2017 year in review

1.What one event, big or small, are you going to tell your grandchildren about?
Getting my ACL reconstructed and hobbling around on crutches.

2.If you had to describe your 2017 in 3 words, what would they be?
Busy, productive, revealing.

3.What new things did you discover about yourself?
I’m capable of swerving around awkward situations a lot better than I used to be. Turns out, if you actually have to converse with people, you learn some things.

4.What single achievement are you most proud of?
I found a house and put an offer on it and purchased it.

5.What was the best news you received?
My answer last year: I got a raise. My answer this year: I got a raise.

6.What was your favorite place that you visited in 2017?
I think it was seeing my friend Nancy in NJ.¬† We hadn’t seen each other in awhile, and it was a joy to be together again.

7.Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year?

Patience. I injured my knee, and after waiting months for it to heal, I finally had the MRI and found out I would need surgery.

8.Who was your number one go-to person that you could always rely on?
My mama.

9.Which new skills did you learn?
I’ve been cooking a few different things.

10.What, or who, are you most thankful for?
I’m immensely grateful to my Mom for encouraging me to buy my house.

11.If someone wrote a book about your life in 2017, what kind of genre would it be? A comedy, love story, drama, film noir or something else?
Unfortunately, I think it would be a stupid ABC Family drama. I had a lot of shit going on with my sister/roommate. We still aren’t on good terms.

12.What was the most important lesson you learned in 2017?
For most of 2017, I was very happy. I didn’t feel quite so lost. Life happened to me, but it was good. There were tears and stresses and weight gain and weight loss and fights, but I think I’m learning how to be happy and fulfilled.

13.Which mental block(s) did you overcome?
Physical Therapy was mostly a mental exercise. There were so many times when the therapist told me to do something, and I had to think so much just to do it. I think the knee surgery, overall, was the most mentally taxing experience of the year. I was off work and trying to relearn how to walk and not eat my feelings and not do things that would mess up the healing process.

14.What 5 people did you most enjoy spending time with?
Nora, Nancy, Rachel, Rachael… my bar regulars.

15.What was your biggest break-through moment career-wise?
I had a really great review that resulted in an acknowledgment of all I do at the company, and I felt really encouraged.

16.How did your relationship to your family evolve?
I spent a lot of nights with my niece. Between working and watching her, I didn’t go out that much. My sister and I put a lot of strain on our relationship while living together. I had hoped to move out in 2017, but didn’t until 2018. I still have a long road ahead as far as mending that relationship. My brother got married so now he’s off living his life. My parents and I still get along really well.

17.What book or movie affected your life in a profound way?
I read a book called Keeping Faith that was very good. I wouldn’t say that it affected my life in a profound way. I really should blog more so that I can remember these things.

18.What was your favorite compliment that you received this year?
I get a lot of compliments while tending bar. One of the older guys in the least creepy way possible (I swear) told me I look “sophisticated and sexy” in my glasses. That still makes me laugh… my mom said the same thing about my glasses. Another of the older guys said I’m very pleasant, level-headed, and intelligent. I wish I could remember any other compliments that were a little more meaningful, but I have really enjoyed working at the club.

19.What little things did you most enjoy during your day-to-day life?
Witnessing Nora learn all her words. Good meals. Good coffee.

20.What cool things did you create this year?
I painted a bunch of pieces to do a show at the local gallery. I hope to have a little studio space in my house soon.

21.What was your most common mental state this year (e.g. excited, curious, stressed)?
I was pretty chill most of 2017. I sort of just rolled with everything. I planned a couple of trips. I applied for a coaching job and then I found out about needing surgery. Then my car needed more work.

22.Was there anything you did for the very first time in your life this year?
Had major surgery.

23.What was your favorite moment spent with your friends?
Seeing Anastasia on Broadway with Nancy.

24.What major goal did you lay the foundations for?
The knee surgery really upped my motivation for getting to a healthier shape.

25.Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary?
When I first thought about buying my own place, I was absolutely concerned about the money. It turned out to be completely unnecessary because between my two jobs, I’m doing fairly well. My house was very cheap and I plan to renovate and remodel to increase the value.

26.What experience would you love to do all over again?
I know I’d love to NOT have an allergic reaction to a wasp ever again.
 

27.What was the best gift you received?
I got a projector for move nights. ūüôā

28.How did your overall outlook on life evolve?
I think this sums it up.

29.What was the biggest problem you solved?
My living situation.

30.What was the funniest moment of your year, one that still makes it hard not to burst out laughing when you think about it?
I drove a couple guys home after my shift, but I was starving so I stopped at Burger King. Some stupid shit ensued. It still makes me laugh.

31.What purchase turned out to be the best decision ever?
Honestly, I bought mesh laundry bags, and I can’t believe I used to do laundry without them. #adulthood

32.What one thing would you do differently and why?
I don’t think I can answer this until I’ve really addressed the issue with my sister.

33.What do you deserve a pat on the back for?
Keeping my finances in order through almost two months without work.

34.What activities made you lose track of time?
Working.

35.What did you think about more than anything else?
It’s a toss up between my knee surgery and buying a house.

36.What topics did you most enjoy learning about?
Gambling. Haha. I do love bar conversations.

37.What new habits did you cultivate?
Walking almost every day.

38.What advice would you give your early 2017 self if you could?
Go to the doctor and get your knee looked at!

39.Did any parts of your self or your life do a complete 180 this year?
I was definitely less concerned about money in 2017. I just had better control of it (plus a little more of it). Also, my main financial goal changed from paying off my student loans to buying a house.

40.What or who had the biggest positive impact on your life this year?
I think this was my mom. She was supportive through all the sister drama and she helped me find a house and encouraged me to do it. She’s the best.


What do you want the overarching theme for your 2018 to be?
So last year, my theme was adventure, and that actually ended up pretty accurate. I think I would like my theme for this year to be relationships. Personal relationships, work relationships, familial relationships. One thing I’ve learned already this year is that living on my own gives me a little more push to be with friends. I’m so introverted so it’s rare for me to recognize that need, but I think it’s good that I want to spend more time with people.

What do you want to see, discover, explore?
Maine. Still Maine.

Who do you want to spend more time with in 2018?
I’m not sure. Maybe everyone.

What skills do you want to learn, improve or master?
The guitar has already been super helpful for me this year. I have been practicing almost every night to help me get through some stuff. It’s a great distraction, and people already love my voice so I would love to be able to play well.

Which personal quality do you want to develop or strengthen?
Understanding.

What do you want your everyday life to be like?
I have been working so hard on my morning routine the past couple of months. I truly feel like I’m making better habits. I hope to continue working on this part of my everyday life.

Which habits do you want to change, cultivate or get rid of?
STILL ACCURATE: I have some nervous habits I’m really trying to get rid of altogether. So hard to do.
What do you want to achieve career-wise?
I want to do things that have been talked about but never accomplished.
How do you want to remember the year 2018 when you look back on it 10/20/50 years from now?
I’d love to say I went on a great vacation or that I paid off my student loans or that I lost 40 lbs. I’d love to look back on 2018 and say I met my husband. I just hope I have good times to remember.
What is your number one goal for 2018?
To meet more people
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trip to nyc 4.28.2017

Trip number two of 2017: visiting Nancy and seeing Anastasia on Broadway.

Trip number two was a long time coming. I’m not a huge NYC fan, but I needed to see this show. Also, I hadn’t seen Nancy in maybe two-ish years. We bought tickets 4 months in advance for the opening week of Anastasia on Broadway . Nancy and I grew up on this movie and made everyone watch it for a Newman movie night in college. Obviously, we were ecstatic about it becoming a musical. So I drove to Jersey and stayed at her family’s house for the weekend. Nancy took me to some of her favorite restaurants. I got to chat with her family. We got pedicures too before we took the bus into the city – which is super affordable and super nauseating. I haven’t had motion sickness like that in a long while. It was worth it; the show was amazing. The set was beautiful. The characters were interesting. The music! The music was and is wonderful. We also found this neat salad chain called Chopt (which my company made glazed brick for several months later – so that’s cool). We went to the Central Park Zoo because I love zoos and will always pay to go watch animals all day long. Trip Rating: Excellent.

trip to boston 3.17.2017

Trip number one of 2017: St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Boston to see Dropkick Murphy’s.

This was the first trip of the year, and it was one that I wasn’t sure I wanted to make. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to save the money and go. I decided I would if we got a hotel and weren’t going to go too wild for St. Patrick’s. It was a perfect weekend trip. We got breakfast at a little corner shop and walked from there through Chinatown down to the Aquarium. We had a late lunch at an expensive seafood restaurant right on the water, then headed to the concert – which was awesome. On the way home we stopped at Howe Caverns which is as awesome now as it was when I was in eighth grade.

hollering

Then there was that time I went to Pollywogg Holler for the first time, but it was the place I always used to wonder about when I was little because my mom took me there once for some sort of art show.

I have vivid memories of this place. I must have been seven or eight the first time I went. Needless to say, it’s a pretty neat place hidden in the woods.

The band that played Wednesday was very good, as was my Yuengling, and it started to pour just as we got back to the road in the pitch black.

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allegany state park

Highlights were:

  • swimming in the lake and yelping like an idiot (even though i’m not supposed to)
  • hiking 10 miles to an inaccessible firetower (still cool, excellent trail)
  • sleeping in a tent with hannah and rachael and jude (who needed his crate to sleep – so the crate was put in the tent with everyone)
  • spending a good chunk of sunday wading around in the lake and retrieving

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3 Ways to Find Peace

After a while, I start to wonder if the things I think and write down are redundant. It’s like Groundhog Day or 50 First Dates, every day I come to the same realization and that gets me to the next day. Then I wake up and have to convince myself it’s okay all over again.

Not much changes. I mean I’ve had a few minor revelations over the past few months. I’ve learned some things about how to be a better friend and how to communicate better. I’ve been able to see the flaws in others but¬†still¬†care for their needs.

But, my car still has the same problems it had three months ago, and my weight loss plateaued again. I still hang out in the same places with the same people without meeting anyone new.

When I say I have to reassure myself everyday that this is just one phase of my¬†life, I’m not exaggerating. I lay down at night and say¬†to myself, “It will not always be this way” when in¬†reality, it – life- is never the same. From first grade, to second, from freshman year volleyball to junior year softball to college¬†sophomore fall semester to spring rugby to final semester of college to driving an hour to work for ten months to working in back in town for a year. Life’s path is not unchanging.

It sure does feel like it, though, when the bills are due, and you have just enough to get through the next two weeks; the progress you’ve made in behavioral training seems to have evaporated¬†out of your dog’s head; the repairs for your car keep getting pushed back even though your inspection’s up, and on top of all that cops are being killed, priests are being killed, children are being sold as sex laves, and the only people the U.S. can come up with to be the face of the free world are Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton.

What gives, Mortal Existence? What do I do with all this?

There really aren’t very many good answers here on earth other than practicing love. I balance the negative thoughts with the good and always try to fall asleep feeling at peace.

So here I am again, trying to answer my own questions. I’m trying to write the advice¬†I need to read. The best answer I have for overcoming a¬†lack of peace is yoga and prayer and children.

  • Let your worries go and play with kids. I’ve always been one for embarking on¬†small adventures. Having small children around who get excited to go take a hike or play in the river with you brings youthfulness back into your heart.
  • Surrendering¬†your physical¬†presence in some¬†form of activity: yoga, biking, swimming, whatever distracts you from your mind and focuses on being. An evening bike ride in the dark makes me feel like a million bucks.
  • When your chest feels weighed down¬†and you can’t breathe or think straight, you have to give it all up. I give it up to God, but if you need to give it up to the universe or the earth, you go ahead and do that. Give up your thoughts and emotions in prayer. Today, I prayed out loud¬†for the first time in awhile. I asked for peace and then I cried. I felt pretty darn good after that.

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first fish of 2016

Sunday around 2:45, I decided to take my cousin, Brody, to the river to try to bring some trout home. Charlie came with us and was very confused as to why he couldn’t go after the bait himself.¬†I think it was maybe 36 degrees. I wasn’t sure whether the river had been stocked yet, but I caught¬†a nice 13 inch trout in after only a couple of casts.¬†Brody was pumped-and nice enough to take a photo for me. Charlie wanted to know what the heck the fish¬†was doing flopping around in the grass.

I used¬†a brown and red spinner to pull the first fish in, but Brody’s bright green spinner didn’t weigh as much. He struggling to cast it so we switched rods. We walked the river bank for two hours and didn’t get any more fish, not one. Apparently, the river is not¬†stocked yet, and I caught the lone survivor¬†of last year’s release. Brody was such a trooper and very cold by the time he had had¬†enough.

I did bring my catch home. He was too nice to pass up on those fillets. I used¬†this video tutorial to fillet him. Hopefully, the river is stocked very soon. This past weekend was supposed to be the last of cold the weather. It’s downhill from here! Here are my mental notes from the mini fishing trip though.

  1. I should have worn my rubber boots.
  2. A net would be handy but it’s not absolutely necessary.
  3. It’s cold. Where gloves.
  4. I should bring a stringer next time.
  5. I really need to invest in some women’s outdoorsy pants.

I’d love to find pants that are brush resistant and waterproof but fit like a jogger. Most hunting and fishing clothes are tailored better for men.Yesterday,¬†I was out there in my purple Maurice’s jeggings, The North Face winter hiking boots, Field & Stream Hoodie, Columbia fishing vest, and a crocheted headband. I was quite the fisherman.