Dear Friends and Family,
2013 will end in about 12 hours and, frankly, I can't wait to see it end. The fact that I'm writing this 12 hours before the end of the year and days after Christmas pretty much sums up my year - always a couple of steps behind.
2013 pretty much sucked. Ah, after two stellar years that was bound to happen. It's not just me. I mean, Helen Fielding killed off Mark Darcy! Bridget Jones had a rough year too.
Traditionally I use this annual letter to share some highlights from the year, my travels, etc. This year more than ever I learned to appreciate perspective and appreciate that there are millions of people in the world who would love to have my first world problems. I'm lucky, blessed, whatever you want to call it. In the name of perspective, I'm going to share my top ten "little victories" or interesting moments of 2013. Sure, I feel like the year pretty much sucked overall, but some good / fun things happened so I want to focus on the good:
10. I found a home for yet another homeless cat that came in to my life. Yay for Sally the kitty cat!
9. The river in my city had its 100 year flood, flooding my basement. I didn't totally lose my mind over this like I would have a few years ago. Sure, I had to rip out much of the basement carpeting, I'm sure the basement has mold that will never go away and the whole thing sucked but, what can you do?
8. Proving I am my father's daughter, when I sliced my finger open with a very sharp, fancy knife I decided duct tape and gauze would have to do the trick since I have no first-aid kit in my home. That worked for about a day and then I decided stitches were in order. Here's a picture of my drive to urgent care:
7. I went hiking for the first time in Tucson and managed not to accidentally tumble down the mountain or in to a ravine. I wasn't really wearing proper hiking attire but, I don't own hiking attire so I figured a cute The North Face fleece and my running shoes would work.
6. In 2013 I did not overdraw my checking account. Not even once. Sure I had to reapply for my job and go through three months of torture not knowing if I would come out of the process employed, but when all was said and done I ended up making more money and am finally finding myself in a place where I am starting to feel financially secure. In fact, I even bought a new sectional! If you've been to my home and been subjected to my horrific old couch (which was an oversized love seat) and chair you'll know what a "luxury" this is!
5. I trained for and completed two marathons. Sure, I gained about 20 pounds in the process but at least I didn't gain 30. Seriously, I'm the only person I know who can train for two marathons in one year and GAIN weight.
4. I won a major award! OK, not really a major award but an award nonetheless! It was for making a healthy lifestyle change by becoming a runner (even though I did gain those 20 evil pounds this year). Total surprise and pretty darn cool.
3. Flew on a plane with US Rep. John Boehner. He and his two Secret Service agents were flying coach, just like me! And yes, he really is this tan:
In fact, he was wearing an orange sweater - which made him look even more, well, orange.
2. My home value increased. Sure it was by $300 but at least it is moving in the right direction. Of course this may be because....
1. My neighborhood is no longer full of hillbillies and drug dealers! It's true! A totally normal young couple bought the house two doors down and paid close to what I paid for my house! The hillbillies are gone! There are no more break-ins (knock on wood)! And, to top if off, my favorite brewery is setting up shop within walking distance of my house. Things in my 'hood can only keep going up!
That's my 2013 in a nutshell. Sure, I'm ending the year a little more jaded than I started, but I did learn more than ever the importance of looking for the "silver lining" if you will. Also, I learned I wear a lot of pink. In fact, I'm wearing pink right now. I definitely want to make some changes in 2014 but I will definitely keep wearing pink!
Happy New Year! Welcome, 2014!