Endings and beginnings

December 31st already?

Tomorrow is the day of renewal. Time to get motivated and get all those things done that we have fallen short on in 2014. It sure is a good thing we have these built-in turning points in our timekeeping system, because it’s awfully easy to plug right along, not paying any attention to the days and weeks flying by.

As such, to motivate myself and others, today’s post was going to be a recap of what I did in 2014 and a preview of what I plan to do in 2015. However, these things can seem somewhat trivial in light of the things that matter most.

I would like to take this opportunity to say goodbye to an athlete and community member who I think had a bigger influence on my life than I knew at the time. When I was in high school, and for a few years thereafter, Deborah Swagerty Rarrick was the city of Colville’s recreation coordinator. She was a triathlete, runner, cancer survivor, all around inspirational person, and, as it happened, the race director of the first triathlon I ever competed in.

While others’ memories of Deborah are more varied, my interactions with her were largely limited to athletic events, where she delicately balanced the role of stressed-out organizer with the happiness and satisfaction she clearly got from being able to share her passions with the community. Since my high school days, she always had a strong presence in Colville, especially when it came to helping people get out and be active. She had the opportunity to increase that influence when she was elected mayor in 2011.

Deborah passed away last week after numerous ups and downs in her battle with cancer, but I hope that the people of Colville, and everywhere else for that matter, live out her example of caring so deeply about the well-being of their communities. These are the things that are important, and the reasons we should try to be the best we can be in 2015, and every year thereafter.

You can visit Deborah’s online memorial to learn more about her story and be inspired by her as so many others have.


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