Thursday, January 4, 2018

2017 recap - if that's possible

I actually want to forget most of 2017 so I'd rather not do a full recap, other than to say it was a year that made me realize how strong I am. Started off just like every other year and ended just the same - with my favorite people. The end was with one less person (his choice) and also the news that the divorce was finalized a few days prior. So ... after 19 years, I have my own sequel: A New Beginning.

Spade is my spirit animal with regards to dealing with the past year. 
Not today, Satan. Not today.

Family in 2017 - moved my mom to a nursing home near us in February. We've been blessed to have found this facility and that they had an open room for her. I know my sister felt obligated to keep Mom home as long as she could, but it wasn't benefiting Mom to stay isolated. She's not a flight-risk (not mobile) so she's in 'gen-pop' instead of in the Alzheimer's Care unit and they have activities going all the time to keep her mind active and involved. Plus, she's 10 minutes from us instead of 100 miles. She doesn't always remember Dad has passed on, but then also doesn't always remember she was married for almost 50 years and has 3 kids. It's rough. Cherish your parents while you can.

Finances in 2017 - started the year as previous years, still drowning in debt and finished the year almost debt-free, but with the agreement that I take on one of his credit cards ... so back to saving and scrimping and making sure that's paid off as quickly as possible. I'm so done with credit cards and stupid debt. It was something that constantly weighed on my mind and affected me in other ways -- so many times I tried sharing with him what our circumstances were and he would zone out. So many times I turned down going out with friends because we didn't have the money available. (Him? whip out a card. If that one gets rejected, whip out another one.) Working on meal-planning, freezer-meal prep with friends, coupons/sales, and getting into the habit of Aldi's shopping.

Fitness in 2017 - well ... I lost 30 pounds. Wasn't planning on it and don't recommend the method (stress), but it also gave me some PRs in pretty much every race this year. Silver lining, folks. Always look for the silver lining. Finished the year with a 4 miler (cut down from an 8 miler due to extreme cold), a 10k, 2 10 milers, a less than 3 mile 5k, 3 halfs, a full marathon, and ended with a 5-miler.
My participation medals from the year. 
Each one represented a PR in either the distance or the course though.

Looking ahead to 2018 - no resolutions for me. Just aiming to be better than I was the day before.

Reading - I'm currently reading A is for Alias, downloaded the ebook from the library after hearing that local author Sue Grafton passed away. And one of my 'goals' for 2018 was to stay away from ebooks so I could plow through my stacks of real books - oh well. Goodreads goal is set at 40, same as last year and I missed the mark by 15 books. Sleeping better and my mind is in a better place this year so I hope to get back to reading consistently again. Scared off from the library after running into "her" and making a fool of myself. Stupid emotions. Can't we just slap a scarlet A on her and be done with it? Too much? Anyway, I have another library I can use while I work through this. And it's good that I have plenty of unread books at the house so I don't have to risk that again.

Fitness - As of January 1st, I'm registered for pretty much all my races this year. Looking forward to trying a couple new ones with some friends - a trail run this month and a new-to-me half in the fall.

Finances - as previously mentioned: meal plan, freezer-meal prep, and also planning a garden this year since I'm no longer an urban chicken tender (wink wink), and living as frugally as possible. Any tips along the way are appreciated! I was worried about Christmas but was SO VERY thankful for the monotony of doing surveys throughout the year. I had enough in Amazon gift certificates that I spent $5 on a fish and maybe $50 at Old Navy ... everything else came from cashing in from survey sites. The looks on the kids' faces are worth it.
Difficult to surprise older kids when they provide a very detailed Christmas list. Son had mentioned how he was interested in hydroponics after all the sophomores took a field trip to the vocational school. He was so excited when he saw this gift, he wanted to get it all set up immediately. This is a week's time of hydroponic-growing of wheatgrass (no dirt, just seeds and growing stones and fish poop).

House - repainting and renovating what I can and when I can. I have a five-year goal to be out of that house by the time my youngest is in college. There are so many half-started demolition projects to deal with that there's no way it could even be sold 'as-is'. It is what it is though and it'll give me something to do. Google and YouTube have helped me with some repairs already.

Friends - reconnecting with old ones and spending time with new ones. It's really amazing how much freer it feels not to have all that debt weighing down on me. Meet for chips and margaritas? Yes! I can do that now! Dinner at a new restaurant I've been wanting to try? Double yes! I'm an introvert and prefer to stay at home, but connecting with people has helped me realize I'm not alone in this ... and also finding out that all those happy marriages aren't quite as happy as they seem on Facebook.

Travel - hoping to travel someplace new with the kids this year. If not new to me, then new to them. Family in Philadelphia will be moving soon and I want to get the kids there to meet cousins and see the sights I got to see on my annual trips. They've also requested some locations that aren't road-trip distances so that's another reason for me to get the new debt paid off this year - it's crazy what plane tickets cost now. Last time I flew was in 2005? 2006?

And that's a recap in a nutshell. Linking up with Kristin and Gretchen.

Ending with a reminder from a new friend ...

And something that gives me a chuckle each time I read it ...


  1. I hope that 2018 is a much better year for you! And that's awesome you've paid off your debt. Hopefully that means you can see lots of friends and do some fun traveling. My debt is from school loans, so I'm still on the hunt for a full time job so I can finally start saving more and paying that back! Sigh.


  2. glad that your mom is now closer to you and hope that 2018 is a much better year for you as well.

  3. yay for 2017 showing you how strong you are. that is awesome. sucks how it came about of course, but here's hoping 2018 is better for everyone. i'm so sorry about your mom. that is so hard.
    rage, debt. that is so annoying. i am sick of it too. my husband is cranky because we are always paying something off, and i get that. maybe one day we won't be. i really need to get to aldi, hopefully that will drastically save money on groceries.
    that's awesome that you got to use survey money on christmas! i am going to try and plan christmas better next year and use ebates or swagbucks money. ebates helps a lot, though you have to shop to get $$ so that doesn't help (i use it a lot at work).
    i did not hear that Sue Grafton passed away. that is so sad :(

  4. Figuring out how strong we are is a good lesson, even if how we figured it out wasn't all that pleasant. I am sorry to hear about your mom, but glad she is in a good facility! Doing what I do, I know that they are not all equal! So cherish where she is! I just started shopping at Aldi in the last few weeks and I have to say, they have some great things!!!! I do Swagbucks and ebates, but the bare minimum on Swagbucks anymore. But something is better than nothing! I also use a few apps while I am out and about. I tend to get gift cards faster with them!

  5. Awesome about all the PRs on some serious races! I don't run but I'm always going to races to cheer on the husband, so I'm used to all the talk of time goals, etc. Glad you found a good nursing home for your mom! Dementia/Alzheimer's is so hard. I lived with my grandparents in college and visited my great-grandma on most weekends and I had to introduce myself many times. Now my grandma has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's--a lot earlier on, but it's so hard to watch the gradual change.

  6. What a year you had! I know it wasn’t easy. I hope this will be an amazing year for you! That’s awesome you got all those PR‘s. I’m hoping to lose 30 pounds and get some of those too! Can’t wait to see you at the trail race in a couple weeks!

  7. Sorry your 2017 was so tough, but glad you're able to pick out the silver linings already. Ageing relatives is so hard - we are dealing with this with grandparents and I'm doing my best to support my Mum who is having a really hard time since my Dad died. It's so hard because you want to help but also respect the autonomy of the individual. In some cases there is no choice, and it sounds like where your Mom is is absolutely the best place for her. And I'm glad it's easier for you to visit, too.

    Here's to an all around improved 2018!


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