32? Things.

I honestly have no clue how old I am. I have to do the math every time. I think I turn 32 today. I was trying to get my list of 32 things that happened last year together and it was surprisingly difficult… mostly because they consisted of, “Peatuk did this and that,” which should really be for HIS birthday. It’s no fair that someone that will only need 2 things on his list next year has a list of hundreds of things…

So, my struggling-mother’s list of 32 things that happened this past year:

  1. I had my second anniversary with Nikola.
  2. I reconnected with my parents during their 3 month visit to Bulgaria.
  3. I started making regular income as a part-time content writer. I started writing two years ago, but the work was sporadic and the pay was much lower. Even though I am still ghost-writing, I enjoy the higher pay and feel like an actual writer.
  4. We moved from Galata to Gabrovo. Getting out of the city and into the mountains was critical to my mental health. I am still very lonesome for the desert, but it is definitely the best place in Bulgaria that we could be.
  5. I got my new Lenovo Yoga, officially switching away from mac to windows. I am surprised by how much I actually enjoy my new computer. It makes working pleasurable. The only problem is that it is now hard to put the computer away and focus on the more important things in life.
  6. We went to Spain for a week. I fell in love. Not necessarily in a, “I want to live there,” kind of way, but I definitely want to visit regularly. It also inspired me to put a lot more olive oil on everything I eat. In many ways, it fulfilled an open dream I have had since I started reading Hemingway in high school.
  7. Piggy-backing on Spain- I went to my first WordCamp, officially plunging into the strange tech world that Nikola lives in.
  8. I traded in Sriracha for Gia, my first step-through city bike. It has changed the way I think about cycling and solidified my role as a parent in many ways.
  9. I was a mother to a toddler. At my birthday last year, Peatuk was just beginning to crawl. Now, he is running around, almost talking, and doing so many toddler things. It has been an awesome parenting year.
  10. We bought a car- something I thought I would never do again after living as a pedestrian/public transit gal for five years. Honestly, there are times that I like it, but for the most part I miss the train.
  11. I started working on a children’s book series. Just like its adult counterparts, it may never be finished, but it is sure fun to spend time working on.
  12. I started “seriously” looking to buy a home. Permanently. In one place. For the rest of our lives.
  13. I started running again… and then promptly stopped. I am coming to terms with “exercise” as a mother, although I mostly do not like the terms.
  14. My depression/anxiety has gotten better overall but worse around my periods.
  15. I saw the Danube. Yes, it is just a big river, but it is an important big river, in the romantic sense.
  16. I saw New Year’s fireworks in a city in Bulgaria. Huge hint- don’t actually go outside. It is seriously like a war zone!
  17. I fully hosted my own Thanksgiving dinner— even though the electricity in the house we were renting was sketchy as heck and the oven kept blowing the circuit.
  18. I returned to Nis, where Nikola and I took our first trip together three years ago.
  19. I started wearing a watch again— meaning my smart phone is getting little to no use. I think this has to do with how much I love my computer mixed with a toddler that wants to grab all the technology.
  20. I switched my blog to WordPress- more of Nikola’s positive influence.
  21. I ate plenty of sushi. My default “date night” with Nikola consists of sushi and a walk on the beach. On really special occasions, we go for a massage.
  22. I have converted to the wonderful world of slow cookers. I love tossing a meal in and letting it simmer all day, to be perfectly done when Nikola gets home from work at 11.
  23. I have come to terms with the fact that I am not returning to the United States for more than a vacation. The life we want is just not feasible in the U.S. To help soften the blow, I am planning to eventually design our living room to be a reflection of a Tucson desert sunset.
  24. I’ve gone a little crazy with sorting/nesting/organizing. All I want is to have a place for everything and to lower my waste. It seems like an impossible task in the modern world.
  25. I had a lovely, warm winter thanks to the central water heating system here. It is so cool, (actually, so hot) and there is endless hot water… for a price.
  26. My dreads have started looking like actual ropes of hair, not just a big knot. As soon as they started locking up, there was a huge backlash against white people who wear “black hairstyles,” and I had to reflect deeply on whether or not my dreads are cultural appropriation and harmful to others. In the end, I decided to keep them, for many reasons.
  27. I tend to be distancing myself from intersectional feminism. Also, all American politics. It seems absurd when compared to actually just living life. Is this a becoming old and conservative thing or a living in Bulgaria thing? I am not certain.
  28. We bought a large-screen television. Although, we only use it to watch youtube and a few shows online. We have not gotten subscribed television, but I know it is coming soon. How many years have I not had a television? 10? Well, that is done now.
  29. I made a few new friends in Gabrovo, but mostly realized that parenting makes it extremely difficult to keep up with friends in any location, even those right down the street.
  30. I have severely upped my caffeine intake. My parents bought me an espresso machine for my birthday, and I have been having at least one cup of coffee a day, but usually two and sometimes even three. This has been less than good for me most of the time, but it is also a lot of fun and difficult to stop.
  31. I’ve started taking better care of my teeth, mostly due to an awful root canal I had to get around my birthday last year. I still don’t floss as much as I should, though.
  32. I decided to send Peatuk to daycare, part-time, and am currently adjusting to the very scary idea of it.

Overall, I realize that this list is kinda… not impressive. I guess that when my whole life revolves around taking care of someone else, my little achievements tend to fall to the wayside. I definitely have something to work on for next year.


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