Sunday, January 3, 2016

2016 (the shortlist and all the deets too)

Before I update on that jewelry! On Wednesday I got a call from security that my third ring (the one from Hannah) had been found! I am still missing one earring and my PrideZ pin, but all other articles have been returned. I keep saying it, but I am very, very fortunate!

Now on to other things...

I swear people, I do not know what I'll do this week when I have to actually work 5 full days in a row. The last full week I worked was the first week of December, and I feel like that didn't really count. Since then I've had Thursday and/or Friday off each week, and the last two weeks at work felt like blow off days because so many people were out for the holidays. When about 60% of the office is gone it's hard to stay motivated rather than become increasingly jealous ;)

But here we are. Ready to talk about 2016.

I first have to say that 2016 decided to hit me in the gut right away. On January 1st I had about 9 hours of warm, fuzzy New Year feelings, and then it was like "BAM! Try this on for size."

Unfortunately for 2016, I know how to hold my ground and hit back. Sometimes I even throw elbows.

I'm not comfortable saying exactly what happened. It's not immediately life changing, but it was a wake up call that this lovely life I'm living has the ability to change drastically if that's what needs to happen. Always nice to remember.

Thanks, 2016, for slapping me in the face with that one over breakfast. I needed the wake up and reminder.

And now that I've thanked you, I'm going to approach the remaining 364 days of 2016 with this attitude: I'm gonna make you mine.

2016: You will be my year whether you want to be or not.

So there.

I will say though...this feeds right in to what I want to say. I started reflecting on the contents of this post the other day when I was reading a friend's blog. A bit of a preamble: Ellen has known me since before I was born - she and her husband lived down the street from my parents, and she was pregnant (with one of my best friends) at the same time as my mom. She's the first adult I ever considered a friend, and one of the kindest people I've ever known.

In the post I was reading the other day she wrote:

Check out her blog for more insightful posts :)
Her post got me thinking. It's a tableau of synchronicity, really. First, it reminded me of the quote on the wall by the pool at my gym:

And then I looked to my right and saw the planner I asked for on my Christmas list. When I opened it on Christmas I'd forgotten which one I'd asked for, but clearly the fates are aligning to send me a very strong message about 2016:

I love this planner and am so excited to fill it with all sorts of fun things!
Now don't get me wrong. I was overwhelmed with optimism for the first few hours of 2016, and then that reality check put me in my place. I think it's easy to see everything through rose-tinted lenses on January 1st - I sure did.

And then I look at the year ahead. The goals. The unknowns. The What-Ifs. Suddenly it's a bit scarier and that optimism seems incredibly naive.

But the whole point of this little mantra I've unwittingly assumed is that the first step to accomplishing something is that you stop for a second and choose to believe you can do it.

The whole point in saying all of that is that yes, I truly believe all of the things I'm listing below will happen for me - that I will accomplish them - because I believe I can. And I expect it.

So here it is...

My 2016 To Do List

Short list:

  1. Fit in Fitness
    • Write out training plans
    • Lift regularly
    • Active Recovery
      • Bikram Yoga
      • Sarah Beth Yoga
    • Hustle Up the Hancock
    • Virtual Races
    • Keep at it with HRC
    • Volunteer at an Ironman
  2. Consume more books
    • Walking Dead
    • Kinsey Millhone novels
    • The Dresden Files
  3. Travel a Bit
    • Berlin
    • Amsterdam
    • Reykjavik (?)
    • Hannah visits!
  4. Move on with things!
  5. and a round up on Work Things
    • Moving systems
    • Moving Offices
    • Commitment
      • PrideZ
      • Wellness Committee
      • And more!

And now the long version.

Fit in Fitness

This is a no brainer. One thing I managed very successfully in 2015 was becoming much more active. That trend will continue in 2016.

I obviously have things to train for. I'm currently trying to decide between a 16 and 20 week Oly training plan (the difference is that the 20 week plan is basically 4 weeks of "conditioning" to get you ready for training 6 days a week for 16 weeks). That means I'll for sure be training by the end of April. (I'm currently working on establishing/writing out all my training plans for 2016 to make sure I can get everything in adequately.)

But before then, I'd like to get into some good habits in other areas. This definitely means that Cam and I need to get back to lifting regularly. It feels as though we've fallen away from it since I was injured, and I truly believe that lifting will be an integral part of helping me achieve all my goals this year, so I'd like to do more of it. I won't make it a secret that I didn't hit my bench press goal for December (90lb 1RM), but we also didn't commit much time to lifting last month, so that's not surprising.

But along with lifting and the gear-up tri-training I've been doing, I've noticed that my flexibility has decreased a bit. I am fairly awful about stretching (definitely part of my tendinitis issue), and I know I need to get better about stretching and active recovery. Fortunately, I have a friend who gave me some two week passes to the yoga studio she goes to, and she herself goes to Bikram ("hot" yoga) every Friday. I'm making it a goal to meet up with her for her class on Fridays, since Friday has always been a rest day for me, and since the studio is on my way home from work.

But yoga one day a week is a bit of a cop-out as far as practicing goes, so I'm going to try harder to integrate some yoga into my every day life. I'm talking 10-15 minutes a day focusing on whatever needs help. Could be neck/shoulder tension, calf/leg tightness - whatever. It's good for me, it's important injury prevention, and I need it. I'm currently working on Sarah Beth Yoga's #7DayYogaChallenge to help get me into a positive pattern.

And in addition to all of that, this week I officially start training for the Hustle Up the Hancock. I've been using the stairs at work much more frequently the last few weeks (since I was given the go-ahead in PT), and the 5 floors up to my floor are easier now. I'm still worried about how my ankle will fare, but I talked to the guy at the office heading up this venture and there's currently no waitlist, so I can forge ahead with training and keep my spot without worrying about someone else not getting in.

I mentioned this in my last post, but I have a backlog of virtual races to complete from 2015. I signed up for the Hogwarts Running Club (HRC) Marauders' Challenge just before I hurt my ankle, so around mid December I received all of the medals. I still haven't completed any of them, so the medals are sitting near my desk waiting to be earned.

The races are:

  • The Patronus 5k
  • The Dementor's Kiss 5k (can we say Valentine's day race?!)
  • The Voldemort V Miler (5 miles)
  • Weasley's Wizarding Wheezer 5k

In addition, I signed up for Swim Bike Mom's Be Brave, Be Thankful 5k (or any distance) which coincided with Thanksgiving. I (obviously) didn't run on Thanksgiving, but I have the medal sitting here waiting to be earned.

I realize I could just hang them up and use my injury as an excuse for not being able to do them. But that's stupid. I feel like I should earn them. So I will!

And along the way...I plan on doing all the HRC races this year too ;)

And addition to all the other "I'd like to" things I've thrown at you this year and as long as all goes well, I'd like to be a volunteer for an Ironman (I figure this kind of fits into the fitness category). After reading Meredith's IM Louisville recap where she wrote about how awesome the volunteers are and how they can just about make or break it for a racer, I really want to volunteer at an Ironman. I think it will be pretty freaking cool, so why not this year?! I haven't picked one yet - it will come down to other plans (keep reading for that) and the PTO I need to take, but I'm working on it!

Consume Books

Not like, physically consume them. I don't do much physical reading nowadays, but I listen to a ton of audio books. In 2015 I made my way through a number of them, including the first eight of Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone novels, eleven of the Dresden Files books, and a handful of other books, including Jurassic Park, a novel I've had my eye on for years, and also some YA literature, non-fiction stuff (I read some lifting books), and other things I'm sure I'm forgetting.

I'd like to continue the trend in 2016 and keep on listening to stuff. I plan on catching up on both the Kinsey and Dresden series (that's a total of 20 books), and I'm working on The Walking Dead: Compendium Three right now!
It was a Christmas gift, and is already giving me nightmares!
And if by some miracle the Winds of Winter comes out this year, I plan on reading that too!

Travel a bit

This one is a big one. Kind of an announcement, if you will. For Christmas I gave Cam a box with two things in it:

1. A really cute airplane ornament:

and 2: Lonely Planet's guide to Amsterdam:

Go ahead and take a second to connect the dots. I'll wait. *twiddles thumbs*

Yeah, it kind of gives itself away. Cam's Christmas/graduation present is a two week trip to Amsterdam. And Berlin. And possibly Reykjavik. And the best part is two-fold: We will be seeing and traveling with his brother, who is currently in New Zealand, and two of our friends are coming along too! Plans are currently in the works as far as dates go (there's a lot to juggle when five people's schedules are in the mix), so stay tuned because it will be an unfolding story.

A little bit of England will be coming to me too...Hannah will be here in June!

Move Out

Yep, I still live at home. Cam has been waiting to finish school and pay off his car before moving out (he still lives at home too) and those two requirements were met within 5 days of each other last month. The current timeline for moving out is sometime mid summer.

It's been great to not have to pay rent and be able to save money, but I am stoked that I will no longer feel like I'm living in two places. It is the one thing I truly despise about my life right now. This is something I've wanted for quite a while, and I'm glad we're firming up some plants to move on with things and move out!

Stay tuned for more on that too!

Work Changes

This post would not be complete if I didn't mention the big changes coming for my company in 2016. Though our third-quarter results were not great, we have a big move ahead of us!

To say nothing of our planned switch from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Outlook (I feel like it's gonna be a total cluster...): 2016 is the year our new building will be complete, so we'll be moving offices. You can see and read about the new building here, if you'd like. Over the last year, a lot of people who've driven down I-90 have later commented to me about the building. It's size, it's design, it's completion status, etc. Yes, it's big. Yes, the design is weird. Weirder still, it took the executive sponsor like 2 weeks to decide on grass for the roof top (I asked him about it).

There have been events at work, clearing out, organizing, replacing equipment, all sorts - all to get ready for this move. I believe we start moving sometime between June and September, but no one seems to know for sure. Everyone knows what the outside will look like, none of us know what the floor plans are going to be. We have an idea of what our cubes will be like, but no one really knows.

I will say this if I say anything: A lot of thought and planning went into this building, and fortunately, a lot of that thought concerned employee happiness and wellness. Standing desks, walking gardens, more stairs and less elevators, open designing...because, hey! It all increases work productivity ;)

Needless to say...the move will probably be crazy. When it happens, I'll roll with it! It's just gonna add one more interesting element to 2016. So look forward to pictures of that in 2016!

I have some other goals for work in 2016 as well. Some are private for now, but as far as volunteering and "Zurich Commitment" go, I plan on narrowing my focus. I have my office lead position with PrideZ to tend to, and would like to get involved in the Wellness Committee as well. I need to inventory the commitments I had in 2015 and choose what I'd like to continue with in 2016, and what to trim. So that's in my thoughts and considerations, and will be a revolving door for evaluation as necessary as 2016 goes on.

So there you have it.

The plans and expectations for 2016, in a long-winded nutshell.

I'm sure about 30% of this will happen as I want it to. But that's what makes life Life - taking what's thrown at you and coming out on top.

Let's do this, 2016.



  1. Hi! We are a group called Run Long And Perspire and we organize geek-themed virtual races to raise money for charities. Our first event is a Game of Thrones race (the Winter Is Coming 5K) that will take place in February and benefit Doctors Without Borders. We will organize 2 other races this year, a Harry Potter one and a Doctor Who one. We would love to have you in our race! If you think it might interest you, feel free to visit our website or our Facebook page :
    Thank you :)

    1. This sounds awesome! I will definitely look into it :)