Monday, December 30, 2013

2013: Year in Review

I had an epiphany when I was at Church this past Sunday. Not exactly a new idea but one I struggle with. Time to let go of the past and move forward. It was based on the passage from Philippians 3:13. I accomplished 1 of my 7 core life goals this year. Sometimes I get upset that one isn't enough. But truthfully, most of life is not in my hands. So I am focusing on 2014 with the idea that God is in control and I am holding the wheel. Sort of like one of those electrified track race cars at the local fair. They are guided by electricity. The track gives you a bit of freedom to move and adjust how you move into the curve and how much gas you give the car. But none of it is possible without the electricity.

In this vein, I took a look back at 2013. Here is my year in review.

1. Attended a wedding of a co-worker. I was a guest of an invitee. It was a true pleasure to be asked and a great evening. So happy for the lovely couple!
2. Visited a local wind turbine farm called California Ridge near Urbana for part of a work institute day. Very cold but very interesting. I learned a lot about the power grid.
3. I went to my one and only U of IL sporting event. A womens basketball game. Thanks to a co-worker who invited me to share her extra ticket!

1. I endured a whole new round of allergy testing due to my inability to feel well. Blood tests, allergy tests and asthma tests. I was given a sheet that included foods to avoid if allergic to mold. (On the list by the way is beer, wine, soy sauce, canned tomatoes and sourdough bread). I was not a happy camper!
2. Celebrated my dog, Piccolo's, 2nd birthday

1. Chaperoned my 2nd Senior trip to the Wisconsin Dells. This trip was a blast, perhaps more for the adults than the kids!
2. Near the end of the month we had over 8 inches of snow. Needless to say, Piccolo had a blast. I love shoveling (it is a great all body workout and good for clearing the mind). Which is odd, since I hate cold.

1. Race Month. I ran the Shamrock Shuffle. Again. My goal was under an hour (My longstanding goal is to get under 50 minutes but since Spring is particularly bad on the sinuses, it is not likely!)
2. I did the "Mini i" Challenge as part of the Illinois Marathon with a friend. She has been an inspiration and was thrilled to run a race with her (at least the first race). Consisting of a 5k on Friday night and a 10k on Saturday morning, it is a tough race (the "I Challenge" is the 5k plus either the 1/2 or Full marathon, btw). I rolled an ankle half way through the 5k when I caught a pothole but managed to finish well. I probably overdid the 5k and struggled in the 10k. But finished. And so glad I did the challenge!

1. Resigned my position after 4 years at Urbana High School. Love my coworkers. Learned a lot. And so glad to be a teacher.
2. Hired at Mundelein High School - part business/part social studies. I love this job. Check off lifetime goal #1 - Get hired as a teacher in Chicagoland.

3. Attended graduation 2013 for my Urbana Seniors. Technically I had to, since I was the 2013 class sponsor for 4 years. But I wanted to. So happy for these kids!

1. Celebrated 2 years with Piccolo in my life.
2. Was with my sister, brother-in-law and niece for part of two days! She celebrated birthday #2.
3. Visited historic Springfield, Illinois, land of Lincoln.

1. Went to the U of IL fireworks display for the 4th. Just me, a blanket, a bio on Ben Franklin and some gorgeous fireworks. And a few thousand people nearby!
2. Moved to the Chicagoland area! Set up my apartment with the help of my parents.

1. Began my new job!
2. Received my great-grandfather's naturalization papers in the mail. One step closer to becoming a real Italian citizen (technically, I am recognized as one via consanguinity. I just need to prove it).
3. Met one of my fave chefs, Fabio Viviani. Of course he is Italian. Love his humor. Enjoy a lot of his dishes as they are simple and rustic yet can be fancy at the same time!
4. Friday Flyover at school. At work before 6am with hundreds of students and staff to form words on the football field for the helicopter to show on local tv. Fun morning!

1. New immunologist. Learned a TON of things. Life changing. Foremost being, I can't/shouldn't ignore the fact that I have asthma.
2. Got a Fitbit Flex fitness band. Love this thing. Not only aiming for over 10k steps per day but it tells he how well I slept (or didn't).
3. Joined the Sweatshop, an amazing gym in Buffalo Grove, IL. 

1. Welcomed a brand new niece into the world from a distance. She was born in New York.
2. Enjoyed watching The White Queen on Starz network, about the War of the Roses, one of my favorite time periods in history.

1. Painting outing (my 1st time ever) with my high school gals. We still meet up regularly.
2. Chaperoned a trip to Cleveland with Mundelein's Future Business Leaders of America students. All 114 of them!
3. Spent part of Thanksgiving week with my Aunt and cousins. So fantastic! Met my new cousin, Henry.

1. Birthday dinner with my parents at my fave Chicago restaurant, Quartino.
2. Ended my 1st half of the year at Mundelein. Time is flying. Still loving my job.
3. Celebrated my great-Aunt Sug's 90th birthday. She is an amazing woman. And knows it, which is lovely to see. Still trying to convince her to sell her doll clothes for more when she works her craft shows!
3. Spent part of 3 days during Christmas week with my sister, brother-in-law, parents and two nieces. Love these folks.
4. Spent an afternoon lunch with my parents and Aunt.
5. Celebrate (d) New Years Eve on the Irish time zone with Chicago pizza and best friends. That is the plan anyway!

So there you go. A walk through my year. Lots of great moments. Incredible stuff. And more to come. Looking forward. Not dwelling on the "what is not" or "what went wrong" or "what I don't have". It is about the present and what my situation is currently. I can hope. I can dream. But in the end, I need to live out each of the 365 days I am given. Hoping you will do the same with the new year you are blessed with. Share your favorite moment of 2013 in the comments. Let's all reflect on 2013 as a good one!