Since it’s been exactly five months since my last post I just want you all to know I have not abandoned this blog. I’ve just been a little busy.
Since today is the last day of the year I thought I’d make the effort to actually write and reflect on 2014. It was a life changing year for me in a variety of ways.
At the beginning of the year I had the brilliant idea to go back to college and get my BS in nutrition. Yes, I’m 48 years old and have an amazing job working as a corporate paralegal. As a matter of fact I’ve been a paralegal for over 20 years, however it’s not my passion and you only live once so I considered my options and made the decision. I can retire from the company I work for now in 9 short years. That is to say I can retire with full benefits at 57, even though I won’t be able to draw on them until I turn 62. Nonetheless, I thought that would be a perfect moment in my life to stop doing what I have to do to make as much money as I can, and start doing what I want to do regardless of the financial gain. Hence my degree-seeking behavior.
It’s going well, which is surprising. School and I did not get along many years ago and it’s amazing I finished high school, let alone paralegal school. But apparently things have changed, I’m a little more focused and a tad bit more dedicated to the cause. I’m officially a sophomore (based on my credits) and have maintained a 4.0 since the beginning. Please don’t confuse my 4.0 GPA with the assumption that it’s “easy” for me – it’s not; I’ve cried a lot, stayed up all night a lot, and melted down before finals a lot. Yet I’ve managed to do it, while working my full time, no-walk-in-the-park job, and being present for my kids and Blue Eyes. Of course my kids are 21 and 15½ so being present for them is very different from when they were younger. And Blue Eyes? Well, he lives 46 miles away from me and while we see each other often, being present for him is very different than if we lived together 24/7.
I was pretty focused on paying off debt this year and I’m happy to find here, on the last day of the year, that while it didn’t go as I had imagined (because somehow I thought I could pay off all my debt in a year and still manage to live and not create more debt — ) it did go well. I’m starting 2015 with roughly the same amount of debt, but since my debt load increased during the year due to my oldest son having surgery, I did pretty good. I went on vacation three times, got through all four children’s birthdays, AND got through Christmas without the use of credit. In addition, I paid off the IRS, two credit cards in full and all the medical expenses associated with said child’s surgery (except for the last $40 payment I have to make to the surgeon next week). I’m very pleased. In 2015 I expect to make more of a dent.
It’s a fact that I work to vacation. Seriously. That’s the reason I go to work every single day. So I can go on vacation. This year I went on three wonderful vacations. Blue Eyes and I hiked 12 miles into the Grand Canyon in March and then 12 miles out a few days later and couched that beautiful trip with some well-deserved recovery (and a little ceremony) in Vegas. It was a spectacular trip.
In July I went to central Oregon with two of my most favorite girlfriends and learned to fly fish (okay, that’s not true. I learned how to stand in the middle of the river and look like I knew how to fly fish.) That was a fun, fun, fun time.
And then in October I met my two brothers and sister in Vegas for a weekend of sibling togetherness which was amazing and wonderful in ways none of us expected. We had not all been together in over two years so it was a banner moment in time. I love my siblings. <3 <3
In addition, Blue Eyes and I went to the Oregon coast and found some new favorite spots we will definitely revisit. All in all my vacation needs were met.
Running fell by the way, way side. I did run a marathon, but only one. I ran the Vancouver USA marathon and felt like I did a good job. I PR’d by a minute or two in general and PR’d the course by 10 minutes so I was happy. Sadly, though I just didn’t make time for running both before and after that marathon. I miss it and have been getting back into it slowly. My Garmin broke and I’ve decided to go without one for a year and see if it changes my feeling about running. I’ve already fretted over the fact that I won’t know how far I’ve run when I have to run X amount of miles, but that’s silly. I’ve run every distance multiple times and I know which routes meet which demands. I think it will be refreshing to not have a Garmin. At least today I think that. I just want to run, and remember that I love it.
I did run a relay event with some girlfriends in November. That was brutal. Six legs covered by 3 women. Originally we had 6 women, but two of them were injured and one went out of town so it came down to three of us. Each one of us ran our legs back to back, which seemed like a good idea initially. But since I hadn’t run in quite some time (um, like the marathon in June) 11 miles kicked my ass good. Still we finished the relay and had a good time and I managed to smile through most of it.
Other news? Blue Eyes is great. I love him madly and can’t wait until our “wedding” which is officially set for August of 2017 – after my youngest graduates high school. It’s a formality for our friends and family and while it won’t actually signify the day we got married, very few people will know that and for us it will signify the beginning of when we actually get to live under the same roof 24/7/365. I very much look forward to that. As he says, the light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter as each day passes and it will all be worth it in the end. Here, here. <3 <3
I expect 2015 to be wonderful – Blue Eyes and I will go to San Francisco for a few days in March to celebrate the anniversary – San Francisco being one of my favorite places, as well as a place he has not been to (he did drive through one weekend on the way to San Jose, MANY years ago, but that does not count) I am beyond excited to show him this city that I love. Outside of that, I hope to run a couple of marathons, pay off some more debt, create none, continue to do well in school, be happy, stay healthy and stay very grateful for my life.
I wish you all the best in 2015 !