Thursday, December 28, 2023

2023 Survey

It's the end of the year which means it's time for my annual survey! It's a nice way to recap/review the year as it's coming to a close. So here goes...

1) What did you do in 2023 that you’ve never done before? I went on my first girls trip since having kids. In August, I met up in the Banff area with my bestie, Amber! We also got to see our friend, Leigh, as I spent the night at her home in Calgary and she joined us for a hike in the Canmore area.

2) Did anyone close to you give birth? My little sister had a little girl - Amelia Grace - in early June. She goes by "Millie" and is the sweetest little baby! I got to meet her in September when they were home for a visit at the lake. 

Millie and me! She doesn't look thrilled to be taking a picture.

3) Did anyone close to you die? Fortunately, no. 

4) What places did you visit? 

- Paul and I went to Tucson in April to visit my sister and niece. 

- We spent lots of time at my parents lake home. 

- I went to Banff in August, as I mentioned above. 

- I went to A LOT of places for work but those don't really don't as "visits" since the trips were all about work. 

5) What would you like to have in 2024 that you didn’t have in 2023? More acceptance for the stage of life I am in and to compare myself to others less. I have a whole post brewing in my head about selecting the right benchmark. It's not fair for me to compare my life to someone with children whose butts they don't still need to wipe. That's a crass way of putting it, but so it goes. Additionally, it's not fair to compare myself to someone that doesn't have a chronic illness, or doesn't travel monthly, and so on and so forth. 

6) What dates from 2023 will be etched in your memory forever? The spring banking crisis has certainly left it's mark. I spent most weekends in March frequently refreshing my email/Bloomberg to see if another bank had failed (banks tend to fail over the weekend so the FDIC has the weekend to sort out what to do/find a buyer). It was an incredibly stressful time at work and I got yelled at by a lot of financial advisers and some end clients. It was not fun. 

I'll also remember Paul's first day of school but that is a joyous memory! He was so ready for kindergarten and I had zero feeling of sadness over that milestone!

7) What was your biggest achievement this year? I had a huge year at work between my former colleague retiring and supporting a product that was extremely impacted by the spring bank crisis. I went from 90 client calls in 2022 to over 400 this year plus I did 14 work trips and hired my first direct report. It was a hard year but a successful one.

8) What was your biggest failure? I don't like the word failure so instead I think of this as my biggest area of opportunity. I do wish I had fit more workouts in than I did. I did as many as I could. Work, all the illnesses we had, and my higher sleep needs prevented me from working out as much as I would like. 

9) Did you suffer from illness or injury? My RA wasn't super well managed in the first half of the year, but switching to an injectable form of one of my drugs has made a huge difference. I got covid in mid-December but it was very mild - either because the strain is mild or from the paxlovid I took.

10) What was the best thing you bought? Definitely my Apple Watch! I leaned heavily on Elisabeth and her husband's research on Apple Watches. I really agonized over whether or not to buy one but I am so glad I pulled the trigger!

11) Where did most of your money go? Childcare. That will be our main spending category for the forseeable future. Our costs went down slightly since Paul started school but we still have to pay for before/after care and care on non-school days. 

12) What did you get really, really excited about? My trip to Banff! I had the best time and it was so fun to research different hikes to do. 

13) What authors did you discover in 2023? Maggie Smith (You Could Make This Place Beautiful) and Shelley Read (Go As a River) stand out. Most of my favorite books of 2023 were repeat authors, though. 

14) What do you wish you had done more of? Strength training and running. 

15) What do you wish you had done less of? Tending to sick children and going to doctor appointments for said sick children.

16) How did your spend Christmas? We went to Phil's cousin's Christmas Eve party and had a quiet celebration at home on Christmas Day with just our family of 4 plus my MIL. 

17) What was your favorite TV program? I loved the final season of A Million Little Things. 

18) What did you want and get? To go on a girls trip and we finally bought a Rav-4!

19) What did you want and not get? Technically we wanted a Rav-4 Prime which is a plug-in hybrid. It was impossible to find one in the Midwest so we pivoted and bought a Rav-4 hybrid instead which we are very happy with. 

20) What was your favorite film of 2023? The Grinch. Taco became obsessed with this mid-year and we've watched it a ridiculous number of times but it somehow has never gotten old! I finally got to sit down and watch the entire thing from start to finish one night last week! I know this is not a "new" movie by any stretch of the imagination but I haven't seen any new movies.

21) What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 42 on a Monday. Kyria was in town visiting! We went for a run that morning and ended the run at Starbucks! We had lunch at a cool food hall place, I dropped her off at the airport, and then I got a massage! In the evening we got Indian take-out. It was a delightful day!

22) What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Less work stress.

23) Who kept you sane? Repeat answer from last 2 years: Phil! He is the best partner I could ask for. We have as equitable a marriage as can be achieved IMO and he keeps me from taking life too seriously. Plus he really carries the load and keeps things running when I travel for work. 

24) Who did you miss? I miss working with my colleague who has retired. We are still in close contact but it's not the same as sitting a cube over from him. 

25) Who was the best new person you met? 

- URL turned IRL: I got to meet Daria when I was traveling in New Jersey! I seem to end up in NJ a couple of times a year so I am sure we will rendezvous again! We are the exact same age and our kids are basically the same ages so we have a lot in common!

- IRL: my new hire is amazing. I think we are going to have the kind of relationship I had with my retired colleague.

26) Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2023. Everything is figureoutable. I'm reminded of this all the time and I'm trying to teach this to my children. 

27) Show us one of your favorite photos from the year. 

I'm cheating and picking 4. 

This sums up Taco so well - he loves trucks and is so playful so of course he's going to sit in the dump truck.

This sums up the boys relationship - they are both laughing but Taco is looking at Paul with such love and joy!

When Paul opened this gift (a rover) on his birthday, he said: "I've been waiting for this my whole life." We all laughed SO MUCH. 

My girls trip was SO GOOD for my soul. It felt so good to do something for myself! Nothing makes me happier than hiking in a gorgeous place!

Your turn! Pick a few or many to answer or fill this out on your blog!

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