Lots of people do round-ups for New Year’s Eve, but a few years ago I started marking each actual year of my life, answering these same set of questions each birthday to help me measure moments.

Here are the last 365.25 days:

What are you doing exactly right now/what did you do for your birthday? For birthday eve, when I began writing this, I got to Facetime my dad for a while, cleaned the house, and ate junk food. Ideal. The actual day was a FRIDAY which is a rare, once-in-seven-years gift. My class did . . . nothing. Lol. But then I had a bunch of people over for pizza and to admire my patio (my favorite place) and then we went to the Filipino karaoke bar down the street and sang the entire catalog, much to everyone’s delight, I’m sure. And tomorrow we’re having a beach day with my bestie who also had a birthday this week! Spoiled, am I.

What shoes and clothes are you wearing?  blue daisy earrings, my “the future is female” t-shirt, and sweatpants. so comfy. no shoes.

What did you last eat? Last food pic on your phone?  ’twas a mediocre sandwich but we were on a field trip, slightly hungover, so it was delicious.

Where are you living?  On the island in Hong Kong, in a hipster slash still pretty local neighborhood called Sai Ying Pun. I’m in a studio, 150 sq ft. On my own. Tiny. I live next to a veggie market, a McDonalds, a park, a Michelin star roasted goose restaurant, a ding ding line, surrounded by a million people I will never meet, with three emotional support cats that visit my patio on occasion. It’s great.

Where do you work?  This year I taught first grade (and that’s a one-and-done from me, folks. Little kids are decidedly not my cup of tea) at the same international private school I’ve been at in Hong Kong for six years! Came to HK on a two-year contract, never having been to Asia, and next year I’ll gain permanent residency which is . . . a thing I can’t think about just yet.

Where have you traveled this last year?  Hong Kong finally lifted all Covid restrictions so I’ve been making up for lost time! I’ve been home to the States and went to Tennessee and Zion and Colorado. Then to Thailand twice, Laos, Egypt, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary. :)

STRONG desires to live in a castle in the czech republic, if only to take care of the bears in the bear moat.

When did you last cry?  Thursday night – I watched a bunch of golden buzzer moments and pets reunited with their owners. Sometimes I just want a good cry!

What was the last movie you watched?  I genuinely could not tell you. I didn’t even watch anything on the planes. Too sleepy.

Favorite TV show of the moment?  Abbott Elementary is the only show I watch consistently, but this year I’ve enjoyed Ted Lasso, Severance, and Yellowjackets.

Favorite toy of the moment?  Maggie got me a camping table! I’m so excited to use it for actual camping and beach days, and possibly to serve myself breakfast in bed.

What book are you reading?  The Science of Sleep by Matthew Walker and I cannot stress enough how important this book is for EVERYONE. And I just read the new Emily Henry – Happy Place – in one sitting.

also really laughed at the snow we were totally unprepared for in Slovakia, but the Aussies still rolled in it and made angels.

How many books did you read in the last year? Highlights?  Well over a hundred! I’ve fallen back in love with reading HARD and have gobbled a lot of good books up. Highlights would be discovering how decompressing it is to read light, predictable romance, high fantasy novels, and I aim for one non-fiction a month.

When did you last laugh really hard?  Playing a super intense game of verb-conjugating Jenga at my Spanish class.

What are you most looking forward to right now?  I booked a last-minute trip to Taiwan for a long weekend in May! I’m going to eat ALL the food, get massages, karaoke, and pray against an ill-timed invasion from China.

What’s your favorite song at the moment?  “Rosanna” by Toto has been in random heavy rotation lately. I’m also going through a 90s Mariah phase.

moments away from sticking tampons up my nose in order to sleep while I had Covid.

What’s the same about your life last year that you’re happy about? Solid friendships, a flat I love, my plants thriving.

What’s different about your life from last year? What surprised you about this last year or changed it for you?  I finally got Covid. HK has finally dropped all Covid restrictions and life is BACK. I’ve been able to travel again and looking forward to more. I have a NIECE!!!!! I can’t wait to truly meet her in July. I’ve been more involved in different leadership roles at school in ways I love – supporting staff and organizing fun!

a photo of a photo – my first pic with my niece!

When and what was your last vacation?  I spent two weeks in Europe on a tour – Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary. It was a delight.

What’s your current favorite joke?  What does a lemon say when it answers the phone?

What would you like as a gift right now?  The perfect bra. I am angry that this does not seem to exist.

so lucky to have a friend who loves natures as much as i do and will happily stop to literally smell the roses . . . or pick up bugs . . . or classify plants.

What are you proud of this year?  I finished a certificate from Harvard extension in digital media literacy, my fish is still alive, I completed Lent without french fries or chocolates. I’ve started hiking once a week. I wrote over 30 blogs in the last year. This little corner of the internet for my thoughts has reached over 412k hits.

What’s an important relationship at the moment?  My work wives are so important to me. Seven of us eat lunch every day together at the same table, in the same spots, and we get one blessed hour a day to be honest about the struggles, share silly stories, and go through life together.

hashtag blessed.

What are your goals for the next year?  Okay, I just decided to do something super radical – what if I went a whole year without buying new clothes?! Like many people, I have a terrible habit of shopping when I’m bored or emotional and Amazon gets too much of my money. My closet is full, I do NOT need anything! Dude. I’m going to do it! Ah!

That’s it for the last year’s journey. Thanks for being on it with me :). If you want – subscribe! It would make my day.