A look back and a look ahead

Another year has passed. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! I am lounging in my boyfriend’s recliner on the last day of my wonderful week-long vacation (going back to work tomorrow is going to be so hard!). We are having a very relaxing New Year’s Day after ringing in 2014 in downtown Annapolis.

Throughout the year, I am always making goals, completing goals, and reflecting on goals. In honor of New Year’s, I thought this post would be a good time to reflect on what a great year 2013 was and write about my current goals.

2013 was a fabulous year and a difficult year. It was the first year I wasn’t a full-time student; instead I was a full-time adult. Going to work 5 days a week, 8 hours a day has definitely been an adjustment. I spent a lot of time reflecting, thinking, trying to be patient with myself this year. But enough of that, there are many many positive memories that I want to cherish from 2013!

Highlights of 2013

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Molly entered my life and changed it forever. I discovered a love of dog training. She brings me joy everyday!

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I bought my very own car, was rear-ended in said car 5 months later, then bought my second very own car (same car, lighter shade of blue) after my car was declared a total loss. 

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I traveled to Italy with my family to visit my sister who was studying in Siena. 

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Returning to my love of photography, I bought a DSLR camera and have been slowly learning through practice. 

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I spent many hours on the water fishing and crabbing with T. 

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T and I traveled to Germany and Austria. It was his first international trip and our first large trip together. We had the time of our lives. 

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I started running and finished my first 5K – something I never imagined I could do. 

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I faced my fears, signed up for riding lessons, and started getting serious about riding again. 

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T and I drove to South Carolina for a quick, but wonderful weekend visit with his family. 

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I went on my first business trip – a week in Brasilia, Brazil! While there, I not only met many of my colleagues who work for other companies, but I also interacted with representatives from over 70 countries. 

For some reason… I also took a Statistics class (no picture needed for that torture).

2014: A look ahead

The Old

I have been writing about my goals and progress over the last couple of months so I will revisit them here. I have completed a number of goals – taking a statistics course (thank god that’s over), applying to graduate school (and now we wait…), updating my wardrobe (can I actually say this is complete?), and finishing my grandmother’s biography (presented the iBook to the family on Christmas Day, now I just have to send it to the printers).

1) Donate my hair – It’s still growing! My hair is quite wavy, so on a whim last night I straightened it for the first time all year probably. It now reaches my shoulder blades! I still have a ways to go and I am still very determined to complete this goal!

2) Keep on running – I ran my first 5K in November! It felt so good, even though there were many, many, many moments when I didn’t think I would possibly complete the race. Now I have and I am ready for my next one! Reality hit right after the race and exercise/running fell to the back burner. I traveled a lot, work got insanely busy, and the holidays arrived. I tried to run as much as possible but honestly probably haven’t run more than 10 times since the race. Now that the holidays are over, I will be back at the gym every day at lunch either running or taking a class. I can’t wait to start running outside again when the weather improves because I loath, despise, hate treadmills. They are better than nothing I guess. My next race will most likely be in May for the Chestertown Tea Party Festival. I hope to run a couple others this year, including a 10K next November across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge (if we can get a slot!).

3) Move out of my childhood home – As much as I have been anticipating this, I am actually terrified. I am at war with my inner child and my need to be an adult. I am also a little nervous about moving in with a boy… and totally excited too! I am sure I will be writing a lot more about this as the time approaches.

4) Go outside and walk – I really need to do this more. T and I took a run down to the river and back the other day. He did an extra little loop while I walked around some and visited my old pup’s grave. It was so refreshing to clear my head, breathe the crisp air, and feel the winter sun on my skin.

5) Ride as much as possible – I am facing my fears of riding head on by taking riding lesson. I just finished the quarter I signed up for. I plan to register for the next quarter in the spring when it is a bit warmer. For now, T and I will be riding my ponies around the place. Trail riding is my favorite, especially in the winter when there are no flies. Now I just have to face my fear of riding down to the river. I know both of us can do it. I just need to find trust that my horse will not spaz (easier said than done).

6) Start volunteering – Technically this is an old goal, but I haven’t done anything about this so I will count it as a new goal. I hope that once T and I move in together, some time will be freed up to start volunteering at an animal rescue or environmental organization.

7) Write, write, write – Over the past couple of months, I have toyed with the idea of writing a book. I am still thinking about it. I don’t know why I am afraid to commit myself to doing it, but I am. Maybe I am afraid that what I write will be crap or that my idea is unoriginal. But I should write a book for myself, not for others. So this year, I will get started. I will at least try.

8) Embrace patience – Still working on this one. I think this goal will always be a challenge for me. I wish I could say that I have come up with a magic solution. But I haven’t. When I start feeling impatient with my life, I try to find a change of scenery by walking outside, going to the gym (if I am at work), training Molly to do a new trick, or picking up a book.

9) Knit a sweater – My progress on my sweater was a bit delayed with Christmas projects. I made T a hat and his cousin (my Secret Santa) a scarf. I finished the back of the sweater over Christmas vacation. I finished the ribbing for the front and am now starting my very first cable…. I got a lesson in the basics from my grandmother, but now she is in Puerto Rico for the winter, so I am on my own! I love the pattern though and I am very excited to see and wear the final product.

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The New

Of course I also have a number of new goals to share too!

10) Develop my photography skills – I received a new lens for Christmas (a 50 mm f1.8 lens). It is my first fixed length lens and I love it. My favorite type of photography, other than landscape, is portraiture so this lens seems like a perfect start. My favorite subjects? Molly, Cali, the horses, and T – of course! I have a ton to learn. A ton. I cannot wait to learn and share.

11) Dance again – I danced throughout college, minored in it, graduated, and haven’t danced since. Hopefully sometime this year I can take a dance class with my friend. That would involve us living less than an hour apart. But I can dream! Or perhaps I will get the nerve to take a dance class on my own.

12) Dog training – I’ve been taking Molly to Wigglebutts Dog Training. Molly and I have completed 4 courses with Tammy and I love it. She’s learned a number of tricks, such as roll over, play dead, bow, and close the door. It’s so fun to see her learn and put things together. I want to dedicate more time to working with her on my own and in another class. Maybe we’ll even try some agility training!

13) Read 150 books – I love to read. I will read anything and everything. Last year, I read 100 books (and tracked it on GoodReads). This year? 150.

14) Nourish existing friendships and create new ones – With distance between me and most of my friends, it is especially important to nourish our friendship by talking and visiting (when possible). I hope to travel to Disney World (for the first time) to visit my friend who works there. T and I also want to visit another friend of mine in Michigan for a weekend of camping. I made a couple new friends this past year and I can’t wait to make more. As someone who’s rather shy and reserved at first, it’s always a challenge to meet people and form a friendship. I am work on stepping out of my shell everyday.

15) Actively write on this blog – I created this blog as an outlet for my thoughts. Although it fell to the wayside for the past two months, I plan on writing more and participating more in the blogging community this year! I have a number of posts in draft form and can’t wait to share!

2014 I can’t wait to see what exciting new adventures you bring! Happy New Year everyone!

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