My 9 best moments from 2016

I’ve seen this a lot on my friends’ feeds, and figured I maybe should participate (if late).  2016 was not a kind year for many of us, and I had difficulty identifying three things that went well in the year.  I started reviewing photos, and found 6 more!  Here goes my list:

  1. April 2016: Won the BigBlue Healthy Kitchen Wars cooking competition at ODU with the Faculty/Staff team.
  2. May 2016: I got to take my Mom to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens for the LanternAsia exhibit for Mother’s Day (it’s rare for her to be in my area).
  3. May 2016: I got to go to Seattle, WA and give a presentation at the annual Immunology conference!  I’d been wanting to do a talk (rather than just a poster) for a few years.  I’ve also always dreamt of Seattle; I’m a pluviophile, and the city just captured my imagination.  While there, aside from the conference, I got to visit a friend and see the Seattle Japanese Garden which was gorgeous, the Space Needle (so geeky) and the quite stunning Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit, the EMP museum, and the Museum of Flight (loved the space exhibits).  It was a great trip filled with amazing food, fantastic scenery, and a lot of really good experiences that I’m glad I had.
  4. July 2016: I got to visit friends and family over the summer; in particular, I went to see Luray Caverns with my best friend.  I’d never been.  It was spectacular.  I have literally hundreds of photos and videos from that (and filled up my phone completely).  They even played the stalactite organ while we were there. We also did the garden maze (and I think we chanted “get through the Labyrinth? Get through the labyrinth?! … movie reference) and the rope adventure park.  You know, for someone who doesn’t like heights, I certainly got some altitude this year!
  5. December 2016: I was a co-author on another manuscript, accepted for publication and published online! Not primary author or senior author, but I’m very happy that some of my data was useful.   http://www.jni-journal.com/article/S0165-5728(16)30336-8/abstract
  6. September 2016: My 20th high school reunion.  Yikes!  Has it been that long!?
  7. October 2016: Survived Hurricane Matthew (not a highlight) and had a great visit with a friend I haven’t seen in years!
  8. October 2016: Halloween is always a highlight.  I did the Corpse Countess this year and utterly delighted in my costume!
  9. December 2016: I got to visit with my friend, and although the Santa Claus Shuffle did NOT qualify as a highlight, our tour through the Norfolk Botanical Garden of Lights show did!

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2017-A year of change and improvement

The prep update:

I did not post my December 16 update on my two goals to start this year fresh.  Short version: goals not achieved.  Therefore, they are the two main items on my resolution list for this year.

  1. Quit smoking: in progress.  I’m on the patch, because I’ve misplaced my Chantix prescriptions.  It will be harder this way, but maybe not impossible.  The really good news: with prior review, my insurance covers Chantix 100%, so if I request new ones from my doctor… yay!  That’s on my project list for tomorrow.  I will update when I am 24 hours cigarette free (ahem, not quite yet), and at 1 week, 1 month, and off nicotine completely.
  2. Achieve, then maintain “normal” BMI: also in progress.  I actually dropped *some* over the holidays, which is impressive!  I have 10.8 lbs to go though (still), partly due to fluctuations–I’ve been bloated–and partly from holiday celebratory foods that got me at the end.  Also, 3+ days of complete inactivity (sick).

The Forthcoming Year:

2017 is going to be a year of fairly substantial change for me.  I know that I will be moving this year (May).  That’s a big part of it.  I have other resolutions for this year as well:

  • Time improvement: I want, and need, to spend less time working at home and especially so at the end of the term.  I therefore need to work more efficiently in my office at work.
  • Money improvement: with a move upcoming, I need to work on getting and keeping my financial house in better order.  Part of this is related to the move, and I’ll explain more as I progress.
  • Health improvement: 2016 was a year of bad.  Aside from a couple of rounds of prednisone, facial paralysis, and the other incidental illnesses, I felt sick a LOT.  In addition to that, I found out something else (pretty personal) that happened that I haven’t quite been ready to blog about yet… but I plan to.  I want to NOT have as many problems this next year.  Unfortunately, I spent the first few days of the New Year feeling under the weather already!  I know that there’s not much I can do to avoid some viruses, and I did get my flu shot, but I want to work on having better overall health.  #1 and #2 should help me achieve that goal.  You’ll notice that this year I’m not setting a jogging or running goal–that’s partly related to that personal issue I mentioned.  Until I know more, it may not be in my best interest.
  • Blogging improvement: I want to get this blog on track.  Weekly posts!  No guarantees about topics, but stay tuned for more information.  Also, I’ll be launching a second, move-specific blog in the not-too-distant future!