Thursday, December 29, 2016

17 for '17

1. Learn to relinquish control over things and try to be less stressed about it. Wear my necklace and my mantra bands.

2. Do two yoga workshops.

3. Read 20 books.

4. Not feel like I overate too much over the holidays when next year's NYE rolls around.

5. Help Owen learn the alphabet and some basic math since he's obsessed with numbers.

6. Help Owen to learn to swim better.

7. Save money for our house projects, mainly the electrical ones.

8. Work on the outdoor landscaping.

9. Do a low buy in January and in July.

10. Go on a family trip at some point, even if it's just a staycation.

11. Save up for better season tickets for both the theatre and hockey.

12. Pay only in cash for Adam's MBA.

13. Make 1-2 extra mortgage payments.

14. Make 1-2 extra 4Runner payments.

15. Save more money for Christmas this year.

16. Do at least one class per month for myself (yoga or barre).

17. Be more generous with my time, money and friendship.

2016 Year In Review

*If you had told me on January 1 that all of this stuff would happen, I'd have laughed in your face. This year was ridiculous in nearly every way.*

1. What did you do in 2016 that you'd never done before?
Bought a house! this was the big, exciting change we had this year although it was in many ways frustrating, anti-climactic (I was expecting the HGTV closing and ours was so lame), and really stressful.  

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I sucked. Totally sucked.  Yes, will make new goals for next year and try to not suck as much. 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes and no? I mean I'm kind of in that stage of life where lots of friends are having babies.  

4. Did anyone close to you die?
A wonderful friend from our church passed away this year.  

5. What countries did you visit?
none this year, which makes me really sad.  This will probably be the same answer in 2017.  

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you didn't have in 2016?
more mental peace, which I hope in turn will bring me more and better sleep.  I spent a lot of nights having trouble sleeping or having totally awful dreams.  

7. What dates from 2016 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
June 14th, we closed on the house
October 26th, Adam was laid off

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
I got certified to teach interval bootcamp style classes last December and it significantly changed things for me because I am now able to sub for almost any type of class.  I spent a lot more time at the gym teaching people, which meant a lot more income for me.  Since we treat most of my yoga money as fun money, it meant a lot of really cool things for us, like season tickets to the theatre and partial season tickets for Dallas Stars hockey.  

9. What was your biggest failure?
Handling stress.  

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
My foot bothered me for the entire year, off and on.  It's in a better feeling period of time now so I don't want to wax on about it but I do not recommend going to the type of physical therapy that makes you cry because of the pain on the week your husband loses his job. 

11. What was the best thing you bought?
The two packages of season tickets. 

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Adam, who handled his lay off like a champion, started school and got a 4.0, worked his butt off and is just an all-around A+ individual.  

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Trump voters.  And anyone who thinks they "voted for the babies" when they voted him.  I unfriended/unfollowed a lot of people this year.  

14. Where did most your money go?
The house, new furniture for the house, paying off Adam's undergrad loan and I just added up how much money we saved this year toward the MBA and I'm kind of shocked.  We crushed it and hopefully can pay for the entire degree (minus any company tuition reimbursement (fingers crossed) in cash). 

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
not living in our horrible former house anymore with our HORRIBLE HOARDER NEIGHBOR

16. What song will always remind you of 2016?
I just heard on the radio that Twenty One Pilot's "Stressed Out" was the number one this year and that is JUST SO APPROPRIATE.  

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
a) way sadder
b) way, way fatter
c) neither.  we hope Adam is back at work by Feb. 

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
cried or just generally being sad or angry

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas was a lot like all of the other holidays of 2016 (Easter was cold and rainy, Owen had an eye infection on Halloween, my dad got sick on Thanksgiving) and we had 35 people RSVP and either cancel last minute or just not show up to our Christmas Eve tamale people so I went to bed crying.  I would like a refund on the 2016 holidays. 

21. Did you fall in love in 2016?
with our house and especially our fireplace

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Mr. Selfridge's.  We started watching it on Prime and it is a delight. 

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Oh yes.  Basically any of the higher ups that are still at Adam's company.  I also have had a hard time reconciling people who I really feel abandoned by.  It's been a hard year and it's funny how people disappear from your life when the times get hard. 

24. What was the best book you read?
I started a bunch of stuff this year and didn't like much of any of it so I'm not sure that I finished an entire book? Maybe I read one when we went to Phoenix in Feb but I cannot remember. I didn't do any book clubs and I've just had such a terrible headspace for getting lost in a book this year. 

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
St. Motel Radio on Pandora

26. What did you want and get?
a new house and lots of beautiful new furnishings that we saved up for years for 

27. What did you want and not get?
a trip out of the USA, a job for Adam before the holidays

28. What was your favorite film of 2015?
The Secret Life of Pets, we took Owen and all loved it

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 35 this year on a Monday.  I did my normal teach two classes in the morning and teach two in the early evening.  Adam had a final presentation at school that night so I ate pizza and watched TV. It was just appropriate and I had no expectations for it being special this year, so there was no disappointment. 

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Adam getting a job sooner.  I almost said not getting laid off but I think that being away from that dumpster fire is going to work out just fine in the future, even if it did make the last two months of our lives suck a little more. 

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2016?
"I just came from class and therefore am wearing workout wear"

32. What kept you sane?
craft beer (and this is why I am way way fatter this year) 

33. What political issue stirred you the most?
We went to the G W Bush library and I cried.  I'd give anything to have that man back and I was not his biggest fan while he was in office.  It was just a simpler time.  

34. Who did you miss?
friends that live too far away. my grandmother. 

35. Who was the best new person you met?

maybe this is a part of my problem.  I'm going over new friends in my head and I knew all of them before 2016 so I think a goal will be to have a really good answer for this next year.  

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
I really don't know.  I am not sure I learned any life lessons through the house buying or layoffs.  I knew in both instances that being in the middle of it would suck but it didn't make it hurt any less or feel any less stressful.  I just spent a lot of this year being really sad about things I couldn't control, despite knowing that I wouldn't always feel that way.  I guess, if anything, this year reinforced for me that time does heal wounds.  I'm also trying to take away from this year that I need to let go when everything is spiraling out of control around me and try to just ride the wave to wherever it takes me. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

2016 in progress

I was telling someone about LASIK yesterday and came back here for my full write up to send along and was confronted by the reality that I have done NOTHING on my to do list.  So, here we are on 10/25 with how things are shaking down and my excuses (WOMP WOMP WOMP).

1. Be more present. I even got a bracelet to remind me of it.  my bracelet fell off because I was dumb and bought the turquoise one even though it was made with the string instead of leather. I think it lasted until April. I don't think it helped me to be more present. I've probably done worse than ever this year. 

2. Get another certification this year.  This is probably not happening in 2016. I got pretty close to doing a Plyoga certification but we had some unfortunate stuff going on this month so I didn't want to commit the money at the time. 

3. Read 35 books.  um. I don't think I've read a single book this year. I don't even have a good excuse.  I've wasted way too much reading time reading about this stupid election. 

4. Not feel like I overate too much over the holidays when next year's NYE rolls around.  So, we've come to one that I can manage to not screw up, right? Ha. No. It's not even the holidays yet and I am far heavier than I want to be. It's awful. I spent October stress eating like a moron. 

5. Do a yoga workshop.  I have made no time for this. I don't even have a good excuse. 

6. Run two half marathons.  Once again, I've made no time for this. My foot has been nagging me for a bit but I haven't put in any mileage. I haven't even run a 5K. God, this list is so depressing. 

7. Expand my garden, especially tomatoes.  OOOH OOH I have a good excuse for this one! When I wrote this, we had no intention of moving. Then in January we decided to make that happen this year so I did only container gardening for the most part. The new neighborhood has terrible squirrels so I won't be doing anything other than herbs for the unforeseeable future. 

8. Leave the country, at least once.  I just had no idea how expensive an MBA would be. My dream of going abroad once a year has been crushed. 

9. Redo our guest room.  I DID ONE THING ON MY LIST YES! 

10. Help Owen learn the alphabet.  Ha. I suck. Still holding out hope that school will handle this for me. 

11. Do a no buy for the month of June.  In June we moved and I spent many, many thousands of dollars so HAHAHAHAAAAAAAA.  But I did really well from end-April until we closed on the house June 14th. 

12. Pay off the student loan and not have to finance anything for Adam's MBA.  So far, so good! Although I was just so naive about how much school was going to cost.  Everything extra has gone to the MBA this year. 

13. Save some of my yoga money this year.  I can't say I've done exceptionally well with this because I have no liquid savings to speak of that consists of yoga money but we have upped the contribution to my IRA and I started the non-profit equivalent of a 401K through the Y, so technically I am saving 10% of my pretax income so this was a draw. Really, this actually should go in the win column because I am pretty sure I will double my income in 2016 over 2015.  I spent a lot of it but at least the savings is all going straight to retirement. We also used yoga money for some really awesome stuff this year like theatre season tickets and a share in Dallas Stars season tickets. 

14. Start attacking the 4Runner payment.  This is another instance where the money required for the MBA program has squashed my dreams. (sob!)

15. Stay within the monthly budget every single month and use overage for travel.  Ha. My goodness I sucked at this.  I have to do better next year and also figure out how to deal with the fact that our water and electric bills were tripled since moving.  We moved into 700 extra square feet and now have an actual yard with a sprinkler system and paying double utilities for a month was really tough on my budgeting.  We also had to pay to transfer almost every type of service to the new house, that SUUUUUCKED.  

16. Fully fund Christmas by October 31st.  I have 6 more days to do this and it is just not going to happen.  However, I made HUGE strides.  I'm probably halfway done with shopping and I have a significant budget in both November and December to work with so even though I didn't quite get there, I think we will finish the year feeling even better than we did in 2015.  

I would like to take a brief moment and mention that about a month after this was written, we completely changed our goals and decided to buy a house a year early.  So it's not all doom and gloom.  We'll have a year of payments under our belt (including 2 extra principal payments) by the time our original date to purchase a house rolls around.  We had all of our savings to furnish the house and stayed really, really close to budget while transforming our lives.  We're infinitely more happy in our new home and new neighborhood so I'm basically joking about not meeting all of my goals.  I had no idea what was in store for us when I was looking ahead to the year.  There is always 2017 for half marathons and yoga workshops and certifications.  We also had a lot of added stress this year.  I'm working double what I was before, Owen has been in school 3 days a week all year instead of 2, Adam started school and has had a promotion and a TON of work related stress to deal with, we MOVED which takes so so so so so so so much time.  It has been a wonderful and incredibly rewarding year but also a year of immense change and at times, struggles for all of us.