Wednesday, December 14, 2016
The RE's office told me to arrive at the surgery center by 7:30am on retrieval day. You're supposed to have a family member or friend drive you to the appointment and back (because, anesthesia), but everyone local that I knew that would have been up for the task was coincidentally out of town or had important work commitments that morning. So, I ordered up a ride using one of Austin's Uber-equivalents. This made me nervous--ever since Uber and Lyft left Austin the remaining ride share programs have proven a bit... unreliable--but I made it to the surgery center on time.
Once at the surgery center, they confirmed my identity, asked me to sign various releases and other forms, had me gown up, checked my vital signs and started my IV. The anesthesiologist came in to ask some screening questions. The embryologist also paid me a visit to confirm the plan for any retrieved eggs. Finally, the RE stopped by to say hello (the first and only time I saw him that day). I texted my family to let them know I had arrived at the surgery center and that I'd text them again once surgery was over.
At 8:30am on the dot we were rolling towards the operating room. They had me walk in and get on the table on my own. In short order, there was an oxygen mask over my face and I could feel the anesthesia running through my IV and up my arm. That's the last thing I remember before waking up in the recovery room.
I woke up to one of the nurses checking my vital signs. I texted my family to let them know that I was out of surgery. A nurse confirmed that the RE had been able to retrieve 25 eggs. By 9:59am I was in a cab on my way home.
Later in the afternoon, the embryologist called to confirm that of the 25 retrieved eggs, 18 had been mature and all 18 froze successfully. My family is full of questions about how many frozen eggs are needed to achieve one pregnancy. I don't have a clear answer to this, but at my age and thinking forward to how old I'll likely be when I can use these eggs, I'll be lucky to have one child and hopefully 18 frozen eggs will be enough to achieve that.
Yesterday, similar to when I went through the process as a donor in my early 20s, I felt fine after surgery. There was some abdominal cramping, but nothing debilitating. If the anesthesiologist hadn't told me that I wasn't allowed to drive all day or make any significant decisions, I would have returned to the office. (As it was my out of office autoreply telling clients that I was in surgery and would not respond until the following day was not a success... I ended up joining three client calls yesterday.)
Today, I feel even better. The mental fog from all of the hormones has subsided and I'm ready to get back to life as usual.
Often, when I read an article about egg freezing, women who have completed the procedure say that they feel like they now have the luxury of time to find the right partner and focus on their career. I can't say that I have those feelings. The weight that has been lifted is the worry over whether I should even try to freeze my eggs. It seems I've been debating the question for years. I'm happy to take "freezing my eggs" off my to-do list.
I'll post one more time under the "freezing my eggs" tab to discuss the cost of the process, but am waiting for all of the final bills to roll in before doing so.
Monday, December 12, 2016
- Blood drawn at hospital before 8am.
- Inject myself with Ganirelix in the car in the parking lot at the hospital.
- Ultrasound appointment at RE's office at 9:30am to measure ovarian follicles.
- Pick up additional Ganirelix at pharmacy since stimulation is taking a little longer than originally planned.
- Inject myself with Gonal-F at around 7pm.
- Inject myself with Menopur at around 7pm.
- Blood drawn at hospital before 8am.
- Inject myself with Ganirelix in the car in the parking lot at the hospital.
- Ultrasound appointment at RE's office at 9:00am to measure ovarian follicles.
- Inject myself with a "trigger" shot. The "trigger" causes eggs to start meiosis prior to egg retrieval. This injection needed to occur at a very precise time, which fell in the middle of dinner with clients. So, I excused myself to go to the restroom and administered the injection in a stall in the ladies room. Whatever it takes!
Thursday, December 8, 2016
I drove to the hospital this morning to have my blood drawn again. Then, to the clinic to have an ultrasound. Today, the doctor could see both my ovaries (an improvement from the last appointment when one was missing in action) and while the follicles are growing in diameter, we aren't ready for retrieval just yet. This means a refill on some of my medications and an 8am doctor's appointment over the weekend.
I feel exhausted and lonely.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
As of the third appointment (which was yesterday, actually), my RE started me on a third medication called Ganirelix. This medication, which stops eggs from being released too early, is taken by subcutaneous injection.
For those keeping track at home, this day in the egg freezing process involved:
- One blood draw at the hospital;
- One transvaginal ultrasound at the RE's clinic; and
- Three self-administered subcutaneous injections.
Sunday, December 4, 2016
The first medication is Gonal-F. As I understand it (and I don't understand it in any sophisticated way, since I'm not a doctor), this medication contains a follicle-stimulating hormone that stimulates healthy ovaries to produce eggs. The pharmacy gave me this medication in a pen that is pre-loaded with medication. Each night, I "dial" a dose, by clicking the pen to the prescribed number (225 in my case), screw on a fresh needle, and inject.
The second medication is Menopur. It contains a follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone that helps healthy ovaries to produce eggs. Preparing this injection is more involved. It requires drawing up saline from one vial, mixing it with the powder Menopur, and then drawing the solution up into a syringe for injection. If you liked chem lab as a student (and I did), you'll find this part almost fun.
After three days of this drill, I was to get my blood drawn before 8am at St. David's lab (since it was Sunday, the lab at the hospital was supposedly the only open lab in town). I was in and out of the lab in less than 10 minutes. Next, I drove up to the clinic, where the doctor used ultrasound to measure the dilation of the follicles on my ovaries in order to assess how I was responding to the medication.
At around 4pm, after my doctor had received my lab results, the clinic called me to confirmed that I should continue with my current dosage of Gonal-F and Menopur and plan for another blood draw and monitoring appointment on Tuesday.
I'm already feeling like a pin cushion and we're just getting started!
- Feeling a bit nervous about coordinating upcoming work travel with the monitoring appointments (also, will TSA let me on the plane with syringes!?!).
- Noticing more frequent headaches, but think this is likely symptomatic of a stressful period at the firm and not the medications.
- Not noticing any other side effects.
- Spoke with a college friend and learned she's completed two egg freezing cycles and contemplating a third to collect the number of eggs thought to be needed to produce two kiddos (not all retrieved eggs survive the thaw, fertilize, or successfully implant which is why you need more than one egg to produce one pregnancy). This stressed me out a bit. Given the cost, I have never considered completing more than one cycle. For now, I'm putting this out of my mind until my doctor tells me the number of eggs he was able to retrieve.
Friday, December 2, 2016
- I'm at the tail end of 35.
- My father, who is a maternal fetal specialist, has been pushing hard for me to freeze my eggs before it's "too late."
- I will be changing jobs soon and don't want requests for time off to attend doctor's appointments and have surgery to interfere with making a good first impression.
That's to say, it's time to stop wringing my hands and just do it already.
I'd completed my initial consultation with the reproductive endocrinologist ("RE") and infectious disease screening months ago. So, the RE's clinic was able to react quickly when I asked to get the cycle started asap. This involved the following immediate steps:
- Baseline sonogram - This appointment is timed to your menstrual cycle. To put it simply, the RE is looking to confirm that the lining of your uterine lining is thin so that the stimulation cycle can begin.
- Order medications - Stimulating your ovaries to produce eggs for freezing requires, in my case, $3,500 in injectable medications and related supplies. The pharmacy shipped the medications to my office (since my neighborhood is having a problem with the disappearance of packages delivered to the front door) and I rushed them home for refrigeration.
This drill is nearly identical to the steps that were taken to donate my eggs in my twenties, except, of course, that I'm footing the bill this time. Here's hoping all goes well. The process should be complete and my eggs should be on ice by mid-December.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
|Dad's cactus collection.|
Monday, November 21, 2016
|View from the Classroom|
Giving the presentation reminded me of how much I miss teaching. Preparing and presenting independently was a pleasure--so often big law partners act like no project can be successfully completed without their magic touch. I enjoyed the in-person interaction with the students. I found the students' questions thought-provoking. It was a nice change of pace.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
- High Line - A 1.45 mile-long park built on an elevated section of a retired New York Central Railroad spur. The fall colors were beautiful and I loved the portion that's right on the Hudson.
- Fat Witch - In Chelsea Market, which was a fun pit stop in and of itself. The caramel brownie lived up to the hype. (I have found my vendor for corporate gifts for the 2016 holiday season!)
- Joe's Shanghai Restaurant - I've had some great soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung (in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai and LA) and Wu Chow (in Austin), which were not eclipsed by Joe's, but this checked the box for hole in the wall Chinese.
- Broadway Show - Book of Mormon at the Eugene O'Neill theater. The cast was talented and the theater took my breath away, but if I go back for another show I'll pick one that's more dance-focused.
- 9/11 Museum - Despite having already read, watched or listened to much of what was displayed, it felt important to put this on the itinerary.
- Walking Everywhere - I haven't walked this much since I lived in Tokyo. The discoveries you can make while out for a long walk in the city just can't be compared to the experience of driving through suburbia. In Chelsea, I literally bumped into a classmate from my 1L small section. What are the odds!?!
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
I thought the process would be relatively pain free because, compared to two years ago when I purchased the house:
- my annual income is ~$50k greater;
- my student loans have been paid in full and I have no debts other than my mortgage;
- my retirement and other personal savings have increased substantially; and
- the house has appreciated (according to the official appraisal).
Alas, no. Credit underwriting was smooth and fast. The difficulty revolved around the condo underwriting. Technically, my house is part of a two-unit homeowners' association. We needed to amend our HOA declarations, which involved signing, notarizing and recording the amendment, which I drafted myself. This was extremely frustrating because my reading of the bylaws together with the declarations was that the amendment was not necessary, but I couldn't get anyone in underwriting to actually read and think about the language in the existing documents.
(This process made me think a lot about what it's like to be a client in the corporate transactions we facilitate at work--valuable experience from that point of view.)
Friday, October 7, 2016
After college graduation, my first act as an adult was to make Little C a part of my family. Last night was the first night, since I was 22, that she wasn't waiting for me when I came home. She became very ill earlier this week (and when you weigh a mighty 2 lbs, a couple days of illness and not eating have a dramatic effect). We rushed to the emergency vet and they put her on an IV dextrose drip, administered pain medication and antibiotics, and started diagnostic tests.
The tests didn't indicate a problem and we couldn't figure out how to help her.
So I sat with her at the animal hospital most of the night trying to comfort her (and myself, frankly), missed my flight to London, and spent the next day adjusting to the fact that my best buddy who has been there for all the highs and lows of my adult life was gone.
I feel so fortunate that Little C helped me feel like I had a little family at home for all these years. I will miss her so much. The house is terribly quiet without her.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
My goal is to update my current furnishings--a sofa, coffee table, wingback chair and media cabinet that I selected for my first apartment. My existing furniture has served me well over the years, but is very well worn after 13 years and six moves.
To start the process, I shared pictures of my family room and the floor plan, and my budget with the Havenly designer and asked for a new look with contemporary touches in a neutral palette with blue accents.
Within a week, the Havenly designer pulled together the two concepts below. These concepts are considered rough drafts. It's now up to me to rate the items the designer selected and provide feedback. (Helpfully, Havenly provides the price and source for each item in each concept.) Next, the designer will finalize one of the concepts and provide an updated rendering/floorplan.
It's been a fun experience so far. What do you think of the concepts Havenly pulled together? Specifically, do you think anyone would ever use the little poufs under the coffee table in the second concept? I see similar items in catalogs and have always wondered if they're functional.
Monday, June 20, 2016
The tree trimmers removed the whole tree in just 13 minutes.
I'm surprisingly sentimental about the whole thing and am researching smaller trees for the space. (Any suggestions?) In the meanwhile, my partial shade vegetable garden now has to contend with full sun. We'll see if the butternut squash and pumpkin I've planned for fall can withstand the Texas summer.
|First cucumber from my vegetable garden.|
Sunday, June 12, 2016
|Yukon Gold Potatoes went from my|
garden soil to mashed potatoes on the
dinner table in approximately 20 minutes.
- Potatoes are ace for the experience of digging them up and because they make for dreamy mashed potatoes--a food I remember loving as a kid.
- Other kid friendly favorites that should be started at this time of year in Central Texas include butternut squash (I grow Butterbush--a more compact variety) and sugar pumpkins. Both sprout quickly--within 2-4 days--rewarding impatient first-time gardeners. Both make for good eating. As an added bonus, there's something very fun about growing your own Halloween pumpkin or bringing a pumpkin pie to family Thanksgiving made from pumpkins from your own garden.
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
I wanted to share this with you asap, especially since I'd guess that a lot of associates, who spend their days huddled over a keyboard, are already paying for massages. While the benefit amounts to just $270 a year, there's not much paperwork involved. That $270 could be used to make an extra student loan payment, save for a downpayment on a house, pay for a couple nice dinners or any number of things.
Here's how our EAP administers this benefit:
1. Call the EAP's 800 number and request authorization for massage services (no referral or physician recommendation required);
2. Wait for authorization letter to arrive via USPS;
3. Get your massage;
4. Submit your proof of payment along with your authorization letter and some additional details to the address specified in your authorization letter; and
5. Cash your reimbursement check.
This discovery inspired me to set time aside to review our benefits in detail and I've found other hidden gems--like a four figure reimbursement upon the purchase of a hybrid vehicle!!!
Thursday, April 21, 2016
She had fallen out of her bed in the memory care center in the middle of the night. She had hit her head on the floor, which was very hard--concrete covered with a thin indoor/outdoor carpet. I was exasperated to learn that there were no side rails on her bed.*
As a result of the fall, she suffered a massive subdural hematoma that the neurosurgeon told us would have likely killed her instantly but for the fact that Alzheimer's had begun to shrink her brain, making room for the hematoma in the expanding space between her dura and brain. The neurosurgeon advised that she was not a good candidate for surgery.
So there was nothing left but to transport her from the ICU to the hospice program at the memory care center. After a week, she lost the ability to swallow.
Her guardian had executed an advanced care directive on her behalf. This means she received medication for pain and anxiety management, but nothing else. Not even IV fluids. I generally believe it's important to honor advanced care directives, but I found it harder to stomach given that a guardian, not the patient, had executed the directive.
When someone subject to an advanced care directive looks you in the eye, grips your hand, and says "help me," what can you do? What does "help me" mean in that context? Of all the things I thought or hoped she might say, this was a request I hadn't anticipated.
I found myself wondering if I could challenge the advanced care directive. I thought about whether the memory care center had been negligent in not installing side rails on her bed. (I'm a lawyer, after all.) Then, when she started struggling for breath, I thought about Oregon's Death with Dignity Act. I considered whether this end was better or worse than a long decline during which Alzheimer's would take her from us bit by bit.
Those thoughts, I think, were just distractions on the path to coming to terms with what was happening and would happen. Ultimately, I settled on the following as ways to "help" that were more constructive:
- With the full support of the hospice staff, we made sure she received her medications as frequently as her doctor allowed in order to manage her pain and anxiety.
- We invited a music therapist to come play guitar and sing to her.
- We sat with her round the clock, spoke to her, played her favorite music and sang to her (she had been in an a cappella group when she was younger and loved music).
- We applied lotion to her drying skin, chapstick to her drying lips and swabbed her mouth with a moist sponge.
- We held her hand.
- We convinced family members that had found it too difficult to be there to join us in her room.
- We were there.
This woman made me feel like the center of the universe. She was always interested in what I was doing. Always on my side. Always in the audience or the stands to cheer me on. While it's wonderful to have had a grandmother who makes you feel this way and I love her to pieces, I realize that I only knew her in a sort of one dimensional way. She was a lot more than a grandmother and I can only imagine the extent to which the loss I feel is amplified in her husband, siblings and children--people who had longer and deeper relationships with her.
She told me many times that family was the most important thing to her. I hope, at the end in particular, that she had some awareness of how important she was to us.
If you are a hospice or memory care center worker reading this post, I want you to know how grateful I am for the compassion and care shown to my grandmother. Thank you for doing an incredibly difficult and important job.
|Our last picture.|
* The memory care center told our family that use of bed side rails was prohibited under state law, but based on some cursory research that doesn't seem entirely true. The Oregon Administrative Rules, which include bed side rails in the definition of "physical restraints," provides that residents in care facilities shall "be free from... physical restraints except as ordered by a physician or other qualified practitioner.... Restraints are not to be used for... convenience." See the FDA safety alert on entrapment hazards associated with hospital bed side rails here for another perspective. I understand that bed side rails can both hurt and help and that a judgment call was made, but if you have a loved one in a care facility in Oregon, you might consider advocating for bed side rails or padded flooring next to the bed.
Monday, March 28, 2016
C is well behaved in the cabin (and, no, she doesn't need to be sedated). Over the years, I learned that she does best when:
- We plan ahead to make sure she's eaten a nice meal and had time to digest and potty before I pull the suitcase out of the closet.
- I pack by stacking my items on my bed and fill the suitcase at the last minute. This is important because she gets stressed and cries as soon as I unzip the suitcase. (She calms down once she's secure in the carrier and I'm holding the carrier.)
- I pack a small handful of bite-sized snacks for our layover.
- I pack a potty pad in case of a flight delay. In a pinch, I can find a quiet corner and she'll use the pad. Best case scenario, I'll leave the terminal and come back through security, but you have to be careful to allot enough time and know where the airport's pet relief areas are (if any).
- Her carrier is rigid in order to avoid collapse. Sherpa carriers, which are highlight recommended by many people, stressed her out because they easily collapsed on her, which caused her to panic. Our flights have been particularly successful since I bought a small Pet Flys carrier, which is unfortunately no longer available in the more subtle design we purchased, but this monkey design is fun and not too loud.
- I don't sit the carrier on the ground in the terminal. This is the only time she barks in the carrier. I think she's concerned I have abandoned her.
- I don't tell my seatmates she's with me. When people start using their baby voices to talk to her, she expects to be removed from the carrier.
- I plan a potty stop for her as soon as we leave the airport at our final destination.
Thursday, March 17, 2016
|Peace rose (a/k/a Rosa Madame A. Meilland)|
Sunday, February 28, 2016
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
By the time I finished law school and my MBA, I had six figures in outstanding student loan principal to my name. My loans had a variety of interest rates, topping out around 8.5%, resulting in a monthly minimum payment of $2,098. It was overwhelming, so I created a framework for repaying my loans as soon as possible. Here it is:
I maximized income by:
- Working part-time every semester of my JD/MBA (yes, even as a 1L) at a great job that paid between $30 and $60 per hour.
- Working at a "big law" firm that paid me one class year ahead of "market" because I had another advanced degree (my MBA) relevant to my practice area.
- Earning a bonus. For reasons related to participating in various secondments and study leave to take the bar in a second jurisdiction, I earned only one bonus during my time in big law.
- Renting my guest rooms.
- Taking an assignment in one of the firm's offices in Asia. As part of this assignment, the firm covered my housing costs in Tokyo and part of the cost of storing my belongings, and paid me a COLA. I terminated my lease in Los Angeles and put my belongings in storage. As a result, I saved more than $36,000 per year for the two years that I worked in Tokyo and started making extra payments on my student loans.
- Unsubscribing from retail email newsletters. When you're not bombarded by emails about sales and new offerings, it's easier to avoid shopping.
- Not signing up for cable television. This also saved me the cost of buying a television and any related components. This also reduced my exposure to commercials, which, in turn, reduced my urge to buy things I didn't need.
- Not going on vacation except for trips home for the holidays and my brother's wedding.
- Not shopping for clothes other than to replace worn out items.
- Driving a 10+ year old car.
- Living very close to the office. When I lived in Southern California, I walked to work. This saved me money on gas and car maintenance.
- Not buying new furniture for my new house (for the most part). I did buy window coverings and beds for the bedrooms with rental income.
- Not keeping up with the Jones (and, by Jones, I mean the other associates who were going to fancy dinners and on fabulous vacations).
- Being single with no dependents. This wasn't by choice, but it would be unfair not to acknowledge that it's a lot easier to stick to a repayment plan when you don't have to persuade a spouse to get on board or pay for childcare expenses.
- Refinancing my student loans with SoFi.* This dropped my interest rate to 2.9%, which increased the portion of each payment going to principal and accelerated my repayment.
- Sending every spare penny to my student loans each month (after saving $300/month in an emergency fund and contributing to my 401(k) and other retirement savings accounts). For example, in 2013, I made principal payments in the aggregate amount of $62,745.11. Other examples include sending the total amount of any "windfall" (such as tax refunds or cash gifts) to my student loans.
- Visualizing life after student loans. I wanted to be prepared to move on to achieve other milestones and, in moments of weakness, would think about how my future self would appreciate that my loans were paid off. In particular, because I'd really like to have children, I often thought of how challenging it would be to pay a mortgage, student loans and daycare bill simultaneously. That thought provided the needed kick in the pants to double down on repayment.
- Not buying a house when I moved back to the US. Starting in 2014, I diverted cash flow to a down payment fund because I wanted to buy a house at the end of my Tokyo assignment. If I had deferred this goal, my loans would have been paid off before I left Tokyo. Ultimately, this choice was driven by all the hype surrounding the real estate market in my new city. I was worried that prices would go up substantially if I waited a couple of years to purchase a home.
- Earning more bonuses. This was somewhat beyond my control, but I could have turned down secondments, in theory, in order to remain bonus eligible during certain years. If I had earned a market bonus during each of my years in big law, I would have cut months if not years off of my repayment schedule.
- Living with a roommate during and after law school. I have had temporary roommates during the last year, but otherwise lived alone during and after school.
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
The builder's painter was sloppy and didn't remove or tape around the plastic utility plates when he touched up. The result was splashes of gray all over the plastic. I learned that a little finger nail polish remover took that paint right off without damaging the plastic plates. (I'd test that in an inconspicuous area before trying the same approach.)
|Have to give the builder credit for selecting on-trend light grey paint.|
|Half bath downstairs.|
This relates to my goal to try 35 new recipes this year. So far I've tried pasta e fagioli, lentil soup and this cinnamon swirl bread. I'm hoping this little project will help me find some new gems to work into my regular rotation.
Monday, February 1, 2016
In January, I started the process with a trip to Lowe's to pick up supplies. The paint department manager rolled her eyes when I told her my builder had used flat paint in the bathroom. (Solidarity!) She matched the builder's custom Valspar color--a trendy light grey. I bought a gallon of paint, FrogTape (it's as good as advertised!) and some accessories that I'd need to paint.
|I went with the higher end paint, not what's pictured above.|
Painting the master bathroom used about 1/2 gallon of paint. I've still got 1.5 bathrooms to go and hope to be finished this month. Then I'll progress through the house, room by room, until the whole place is done (or until I break down and hire a painter).
Monday, January 18, 2016
Predictably, I'm fixated on my student loans at the moment. My lender has increased the rate on my loan a full percentage point in the last few months. This isn't the end of the world because the rate was so low to begin with and, thanks to years of prepayments, my loan will be repaid in full soon. I suppose my worry has more to do with the larger changes to the public and private markets. I'm hoping that the impact on home values and my employment will be minimal, but I'm nervous about it.
On to things I can control...
I'm working on discarding or recycling a couple of very old laptops. As a first step I've consolidating my digital photos and am now looking to back them up using some sort of cloud-based resource. Do you have a service you'd recommend for photo storage? I find Dropbox unreliable in my day-to-day work so I don't want to use it. Also, what have you done to dispose of or recycle your laptops in the past?
While I wasn't able to cross laptop disposal off my list, I did get a lot done this weekend. I spent my time billing at the office, culling my closet, dropping off donations at Goodwill, stopping by the dry cleaner, visiting Costco and Lowe's for a couple items for the house, gardening, making a soup to eat for dinner next week, cleaning the house, washing the car, and making a little carrot cake. Sounds mundane, but it was... really great.
|Tiny carrots from the garden that ended up in a carrot cake.|
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
While putting the list together, I noticed the absence of many long-term, terribly expensive goals. The days of buy a car, apply to grad school, finish my law degree, finish my MBA, buy a house and survive five years of big law are over. Which brings me to what I'm enjoying about my mid-30s: I've achieved many of my big goals and, while doing so, built a strong and stable foundation... it's fine-tuning from here on out.
This has had an impact on how I view my relationships with men. Where I once wondered what I could do to impress someone I was dating (how can I be "good enough" for this person?), I'm now confident that I have done and am doing my best. Now, I spend my time wondering whether the person I'm dating enriches the life I've built (through friendship, intellectual curiosity, kindness, courage and stability) and, when the answer is "no," I don't feel despondent.
Do I still think about the family life I'm missing out on? Yes, I think of this often. I think of the experiences I am missing and how it's harder to fit in with women my own age because I'm not married and don't have children. The good news is that it's not the end of the world.
This time in my life is very peaceful and orderly--I'm in charge of my finances and they are in tip top shape, I'm in charge of my home and it's so clean and tidy you could eat off the floors (well, except for the time I let one of the partner's adult children stay at my house while I was out of down and returned to a complete disaster), and I'm in charge of my schedule and get to sleep in on the weekends. Would I be happy to trade this for a husband and house full of rambunctious kids? Yes. But if this is the consolation prize, I'll take it.
In 2016, at a high level, I want to:
- strengthen my relationships with family and friends;
- be of service to the community;
- maintain my home and make improvements that increase its value;
- deepen my professional experience and expertise;
- prepare for the future through disciplined personal finance and a more thoughtful approach to my health; and
- take a vacation.