Year in Review: 2015

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?

I went on an overnight backpacking trip to the Enchantments in June (recap). Before this, I had only ever been car camping, and this was much more work. So worth it for the views, though!

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

I think I did a bit better than last year, at least...

  • Use all my vacation time

Last year I lost eight days, because I had maxed out how much could get carried over into the following year. This year I'm "only" losing two.

  • Buy a new car

Finally! I traded in my 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser for a brand new 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek. I love it! My phone automatically connects over Bluetooth and starts playing audio as soon as I start the car, and the adaptive cruise control is like magic. I started paying for parking at work, so now I spend my mornings commuting with podcasts like Comedy Bang Bang, Womp It Up, Nerdist, Best of Friends, and Not Too Deep with Grace Helbig. It's pretty perfect. So long Petey the PT, and hello Monica the Subie. (She's named Monica because I was listening to Best of Friends on my car's first mini road trip, and I had a minor freakout when I spilled my chai latte in a cupholder.)

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

Done! My therapist (and others) helped me weigh all the different options, and I finally made a decision. In May I started classes toward a Master's in Accounting at DeVry's Keller Graduate School of Management, and I just finished my fourth of 11 total classes. While it is fairly expensive, I went this route instead of a more traditional school since they own Becker and the CPA test prep classes count toward course credit. Also, there was no need to take the GMAT, they waived any other admissions tests, and they gave me a scholarship. It's going well so far, and pretty soon it will be time for the CPA exam...

  • Keep my condo tidier

Nope... I got really busy in June, and things went downhill from there.

  • Read 40 books (or 14,000 pages)

Nope. Mostly due to starting school, since it seems like if I'm going to read, it should be a textbook. But also, it's way easier to distract myself with Netflix, and I'm in the middle of re-watching the entire X-Files series, in preparation for the new season in January.

  • Go to at least one new country

Nope. After deciding to start school, this plan got put on hold for now.

  • Go to at least one new state

Not this year.

Yes, I will make more resolutions for 2016. (And they're here!)

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yep, two! Adrian had her son Ellis on March 4th and Katy had her son Murray on October 12th. Both are too cute!

Also, two of my cousins had babies: Taylor had her son Clark in April and Shauna had her daughter Brooke in September.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Nope. (Phew.)

5. What places did you visit?

Arizona twice, Oregon and Florida.

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

This year was a little better on the dating front (fewer first dates, more fourth, fifth, etc. dates), but I'm getting tired of it. So, is a boyfriend too much to ask for...?

7. What days from 2015 will you always remember?

June 17 when I turned 30. August 27 when Marshawn Lynch randomly showed up at the Getty summer party. November 9 when I was at work for 27.5 hours straight for our Oracle project launch. 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Pulling the trigger and getting started on my fifth year of school to be able to take the CPA exam. I put it off for far too long because I was always busy, but the fact is that there's never a good time, so I couldn't keep waiting for it. And I'm not doing too bad either, considering how hectic work has been (3.75 GPA)!

9. What was your biggest failure?

Probably the state of my condo. I don't think it was ever in a state where I felt comfortable having people over, except maybe at the very beginning of the year. Hopefully next year will be better.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

It honestly seemed like I was always getting hurt this year. Did I suddenly become a huge klutz? Among more minor scrapes and strains, I sprained my neck working out, sprained my ankle on a hike, got nailed in the knee by a softball, fainted twice, and, most recently, had my bloodiest injury of all time. (I will probably think of that last disaster at every Seahawks game from now on, but I am glad to know I have friends who will step up and keep me from freaking out.)

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I bought too much. The best thing was probably my flight to Florida for October to visit Mariana, especially since that trip was perfectly timed in the middle of work craziness. I was so unbelievably stressed out in November, and it would have been 10 times worse without that trip! #manateezetherapy

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

No idea, honestly.

13. Where did most of your money go?

Other than the downpayment for my car, it went toward backpacking/hiking gear, but at least I won't need to invest in that stuff again for a long, long time.

14. What did you get really excited about?

The Seahawks beating the Packers in the NFC Championship. Getting a really good (for me) pace in a 10k in June, even though it was mismarked and wasn't actually a full 10k. Buying my new car, and driving it constantly.

15. What song will always remind you of 2015?

Probably "Clearest Blue" from the new CHVRCHES album "Every Open Eye," since it's awesome and their live show was pretty memorable.

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

a) happier or sadder? Sadder.
b) thinner or fatter? Probably about the same (unfortunately).
c) richer or poorer? Poorer due to tuition payments.

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

Cleaning, organizing, and getting my condo in a state where I actually like it.

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

Spending my money on unnecessary things, like parking lots instead of paying for monthly parking and fines from not paying bills on time. I had a $15 toll bridge bill go up to $140, no joke. I need to do a better job at tracking that kind of thing.

19. How did you spend Christmas?

On Christmas Eve, we went to my grandparents' house for dinner, as usual. I love that this is a tradition we continue, even as the family grows exponentially. This year there were 40 people (including the babies) in the small rambler, and 26 people in the cousin (and cousin's kids/significant others) picture alone. Stephanie's boyfriend Ryan went with us, so I started getting the questions about when I would bring someone, too. Sorry, but don't hold your breath, Grandpa.

Christmas was spent at my parents' house. We opened presents and drank cran-orange mimosas all morning, and my cousin Jobie came over for breakfast and to hang out. After that, I watched some Christmas movies (A Christmas Story, Elf, Home Alone 2, etc.) and kept drinking mimosas. Grandma and Grandpa had dinner with us that night, and were thankfully pretty mild on the racism front. And no one mentioned wanting to vote for Donald Trump!

20. What was your favorite TV program?

Wow, did Master of None come out of nowhere or what? I watched it twice within two weeks, and it is still just as good the second time.

As for older shows, I may have rewatched all of Friends in its entirety three times (plus many, many random episodes), and I went through all of The X-Files once, in preparation for the new season's debut in January.

21. What was the best book you read?

The First Bad Man by Miranda July. What a wonderfully weird creature she is to have written that book, which I immediately added it to my list of all-time favorites. No, it isn't for a lot (or even most?) people, but for everyone else, I actually felt inspired while reading her articulate and insightful sentences (in between the ones that made me shield my Kindle's screen from roaming eyes on the bus).

"If you were wise enough to know that this life would consist mostly of letting go of things you wanted, then why not get good at the letting go, rather than the trying to have?"
"I wondered how many other women had sat on this toilet and stared at this floor. Each of them the center of their own world, all of them yearning for someone to put their love into so they could see their love, see that they had it."
"You will eat, you will laugh at stupid things, you will stay up all night just to see what feels like, you will fall painfully in love, you will have babies of your own, you will doubt and regret and yearn and keep a secret. You will get old and decrepit, and you will die, exhausted from all that living."

22. What music did you get excited about?

I loved Courtney Barnett's Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit and listened to it on repeat during the spring. I also finally understood why Sleater-Kinney is awesome, first with their new album, and then more so with The Woods and some older stuff. I wasn't really looking forward to the new CHVRCHES until I heard it (I got kind of burned out on their first one), but it was somewhat (read: very) awesome, too.

23. What did you want and get?

As mentioned above, I wanted to buy a new car, and I did! It had always been my goal to do this by the time I was 30, and I waited a couple months longer, but I think it still counts.

24. What did you want and not get?

I wanted tickets to the Super Bowl in Arizona, and even went as close to the stadium as possible (a nearby Greek restaurant charging $400 for a seat inside), but tickets were between $6,000 and $12,000, so that wasn't going to happen... 

25. What was your favorite film of this year?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens! I mean, obviously. I wore an R2D2 Christmas sweater to the showing, and was pretty bummed not to find Star Wars leggings in my size, too. During the movie, I could not stop smiling when Han and Leia each showed up, and I loved all the references to the earlier movies. I'll probably see it in the theaters another time or two.

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

For the first time ever, I took the day off from work, but I left my wallet on my desk, so I had to stop by the office that morning (looking really cute, too.........). My parents and I went up to the Alpental area for a gorgeous, sunny hike to Snow Lake, followed by Trailhead IPAs at the car and dinner in Magnolia at Palisade. That weekend I planned another celebration with friends, and it was fun to see multiple friends groups in one place! We started at Reuben's Brews, and then went on to the Waterwheel for cornhole, ping pong and karaoke. I was so surprised by how many people came, and felt so lucky to have found them all! (Longer recap here.)

27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

I was a little too casual in 2015, honestly. I wore sweatshirts to work more times than I should have (despite our general lack of a dress code), and hardly ever wore shoes with more than a half-inch heel. Most days I either wore my beloved brown oxfords, or the black leather Vans I got for my birthday.

28. What kept you sane?

I ran a lot more this year, and really enjoyed it when I was able to get out consistently. It was nice to be able to take a break from school and work, and zone out while listening to podcasts.

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

Steven Hauschka. I may or may not have a picture of him looking so model-like in red pants saved on my phone. And John Krasinski, always.

30. What political issue stirred you the most?

Guns. Fuck those guns. The gun control debate needs some serious attention and action ASAP. I'm tired of seeing news reports about mass shootings every few weeks.

31. Who was the best new person you met?

I'm not sure if I knew Lynn last year, and if I did, it wasn't well at all. We started hanging out mostly doing trivia, and then gradually started hanging out a bit more during the softball season. She got me to join her Ragnar Relay team, which was amazing, and we did a few other runs together, as well. And she just started working a few blocks from my office, so now we can be lunch buddies! 

32. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.

Time and circumstances change things, and it's best to be adaptable rather than dwell on the way they used to be. It's not healthy or productive, and can actually be damaging, whether with work or relationships.

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

I'm on the outside of love
Always under or above
Must be a different view
To be a me with a you

I wanna know what it's like
On the inside of love
I'm standing at the gates
I see the beauty above
I wanna know what it's like
On the inside of love
Of course I'll be alright
I just had a bad night
Nada Surf - Inside of Love