34Last year was not the most exciting year although I had hoped it would be. It was a year in which I came to many realizations, however. Those realizations have had a profound effect on me and lay the foundation for a lot that will go on this year-or at least I think so! Some of that will be reflected in my list. So, here is the list of 34 things for me to focus on or do this birthday year:

  1. Keep writing this blog. It is a great record of what is going on in my life (and enjoyable too!). Totally did this!
  2. Cook something new with the produce from my garden! In July we made zucchini sticks which were delicious plus roasted stuffed peppers!
  3. Get ready-in all ways-for an addition to the family as this may be the year we become pregnant. As of Aug 18th I am taking pre-natal vitamins and iron pills but not trying for a baby as we want to enjoy this summer. As of January 2017, letting nature take over but NOT doing any planning, calendar watching, ovulation tracking etc. On hold in Feb! 🙂 Pregnancy confirmed by March-just when you put it on hold! Started seeing the doctor. Moved to India in May and started seeing new doctor. Had ultrasound in May. Waiting in June for NIPT test results. 
  4. Enjoy my job and achieve the professional goals I set out for myself. Early in 2017 I sat down and mapped out a few goals for the year. So far am on track and have been enjoying my job as I realize I really am an asset to the organization, my boss relies on me and trusts me, and I am valued-although they could do a better job of expressing appreciation at this workplace in general. In February I saw a posting for my dream job. I applied. I started in April. It is a major professional move upwards and I have been keeping my eye on this job for a few years. Now I am in the job but pregnant and need to figure out what is next but that can wait til next year. 
  5. Try/experience 10 new things-big or small! 1). Had a VIP suite at an Adele concert! 2). Living a very frugal life as we pay down debt. 3). Drinking regular protein shakes to improve diet-see a lot of improvement in my hair!. 4). Consulted a nutritionist to get expert advice about what to eat. 5). Went to a NYE street party. 6). Made a southwestern pasta. 7). Took a helicopter ride. 8). Am experiencing pregnancy! 9). Saw Niagara falls up close and personal from tunnels behind and in a ship. 10). Moved to India! 11 and onwards-all the many new things in India. 
  6. Surprise my husband with somethingSurprised him with several seasons of his favourite show which he can watch while away for work. Surprised him with a fancy gold ring at his citizenship ceremony. Surprised him with concert tickets and fab date night for birthday.  
  7. Surprise a few loved ones with something. The biggest surprise I had this year was telling them about my pregnancy. 
  8. Enjoy my side job at the flower shop and try to keep it up as long as possible even if it is just one shift a month. Use $ from this job to pay down debtHad lots of shifts in July. 4 shifts in September. A few in Oct. 1 in Dec. Made an extra 1100$ or so in 2016. Few shifts booked for Jan 2017. One in Feb. Have to step down as I am moving overseas by May. 
  9. Improve our financial situation by creating an emergency fund and keeping $500 in it.- Done May 2017.
  10. Improve our financial situation by paying down our largest debt of $25k and keeping it below $2,000. Officially started working on this in July with a plan. As of August 31 we paid off about $6700. As of November we only owe around $8000. As of Jan 2017 confession is 3100 on one card and 4400 on another. Done by June. 
  11. Increase my student loan repayment amount in order to pay it off faster. On hold as I am out of the country and cannot do it til I get back. 
  12. Try to not fight in the summer with my visiting sister despite some very bad blood between us. She has moved on and we did not fight! We did have one serious conversation and I have realized she has some major faults that I have to be aware of. After she left I decided to try to rebuild things slowly. 
  13. Help my husband with his citizenship application. All steps done by August and has been mailed off in September. Now, we have to wait and see how long it takes to be approved. By November he is invited to complete the final steps in December. December he passed the final step. In January he swore his oath and became a citizen! In Feb his passport arrived-everything is now complete. 
  14. Recover fully from my car accident if possible by continuing with recommended treatment and then working with those professionals to maintain well being afterwards. As of Aug I have two official appointments left and them on my own to sort things out. As of Sept all treatments are done. November final check up with doctor. 
  15. Help keep my husband keep healthy by connecting him with appropriate health care providers when needed for prevention. After complaining about his back, he finds a chiropractor very helpful. Two visits as of Aug and after this, probably just an occasional maintenance visit. He is also seeing a massage therapist once in a while. Through my work benefits he goes to the dentist as well and since I have joined the gym I am dragging him along with me for weekends (at the least as this is included in my membership package). February-March more massages. By end of April my benefits are done as I move to a new job but got him some more chiro and massage time. 
  16. Take advantage of more professional development opportunities at work or elsewhere. Had 4 full training days with the team but would like it to be more tailored to me in the future. 
  17. Do something special for my 35th birthday. A milestone! Since I was alone this day I treated myself to a solo high end dinner. It was great and I felt like a fabulous independent woman. Also did some fun shopping-more for baby than me but very cool.  
  18. Take at least one vacation or trip despite the debt reduction planIt was fairly local but got to take a weekend getaway to a wine region in October. Took a NYE excursion in December. Went to Niagara Falls for getaway in April 
  19. Celebrate my husband’s 30th birthday (another milestone) in a special way or get him a special gift. Special gift is a concert experience and fabulous date day. 
  20. Build on or develop a skill. Communication skills increased by my time in India. 
  21. Enjoy my garden and make notes for improvement next year. Aof April the garden is ready but since I am moving I have to pass it on to my family to care for this year. 
  22. Write more-fiction or for publications. This past year I rediscovered writing fiction for my own entertainment. I have filled countless pages with this and it has been very entertaining and relaxing. 
  23. Take care of myself in various ways. I have not been the best at this but try to enjoy little things. 
  24. Find ways to enjoy the Christmas season without expectations from anyone. Christmas 2016 was pretty decent and drama free! Had a good time and going away for New Year really helped as well. 
  25. Visit a local attraction. The first long weekend in July we visited a historic fort and living museum. In India I am visiting all kinds of local attractions. 
  26. Connect with friends and siblings on a regular basis. Went to an Adele concert with my sister in the summer which was really nice, other sister I spent a lot of time with during her breakup, hung out with most friends before moving overseas
  27. Join a gym and use it or do drop in sessions. Joined in September and loving it. Had to quit when I moved. 
  28. Enjoy the outdoors more & be more active in fun ways. After moving to India in the summer I realize how great it is to be outdoors and not be scorched to death. When I get back home I will build on this. 
  29. Make sure I have more work life balance. So far I am trying not to work on weekends from home. After moving to India this was easy as work does not have much going on.  
  30. Use the benefits I have available to me through my work compensation package. Been definitely using these for myself and husband. Got new glasses in April 2017 as well. 
  31. Start learning Spanish again. Switched to French as it is more useful for me right now. 
  32. Extend long weekends by adding a vacation day or take off random days for myself. As of Aug I have booked off  the following days- Aug: 2 random days, Sept: extended Labour Day long weekend by 3 days (total of 5 off!), Oct: extended Thanksgiving long weekend by 1 day and taken a random day off, Nov:extended weekend off by adding day off to Remembrance Day weekend plus random day off, Dec: 4 random days off and then off 11 days straight for the holidays. Plus, will still have plenty of holiday time left for Q1 in 2017 if needed! Moved to India so was paid out my vacation from last job. Here I am saving my holidays for a return trip home in August for a family wedding. I am also accruing some hours for some long weekends in July when my sister comes for a visit. 
  33. Cook more meals. Since on our credit card reduction plan we have eaten at home a lot. Now, I need to add more diversity to the meals I cook. As of Jan 1, am not planning to eat out at all for the month except 1 time if needed and 1 time for a special citizenship lunch. Learning new recipes like southwestern pasta. As of May I have moved to India and do not want to take too many risks as I am pregnant so am cooking at home more often. 
  34. Recognize and give more credit to others for things. I am not sure if I actively did this or not but looking back feel I did so naturally. Can always be improved for the future, though.