Thursday, 19 January 2017

2016 Reflections

I saw this survey on Non Sequitur Chica's blog and decided to give it a go:

1. What did you do in 2016 that you'd never done before?

I submitted an abstract to speak at a major conference. I was inspired by my Australian friend, who came state side to present at a conference. She described that she decided to submit on a whim, didn't think she'd get picked and then once she did, realised 'oh shit! now I need to come up with some data'. I was hoping to duplicate her success and sumbitted a propsal somewhat at the last minute. It didn't get selected.

I'm not too disappointed, but it really would have been nice. When I was in college, I befriended a guy from Spain. He was a classic over-achiever. The kind you would hate, if he wasn't also such a genuinely nice guy. He had a perfect grade point average while carrying a full academic load that consisted of some upper level classes. He was on Student Sentate, wrote for the paper and did many other extracurricular activies. Feeling that he wasn't being challenged enough, he decided to transfer to Harvard during his junior year and was offered a full academic scholarship. He wrote a letter to the Student Senate (pausing to remember when we wrote letters) to detail his experience at an Ivy League school. He submitted a few articles for their paper and they all got rejected. He was so excited about this. "I'm going to have to write stuff that is even better!". I'm going to channel Alfonso's spirit and embrace this as an opportunity to improve my proposal for next year's conference. Or submit multiple topics to try to improve my odds.

2. Did you keep any new year's resolutions and will you make more for next year?

I don't remember making any new year's resolutions, so I guess I didn't keep any. Following the advice of Body Shop Girl, I'm going to try to make very practical, realistic resolutions. One is to use my beauty products. I know this isn't really change the world, but I was cleaning through my bathroom and linen closet and was going to throw out all the unused products that had been sitting in my drawers for years. I felt bad about throwing stuff out, so I decided I would use them. It's been kind of a fun challenge.

My more serious resolution is to read more books. Actual books. Reading articles accessed from does not count as reading. My imposed caveat is that books must be purchased from local book stores. No ordering from Amazon.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth

No, but a close friend is pregnant (she conceived on her first attempt) My cousin who is a recovering heroin addict and his recovering heroin addict girlfriend are expecting their second boy in March. My other cousin who got married in June on 2016 are expecting their first baby in June 2017. Everyone in my family seems to be fertile, except me.

4. Did anyone close to you die?


5. What countries did you visit?

No international travel, but we went to Hawaii and to the east coast

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?

Answering in reverse order:
2016 Bernine Sanders as the Democratic Nominee
2017 Trump Impeachment hearings

7. What moments from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory and why

We were in Boston in the middle of September, and while walking down the street some older white man shouted out "Only 6 more weeks until Donald Trump becomes President. It's going to be a great day for our country" The polls were tight at that time. I started to prepare myself for the possibility of a Trump presidency that night.

A few months earlier I was a first responder who started CPR on a man who collapsed during a run. I saw his face turn purple as his heart stopped beating. The next time I saw his face, he was handing out medals at the finish of the New Year's Day race.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year

I did Whole 30 back to back in August and September and not only lost 15 pounds, but got rid of a lot of bad food habits. I gave up soda and adding Splen.da to coffee and tea, which were huge Non-Scale Victories for me. I feel that I'm closer to walking the walk and as talk the talk about healthy eating with Kate. I've been maintaining a weight below pre-pregnancy, which is something I never thought would happen.

I swam in a long course metres meet after a nine month hiatus from swimming, although my times were very slow, I chuckle to myself just for having the courage to enter and it was the catalyst to get me back into the pool. I was hoping to set some PBs at the short course metres (as I did last year only 3 months postpartum) but I achieved my second best time in the 50 Fly. I also tied my best time in the 400 yard kick for time trials. I feel like I'm making gains to get back to where I was.

I did achieve a PR at Cross-Fit. Once the weight came off, my pull-ups came back. We had a WOD that required 50 pull-ups. My initial plan was to do 25 on my own, and then 25 with a band, but figured realistically it would probably be 20 on my own, 30 with a band. I managed to do 20 and felt inspired that I was the only girl doing real pull-ups. I banged out another 5. Still felt good, so did 5 more and hit 30 on my own. Let's do another 5. Can we make it to 40? Well, I had to break into 3 and 2, but reached 40. Everyone else had moved on to the next activity, but I was determined to reach 50 if it took the entire time of the class. I was struggling at the end and probably counted some no reps, but I managed 50 pull ups. It was a huge PR for me.

9. What was your biggest failure

Taking nine months off from swimming. I recognise that I wasn't able to go back to morning sessions until I had finished breastfeeding, but I wished I had started going to noon class once I started having Tuesdays off. I made the excuse that I didn't think I could get back in form by swimming just once a week.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury

I was diagnosed with pneumonia in June. Fortunately, antibiotics kicked in quickly, but I spent a miserable night with a 103 degree fever.

11. Best thing you bought

We hired a cleaning service to clean our house every other week. Husband is loathe to spend money on anything we can do ourselves, but as he got a pay raise, he decided it was worth our time to be free of cleaning chores on the weekend.

12. Whose behavour merited celebration?

Kate's. I'm so proud of her for achieving her developmental milestones and I'm fascinated by watching her process things.

13. Whose behaviour make you appalled and depressed

Ryan Lotche. In 2012 I thought it was just your average dumb guy (frankly, I'm surprised he knows IM order, let alone command such an impressive race strategy) but they way he fabricated a robbery to cover up his actions revealed just how much of a low life scum he truly is. Then the IOC condones him 'He's a great swimmer, so boys will be boys.'

The judge in the Brock Turner case. It is often very difficult to get a conviction in a rape case and it often involves hoping there is enough physicial evidence to support a he said - she said arguement. This case had two eye witnesses and physical evidence. There was no need to be lenient for benefit of the doubt. The judge felt more sympathy for Brock and didn't want the fact that he committed a heinous crime to ruin his life.

Donald Trump. I won't list all the offensive things he's said or done, because we all know what's out there. It just sickens me that such a honour is bestowed on such an undeserving man.

2016 was a celebration of wealthy while male privlidge. It is so clear they're living in a different world that is above laws, social norms, and decency.

14. Where did most of your money go

Day Care. Food. Stuff for Kate. Rarely spend money on myself.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The possibility of Hillary as President. Although she wasn't my first choice I was excited about seeing a woman President in my life time and wish I could have watched Kate grow up with a female President

16. Compared to this time last year, are you;

A. Happier or sadder
Sadder because of the election results
B. Thinner or Fatter
C. Richer or Poorer
Richer -both Husband and I got pay raises. Mine was a "we're increasing salaries to stay competetive" (translation, we don't want you to know you could have been making a lot more money working for Kai.ser) Husband learned that recent hires with less experience were earning almost as much as him and he seized the opportunity to ask for an increase when some other senior scientists had left.

17. What is something you wish you'd done more of?

Spent more time getting together with friends. I need to make more of an effort, we often talk about getting together and then never make any plans.

18. What is somethig you wish you'd done less of?

Waste time looking at crap on the internet

19. How did you spend Christmas?

At home with my parents visiting.

20. Did you fall in love in 2016

Yes, with Kate

21. What was your favorite TV program

Life in Pieces. Such a brilliant comedy, but they blew me away when they included a storyline where a character has a miscarriage. Knowing how common miscarriages are and living through the experience twice, it was so amazing to see it 'normalized' on TV.

22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

I hate Donald Trump even more

23. What did you want and get?

A day off! In order to make it work financially, I could only cut my hours down to 36, so I pitched that I would work a late shift on Monday and early shift on Friday to improve options for patient access. To my surprise, upper management approved my request!

24. What did you want and not get?

Bernie Sanders and the Democratic Nominee and President Elect.

25. What was your favorite film of the year?

Rouge One, because it was the only new film I saw in it's entirety. We went to see Jason Borne, but feel asleep though it.

26. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?

This was the year of the big 4-0 and we spent it in Maui

27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016

My 'Mom outfit' of yoga pants and a nursing tank. I was happy once I stopped breastfeeding and could wear normal clothes again, but I pretty much kept in my work out clothes. Yes, I've been guilty of wearing active wear when I've not been active. I donated a bunch of clothes that I had been hanging on to for years with the hope that I'd lose weight. That was before I finally did lose weight, but as some of them were over 12 years old, I decided they needed to go merely from a fashion standpoint and not a size issue. I really need to buy some new clothes, but I'm waiting to see if I can lose a little more weight.

28. What kept you sane

Having a day off. With swimming in the mornings, working and going to the gym in the evenings, I feel that I don't spend that much time with Kate during the week. The cleaning service has often been a great relief.

29. Which celebrity/public  figure did you fancy the most

Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders

30. What political issue stirred you the most

Trying to understand how blue collar and middle class workers could support a millionaire who has never showed any concern for the poor and working class

Trying to understand how any one with a sound mind and rational judgement could support a candidate who has never held a public office, displays a narcisstic personality and fragile ego as well as an unstable temperment.

31. Who did you miss

I still miss my old cat Angus

32. How many miles did you run this year?

OMG, I think it was only 25! Maybe 30, if I include running during Cross-Fit. So pathetic!


  1. Your Trump comments made me laugh (it was either that or cry). And I completely agree with everything you said about him! :)

  2. Haha, I used to do almost this exact same survey every year at my former blog, but gave it up some years ago because it seemed like the answers were always the same (especially what did you want that you did not get....which was always "a baby" but I didn't want to write I'd write something meaningless...yeah I had to retire that blog for one where I could be honest.) Your answers here are definitely not the same old, same old so good for you! Also, whoa, that's quite the story about being a first responder. I can't recall if you mentioned this before but I'm so impressed. How great that you were there and knew what to do. You accomplished a lot in 2016, even helped save a life! Sounds like a great year, crazy politics not withstanding.

  3. Yes to your comments on Trump! I'm still in shock that he somehow got enough support to be president and that also saddens me. Bernie Sanders would have been great! I was also upset by the Brock Turner case. When he only got six months despite overwhelming evidence what chance do other rape victims have?

  4. Only 5 days in and Trump is exceeding my expectation on what a sh*tty President he is going to be.

    Whoa to your first responder story! A friend's sister was at the DC march and had to help someone who was having a seizure. She said that numerous people came up to her asking if she was a nurse when she is an ER doctor. Hopefully you didn't have the same issue. Did the person recognize you when you saw them again?

  5. These are amazing. I got chills reading about you as a first responder and then later encountering the same man. Wow. How incredible.

    I feel exactly the same about the Trump presidency. The only thing I can say for him is that he is apparently keeping all of his campaign promises, which is more horrifying than I thought things could be.

    Awesome job, btw, with the Whole30 and the FIFTY pull-ups. Color me impressed. I loved being able to do pull-ups again when I was doing Cross-Fit. It was so empowering.