Chelle Summer

new year

A New Year...Where Will We Go?

Michelle Rusk

Happy 2018, Everyone!

While I believe that we can start fresh at anytime, there is something to be said for the calendar rolling around into January 1. We come off the holidays– when we've most likely been busy– and then we get (I hope you did!) a holiday break. The new year rolls around and suddenly it feels like all the Christmas lights and decorations should be put away until at least Thanksgiving. Personally, I usually want to clean out all of my closets this time of year. I feel as if it's time to let go of the old to invite the new to come in.

This year is starting out a little differently than years past have and I'm embracing the journey of my job going half time to free up a large chunk of my daily time. However, we were in Los Angeles for the new year (and managed to get colds as happens sometimes) so I didn't feel like I could truly start the new year until we came home– and put everything away (although we had taken care of the Christmas decorations before we left).

For me, Los Angeles still remains a very inspirational place. I can't explain it except that it seems that I woke up one day when I was about thirteen and knew it was where I wanted to go. I didn't get there until the summer after I graduated from high school and obviously I never moved there. I joke that I only got as far as Albuquerque. 

Through a series of events, I've been given opportunities that take me back there and as we were driving down the 110 after having dinner with friends in North Hollywood, I was thinking how it still inspires me to be there. That's topped with the many signs of both my parents (through songs on the radio and coins) that don't usually happen here in Albuquerque.

Now that I'm home and everything is put away, the lists made to make the most of this opportunity of time I have been given with job going half time just a month ago, the hardest part for me is being patient with myself. There is much I want to do and I know my timeline. My hope is to spend 2018 with my nose to the grindstone and see what kind of opportunities I can create for myself through all my creative means. I want to take advantage of the time placed in front of me– it is a gift– and see where I land a year from now.

I have lists, goals, and dreams. The key is being patient with myself that there will be enough time to do everything, to know that I will land where I'm supposed to be. And to listen to voices which who are guiding me and leading the way.

The Hill

Michelle Rusk

The hill in the photo might not look like much but if you're standing at the bottom of it, it's quite steep. And for the eight years that I've been visiting Sam and Lois Bloom, I was never able to run up the hill that leads to their house without stopping. 

It's silly because I'm a runner and I realize it's all mental. I attribute it to what I now call my running laziness because I'm older and I don't tend to push myself so hard.

However, six months ago when we were visiting Sam and Lois, I decided I needed to get up that hill in one swoop. And I did. And then I did it again.

But in August I had an accident with my German Shepherd, Lilly– as I was going up the stairs in the house, she was running down and her head ran right in my knee. It wasn't until a week later when I couldn't run at all did I realize what had happened. For two months I couldn't run, a severe bone bruise like nothing I'd ever had before

I'm back running but I'll admit it's not the same. I was getting into such a good place prior to the accident and now wham! I'm a slow poke again. When we went off to California last week to see the Blooms, I was a little nervous about the hill. I wanted to make it up there but I didn't feel physically or mentally I was in the same place as six months before.

As I ran up it, using my arms to help pull me, I wanted to stop. But I didn't because I knew if I did, it meant I'd have to try it again the next day. That meant for twenty-hours I'd been thinking about how I didn't make it up the hill. I'd have another chance but rather than becoming stronger by actually getting up the hill without stopping, it would be like being sent back to go again.

And so I didn't stop. Or the next day either. While I still don't feel as strong as I did back in the summer, I made it up the hill without stopping. Twice.

My life is filled with hills. No year is perfect or without challenges. But I'm working to tackles the hills one by one and I find that once I do, I move onto something else, stronger and better than before.

Happy New Year, everyone!