Apart from the death, this year’s highlights include hiking in Alaska (even though that coincided with my mother’s death), and my first serious break into commercial CRM. Excavation with backhoes looming is absolutely backbreaking work, but if I keep working-out I am confident I can keep up (with the occasional surgery and cortisone injection). Snowmobiling in Yellowstone was an exciting trip as well, but I have not intention of doing it again (way too loud and obnoxious). In terms of my heath, it has been good this year, apart from my various overuse injuries that I suspect will plague me forever. Stopping running has helped with my Achilles, and I have found other ways to do cardio (an hour on an elliptical machine seems to do the trick), but it came too late for me to hike the Rainbow Plateau in April, as planned. So far, I have a short ski trip planned for my birthday, and then a possible overnight or two night backpacking trip in Guadalupe NP in the spring. There will be more trips, once I figure out where I will be working this summer and when I will be defending. On that note, I have a draft of the thesis in with my chair, but I don’t expect to hear back from her until the end of January. I am confident I will graduate in 2014, and which point I can pretend that my overlong stay in grad school never happened (or at least, wasn’t so long).
My cats, as always, are a big part of my life. They are both nearly seniors now, and each have small health problems that makes leaving them with friends for 3 months at a time untenable. I am buying a new pickup this month. I am hoping that the cats might adjust to living in a small travel trailer as well as they adjust to living in the Motel 6. I am not saying that they adjusted well to the Motel 6, but they were tolerable, and did not appear to be miserable. I really don’t know if that investment will turn out well. They may be too stressed to handle it, at which point I will have to put off much of CRM archaeology until their deaths.
For 2014, I don’t have any Resolutions. I am pretty happy with how I have been managing my diet and exercise this year, and believe it will continue to serve me well for the rest of my life. Counting calories is a drag, but it works. Once I have defended I suspect I will want to go back to studying Spanish. I will do some work in archaeology this summer, at least. Not sure where or when yet, but I have started applying to federal jobs. Once the thesis is done I should have more time for backpacking trips, although I may have to up my exercise regime slightly to get back to carrying more than 30lbs. There is a possibility I will move when I complete my thesis, but I am going to take my time deciding where. Right now, the Eastern Mountains and various small towns on either side of the Sandias is my pick, but it may change as I research it more. Overall, with my mother’s death, the major stress in my life is gone, and I am looking forward to what next year has to bring.