Reflections on 2016

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 2016 that you’d never done before?
I went hut-to-hut hiking in the Alps with SMS!  It was awesome!  I would love to do longer, multi-day treks in the future.  But for our first time out, the 2 day-1 night adventure was great.  On the second night, we ended up in a hostel but I don’t quite count it as part of the hike since we ended the day on trains and buses to get there!
2.  Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Professionally, I am doing well in transitioning to a successful academic career.  I have a great project and applying for grant money.  Even if I don’t get the grant, I am well-situated to start the study and I’m looking forward to completing it this year.  That’s my big goal.
Personally, I wanted to broaden my writing endeavors.  This definitely took a back-burner to work. I’m completing a hybrid classroom-online three class sequence and that ended up taking a lot of time since May.  Currently, I’m taking two classes and that is a lot of reading and writing.  One class ends this January so I will re-evaluate my writing goals then.  
I still aspire to be a Renaissance woman and want to work on a variety of different skills.  It’s a little dilettantish but I enjoy trying lots of things!
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Babies are starting to blur.  I have a lot of friends with babies who just turned one or are about to. They are all very cute!  I’ve just always been bad with birthdays!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
US (Colorado, several road trips including a cross-country haul!)

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
Publications! (repeat)

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Etched might be a little strong since I had to confirm in my planner (ha, ha) but memorable days included-
1/8/2016: Our friend Melinda’s wedding, which we photographed!
2/14/2016: Seeing the “Firefall” in Yosemite and climbing the 5-pitch “Nutcracker”
3/6/2016: Napa Marathon and qualifying for the Boston Marathon!
5/16/2016: Beyonce in concert!!!!
7/1-7/17/2016: Switzerland trip
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I feel like I’m doing a good job at having a great marriage between two people who are very dedicated to their careers!
9. What was your biggest failure?
Getting over work-related disappointments and realizing there is more than one way to achieve professional happiness.   (To be clear, this is a failure that I’m trying to turn into a positive, if not a success.)

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Plane tickets! (repeat)

12. Where did most of your money go?
Travel, rent, savings (repeat)
13. What did you get really excited about?
I really get excited about vacations.   This is basically a paraphrase of last year’s answer!

14. What song will always remind you of 2014?
The Hamilton soundtrack, “Sorry” by Justin Beiber (shameful!), “Cake by the Ocean” by DNCE, “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse/Mark Ronson, “Wagon Wheel” by Darius Rucker, “Parachute” by Chris Stapleton

15. Compared to this time last year, are you: 
– happier or sadder? Happier
– thinner or fatter? A little fatter, which marathon training will hopefully remedy!
– richer or poorer? Richer (continuing to save)
16. What’s one thing you wish you had done more of?
Exercise more consistently.  As the marathon gets closer, I’m going to figure out a post-race workout plan that works for me.  I spent too much of this past year getting just enough exercise as not to get completely out of shape.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Phone-scrolling.  It has to stop.  
18. How did you spend Christmas?
We had a great day in San Diego!  I ran 14 miles, we got breakfast and then we hung out with SMS’ side of the family for the day.  We had an incredible turkey dinner and I feasted!  (Sounds classier than “pigged out.”)
19. What was your favorite TV program?
Orphan Black.  Amazing!  We also liked Mozart in the Jungle and Westworld.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
Fiction: Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
             Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Cleave
                   Thanks for the Feedback by Heen
                   Just Mercy by Stephenson
                   When Breath Becomes Air by Kalanithi
21. What was your favorite music from this year?
Chris Stapleton, the Hamilton cast
22. What were your favorite films of the year?
Hell or High Water

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
36. We had an amazing day of wine-tasting in Napa.  We stayed at a great Airbnb and had a great weekend trip with my parents!

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More La Croix water.  Ha, ha.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
Scrubs and business professional with some running outfits mixed in!
26. What kept you sane?
SMS and my family!

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
That America has a serious problem in that there are many people who feel so disenfranchised and left out of the American Dream that they are willing to risk it all for change.

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