Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Toward 2014

Thank you to my friend RL for posting this on FB today.

Last month in my ProGen course we made a list of our clients and time-sucks.  Who or what was most important in our life and what was keeping us from it.  I made my list of my "clients", starting with family and friends, then work, followed by education/professional development and hobbies such as traveling, reading and genealogy.  Finally, at the end of the list, I added myself.  An afterthought, really, and, as a new mother with a new job and not enough hours in the day or energy to make the most of them, I realized that that is how I have been treating myself, the most important "client" I have.

I have never been one for New Year's resolutions; I instead prefer to pick a word for the year, such as explore or renew.  I think I first read about this in The Happiness Project and over the past few years it has provided a focus that a resolution cannot.  This year, based on the above paragraph, it seems like the obvious choice would be "balance" and yet that does not resonate within me.  I'm not a believer in balance, particularly not when life is being lived in such a fierce way.  My baby is growing up quicker then I imagined possible.  I have gotten onto the career path that I have been working towards for many years now and one I want to dive into as much as possible.  Yet at the same time, I want to remember it, to notice it, to stop worrying once in a while and just be.

As such, 2014 shall be the year of "Savor".  To me, savor means taking the best of what is offered and enjoying it to the fullest.  I cannot do everything and be everywhere, no matter how hard I try, but I can say yes to those things that most interest me and then revel in them, for these truly are the days.


Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 in Review

I know a lot of people who are happy for 2013 to be ending; they dealt with illness, infertility, divorce, loss.  Things no one wants to have happen, yet do.  And while my life wasn't perfect this year (due to my family and friends dealing with the above), it was the best one I have had to date.  It started with an amazing trip with my husband to Belgium and Luxembourg, peaked with our son being born and ended with a new job in my field.  I'm not sure how 2014 can beat this year, but I am looking forward to seeing it try.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before? Had a baby.
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I'm not a fan of resolutions; I much prefer a word of the year.  I have a post on that for tomorrow.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Me!  And my cousin's wife had a little girl 4 months later to the day.  Also my college roommate and some of the women in the infertility group I am a part of.
4. Did anyone close to you die? No, thankfully.
5. What places did you visit? Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp, Ghent and Messancy (an ancestral village of mine), Belgium, Luxembourg City, Manchester, New Hampshire (NERGC), Kingston, Ontario, various wanderings around Central New York and a lot of trips to Buffalo.
What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?  A raise?  Energy?  A trip to see friends in NYC and a spot at GRIP?  I honestly can't ask for much.
7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? May 30th, when Julian was born.  October 1st, when I started my new job after 6+ years with Starbucks.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?   Getting a job in a library.
9. What was your biggest failure? Giving up the awesome exercise routine I had while on maternity leave.  Working full-time while having a child has quite the learning curve.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Someone in my household has been sick pretty much every day since the end of October.  Daycare illness is just thrilling.  But compared to what a very important little girl in my life faced this year, I can't complain about anything in the department.
11. What was the best thing you bought? My Windows 8 laptop that can be used as a tablet.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My husband.  He is amazing with Julian.  I couldn't do it without him.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? So many politicians.
14. Where did most of your money go? Hospital bills, student loan repayments and daycare.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Having a baby (I think we have a theme here) and getting a new job.  The trip to Belgium was pretty exciting, too.
16. What song will always remind you of 2013? Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke, which I hate but is rather catchy.  And Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner
c) richer or poorer? Poorer
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Enjoying the moment in pregnancy, life before baby, maternity leave, Julian, etc.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Worrying.
20. How did you spend Christmas in 2013? Christmas Eve with my mom's family, Christmas day with my dad's and this coming weekend with my in-laws.
21. Did you fall in love in 2013? Very much so with Julian and even more so with Aaron.
22. What was your favorite TV program? Criminal Minds.  I've watched it way too much this year.
23. What did you do for your birthday in 2013? On the actual day worked, then took Julian to the pediatrician where he had to have a chest x-ray to check for pneumonia (ugh).  The Saturday before we went to the Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute for the Robert Indiana from A to Z exhibit, lunch at a cute hot dog stand, read at Barnes and Noble and then Thai food at one of our favorite local restaurants.
24. What was the best book you read? I'm currently reading Auschwitz : a doctor's eyewitness account which is phenomenal.  I also enjoyed Lean In and learned of the brilliance of Sandra Boynton.  
25. What did you want and get? A healthy baby and safe delivery.
26. What did you want and not get? To win the lottery.  I ought to start playing ;-)
27. What was your favorite film of this year? I don't know that I really saw any new movies this year.
28. Did you make some new friends this year? I did.
29.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Paid maternity leave and universal health care.
30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013? For the first part, "maternity leggings are amazing" and to end, "yes, I am riding the librarian stereotype bus all the way to the end in my cardigan."
31. What kept you sane? My family.
32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? The Pope.  Never thought I'd say that.
33. What political issue stirred you the most? Gay marriage legalization.
34. Who did you miss? My Grandpa Acquard.  I wish he could have met Julian.
35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013. Just keep pushing.

52 Ancestors: Angela Rosa Palmiero

Amy Johnson Crow at  No Story Too Small  began the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge in 2014.  I am playing along this year.  I wi...