goodbye, 2013….

Hello!  I can’t believe that it will be 2014 tomorrow.  This year flew by but when I look back at one year ago, it feels like 3 years ago.  Every year at this time people spend time reflecting on their past year and contemplating the future and so, of course, that’s what I am doing. In short, this year was wonderful and everything I hoped for. I had a really hard time for a long time, and 2012 was downright horrible.  I lost pets, had a car wreck, had to cram a full time law school schedule into a part time one, among so many other things. The highlight of 2012 was getting my dog Ella, but other than that, it was a tough year. This day a year ago I thought, “good riddance, 2012…you sucked…” and also felt an enormous amount of uncertainty and fear before the bar exam.

The earliest post I had in 2013 was here. One day in January after lunch with my boyfriend I sat in his car right outside my office…crying and telling him how enormously fearful I was.  I told him if I don’t pass the bar exam, I could miss opportunities for jobs…I could have to retake it and spend many months more studying, sinking deeper into the exhaustion and edginess I felt, and not moving on with my life….I told him that I just felt this enormous burden because it was all up to me to make this year either an awesome one or another really bad one. I basically had about five very exhausting years and I just wanted it to be over.

I still stop and pinch myself every day now that normalcy has returned. I passed the bar exam…got a job, which has been going great…lost 17 of the 25 pounds I gained in law school…took a vacation, did tons of fun things with friends, got to enjoy my holidays for the first time in years, and got engaged to my boyfriend.  This year was very, very good to me!

I AM very sad the holidays are coming to an end.  Basically from October until now I was fully immersed in them and had a great time.  I started taking my Christmas decor down last night.  To get over that post-holiday sadness, I am thinking about what I’d like to do this winter.  I am really hoping for a VERY snowy winter. I’d like to go snowboarding again…I haven’t gone since January, 2008.  I am also looking forward to the Winter Olympics.  I have this inexplicable obsession with both the summer and winter olympics.  For two glorious weeks I let all my free time outside of work be consumed by televised sporting events.  Whether it’s skiing, iceskating, curling, whatever, I am glued to the TV.  In 2012 after my dog died, I had two weeks of nightly class, but then when it finally ended, I picked up my new puppy Ella…and the next day the Summer Olympics began.  In 2012, after all I had been going through, getting my new dog and playing with her every night while watching the olympics was the first time in many months I felt happy and at ease.

Other than hoping for lots of snow and watching the olympics I really don’t have much planned for this winter.  It might be good to slow down for awhile.

Anyway, I hope you have a great 2014.  Happy New Year!






sweet, glorious summertime…

I know summer doesn’t technically begin for another 6 weeks, but for a 29-year old ‘school kid’ like myself, the end of the school year means it’s summer to me.  Exams ended last week – I’ve been on break now for 8 days. I am still (and forever will be) working my full time job every day, but having JUST that to do has been WONDERFUL.

I’ve got another semester coming up in the fall, and then I will be studying for the bar exam all winter.  After that, this “break” as I call it will become the new (or old, as it was pre-2008) normal for me again – no more school!  Until then, I just need to focus on enjoying this few months of freedom.  I successfully scheduled myself the worst semester ever this past spring, all in the name of having a relaxing summer and a manageable fall.  Now that it’s here I have been thinking about what I want to make of it.

go running.

I am not the best runner in the world, but I sure do enjoy doing it.  I love running outside, and the hotter it is, the better.  Some of my memories from recent years of feeling relaxed and at peace are times when I was running outside in the summertime in the evenings after work.  I’ve already replaced my stressful nights of fighting rush hour to get to class with running outside, and I am loving it. I spent the past few months with that oh-so-pleasant knot in my stomach and pressure in my chest that ongoing stress seems to give a person.  I’ve been running until I am so tired and worn out.  Get home, go for a long run, stretch, shower, read a book (FOR FUN!!!!!!!), and fall asleep easily for the first time in a long time. Heaven.

enjoy the pool.

The building I now live in has a lovely pool with a nice view of the river. I have zero desire to ever get a tan, but I nonetheless love to hang out poolside, talk with friends, read books, people watch, and otherwise enjoy the summer sun.  I think I may have to invest in a big hat.  One building rule is that you can’t go in the building common areas in just a bathing suit.  Not that I planned to do that – I would’ve worn shorts or pants and a shirt anyway – but I am using that rule as an excuse to find a cute coverup. I am currently overwhelmed by the choices.

paint the living/dining room a modern and pretty shade of grey.

Our apartment’s kitchen is a white that suits it just fine.  I like the neutral tan in the bathroom, and the taupe in the bedroom.  However, the living/dining/foyer/hall area is this very blah beige and baby blue combination that I absolutely hate.  Nothing goes with it.  To make matters worse, it’s a flat paint that shows all the flaws.  In general, we moved in in January and I promptly started back to school for the semester from hell, so the entire main area of our apartment is sort of halfway done.  We’ve had a couple boxes and unhung pictures and various paint supplies piled in the living room since January, and we still need a number of things, like rugs, pillows, hardware for the cabinets, etc…i.e. a lot has to be done for it to feel remotely finished, and it’s driving me crazy!  It also turns out that picking a grey is really difficult.  I think we’ve at least got it narrowed down to 5 or so shades that we’re going to test on the wall soon.  I cannot wait until it all feels put together!!

buy fresh flowers.

Seems simple enough.  I do enjoy fresh cut flowers, but when i am in school and not home for 13 hours at a time during the week, it just seems pointless to spend money on a bouquet of flowers I won’t be home to enjoy.  As such, every walk by the fresh flower section of any farmer’s market or grocery store during the school year incites my grouchy side.  Maybe it sounds odd, but once I started school it was the little things like this – those little things of which you’re deprived because of your schedule, that you don’t realize you’re giving up until you had to, and that you didn’t realize you missed until they were gone.  Fresh flowers may just be the tip of the iceberg on that front….so I am making the most of this little pleasure while I can!!

I think that’s the extent of my list.  Of course, spending more time with friends, family, the boyfriend, etc. is on that list as well, but I think that’s a given!! Cincinnati isn’t a very big city but it still seems like there is no limit to the amount of events, festivals, parks, restaurants, bars, etc. that are to be enjoyed.  Do you have any big plans for the summer?