2012 Flashback (a.k.a. Personal Reflections on this Past Year)

How is 2012 quickly drawing to a close?  Yes, it is true what people say: the years go by faster and faster the older you get.  This past year was a mix of hardships and saying good-bye to several friends who left my area, as well as various events and activities that shaped the year for me.  This list is a personal reflection of the past year, rather than a list of current events or a political piece, with dates as close as possible to the real month of occurrence.  I enjoy reflecting on the past before starting a new year.  It is good to have new goals and aspirations.

January

  • I began blogging on WordPress.  Yay!
  • A mild winter in Illinois. That’s awesome because I walked a 1/2 mile each way to work due to the scarcity of close parking at my job.

February

  • My birthday month.  Why does it feel like the last 5 years or so are gone in a blink?
  • I attended my second ever University of Illinois Basketball game.  It was a nice family time with my Dad, and Illinois beat Iowa, so that was exciting.

March

  • It was fun to co-coordinate a faculty/staff service outreach at my job.  We volunteered at the Eastern Illinois Foodbank, a foodbank that helps provide food to hundreds of soup kitchens and food pantries in the central Illinois area.
  • I become the proud owner of a iPhone 4.  It is super cool, but dislikes when I try to use it as a PHONE from my apartment.  However, the apps, being able to easily check and write e-mails, and the camera are all great features.
  • Winter Jam Tour at the Assembly Hall with my friend, Sabrina

April

  • My church purchases our own building after the building we rented was damaged by a fire.  My church had been dislocated to a hotel for around 3-4 months, so the purchase of our own building was exciting.

May

  • My friend Carolina moved to Arizona when her husband graduated and expediently got a great job.

June

  • Summer= swimming (in my attempt at fitness).
  • Around this time (ish), I become a poet who publishes on poemhunter.  I enjoy writing poetry, especially about love, heartache, and God/faith.

July

  • More swimming.  Summer seemed to go by at warp speed.  I did get to go see the New Amazing Spiderman on the Fourth of July.
  • I covered many job duties for my co-worker who was off work for 3 weeks due to an accident.  I also spent around 4 months (off and on)  for my co-worker typing forms, scanning forms, e-mailing people (some out of state, out of country, or no longer with my department), and playing Nancy Drew with solving discrepancies in legal check-outs of equipment loans, mostly for laptop.  This was to get forms for approxiately a few hundred pieces of equipment updated for legal check-out.
  • My co-worker who was my back-up was promoted, so it was challenging during the 6 weeks before her replacement was hired and started.

August

English: Script logo of the Chicago Bears

  • I took a min-vacation to see my family in my hometown area.  We took a one day road trip to see the Chicago Bears training camp at Olivet Nazarene University.
  • My friend Amy moved out-of-state in order to complete her degree in Art.

September

  • I spend around $300 on an oil change and new brakes when I am told that my brakes are 95% gone.  I am glad this was found before winter, but sad to try to figure out how to pay for that in my tight budget.
  • My friend Melissa moves to Champaign for a new job.  I was blessed by that fact, but I also got a $100 rent credit when I referred her to my apartment complex.  Yay!

October

  •  After 2 years and approximately 3 months, I got into a close parking lot by my work building.  If you know the ordeals that I went through before this time, you will know why this was a HUGE positive for me (I even paid around $70/month for a few months for a private gravel lot in order to be able to get a break and actually get to places on time after work).
  • I join Pinterest and become semi-addicted.
  • My first ever 5K!  My friend Melissa encouraged me to do it.  I am not a runner, but I loved walking the 5K.   It was a fantastic experience.
  • I voted for my clerical union contract.  We had been without a contract for 14 or 15 months which was pretty discouraging, in spite of my union’s persistent negotiations.

November

  • I paid off my 5 year loan on my 2006 Ford Taurus!  Woohoo!
  • The Woodfield Mall bus trip that I was attending with my Mom got cancelled, but all was not lost when my Mom visited me and we spent the weekend shopping at a outlet mall and many great local places.
  • My first laptop that I have ever personally ordered was stolen when FedEx left it unsigned for outside of my apartment the day after Thanksgiving.

December

  • Old-Fashioned Christmas at my church.  I got to go on a horse and carriage ride!  It was amazing!
  • I bought a new laptop  after my laptop that I ordered online was stolen.
  • E-mail day of action that I participated in (off work time, of course) since my signed union contract giving all clericals a small raise and pay-back got stalled by my University when there was no real follow-through and months of stalemate.  Justice is important.  I will note that the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) can locate information that can be quite discouraging, such as discovering that “snack bar attendant” and “helper-kitchen” earned more pay than I did, until recently.
  • I reach over 100 likes on my WordPress blog.  Yes, sometimes I am addicted to my Stats!
  • Christmas with my family, after a two-day delay when my car would not start, got jumped twice, and eventually resulted in me paying $420 for a new alternator and serpentine belt.
  • My first ever pedicure, that was at a spa with my Mom, twin sister, and niece,  It was part of my Christmas gift from my Mom.  It was amazing!

Flashback- Me (on left) and my twin sister, Jody (on right), when we were little

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Fun By the Numbers: 716 views, 19 followers, 22 posts, and 52 countries since January 29, 2012

WordPress Logo

Stop the presses!  I hit over 700 views yesterday!  I am so excited and somewhat amazed.  I remember when I had dry spells where there were days with no views or just 1 view of my WordPress blog, and I have observed that several times I have had 19 views this past week. Yay!  Another item of note which I just realized is that tomorrow July 29 is my 6 month blogging anniversary on WordPress.  I am really glad that I joined WordPress.  My fellow bloggers are fantastic, and everyday I can be inspired, as well as learn new things.

So, my Sociological background corresponds with an interest in society and human nature, thus I want to do a fun by the numbers post.  In addition, I want to say that I am GRATEFUL for every follower that I have, every viewer that takes a moment to view my blog, every like, every comment (well, the non-spam ones), and all the countries represented by the views of my blog.  Thank you for reading and for the joy that comes through my WordPress blog.  The internet really does make the world a smaller, more unified place, and that is really beautiful.

Let’s get to it.

Views: 716 (as of 11:03 am)

Followers: 19 (only one of which is a good friend of mine since when we attended college together; I appreciate that there are so many people I have never met following my blog.  I know some people have over a thousand followers, but I am super happy with 19 followers).

Posts: 22

Time blog began: January 29, 2012

Busiest day: June 5, 2012 (23 views!)

Most popular topic categories viewed in the last week:

#1= Personal (44 views)

#2= Life (27 views)

#3= Random Thoughts (24 views)

Most popular topic tags viewed in the last week:

#1= Mother Teresa (28 views- a nice surprise)

#2= Bible (27 views)

#3= Love (21 views)

No-spam 

Real Comments= Not very many (shameless plug for non-spam comments)

Spam Comments= 552 (and 12 more sitting in the spam que)

Author’s random note: Spam is annoying.

Countries where people have viewed my blog = 52 countries since WordPress began tracking on February 25, 2012

Note:  This is one of my favorite categories.  I love how the internet unites people around the world.  I am a fan of culture and travel, but I just wish that I could travel more.  There are so many incredible countries in the world.

Here is the link to the map of the 52 countries where people have viewed my blog.  I tried several ways to copy and paste it, but it seems that I need to take a class on how to do this successfully.  I will take this class with 5 year olds. 🙂  If anyone knows the secret to this, please offer collaborate assistance.  I can copy and paste to a Word document, but only the link shows up here when uploading.

Map of Country Views since February 25, 2012

Just for fun, here are the top ten countries where people have viewed my blog.  (If you are reading this, then I will say again that I appreciate you!)

#1= United States of America (350 views)

#2= India (48 views)

#3= Philippines (45 views)

#4= Canada (24 views) (Tie)

#5= United Kingdon (24 views) (Tie)

#6= Singapore (19 views)

#7= Malaysia (16 views)

#8= Australia (12 views)

#9= South Africa (9 views) (Tie)

#10= Uganda (9 views) (Tie)

Extra note: I find it cool when there are countries which I have never heard of where someone views my blog.

Example= Seychelles

Shares= 3 (Facebook, etcetera)

*Feel free to ask if there are any stats that you are curious about.