supercheesegirl: (damned)
Year 1: 2004
Year 2: 2005
Year 3: 2006
Year 4: 2007
Year 5: 2008
Year 6: 2009
Year 7: 2010
Year 8: 2011
Year 9: 2012
Year 10: 2013
Year 11: 2014
Year 12: 2015

This year: 2016

1. What did you do in 2016 that you'd never done before?
Saw the B-52's, Sting, and Journey in concert (no, not all on the same night). Spent close to $500K of company money on product development. Visited the Catskills. Visited Dogfish Head Brewery. Worked on set at a video shoot. Kept up with a book club. Taught yoga at my town's community center. Hosted the Cassidys and Coutures at our house. Had bees in my yard on purpose. Interviewed nursing researchers about their work.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Not resolutions per se, but I did participate in a goal-setting program (the Holiday Council, or HoCo) for the new year. Really going to try to turn things around for my own happiness, but not sure that I'm going to post much about it here.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
The biggest one was Sarah B, my college roommate. We never thought she'd have kids. Her son Will is super cute.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No one close to me, but of course we lost a lot of amazing celebrities in 2016 (David Bowie upset me particularly, but also Prince and Carrie Fisher).

5. What countries did you visit?
Baltimore and Boston (for work); Sarasota, upstate New York (for Friendcation), and Ocean City, MD.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
Last year my answer to this question involved hope and energy. Next year, I still want those things. But I'm also going to focus on my HoCo themes and "ways of being". We were challenged to think about not just what we want to do next year, but how we want to feel and who we want to be. My theme for next year is "Ease", and my ways of being are: be balanced, be contented, be centered, be kind, be connected. So those are the things I want to focus on, all of which I feel I lacked in 2016.

7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
David Bowie's death really shocked and saddened me.
January: getting an IUD. Wow, that was horrible.
February: crying as we left Sarasota.
April: my first video shoot in Boston! which I balanced with visits to a few friends. A really exciting trip.
May: Friendcation in NY: the huge house on the lake, with boats enough for eight adults and five kids under 5 to all be out on the water at the same time!
June: Sting concert
July: Journey concert; backyard camping with the Kahals
August: the Cassidy/Couture visit
September: our beach weekend, especially the stop at Dogfish
October-November: the neverending cough of doom, combined with the neverending nursing research interview project; productivity workshop
December: my first Holiday Council; hosting F's parents for Christmas; our day at Longwood Gardens; our current hand-foot-mouth quarantine

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Honestly? Making it through. I feel like I was pushed to my limit this year and I did the best I could do, the best I had it in me to do. Getting my products published on time in December was a major accomplishment.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not going to talk about failure. There were many, but I focus too much on that.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
My low back is still an issue, and this year I developed something like plantar fasciitis in my left foot. But I'm going to acupuncture regularly and it's helping. I also had the Neverending Cough of Doom for about eight weeks this fall. Horrible.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I can't really think of much this year. Concert tickets. For Christmas, I made some chunky donations to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the Free Library of Philadelphia, and I think those were good things to do.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I feel like my director Jennifer is trying really hard to make things right in my group. (It's not working yet, but she's trying.)

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Considering this is the year that Donald Trump won the presidential election, let's just go with that.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Daycare. Still.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Sarasota, Friendcation, Ocean City. Dogfish Head. Christmas. Concerts.

16. What song will always remind you of 2016?
David Bowie, "Dogstar"

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? I was going to say "sadder", but my husband points out that we're on day 4 of the hand-foot-mouth family quarantine that forced us to cancel a lot of holiday plans we were looking forward to. That's a good point. Right now, I'd say happier, because I have hope that I'm going to make progress toward fixing things in the new year.

b) thinner or fatter? Fatter for sure. I'm coming to terms with it: this belly comes from chocolate, beer, wine, and cheese, and enjoying those things in my life is worth having a little belly.

c) richer or poorer? Richer, in that we've continued to accrue money in the bank. Poorer in that we are spending more each month than we used to. I feel like we're in a place of being willing to spend more on things that will help us feel happier, so I'm OK with that.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Same as always: Yoga, writing. Sleeping. Feeling more content in my life.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Same as the past two years: Worrying, being sad, feeling down, giving up, being tired. I'm so tired of being tired, and so tired of working so hard all the time.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
My husband's parents arrived in the evening on 12/22. On 12/23, we went to Longwood Gardens together and had a really lovely day. On 12/24, we relaxed and then went to evening service at our church. Christmas day was a fairly quiet day. My parents joined us and we all had brunch for dinner. My daughter had a great day and was full of joy.

21. Did you fall in love in 2016?
Same ol' love, still going strong.

22. How many one-night stands?

23. What was your favorite TV program?
I'm enjoying Timeless, as well as The Flash. And we just discovered My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I try not to be a hater.

25. What was the best book you read?
This year was revolutionized for me by discovering OverDrive on my iPad and checking eBooks out of the library. We also discovered that audiobooks are a great fit for my daughter. As a result, I read SO MUCH this year! I really loved Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead. In poetry, I loved Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay. In sci fi, I enjoyed Redshirts by John Scalzi and Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice trilogy. In YA fiction, I devoured Cassandra Clare's entire catalog. Full list here.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Elephant Revival was the only new band I discovered (they opened for Josh Ritter when we saw him last spring). But they're pretty great.

27. What did you want and get?
Some child-free weekends. A shed. A trip to the beach. A new couch and a new organizational system for my kid's art supplies.

28. What did you want and not get?
Sleep, energy, yoga. An awning for the back patio (maybe next year).

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
Deadpool was just so great. In family friendly films, just saw Moana and really liked it. Zootopia was a huge hit earlier this year.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 37. I took the day off from work and took Freya to my favorite museum to see the mummies. She loved it.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A new job or a lottery win. Or a magical gift of extra time.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
I've actually put a lot of thought into this and have come up with something of a uniform for myself for work: dresses and cardigans (with sandals in summer and boots and tights in winter), in a color palette of black, white, gray, and jewel tones (teal, purple, etc.). This is helpful in shopping (as I don't even go look at certain items since they won't fit my uniform) and in keeping my closet manageable (if I don't wear it because it doesn't fit the uniform, then I can get rid of it, and I stopped buying clothes I don't wear). It's easy to get dressed because everything matches, but I still feel like I look sharp. This was actually a major improvement in my life.

33. What kept you sane?
F, yoga at work, Heather and Jennifer at work, acupuncture with Kyle, family date nights with the Kahals.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I enjoyed Diego Luna in Rogue One a lot.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
The election was horrible. Also, relatedly, black lives matter.

36. Who did you miss?
Amy, almost especially because I got to see her twice. Heather, the Friendcation crew, Sarah B.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Hilari, maybe? I feel like I didn't meet a whole lot of new people this year.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016:
When I'm giving the most I can possibly give and it's still not working, then it's actually not my fault.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Have to pass on this one.

Date: 2017-01-01 05:22 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
You've gone and made me miss Ocean City, Maryland. I would spend too much time missing the people I associated with it though.

I remember the bees. Brilliant little creatures and far more fragile than most of us ever knew.

Oh, sweetheart. I am so sorry about the IUD. They were pushing them back in my day and no one I knew who had one kept it for long.

All the donations. How absolutely wonderful. I've been pondering on my own lately. I live in a university town so everywhere I go is youth, youth, youth. Pretty great actually. I've been giving substantial tips. Dawned on me one day the people waiting on me are usually students. Plus I like the idea that eating out is a privilege for me so all of us should have the chance to enjoy it. I get fanciful, I know. Anyway, just a different tactic for my giving.

I remember when you mentioned your wardrobe change. You did talk about it some and it intrigued me. I went through mine because of you. I'm still funky as hell but I've made some great changes because of you! Loosing over 50 lbs helped too. Easier to buy clothing now.

You have grand goals for this year. The one that keeps popping up in so many different ways is to get more sleep. Maybe considering making that begin (I am the Guru of Baby Steps, remember?) might be an excellent alignment for the others to follow. Naps are a start.

I am currently home recovering from the plague. Bleh. Anyone who does not feel sad while that is happening is abnormal. Or a far better person than me.

I find myself moving towards windows more. Something I've done for as long as I can remember. Sitting and looking out as I allow myself to mourn mistakes then making myself start counting my gratefuls. The small things that are normal for me and luxuries for others. Food in the house, heat, a fat pet who loves me, a healthy child. So many simple things in that list that are nothing for me and everything for others. Having a flowing faucet. Feeding the birds . . .

I like to contemplate what might be next. To think of those who passed. I like to think that I might be able to spend time with my mother. She was such a tortured soul. I would love to know what she would be like with all those chains lifted from me. What the brilliant mind would be like without all the static. I realized long ago she was like a short wave radio. These bursts of communication that riveted followed by long stretches of mind piercing shrieking noise. Never knowing when she was going to be transmitting so being so grateful for those times I could catch her. Wouldn't that be something? To find ourselves at a picnic by a large tree and supping with old friends like Bowie, Prince, family and people we have loved. To find them intact. Not changed as much as set free. Anyway. Fanciful, I know. There would be so many people to get to know and all the time to do it. Plus naps. Lots of naps.

Happy New Year, darling lady.

Date: 2017-01-04 01:50 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] lizabethanqueen
lizabethanqueen: (Default)
If you're into audiobooks you should look at Hoopla Digital. You need a library card (which of course you have) and you can check out 10 books (or movies or albums) a month. They have a lot of stuff my library doesn't have and the app is easy to use. I listen to books all the time now.

Date: 2017-01-04 02:29 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Thanks for the recommendation! We've been doing either LibriVox downloads (for the Oz books) or old-school CDs from the library. Those options have been giving us the most flexibility without having to either free up space on my phone or free up someone's literal phone to be in the car at all hours so she can listen to it.


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