayward fence distracted me, I was mentally composing a blog post while running before dawn this morning.

How’s that for an opening sentence? In the journalism world, that’s called a “lead.” Now you know.

Anyway, I’m hopefully rebounding from knee issues (that originated in the hip, apparently), which means I can run again. I’m not quite gasping for air as much, which means I’m getting back in shape. And THAT means I’m not thinking as much about running while I am running. This is especially possible in the morning, when it’s dark and quiet outside.

Today I was thinking about years, and how the last few have each been strongly defined for me.

  • 2008 was the year of running. I joined a running club, made a whole bunch of new friends, then ran my first half-marathon and first full marathon that year.
  • 2009 was the year of witnessing. I witnessed a judge nearly get murdered and her attacker get killed. Three months later, I witnessed a horrific car wreck that killed a couple.
  • 2010 was the year of changing. I made some personal changes, quit my job, went on a road trip and set out to find a new life.
  • 2011 was the year of beginning. I started full-time at a new job, I moved, I traveled, I was in my best friend’s wedding and watched her start a new life, I became closer friends with people who were previously acquaintances, and I met a lot of new people along the way.

Then I thought about how 2007 had a fairly significant (in retrospect) relationship start, and 2006 involved some huge national attention. The previous couple years also have some defining moments and themes. While I sit here now, even without consulting various blogs and journals, I can think of big themes in almost every year.

So, how will I define 2012? Somewhere in the crisp morning air, I realized that two months of 2012 have already passed. The third month is moving rapidly along. Before we know it, a quarter of the year will be gone.

When it comes down to it, I want 2012 to be the year of writing. I have publicly stated that a very clear goal of mine is to write a book. In making so many changes over the last couple years, I’ve gotten closer to the point where I really, truly want to write. Yesterday evening, I was writing something for some friends, and I found myself back in that “zone” of writing. It was one page and the zone part itself only lasted for a couple paragraphs, but I felt it.

This morning, while out on the roads with a headlamp that needed new batteries, I pondered the last few years. And I knew what theme 2012 needs. To make that possible, I need to clear out some time. Running won’t suffer because it’s my outlet (and a way to stay in shape), but I need to make some changes and set my priorities straight.

And right around the time I was starting to think of how to make this happen, I nearly stepped on a rather large, very dead rat that was lying horizontally across the sidewalk.

I stopped thinking about lofty 2012 dreams and instead began wondering how the rat got there, why it was dead and whether it had rabies. It was right near a Starbucks, at the edge between a commercial area and some nice homes, not far from one of the Shamrock-decorated trash cans the city installed all over town. This was a couple miles after I found myself running across chain-link fence that was lying across a sidewalk.

A mile later, at the end of my run, a Canada Goose decided that hissing wasn’t enough, and it briefly chased me through my neighborhood.

Maybe 2012 will be the year of wild animals.

3 Responses to Defining 2012

  1. I remember my first experience seeing a bloated, water-logged, dead rat. Part of me was so disgusted I kept running, and another part of me wanted to go back & take a picture. Is that creepy or what? No chain-link fences, so hissing geese, no pondering of to-be-written books. You had an infinitely cool run.

  2. You definitely want to watch out for those hissing geese…one good whack from their wings and you could wind up with a broken leg. No lie.

    I wish for you exactly what you want and need from 2012. You deserve for your dreams to materialize.

  3. I’ve been chased by geese. So not fun. Also not fun: Being chased by a purse dog.