This Is 39

So this is two days late.  I meant to do it on my birthday like last year but since I had this 5K this morning, I figured it would be worth seeing if I beat my best time from last year.  Speaking of which, this is the second post that I have done where I use my birthday as a means of measuring what's been going on in the last year.  I updated the numbers here.
Pre-5K Race for Watertown Library Photo

  • Home:  Watertown, Massachusetts
  • Relationship status:  Married (4+ years)
  • Cats Owned:  2 (Bear and Pumpkin)
  • Other Pets:  1 mud turtle (MJ)
  • Degrees earned: 5 (3 masters, 1 bachelor, 1 associate)
  • Degree working on:  Phd in Higher Education
  • Credits Completed Toward Dissertation: 54 out of 72.
  • Books read in 2018: 158
  • Work:  full-time: Instructional Designer at Brandeis University.  Freelance reviewing audiobooks and graphic novels for Audiofile Magazine and Publishers Weekly.  Occasionally teaching courses at North Shore Community College
  • Short Stories Written:  1
  • Social Media Consulting Gigs:  2
  • Weight:  239 pounds
  • Best time on a 5K: 24:37:00 
  • Best time on a 10K: 52:56 (Same as last year)
  • Best time on 1/2 marathon: 1:52:35 (Same as last year)
  • Miles run in in the last year: 846 miles
  • Miles on the bicycle in the last year:  236
  • Blog Posts in the last year:  128
  • Blog Pageviews: 111,705
  • Blog Subscribers: 36
  • Blog Visitors: 79,816
  • Facebook Friends: 740
  • LinkedIn Connections: 1012
  • Twitter Followers:  1103
  • Website Domains owned:  4

Favorite Blog Posts of the Year

The Thoughts

38 was an intense year at times.  And some of the changes in my numbers (ahem, weight, running, push ups) can attest to that.  The first half of the year was largely consumed with completing my Qualifying Paper for my doctoral program.  Which I did (happy dance!) but not without a toll on my mind and body.  It was also a year I was still adjusting to what in September was a new job.  

The last four months of 38 were a bit more intense and challenging a spell than I've had in a while.  We had a celebratory trip in late May and early June to England and the Netherlands.  It was part anniversary but also recognition of a milestone in my doctoral program (no more Fridays!!!).  However, the trip ended up being a comedy of errors.  I got a cold, the weather was horrible, my allergies when haywire, and we were just feeling miserable most of the time.  Sure, we had fun and I'm glad I went but the trip was rough enough that it had me rethinking and developing a philosophy of travel. 

Shortly after we returned from that trip, I ended up with cellulitis in my foot.  This diagnosis translated into bed rest and thus breaking my 536-day streak of 10,000 steps or more.  Nevermind that, it just disrupted running, exercising, and movement of all sort.  As that went away, we moved, which we are happy about.  However, by the time we settled into the new place, a brutal heat and humidity wave struck that just made enjoying our new place a bit of a challenge (we lost central air in the move).  And as August rolled around, my father died.  

Now, the mindful part of me can look at all of that and see the positive elements of each.  I still got to travel and enjoy myself in foreign countries without fear of harm or barred re-entrance into the US.  I received effective and helpful medical care fairly quickly to which I might have paid out of pocket when all is said and done, less than $100.  I had the luxury and privilege to hire movers to do the heavy lifting and have the opportunity to change my living environment fairly easily.  While my dad's passing is sad, I got 39 years with him, and in his final 3 weeks had the flexibility from work to be by his side for many more hours than I might have otherwise and he had pretty reasonable care throughout the ordeal.  

But stacked together, on top of general life challenges, it definitely put a damper on things.  That is to be expected.  

Now, looking at 39, I am excited in many regards.  I'm on the path to gathering my dissertation proposal.  I'm in a good groove at work.  I'm enjoying the new living space.  I've feel a lot of love and support from friends and family since my dad's passing.  

My gut tells me that this year will be a good year in health, professional opportunities, and academic success.  It certainly could be my optimism at work but I also feel that with the Friday classes over, my bandwidth has a bit more to it.  The new place also contributes to a sense of grounding and feeling ready.  I think also, I'm just mentally ready to push myself and enjoy what this next year has to offer.  

Don't get me wrong.  38 was definitely a successful year in terms of professional and academic accomplishments and I never felt I was failing.  It just took a lot out of me and I'm hoping for a little more stability in the next year.  Here's hoping, right?

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