2016 Time…Goodbye 2015!

I just got back from an epic holiday adventure to Denver and back (with stops in Aspen, Utah, Vegas, etc along the way). Family fun and all of that. I love the chance for a couple of weeks to totally alter the way you do things–slacking on email, eating Mom’s meals, making sure the dog doesn’t get TOO close to the horses on that farm you’ve rented. Thought patterns become so routine that it’s a requirement to shake them up a bit at least a few times a year. I haven’t seen that much snow in years, btw.

I didn’t say an official goodbye to 2015. When I reflect on a full year, I’m always surprised by how much actually happened. My life usually seems so mundane, but hey–condense 300+ days into one blog entry, and I seem pretty cool. This is my “best of” list for 2015:

1) HUXLEY was born! Hooray, I have a dog! He is sleeping at my feet as I write. I have over 200 photos of him on my phone if you want to see what he looks like. I have not yet spent a night without him since the day he came home–this could mean I have separation anxiety OR I’m an awesome dog mom! He’s growling at the guitar right now, his biggest enemy in the house.

2) HAWAII–a total dream come true! Every inch of the island was beautiful. Volcanoes, stargazing, hiking, surfing (I caught a one foot wave!), etc–I wanna go back!

3) Changing up my work situation: I loved my full-time teaching job. That’s why I did it for 9+ years. I couldn’t tell you anything I do better than teaching. But I feed off challenges, and I wasn’t being challenged. So I did something scary. I went part-time, and this is what happened: I almost immediately got a teaching gig at Cal State L.A. I had been applying to universities every year since I got my Ph.D., and this gig came out of the blue. It wasn’t what I planned on doing, but it turned out to be just the right challenge I needed at just the right time.

4) Road Trips times 2: Two chances to hop in the car and make the 14 hour drive to Denver to see my parents and family. I had never made that exact drive before, and I was impressed at how beautiful it was. One in 100+ weather & one in freezing frigid temps–still two really fun experiences.

5) VRBO: I love Vacation Rental By Owner…check out the website! It’s my favorite place to do my favorite thing–find cool rental homes. I have a weird obsession with it, and I think I’m really good at it. I sift through all the reviews to get a good feel for the place. I’m patient enough to do a dozen different searches until finding the perfect property. I much prefer these places to hotels, especially with a pet. I was able to stay at the Mango Cottage in Hawaii, a horse farm in Colorado, a nice pool house in Palm Springs, & have found a “future” place up in Northern California along the “Lost Coast.”

6) Scavenger Hunt Biz BOOMING: Starting my own business has been a really scary dream that started about 5 years ago. Mid-November things picked up an amazing amount. I was so busy for a month that I couldn’t even take a moment to say “What’s happening to the business?!?!”–I just had to roll with it. I booked more gigs in 3 weeks than I usually book in 3 months. I loved every minute of it. This came at a time when I was questioning the whole thing, my career moves, etc. It was the “you’re on the right track” message I needed at just the right time. Although it is still scary and unpredictable (umm, who wants a scavenger hunt during El Nino??), I walk into the new year a much more confident person than ever before.

7) A back house with a POOL: I didn’t know people had pools in Culver City, but now I do! Although I thought I would focus on running this year, I’ve decided to take advantage of actually having a pool & start back up with triathlon training! The dog likes to swim, too, so it’s a win/win. And the pool is heated. How fancy am I right now? The place isn’t cheap, but it’s worth every penny to feel at home in your home.

8) TAYLOR SWIFT 1989 tour: I’m not an official SWIFTIE, but I did play her album in my car for a solid year, so it was a fun show to go to. The girl spends A LOT on production quality, so just like Beyonce–it was more of an “experience” than a concert. The best part was when Mary J Blige came out and performed, & I was screaming louder than all the 12 year olds around me combined.

I really wanted to make this a solid TOP 10 list, but it’s hard to remember EVERYTHING. Just like I’m sure it’s hard for you to read EVERYTHING. I hope you had a great year, too, and I hope you’re just as excited as I am about 2016.

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