The Year of Slow Progress: 2023

Well, another year has sped past us. I’ve deemed 2023 as the year of slow progress and titled this post as such before even beginning to write out how the year unfolded. As mentioned in my last update post, my husband and I were hoping to complete a major house renovation in 2023 — however, we had higher expectations than reality! We are now almost ready to begin construction and recently moved into a temporary apartment, so I am excited to see it completed by the fall.

So what did I actually accomplish last year? Some of the things I’m most proud of include:

  • Completing my exercise goals (except for 30 hours of ice skating — but I was close!)
  • Getting back to the weekly runs with Fleet Feet Seattle after a long, several-year hiatus
  • Serving my second year as the volunteer coordinator for the Run and Walk with Pride
  • Traveling to Arizona, Hawaii, and NYC
  • Reading 16 books

Another Year of Traveling: Arizona, Hawaii, & NYC

Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Antelope Canyon, Arizona

I obviously can’t mention my travels without posting at least a few photos from my adventures! The picture above was taken from a trip with my best friend in April 2023 to Arizona and the Antelope Canyon. The canyon was mesmerizing and the weather was perfect (as was the pool), especially after a long Seattle winter.

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2022 Review: Puerto Vallarta, Ice Skating, & Conquering Stress

I wrote my 2021 post so late last year that it hardly feels like it’s time to write my 2022 recap, but here we are! When I think about the past year, there are a few major events that come to mind. If I had to summarize 2022, it was the year that my husband Tym and I:

  • Adopted a second kitty (I mentioned this in my 2021 post, and I’m happy to share the news that our older kitty has finally adapted to the change!)
  • Traveled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  • Sold our first home
Enjoying a few drinks at Senor Frogs in Puerto Vallarta
Enjoying a few drinks at Senor Frogs in Puerto Vallarta

Vacation Fun Times & Overcoming Stress

I’ve worked for over a decade in the tech industry and in that time, my longest vacation had been 11 or 12 days. I took a full two weeks off over the summer to travel to Mexico and also visit my family, which meant that I had 16 restful days of time away from my job. I highly recommend doing this, as it really helped me to remember what my main priorities are in life; ever since that vacation, I have been much less stressed and have focused more on my well-being. I finally made the realization that while work is almost always busy, that doesn’t need to mean that work has to be stressful.

Being employed at a larger company has helped me disconnect more from my work as well, as I also came to realize that I’m only a single person at a company of thousands of employees: working an extra hour or two (or five) every week doesn’t really make that much of a difference overall, and only leads to burnout and less productivity over time.

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2021: aka, an Ever-So-Slightly Improved 2020

I’ve procrastinated on writing my yearly recap post simply because 2021 felt like 2020 in many ways, didn’t it? That said, I’m thrilled to be vaccinated and boosted (as I had hoped in my 2020 post), and the world is starting to ever so slowly return to a pre-pandemic normal even if COVID continues to ravage onward.

My 2021 started off cautiously, but by April we decided to get out of Washington state and head down along the Oregon coast. While Tym and I had been to Portland a few years ago, it was our first time to the coast and I enjoyed exploring Pacific City and sightseeing areas such as Thor’s Well and the Devil’s Punchbowl.

A picture of Thor's Well along the Oregon Coast
Thor’s Well

After we were finally fully vaccinated, I flew back to Pennsylvania in July 2021 to see my family for the first time in over a year and a half. It was a bit of an emotional reunion, and I was pleased to be able to travel back in the fall as well. I hope to never go that long without seeing my family again!

In addition to our east coast trips, Tym and I spent a week in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, and also traveled on a short getaway to Colorado. In California, we rode roller coasters at Six Flags, spent a day at Universal Studios, and also got a lot of sun — it was over 100 degrees in Palm Springs! While Joshua Tree National Park was a great experience, we didn’t do a lot of walking because of the heat. Our trip to Colorado was Tym’s first time in Colorado and my fourth, so I enjoyed showing him around my favorite areas of Denver and Colorado Springs.

A picture of Joshua trees taken in Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park
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Goodbye, 2020! Hello, hope?

Looking out at the Golden Gate Bridge from the top of the Salesforce Tower, San Francisco

2020 was a year that felt like a decade, yet was over in the blink of an eye. While I’m grateful that I’ve stayed healthy throughout the past year, as I write this I haven’t been farther than an hour and a half from our home in Seattle for more than twelve months. That picture above taken from the Salesforce Tower is from a work trip last February! I did not end up visiting any family last year, so once I’ve been vaccinated a visit to Pennsylvania will be one of my first post-vaccinated travels.

That being said, I have much to be thankful for. I excelled as a new lead developer on my team even with us living in a pandemic for most of the year. We launched a new product in nine months! It certainly wasn’t easy, but I’m so proud of the team I work on and can’t wait to watch our success continue. I’ll have more professional growth and learning this year as well, as my role at work is changing again.

Outside of work, I biked a lot more in 2020 and kept up my running routine throughout the pandemic. I also enjoyed virtual boxing/HIIT classes through my boxing gym, but I was not able to achieve my goal of taking swimming lessons and completing a triathlon. While I’d say I would love for this to be a goal for this year, realistically I’m excited to just get back into staggered-start trail racing — running with friends and others again would be ideal. There’s my main fitness goal for 2021: social running. Seattle will soon have a few new ice rinks thanks to our new hockey team, so perhaps I’ll even consider skating lessons!

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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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