Thursday, December 31, 2009

On the Eve of a New Year

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
Became a working mom; enrolled a child in full-time daycare; joined Facebook after holding out for a couple of years; began using a budget; had my first (and last) garage sale; and went on a real diet (Weight Watchers).

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Yes, I had some—I had to go back and look, since I didn’t keep up with them formally.
  • Read the Bible and pray daily—um, not every day. I often take my Bible and a Bible study with me to a school and work on them during my free time. I pray in small bits throughout the day.
  • Get back to exercising 4 times a week. Took the summer basically off because the kids didn’t want to go to the gym childcare and then once I started working, that was all she wrote. We are planning to join the new community center in April and go a few times a week together.
  • Read a challenging book once a month. I probably did this. I read some biographies and Christian studies instead of just fiction and memoir.
  • Write every day and finish at least six short stories. I still write, but don’t have the sustained free time necessary for writing fiction.
  • Clean up the playroom--and therefore the living room--every night before bed. Not EVERY night, but we do this every two or three nights as a family. It helps.
  • Take more pictures. Not really. Does it count that I now get pictures from my mom and two SIL’s?
  • As far as my eating habits, I need to eat more fruits and vegetables, and I want to start eating real oatmeal instead of sugary cereal with no fiber. I do like the oatmeal but only take the time to make it on weekends, about once every 2 weeks. I still need to eat more fruits & veggies for snacks instead of carbs.

I’m not planning to do any “real” resolutions. I want to choose to be happy and thankful in all situations (and if I don’t feel happy, to “fake it till I make it” until an appropriate time to share my real feelings with someone). I want to get outside my comfort zone to be kind to others. Today my friend and I decided we are resolving to make more time to get together with friends.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thank goodness.

5. What countries did you visit?
Sadly, none.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A full-time teaching job. Financial stability.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
August 15 was my brother’s wedding. Also, this year’s Christmas was the most fun so far with the kids since they are now both old enough to anticipate it.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Making the transition to becoming a working mother, and enjoying it.

9. What was your biggest failure?
The times when I freaked out about money worries, which had a negative effect on my husband and kids because “when mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
This is hard: all of a sudden I can’t remember anything I bought. The weekend Justin and I went to a hotel together (ALONE) was the best thing we spent money on.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My whole family behaved well overall. I mean, sure there were some tantrums and whining and passive-aggressive sniping but in general I am very proud of the way my family treated each other and others.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Anyone who was on a “reality” TV show. I hate the whole phenomenon of reality TV and the type of personality it attracts. I would hate those people in real life, so why would I watch them on TV?

14. Where did most of your money go?
The mortgage, the car payment, daycare, our church, the electric company, Wal-Mart (where we buy 90% of our groceries because it’s so close to our house), restaurants.

15. What did you get really excited about?
Getting to teach again. Which surprised me. But I realized I do like kids (most of the time!), and I am passionate about teaching reading and writing.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
Nothing comes to mind. My favorite songs are mostly older.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? Happier, I think.
– thinner or fatter? Neither; I’m the same.
– richer or poorer? A little poorer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Gone on more date nights.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worrying about money.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
At my mother-in-law’s house in Lousiana.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
This sounds sappy, but it’s true: I fall more deeply in love with my husband every year we are married. He’s such a wonderful man—absolutely perfect for me.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
The Soup and The Closer.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

24. What was the best book you read?
The Likeness by Tana French; Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell; Lisey’s Story by Stephen King; That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo; I’m Down by Mishna Wolff; Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon; Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins; and Diary of a Provincial Lady by E.M. Delafield.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
That the iTunes Genius creates some neat playlists.

26. What did you want and get?
I passed my elementary certification test, and none of the bad things I feared happened.

27. What did you want and not get?
A full-time job. I also didn’t get a bigger balance in the savings account.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
An Education. A film about a young girl coming of age in 1960s England.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
 I turned 34 while we were visiting my father’s side of the family in Arkansas. My aunt cooked a nice meal and a low-fat dessert (they’re dieting) and later I made my husband take me out for some Baskin-Robbins because I wanted something indulgent on my birthday!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If we could have traveled somewhere cool. Or, more practically, if I could have had someone else clean my house regularly.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
I started wearing work clothes again, so I couldn’t wear yoga pants every day. I learned that comfortable shoes are a must when you’re on your feet all day. I usually wear jeans and a cute top when I’m going somewhere. Thanks to a few fashion blogs, I’m slowly trying some new looks.

32. What kept you sane?
This blog, laughter, Justin, my kids, prayer.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I don’t really get celebrity crushes. I mean, I think George Clooney and Johnny Depp are hot, but I don’t think too much about any celebrities in that way.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
The healthcare debate. I don’t have the answers, but the problems (on both sides of the issue) bother me because I know there’s no great solution.

35. Who did you miss?
My late father-in-law, who would have had so much fun with my kids. My friends, whom I didn’t get to see as much because of working.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
My hairstylist. She’s fabulous and not expensive.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
It is possible for me to control my emotions even when it is not easy or pleasant-feeling to do so.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
No particular song lyric, but this anonymous poem contains some of the things I tried to learn this year.
Fear less, hope more
Whine less, breathe more
Talk less, say more
Hate less, love more
And all good things are yours.

I got this quiz at All & Sundry's blog.


1 comment:

  1. No one close to you gave birth... other than me! :-) You'll have to let me know who your hairstylist is. I love mine, but he's expensive. - Leann