This post was supposed to just be a post about books I read this year, but as I wrote it, I couldn’t help but think about my uncle who recently passed away. One of the people I would typically enjoy comparing book notes with each year was my Uncle Barry. He – along with my parents – is one of the reasons I’m such an avid reader today (he was a reading teacher and always bought me his favorite books when I was growing up). And this time of year, as I’ve grown older, we typically talk through the latest books we’ve read and what we’ve enjoyed over the past year.
I wish I had a chance to share with him my reading list this year. It is much larger than other years, thanks to the pandemic. I would’ve loved hearing if he had read any of these, and see what he would’ve recommended I start with next year. But instead, I’ll be sharing my recommendations with you. And, I hope you can share yours with me, too! I know I’ll be needing some new ideas as I continue to read/listen my way into the New Year.
*Note: These are all Amazon affiliate links. But if you have a local bookstore near you, PLEASE consider purchasing from them! I took most of these out from my local library, but the ones that I purchased I did so from my local store, Appletree Books. If you’re local, they offer free delivery AND make the purchasing process so easy!
In no order:
Half of a Yellow Sun
Merry Christmas and happy holidays! I can’t believe Christmas has come and gone. I’ll be honest, this year’s Christmas didn’t really feel like Christmas. We were in Cleveland (we’re usually in New York) and it was just the four of us. But we made the most of it … and thanks to being here, I was able to keep up my running streak!
I’m now at 247 days, which means if I continue through the end of 2020, I’ll have gotten to 250 days, which I really can’t fathom. I know, I’ve seen people do year-long (or longer!) streaks, and I honestly have no intention of keeping this up that long, but I’m pleased with where I’ve come so far. My plantar fasciitis is still acting up on and off, but I have been stretching and rolling and icing, and even took some Aleve a few months ago and that seemed to help.
Here’s how this week looked – it was going well until our HUGE snowfall on Christmas Eve that lasted more than 24 hours! We got around 2 feet I think!
Not to be a bummer, but I had a hard week.
I know, it’s the holiday season. Everything is merry and bright. It’s a time to be joyous and thankful and celebratory. But, between my uncle passing away, the realization how different this holiday season will be without seeing my family, and some work stuff, it just wasn’t my best week. And this impacted my running AND walking. I just didn’t have the energy to get up in the morning and run a billion miles, and hit snooze way too much. I didn’t have the time to talk long walks with the family and the cold, icy/snowy weather made it even harder to get out of the house.
I’m hoping that the coming week will be better. With only three work days, I have no excuse not to sleep in, get in a run and get outside with the family. So, fingers crossed that I can continue to keep my running streak up (240 days!) and get out of this funk.
My uncle passed away this week. He had a heart attack the day after Thanksgiving.
He was healthy. I remember family vacations with him when I was younger to Fire Island, and he would work out nearly every day we were there. I remember him doing ab and leg exercises outdoors where we’d stay and even teaching me some at a young age. He was actually riding his bike when he went into cardiac arrest. A bystander saw him, called 911 and did CPR while waiting for the paramedics to arrive. Unfortunately, that did not save him. We buried him this week, over a Zoom burial (thanks, Covid).
an old photo of my uncle and me as a baby
I don’t often share very personal stuff here. And, I know this is a post about running, but I feel the need to include just a few sentences about him. And I thought of him on most of my runs this week. Running has helped me get through the challenges brought on by 2020, and this week was no different. It wasn’t an easy week – personally and professionally – and I’m grateful to have running to take some time for myself as I try to find peace.
November came and went and was a pretty decent month weather-wise. Not too cold, pretty mild and plenty of seasonably warm runs in shorts and capris. I was spoiled. Because as soon as December 1 came, we got SNOW.
And I’m not talking about a few flurries, or even an inch here and there that makes it look all festive. Nope, I’m talking about 15+ inches of wet, heavy snow that came down and didn’t stop, making it somewhat hard to run.