Reflection on 2015

Since 2011, I’ve used this list to help reflect back on the year.  I really enjoy looking back while preparing to move forward.  So…

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

Lived in Silicon Valley!  SMS and I really enjoy the area!  Oh, that gives me a corollary- I have paid a higher rent than I ever thought possible/reasonable for an apartment that wasn’t tiled in gold.

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

I wanted to have a better appreciation for time, “to use my time more as a gift, rather than something to waste or let go mindlessly.”  I did fairly well but started to slip towards the end of the year, especially in regards to mindless web surfing. I plan on recommitting this year because the days can feel long, but the years are short!

I have two big resolutions this year.  First, I would like to transition to a successful academic career and to do that, I need to follow through on my projects and start publishing.  Presentations alone aren’t enough!  My second is to broaden my personal writing- I’d like to start writing more and produce something tangible.  Ideally, I’d like to write a novel but there’s a long way to go between here and there.  But I just read that progress is the audacity to dream big and the discipline to start small!

I also have a few smaller goals that are not terribly creative, but I have them in my planner as gentle reminders.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Oh man.  The babies are coming!  My sister-in-law and my brother had their beautiful baby boy!  One of my really close college friends had a baby girl!  Both couples gave each child a beautiful name!  Several Facebook friends (whom I genuinely like and consider friends, we just mainly keep up through Facebook) had babies and many more are on the way in 2016!

4. Did anyone close to you die?


5. What countries did you visit?

Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Cambodia

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


7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

2/10/15: Sapporo Ice Festival
6/20/15: Leaving Japan for the second time
12/23/15: Great Christmas with my family, minus Joe and Nicole

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Doing my best to optimize my fellowship.


9. What was your biggest failure?

Not understanding the Navy game and being surprised at a fairly obvious outcome for my next job assignment.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I’ve been having some minor injuries during my marathon training.  The biggest one was recently when I strained my shin muscle and made it way worse by skiing on it.  I’m getting back into running today after 8 days off (yikes!).
11. What was the best thing you bought?

Plane tickets!

12. Where did most of your money go?
Travel, rent, savings

13. What did you get really excited about?

Travel!  Exploring places with SMS and taking advantage of the #explorearoundyou ethos, inspired by my friend Emily.

14. What song will always remind you of 2014?

Unfortunately for SMS, “Hello” by Adele made a late year, complete stuck-in-my-head appearance.  I also discovered The Turnpike Troubadours this year and I love them!

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? Happier
– thinner or fatter? A little thinner, mostly stable
– richer or poorer? Richer (continuing to save)

16. What’s one thing you wish you had done more of?

Same as last year, meditate!  I’d like to work on giving myself some space between action and reaction.  Sometimes my opinions come out more forcefully than is helpful.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
I’m getting better, but I’m really going to focus less on time-suck websites and spend my evenings productively- otology studying, language training, maybe a self-defense class?
18. How did you spend Christmas?

SMS and I had a relaxing day after coming back from Colorado the day before.  We exchange gifts, hung out and went to Star Wars that evening.  It was pretty awesome!

19. What was your favorite TV program?

I really didn’t watch TV this year.  I watched one episode of Sons of Anarchy, which seemed cool but as SMS said, “[Did I] really want to start a series that would give me nightmares?

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

Click here

21. What was your favorite music from this year?
Turnpike Troubadours, new Brandon Flowers

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
I don’t watch a lot of movies either and this year seems a little Sci-Fi heavy: The Martian, Star Wars and Ex Machina.

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

35. SMS made dinner for me and we had a low-key evening.    I couldn’t take off work because I had to make up the time for our later-in-the-month incredible vacation to Thailand and Cambodia.

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

Current job satisfaction.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
Slightly uneven.  I’d like to work on refining my everyday style.

26. What kept you sane?

SMS!  He’s a great listener and really helped me through some tough (for me) times.  Sometimes he can be unflinchingly honest which can be hard in itself but it always makes me reflect and commit to personal improvement.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
Prestigious institutions have their own internal issues and appearances can be deceiving.  This isn’t exactly a new realization but one that was reinforced this year.


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