“I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.” – George C. Lichtenberg
As a little girl in Ireland, I vividly recall going to mass everyday before school. In those days, mass was said in Latin, and although I knew little of what the priest was saying, I loved the predictability of mass. Even as a little girl, I depended on my daily visit to church.
When I arrived in this country as a young adolescent, I was shocked to learn that few people attended church everyday. In fact, not one single soul in my small circle went to daily mass. Although I said little, I longed to go back to the ritual I had known in Ireland.
However, as time progressed, I changed and became much more American than Irish. I quickly learned to assimilate to my surroundings and found myself “fitting in” quite nicely with my new friends. I began to think less and less about Ireland and its traditions and culture, focusing instead on being apple-pie American.
Yes, I still go to church every Sunday and I still hold to many of the traditions of my heritage, but I realized early on that I needed to make some changes to adapt to my environment. I also realized that change isn’t always desirable but it is necessary.
On New Year’s Day 2007, I never would have predicted the events that awaited me and, yes, changed me. Never, ever would I have thought that my youngest child would face death while away at college. Nor would I have predicted that I would start writing a blog and make new virtual friends. Certainly, I never saw myself running hill repeats, track workouts, tempo runs – only the really strong runners do that! Some of the people I met at school, races, and running groups are now friends, each adding to my life and teaching me important lessons (not all positive) that I needed to learn. Certainly, every event I’ve experienced and person I’ve encountered has helped to contribute to who I am on this 29th day of December, 2007.
I think it’s important to reflect on change. I think it’s even more important to anticipate and plan for change. No, I’m not referring to change that results from crisis such as my son’s illness but to goal-setting. In my next post I’ll write specially about my goals, both in and out of my running shoes, for 2008.