Yes, it is three weeks into 2008. Bother me not with such trivialities! As Anne did a couple weeks ago, here are my top 7 from 2007 (some of which may explain why I haven't posted in such a long time):
1. 10-year anniversary - Marriage is fun, and it keeps getting better. Ten years have flown by in a blink. Two kids, multiple addresses all over the world, many stories to tell. I think the next ten years will be even better!
2. GMAT - I knew going in that because of my unspectacular grades in college I would have to score well on my admission test. So, I gave up television and studied like mad for 5 months. At one point I nearly cried from the effort. Anyway, on October 9, I walked out of the testing center with a solid 700 score, which is the 92nd percentile. My verbal score was 98th percentile, my two essays both recieved the highest score possible, and my math was 63rd percentile. Had I had a math tutor, I think I could have scored 750 or higher.
This was such a great feeling of accomplishment for a couple reasons. First, it has paved my way for school. Second, to work that hard and achieve your goal (my goal was 700) is an incredible feeling. Third, there's scholarship money for scores that high (read on!).
3. Portland marathon - For my second marathon, my goal was 3:20. My time was 3:22, off my goal time but still very respectable. In fact, a few days after the race, I was in a running store looking at shoes. The two people working the store, both obviously serious runners, asked me if I ran the marathon, and how I did. I told them my time, and they were genuinely impressed. Last year my time ellicited the "Hey, nice job, good for you!" type of response. It was flattering to see my new time ellicit actual respect.
Training for it became all consuming. I ran as much as 63 miles per week, ran over 20 miles four different times, trained at altitude while we were in Colorado. and missed only 13 scheduled miles over the course of the 18-week training plan. I am not a very rigidly disciplined person, so this was an effort for me. Fun, too!
4. South Africa - Seeing the other side of the world impacted me like few other things ever have. Traveling for 41 hours to get home gave me a great deal of time to contemplate what I saw. I learned a great deal about the interrelations between the various elements of society (family, religion, business, and government). I am still processing what I saw. It may lead me to a PhD program someday.
5. Intellectual renaissance - This is hard to describe to others, but this year I have experienced some kind of awakening in my brain. There was a time long ago when I felt very smart, concepts came easily to me, and little effort was required to grasp things. Years have gone by since I felt that, but it has seemingly begun again. I credit much of that to my extensive reading of GK Chesterton this year. His books and his ideas have stimulated me powerfully. I am excited to see where this leads.
6. The kids - Watching them learn, grow, make friends, make choices, become who they are, dance, do karate, play football, travel, learn to read, learn to focus...six and four have been fun ages!
7. Getting a full scholarship! - On December 21 I got a phone call from Case Western Reserve University informing me that not only had I gotten into school there, but that they were offering me a full-tuition scholarship. This was not a part of the plan, to be sure. My plan was this - 1. Study hard for GMAT. 2. Get in somewhere. 3. Prove that I belong by doing well. As you can see, getting paid to go to school was not in the original plan. but it certainly makes the plan better!
2007 was a very good year. It was weird and transitionary, but much good happened. Our family is facing many changes as a result of things that happened in 2007, and we are excited to experience them.