December 26th through December 31st are what I consider to be my holiday season. It’s after Christmas that I start to develop my Christmas glow and to look forward to the new year. I’ve spent quality time with my family and friends. I can reflect back on the year that is about to end and think about how I’d like to improve myself and my life in the year to come.
For me, the holiday season is not about Christmas shopping, getting people stuff and receiving stuff from other people. I’m very appreciative when I do receive a gift. If someone takes time to give something then I believe it is from the heart—I receive it and am truly grateful for it. As far as my gift-giving goes, I prefer to give either the gift of experience or something personal I’ve made or done. One of my favorite gifts to give is going to lunch. I love going to lunch with just one of my friends so we have some extra-special personal time to spend enjoying one another’s company. To me, this is a gift that is reciprocal—it gives and receives. The recipient enjoys a nice meal and my company, and I enjoy a nice meal and the company of my friend. In addition to lunch, I also like to give the gift of homemade food. My boyfriend Pete and I made homemade fruitcakes this year. We started out small making only four to see how they would turn out. They have been a great gift to give because we invested our time into and produced something really yummy for people to enjoy. I saw my grandma on Christmas and gave her the fruitcake we’d made for her. She said to me, “It means a lot that you took time to make this for me. That makes it a special gift.” When giving a gift, I like to give from the heart and I enjoy watching the joy that people experience when they receive the gift.
When I look back on the past year, one of things I look at are my physical accomplishments. I stopped teaching dance at the beginning of 2011 and what I discovered was that I had a lot of free time on my hands. Since I’m a person that likes to stay active, I made a plan at the beginning of 2011 to run a half marathon (13.1 miles). That small plan turned into a bigger plan of running a marathon and raising $1,000 for a select charity. I picked a marathon that I’ve always wanted to run—the Chicago Marathon—and a charity that supports a cause I believe in—Team Paws Chicago. The experiences I had with this changed my life. I wanted to share my life-altering experiences with other people so moving forward I’ve decided to start a blogging about these experiences at Sarathlete: Sara the Athlete. This year my focus main focus is on triathlon! The thing I love about sports is the people you meet along the journey to preparing for the chosen sport and how they impact, change and affect your life. I will be sharing these physical, mental and emotional journeys on Sarathlete. So please stay tuned!
Enjoy this wonderful week between Christmas and New Year’s. Be thankful for the past year and how it has changed your life and look forward for new changes to come. Life is a journey. Be thankful for every day and look forward to the next! Happy Holidays to you and your family and friends!