2014 Year in Review

Blog / Thursday, January 1st, 2015

I want to write about my year in review. Sometimes these posts get pretty long and detailed. I’m going to try to only focus on only one to a few details from each month. Bear with me.

2014 Year in Review

  1. In January, I travelled West. Ellie and I went to Arizona to celebrate a year of our wonderful relationship. It touched on only the beginning of a great American journey I want to take over the course of my lifetime.Danny & Ellie at Slide Rock
  2. In February, I got into a fender bender on my way to work. It wasn’t the first car accident of my life but it was the first one that I handled entirely by myself. There are bits of growing up that need to be done throughout your life and those bits only come around when you don’t expect them to.
    Long story short, my car was fixed. I handled the issue with the insurance companies myself and also with the body shop. It was nice knowing it wasn’t out of my own pocket. It wasn’t nice knowing that it still was an inconvenience. 
  3. In March, life got busy. In March, three things happened that affected the rest of the year.
    In March, learned that I owed over $4000 in taxes due to an oversight by my office’s accountant. It made for a rough rest of the year because it meant putting student loans on hold. It meant saving every penny I could, not traveling and seeing and doing things when I wanted it. Having to owe so much in taxes all at once really put a strain on my life. I’m happy to say I made it through with out help from anybody.
    In March, I became an Uncle. My sister, Lizzi, had her first child. Amelia Jo. Amelia is the first of the babies in the Zawacki family and I have a feeling she will be far from the last. In the nine months since she was born, she’s really started to prove herself to be quite the energetic, talkative, adventurous and happy baby. I can’t wait to watch her grow even more.Danny & Amelia Jo first meeting
    In March, I started walking. It started as a simple way to get out of the office and relax midday and it ended up being a bit of a religion for me. Walking recharged me. It made me healthy. It relaxed me. I became a preacher for simple health. I recommend it, if you have the chance. Walk for the sake of being outside. Walk for the sake of moving. Since I started walking in late March, I’ve logged roughly 350 miles. Not bad for two miles a day a lunch.
  4. In April, we lost Mabel. She was the sweetest and kindest dog I’ve ever known. It really tore me up on the inside and I had a lot of trouble dealing with it. No one can really prepare you for death. I don’t even think death can prepare you for death. It was sad to see Mabel deteriorate over her later years. I hope she’s in a better place now.
  5. In May, Marley was diagnosed as sick. Her sickness is part of what made 2014 such a terrible year financially. Her sickness along with my taxes really put a strain on me. Because of the need to pay off the taxes, I had to gamble and put Marley’s needed operation on hold. The vet had quoted $500-$1000 depending on the amount of work needed to be done once she went under. That amount was something that I couldn’t fork over while my tax deadline loomed later in the year. I eventually got her fixed up, but it was difficult knowing she was in pain and I couldn’t do much about it.Marley Eating
  6. In June, I had a lot of run-ins with red-winged black birds. They were the worst. All the run-ins could be traced back to my determination to keep on walking at lunch where the beginning and end of my route was guarded by the filthy demon spawn. I survived. Barely.
  7. In July, it was another busy month with three more major events taking place.
    First, while riding back from Fourth of July festivities, my oil drain plug on my Honda decided to fall out. I managed to get the bike off before damage was done, but boy was I scared that I had wrecked my baby. 
    Second, I joined up with Rust Magazine as their web editor. The magazine is still going strong and we plan on rocking it in the coming year. Big planning meetings are coming up later this month. Anyway, I joined up because I needed to start getting experience in my desired field. I can’t keep doing what I’m doing because it’s eating away at me not as slowly as I’d hope it to either. Rust was happy to have me, and I’m happy to have them and be gaining the experience I need.
    Third, I took my place as the head of the family. Amelia was christened and I became Godfather. You may address me as such.

    Godfather & Goddaughter
    Photo Credit: Lauri Zawacki
  8. In August, I paid off my taxes. I also started helping my dad with some rather large construction projects around my parents’ house. The first project tacked was rebuilding the deck on the back of the house. I really enjoyed the work, even if I wasn’t that great at it.
  9. In September, I started to fall into a pit of despair. I think the later part of this year, I started experiencing depression and not just the seasonal kind. I think a lot of the feelings came from coming home from Peace Corps. I felt like a lot of great things happened while I was there and I grew a lot as a person, but when I got back no one really seemed to care about the things I did. They also didn’t seem to know how to handle my new approach to life. It was a slow process falling into darkness but once I hit the bottom, it was worse than I imagined it to be. My appetite changed. I didn’t know how to talk to people the same way. I went to work, ate, and slept. All on repeat because that’s the motion I was in. I had a small handful of supporters, but please don’t fool yourselves because you probably weren’t one. Part of that is on me because I didn’t know how to reach out for help (and I still don’t, but I’m hoping this here will help), but it’s also on you for not reaching out to me. I’m getting better, but I’m not better. I’m different.
  10. In October, Marley’s mouth got fixed up. Her breath improved. Also in October, I helped my dad with more projects around his house.

    Marley After the Vet
    Marley After the Vet
  11. In November, I went to visit Andy and Kathryn in Detroit and Cleveland, respectively. I’m trying to make a habit of seeing them at least once a year. They came to see me last year, so it was my time to go see them. We had a good time catching up with each others’ lives. We are already making plans to meet up again in the coming year, possibly in Chicago which is more in the middle for all of us. I’m looking forward to that.
  12. In December, I lost myself in the holidays. I had been working on Ellie’s Christmas gift since I got it in October, but just not fast enough. December was crunch time. Every day after work was running to get things I needed for it and then applying those things. It was tedious but it really came together in the end into a beautiful piece of functional art. Also, as the holidays approached I lost myself in cooking and preparing things for Christmas. Something about this year made it more stress than I’ve ever experienced for the holidays than ever before.

    Ellie's Christmas Gift 2014
    Ellie’s Christmas Gift 2014

That was 2014 for me. I’m going to strive to make 2015 more creative. I’m going to try to consistently write more. If I drop off the blog for an extended period of time, reach out to me. That’s how you’ll know life is getting dark for me. 

I also have a big project in the works and some of you know about it already. Once I’m ready to put it out there, I’ll make sure you’re the first to hear about it. All I want to say about it for now is that I’ll be focusing on friendship for this project.

Happy New Year, everyone! How was your 2014? Did you also write a year in review? Any plans for 2015?


One Reply to “2014 Year in Review”

  1. Danny, a nice year in Review. My end of 2014 was also tough – I’m striving to make 2025 more balanced, too. Sending positive thoughts your way.

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