Wednesday, January 4, 2012

It's like a chain letter, only it's a blog post. Sorry!

Usually I hate cutesy stuff, and especially chain letters. I hate the Facebook messages that say things like, "I hate this disease so much, and in honor of everyone who survived X I'm posting my ___!" So I'm warning you, this feels a little bit like that. But a cousin of mine did this on her blog, and in the interest of connecting more with people I enjoyed it. So I figured I'd fill it out and pass it along. Feel free to ignore this.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Visited countries where English was not the dominant language.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't think I made any New Year's resolutions last year, other than to work on making my life more the way I want it to be. (Isn't that what most resolutions are, at their core?) My goal for this year is to continue that.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Several people, among them my very dear friend L.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully, no.

5. What countries did you visit?
Germany, Switzerland, and Italy! They were each amazing and Shane and I are already planning to go back to Europe in a few years. (Although next time, I want to visit France and Spain.)

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
A bigger garden. I knew I didn't have time this year to put as much energy into growing things as I wanted, so I scaled down my gardening dreams. This year I'll go all-out.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
January 6th, the day we got engaged. September 4th, the day we got married.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Simply having the courage to step out of the mainstream in some areas of my life. Fighting back against commercialism and the idea that I don't "have it all" because we can't afford to buy a lot of stuff. Growing my skills to become more independent.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not doing everything I wanted. But I think of it not so much as a failure as part of a learning process. And I would have worked myself to death if I tried to fit in everything I wanted, so I had to scale back and make compromises.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
One broken nose. :(

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Local food. (I would say my Nook, but Shane bought it, not me!)

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My friends and family, simply for being the wonderful, supportive, delightful people they are.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Many of those in power, who have so much potential to do good but are using it for the protection of the status quo, the rich, and other powerful people. It needs to stop.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Fixing my nose (we're still making payments!) and our honeymoon. I don't regret a single penny that went toward the honeymoon, and the only thing I regret about the broken nose is simply that it happened. But that's life, and I'm not angry or upset about it. At least I was out there doing something with my life!

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Hmmm. "Rolling in the Deep" (Adele) and "Moves Like Jagger" (Maroon 5) have definitely been two of my favorites recently. Also, pretty much anything by Mumford and Sons. There seriously needs to be more banjo, because I love it.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? 
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer? Happier, about the same (weight-wise), and richer in terms of life experiences. (About the same in the wallet as last year.)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

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

20. Did you fall in love in 2011?
If you count falling in love all over again, I'm constantly re-falling in love with my husband.

21. What was your favorite TV program?
As usual, "Dexter".

22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No. I don't waste my energies on hating people, aside from a few very select prominent figures. (Glenn Beck, I'm looking your way.) And even for those people, I guess I'd categorize it more as despising them, rather than outright hating them.

23. What was the best book you read?
"The Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver. "No Impact Man" by Colin Beavan. So many others!

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Me! It was daunting, and challenging, to be the only violinist in a production as big as "Annie", but I had a blast and I feel more confident in my playing now than I did this time last year.

25. What did you want and get?
Married. :) Oh, not what you meant? Then I guess my KitchenAid, my good knives, and my bread box would count. Those are the objects we've received in the last year that have either been on our wish lists for a long time, or which we use on a daily basis. Usually both.

26. What did you want and not get?
With all of these blessings, I'd be a pretty poor sport if I was counting what I didn't get.

27. What was your favorite film of this year?
"Cowboys Vs. Aliens". It's one of, I think, 2 movies we actually saw in the theater. (The other being the new Sherlock Holmes movie on Christmas Eve.)

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 28. When I see it written, it doesn't seem that old. When I apply it to myself, however, it feels far older than I feel like I should be. I celebrated with my fiance and some friends.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Being able to see more of my family.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Staying warm and being comfortable.

31. What kept you sane?
My friends and family. Particularly, having some good friends go through the entire engagement/marriage process with us. (They got engaged a few days before us, and married about a month and a half before we did.) It was so nice to have someone by me who understood exactly the sort of stress I was going through, to share advice and warnings with, and just to rant about our fiancees with when we were frustrated. We definitely grew closer with them, and our lives are richer for it.

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