Monday, January 5, 2015

A Year in Review - 2014

Happy belated New Year, everyone!  For me, New Year in a time to reflect on the past and make plans for the future, and this one was no exception. I've been answering this survey for a decade now (here's last year's) and I hope you enjoy reading it. If you decide to answer these same questions, leave me a link in the comments!

1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?
Traveled solo, to Colorado (and totally didn't blog about it)! Went on a fiscal fast! Spent a day exploring Queens and saw the World's Fair Pavilion! Signed up and trained for my first marathon (I'll be running it this weekend)! Hiked Mount Beacon! Went to Mexico with Roger! Did a trail run! Celebrated our ten-year anniversary! Published a personal essay! Made a quilt! Started work at Late Night Library! Attended my ten-year high school reunion!

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
After not meeting my goals in 2013, I set myself the same resolutions for 2014: I wanted to read 45 books, send out 52 submissions, and run the Disney marathon in January 2015.  The first two didn't work out, but I'm really looking forward to running my first marathon on Sunday!

And, since hope springs eternal, I'm going to re-resolve for those first two, and add that I want this to be the year of fiscal responsibility. In addition to reading 45 books and sending out a submission every week (I already did this week's!), I'm going to find ways to be better with money. I'd like to take on more freelance work and spend more mindfully in 2015. Don't expect this to become a finance blog, but I do plan to write a bit more about it. If you have any questions, let me know! I'm an open book as far as money goes!

I'd also like to get back into some healthier habits that I let go of in 2014. I'm planning to re-join Weight Watchers when we get back from the marathon, and I hope to vary up my exercise a bit, and make better meals for our dinner share. I think taking more time for writing will also help.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
The lovely Becky and Carrie did, and I'm thrilled to have met their twins twice now. A few other friends and bloggers did, too. 

4. Did anyone close to you die?
A classmate of mine from graduate school took his own life this year and Roger's mentor passed away in the fall, both leaving a great grief behind.

5. What countries did you visit?
We made an impromptu but lovely visit to Mexico in May. Roger visited the Ivory Coast in July. I took my first solo trip, to Colorado, in October, and we both headed down south to Georgia and South Carolina for the new year. It was a banner year for travel!

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
More financial stability. I had a wonderful year, but it was expensive, so I want to bring my spending back into check this year.

7. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory?
Drinking on the porch of Ocean House with Shelby in the summer. Emily and Taylor's incredibly moving wedding ceremony. Visiting the Morbid Anatomy Museum with some of my favorite people.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

The work I did in my new job felt like a big achievement. I learned more about coding than I'd ever known before, worked on some incredible print projects, and really started to build up my network. I'm really proud of all I've done, and I hope to continue to grow in 2015!

9. What was your biggest failure?
I overspent. I spent more than twice as much money as I made. It's embarrassing to admit, but I'm hopeful that I'll be able to take steps to fix it in the new year.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had some back pain ahead of going to Mexico, mostly brought on from stress, I think, but otherwise the year passed without too much issue, thankfully.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
As always, I was so glad to spend a good amount of money on travel. I also feel like I'm getting the hang of this adult clothing business, so that's always a good thing.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Roger is always a doll but this year he was a real rock star. He handled all the difficult things of our move, single-handedly and without a lot of emotional or physical support from me. He's also grown a ton professionally and intellectually, and I'm really proud of him for that. Also, he started a really cool tumblr and has a ton of followers on twitter.

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

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent. Travel. Eating out as always. Let's fix this in 2015.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going west! Running!

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?
"Welcome to New York" by Taylor Swift

17. Compared to this time last year, are you
i. happier or sadder? About the same
ii. thinner or fatter? Goodness, about ten pounds heavier
iii. richer or poorer? My retirement accounts are doing great but in liquid savings I have less than I've ever had since college

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Shopping at the farmer's market, poetry, running. This seems to be the same every year. I wonder how I can bring these things together to be the person I want to be.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Aimless googling.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
We spent Christmas Eve with my family, Roger's family and Liz at my parents' house, and ate a massive quantity of seafood as usual.  On Christmas day, my family and Liz headed over to Roger's parents' house for our second annual Christmas day dinner. And finally, on boxing day, after running 22 miles, I headed to my high school reunion.

22. Did you fall in love in 2014?
Yep!  There were some bumps in the road while we were moving, but every day with Roger is an adventure and a joy.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Definitely The Walking Dead, still.  The final season of Mad Men was excellent, and I also discovered a deep love for American Horror Story, the first few episodes of which were actually the scariest thing I've seen in years.

24. What was the best book you read?
Definitely Civilwarland in Bad Repair by George Saunders, which was horrifying and beautiful. I also really loved Seven Sisters Style by Rebecca Tuite and everything by Jhumpa Lahiri. And I finished East of Eden, one of the best books I've ever read.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The New English Hymnal station on Pandora.

26. What did you want and get?
A day job writing. And it has been incredible.

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

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I liked Monuments Men a lot. But mostly this was a year for TV for me, not movies.

29. What did you do on your birthday and how old did you turn?
Oh, it was lovely. My golden birthday was perfect.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More freelance work and more healthy habits.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
I'm still working toward more preppy traditional, and I think I'm slowly getting there. My main goal for 2015 is only to buy a few high-quality, beautiful pieces, starting with khakis.

32. What kept you sane?
My incredible new job.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I continued my interest Muffy Aldrich and my love for Kate Middleton only grew.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Women's rights, as ever, and institutionalized racism.

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?
My coworkers, some of whom I've known for years but never known before, are all dolls. They're awesome and I'm so glad to have gotten closer to them.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
Don't be afraid to eat at the bar!

38. Quote a lyric that sums up your year.
"Welcome to New York.

39. What are your plans for 2015?
Reading, writing, and running!  Farmer's markets!  Saving money!

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