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Miss Independent

I need to rant for a minute here.

I graduated from high school and the very next morning (after being out all night partying with friends) I moved out of my parents’ house to go work at camp for the summer. A day or two after I was done at camp, I moved to university and was fully on my own. Yes, my parents helped me out financially when I needed it for the first few years (and on much fewer occasions since then), but basically I’ve been on my own and independent since I was 18. I had to get a job, buy a car and find a place to live. I’ve spent almost half of my life taking care of myself, and rather successfully, I might add.

My landlord knows about my upcoming trip to Italy (only 3 more weeks until I leave!!!), and the last few times I’ve seen him, we’ve talked about what I’ll be doing and where I’m going. He is absolutely SHOCKED and baffled that I’m going on my own, and he’s very worried about me. It drives me NUTS. Yes, Italy is a foreign country, but good f****ng lord, this is 2015. I’m not going to Syria or something. I’m a strong, smart, capable woman. Yes, I’m a bit nervous about being alone in a foreign country where I speak very little of the language, but I’ll be fine. It’s Europe – the most dangerous thing there is pickpockets, and there are plenty of ways of preventing that. I’ll only truly be on my own for a few days, and the rest of the time I’ll be with a group. I appreciate his concern for me, but I just want to tell him to shove it and stop treating me like I’m an infant. It’s not “brave” to be traveling alone – it’s completely normal.

For now I’ll just politely smile and insist that all will be fine and that it’s going to be a fabulous adventure (which it will be!), but inwardly I’ll seethe at his old fashioned, sexist and condescending ways.

Rant over. ;)

ER visit

Yesterday I ended up in the ER.

IMG_2484

 

All morning I hadn’t been feeling well. I was tired and sluggish and also very dizzy. At around 11am I started to black out and fall over. There were several co-workers right beside me who caught me as I fell over and helped me into a chair. I remember not being able to open my eyes and hearing their voices trying to find a nurse (thankfully I work in the healthcare field, so there are often nurses or other trained professionals at our office) or someone else who had First Aid who could come help me. Funnily enough, I’m one of the two highest qualified FA attendants at our office, but I couldn’t exactly help myself. ;) I could feel my pulse being taken, hands holding me upright (I was so dizzy that I had trouble holding myself up) and other conversation. It was so foggy and weird. My limbs felt heavy and I was having a very hard time talking.

After a while (and some food and water), I was feeling okay, so I went back to work. I still wasn’t feeling well but it was a busy day with lots to do, and I’m super stubborn, so I kept plodding along.

At around 2pm, I was feeling even worse and once again started to fall over. A co-worker helped me outside to get some fresh air and sat me down in a chair. I started going very grey, was having trouble breathing and was shaking pretty violently. At that point it was decided that I needed to go to the ER. Since our office is just 5 minutes from the local hospital, and it could take longer than that for an ambulance to arrive, one of my co-workers drove me there. Even though we have fabulous medical coverage, everyone has to pay for an ambulance ride, no matter what kind of healthcare plan you have. I’m thankful that they decided it would be quicker to transport me themselves and that they saved me from having to pay that fee.

The wait at the ER was exhausting. I was extremely cold and in a bit of shock, so I was huddled on a chair, shaking like crazy. I’m sure I looked like I was going through withdrawal or something. Since I was low priority on the triage list, I think I waited for about an hour before finally seeing a nurse. I went through a few tests, answered a ton of questions, and was told that the doctor would see me within 5 minutes. The nurses escorted me back out into the main ER waiting room and I told my co-worker what was going on and that she could leave. The plan was that another co-worker would show up in an hour to pick me up or wait with me or do whatever was needed, unless I texted her sooner that I was discharged.

Thankfully the wait was truly only 5 minutes and I was helped into my own private room with a door, which was VERY nice. So many other people who were waiting to see a doctor were out in the open and had no privacy at all. The nurse helped me out of my shirt and into the oh so lovely hospital gown and then the doctor and a student observer showed up within a minute or two.

We went through a whole barrage of tests, and my anxiety at the start was pretty high. Thankfully the doctor was very calming and reassuring. He even took a minute or two to help me breathe and calm my heart rate down as I was in full on panic mode and my blood pressure had skyrocketed.

To make an already long story short, he determined that the problem is in my inner ear. My equilibrium and balance are totally out of whack, and sudden movements cause my body to shut down as a defense mechanism, hence the blacking out and tipping over. It was kinda humorous, as several of the tests he ran caused me to (safely) topple over.

There’s a large buildup of wax in my right ear, so the fix is easy – softening up the wax with oil at home over the next number of days, then going back to the doctor to get it all removed. Apparently they could have removed it right there, but since it is so hard and stuck in there, it would have been extremely painful. I’m very grateful for that! Once I get the wax removed, that should help my balance and consciousness tremendously, and will also help me to hear better (yay!). Obviously if things don’t improve after doing that, then I have to go back for more tests and discussion. But he’s 99% sure that this should clear things up for me. Phew!

My other co-worker showed up just as I was getting discharged, so the timing was perfect. She drove me back to the office so that I could collect the rest of my stuff and go home.

So yesterday was definitely eventful. It was a bit embarrasing toppling over several times at the office and then having to go the hospital, but at least nothing serious is wrong and it should be easily fixed. Plus, thanks to the wonderful healthcare system in Canada (and with the extended healthcare I plan that I have with my employer), I didn’t have to pay a cent. For now I’m trying to slow down a little bit, breathe lots and will look forward to my balance and general health being restored soon.

An Easter Birthday

This past weekend was a double whammy of both my birthday and Easter. I’ve never been a huge fan of birthdays, so I don’t celebrate with friends or anything. I prefer to just have a quiet day with family instead.

On Friday (which was my birthday), I drove up to the ferry terminal and had planned to arrive early so that I could use up my free birthday meal at one of my favourite seafood restaurants (one of the benefits of having a membership card for their restaurant). I ended up getting to the terminal early enough that I was able to drive straight onto an earlier ferry than I expected to get on. So I ended up missing out on using up my birthday meal, but oh well. That meant that I had an extra few hours with my family, which is never a bad thing.

We had a nice and relaxing afternoon – talking about our respective European adventures (my parents are also headed there this spring, except they’re leaving very soon), napping and reading books. My aunt, cousin, her husband and their baby came over in the early evening for happy hour, so that was lovely. We had champagne, crackers and cheese and some fruit. Yum!!

Dinner was turkey, which was kinda meh, but my mom fully admitted that too. She had bought a turkey breast that wasn’t what she normally buys, so it was really dry. But that’s okay. The most important thing was cake:

cake

Chocolate Cappuccino Torte

Saturday morning was quite lazy, which was so nice. In the late morning, we hopped into the boat along with two others and headed up to Hackett Bay on Gambier Island, which isn’t too far away. That day, a navy destroyer called Annapolis would be sunk to create an artificial reef and bring back wildlife and plants to the area. The bay used to be a hub for loggers, so the bark that fell off of those logs just destroyed the bottom of the ocean. This boat will attract life back to the area, which is greatly needed. It will also be a great scuba diving destination.

Anyway, we aimed to be there shortly after noon. We couldn’t believe the amount of boats who had showed up to watch the event. This picture doesn’t even do justice to how many boats ended up being there:

boats

We were there for an hour before anything started happening, so it was a bit boring. My dad finally managed to squeeze our boat into a small space at the log barrier that was as close as the public was allowed to get, so we had a front row view!

annapolis

There were three dynamite explosions (bow, middle, stern) to blow holes in the bottom of the boat – this picture is after all of those, because it was SO loud. There wasn’t much visible fire, as everything was supremely controlled, but it was super exciting once it got going!

It only took about two minutes for the ship to sink, which was pretty incredible.

almost sunk

Just a brief glimpse of the bow still above water

I tried to embed a video that I posted on Instagram so that you could see the sinking in action, but it’s not working. For some reason my videos I’ve taken on my phone aren’t showing up on my cloud/computer, which is really frustrating. Oh well.

There was also a news helicopter circling the area the entire time, but the footage I’ve seen has only been of the boat sinking – none of all the boats watching the event. It would have been fun to see ourselves on the news. ;) We had expected that there would be a number of protesters, but either there weren’t any, or their noise was drowned out by the supporters of the event. People cheered when the dynamite blew, and then there were even louder and longer cheers (along with many horns and whistles being blown) when the boat disappeared. It was pretty cool!

Throughout the day we had been putting out the crab trap so that we could have a great feast for our Easter dinner. By the end of the day on Saturday we had caught 13 crabs, which is amazing! Unfortunately we couldn’t keep them all, as you’re not allowed to keep female dungeness crabs, and a few of them were too tiny. But we ended up with 7 that were salvageable, which is more than we’ve ever gotten before, I think!

Saturday night we went out for dinner at my favourite restaurant in Gibsons. I had to have some oysters, of course!

oysters

I even managed to convince my mom to try one, but my dad was having none of it. Raw oysters definitely aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I love them! And that meant all the more for me. :)

For my main course I had salmon over asparagus and a lemon risotto.

salmon

SO GOOD!

Yesterday we went to church and brought along a change of clothes with us. Once we were in our grubbier clothes, we drove for about an hour and a half up to Skookumchuck Narrows. It’s the place where the waters flow between the Sechelt Inlet and Georgia Straight. The water and rapids there can be very fierce, so it’s a pretty popular place. It’s a 3.5km or so hike from the “parking lot” (i.e.: the side of the road) to the narrows, and the woods are gorgeous!

trees

We stopped at the North Point, as it seemed like the best viewing area.

water

Even though we weren’t there at the peak rapids-viewing time, it still was very peaceful and beautiful! Unfortunately we couldn’t stay very long, so we’ll have to come back when we have a bit more time and can plan to be there when the waters are rushing a bit more.

Our evening consisted of sitting around the dining room table for hours and hours, chatting and cracking crabs. It was the perfect Easter dinner!

crab

Today I came back home. Because I hadn’t planned ahead and gotten a reservation on the ferry, we had been watching how the morning ferries were going. It seemed like a fairly busy day, so I ended up getting to the terminal 2 hours in advance, which was good. When I talked to the lady at the toll booth, the sailing that I was getting on was 86% full at that point. Yipes! I’m glad I didn’t arrive any later than that. Thankfully it was a gorgeous day, so even though there’s not a whole lot to do at the Langdale terminal, I read, napped a bit and went for a walk, and time passed fine enough.

It was a busy but fun weekend filled with great food and drinks and some good quality time with my family. I couldn’t ask for a better way to start off being 35!

Italy at a Glance

Since the last time I posted, a lot has happened in regards to my Italy trip! I finally now have almost everything booked!

My flights were actually booked the next afternoon after posting. LOL. Gotta love the timing on that! I had been planning to fly British Airways, but Air Canada sent me an email with “Europe on Sale” in the title, so they reeled me in with that. My flight ended up being the exact price I wanted, which is awesome! Plus, I get the Aeroplan miles – woohoo! After this trip I might have enough points to get to Hawaii in December, but we’ll see. Knowing the limitations of those programs, I’ll likely want to go during their blackout times, but I’ll think about that later. I have a short layover in Toronto on my way to Rome (just enough time to stand up for a bit, use the facilities, grab a quick dinner and then jump on my next plane). On the way home I’ll have a layover in Montreal that’s another short one too, so I won’t have time to get too bored in either airport.

I land in Rome in the morning and will probably make my way straight to the Airbnb location that I’ve booked so that I can lighten my load a little bit. I’m not really sure what I’ll do for my 36 hours in the city, but I’ll definitely sleep and go to a restaurant or two (or three). I’ll be staying in an interesting looking area of the city, and based on the (many!) reviews of this place, it seems safe, comfortable and the hosts are friendly and willing to help you get around the city.

After my 36 hours are up, I’ll head over to the Termini and jump on an overnight train that will take me up to Venice, where my tour will officially begin. I’ll arrive at sunrise, which should be the perfect time to ride on a Vaporetto down the canal and to my hotel. Since our tour doesn’t officially start until that evening, my plan right now is to leave my bags at the hotel and pop over to the island of Murano (famous for glass making). I already know that we won’t be stopping here as part of the tour, and this is a place I don’t want to miss.

Then will begin 10 days of touring around Venice, Florence and then Rome with my group of new friends. When the tour is over, I’ll have a few more days in Rome before heading back home. I haven’t booked my accommodation for this just yet, but I know where I want to stay. I plan on doing a foodie tour at twilight on one of the evenings, but I’m not yet sure what I’ll do for the rest of the time. It all depends on what isn’t covered as part of the tour and what I really really want to see before I leave. I might just be happy chilling out and drinking bottle after bottle of wine and eating plate after plate of pasta. Hopefully I don’t come home 20 pounds heavier. ;)

So that’s my trip in a nutshell! In the past 10 days I’ve booked my flights, overnight train, one Airbnb and paid off the remainder owing on my tour (OUCH! The US exchange rate was a biiitch today. :( ). All that’s left to do is book that last accommodation and then I’m set. It’s so exciting to see it all fall into place!

What have I been up to lately?

  • Running. I’m training for the Sun Run, which is coming up in just over a month. My pace has steadily improved each week since January. For the last 4 weeks I’ve beat my PB time for 5km. A few times it was just by a second, but last Saturday I beat my 5km time by 5 seconds. Also, last Saturday I completed a 10.4km run around Stanley Park called the Hot Chocolate Run. It was a gorgeously sunny day and I had a great run and got some quality time in with a dear friend. It was also the fastest 10k that I’ve run since October. Pretty awesome!!
  • Stressing about my Italy trip. I’m SO, so, so excited, but I’m a little freaked out about two things. First, the cost of the tour. When I did up my budget, I planned for the exact cost that was quoted when I signed up. I’m going with a US-based tour company, and being the stupid idiot that I am, I didn’t take the exchange rate into account. Since the dollar is in the crapper at the moment, I’m looking at about $900 extra for the cost of the tour. I don’t have that kind of extra money. I had wanted to have all the money up front for this trip, but it looks like I’ll be paying off that unanticipated $900 for a little while after it’s over. Oh well. The second stress is my flights. Haven’t booked those yet. Because of the extra $900 that I didn’t budget for, I’ve had to slightly adjust my trip (I was originally planning to spend a few days in London on my way to Italy), so I’ve only been watching the prices for this cheaper option for about a week now. The price went up by about $200 the other day, but if it goes back down by $200 I’ll be pressing “buy.” Hopefully that will happen soon. These are totally first world problems, but it’s what’s been keeping me awake at night lately.
  • My mom is now a Canadian! She moved here almost 40 years ago when she married my dad. She didn’t become a citizen back then because the rules were different and she would have had to renounce her American citizenship, which she wasn’t about to do. About 3 1/2 years ago she started the process to become a Canadian, because it will make things so much better for her to be a full citizen (the right to vote, various legal and money benefits, etc.) and finally all the paperwork was approved for her to become a Canadian. The ceremony was surprisingly moving and educational. If you ever get a chance to go to one, I highly recommend it!

That’s all for now. :)

A few of my bloggy friends have participated in this over the past few days and the questions were fun, so I decided to play along too. I’d love to hear your answers if you want to join in as well.

1. What is my current health-related goal?

I’m continuing to run, and focusing on improving my pace for 10k’s. I enjoyed the marathon training experience but training for a 10k is much more manageable time-wise.

2. What is my biggest irrational fear?

I guess the most “irrational” one would be the noises that I hear when my landlords go away for a time. I love being alone but when I’m the only one in the house, I hear things, especially at night. It freaks me out. I live in a very safe neighbourhood, so there’s really no need for me to panic, but panic I do.

3. Do I enjoy wrapping presents?

Yes! I find it oddly soothing and I’m very good at it. However, part of my job involves party planning and wrapping presents for said parties. I had about 500 presents to wrap between May and December this past year, and I was pretty done with presents after that. I never wanted to see another present again. Thankfully our family doesn’t do gifts at Christmas (we go on a family vacation together instead), so I think that by the time the next round of present-wrapping begins, I’ll be okay. ;)

4. What is my favourite cross-training activity?

Swimming! I don’t do it too often, and unfortunately on the days that I had cross-training workouts in the past 6 months, the pool at the rec centre I go to was always crazy busy or there were other things going on, so public swimming wasn’t an option. Any chance I have to jump into the water, whether it be in a pool or the ocean, I’m there! My parents used to joke that I was a fish or a mermaid, because I’ve been swimming since I was a baby and loved it so much.

5. If you came to visit me, what would we do?

I live in a suburb about an hour outside of Vancouver. While I love my suburb, there isn’t really all that much to DO around here, especially if you’re a tourist. I’d probably take you into Vancouver. We’d go walk through Stanley Park, grab some lunch at a restaurant with a view of the North Shore mountains, people watch on the steps of the Art Gallery with a coffee, and then if you came between October and April, I’d take you to a hockey game. I’d apologize (like a good Canadian) about my trucker mouth, but we’d have a great time talking and laughing and screaming obscenities at the players and the referees.

6. I have two weeks off work and two round trip plane tickets to anywhere. Where would I go and who would I take?

I’d go to Italy! Oh wait, I AM! Haha. My dream trip to Italy is happening in about 4 months. HOLY CRAP! I’m going to Florence, Venice and Rome and will have 3 days in each city. I’ll also spend a few days both before and after the tour, but I haven’t decided if those will all be in Italy, or if I’ll take some time to stop in London to visit my cousin. I’m going on a Rick Steves tour and I’m going by myself. I travel much better that way. I’m fine with being around other people, but historically I haven’t done very well when traveling with friends. This way I can be totally selfish and see exactly what I want to see, go at my own pace, and to not have to compromise on anything. I’m really excited for all the great adventures I’m going to have this spring!

7. What’s the most embarrassing thing to happen to me during a run or a race?

I guess mooning drivers while going pee during the marathon? The first time was a bit embarrassing, that’s for sure. But I had to go SO badly and there were no porta-potties nearby, so I did what had to be done, and a bunch of people got a show.

 

8. Three best days of my life? Or at least the top three that come to mind?
April 13, 2001: Seeing U2 in concert for the first time
December 21, 2009: Going skydiving
December 14, 2014: Completing the Honolulu Marathon
9. Okay, so I HAVE to eat a fast food meal. What restaurant would I choose and what do I order?
I’d go to Triple O’s (the drive-thru version of White Spot) and get a Spicy Chicken Crunch burger (I LOVE their special sauce!), fries and gravy and a Diet Coke.
10. Have I ever met a celebrity?
Quite a few! Wayne Gretzky and Phil Keoghan (host of The Amazing Race) immediately come to mind, but the best encounter was with Canada’s Boyfriend™, George Stroumboulopoulos, when he came to Vancouver to film a few episodes of his old show, The Hour. I can’t remember when it was – maybe 2010 or 2011, but my BFF and I were in the reject room (at least we were IN the building!), and he came over to talk to those of us in that room. He made his way through some of the crowd shaking hands and saying hi. He did a double take when he saw me grin at him, grabbed my hand with both of his and said that it was so nice to meet me and genuinely thanked me for coming. It was only a few seconds, but he spent more time with me than all the hundreds of prettier girls that were there. I totally swooned. There were a few angry mutterings of “bitch! I hate her!” from behind me, but I didn’t care. George noticed me and that was awesome. #fangirlforlife
11. Share a pic of myself in non-workout clothes.
My profile pic on most social media sites. It’s a few years old and it was taken for a work photo ID card, but it’s one of my favourite pictures ever taken of me. I absolutely HATE getting my picture taken, so in most photos I look awkward and uncomfortable, but I like this one.
SA pic
12. If I could choose to have a “do over” and switch careers, what would I choose and why?
A travel photojournalist. Getting to see the world, write about my adventures and take pictures would be a dream come true. Or, along those same lines, a concert photographer. Getting to go to concerts, take a bunch of photos and then enjoy the rest of the show?! So cool. I’m sure I’d probably get stuck reviewing some crappy bands, but think of all the amazing new music I’d discover!
13. If I won an Olympic Gold Medal, how do I think I would react?
Tears. Many, many tears. Is there any other reaction?!
14. What do I want for Christmas?
Our family doesn’t do gifts any more, so it’s always so hard to know what to say when somebody asks me what I’d like as a gift. However, you can never go wrong with a gift certificate to my favourite used book store, Amazon or any other local/national book seller. I always have a list a mile long of books that I want to read. Adding to my book collection never fails to make me happy.
15. What skill do I lack?
A lot of them! Probably my biggest one is the ability to keep my house in some kind of order for any longer than a week. I have grand intentions, but I get lazy and my house just falls to shambles so quickly. I’m amazingly well organized in so many other aspects of my life, but my house is almost always a mess.
*
Sorry for the weird spacing issues. WordPress sometimes does this for no explicable reason, and I’m too tired to attempt to fix it right now.

I really enjoy this way of wrapping up my year. Past years: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013.

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

Completed a marathon! It’s a total novel, but click that link if you want to read all about my experience and also see some pictures.

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

I’m not much of a resolution maker, no matter the time of year.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

My cousin had her first baby (a boy!) on Christmas Eve! We met him 3 days later and he is tiny and perfect.

Did anyone close to you die?

We hadn’t been close in a long time, but my grandpa died shortly before Christmas. He was 92. There are a whole lot of issues we’re dealing with as a family around this, so in a sense it’s been good timing for this to happen so that we can talk things out while mostly everyone’s around for the holidays.

What countries did you visit?

Just the USA. I went to Washington a few times and also Hawaii, but that’s about it. Next year will FINALLY include some international travel, which I am SUPER excited about!

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

I honestly can’t think of anything. I have a house to live in, a steady job and a reliable vehicle. I couldn’t ask for more!

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

October 26th – Ran my first half marathon!

December 14th – Ran my first FULL marathon!

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Completing the marathon. Probably one of the proudest moments of my life so far!

What was your biggest failure?

Nothing of note.

Did you suffer any illness or injury?

Nothing too major, thankfully! I had a running injury in the latter half of the year which prevented me from actually running the whole time during the marathon, but that turned out to be not a bad thing at all. As far as illness goes, I’m very healthy, so I think the last time I was sick was a year ago over NYE. Woohoo!

What was the best thing you bought?

A deposit on my dream trip to Italy. I’ve been wanting to go there for SO many years, and in 2015 it will finally be happening! I’m going on a Rick Steves tour for 9 days, and will also have a few days both before and after the trip to explore on my own. In total I’ll be there for 2 weeks. It’s going to be amazing!!

Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Don’t know.

Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

Jian Ghomeshi. If you live in Canada, you’ll know who that is. If the news didn’t make it to your country, he’s a Canadian celebrity. He had a fairly well-known band (in Canada) in the 90s and until a few months ago he had a very popular radio show on the CBC. Throughout a series of events it became public knowledge that he was a sexual predator. The whole thing was very appalling and shocking.

Where did most of your money go?

I got myself a substantial loan in November so that I could buy a new(er) car. Also, saving up for my Italy trip. And of course the usual bills and other life expenses.

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

Crossing the finish line of the marathon and making my dream trip to Italy a reality.

What song will always remind you of 2014?

Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off.” It is SO damn catchy!! I don’t like country music, but I absolutely love her new album, and this song is the best. I put it on my running playlist for the last few months of the year, and every time I’d hear it I’d giggle and dance around. It’s so fun.

Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder (b) thinner or fatter (c) richer or poorer?

(a) Happier

(b) I’m not thinner and I’m not fatter – I’m just more muscular. I have to say my legs have seen the greatest improvement this past year. Running several times a week does wonders for those!

(c) I guess a tiny bit richer. I passed probation at work in the spring and got a nice raise at that time, and then on my one year anniversary I got another small raise. Since I work for a non-profit, my salary isn’t what it would be if I was working for a for-profit company, but I’m not in this job for the money. Most people who work at non-profits aren’t. ;)

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Spend time with friends, but it was a little difficult due to my running training. My dad and I joked that training was a part-time job, on top of our already full-time jobs. Friends had to take a back seat for the last 6 months, unfortunately. But now that my time won’t be so consumed with working out for hours and hours every day, this will change.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Nothing comes to mind.

How did you spend Christmas?

At my parents’ house. It was very low-key and relaxing. I slept in, we had coffee and then made our way downstairs to living room where the tree is and where my dad had set a fire earlier, so it was nice and cozy. We had small stockings, so we opened those few things and just relaxed. We had a lot of delicious food and alcohol throughout the day. The highlight was pulling 3 fresh crabs out of the crab trap that was in the ocean just in front of my parents’ house. It was so fabulous having that for our Christmas dinner feast!

Did you fall in love in 2014?

No, and no plans or desire to do that any time soon.

What was your favourite TV program?

The Good Wife (the last 2 seasons have been phenomenal!!), Outlander, Suits, Call the Midwife (not sure when a new series of this starts, but I binge-watched everything I could find) and Parenthood (only 4 more episodes before it’s done forever, and I’m so heartbroken). I watch a lot more shows than that, but these have been the best this season so far.

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

I don’t waste energy on hatred. It’s poisonous.

What was the best book you read?

The Outlander series. I had been hearing so much about them because of the TV show, so I bought the first 2 books on sale and thought I’d give them a try before watching the show (hey kids – ALWAYS read the books first!). I was hooked! I started on book 4 when I came up to my parents’ place for Christmas and have book 5 with me if I manage to have the time to finish number 4. There’s a lot of sex in the books which was interesting for the first two, but now I’m over it and kinda roll my eyes whenever the main characters get it on, which is fairly often. I’m mostly interested in the historical aspects of it anyway.

What was your greatest musical discovery?

That Taylor Swift actually is awesome?! LOL. I’m very anti-country, but her new album is totally 80s pop, which I am in love with.

What did you want and get?

A new car! Finally!! I’ve been wanting one for years, and finally it was forced upon me just over a month ago. But I’m oh so glad it was!

What did you want and not get?

Nothing. I’m very content!

What was your favourite film of this year?

Veronica Mars. I really want to see Unbroken sometime soon, though. I read the book a few years ago and thought it was amazing, so I’m looking forward to the movie adaptation.

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

I turned 34. It was on a Thursday, so obviously I had to go to work. Nobody at my office knew because I’m not much of a birthday person, so I don’t talk about it at all. I’m not sure how I managed to fly under the radar, as everyone’s on a birthday list and is usually celebrated at the office, but somehow I did it! I doubt I’ll be able to hide next year, but we’ll see if I can swing it. Anyway, I obviously didn’t do anything too spectacular or memorable because I can’t remember a thing beyond being at work. I’m sure I treated myself to a tasty dinner and some good wine or vodka, and probably watched hockey or one of my favourite TV shows (all the good shows seem to air on Thursdays).

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

Nothing! 2014 was a great year, even though it seemed to fly by in a flash.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?

Simple, simple, simple. Low maintenance and effort.

What kept you sane?

The lovely people in my life. The fact that my dad and I were training for the marathon together, even though we live in different cities. It felt like all we talked about in the last 6 months was running and our training and what we’d learned, etc., so it was nice to have someone who knew exactly what I was going through and could relate to all the struggles that training for a marathon brings.

What celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Probably Matthew Goode (he plays Finn Polmar on The Good Wife). As much as I was heartbroken about Will dying on the show at the end of the previous season, Finn is a hottie and I like the chemistry between him and Alicia. By the time the show took a break for the holidays a few weeks ago, I was yelling at the TV for them to just make out already every time they were on screen together. LOL.

What political issue stirred you the most?

I can’t think of anything. I mostly stay away from politics.

Who did you miss?

Friends whom I’ve lost touch with.

Who was the best new person you met?

My cousin’s new son, even though I didn’t even hold him during our first visit. He’s very tiny and cute, and a new baby in the family is always a wonderful thing. It’s interesting – just as my grandpa was dying, the new little one was making his entrance into the world. Life often happens that way – someone comes into the world as someone is leaving. Truly the circle of life.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

That anything is possible if you’re willing to work hard. There were times throughout the year that I seriously doubted my ability to complete a marathon, but I did it! My perseverance and dedication paid off immensely. Aside from the blisters (which were pretty unavoidable, given the weather), I felt so fantastic the next day, and had so much energy that I felt like I could have run a 10k. I attribute that to the good training I’d done for all those months. Without that discipline and hard work, I doubt I would have been feeling so good the next day.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Nothing’s coming to mind.

*

Happy New Year!

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