My triceps are killing me.

I was just thinking back to January when I got all into ballet and weird dieting.

If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s blindly throwing myself head-first into the next big thing.

I’m pretty sure it started with running a half marathon years ago.

I’m not a runner, but I signed up to do it and I did the dang thing.

It was a big stretch given how out of shape I was at the time. All the more reason to do it. And doing the dang thing showed me that there are so many things we can do if only we’d just get busy.

Sometimes I feel like I’m spinning my wheels and going absolutely nowhere. Sometimes I’m let down and frustrated because whatever I tried to do somehow didn’t work out at all.

But this year I’ve made a little progress and I know because I have a big whiteboard at work and in January I wrote down a bunch of things I wanted to focus on in 2019.

Not to get all Oprah, but I did want to drop a few pounds and though the early dieting was completely horrible and did not work (because I’m the world’s biggest cheater)….somehow I’m down 14 pounds since January. That means I can probably do the other 14, too. I fail all the time at this weight business, and when I fail I’m fine with it. Sometimes a girl has gotta eat. I’ve had some terrific meals in 2019.

But just by staying a little bit focused on what’s healthy and good for me, some weight decided to take a hike.

And speaking of hikes, I upped my hiking game and I’m now doing a steep hike at lunch most days. I get busy even when I don’t feel like it. And when I’m on those hikes I can tell there’s been a shift this year.

I’m feeling better and getting on with life. I’m moving more, trying harder and kicking myself in the pants as many times as it takes.

Some days I play my violin and every now and then something comes out sounding kind of nice. I’m working on devoting more time to music – violin, banjo, guitar, ukelele….I once was a person who wished I had been a person who played an instrument. I thought I had missed the boat. Until I ran that half marathon. Then I realized that you just have to lace up your shoes and tell yourself that you’re a runner or someone who makes music and….baby steps…but you move in that direction a little bit and one day it’s more true than not.

You look up and you’re down 14 pounds, playing a song and you have biceps.

I’m not taking ballet or doing my Spanish in the car right now because I’m weight training and singing harmony on the way to work. I like to sing, even though I’m just okay. So I’m working on figuring out how to jump in and harmonize.

It says on my whiteboard that I want to fix up my garden in 2019.

My yard is still mostly dirt, but I did plant a bed of tomatoes and I got them in early and now I’ve got tomatoes.

I’m not trying to brag here. What I’m trying to do is remind myself and anyone else who needs encouragement that it’s normal and fine if most of the turns you take lead nowhere. It’s okay to not quite hit the mark.

Because some roads really are worth going down and will take you somewhere great. Sometimes you win when you think you’re going to lose. Some wonderful things happen when you hardly even know you’re making progress.

All the little choices add up and all I can say is every day choose to put your energy somewhere…even if you flounder around. I’m the poster child for floundering around.

My triceps are killing me and tomorrow I’m back at God’s gym with brother Gary getting myself whooped into shape.

I’m thinking about signing up for the Appalachian dance class at Walker Creek music camp because clogging sounds fun. Walker Creek scares me because it means I will probably need to at least try one fiddle workshop. But I need to go and I probably will.

I’m contemplating taking a course in river conservation with Friends of the Rivers and becoming a river advocate…..all because I signed up for a rafting trip and it resonated.

I guess I am bragging a little bit.

I’m bragging because I’ve cried a river, felt the weight of time passing and kids leaving, endured some tough break-ups and a few years of weird dating that has only highlighted how lonely I can feel at times…..but just by trying new things and throwing energy into this and that…..I’m coming out the other side.

I’m making new friends and forging some kind of new life 3.0. It’s slow as molasses but I’m rising up from the ashes, damn it!

It didn’t look like I was making much progress but suddenly it’s all adding up and there is no denying that I’m getting somewhere.

I’m pretty much failing at dating and dieting and a bunch of other things but I’m getting hella strong and feeling a whole lotta love. I’m doing it and feeling it and getting there even if I’m taking the long way around. There’s a lot of zig-zagging for sure.

I think it’s true that we very often give up right before we’re about to make progress. So don’t give up. Keep going no matter what.

That’s what I tell myself, anyway.