Just over an hour from my house is the Pacific City sand dune. It’s steep and ridiculously hard to climb, yet my boys love to conquer it every time we go to the coast.
It is a SAND dune, which means with every forward step you take, you slide back about half of a step. It holds within the palm of its hand the potential to make even the most enthusiastic climbers feel like they are making no progress.
But year after year, I find myself at Pacific City trudging to the top of that sandy lookout hoping to take in the spectacular view of the entire coastline.
Sometimes I pass people along the way, and sometimes people pass me. That’s the nature of the dune. I just put my head down and watch my feet move ahead one step at a time.
About two-thirds of the way up, when my legs are burning, and I’m quietly recommitting to start working out again, I pause to turn around and rest for a few minutes. That first moment when I turn around feels like a treat to see how far I’ve come.
The visual progress somehow makes it more doable to get back up and keep going to the top where (every single time) the view leaves me thankful I made the effort to climb that awful hill.
This morning my post from a year ago popped up in my feed. I paused to read it, felt compassion on that Deb of yesteryear, looked back to see how far I’ve come and felt thankful that I found the strength to put one foot in front of the other and climb out of that dark pit of despair.
I’ve spent the last year making changes in my life.
I’ve eaten a few more salads than usual. I’ve done a lot of rearranging and renovating in my house. I’ve thrown out a lot of stuff and sorted through a lot of papers to make room for new experiences. I’ve journaled. I’ve mapped out what I want the next few years to look like. I’ve made lists. I’ve talked it over with people.
It’s been a year of preparation. It’s been a year of setting the stage for the next season of my life.
As the year comes to a close, I feel like I’m pausing about two-thirds of the way up the sand dune. I’m not to the top yet, but I’ve made good progress, and I feel exhilarated about the year ahead