Ups & Downs: My 2019

As I’m currently writing this recap during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, it’s hard to think of 2019 as anything but sunshine and roses. Wasn’t life so much better back then?! But unfortunately for me, it had its down moments too.

The good:
Over the summer of 2019, Tym and I had the opportunity to upgrade to a bigger house in the Central District neighborhood of Seattle! We’d been casually looking for a few months but weren’t quite certain it was something we’d commit to in 2019. I’m happy to be back close to the Capitol Hill and downtown areas, which is where we lived for our first two and a half years in Seattle.

As far as fitness goals, I continued my fitness regimen of running and boxing. This resulted in a PR in the 10k for the first time in almost 10 years! I also completed another trail marathon, DNF’d a 50k, and started biking to work more often (even during our rainy winter!)

Venice, Italy – Fall 2019

My husband and I’s big adventure last year took us to Italy, which had been on my bucket list for several years. We spent almost two full weeks exploring the beautiful cities of Venice, Rome, and Florence. I enjoyed each city for different reasons, but I certainly wouldn’t mind going back to Venice and spending more time there one day.

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2018: Hawaii, Weekend Trips, & Salesforce.org

I am certainly well overdue to talk about my goals from last year and what I’m aiming to achieve in 2019 now that we’re already more than halfway through the year! Here’s a quick recap…

2018 Review

I accomplished a lot in 2018! The busiest months of the year were in February and March when Tym & I decided to go through a bathroom remodel immediately after returning from a week-long trip in Hawaii.

At the top of Haleakalā on Maui Island

Hawaii had been on our bucket list for quite a while, and it definitely did not disappoint. We had just enough time to drive the road to Hana, drive up Haleakalā, go snorkeling, and relax at our resort. We spent our entire time on Maui island, so if we ever go back I’d want to explore one of the other islands.

The Painted Ladies in San Francisco

The rest of the year was a whirlwind with many smaller trips (including my 10-year high school reunion!). I traveled to San Francisco fairly often for work and finally spent a long weekend there in the late summer. Tym & I also took a short trip to Victoria, Canada on the Victoria Clipper ferry and explored some of the islands around Seattle as well. Continue reading

2017: Running, Running, Running, Backpacking, Teaching, & Boxing

2017 certainly flew by, didn’t it? It seems as though just last month I was publishing my goals for the year, yet it’s already time to reflect and think about goals for 2018.

Year of “Firsts”

This year was definitely the year to accomplish new things and push my body to its limit. In August, I completed my first trail marathon in preparation for my first 50k ultra marathon the following month. Not only did I exceed my primary goal of just finishing the damn race, I ran my 50k just slightly under six hours (5:54!) to beat my secondary goal as well. And I actually had fun while competing in both races!

The view at the halfway point of the Middle Fork 50k, September 2017

I also had the opportunity to enjoy the Pacific Northwest nature in other ways besides running. In June, I went with a few friends on a backpacking trip to Annette Lake and slept out under the stars. It was an amazing first-time experience, even if there was still snow!

Annette Lake, June 2017

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2016: not as bad as you might think

Contrary to what you might have been reading in the news lately, 2016 wasn’t all that bad. At least, not for me! (I got married!)

Photography by Cheryl Amati Martin

This post is coming quite late this year, but nevertheless, I’m going to take a few minutes to analyze last year’s goals and make new ones for 2017.

What Went Well:

  • I continued averaging around 7 hours of sleep per night. I’m so good at this now that I no longer need to use the Microsoft Band to track my sleep.
  • I ran 4 half marathons and also biked a heck of a lot more than last year. A lot of my biking came from my work commute to SODO in the summer.
  • I read 12 books for an average of a book a month.
  • My volunteering increased. I started volunteering at the University District Food Bank and have been going almost once per month since June fairly consistently.

What Didn’t Go Well:

  • I didn’t really do well with the “continue learning” goal besides continuing to learn at my job. I will try to do better here in 2017.

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2015: Laser Eyes & Expensive Purchases

I’m almost a month late this year, but it’s once again time to reflect back on another year of accomplishments and establish my 2016 goals.

While I didn’t do nearly as much traveling in 2015, it was still an adventurous year that included a trip to Hogwarts and a marriage engagement when Tym and I finally moved into our first house in December! (Yes, the house hunt is finally over.)

2015 Goals Reflection

In reviewing my 2015 goals, I’d say I exceeded most of my expectations from last year.

  • I have laser eyes now – I had Lasik eye surgery last March.
  • I participated in three half marathons. Though I didn’t race in any duathlons, that will definitely be a focus for 2016.
  • I haven’t yet earned my Salesforce Advanced Developer certification, but that’s primarily because Salesforce spent several months revamping the process and the exams were unavailable. I completed the final assignment and essay in November, and now I’m just waiting to receive the results.
  • I read another 10 books throughout the year, the same number as in 2014. I also wrote nearly 30,000 words of fiction. This was under my goal of 60,000 words, but I’m giving myself a bit of a break here since work and house buying both took up more of my summer and fall than anticipated.
  • I did not learn as much as I would have liked. This will also be a bigger focus in 2016.
  • I continued volunteering at the local food bank through most of 2015.
  • Not only did I research buying a house — I bought a house!

2016: The Harry Potter and the Cursed Child & Wedding Adventure

As always, many of my goals are staying similar to last year. But I have a few additional goals as well. With a trip planned in August to London to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and a wedding to plan for the fall, 2016 is shaping up to be another busy year.

My main goals…

1) Average 7 hours of sleep per night. This was an unwritten resolution for me in 2015. I’d like to make it more official and to continue the trend. Having a Microsoft Band has made me realize how little sleep I had been getting. My sleep has greatly improved over the past year, but it could still be better.

2) Continue learning. A repeat goal. I started watching a CrashCourse series last year (World History), but I haven’t finished. I’d also like to complete CrashCourse Psychology. And there are several SciShow episodes that have been in my “Watch Later” queue for years.

3) Keep focusing on half marathons, but also spend more time biking and swimming. As I mentioned previously, I raced in three half marathons last year but no duathlons. I’ve also done well at going to the gym regularly, but my bike did not get much use last year at all. I want to start swimming at the gym and to bike around the city more often. If possible, I would ideally start commuting to work this way (by biking… not by swimming).

4) Increase time spent reading & writing – read a book a month. I’ve been averaging 10 books a year. This year, I want to aim for one a month. Now that I have a longer commute to work, reading on the bus has been a great way to jumpstart my mornings.

Additionally, I’m going to aim for another 60,000 words of writing this year. If I’m being honest with myself, this will probably be the first goal that gets cut from the list.

5) Continue volunteering. I wasn’t originally going to put this on the list, but I need to pick this up again since volunteering at the food bank fell off my radar while I was dealing with the move and the Christmas holidays.

My list is shorter this year and definitely attainable. What are your goals this year?

Hoping for yet another great year,

— Robert