I do this meme every year. It’s become a habit with me, and replaces the tedious making of resolutions I can’t ever keep as a way of honouring the year just past and marking the new one to come.
Plus, it’s a good way to get a post written after all the holiday stuff is over. The tree and decorations all came down and were packed away with my usual OCD-ish exactitude this afternoon, and I find writing the “our holidays were lovely and I ate too much” post every year hard to do without coasting in maudlin self-congratulations. So, the year in review!
1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before? Got fired (well, had a contract not renewed. But it was a firing. That was tough.) Decided that the best thing I could do for myself and my family was stop chasing the brass ring, and opened a daycare in my house. Discovered that I am not only a good mother, I’m a good caregiver, too. Joined a farm co-op. Bought half a pig. Watched one of my kids climb on the school bus for the first time.
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I didn’t make any resolutions last year, and so kept them quite nicely. I won’t be making any this year, either. I think it just stresses people out, making resolutions that are tied to a completely arbitrary date.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Not anyone really close to me, no. For the first time in several years. I think maybe the baby boom amongst my peer group is slowing down a bit.
4. Did anyone close to you die? Not this year, thank goodness.
5. What countries did you visit? Man, this question always depresses me. I didn’t visit anywhere really. I did go to Toronto for a couple of days in January… otherwise, de nada.
6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010? Consistency. Predictability. Time for me.
7. What date(s) from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Oh man. I don’t remember the actual calendar date, but the day that we found out hubby had been left an inheritance when his father passed at the end of 2009. It took us a couple of days to wrap our heads around it but we did eventually realize that we could take the money and use it to pay our mortgage. To go to the mailbox on an ordinary day and come back with a cheque (!) equivalent to your debt load… and to know that it was made possible by a family member you loved very much and whose death was so painful… well, it was a fucking head grind, that’s all. And I’ll never forget the sickening swirl of emotions that gripped me that day.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Not letting the firing cause to me question myself too much. Deciding that I didn’t care if I was seen to be “wasting” my education by choosing to stay home and care for children. Helping hubby resolve all the complicated and complex issues surrounding his dad’s estate.
9. What was your biggest failure? I didn’t spend enough time this year maintaining friendships – I always seemed to be too busy. I’m reaping what I sow on that one, now. I’m trying to rebuild them but it’s hard.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Well, I had laser eye surgery in April… that was some bad pain, I have to say. The recovery was longer than I’d expected – I couldn’t see much of anything for almost two weeks – and for a few days there I had to wear a wide-brimmed hat and reflective sunglasses in the house. At night. Yeah. Sucked.
11. What was the best thing you bought? We bought a snowblower in November, so it hasn’t snowed yet. The rest of North America, SNOWPOCAYLPSE. Our little piece of heaven? Sunny days and warm temps right up until December, when it basically rained the whole month. Next up, I plant palm trees.
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration? My husband’s. After his dad died he really dug deep, and started to find his happiness. He lost weight, ditched some destructive eating habits, started spending more time with the kids, found a new and better job, and generally became a more pleasant, engaged, and generous partner and father. He gets big wet kisses for that.
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? My husband’s mother (estranged from us – but not from my sister-in-law). Divorced from my father in law since 1983, she has still found it appropriate to badger my sister-in-law on a daily basis to hand over “her share” of the inheritance money, not only to her, but to her adult son from a subsequent marriage. “Appalled” isn’t even a strong enough word for my reaction some of the things she’s said and done – not the least of which is telling the poor girl that if she has a relationship with us she is being disloyal. It’s caused a huge rift. And it’s sad.
14. Where did most of your money go? Just livin’.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? My new digital SLR that hubby bought me for Christmas. I wanted one so badly, but I didn’t think I could justify the expense given that my daycare is not at capacity yet. When I opened the package, and realized that he had actually gone out and bought me the one thing I really wanted, I cried.
16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2010? The music questions depress me, too. My musical education stalled out at about 1998.
17. Compared to this time last year, you are… Thinner. Shorter-haired. No longer wearing glasses. Wanting a third child instead of thinking that only an insane person would have more than two.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Writing. Walking away from the contract on my terms instead of theirs.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Being frustrated with Thing #2 just for doing the usual two year old shit.
20. How will you be spending Christmas? Had a houseful of friends over for turkey dinner on Christmas Eve – and everything I served was produced locally by small / organic farmers. Spent the day itself hanging out in my pajamas with hubby and my boys, building a million things out of Lego and taking pictures. It was the best Christmas I can remember for many a year… certainly the best one since moving in with hubby. This was the first year he decided he didn’t hate the holidays, after all.
21. Did you fall in love in 2010? Hmm. No, I’d say not.
23. How many one-night stands? Well, every Wednesday since August hubby’s been baking chicken wings from his own secret recipe, and I dive right off the eating-sensibly-and-behaving wagon into two pounds of those bad boys with my mouth wide open. So – how many Wednesdays between August and last week? That many one-night stands. With chicken wings.
24. What was your favorite TV program? The Big Bang Theory and Hell’s Kitchen.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. I know I shouldn’t hate them, I know it doesn’t make one whit of difference to them, but they just turn my stomach. And scare me.
26. What was the best book you read? Ye gods, I can’t even remember what I read last week, let alone all year. I re-read a lot of books this year, because I just didn’t have the mental capacity to take in anything new.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery? That Thing #2 has inherited my grandmother’s family’s precious musical genes. They skipped Thing #1 – he loves music, and is very enthusiastic about it, but he just does not have the gift – and landed slap on Thing #2, who has excellent pitch and rhythm at just past two and a half. Somewhere, my nanny and her siblings are smiling.
28. What did you want and get? My camera. A peaceful home. An end to major financial worries. A healthy pregnancy for my sister. (Due in February – I’m VERY excited). A smooth transition and rapid adjustment to school for my oldest boy.
29. What was your favorite film of this year? I’m a huge geek so I had a transcendent experience at Harry Potter 7. Just watched Easy A last week and it’s fucking brilliant. And I know everyone says this but I really enjoyed Inception. Also, for sheer enjoyment, How to Train Your Dragon was teh awesome. (And I can still say that even though I’ve probably seen it a dozen times now, thank you so much, boys.)
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I was 32. Hubby and I went to the indoor blacklight minigolf course here in town; I won a buttload of tickets playing skeeball that I swapped for a Care Bear keychain; and we had a lavish meal at a Greek restaurant.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? OK, for the fourth year running, I want A SOLITARY PEE, WITHOUT ANYONE EITHER IN THE ROOM OR BANGING ON THE DOOR AND SCREAMING AT ME. Or, now that I have the daycare, without anyone getting into trouble, climbing on the dog, pulling open all the craft cupboards, or suddenly claiming that they need to pee, too. Maybe 2011 will be my year…
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010? Oh my. I have one smokin’ hot party dress that I bought three weeks ago; several pairs of sloppy yoga pants; one pair of jeans; and several bagged-out t-shirts. Why buy nice clothes? When you spend your days with three or more children under the age of five, it seems counterproductive to try and look nice.
33. What kept you sane? My mom, my sisters, my hubby.
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? The Old Spice man.
35. What political issue stirred you the most? The federal government arbitrarily scrapping the long-form census. It’s the thin edge of the wedge as far as further disenfranchising those groups traditionally under-represented – specifically minorities and the poor.
36. Who did you miss? One of my best friends and I just kind of drifted apart this year – fault lies on both sides. We only recently (like, in the last month) spoke about the distance we feel, and how we miss each other. We’re working on bridging it but it’s taking constant effort, and I miss the easy relationship we used to have.
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010: The difference between a great day and a terrible day often boils down to just two things – how much sleep you’ve had the night before, and your attitude when you walk out the door.
39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: I simply can’t think of a single one.