Blank Space

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by Kathy Carter

I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions—seriously, how many are made and broken by January 2nd? So, I’ve been stewing about what to write in that blank space ever since I picked up my run packet a few days ago. I could, of course, go with a running theme, vowing to set a new PB for 5K or run my first full marathon. Both of those seemed just a bit cliché. So, despite the -22°C temperature, I geared up in multiple layers and went for a run today, hoping for inspiration on this cold New Year’s Eve.

What to write in that blank space? Nothing immediately came to mind, so I decided to enjoy my run. I wasn’t cold in the least and it was a beautiful sunny day. I turned up the volume on my iPod, curious to see what the Shuffle spit out for my listening pleasure on this fine afternoon.

After the first kilometre, I began to notice a strange trend in the selections. It started with Sheryl Crow’s song “Soak up the Sun” which was, oddly enough, followed by The Mama and Papas’ “California Dreamin.’” I ran on, curious if the upbeat summer songs would continue. Funny enough, they did. Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long” was next in the queue, then Wave’s “California.” A few songs later, “California Dreamin’’’ played again. I’d intended to only do 5K, but was fascinated by the odd song pattern. Among other songs, Katy Perry’s “California Girls” and the Beach Boys’ “Kokomo” got me through kilometres six and seven.

My house was in sight as Billy Joel’s “Scene from an Italian Restaurant” began. “A bottle of red, a bottle of white,” he sang. I would certainly not have a bottle tonight, but a glass wouldn’t hurt. After all, life is all about balance. And I had a 5K event to run on New Year’s Day.

Frustrated I still didn’t have a good resolution to write on my bib, I decided to just leave it as a “Blank Space.” Unlike Taylor Swift, I didn’t want to start the New Year off with something I’d later regret. Besides, I’m still trying to figure out what that unexpected streak of summer songs really meant.

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