Reminiscing My 30s: The 37th Year of My Life

A little blog post series: I am turning 40 next week, and I thought it would be fun to look back at my last decade before my birthday. So, every day for ten days, there will be a new blog post reminiscing about one year. Also, check out my Instagram for a few more photos and videos from these last ten years of my life.

The Big Picture

Having just had Covid, I turned 36 and was considered to be one of the invincibles (if only for a short time). This year would show me though that I was anything but invincible.

But let’s start with the good news: Rich and I finally got married on 4 June. It was a normal Thursday. We both worked in the morning. In the afternoon, we put on our wedding clothes and walked the few blocks to Bryant Park where we met our officiant and our witness. It was a short wedding – and absolutely perfect. That summer, we hired an immigration lawyer to apply for my Green Card. As the pandemic had put everything on a standstill, this would take far longer than anybody expected.

Reminiscing My 30s: The 37th Year of My Life | janavar

When summer vacation started, the world – or at least our region – had reopened enough that I could go on a vacation to Long Island and the Hamptons with a friend. We drove there in my car, usually wore masks, and had a few fun days. We explored vineyards, little towns, and went to the beach. At the end of July, Rich and I went to Maine again. I enjoyed staying there so much that I even wanted to extend my vacation. But when Rich got home, Canavar was very sick. He immediately took him to the vet. I did everything to go home immediately. But Canavar died before I made it home. An autopsy found that he had suffered from cancer for quite some time. Apparently, cats often wait until their owners are gone to die alone. Just like that my beloved cat was not there anymore.

Reminiscing My 30s: The 37th Year of My Life | janavar

Canavar ♡

We soon decided to adopt a new cat or two. But it was 2020, and pets weren’t really available anywhere. We still signed up to be on the wait list at one of NYC’s cats rescue organizations. For me, it was a really tough fall. I missed Canavar, it wasn’t possible to travel, … One day, we got a call that two kittens, sisters from the same litter, needed to be adopted as soon as possible. We immediately said yes. That was how Arti (short for Artemis) and Lotti became our fur babies. They were the tiniest, cutest kittens when they arrived at our apartment. Funnily enough, Arti has turned out to be more my cat, while Lotti and Rich dote on each other. That October we took them to Maine with us because we weren’t ready to go away for even a day and leave them home alone.

Unfortunately, in February 2021, Arti had a seizure over night. It was devastating to see her lying so sick on the floor. We rushed her to the pet hospital where she spent several days in the ICU. All the vets told us to put her to sleep, but she actually had a miraculous recovery. Until today (knock on wood!), she is a healthy cat, who needs to take heart medicine every day.

Reminiscing My 30s: The 37th Year of My Life | janavar

Lotti is the tabby, Arti the calico – this was on the day they joined us

Also, that February, I first slipped at work and sprained my elbow. Then, about a week later, I slipped on ice outside while I was on the way to my Covid vaccination. I knew immediately that something bad had happened to my right wrist. But I really wanted the vaccine – that tells you how sick I was when I had Covid the previous year. So I still took public transport to the hospital in Harlem and made it to my appointment. I couldn’t move my right wrist or hand anymore, i.e. couldn’t even sign any forms. But after the nurse had consulted with a doctor, they still gave me my Covid vaccine before taking me to the emergency room right away. An X-ray showed that I had broken both bones in my wrist. Before putting my arm in a cast though, they had to reset the bones. It was terrible and painful. I was glad when all the strong painkillers finally started to work.

Now, my right arm was in a giant 90° cast. I was miserable. Rich had to help me with everything, like getting dressed. Once a week, I had to go to the doctor.  And every week again, they decided to leave the cast on and not do surgery. It took about seven endless weeks before they finally go out their saw. What a relief!

Rich and I knew that we couldn’t renew our lease for the apartment we lived in because of that coop’s rules. In March, we started looking at apartments. By then, it was clear which hospital Rich would work at after his residency., i.e. we would stay in Midtown Manhattan. So we looked into buying. Eventually, we put in an offer for a beautiful, bright apartment near the U.N. We were in Florida visiting Rich’s grandmother, when our real estate agent called us that the seller had agreed. Woohoo! We then started to work with our bank on the loan, which was a terrible experience – and also took much longer than expected.

Reminiscing My 30s: The 37th Year of My Life | janavar

My Firsts

I got married for the first (and hopefully last) time. I still think our wedding was perfect for us. Very small, no-fuss.

The little bit of traveling I did that year lead me to mostly new places. I enjoyed Long Island, Upstate New York, and Florida. We spent our fall vacation in Maine. While everybody had warned me that it would be way too cold to be comfortable, we actually had a wonderful Indian summer there.

I lost my first and favorite cat in the world. Until today I still miss Canavar. But also, we adopted the nicest kittens ever. I love Arti and Lotti just as much and wouldn’t part with them for anything. They do and did so well, like when we finally moved into our current apartment – the first one we have ever bought.

And while breaking my wrist wasn’t my first broken bones, it was my first major injury as an adult. It was also the first time they had to reset my bones.

Reminiscing My 30s: The 37th Year of My Life | janavar

What I Learned

Quite a bit of learning that year. Mostly that nothing is forever. Neither the good nor the bad things. And often we have no or very little influence on things. Like even if we had found out that Canavar had had cancer, there wouldn’t have been anything we could have done. Or when I slipped on ice under snow – I couldn’t have done anything differently, unless I would have stayed at home that day. But that was not an option.

With my broken wrist, I learned how to use almost exclusively my left arm and hand. I even improved my handwriting with left. Luckily, I was ambidextrous before, but that accident definitely strengthened my left hand even more.

Reminiscing My 30s: The 37th Year of My Life | janavar

While we did not fully know that at the time, we had a perfect timing when we bought our apartment. Inventory was still high and prices therefore comparably moderate. Interest rates were also low. Nowadays, we couldn’t even afford renting an apartment around here anymore. Buying an apartment also taught us so much about the process, e.g. applying for a loan.

My Travels

1. Long Island & the Hamptons

2. Maine in summer & fall

Reminiscing My 30s: The 37th Year of My Life | janavar

3. Peekskill

4. Florida

Reminiscing My 30s: The 37th Year of My Life | janavar

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.