January 2017: In a Nutshell.

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stellabella2017Before I talk about the rest of the month, I just want to take a moment to pay my respects to my cat, Stella- who passed away Saturday night after a brief battle with an illness. Stella went quickly- surrounded by her favorite toys, her treats, and the people who loved her and took care of her for the past 5-6 years. I buried her in my backyard yesterday morning, in a spot where I plan to grow a flower bed come Spring- and I’m going to miss her terribly.

Stella originally belonged to my friend Sam, who had adopted her when she was just a kitten and who kept her for a couple of years until an unexpected change in Sam’s living situation brought Stella into my home while pet-friendly accommodations were sought out. What was supposed to have been a brief stay- lasting only a couple of weeks- turned into months and eventually years. Stella wasted no time in acclimating herself into my home and within my family- and it took us even less time to embrace her and fall in love with her.

Having pets can be one of the most fulfilling and wonderful experiences in a person’s life- but when you lose them- it’s absolutely brutal. I’m going to be feeling this loss for a long time, and I appreciate my friends and my family for being so kind and supportive in the aftermath and while I work through it.

Apart from this recent tragedy casting a shadow on the final days of this month, January was a lot of fun overall. I started the month (and year) off with a relaxing weekend in rural Vermont, I celebrated my best friend’s birthday- as well as my own- and I recently had a spontaneous day off in NYC in-between working and getting political with the recent Women’s March (and I have a feeling I’ll be doing a lot more protesting in the coming months) as well as on social media where I refuse to back down to anyone who promotes or perpetuates sexism, racism, xenophobia, bigotry and intolerance. While the news continues to get more and more insane, depressing and infuriating with every passing day- the one constant is that I continue to stand up for the rights of others and myself. It’s a trend I hope to see more of throughout 2017.

I recently offered my experience as a paralegal to any attorney within my state that may be in need of assistance- free of charge- who were attempting to help refugees or citizens affected by Trump’s newly implemented travel ban. My grandfather risked his life in WWII fighting the Nazis because he believed in democracy and wanted to keep the country he loved safe from tyranny and oppression. His family before him immigrated here looking for a better life and opportunity knowing there would be struggles and plenty of hard work ahead of them- but that was the American dream. Watching people who have that same dream and/or simply want to raise their families in a safe environment be turned away because of the color of their skin, their religion, or where they originated from absolutely breaks my heart and I want to help them in any way I can.

I think Cher said it best in “Clueless”:

cluelessstatueofliberty

But politics and protests aside, I’m thankful that January was- up until the night Stella died- pretty calm and laid back amid international upheaval. I feel like I really needed it after a crazy holiday season and an even crazier workload and schedule at my office. It was nice to have more downtime than usual to spend either on my own or in the comfort of friends and family. It gave me a lot of time to decompress and even more time to prepare for February.

So what’s in store for the coming month? Well, I’m kicking things off by getting in the Super Bowl spirit, planning another trip to NYC, doing some layout/long overdue maintenance on the blog (as well as my place), checking out a couple of new restaurants in the area, getting ready for the return of “The Walking Dead”- and continuing to spend more time with my family and friends.

But first things first. This morning I have an early meeting at work- so I should probably be heading off.

Enjoy the last day of January 2017, everyone!

xx

selfiejanuary2017

Pre-Pizza Party: 1/29/17

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