Archive for 12/14/2017

Year 2017 in review

Ah, the year 2017! An interesting year! (just apparently not interesting enough to write about)

Year 2017 | 2017 to 2018

First and foremost, yes, I know that I haven’t been really using this in the year 2017. I think the same issue came up that I mentioned in the previous (non-guest) post. I really didn’t have that much overall to report. But as I like to do, here is my year in review.

So let’s go down the list.

Firstly, Ashley moved here from Utah after getting a job as a revenue manager at a hotel in Denver. She moved to an apartment on the north side of Greenwood Village (though technically it’s Denver). Needless to say, I am quite happy because of this. It was difficult maintaining a relationship with someone in a different city. Now we are twenty minutes from one another (if there is no traffic) and we meet up at least once a week (though often times more) plus we both get Sundays together due to my work schedule.

Speaking of work, while I am still with Trustwave in the year 2017, some things have changed. I don’t fault my previous boss, but he and I really didn’t gel well. I know he was trying hard, and with my constant need to change my schedule, I am sure I wasn’t the easiest to manage. However, he has since changed positions and has even changed countries so I hope he is happy with his new role.

Needless to say, my stress levels went down at work and my performance metrics have gone up. I get along great with my current boss and, while I may change jobs in the future, I am content where I am now. I am even getting along with people who hated me from day one. Not really sure what happened there, but I can’t complain about this new development.

Health-wise, I still have my cough that the doctor says is nothing to worry about. I am changing insurance in 2018 and will have a whole new crop of doctors so I will get a second opinion from the new doctors. Ever since changing bosses, my blood pressure has gone down. Additionally, thanks to a new diet, I’ve lost more weight. I plan on losing more weight in 2018. So far, I’ve lost around 30 pounds.

I did get a new vehicle. My old Honda CRV needed a lot of work to keep it driveable. However, I decided that it was time to get a new vehicle. To that end, I purchased a year 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

Year 2017 | 2017 Toyota RAV4

I do like the gas mileage and the features. Firstly, it gets about 35 MPG which is 15 higher than my old car. It is also a hybrid so it functions off electric motors and, in traffic, can do 40 MPG or higher. I have had some minor issues with it. For example, the nav system locks up sometimes, but a reboot fixes it. I did have one critical issue where it refused to start and I had to have it towed to the dealership. Here is hoping that doesn’t happen again.

Overall though, I’ve mostly been doing what I usually do. I’ve done a few new experiences with Ashley and said goodbye to old friends. For example, in year 2017, Julia, a former girlfriend whom I’d become quite close with ever since we broke up, moved away to Michigan. She wouldn’t know this as I tend not to let things like this show, but I nearly cried at her going away party. I tried to keep things light and happy though.

I did go and visit with Ashley’s family in Utah in September. We spent the weekend at a resort and I got to spend more time with them. The last time, I was there for Christmas and got to meet them briefly over an evening. For Christmas this year, we are doing it again, so that will be interesting. As a result of that, I will be doing Christmas with my family a week early, but it works out for both myself and my sister so that we can go see our other families.

In 2018, the plan exists to move in with Ashley. Once my lease is up we will move in. Not sure where yet, but in February-ish, we will start looking and see if we can find a place we like. My lease isn’t up until June so we have a little while.

Anyways, that is the basic happenings of year 2017. It wasn’t a majorly eventful year, but I will honestly try to do even more in 2018 as far as blogging. Just had too many irons in the fire this year.

Here is to 2018!

Year 2017 | champagne

Guest Post: Self-Improvement for Your Holiday Wish List


Self-Improvement for Your Holiday Wish List


Every year, come the holidays, we have to make a list of things we really, truly want. It’s usually just material items and not always things we genuinely desire but simply saw advertised in a catalog. This year, why not encourage yourself to break tradition and ask for things that can improve your life? Whether it’s learning a craft, picking up an instrument, or trying your hand at a language you’ve always wanted to speak, here are some holiday wish-list ideas that can help you make improvements in your life.


Learn a Sport


Not only can playing a sport be an excellent form of exercise, it’s a way to meet new people. It can be a fun way to improve your health and make some new friends. If you’re having trouble picking one, look at what is being played locally in your town. Sports offer the physical benefit of exercise, and many can improve self-esteem and mental wellness. This year, treat yourself to something that will benefit you all year long and pick a new sport to engage in.


Learn to Play an Instrument


There are so many benefits to playing an instrument; not only can you improve your response and reaction time, it’s proven to keep your brain young as you age. It can seem intimidating to start, but it doesn’t have to be. Choose a string instrument, like a guitar—or even simpler, a ukulele—and start to learn easily.


Learn a Craft


A great investment this holiday season is learning a craft for yourself. Not only will you be learning something valuable, but the holidays are the perfect time for crafting. You can work with others to make presents and support local businesses when buying your craft supplies, and it turns out that crafting is actually quite good for your brain too! Even if it’s just learning to knit to keep your hands busy while you watch TV at the end of the day, learning how to craft is a great treat for this holiday season.


Learn to Cook


With how busy and hectic our lives are in this day and age, it’s easy to rely on takeout restaurants and premade food from the store to save time, effort, and energy when you’re exhausted after a long day of work. However, while is it often healthier to make your own meals, it can also save you money and can actually be a way to relax at the end of your day or week. Look to your local community center for affordable cooking classes.  You will learn new skills, and you’ll meet new people in an organic way. Sign up with a friend and have even more fun while you learn the basics, more complex techniques if you’re already familiar with cooking, or something specific—like how to make cocktails for seasonal dinner parties.


Learn a New Language


Let’s face it—learning a new language is one of the best things you can do for your brain’s health. But, it can also be a fun adventure for self-improvement. You can usually find a class at your local community center and find tutors locally as well to practice conversational speaking. There are also courses that offer immersive learning to really help you pick up your new language.


This year, take a break from the material aspect of the holiday season and learn something for self-improvement (and fun!) instead. You can do something to really benefit yourself for your entire life, all while supporting local businesses. Bring in friends or family to learn with you, and make it an entertaining way to socialize and spend time with your loved ones.


Image courtesy of Pixabay

Written by Julie Morris