The Year of Getting Off My Couch
Author: Linda Ambard
For those of you who have followed my journey, you realize I am closing in on being five years from the loss of the man who meant the world to me. I would gladly have given my life for his because I recognize he was that bright and shining star who made the world a better place, but trading places was never an option. For those of you who have watched or read about my journey, you have seen my struggles and you have seen my growth. Somewhere in the past year, I began to recognize it had been years since I was excited about anything and it had been years since I had fun in my life. I was surviving by keeping consumed with work, school, and running. The business gave me focus, but it did not allow for fun or joy to be a part of my life. 2016 is my year of getting off of the couch.
Getting off of the couch isn’t about exercise; it is about living life. School is finished. My initial reaction is to immediately continue on, but I want more than a life of sitting on my couch watching everybody else live life. I am afraid to put down the books and to start living because somehow it is easier to accept I had a life and now I do not….and yet, my heart is fighting for more. I am fighting for more.
I am fighting by going after my dreams. I signed up for my 100thmarathon at the Great Wall of China and a hiking expedition to Machu Picchu. To get to China, I am facing my fears of traveling somewhere new by myself. Because I know I cower and shut down when I am afraid, I signed up with a tour agency. I am not letting fear stop me from living this year. Marathon 99? The Boston Marathon. The Boston Marathon is the singular place other than places affiliated with Phil’s death which terrifies me. I still have flashbacks of that awful day when I ran for my life. I am staring down my fears to live.
It is about more than running. It is taking a good hard look at being vulnerable enough to let someone in. I think widows often tend to put too much validity into a relationship too fast or they do what I do—shut off before anyone gets too close. It is easier to shut off, but lonelier. I don’t know if there is a chapter two in my life, but I do believe it is possible. It will look different, feel different, be different, but it will be just as amazing. It is terrifying on many fronts because I still feel like that girl—that girl who is somehow broken or somehow set apart because of my story of loss. The hardest part is risking my heart and yet I am not running away or slamming doors. What will be, will be.
2016 is about living, loving, laughing, and participating. Instead of hiding in the shadows, I am taking the tentative steps to cannonball into a life that is more than my focus and voice for military causes. Yes, those are a part of me and will always be a part of me, but the part that has been buried far beneath the frozen snowy field is starting to emerge. There is room for both—focus and fun. 2016, the year of getting off of the couch to live—Who’s in?