About 2017

I realize I should have done this about 10 days ago, but I still think reflection is a good thing… even if it’s aided by a silly survey. 2017 was a damn blur of a year, but let’s talk about it.

 

What did you do in 2017 that you’ve never done before?

I took a redeye flight. I visited Athens, Greece. I went to a Turskish wedding- they have fireworks. I went to a traditional Indian wedding- they are beautiful and colorful and involve dancing behind the groom riding in a white horse. I tried vegetarianism, and it stuck. Okay- I’m flexible with fish. On that note, I ate caramelized octopus in Greece, and it was delicious. I got a tattoo with color. I acquired a brother-in-law and a sister-in-law.

Ooh! I did yoga with goats!

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That’s the actual Acropolis from the roof of our hotel in Athens

 

Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Crap. Did I make those? I did! Let’s revisit:

I did maintain a consistent yoga practice. I did read more than I did in 2016. I did slightly better with money (I think). I think I did better with complementing and congratulating people. I felt happier overall, so that helps. I’m a little on the fence about whether I was more present and took more time to reflect. The bullet journaling thing definitely did not stick. I feel like 2017 was a bit of crazy year. There was so much happening so often that I don’t know that I let anything sink in.

I did not start cross-stitching again. I probably didn’t listen to more music. I blame Pod Save America. I’m obsessed. I’m still struggling with a creative outlet. I did go to some rallies and protests, and I plan to do the same this year. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get involved in some campaigns.

You’ll have to go back and read the linked post for any of that to make sense.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Nope! Maybe this year. SOMEONE MAKE ME AN AUNT!

Did anyone close to you die?

No. Thank goodness.

What places did you visit?

Portland, OR

Istanbul, Turkey

Bursa, Turkey

Athens, Greece

Grand Lake, CO

NYC

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What would you like to have in 2018 that you didn’t have in 2017?

Legs that are the same length. Jk. That will never happen for me.

I actually feel pretty content.

What dates from 2017 will be etched in your memory forever?

January 21st – The Women’s March

August 6th- Harrison’s brother’s wedding

September 30th- My sister’s wedding

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What was your biggest achievement this year?

Not murdering anyone at my sister’s wedding.

What was your biggest failure?

Maybe that I still work where I do and that I make zero progress in finding a new place of employment. I mean… it’s fine, mostly. At least I’m in a position to be picky. Unfortunately, I’m in a position to be complacent and lazy, too.

Did you suffer from illness or injury?

2017 was a pretty healthy year.

What was the best thing you bought?

My record player. It has bass.

Where did most of your money go?

It’s still food. That didn’t change.

What did you get really, really excited about?

The Womens’ March.

Eating tomatoes and olives in Turkey and Greece. It’s the little things.

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I mean… how amazing does this look?

What song will always remind you of 2017?

Hmmm… I couldn’t get enough of “Alaska” by Maggie Rogers this year.

Compared to this time last year, are you a) happier or sadder, b) thinner or fatter, c) richer or poorer?

Let’s see…

I’m definitely happier.

I don’t care if I’m thinner or fatter, but I’m probably about the same. However, I’m definitely stronger. You should feel my biceps.

I wish I were richer than last year. I’m probably about the same. I guess there’s something to be said for consistency.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish I would have relaxed more. It was a fairly stressful year.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worry. Again, it was a stressful year.

How did you spend Christmas?

Harrison and I went to New York to visit his family like we do every year. I was kind of tired of family obligated travel by that point, but it ended up being a great trip. We went to The Met, we saw a great comedy show (Janeane Garofalo was there again), and ate some delicious vegetarian and vegan food.

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Mac ‘n Shews from Modern Love in Brooklyn

What was your favorite TV program?

I love television. So much good TV. I think I watched Stranger Things 2 in just two or three days. I’m so happy Will & Grace is back!

What was the best book you read?

“Shrill” by Lindy West. I loved it!

What did you want that you got?

A new tatttooooooo!!!!!!!

What did you want and not get?

An new mattress. Maybe this year.

What was your favorite film of 2017?

3 Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

31! I took the day off work, and then went to see Lady Gaga! Not too shabby.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Same answer as last year: If Hillary Clinton had been elected President.

Who kept you sane?

Harrison. It’s always Harrison.

Who did you miss?

I got to see my grandparents at my sister’s wedding, but as I get older and realize they aren’t going to be around forever, I miss them quite a bit. Hopefully, we’ll be able to make the drive to see them in the Spring.

Who was the best new person you met?

I don’t know that I met anyone I hadn’t met before, but I was able to get to know some acquaintances better. I feel like I have quite a few people in my life that I can now consider friends.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.

Cutting out meat is possible and really great.

Show us one of your favorite photos from the year.

This picture makes me so happy. This is a picture of me and Harrison’s family, and our new extended Turkish family. It feels like such a special thing to be even a little bit connected to such beautiful people in such a beautiful part of the world. 21687825_10155720577379911_634237738002202038_n

 

I guess it’s a New Year

I do not enjoy New Year’s Resolutions. I do not enjoy goal-setting in the way that it’s often discussed. I think it leads to a lot of disappointment because we set goals that we don’t know how to achieve and then wrack our brains to figure out what went wrong. We want to lose 20 pounds or save money. Okay, but how? And I’m guilty of this, too. Everyone is. Regardless of how I feel about this custom, I always seem to turn to self-improvement this time of year. It’s a natural thing for us to do. I begin to think about what happened last year and how I can make this year better. Keeping that in mind, I’ve obviously been thinking about the upcoming year and how I can make it better than the last by building on what I’ve already done and the things I know will offer me growth as a human.

Here we go!

Yoga goals

 This might be the only area where I’ll make a quantitative goal, and that is to get to a minimum of 3 classes a week this year or at least an average of that. By ensuring a consistent practice, I can only benefit. The amount of quality sleep I get far surpasses the sleep I got a year ago. I’m happier, my mind is quieter in the moments I need it to be, and I have strength in my body I didn’t know I could have.

There are some things that I still struggle with when I go to class. I found a studio that I love this year, and eventually, I could see myself teaching. I have a tendency to retreat and try to be as anonymous as possible, even though I see the same teachers and students all the time. I have a hard time embracing the community aspect of this practice. It’s an introvert thing, I guess. I have wanted to expand my social circle for a while, and this seems as good a way as any. Making friends as an adult is hard, and I have a place that is not work that provides that opportunity. I should take advantage of that.

Money

If I ever want to do ANYTHING exciting, I need to be a lot smarter about money. I eat out too much, particularly during the work week. I buy coffee in the morning instead of using the coffee maker I have in my kitchen. I have a bad habit of ordering in whenever Harrison is gone in the evening because I hate cooking for one. It’s such a waste of money. I’ve made some progress the first two weeks of the year. I’ve packed breakfast (because I definitely don’t get up early enough to sit and eat breakfast pre-work) and lunch at least three days a week, and I’ve made coffee at home about the same number of days. I’ve only ordered in once, and I made two meals out of it. I have a good stock of things in the pantry that are simple meals for one that I can eat when Harrison is not here. The challenge here is to avoid slipping back into old habits.

Books! 

Last year, I read more than the year before. I’d like to simply continue that trend and also read consistently through the whole year instead of letting it taper off around June. I’m not a crazy ferocious reader like some people. I was browsing the blogosphere, and saw someone who read 9 books in the month of December. Who has time for that? I love reading, and I love to learn. But I also have a full-time job and other things I want to do. I also enjoy television as an art form. Yes, I said art form… and also as a way to turn my brain off when I need to.

You can become my friend on Goodreads or look to the right and see what I’m reading.

Complement and congratulate 

I am incredibly even keel in my day to day. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, but I do think it’s a product of my incredible ability to go through the motions and not really pay attention to what’s happening around me. I’m really good at showing up, but I’m not the best at expression of feelings. So, things happen to people I’m close to, and I act like it’s just any other thing. I don’t know if this is a flaw, but it might be. People deserve to be complimented for good work and congratulated when something awesome happens. Doesn’t mean I have to had these out to everyone, but I should do it more.

Be present and reflect

 As I mentioned above, I’m really good at going through the motions, but I don’t feel like I let experiences penetrate the surface. Things just happen, and then I move on. Granted, most of my days are painfully boring. But how much is just passing by without a second thought. So I’m going to try this Bullet Journaling thing and see how that goes. Remember what your teachers told you? Writing things down helps you remember. I can barely remember what I did this morning, and I think that’s because I just move without experiencing. Every picture of Bullet Journals I see on the internet looks really pretty and artsy. I don’t think mine will look that nice, but we’ll see.

Things I’d like to reintroduce to myself this year:

  1. Cross-stitching- It’s the only crafty thing I’ve ever been decent at, it can include swear words if you so choose, AND it makes a really good (and inexpensive) gift.
  2. Music- I’ve become a bit lazy about keeping up on new music, which is a little embarrassing for someone with a Music Industry Studies degree.
  3. Some sort of creative outlet…or maybe I’ll try to make this thing better. I miss performing, but I need something that feels right.
  4. Activism because Trump is what happens when we become complacent. See you at the Women’s March next week, Denver.

About 2016

I’m aware 2016 is over and posting this now is annoying. I completed it (mostly) in 2016.

I’m really bad about taking time to reflect and remember things, whether it’s a period of time, an event, a book. I was thinking about the year, and I decided I needed some guidance. I found a series of questions online, and I thought it was kinda fun.

What did you do in 2016 that you’ve never done before?

I went to Austin and saw a bunch of bats fly at dusk. I traveled for work like a true grown-up. I saw the Grand Canyon! That was super rad.

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Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn’t really make any New Year’s Resolutions. At least that’s not what I called them. I said I wanted to read more, do more yoga, and unplug more often. Check. Check. And I’ll work on that last one.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Nope! I have like-minded friends.

Did anyone close to you die?

Harrison’s grandmother died. I had only met her once, but that still sucked. Hopefully, everyone close to me will also make it through this year unscathed.

What places did you visit?

Austin, TX

Arizona- Sedona, Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest.

Atlanta, GA

NYC

What would you like to have in 2017 that you didn’t have in 2016?

Clear skin. I’ve never had that at any point in my life, though. I’m not holding my breath.

What dates from 2016 will be etched in your memory forever?

August 7th – My brother’s wedding

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July 17th– This was the night I ugly cried solidly through the first 3 songs at Adele’s concert in Denver.

June 12th– The shooting at Pulse Nightclub

May 12th– The night I went to a celebration of Prince’s life at Film on the Rocks at Red Rocks. Some of the best musicians in Denver played his songs, and my dad recited the whole movie as we watched it.

What was your biggest achievement this year?

Sticking to something. Yoga. It’s been a long time since I found something I wanted to dive into so much.

What was your biggest failure?

Maybe that the cushion in my bank account shrunk quite a bit. Moving was expensive, and I also need to get my shit together on that front. I’m working on making some spending changes like meal prepping to avoid eating out so much and making coffee at home in the morning instead of buying it.

Did you suffer from illness or injury?

Only a stress-induced cold, and I think I broke my pinky toe for about the 5th time.

What was the best thing you bought?

It’s a tie between my yoga mat and my yoga membership for sure.

Where did most of your money go?

Food. Always food. This is why I need to make some changes, people. Please don’t invite me to dinner.

What did you get really, really excited about?

Every show I went to this year whether it was music, comedy, theater. Live entertainment excites me every time.

Also, yoga.

What song will always remind you of 2016?

Purple Mothafuckin’ Rain.

I wasn’t born when it originally came out, okay!!

Compared to this time last year, are you a) happier or sadder, b) thinner or fatter, c) richer or poorer?

I am happier for sure.

Can we stop asking people about weight gain or loss, please? It isn’t everything. Love yourself. How about I’m basically the same size, I’m healthy, and I’m a lot stronger. Seriously, feel my biceps.

I’m probably poorer unfortunately. Maybe richer if we consider my 401k. At least I still contribute that that thing.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish I had continued to look for a new job. I get lazy and complacent very easily because job-searching blows.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Work. I have a lot of vacation time in the bank for a reason.

How did you spend Christmas?

Harrison and I went to New York to visit his family where I met a very racist aunt. That was almost the most uncomfortable experience of the year. But the rest of it was nice. We hung out with his family, went into the city a few days. We went to the Whitney Museum (of course). We saw Chris Gethard’s one-man show, which is incredibly moving. Thank goodness he is a human who exists on this planet. The last night of our trip, we went to a show at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater where Janeane Garofalo happened to be on the line-up! Janeane!!!! I love her.

What was your favorite TV program?

Ah shiiiittt… So many. I love television. Stranger Things. Duh. You’re the Worst is hilarious. The Night Of. Ah… so good. Season 2 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was SO funny.

What was the best book you read?

“Furiously Happy” by Jenny Lawson. Hands down.

What did you want that you got?

A good yoga mat.

What did you want and not get?

A new tattoo. Maybe this year.

What was your favorite film of 2016?

Room was excellent. I also just saw Fences. Holy shit. Amazing. Viola Davis is phenomenal in that movie.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

30, bitches!!! I took the day off work. Harrison brought me breakfast, we went to a Yin Yoga class, saw a movie, and had dinner with my parents.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

If Hillary Clinton had been elected instead of that almost illiterate shit stain on humanity, this year may have only been a small dumpster fire rather than the explosion of rotting garbage it was.

Who kept you sane?

Harrison. It’s always Harrison.

Who did you miss?

I miss my friend who is in law school in Cleveland all the time. She’s one of the smartest, toughest, and sanest people I know.

Who was the best new person you met?

I’m bad at meeting people. #introvertproblems

I think a few of Harrison’s comic friends are pretty cool.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.

This is an excerpt from a post about yoga from a few months back. I’d say this about sums it up.

“What I’ve realized in the last few months is that being nice does doesn’t mean that you can’t have boundaries, and being open is not same thing as being naïve. Being happy does not mean you can’t take time to recognize the unhappy feelings. Being positive does not mean that you can’t also be realistic and logical.”

Show us one of your favorite photos from the year.

This isn’t a great picture, but this was a special experience. This was a vigil held at Cheesman Park in Denver at the shooting at Pulse Nightclub. They were expecting about 50 people, but even through the rain, the crowd of people who gathered to send their love to Orlando was incredible.

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