2017…another year in the books

2017 has reminded me just how grateful I should be, how thankful I am for the amazing people in my life and how blessed I am to live this life I have!

I’m not going to lie, 2017 started out as a rough year. 40 days in, my life changed forever. Dealing with my mom’s passing was rough, and I really thought it was going to define the year. While I am sure I will always remember that as the most influential part of my 2017, I have been blessed with a multitude of other experiences to make this year enjoyable in the days since. Here are my top 17 highlights from 2017:

  1. Monroe got a new yoga studio – Blue Lotus Yoga, opened by a dear friend of mine who has entrusted me with help her with her social media and website, and all the while it has only made Elaina and me better friends.
  2. My friend Mary came to visit from down south just to keep me company and be with me for a tough weekend. While it was a short visit, it is one I will always remember as she but her own life on hold for the weekend to be there for me at the drop of a hat.
  3. I got my 3rd tattoo – it’s my mom’s handwriting and says “Love, Mom”, taken off the Christmas card she wrote me last year.
  4. Tom and I went to see Jake Owen in concert! (I have to get at least one country concert in each year.)
  5. Once I finally had a chance to leave home for a bit, I visited Jenna and saw Oregon and Washington for my first time! We went beer tasting around Portland (along with whiskey and wine tasting) and even had a flight across the gorge in Washington! I was also able to see Mulnomah Falls and the Columbia River Gorge before they were hit with a devastating wild fire. Also, while in Portland, Jenna took me to my very first professional soccer game – and I will admit that I loved it!
  6. I spent Mother’s Day weekend in DC with Emily – wine tasting around Virginia and taking in another Nationals game.
  7. I completed my 2nd Warrior Dash with some awesome ladies from my softball team.
  8. I got a dirt bike!!!
  9. Spent Labor Day up on Cape Cod with Tom, Jenna and her family to wish her farewell before her next chapter of life and adventures in Cambodia! And since it was me and Jenna, rum, gin and wine tasting were all on the menu! Along with a 20+ mile bike ride on the rail trail. And we even caught a sight of seals off the coast in Provincetown.
  10. Finally took in a Bridgeport Bluefish game at Harbor Yard before they left town for good.
  11. And even though Hurricane Irma rained out the Tampa 2017 installment of #ktomandlamargotimlbtour, we booked a last minute trip to Cleveland where we saw the Indians win 21 straight games (and then break their win streak two days later). Plus we saw the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and cruised on the Great Lake to see a different side of Cleveland.
  12. I finally made it to Canada thanks to a work trip to Montreal. And though I didn’t have time for sightseeing, there was time to pick up pure Canadian maple syrup to bring home! Work also sent me to Atlanta, so I finally stepped foot outside the airport. And was able to experience some southern BBQ while we dined. My final work trip sent me to Torino, Italy for a week. And included a 7 hour layover in Frankfurt, which gave me ample time to go walk around the city instead of just hanging out in the airport.
  13. After wanting to learn for a long time, I dove in and took a calligraphy class at Joyful Noise Paper and have been enjoying practicing my new hobby ever since.
  14. I spent November writing my 30 Days of Thanks and looking back on all of the blessings I have in my life.
  15. I was elected chair of Monroe Youth Commission.
  16. I survived 3 straight days of Christmas baking – making 100 raspberry thumprints + 121 chocolate chip cookies + 3 Irish soda breads + 81 meringues + 45 chocolate covered pretzels…all for the weekend before Christmas. And that doesn’t include anything I made for Christmas itself, which we hosted for the 1st time this year.
  17. The Gotimer family grew again as Lizzie and Brian got married!

Opposites Attract

In preparation for Valentine’s Day, my latest for TNGG, as originally posted here

Girl: A business woman working her way up the corporate ladder who comes from a huge Irish-Catholic family. Loves art. Country music fiend. Passionate New York sports fan. Addicted to technology and social media. Wine connoisseur. Social butterfly who feels at home at the bar. Enjoys curling up with a good book by the fire.

Boy: Tradesman who comes from a small family. Enjoys rock music. Gets a thrill from outdoor extreme sports. Doesn’t watch or follow organized sports. Doesn’t believe in social media and dislikes that people put their whole lives on the web. Introvert who enjoys hanging out with only his few close friends. Enjoys PBR and sleeping outdoors.

Back in science class (yes, the same one that taught us Pluto was a planet), we were taught that opposite ends of magnets attract. Magnets aren’t the only opposites that attract — there is a truth to the age-old love adage that opposites attract. None of us want to date a mirror image of ourselves, that would be boring (not to mention creepy if you were dating your identical twin…). But seriously, when we are dating, we crave someone different than we are. We need someone to balance out with our craziness, someone to taking our minds off the stresses from work, someone to challenge us, someone to make us better — someone who complements us.

Granted while dating someone, you are learning about someone new, but at the same time, you are really learning about yourself. Dating someone different can open new doors — when you date someone who has different interests than you, you will inevitably try new things, and hopefully, you like these new things.

While dating someone who is your opposite can open doors to worlds we never knew much about, it can also open doors to “whatever quality or character trait you lack and wish you had”. MTV’s show Made depicts people who live a life they enjoy, but deep down, they are really in search of trying something new. Perhaps this is why “good girls” are attracted to “bad boys;” they see a thrill in living on the edge, but it’s not something they’d dare do on their own. By dating the “bad boy,” she is exposed to the world that always seemed to elude her, giving her a fresh breath of energy and a youthful feeling.

Dating your opposite can do more than just open doors to experiencing new things. It can give a fresh perspective on how to view the world and deal with problems. You may start looking at situations from a different perspective, which allows you to find better outcomes or faster ways to solve problems. Or perhaps in explaining your frustrations, you will be given new insights into how to overcome them.

Opposites pose challenges, but overcoming challenges only make us grow and become stronger. A type-A person can learn to let go and be more laid back or someone lacking drive can learn to set goals and start working on achieving them. It is from those who pose challenges to us that we will learn the most valuable life lessons, and hopefully even find love.

One thing I’ve learned from dating someone different is that as much as I’m addicted to updating my Facebook status and checking in on Foursquare to let the “twitterverse” know where I am, there’s something to be said about spending a weekend disconnected from that world, enjoying nature and the boy that I’m falling head over heels for.