2014 Year in Review

What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

We finally took our trip to Thailand in 2014. Thailand was definitely a place for a lot of firsts: first time riding in a tuk tuk, first Thai massage, first visit to a Buddhist temple including being blessed by a monk, first fish spa experience, first time eating durian and a cricket, and first time hanging out with, feeding and bathing elephants. I’m sure there were plenty more firsts in Thailand and throughout the year but these are the things that really jump out.

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Aside from the Thailand trip, I became a manager at work and an aunt in my personal life. I also worked for (and still do) a company that went through a huge acquisition when VMware announced they were acquiring AirWatch for a total of $1.54B. It was an exciting year!

Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for this year?

No. I wanted to start a blog highlighting positive events happening in the world since we are constantly surrounded by everything negative going on. I only had one post. 😦

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes! My sister gave birth to her son on August 27. That officially makes me an aunt!

Did anyone close to you die?

Unfortunately. The end of 2013 and start of 2014 was a rough time. From October 2013 to February 2014, I lost all 3 of my remaining grandparents. It was a tough pill to swallow, but I’m glad they are in a better place now smiling down on us.

What countries did you visit?

Germany, Luxembourg, Thailand, and South Korea (a layover counts, right?)

What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

More time and more discipline to use that time wisely.

What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

2/13/14 – Date my grandma passed away

8/27/14 – Date my nephew, ET, was born

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I got a promotion to manage our sales analyst team at work. What makes this a huge accomplishment in my eyes is that this position didn’t exist at all so it was essentially created for me. Not too shabby if you ask me. It has been quite an adjustment trying to learn to manage and motivate people, but the new role has kept me on my toes and allowed me to gain new insights into working with others.

What was your biggest failure?

Procrastinating on starting or not finishing things. I have a tendency to read all kinds of interesting things and imagine how life could be without actually executing. 2015 is my year to focus on following through.

Did you suffer any illness or injury?

Nope.

What was the best thing you bought?

The best thing I bought all year was a ticket for the Phang Nga Bay island excursion while in Thailand. Everything was absolutely gorgeous and the trip itself unforgettable.

Experiences > Stuff

Whose behavior merited celebration?

Malala Yousafzai. I still need to read her book but she has to be one of the most inspiring people in 2014 and will continue to be in the future as well. To have overcome such a horrible attack and have the ability to continue to persevere at such a young age is truly incredible. Watching her makes you realize the types of things just one individual can accomplish and makes you think twice about making lame excuses for not doing something you care about and know you should be doing.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I hate to see such a divide between people in the US. Whether it’s Republicans versus Democrats or black versus white, there seems to be a serious “us against them” mentality taking hold of the country. It’s tough to have any reasonable discourse over touchy subjects these days as everyone gets their collective panties into a giant wad anytime an opposing view is offered. Instead of trying to learn something new and understand a different point of view, people become more and more defensive. When we’re all fighting each other and can’t take the time to listen, learn, and grow, we all suffer. The country can’t continue to move forward without all of its people working together, whether it’s in the local community, in schools, or in government. It’s time that we put our differences aside and realize there are multiple “right” ways to do things, that people experience life differently, and that the 24/7 media outlets are all just adding to the frenzy. Ultimately we need to understand and respect others and learn to work together to prosper.

Where did most of your money go?

To our houses and food. We also made some decent investments this year and started being more active with our money management.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Going to Thailand and becoming an aunt (although part of that was probably nerves).

What song will always remind you of 2014?

I listened to a good bit of Imagine Dragons this year so would probably go with Amsterdam or Radioactive on this.

Compared to this time last year, are you:

(a) happier or sadder? Happier

(b) thinner or fatter? A little thinner

(c) richer or poorer? Richer

What do you wish you’d done more of?

I could always travel more.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Procrastinating, starting something and not finishing.

How did you spend Christmas?

We spent Christmas at my parent’s house with the family. It was ET’s first Christmas so that was special and he definitely lucked out with the gifts! We capped off the night sitting around a fire pit with some hot apple cider at my sister’s father-in-law’s place.

Did you fall in love in 2014?

Was already there.

What was your favorite TV program?

I tried not to watch too much TV this year and haven’t followed any series or shows, though I did go through a brief stint of watching old Friends episodes. I mostly just watched sports, from the Braves to the Bulldogs and whatever else in between. If I had to pick a particular show, I’d go with Chopped on the Food Network. I’ve watched this show for a while and am constantly impressed by the dishes these chefs can whip up with the craziest of basket ingredients.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Nope.

What was the best book you read?

Tim Ferriss’s book, The 4 Hour Work Week, was the best and most eye-opening book I read all year. In fact, I read it 3 times in 2014. This book definitely changed my outlook on life and altered my thinking when it comes to people, work, and my most valuable asset, time. Even if I were to never make it to a 4 hour work week, the lessons learned in this book definitely made it worth the read (or 3 reads).

What was your greatest musical discovery?

I listened to a lot of German music in 2014. It’s a good way to hear the language on the regular and also inspires me to keep aiming for Germany one day. My favorites were Cro, Alligatoah, and Prinz Pi. Aside from the German artists, I went pretty heavy on alternative music this year.

What did you want and get?

To move into a new role at work.

What did you want and not get?

A legit raise to go along with that promotion.

What was your favorite film of this year?

Not a big movie person but did see Dumber and Dumber To. Obviously not as great as the original but overall, I thought they did a good job.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 29 this year so 2015 is officially the last year in my 20s – yikes! My birthday is on Christmas so see above. JT did take me out for dinner on the 26th. We went to Iberian Pig in Decatur and had some very tasty treats, my favorite plate being the scallops and risotto – very delicious! Afterward we met up with some friends, Can-dance and Soap, for drinks at Brick Store Pub and Twains. To top off the birthday celebrations, we rounded up some friends last night for a night of karaoke, one of my favorite pastimes.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

One of my biggest goals in life is to move to Germany. I’m half German and though I’ve grown up and spent the vast majority of my life here in the States, there’s a nagging desire to get back home. Making that happen and keeping JT happy in the process would be absolutely awesome.

That being said, I really have nothing to complain about. I have a great, helpful, and loving husband, an awesome family nearby, a roof over my head, a good job with plenty of flexibility, and 2 awesome fur babies. All in all, 2014 was a great year and I’m looking forward to continuing that trend in 2015.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?

My sense of fashion could probably use some work, but fashion is just something that I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about. I would much rather spend money on cool experiences rather than go shopping and fill my closet. In 2014 I really took advantage of working at a place with a casual dress code and found myself mostly in jeans and whatever shirt (Target v-neck Ts, button ups, and sweaters). I also rocked the blazer look a bit.

What kept you sane?

Music, JT, and my buddy, AI

What celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I became pretty obsessed with Tim Ferriss after reading 4HWW (see above). He and I think very similarly so his logic for looking at things with a different lens and coming up with ways to do things better or more efficiently really hits home for me.

What political issue stirred you the most?

The fact that the whole healthcare debate was still raging annoys me. I get that people don’t like it, that’s great. Instead of constantly trying (and failing) to repeal the new law, why not make improvements? Too much time and money is being wasted here. Along those same lines, I’m generally frustrated with both the Republicans’ and Democrats’ inability to compromise and get things done in Washington.

Who did you miss?

All of my friends who moved away. It’s kind of crazy because I always thought I’d be the one to leave. Instead, all of them (Lysol, Toobie, Marc-ass, and Leanus) left! Weird how things work out sometimes. I did have a chance to catch up with all of them in 2014 so that was definitely a huge plus. These are the types of friendships that seem to never miss a beat no matter how long it has been since we last saw each other. It puts a smile on my face just thinking about it.

I also missed my grandparents who passed away. Whether beams of sunlight shining through a break in the clouds, a birthday, a beer, the smell of a cigar, or lack of a card at every holiday, there were plenty of moments that made me miss all of them.

Who was the best new person you met?

I met a lot of cool people this year and expanded on some existing relationships. Many of these folks started working at AirWatch early in 2014. It has been great getting to know all of them.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

Since this is already a walking advertisement of Tim Ferriss and The 4HWW, I’ll go with a couple solid quotes from his book.

  • “If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is, too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.”
  • “But you are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do no underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. If someone isn’t making you stronger, they’re making you weaker.”

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Being a woman, the lyrics don’t quite fit, but this song gets me pumped every time I hear it:

Stand up now and face the sun
Won’t hide my tail or turn and run
It’s time to do what must be done
Be a king when kingdom comes

Well you can tell everybody
Yeah you can tell everybody
Go ahead and tell everybody
I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man

-Aloe Blacc

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