year in review: 2017

Was 2017 a good year for you?
On a personal level, I cannot complain. Yes, I had some ups and downs, but that’s normal, right? When I look back through my photos, I feel immense gratitude at the people I’ve met, the things I’ve seen, and the stuff I got to experience.

What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?
– went ziplining!
– stayed at Disney’s Polynesian Resort
– rode Avatar: Rite of Passage
– watched a solar eclipse
– rode a chairlift
– visited Utah
– flew business class on an intercontinental flight
– attended a gala
– hired a life coach
– attended the Once Upon a Time convention
– had a spa day

IMG_2606

Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, but a close friend of mine is expecting!

Did anyone close to you die?
I lost my sweet Helena.

What countries did you visit?
Italy, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway
(with layovers in Iceland and Germany)

What date(s) from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
January 10, 2017—the day I got all my girlie plumbing removed
February 17, 2017—the day I got an offer of rep from my agent Caitie Flum!
May 25, 2017—the day I brought Charlotte home
September 5, 2017—the day I left Chicago for a month abroad with my BFF Jennifer Niven
September 18, 2017—the day I visited Copenhagen, Denmark and FELL IN LOVE
September 26, 2017—the day I visited the ABBA museum and became a fan
October 1, 2017—the day I few into Iceland and saw rainbows upon rainbows
November 9, 2017—the day I met Jason Segel
December 6, 2017—the day I saw Hamilton

IMG_2419

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
1. signing with a literary agent!!
2. spending almost a month abroad!!

What was your biggest failure?
1. keeping the apartment clean. EPIC FAIL on that one.
2. not keeping up with my gratitude journal as regularly as I’d have liked.
3. not eating enough leafy greens.
4. not doing enough yoga or barre.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
got a couple of colds

Where did most of your money go?
travel, clothes, purses, makeup, toys, books, and gifts

What song(s) will always remind you of 2017?
– Just Say—Extreme Music
– How Far I’ll Go—Auli’i Cravalho
– This Night Is Ours—The Funshiners
– Issues—Julia Michaels
– The Louvre—Lorde

IMG_2423


What do you wish you’d done more of?

– ***writing***
– yoga
– moving my body in general
– learning
– traveling
– journaling
– connecting with my friends
– spending time with my mommy

What do you wish you’d done less of?
– eating junk food
– procrastinating
– being afraid
– wasting time on twitter

What was your greatest musical discovery?
– The Moana soundtrack

What did you want and get?
– a trip to Disney World
– a trip abroad
– an agent
– a Fjållråven backpack
– a (mini) home office

IMG_2537

What did you want and not get?
– MORE AIDAN TIME (there is never enough)
– a visit to Morton Arboretum
– a book deal

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 43. (bish whet) I slept in, then spent the afternoon getting pampered at The Spa at The Four Seasons. Then I had dinner at a French restaurant that didn’t have great service but the food was amazing! Adam gave me a Tiffany bracelet.

What kept you sane?
– therapy
– friends

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Theo James

What political issue stirred you the most?
*angry face emoji*

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.
Sometimes you just have to say “yes” and make it work. You never know what amazingness is waiting on the other side of it!

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?
skinny jeans, cute tops

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
getting a book deal

Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? in the middle
ii. thinner or fatter? a bit fatter (thanks, Italy)
iii. richer or poorer? richer

In 2018, I’m looking forward to:
So much! But that’s for another post!

IMG_2605

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

as 2017 winds down.

autumn in norway

It’s been AGES, right? I say this so much. Then I secretly vow to be better at blogging…and then I fall off again. To be fair, I’ve been fairly busy, and I have so much to tell you!

Since my last post, well, if you followed me on instagram or twitter, you know that I was abroad for most of September. I got to travel with Jennifer, who is one of my very best friends and also my soul sister, and it was amazing. It’s been a month since I’ve been back and I still can’t form words. Not only did I get to eat great food, see beautiful sights, and meet amazing people, but I got to spend a month with Jennifer! Having long distance best friends is hard, so we pretty much crammed all of our girl time into those three and a half weeks.

Here are a few photo collages from the trip:

💕💕💕💕🐝🌼👯
(I stole this one from Jennifer)

Oh #copenhagen #denmark, I love you so so so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Well hello there Denmark! I certainly did not expect to love you so much!! ❤️ #Denmark #copenhagen #europe #travel

A wonderful day in #norway ☀️😍

I got back to Chicago and was immediately thrust back into full-time and freelance work. I worked some when I was abroad, but it was different, working in a hotel room in Italy or Denmark rather than my apartment in Chicago. There, I’d open the window and listen to the languages and the different sounds and it was so awesome. Here, Fi is still making stinky messes every 40 minutes or so. I don’t have much room to spread out like I want. They’re tearing down a building across the street and for a week straight, my entire building would shake while they were doing their work. Charlotte has grown a lot, and she is a very naughty kitten! I’m covered in scratches and bites. She’s not the little rag doll she was the first day she came home. She’s feisty and vocal and strong-minded. I’ve had to start using the squirt bottle on her. I hate doing it, but she’ll just keep being naughty otherwise. Sometimes it’s exhausting. But then she tires out and collapses on me, and holds on to me so tight, and all my exasperation with her evaporates.

Also during October, Aidan went to homecoming (I KNOW), I got a massage, I got all my watches fixed, I cleaned out a lot of clothes and things to donate, and I cleaned out the bathroom and threw out four bags of old shampoo and body washes and things. I did a panel at Windy City RWA with my fellow ChiYA bloggers. I kept up (mostly) with my Personal Power University class (don’t ask me about the homework I still have to turn in!). And Aidan popped in for a long weekend. It was cool spending time with my awesome kid. Adam’s parents also popped in for a bit, and that was cool.

The Fam

I also spent weeks trying to catch up and I think I’m *finally* there. It felt like my To-Do lists were growing even though I was steadily doing things. I haven’t been back to yoga, or barre (haha in years for this one), I barely got any new writing done. I interviewed for a job but ultimately decided it wasn’t for me. That was a weird position to be in. So much is going on all the time…and the Day Job is busy. So it does seem like the list of things to do is never ending. So, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I came home after my massage Saturday and slept for hours and hours. Got up, maybe had a snack, and then slept all night.

But now, it’s two minutes to midnight at the time of this typing. That means November is not only looming, but it’s HERE, and it will definitely be here when this post goes live. Every weekend through the end of the year is booked except one and I just hope I can sleep in at least two of them. Soon there will be Thanksgiving and Christmas and expectations and family and oh God. I can’t even think about it now.

Instead, I’m going to bed. Till next time!

Just me

currently.

[ Current Clothes ] “Mickey Mouse” tee-shirt, galaxy leggings
[ Current Mood ] a bit overwhelmed & worried
[ Current Music ] Spotify radio based on my “currently obsessed” playlist
[ Current Taste ] candy
[ Current Make-up ] none
[ Current Hair ] messy
[ Current Annoyance ] nothing
[ Current Smell ] random house smells, candy
[ Current thing I Ought To be Doing] REVISING 😬
[ Current Desktop Picture ] pretty, shiny, and pink
[ Current Favorite Band ] Ruelle, Halsey
[ Current Book You’re Reading ] a bunch of different ones at the same time
[ Current DVD In Player ] Moana
[ Current Color Of Toenails ] light blue
[ Current Refreshment ] water
[ Current Worry ] getting everything squared away before I leave for Disney World on Monday

the trouble with being a night owl.

I’m a night owl. I’ve talked about this a billion times on this blog.

I love being a night owl. I love the middle of the night. It’s quiet. I feel no pressure to be on. I feel more creative and comfortable. Safe, maybe. I do my best writing in the middle of the night.

However.

I’ve begun working my day job again, in addition to another Berlitz contract, AND another short job coming later this week.

I’m also starting to move from brainstorming books to actually attempting to write them.

It’s tough reconciling this.

The freelance work is a little easier. They give me the work, a deadline, and leave me to it. I can do it when I feel like it, when I feel most alert, and when I can bust it out (as long as I focus!).

The day job? That’s a bit harder to manage. There are expectations of me being available from 9–5 (with an hour break for lunch), which means I need to be awake and alert. I also need to be awake because I’m copy editing things that get reviewed by lawyers and represent a huge company. Mistakes would be awful. It’s been unusually busy the last few weeks, so my brain is fried at the end of the day. I work from home, but that presents its own set of challenges. I have a sick kitty who wants attention all the time.1 I have to clean up after him every day. Sometimes I just hate being on high alert when I want to be napping.2 And I’m still technically recovering from surgery, so by the end of the day Wednesdays I am tapped out completely. My surgery site feels prickly, my back aches, and I’m exhausted mentally and physically. Friday, I signed off work at 5pm, ate dinner, read a bit, fell asleep at 630pm and woke up at 330am. Stayed up for 90 minutes before crashing again at 5am, and woke up for the day at 1030am. I broke my 27 day Duolingo streak (I’m learning Spanish! 32% fluent!) and didn’t even have the energy to mind too much. I was just that tired.

But sometimes, even when I’m struggling to keep my eyes open during the day, I wake up around 10pm. I want to write and watch Netflix and read and listen to music. This does not work when I have to be up in the morning!

I try to combat the fatigue by opening the curtains and letting the natural light shine on me while I work (and the cats sometimes enjoy a nice sunbeam bath as well). I drink V8 Energy, which is green tea, not coffee, and has a full serving of fruits and vegetables. I try to eat breakfast—yogurt and a Zone bar. Sometimes I’ll have tea. It could be the V8 kicking in and keeping me up, so I take melatonin at night. That knocks me out within 25 minutes, but the problem is that I rarely feel completely awake in the mornings. So, we begin again.

I would rather sleep in the day and stay up all night. (Except when I am at Disney World.)

Being a night owl is at odds with our society. Granted, there are more 24 hour options available, and there is the internet. But if I want to hold down a job, I have to be “normal” and well, it’s been decades and I’ve never truly adjusted to “normal.” So, the trouble with being a night owl is right now. It’s after 2am. I have to be up at 845am, work my 9–5 job and then do a few hours of freelance after. Plus eat and give Fi attention and take my vitamins and my meds. And try to squeeze in some writing. And connecting with my writer friends.

It’s a lovely, lush busy life, but it’s also exhausting. But what can I do?

Being a night owl is tricky. But I’ll manage it. Because honestly, my life is pretty cool right now. I really don’t want to trade it for a normal sleeping rhythm.

(Sorry for the random post. Just felt like chatting, I guess.)

Till next time!

  1. I don’t mind it too much. He curls up right next to me or lays behind me, and I kiss his head over and over. I love my little Fi so much.
  2. This is not to say I am ungrateful for the job. It’s a pretty sweet gig I have, and I am lucky to have it.