January 8, 2014

A 2013 Review

What happened in 2013? It was a year of doing and going and not so much of reflecting and writing. The momentum of not writing, of not spending time on introspection has been very hard to overcome.

2013 in numbers:
– 1,964 hours worked and 301 hours of paid time off
– 1,111 visitors to this blog. January had the most visitors and Healthy Computing was the most popular post of the year. The most referred search term was “beet loaf”.
– 298 photos uploaded to Flickr
– 217 miles walked at work over seven months
– 164 posts to Path
– 29 books read (4 non-fiction, 20 fiction, 5 professional)
– 14 tweets (7 personal and 7 professional)
– 10 blog entries (4 personal and 6 professional)
– 9 Facebook posts
– 6 cities visited Chicago (x2), Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Portland, New York and San Antonio
– 4 yarn projects completed (1 crochet, 3 knitting)
– 2 books sold on Amazon
– 2 weddings attended and 1 baby shower

My big theme for 2013 was being my own best advocate. I had a rough six months at work, with no end in sight, until I created the change I needed by advocating for my own interests. Over the year I had many conversations about self advocacy, some specifically about women and society. I learned that I’m actually pretty darn good at advocating for myself and not feeling any societal shame about doing so. This self advocacy trait has helped me be successful and is something I’m proud of. It is important to recognize when things are not right and feel empowered to make things better. Part of this empowerment is tied-up in feeling worthy or deserving of a better situation and I think this is the point where many people, men and women, stumble. You need to firmly believe you are worthy of something better in order to advocate for yourself.

Enough of the philosophy, I also bought some cool stuff this year. I finally got my very own dutch bicycle, a Workcycle Omafiet. It was a wonderful summer of bicycle rides, so smooth and comfortable. The upright sitting position means I could really take in all the beautiful Madison scenery. I’m looking forward to jumping back on in the spring.

After ten years of searching, we finally bought a real, custom upholstered, couch. I had started to think there would never be a couch that met our need for a clean modern design with our need for a reasonable price. It even came with fun accent pillows. It may not be the most wonderful couch that has ever existed, but overall we are happy with it and also, the couch problem has been solved. Whew!

Speaking of problems, 2013 was a big year for house projects. We kicked off the year by refinancing our home mortgage at an incredibly low rate, a brag about at parties rate. On the basement front, we completely removed and hauled out the feast master, which turned out to be hiding a hole in our foundation, which explains some mystery basement water. While the basement is far from finished, we know more about what is ahead. On the first floor we installed crown molding and picture rail in the living room and dining room, this has allowed for the hanging of art work. Yay! Our walls are no longer bare. On the second floor we finished painting all three bedrooms. And finally, in the yard, we paid to have a new privacy fence installed in our backyard. The fence truly is a thing of beauty and serenity.

The biggest accomplishment of the year was planning and hosting a family reunion in our yard as part of my sister’s wedding celebrations. We had close to 40 people at our house for dinner. A dinner which we cooked ourselves and served in a tent we assembled on our own. It really was a PORP (project of ridiculous proportions). It was all worth it to celebrate with our family, but I don’t think a catering career is in my future.

My new year’s goal from last year was to achieve more physical fitness. I think I did OK on this goal but not great. Between the treadmill desk and the new bicycle, I spent more time moving around but I was still plagued by inconsistency and inertia.

So what’s the plan for 2014? There are two big items on the annual “agenda” 1) remodel the kitchen and 2) take a kick-ass sabbatical. Most other stuff is continuing to do the best I can, which includes:
– blogging
– physical fitness
– installing crown molding on the 2nd floor
– “finishing” the basement
– listening to and experiencing more music

Those all seem like good goals to me and I’m looking forward to all the adventures that will come in 2014.

(Photo above is Lake Mendota at sunset from this summer.)


  1. I think you would do a great job designing menus for catering companies. The food and drink was amazing at the family party!

    I can’t wait to hear more about your sabbatical plans and your house projects.

    Beautiful photo of Lake Mendota at sunset!

    Comment by Arielle — January 8, 2014 @ 4:44 pm

  2. You had a very successful year! The party under the tent was truly special! Your house is so pretty and inviting with your recent improvements. You did not mention becoming the librarian for the Madison Knitters Guild, one of the largest knitting guilds in the United States, and creating a searchable on-line data base of all the books. That effort is greatly appreciated by all the members. Happy New Year!

    Comment by Carol — January 9, 2014 @ 9:07 am

  3. Thank you both! 2013 was a good year.

    Comment by Marijka — January 9, 2014 @ 9:34 am

  4. I for one am a big fan of your new couch and the pillows. The living room post-crown molding installation looks great and I look forward to seeing how you will have decorated the second floor the next time I visit. Good luck with your goals for 2014!

    Comment by M. — February 4, 2014 @ 5:46 am

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  • Eating salted avocados with a spoon in Madison.
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