Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I secretly love memes

They force me to cover subjects I wouldn't normally cover.  But as you can see, this one is a bit overdue.  Maybe I just needed more time to fully reflect?

So here's my 2011 wrap-up, copied from Life of a Doctor's Wife.
1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?  Quit something substantial (my PhD).  I've quit small things, but I can't think of any big things I've really quit.  It was very hard for me to do.  It turned out to be the right thing to do.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't remember if I made any last year.  They're not really my thing, though I probably resolved to get pregnant.  This year, I'd like to be more generous with my spouse.  This was inspired by this story in the NYTimes; I took the quiz and failed.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My friend Elissa gave birth to an adorable baby boy.  Technically that was in 2010 (just barely), but I didn't get to meet him until 2011, so I'm going to count it.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully, no.  Let's keep it that way. 

5. What countries did you visit?
Our country hopping has diminished since MJ's advent.  She doesn't even have a passport yet.  But we did have the opportunity to visit Oregon, Florida, Massachusetts and New York.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
I actually can't think of anything.  I have everything I want.  As long as this pregnancy continues to be healthy then I wouldn't wish for anything more.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
June 28th - the day we closed on our house.  Though I'll probably forget that one in time.  And of course, the events that happen every year, birthdays and anniversaries.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Moving forward in my life.  Quitting my PhD (is it weird to call that an achievement?), trying new things. Getting pregnant was a blessing, but I'm not sure I'd call it an achievement.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I need more patience, particularly with the toddler.  My hormones have been out of control lately, and I've been taking it out on those around me.  My temper often gets the better of me.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had a terrible ear infection in May that landed me in bed for a week and caused hearing loss in one ear that is still recovering.  I still can't fully hear out of my left ear, not sure if I ever will.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our house, of course.  I was sad to leave our old house, but no longer have any remorse.  I can't believe we managed to live so comfortably in our tiny house. I am so happy here.  Even MJ no longer has the need to get out of the house all the time that she did in our old place.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
This one stumps me.  Maybe I'll skip it. 

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Some things are best left unsaid. 

14. Where did most of your money go?
House.  We're finally able to seriously pay down debt: 2 houses, lots of school loans.  DH put together a spread sheet with our assets and our liabilities; I won't bother to share the number with you here, but it was sobering.  So yes, we're paying down debt.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Pregnant.  The joy is overwhelming, and terrifying.

16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2011?
Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier.  This year had lots of tough decisions looming.  We made them, and we're happy with the results.

b) thinner or fatter?  Fatter.  Happy, happy, early pregnancy fatter.

c) richer or poorer? Technically, poorer.  But on a month to month basis, richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Writing in this blog, because I like to look back on it.  Savoring the moment.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Watching TV.  Since MJ was born I find that we (I) spend many, many evenings watching TV after she goes to bed.  I often feel too tired to do much else, but it seems that when I keep it off I actually find more energy.  Also, bickering with the hubs. We do a lot of that.  We should do less.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
We visited DH's family in upstate New York.  I lived near them for 4 years, so I always enjoy seeing them all because I feel like I know them all pretty well.  Also, it dawned on me that I've now known his hometown friends for 10 years, and really feel close to many of them.  Christmas was wonderful, MJ really bonded with her Grandma and Uncle, and it was all so relaxing. 

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
I think I fell more deeply in love with my child.  It seems that continues to be true, but the explosion of language has really allowed me to learn more about her.  What she thinks and feels.  And seeing her be sweet and kind to other children (as much as you can hope for from a 2 year old) always warms my heart.  Additionally, her fearlessness and inquisitiveness make me both excited and nervous for what lies ahead of her.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
The Borgias.  Yeah for season 2!

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I don't think I hate people.

24. What was the best book you read?
I didn't read many books this year.  But the best was probably Hunger Games.

25. What did you want and get?
Pregnant!  The difficulty made it that much sweeter when it finally happened.  Also, I finally figured out (and fixed!) the source of my ongoing back pain.  It's all about shoe support, turns out.  And a little bit wasn't cutting it, I needed full-on insoles.  When I remember to wear them all the time I feel great.  But so much for going bare foot :(

26. What did you want and not get?
Is it bad to say nothing?  All the things I desperately wanted, happened.  Some things, like a new car, are in the back of my mind, but the expense really doesn't seem worth it yet.  As child #2 approaches, we'll see, though.

27. What was your favorite film of this year?
Tough one.  I didn't watch many movies this year.  Oddly, the one that comes to mind is "The Hangover" but I certainly can't imagine that one's really at the top...

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 31 this year.  We were in Orlando with DH for a conference.  We went to Disney World the day before (which was AMAZING!) and hung out by the pool on my actual birthday.  And DH made me an amazing gift, which I should really post a picture of.  An earring/jewelry rack that has finally brought some order to my jewelry situation.  Possibly the sweetest gift he has given me.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Ummm.... immeasurably?  That's hard to quantify.  Maybe more massages?  

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Getting by.  I am not much of a fashion guru these days.  I recently acquired a purse that I was told by a cashier reminds her of Mary Poppins.  Does that tell you anything?

31. What kept you sane?
 My friends.  I became a lot closer to several girlfriends this year, and it has been wonderful.  I feel so blessed by the friends I have found here.  Also, having someone help me clean my house.  I know this is a luxury, but I can't tell you how wonderful it has been, and how much less DH and I fight as a consequence.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I'm not much for celebrities.  I can't think of any that really float my boat.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?
I have become less immersed in politics, I find they just frustrate and infuriate me.  As usual, issues with climate change upset me the most.

34. Who did you miss?

There is one friend in particular that I rarely see since having quit my PhD.  I miss talking geeky science with him.

35. Who was the best new person you met?
If you haven't noticed, I try to avoid naming names in this blog.  But I'd have to say my new neighbors are the best addition to our circle.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
Oh gosh, I'm a stubborn mule, to say I've "learned" may be stretching it.  But this whole pregnancy thing has taught me some degree of patience.  Some degree of "what will happen will happen, so just enjoy life".  It's easier to say this in retrospect, though.  Also, I guess I learned (was reminded?) not to let fear of failure and the unknown trap me in an unhappy situation

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Two come to mind:  "Elmo loves his goldfish, his crayon too...."  and "A b c d e f g..."

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