Saturday, December 31, 2016

Year End

(Found here, and done here last year)

What did you do last year that you'd never done before?
Took a cruise. Didn't get motion sick on water. Finally found the courage of my convictions. Realized that the world isn't going to quit spinning because there's drama in my life.

Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for this year?
{from last year} I don't really do resolutions.

Did you (or anyone close to you) give birth?
No new babies in the family. No new babies at the workplace. I'm not even on the radar for babies myself anymore.

Did anyone close to you die?
We lost some friends at church, and it seems like the Great Baby-Boomer Die-Off began this year too. This is a drag. No one in the family, praise be.

Did you (or anyone close to you) experience a major life-changing event?
Beast was forced to face his demons on a couple of fronts. So did I for that matter. We attended the wedding of the last British kid in the family in September.

What would you like to have this [next] year that you lacked last year?
Peace of mind.

What date from last year will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
There were a lot of memorable dates. The one that will have the biggest impact is of course November 8. Waking up the next morning was absolutely the most depressing moment I've had in decades, including death and disease of family members.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I reverted to good performance reviews. I don't know if it's drugs, or finally getting my boss to stop being a dick, or Al-Anon meetings and the program, but I'm a lot less pissed-off all the time at work these days.

What was your biggest failure?
Keeping my eyes on my own plate. (that's a metaphor)

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope, this year was actually amazingly clear for me health-wise (aside from the whole weight-loss thing that didn't happen). Thank God: I couldn't afford to be out of commission at all this year!

What was the best thing you bought?
That cruise was pretty fucking amazing. The trip to England was a nice hurrah to our travels for awhile. Cue Billy Joel's "I've Loved These Days."

Whose behavior merited celebration?
Beast again. He just keeps trying, in the face of immense--and apparently unresolveable--pain and backsliding, to get his life back on track. A lot of where he has been this year has been a result of some appallingly bad decisions on his part, but he's trying to find his way, and he gets props for that.
Also Sparky for being a grown-up. He really is such a great guy, not just because he's my kid, but because he is a good person.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Oh, gee, who will I pick.... Well, suffice to say that if I were Santa, almost all politicians would have gotten the biggest, stinkiest, dirtiest pieces of coal I could find.

Where did most of your money go?
Fortunately, a lot went into savings. Medical expenses, mortgage, utilities, the usual. And vacations.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Meanness. And silly kids being silly.

What song will always remind you of [this] last year?
I got nothing for this. I can't think of a song that stands out.

Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
Probably about the same. Hopefully, more realistic.

...thinner or fatter?
{same as last year} Fatter. No thought required.

...richer or poorer?
Poorer financially.

What do you wish you'd done more of?
Shrugging off pettiness.

What do you wish you'd done less of?
Distracting myself.

What was your favorite book?
Scanning my list, the one I gave the highest marks that I remember the most clearly are The Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Wecker.

What was your favorite movie (or TV program)?
SNL has been good here at the end of the year. Probably the most heartbreaking thing I saw all year was Kate McKinnon (doing her Hillary Clinton role) singing Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" and accompanying herself on the piano.  

What was your greatest discovery?
My center, and being able to get there again on a regular (ish) basis. 

Did anyone come to visit you?
Only Sparky stayed overnight. We had a few day-visits from local family people, but it was a very dead year for visitors.

Did you travel anywhere?
I made up for 2015's lack of travel by blowing the budget on a Caribbean cruise from Puerto Rico (and back) and a trip to England to see my nephew Jesse get married to a remarkable woman in what ranks as The Best Wedding EVER in my book. It has set the bar very high. And the rest of that trip was good too.

Did you do anything really special and memorable?
See previous answer. Getting to know my nieces and nephews (and spouses) on an adult level is really fun.

Do you love (really like) anyone or anything now that you didn't love this time last year?
I'm sure there's something, or someone, but I'm stumped right now.

Do you hate (strongly dislike) anyone or anything now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Politics. All of it.

What did you want and get?
Travel. Too much food.

What did you want and not get?
Things that are none of my business, mostly. And weight-loss.

What did you do on your birthday?
Felt sorry for myself.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
100% sobriety on Beast's part. Sticking to my program on my part. Someone taking out Trump in, oh let's say, September.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept for last year?
Comfort still rules the day for me. And boots. I currently own 6 pair. At least.

What kept you sane?
Drugs, working the program, reading, work.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Since he got all my love last year, I'm going with Michelle O this year. She is simply an amazingly graceful and grace-filled woman.

What political issue stirred you the most?
This horrible election, the resulting political climate, safety pins, fear-mongering, and fake-news. None of it's particularly good. I mean the safety pin is a good reaction, but I'm so disappointed in the NEED to have that kind of symbol.

Who (or what) did you miss?
This year was particularly hard around the anniversary of Ellen's death. It's been 22 years, but I really missed her at the beginning of December. I would give almost anything to talk to her one more time.

Who was the best new person you met?
Can I pick twins, and their cousins? Because I finally met all my British great nephews and great nieces, and they are delightful. 

Did you enjoy any good sunsets?
Honestly, I don't remember a single time I took to notice the sun this year. OK, wait, on the boat. Yeah, nice sunsets there.

Who did you meet and what did you like about them?
I met a lot of people this year. Most of them are simply wonderful, normal, cool people. A couple are jerks, or just nuts. I can't pick just one.

What did you experience for the first time?
Being single, as an adult.

How do you know you are older?
Creaky knees, not-great health.

How do you know you are wiser?
I don't know that. I'm more patient, sometimes, though.

What are your regrets about last year?
I really HAVE to see something like mountains this year. It's been a long drought!

Where did you go that you have never been before?
The big places I've mentioned already. A wide variety of medical facilities, some that I never thought I'd ever see. Amy's house. My guts. (not literally)

Did you have any meetings that you find memorable?
Heh. Yeah. Suffice to say that without this year's meetings--almost all of them--I'd probably be fucking dead.

Did you walk in the park, or at the beach, or in the woods, or by a mountain stream?
I walked in a few villages, around a field, in Manchester, in town squares, Winona, in libraries, past a woman lying on a sidewalk, airports, docks, Old Town SJ, past speakers banging out reggae, in theaters, up and down the stairs in my house endlessly, in and out of Sparky's apartment(s) mountain streams or woods, but I did get a beach and a park in there. And still...not enough walking was done.

What would you do again?
Most of it. At least the stuff I have control of.

What would you do over?
I would be less stupid about the location of my passport prior to our cruise.

Why is your life better?
Is it?

Why is it not?
{Last year's answer again} My body is not in good shape. It's probably the worst shape it's ever been in, in fact.

What unique opportunities did you miss?
I should've taken myself to a movie in November.

If you met yourself for the first time this year would you strike up a friendship? Where would you have met?
{And again with last year's answer} We would, undoubtedly, meet at a library or a bookstore (or, I suppose, church), and yeah, I'd probably be friendly to myself.
Addendum: maybe an airport or somewhere else in a traveling moment.

What flowers did you smell for the first time? What food tasted? What music danced to?
There were a lot of new scents in the Caribbean. I've now had plantains, at least in the form of mofongo (omg delish!). We had a blast at Jesse and Anna's wedding, dancing, eating, talking, squidging around in damp grass and walking the streets of Bristol.

What will make this year different from last year?
We're tightening the purse strings. Beast will be job-hunting. My attitude will continue to mitigate.

Did you spend any time listening to yourself? What did you say?
Far more of this happened this year than any other year. Mostly I seem remember telling myself to walk away, shut up, and/or breathe.

If you put this year in a food grinder and made sausages out of it, what would they taste like?
{from last year} ...possibly one of the weirdest questions on this blog...
Pretty flavorful with some very sour parts.

In what respects was last year a pivotal year?
Standing up for myself, really doing what needs doing, i.e. "adulting," is very empowering.

If time and events flow like a river, what was your relationship with that river this year?
A. drifting downstream with Huck Finn on a log

B. swimming upstream like a salmon to spawn
C. shooting the class IV rapids
D. up the creek without a paddle
E. the Zen monk moving deftly in the roiled pool at the base of the tall falls.
More of C, D, and E this year.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned last year.
Let it go.

Quote a song lyric or poem that sums up your year.
Sorry, I'm lazy. I'm just going to steal last year's whollly:
"Through many dangers, toils and snares... / I have already come. / 'Tis Grace has brought me safe thus far... / and Grace will lead us home.
The Lord has promised good to me... / His word my hope secures. / He will my shield and portion be / as long as life endures."

Add a question of your own and answer it.
What are you going to do tomorrow to make the world better/easier/more positive?
I don't know the answer, but I need to think about that every day.

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