The BEST Thing You Can Do For Your Email Inbox

It’s amazing how much email I get nowadays. While I never want to be that person who’s constantly attached to their inbox, it’s almost like you have to check your email regularly, or it’ll pile up and become overwhelming and unbearable.

But do you ever think about how much of the email that comes into your inbox is just plain garbage?

Seriously. Look at your inbox right now. How many of those emails are you going to open, and how many will you trash without even clicking on them? Of those you do open, how many will you actually read, as opposed to just skimming and then tossing them? And how many will you reply to?

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What Grief Looks Like

We’re 17 days into the calendar year, and I’ll be the first to admit: it’s been an awful one so far. I’d give almost anything to go back to the late days of 2017 – even the first few days of 2018. The days when my father was still alive.

This has all been incredibly unexpected, heartbreaking and difficult. I didn’t expect to lose my father, just days before his 60th birthday.

Isn’t it funny how we say that? We say we “lost” someone when they pass away, as if they can be found. As if they just wandered off in the grocery store and they’re three aisles down, looking at the macaroni and cheese when you’re in the bread aisle. Maybe some people would say we use that terminology because these people never truly leave us, that they’re always just around the corner, watching. I don’t know.

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Looking Back, and Looking Ahead

With the stroke of midnight, the calendar year of 2017 is now officially behind us. Welcome to 2018, where anything is possible. None of us can know what the new year is going to bring, but we can focus our energies on looking ahead, while still reflecting on what’s behind us.

Looking at the year behind us, there were certainly some incredible moments, and I definitely grew on several personal levels. After many long years, I finally got my driver’s license, something I’d been working on (and on, and off) for seven and a half years. On a personal level, my husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. These were the two biggest moments of the year for me, and they weren’t insignificant.

My family expanded, as my sister-in-law got married, and that will continue into this year as they’re expecting their first child, which is so incredibly exciting. I also got to do some traveling, including one new state (West Virginia) and had some wonderful time by the Finger Lakes.

On a professional level, I got to keep writing, covering hockey and even found a few new opportunities to do so. I also seriously did NaNoWriMo for the first time, and although I didn’t finish it, it was a start – a start on a novel I hope to finish and publish, in 2018.

So what will 2018 bring? I don’t know, but I’m okay with that. I’m hopeful.

I definitely have some goals for the year ahead – including my aforementioned novel, provided I don’t totally dump it – but overall, I’m just trying to stay open-minded and open to what the year brings.

The (Very Long) Path to A Driver’s License

May 22, 2009.

Eighteen-year-old me has finally reached this moment. I’m at the DMV’s office in downtown Buffalo, officially applying for my learner’s permit. This, I think to myself, is the first step to everything. Get a permit, get a license, get a car… and gain a sense of freedom and independence like nothing else.

I studied hard for my permit test, and as a result, I not only passed it that first time – I aced it. Just like that, I’m able to start learning how to drive a car.

And so I do, sort of. But it turns out to be a much longer process for me than for most people, for a number of reasons. I take full responsibility for the fact that it takes so long. I get some driving practice, once in a while, with my father. Sometimes I’m really motivated to get behind the wheel, but other times, I’m not. I drive here and there, but not regularly enough to get a good handle on things.

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Well, here we are: the end of another year! Per my Goodreads, I read 51 books over the course of 2017. Some were good, some were great, some were heartbreaking, and a few, I just couldn’t force myself to finish.

I read a lot of non-fiction again in 2017, just like in 2016 — but there were a few fiction pieces in there too! Without any further ado, here are my top ten books I read in 2017 – in no particular order!

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