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.

dads make life better

I meant to post this for Father’s Day last year, but I somehow missed it. And here we are again… another year gone by… another year of my Dad being awesome too.

My friend Nichole’s birthday celebration was the week before Father’s Day last year, and it was such a good time. She got her family and friends together for drinks and wings and dancing. I got to meet her dad who I think is just too sweet. He was dancing with all of us and told me how nice it was to meet me. I realized how important it is to meet people’s parents.  They help you understand your friends better.

Nichole’s dad has several daughters. I think dads with daughters know what’s up. Men who have girls learn so much about what growing up as a girl is like, and those men ultimately watch their daughter turn into a woman. I think watching daughters grow up makes most fathers into better people.

And I was thinking about this the weekend of Father’s Day. I like when my life lines up like that. I got to meet Nichole’s dad, and he reminded me how great dads are.

And look at my dad when he was in high school!

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What an 80s hunk.

He’s gutted his whole house to make it pretty – the house in which all of us kids were/are being raised – and took a photo with us even though he was sweaty and gross. It’s okay; we love him that way.

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Now look at his herd of kids (plus a grand baby)! The photo below was taken almost two year ago. We need a new one with my niece in it. Mom and Dad did a heck of a job. My Dad not-so-secretly loves having adult children to meet up with at the bar. I have a theory that he had so many kids just to grow a bunch of friends.

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2016 in review

1.What one event, big or small, are you going to tell your grandchildren about?
When I shot my first deer.

2.If you had to describe your 2016 in 3 words, what would they be?
Sisterhood, Charlie, and Affinity.

3.What new things did you discover about yourself?
I’m a decent bartender because I know a little bit about a lot of subjects.

4.What single achievement are you most proud of?
I put almost $2000 into repairs for my car plus paid off my car loan.

5.What was the best news you received?
I got a raise.

6.What was your favorite place that you visited in 2016?
Allegany State Park.

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

My observation skills and common sense.

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

9.Which new skills did you learn?
Tending bar, PagePlus (software), new chords on the guitar, cutting shoots off a plant, training a stubborn dog, treating a sprained knee, laying laminate flooring, and more.

10.What, or who, are you most thankful for?
Charlie Horse. A walk with him transforms my mindset.

11.If someone wrote a book about your life in 2016, what kind of genre would it be? A comedy, love story, drama, film noir or something else?
Rural underdog flick.

12.What was the most important lesson you learned in 2016?
A little raise goes a long way.

13.Which mental block(s) did you overcome?
At the beginning of 2016 I lost 15 lbs. I thought I¬†was on my way to my goal weight. I lost the motivation though and became stressed again. I didn’t let it completely tear me down.¬†I stayed confident in myself.

14.What 5 people did you most enjoy spending time with?
Rachael, Emily, Mia, Dad, and Nora.

15.What was your biggest break-through moment career-wise?
I started taking on more marketing projects. I designed literature and photographed products.

16.How did your relationship to your family evolve?
I had to remind myself to stop into the house on Thacher St. I met¬†my parents for drinks once or twice a week. Also, Mike graduated and joined the Navy… three out of six of us are out of the house! Having¬†Nora around has made it a little more fun to get together and hang out. She turns 1 on January 4th!

17.What book or movie affected your life in a profound way?
I read two books that reinforced what I have come to believe¬†about life. One¬†was Maybe in Another Life¬†and the other was¬†Back When We Were Grownups.¬†Both stories show¬†how a person’s life can go in a variety of directions. One choice can change the trajectory forever, but thinking about how things could-have-been is not helpful. Happiness is the outcome of¬†so many different story-lines. Hindsight can’t truly prove that you’re decisions were wrong.

18.What was your favorite compliment that you received this year?
I will reiterate what I wrote last year: “I should start writing down the compliments people give me.”

19.What little things did you most enjoy during your day-to-day life?
Walking Charlie Horse // kissing Nora // music

20.What cool things did you create this year?
I finally worked on the painting of Mia swimming that I started almost two years ago. Also  I used up some cotton yarn to make a little blanket.

21.What was your most common mental state this year (e.g. excited, curious, stressed)?
The first half of the year, I was optimistic and really creative; the middle was stressful; the last part of 2016 was a combination of being tired, proud, and motivated for a new year.

22.Was there anything you did for the very first time in your life this year?
Shot a deer.

23.What was your favorite moment spent with your friends?
Camping with Rachael and Charlie and Jude at Allegany State Park. We just laid on the beach and played with the dogs and hiked 12 miles – no biggie.

24.What major goal did you lay the foundations for?
I helped out a lot with the modified high school volleyball team and it reminded me how much I miss the sport. I think I would like to continue coaching that level. Also, I realized how much I want to get back in shape.

25.Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary?
Automobile repairs. Although, “unnecessary” is a strong word. It is what it is.

26.What experience would you love to do all over again?
Dancing in the rain at the bar during the Strawberry Moon.
 

27.What was the best gift you received?
Dad got me a travel backpack for Charlie which I’m very excited about.

28.How did your overall outlook on life evolve?
I realized that I love living in my hometown. It’s such a beautiful¬†town. I love that I can walk my dog down the street and let him run around off leash along the river. ¬†I ¬†like to think that my 12-year-old self would be interested in the life I live now but also kind of confused. My overall outlook is that I don’t need to impress other people, but I have to remind myself that almost daily.

29.What was the biggest problem you solved?
Check engine light.

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?
Oh my gosh I laughed so hard at Rachael for something just a few weeks ago. She just said something without meaning to be funny but I found it gut-bustingly funny.

31.What purchase turned out to be the best decision ever?
I don’t have an answer for this, but on December 27th I had my nose pierced. So far it’s been a good decision. No issues yet.

32.What one thing would you do differently and why?
I probably spent too much money at the bars. Which isn’t really that much, but over the summer I had stopped drinking for a few weeks and it really improved my state of mind.

33.What do you deserve a pat on the back for?
Remaining confident in Charlie’s training capabilities.

34.What activities made you lose track of time?
Walking, training, or snuggling with Charlie.

35.What did you think about more than anything else?
The Blue Tuscon.

36.What topics did you most enjoy learning about?
I’m still learning a lot at the tile factory, but I most enjoyed practicing the guitar.

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

38.What advice would you give your early 2016 self if you could?
Don’t stop dieting. Don’t settle.

39.Did any parts of your self or your life do a complete 180 this year?
I think a 180 is building up but nothing happened in 2016.

40.What or who had the biggest positive impact on your life this year?
The other girl I work with at the factory is constantly telling me how good at my job I am. She is so supportive that I sometimes feel like I don’t deserve it.


What do you want the overarching theme for your 2017 to be?
I think perseverance worked well for 2016. Persistence was critical to some of the struggles I faced. For 2017, I’d like my theme to be ADVENTURE.

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

Who do you want to spend more time with in 2016?
My grandparents.

What skills do you want to learn, improve or master?
Painting, photography, music.

Which personal quality do you want to develop or strengthen?
Still applicable: “I have a hard time giving people orders while at work. I feel self-conscious about needing things from people.”

What do you want your everyday life to be like?
I would like to awaken refreshed. I would like to exercise often. I would like to share more with other people.

Which habits do you want to change, cultivate or get rid of?
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 still want to do as much good as I can in my current position. However, I have been considering asking a  few people for their input and advice in regards to careers. I also really want to explore ways to make money online. I do love my hometown and small town life. I should take advantage of the possibilities of online work.

How do you want to remember the year 2017 when you look back on it 10/20/50 years from now?
I want to remember 2017 as the year I lost 40 lbs.

What is your number one goal for 2017?
To act out of love.

summer 2016

the summer of tiny toads migrating from the river to the backyard
the summer of my car being past due for an inspection
the summer of training Charlie in the driveway
the summer of no rain
the summer of fleas
the summer of having no money
the summer of puppy play dates
the summer when Norie was 8 mo.
the summer we put down a laminate floor
the summer Brody called me every Saturday to go fishing with him
the third summer since graduating college
the summer of my twenty-third year