Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My 2013

2013 was actually not such a bad year. I mean, they all have their ups and downs, but compared to 2011 and 2012, this year was stellar in comparison. I'm jumping on the bandwagon and doing a year in review.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before? 

Visited NYC, participated in a Walk of Hope, rescued a pup, ate Brussels sprouts, put up a fake tree after I said that would NEVER be something I would have in my home.

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

I honestly don't remember if I actually wrote any down or made a list. I pretty much always have goals, and I've been rolling some around in my mind for the past week. So whether or not I'll share them or they'll be "official," there will be things I'm working on.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? 

My best friend from high school and quite of a few of my internet pals.

4. Did anyone close to you die? 

We lost my 95-year-old grandmother in May.

5. What places did you visit? 

NYC, Western NY, Illinois, Ohio, and Seattle.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013? 

Better physical and more in savings.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? 

February 1 - my best friend told me she was expecting. 
March 29 - Grandma passed. 
September 22 - we adopted Sparrow. 
November 18 - found out my sister is pregnant. 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Recognizing that my best friend's pregnancy threw me for a loop and I needed to return to therapy. I also worked really hard on a project at work and was named as a recipient of a company-wide award for it.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I always feel like I can do something better. I could have been a better employee, I could have been a better wife, more patient with the dogs, and I could have been healthier with eating and exercising. 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I've had 3 colds in 4 months, which is really weird for me, but other than that I've been lucky to be pretty healthy.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

We took some proceeds from the sale of my grandmother's home that we were gifted and invested in new windows for the house. It's horribly boring (compared to, say, the new flooring I would have preferred), but it's a wise investment in our home. Also, NEW WASHER AND DRYER! I also found a red wool coat by chance - I've been looking for one for quite a while. I also got some makeup that I'm pretty jazzed about.

12. Where did most of your money go? 

The mortgage and the windows.

13. What did you get really, really, really excited about? 

PJs at TJs, being asked to be the Arizona Affiliate chair and WoH co-chair for Resolve, my friend's baby (though I was initially very distraught and conflicted, the pure excitement did eventually come), seeing friends in NYC and IL, the weekend getaway Buddy and I took a couple weeks ago. 

14. What song will always remind you of 2013?

Carry On by Fun. It was used in the NIAW video one of the #75strong ladies made. 

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

a) happier or sadder? Happier - finally!
b) thinner or fatter? I'm actually thinner - I'm starting 2014 about 7 pounds lighter than 2013
c) richer or poorer? About the same.

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

Honestly? Intimacy with my husband. It's still something we struggle with, but it's something we both agree will be a focus in 2014. Also, baking and decorating cookies. I miss doing them, and the fact that they're time consuming and messy needs to not be an excuse, because I genuinely do enjoy them.

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

I admit I didn't always deal with my feelings in healthy ways. I'm back in therapy and have some health-minded goals to turn that around.

18. How did you spend Christmas this year?

On Christmas Eve, Buddy and I had dinner with friends and then went home and watched Christmas movies. On Christmas Day, we made breakfast and then both sets of parents came over. We had roast beef, crab legs, potatoes au gratin, and asparagus and opened gifts. Everyone left by about 5 and then we hung out together. It really was just perfect.

19. What was your favorite TV program?

Pretty much anything on the Food Network.

20. What were your favorite books of the year? 

I really liked the Divergent series, Gone Girl, and Await Your Reply. Oh, and Wally Lamb released a new book, We Are Water, which I also enjoyed.

21. What was your favorite music of the year?

I actually really liked a lot of the Top 40 stuff, especially for listening at work, but I mostly stuck to my hard rock tendencies. 

22. What were your favorite films of this year?

Catching Fire, The Muslims Are Coming. We really didn't see that many new movies.

EDIT: I totally forgot that my friend, Kelly, took me as her guest to screenings of both Kings of Summer and The Spectacular Now and I really liked them both. 

23. What did you do for your birthday in 2013, and how old were you? 

I turned 32, and Buddy threw me a surprise party.

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

I wish I would have been able to take the news of my friend's pregnancy with nothing but happiness. I struggled a lot with feelings of guilt and sadness, and I think if I could have just embraced it, I would have been happier overall. 

25. What kept you sane?

My husband, as always. He is my rock. Also, the #75strong ladies, and my friends both IRL and virtual. I've been blessed with some really wonderful people.

26. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

Time really does seem to heal. I always thought that was cheesy, but it's true. Time fills your heart with peace and your life with things that make you feel fulfilled and dull the woes. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Geeking Out

This week has been very Resolve-centric. In a GOOD way. On Tuesday night, I met with the current AZ affiliate chair and two representatives from the professional community to discuss the Walk of Hope. I was just amazed at how well she knows these folks and is so in tune with the goings-on of the community. I feel like such a newbie to volunteering, but I know that will go away in time as I hit my stride. It was just really interesting to hear the comments and concerns of the local professionals. As a no-longer-patient, I feel like I'm in a good place to hear what are sometimes contrasting views and bring my ideas to the table. I think we stand to forge great relationships with the nursing staff, and I'm excited to explore that.

On Thursday, I had my kick-off meeting with the folks at corporate and my co-chair to discuss sponsorships and volunteer needs. The development manager is new since the 2013 Walk, and I think she's bringing in some really great ideas to bring the community together - there has been some perceived alienation of the adoption professionals in the past and we all agree that a goal this year is to create a "one community" feel. I think a lot of what she's suggesting will work towards that. Again, I felt like an ultra-newb, but it lit my fire to learn all I can so I can be just as knowledgeable as soon as possible. And I'm going to need it, as I've been tasked with handling the professional sponsorships.

Yesterday, I met with a local student business organization who has agreed to help us with developing a marketing plan for the Walk. What's really interesting is that they go to a relatively conservative school, and there were quite a few questions about ART. Understandably, none of them have heard of us - why would they? Most college students are trying to AVOID pregnancy, and with a conservative student population, I imagine that many of them are not even worried about that. So it felt like good practice for me to talk about what I know and give them a top-level understanding of what Resolve aims to do and how it serves it market from the perspectives of support, legislation, and education. I'm really excited to see what they come up with and how they propose we reach parts of our community that weren't well represented at last year's Walk of Hope. We have a goal of signing up 400 walkers (up from 250-ish from last year) to honor Resolve's 40th anniversary, and I think a marketing plan could be an amazing tool to get us there.

I feel like I have a to-do list a mile long, but I'm really excited. I think this is a really good fit for me, even though there's a lot I have to learn. Everyone starts somewhere, right?