Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Year in Review - 2013

Happy New Year, everyone!  For me, New Year in a time to reflect on the past and make plans for the future.  If I can manage to get outside and not be incredibly hungover, that's a success, too.

I've been answering this survey over on my livejournal for nine years now, so I thought it was time to bring it on over here and merge things a teeny tiny bit.  I hope you enjoy, and if you decide to answer these same questions, leave me a link in the comments!

1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
Ran a half-marathon!  Had an MRI!  Published a poem in a print journal!  Went to AWP!  Taught at a college!  Stepped on the field at Yankee Stadium!  Worked in marketing as a copywriter! Ran a race with Roger! Visited Northern California and Oregon! Lots of new things!

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
As ever, I wanted to continue to live consciously and to become more active mentally and physically.  For the first time in a long time, I set myself quantitative goals: I wanted to read 45 books, send out 52 submissions, and run the Disney marathon in January 2014.  While I do think I continued my journey to more conscious living, I didn't meet any of my goals.  My last semester at grad school nearly killed me (and did literally knock me off my feet for two separate weeks with horrific back pain), and while I wanted to get back on the horse in the summer, I needed to spend those months putting myself back together before I could start working on any of those goals.  I didn't meet them, but despite basically not functioning as a human between January and October, I did read 29 books, send out 26 submissions, and ran a half-marathon.  So, I made it about halfway through those goals.  Not terrible, all things considered.

This year, I'm making the same goals.  45 books, 52 submissions, the Disney marathon in January 2015.  And, I'd like to consume more mindfully.  I haven't been good about the food I eat, the clothes I wear, the pain I cause others just by buying mindlessly, and in 2014, I'd like to fix that.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Some favorite bloggers did, and my cousin had twins, whom I can't wait to meet one day soon!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My cousin Barbara and my great-uncle Frank both passed away within a month.  They're both greatly missed.

5. What countries did you visit?
No international travel in 2013, but I had a wonderful trip to the West Coast in August, and to Florida in December!

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
More balance.  I felt like I really got there at the end of 2013, so hopefully that can continue!

7. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory?
Some of the loveliest weddings I've attended were in 2013, and I think I'll always remember those.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finishing graduate school was a big one for me.  Though school was always challenging, and though I really loved it, my last semester was enormously difficult.  I took two classes, taught two classes, and wrote my thesis while still working full time.  Surviving that (and, let me be immodest, doing pretty well at it!) was a major accomplishment.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Well, you saw that I didn't reach a single one of my New Years goals, but I'm giving myself a pass on 2013.  I did the best I could, and it turned out pretty well.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
The episode of back pain I had in April was the worst pain I've ever felt, and the whole experience was absolutely horrific.  I'm still moving on from it, I think.  Other than that and some bronchitis in December, all was well.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
All the money I spent on travel was worth every penny, and though I probably spent too much on clothing, my wardrobe really did need some updating, so that has been great.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My sister's.  She took a big risk and went to the Disney College Program, and discovered her calling.  Couldn't be more proud of her!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Select politicians, as usual.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent, as usual.  Also, an alarming amount went to eating out, something that only started to get fixed in November, when I started a no-eating-out fast.  It really helped things, so I'm thinking of trying it again in February.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Poetry and wine tasting!

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
I'm not a huge fan of music anymore, but we did listen to a lot of Lana Del Ray

17. Compared to this time last year, are you
i. happier or sadder? Much happier!
ii. thinner or fatter? About 15 pounds thinner!  Thanks, weight watchers and a ton of exercise!
iii. richer or poorer? I think about the same.  Maybe a little poorer? I really miss my fellowship.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Shopping at the farmer's market, going on poetry dates, running.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Lazing around.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
We spent Christmas Eve with my family, Roger's family, Liz and her family, and Jackie & Joanie at my parents' house, and ate a massive quantity of seafood as usual.  Sadly, it was the first year my sister couldn't join us, since she's living in Florida now, but we skyped her in to open presents, and it was great to talk to her, even if she couldn't be with us.  She received a whole bunch of kitchen supplies, and I received a whole bunch of clothes, plus a camera, foam roller, board games, and a waffle-iron.  On Christmas day, my family and Liz headed over to Roger's parents' house for our very first Christmas day dinner.

22. Did you fall in love in 2013?
Yep!  After all the trouble we had in 2012, things feel like they're finally healing.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Definitely The Walking Dead, which I think is just brilliant.  I also still love Mad Men.

24. What was the best book you read?
I really liked Readings in World Literature, and while I haven't finished it yet, I'm loving East of Eden.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Lana Del Ray, I guess.  Also Lourde.

26. What did you want and get?
A gig teaching at a college.  And it was every bit as amazing as I thought it would be.

27. What did you want and not get?
A Barbour coat.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I really loved Catching Fire (which we saw in a theatre in Florida where they give you dinner!) and Saving Mr. Banks.

29. What did you do on your birthday and how old did you turn?
My family and Roger's family and Shelby and Mike came down for an enormous group dinner at Carmine's before meeting up with Rob for bar hopping on the UWS.  I turned 27, and it was so great of all of them to shower me with love.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
It was such a satisfying year already!  I do think if I'd had an extra six months in the year (or perhaps an extra 12 hours in each day), that would have helped.  But overall, I wouldn't have changed a thing.  (Except, you know, the whole back-pain thing.)

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Losing the weight I'd gained last year really helped me in the second half of 2013.  I was able to fit back into all of my old clothes, and I bought some new ones.  I'd say my concept was preppy traditional this year.  I'm looking to build a more classic wardrobe that works for more occasions.  I'm very into J. Crew Factory, L.L. Bean, and Talbots this year.

32. What kept you sane?
Forcible rest, unfortunately.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I continued my interest in Martha Stewart, but also really grew to love Muffy Aldrich.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Gay marriage was a big one for me this year.

35. Who did you miss?
Oh, at this point, I'm always missing someone.  My dream is that one day we'll all live on the same block together again.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I'd met them earlier, of course, but my grad school friends were all truly wonderful this year.  Poetry dates saved my working life in the fall and winter after school had ended, and they've really encouraged me in so many ways to keep active and start writing.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
Everything will be okay in the end.  If it's not okay, it's not the end.

38. Quote a lyric that sums up your year.
Are we human, or are we dancers?

39. What are your plans for 2014?
Reading, writing, and running!  Farmer's markets!  Visiting Ghana!

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