Kona

40

In a few days I turn 40 years old. It’s weird because it was an age that I never looked forward to. When I was in my 30’s I felt this weird pressure the closer I got to 40 because I was going to be “too old” to have a baby (and I was considered “advanced maternal age” and “geriatric pregnancy” with Logan…so many eye rolls!) so there was this dread as 40 was approaching.

My friend put it well, she said it was “anticipatory grief” and that’s exactly how I feel. I don’t know why. Because I am definitely glad to be alive. I have my health (for the most part) and I am alive. That’s all good, nothing to sneeze at.

I have a son who is going to be 4 years old this year. I have a lovely husband and wonderful animals (two out of the three furbabies are excellent cuddlers!).

When I think back about my life, I did a lot of stuff! One of my first memories of a big world even was the Berlin Wall coming down. I remember watching it on the news.

I also remember the Challenger Explosion. I was standing at the bus stop for school when someone told us and then we learned about it at school.

My first record was Thriller.

I grew up in Seattle. I did the “Running Start” program at school where I could go to community college and get both high school credits and college credits at the same time. I *almost* graduated high-school with enough credits for my AA degree but needed to take some not so fun classes (math yuck) later to finish.

I had the amazing opportunity to go to London with my cousin, Anna, and when I was 18. It was one of the most amazing trips ever!

Columbine happened a year after I graduated from high-school and I remember watching it on TV as it happened. When I was 19 I moved to Portland with my boyfriend and went to college and worked. When we broke up, I moved home for the summer to regroup. 9/11 happened and again, I watched that unfold on TV, too.

I’ve lived in Portland for 21 years now. (Crazy!) I’ve done so much in my life and traveled a LOT. It’s great! And for my birthday we are going back to Hawaii for a week!

Part of it was so I had something to look forward to instead of dreading my birthday! We rented a house on the Big Island with my parents and my brother and his wife. I am SO excited about it! I’ve been looking forward to it for a YEAR! (Yes we booked it a year ago!) It will be amazing!

It’s a big house with a huge lanai that has ocean views. I cannot wait to relax on the lanai with a beverage and just chill. The house has a firepit, a big yard, hot tub and outdoor shower. It’s a 15 minute drive from our favorite beach on the island. It’s going to be magical!

What A Year It’s Been

I kind of knew 2012 would be a challenge. Michael had gotten word from his boss in December of 2011 that he may be losing his job and sure enough, restructuring happened and he lost his job at the end of January. Because of that, it’s been a year of ups and downs. Going down to one income was difficult, especially since my paltry income in no way could cover the mortgage. Luckily, we scraped by on my salary and his unemployment without going into any debt or suffering too much.

Stress levels were definitely high this year but I tried to focus on my personal growth and used fitness as my stress-reliever. I increased my cycling this summer more than I ever did last year. I was able to somewhat successfully commute to work by bike 3 times a week (with some bumps in the road because of lots of flat tires).

The cycling training I did didn’t prepare me for that full Century I wanted to do. Instead, Michael and I biked the Salem Metric Century (64 miles). It was a great ride and I felt strong and happy at the end.

peach

My knees, however, ended up being a literal pain the remainder of 2012. I was diagnosed with the dreaded runner’s knee but immediately started physical therapy, altered my workouts, and was able to rehab my knees enough to try running again. I’m still not 100% but I’m glad I can do something!

The Highlights

The biggest highlight of 2012 was Michael landing the perfect job. I really do think things happen for a reason and the reason for our struggles this year was for Michael to find an even better job than his last one with better people, benefits and pay.

I had my 15 minutes of fame when I was on the local news about my weight loss. And I found an agent for my book!

Traveling

It’s funny how the year that Michael loses his job ends up being the year we do the most traveling. I don’t know how, it just ended up that way. We were really, really lucky this year with our vacations.

The first one was to Vegas. We cashed in all our airline miles to make the trip doable. We stayed at the Monte Carlo and had a wonderful time (but I never have a bad time in Vegas). I won on roulette the entire trip, we saw a Cirque show and ate some amazing food.

vegas

The second trip was to Texas for his sister’s wedding. Since it was a family event we didn’t have to pay for airfare or a place to stay for the wedding. It was nice seeing his family and the wedding was beautiful. We ended up going to Austin for a few days to celebrate our 4th anniversary before heading back home.

wedding

austin2

I surprised Michael for his birthday and whisked him away to the beach. We walked in the sand, saw sea otters, ate some good food and drank beer at Rogue.

rogue

Lastly, the trip to Hawaii. Man, that was a surprise! Another gift from the universe. Our friends invited us to stay with them at their condo and all we had to foot was airfare. I have to say that the best parts of Hawaii were running and swimming in the ocean.

beach
birdsof

Also, the flowers.  🙂

Moving Forward

What does 2013 have in store for me? Only time will tell. I have a lot of goals I want to achieve in the new year and I’m going to be focused and determined to achieve them. A lot of my goals revolve around cycling, my book, and hopefully some personal enrichment. I’m forming a book club, I applied to volunteer at the cat shelter I used to volunteer at, and I’m planning some fun trips (of course one will most likely be Vegas!).

Cheers!

QUESTION: How was 2012 for you? What were the highlights?