life

Year in Review: 2014

A friend of mine does this survey on her blog every year, and I decided to adopt it for mine. Here goes…

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

Went to FOUR new states, saw the Seahawks win the Super Bowl(!!!), played on an Underdog kickball team, and started going to a therapist.

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

You may recall my resolutions post. I didn’t do very well…

  • Go to at least six book club meetups

I think I went to one? I decided that group probably isn’t for me, because so many of the people in it are already close, and I just feel like an outsider every time. They are friendly and inviting, but it’s just too exhausting.

  • Read 40 books (or 14,000 pages)

I only read 22, and one of those was an audiobook that I listened to while driving back and forth from Vancouver. For some reason I just couldn’t get into any books between June and August…

  • Keep my condo tidier

Well, I did better at from the end of October through the end of the year. But before that? Yikes.

  • Visit a new state

Check! New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Utah.

  • Visit a new country

I had hoped to go to Iceland, but the Super Bowl trip derailed that idea. I am 100% planning to make good on this resolution in 2015, though. (More on that in a later post.)

  • Figure out how to get my 5th year of college credits, in order to take CPA exam

Still figuring this out… At least my manager is starting to bug me about it again, so hopefully I’ll figure it out soon.

  • Study for and take the GMAT

I studied twice, but this kind of fell off the to do list when Bea moved to Spain and our study group disbanded.

And yes, I’ll make a few resolutions for 2015, also.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yep! Lindsay had her son Tyler, and a cousin had a son named Aiden. Now another cousin is pregnant, as well as Adrian!

In other news, the book I started reading on 12/31 was I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales from a Happy Life Without Kids by Jen Kirkman. It’s a little repetitive, but she makes some good points.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes, my grandma.

5. What places did you visit?

New York City, New York; East Rutherford, New Jersey; places around Tampa, Florida, as well as Crystal River and Key West; Tucson, Arizona; Portland, Oregon; Salt Lake City, Utah.

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

More of a sense of “belonging.”

7. What days from 2014 will you always remember?

February 2 when the Seahawks won the Super Bowl. March 17 for the craziest St. Patrick’s Day of all time.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Seeing a manatee (#manateeze). And also finishing a year-long project at work.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not keeping my condo clean for most of the year. It was a symptom of another issue, but I’m glad that my space is tidy now and in a condition where people can actually come over to visit.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had the flu at the beginning of the year that seemed to last for like three months. So, that was fun.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Super Bowl ticket. Also, a grown-up (queen-sized) bed and mattress.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Hmm, not sure. Richard Sherman?

13. Where did most of your money go?

Seahawks tickets and related expenses (airfare, beer, etc.).

14. What did you get really excited about?

The Seahawks winning the Super Bowl (am I sensing a pattern?), visiting Mariana in Florida, and that project at work finally (FINALLY) ending.

15. What song will always remind you of 2014?

I listened to Sharon Van Etten’s “Serpents” more than any other song (according to Last.fm), so I suppose that one?

16. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Probably happier, but not by much.
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter.
c) richer or poorer? Slightly richer. Not quite time to buy my Lexus baby yet. (And, honestly, I should probably spend my savings on school.)

17. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish I’d read a bit more. (See resolutions question above.) Also, there are some friends I didn’t see or keep in touch with as often as I’d have liked.

18. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Going on first dates. I am so ready to delete Tinder, OK Cupid and Coffee Meets Bagel once and for all, but they’ll remain installed for now…

19. How did you spend Christmas?

As usual, we spent Christmas Eve with 30 others in my grandparents’ tiny house and had a buffet-style dinner. We’re officially short on chairs now, and my sister and I both sat on the floor. We started one new tradition, though, and hopefully it gets bigger next year. A few of the cousins brought presents for a white elephant gift exchange, and I “ended up with” moonshine maraschino cherries. They are delish, and will go so well with the cherry grenadine I have.

20. What was your favorite TV program?

I finally got over my fear of American Horror Story, and I’m so, so glad I did. It’s amazing! Sarah Paulson deserves all the awards.

21. What was the best book you read?

Station Eleven by Emily St. Mandel was awesome. I couldn’t put it down and told everyone I know about it.

22. What music did you get excited about?

Jenny Lewis finally released a new solo album, and it didn’t disappoint at all. So good. St. Vincent’s new album was her absolute best yet, and I’ve been binge-listening to it a ton lately. Also, I finally saw her live for the first time in seven years and it was incredible.

23. What did you want and get?

A positive experience from putting myself out there and joining a kickball team. That decision was one of the best I made all year.

24. What did you want and not get?

I put an offer on a house and didn’t get it, but I’ve since decided to just stay in my condo.

25. What was your favorite film of this year?

I didn’t see too many movies this year. Gone Girl was probably the best, but, honestly, I think the only other ones I saw were Her and The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies. Can that be right?

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

Went to work, and then the entire finance department went to the Mariners game. (The date was a coincidence; I swear I didn’t plan it that way.) People bought me beers and shots, and that ended very poorly. I somehow managed to drag myself to the Pink Door for dinner with my family, where I didn’t consume anymore alcohol. And I turned 29… Eep!

27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?

Greys with a few pops of color. Dark jeans.

28. What kept you sane?

Therapy.

29. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head, but it’s a pretty big loss that Ryan Gosling is off the market now.

30. What political issue stirred you the most?

This will make me sound like a terrible person, but I try not to follow this kind of stuff too much. I know it’s important to at least have opinions, and I do to an extent, but I hate debating and I would prefer to keep them to myself.

31. Who was the best new person you met?

I made some good new friends (Drew and Mitch) through kickball, and now we’re the core of a trivia team with a lot of others who rotate in and out. I also started hanging out with Christina, and that’s been fun, too.

32. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

I understand much more how I can do better in social situations. I thought I was more extroverted than I actually am, and it’s just too overwhelming for me to continuously go to Meetups where there are always new people. I am more comfortable at a party or whatever if there’s one or two friends there that I can use as sort of an anchor. I might branch out and talk to new people, but I need someone I can go back to, otherwise I feel awkward, nervous, and out of my league.

33. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

The beginning of the year, anyway…

I feel so lonesome, I could cry
But instead I’ll pass the time
Sitting lonely with somebody lonely too
Well, there’s nothing in the world I’d rather do

Are you lonely, too?
Are you lonely, too?
Hi-five! So am I

- Angel Olsen, “Hi-Five”

Summer in Seattle

I kind of feel like I’m trying again. I’m at least doing more, and maybe this is an anomaly inspired by the long streaks of gorgeous 80-degree days, but I’m pretty happy about it. I’ve had a busy few weeks, and during them have spent time with some great people who make me feel liked, appreciated, and included, which is something I’ve lacked recently, both socially and professionally.

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View from my tent at Lake Sylvia

My sister and I have been getting along a lot better and spending more time together than we have in recent memory. Maybe it’s because she isn’t dating anyone and has more time and drive to focus on others, but I’m glad she lets me tag along with things like camping trips and Big Brother viewing parties. We went to Lake Sylvia at the end of July with a couple of her friends, and even though the weather wasn’t great, we had a nice time drinking beer, wine and prosecco. Plus, she introduced me to Kubb, which is an awesome game that’s kind of like bocce ball meets lawn bowling. And I’m kind of good at it. And, of course, I taught them Turkey My Mayo.

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Green Lake with Stephanie and Austen

We also went floating on Green Lake (like, all day) another weekend! We need to do this again, for sure. Booze, music and water? What more could anyone need?

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Post-CHVRCHES selfie

A couple weeks ago was the CHVRCHES show at Showbox SoDo. I was a little iffy on this day as it was happening, but I think it was good in the long run. The evening started out with me feeling self-conscious (why didn’t people want to watch the Seahawks pre-season game with me?!) and ended with being annoyed by the fans at the show and car2go complications. But, I got to see JDH for the first time in a while and watched some of the first Seahawks game since the Super Bowl with the person I went to the Super Bowl with (and against the same team). Christina and Capri left pretty soon after the show started, but not before Capri used her spiky bracelet to edge out some annoying girls who were pushing against me. :)

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Pete Lake

Last weekend, I went camping at Salmon La Sac with more of the same awesome people. It was great being out in the fresh air, next to the river, and my little dog didn’t even really mind the big dog who was there (maybe because everyone kept giving her people food). We decided to go on a hike that we thought was six miles round-trip, but turned out to be closer to nine. Thankfully it was fairly flat, with a lot of up and down both ways. When we got back, everyone was exhausted, and we quickly made dinner. People started dropping off and went to bed, but a few of us watched the Perseids meteor shower from the riverbank, which was cool for a former astronomy nerd like me. I got a flat tire on the way back, but thankfully Raj was there to help!

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Trivia winnings!

On Tuesday, after going on a disaster of a run in Capitol Hill with Christina (disclaimer: it was only a disaster because I’m slow and don’t know how to run on hills), I met up with a couple kickball friends for trivia near my condo. And we dominated!

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JDH and I in the sixth row

My uncle won four (awesome) tickets to a Sounders game, and they were offered to me. I don’t love planning things, because I’m never sure what the response will be, but I know I need to make that kind of effort, if I want it to be reciprocated. (Sometimes easier said than done.) Well, Capri, Christina and JDH snatched up the other three super quick! On the day of, Christina couldn’t make it, but the rest of us had a fun evening!

I don’t have pictures of some other things (Friday breakfast date with Christina, subbing for kickball, beer lunches, etc.), but I’m so happy to spend time with and get to know these people better. It’s been refreshing to have this positivity around when it’s so easy to focus on what’s hard or lacking in life. And sure, it’s also a little exhausting keeping busy, especially after being so work-focused, but this weekend I finally get to sleep in, recharge, and take care of things I’ve neglected during the fun. And then I’ll be ready for more!

Hum de dum

I’m not sure why, but I’ve been feeling sort of anti-social lately, and when I try to be social, I don’t feel fully present. So, what have I done since Bunnarchy? Not a ton…

Last week it was really, really nice for two days, and I spent them solo. That was sort of by choice, sort of not. I suppose I didn’t make a huge effort, and was mostly fine spending time with my Kindle instead of people. I was sort of tired of trying: trying to be pleasant, trying to make small talk, and trying to be interested. Being alone was just easier, and I wanted easy.

The last time I did a Meetup event was a brunch over a month ago. Since then, I’ve skipped a wine and book swap and a book club discussion (granted I didn’t have the book with me for the latter, and hadn’t read it in eight years). I just couldn’t convince myself to go. I kept overthinking how hard I thought it could be, even though the other events I’d gone to had been mostly fine. I’m planning to go to a happy hour/free movie Meetup next week, though, so we’ll see.

I have spent more time with my kickball team, including going to a party with a few of them for someone on their other team. I met some cool people there, but didn’t really feel like drinking too much, so I didn’t feel very fun toward the end of the night. (I did stay longer than I said I would, though, so that counts for something, right?) I appreciated being invited and included, though, and they’ve talked about adding me to that team, as well. (If that happens, I’m going to have to play a lot better than I did in our last game!)

I went to two Sounders games in the last week, but that’s a little deceptive with regards to how social I was. The first game on Saturday was a last-minute thing and extremely wet. I was super hungover from a work party the day before, so I didn’t have any alcohol and went straight home after the win. Yesterday I went with a friend and her co-workers, meeting up beforehand at Elysian. Her boyfriend was with her and we didn’t get much of a chance to hang out, but I did talk a lot with her boyfriend’s friend. She and I were kind of the outsiders there, and it turns out we had a bit in common!

So, I hope I start feeling differently about being putting myself out there soon. I wonder if I just got burned out from making so much of an effort in late March/early April, and maybe a quick trip to Arizona this weekend will help. Fingers crossed!

Alcohol + Socializing + The Common Cold = A Worse Cold

Last week was a strangely packed week, and I may have drank alcohol five out of seven days. Sorry, liver. In my defense, I didn’t drink enough for a hangover on any of those occasions, so I’m calling that a small win. However, I told myself I wouldn’t drink beer specifically until my trip to Florida, and I did. Twice. (Or three times, if you count ginger beer?) I started feeling like I was getting a cold on Tuesday, and that was definitely true by the following day. But I had things to do and people to see, and no cough was going to stop me! It wasn’t even that I felt that sick, I just sounded like it. So, I went along with my plans and made a few others, and now I’m in bed with a sinus headache and a trashcan full of Kleenex. Oops!

Sunday:

I wasn’t sick this day, but I’m including it, since it was part of the week o’ drinking. I forewent wine with dinner, but then had two glasses with my sister: first at Hot Cakes (where we got molten chocolate desserts) and then at Bastille. Serious wine for serious talks.

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Monday:

As mentioned in my last post, I went to a meetup of the book club I joined last summer after work on this day. I was the only loser not drinking beer, and had just one glass of wine, despite the 5 for $10 Sessions special. Luckily, that wine was enough to get me to loosen up with these people I’d only met once or twice (or never, for a few).

Tuesday:

Since I felt like I was getting sick, I went straight to bed after work and finished House of Cards on my iPad. No alcohol that day, and lights out before 8:30pm. (P.S. House of Cards is worth a shot, if you are looking for something to watch.)

Wednesday:

Again, as I mentioned before, I decided to bring it back the monthly ladies-only happy hour after work. I think 12 people made it, including myself, and it was good to socialize in a different setting. And that time I wasn’t weird for only drinking wine! I had two glasses, but could barely talk by the time I got home because my throat hurt so much. Apparently wine doesn’t have the same soothing effect as whiskey.

Thursday:

I was supposed to go on a date, but I canceled to try to get well… I was pretty disappointed about that, and need to get it rescheduled.

Friday:

At this point, I really thought I was getting better. I still had a cough, but by the end of the day, it didn’t really seem that bad! I had a beer at lunch (due to peer pressure), and then I made plans to meet my friend John after work. We talked a lot about our jobs over Guinness (him) and a Moscow mule (me). We were going to meet up with some other people afterwards, but ended up going somewhere in Ballard for karaoke instead. I knew I couldn’t sing because of my voice, but I’m always up for watching people butcher random Disney songs. (Why do people always sing Disney?) I had one Rainier there and, again, at the end of the night, my throat was toast. But at least it was the weekend!

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Saturday:

I stayed in bed until the last possible second. I had until 6pm to pick up my race packet/sweatshirt for the 5k I signed up for, and I got there at 5:52pm. Since I was already out and about, I decided to get a hot toddy nearby, to see if that would help my throat. It may have done the trick, because it has felt pretty good since then! However…

Sunday:

…while my throat/cough were a ton better, my sinuses were screaming. Aside from getting a coffee at Starbucks, I didn’t leave the house all day. I played Candy Crush, watched old episodes of How I Met Your Mother, had a phone date with Mariana, and tried not to suffocate. I can’t believe I entertained the idea of doing the 5k that day, and I’m so glad I didn’t. If I was already worse, I can’t imagine how I’d have felt after running for the first time in months in 30-something degree weather!

I supposed I need a moral to this story, and sadly it might be that drinking when sick, even if you feel mostly okay, is a bad idea. Still, I’m glad I was able to have conversations with people, and it probably saved me from a few mopey evenings at home. I might not actually retain this lesson, but maybe someone else will learn from my bad example.