2015 Year in Review

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A whole year has gone by since I blogged last. I don’t write much in this space anymore, because work and life take up so much of my creative energy these days. But I thought I’d drop by to do the year in review post. It’s good to look back and remember, plus this will be the fifth year in a row I’ve been filling this thing out so now it’s tradition.

For Auld Lang Syne’s sake here are the posts from 2010, 201120122013 and 2014

What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?

  • Visited Paris
  • Started writing a novel
  • Saw Patty Griffin in Concert
  • Drove through Big Sur
  • Spent a day in a new city all by myself
  • Was part of a panel discussion
  • Hiked the Edith Cavell Meadows
  • Boat camping!
  • Went to a Whitecaps game
  • Recorded a christmas song
  • Went to a movie by myself

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Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Last year I made three new year’s resolutions: to get better at saying no, to eat healthier and to be more financially responsible. I would say I was successful with two out of three of those. Saying no has gotten easier, and I’m proud to say I have totally eradicated FOMO from my life (and replaced it with JOMO). Financial responsibility is also no longer a pipe dream—I paid off a lot of debt this year and even managed to save a bit, yay!

That being said, I failed miserably at healthy eating, especially towards the end of the year when work and life got hectic and stressful. Now none of my clothes fit properly. I hereby resolve to eat 79% less baked goods in 2016.

I’m also setting a goal of reading 20 books this year, which is slightly less than two a month. Totally doable, right?

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! Tami and Josh had #babyknepps and he is the cutest thing. Basically everyone I know is pregnant right now so I can’t wait to answer this question again next year.

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Did anyone close to you die?
Sadly, my parents had to put our cat down this year. She was 16 (nearly 17) and starting to have lots of health problems so it was time. It was strange not having her around when I went home for Christmas.

What countries did you visit?
France and the USA.

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What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
A boyfriend and a tropical vacation.

What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
January 15 – The day we left for Paris
July 11 – Kevin & Micaela’s wedding
July 25 – Raur & Justin’s wedding

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What was your biggest achievement of the year?
2015 was a good year for me at work. I learned a ton, got to try new things and am ending the year feeling quite accomplished, thankyouverymuch. In the new year, the website I have been working hard to help build will go live and I’m so excited. Technically, I can’t say it’s my biggest achievement of the year because it hasn’t launched yet but I’ve spent the bulk of 2015 working towards this goal with the rest of my team and I’m so proud of the work I’ve done on the project!

What was your biggest failure?
Stress eating my way through most of the fall.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
No.

What was the best thing you bought?
It’s nearly a year later and still love and wear everything I bought in Paris (two pairs of boots, a purse, a bunch of fancy soap and some scarves).

Whose behaviour merited celebration?
My (now former) roomie, Raurie. I got to cheer her on as she planned a wedding while working a full time job and being in school getting her Master’s degree. It was truly impressive. Now that she’s married and moved out I miss her a lot—we lived together for three and a half years and she was the closest thing I’ve ever had to a sister! But I’m so proud of the way she handled everything last year with such grace and joy. And she still comes over and makes me popcorn sometimes.

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Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
The Craig McTavish Era Oilers and Stephen Harper.

Where did most of your money go?
Rent, paying off debt, bills and savings! Pretty boring list, tbh.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going to Paris and Connor McDavid.

What songs will always remind you of 2015?
Hello by Adele
What Do You Mean? by Biebs
All of Taylor Swift’s 1989.

Compared to this time last year, are you:

  • Happier or Sadder?
    Happier!
  • Thinner or Fatter?
    Fatter. See new years resos.
  • Richer or Poorer?
    A very little bit richer

What do you wish you’d done more of?
Reading, writing and staying home alone.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Netflix. And eating the treats that Mona always has at her desk.

How will you be spending Christmas?
This year I worked on Christmas Eve, so I booked a later flight home and got to attend my first ever Westside Christmas Eve service. I’ve been going there for 8 years and had never been to a Christmas gathering! It was lovely. The rest of Christmas break I’ve been home in Edmonton with my family. We watched Star Wars, went to an Oilers game and to see the Magna Carta.  Gramma Miller and I (accidentally) bought each other the same Bill Bryson book: The Road to Little Dribbling.

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Did you fall in love in 2015?
Nope. Someday, Someday, Maybe?

What was your favourite TV program?
Downton Abbey
Scott & Baily
Broadchurch
The Musketeers
Peaky Blinders
Great British Bakeoff
basically anything british. Moving to the UK for the telly.

What was the best book you read?
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan*
*this wasn’t a literary masterpiece or anything but boy was it enjoyable.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
The Lone Bellow
The new CHVRCHES album
Ryan Adams’ cover album of 1989

What did you want and get?
A new prime minister, a trip to San Francisco, two (!) new pairs of boots.

What did you want and not get?
A boyfriend and a summer vacation.

What was your favourite film of this year?
Cinderella
Star Wars
Far from the Madding Crowd
Inside Out

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
On my birthday this year, I turned thirty one. It was a Wednesday, I had to work and thirty one doesn’t feel like a Big Deal Birthday, so I just had a low key dinner with some girlfriends at Via Tevere. The pizza was delicious and the company was lovely.

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*Sidebar: I hate it when grown women refer to their friends as “girlfriends” but how else do you say that? “I had dinner with some ladies? some women?” Please advise.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A slightly higher salary? A non-open concept office? Honestly 2015 was a pretty good year so I can’t pinpoint any one thing that would have made the year immeasurably more satisfying.  Maybe if the Oilers made the playoffs.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
“Can I pass this off as ‘not-jeans’ enough to wear to the office?”

What kept you sane?
Jesus. And precious time by myself.

Which celebrity or public figure did you fancy the most?
Mary BerryLeon Draitsaitl..wait, do fictional characters count? Because then it’d be a tie between Aramis from the Musketeers or Tommy from Peaky Blinders or Rogelio from Jane the Virgin.

What political issue stirred you the most?
What a year for politics! I’ll leave all the transit referendum, Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau recaps to the proper news magazines. I was very happy to exercise my democratic right to vote this year and I’m also happy they’re bringing back the long form census.

Who did you miss?
My dearly departed kitty, Sasha. It was so strange being home and not having her there. I kept expecting to see her pop her head around the corner or curled up in her spot on the couch or stretched out in the sunbeams beneath the big windows at the front of the house. And I missed the rest of my family and Douze, obviously.

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Who was the best new person you met?
Stephanie Brennan. Technically I didn’t meet her this year, but we became friends (for real) this year. And next year we’re going to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child together in LONDON (!!!!).

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015?
The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

For me personally 2015 was a mainly good, happy year with normal ups and downs. I didn’t go through any major life changes—although lots of people around me did. I spent a lot of time this year learning to walk with God through the normal day-to-day stuff.  But what a dark year it was for the world! Terrorist attacks, a major refugee crisis, natural disasters, mass shootings and terrifying pseudo-fascist leaders rising to prominence in the U.S. …it’s easy to get “gloomy about the state of the world” as Hugh Grant put it at the beginning of Love Actually.

Through all the heartbreaking tragedies we saw unfold this year I kept coming back to John 1—that the light has come into the darkness, and is not overcome by it. Holding onto that promise over the past year has helped me to remember where my hope is found. But it also sewed an urgency in my heart to have compassion, grace and love for others and to share that hope with people.

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Quote a song lyric that sums up your year
Time keeps on slippin’ into the future