Monday, December 24, 2012

End of the Year Survey: 2012 Edition

I did the same survey last year; here are my responses for this year. Oh, what a difference twelve months can make!  

1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before? 
Getting married was pretty new and exciting. We also started keeping bees and raising chickens, which was almost (but not quite) as exciting. 

2. Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions, and will you make more for next year? 
As usual, I did okay with my resolutions. I mostly set intentions, and I followed through on some version of them. Not sure yet what I'll do for this year - I have some big goals (draft one of a novel, y'all!) so I'll probably just focus on those. 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? 
An old friend from Texas had a baby, but I think that's it. 2013 will yield a few more new people, though. I'm looking forward to that! 

4. Did anyone close to you die? 
My dear friends lost their son hours after his birth. It was one of the most heartbreaking things I've been witness to, but they have handled it with such grace and strength. Chip and Christy are my heroes.  

5. What places did you visit? 
I didn't travel much, due to school and lack of funds. I did manage to go to New York three times, though - twice to Long Island for wedding related things, and once to upstate New York for Ella's wedding related things (I'm going to be a bridesmaid in February - my first time!). 

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011? 
More money. More time. More words. More vegetables. 

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched in your memory, and why? 
November 10: our wedding day. 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? 
I scored a few publications, which made me happy, as well as a bunch of promising rejections (way better than the usual form rejection). Planning and executing a kick ass wedding on a budget was pretty huge, as was teaching a class all by myself. 

9. What was your biggest failure? 
The Battleship Half Marathon. 2012 was not my greatest year for running, though I suppose I made up for it in other areas. (Kettlebell, I love you.)

10: Did you suffer illness or injury? 
Nope. I'm one lucky lady. 

11. What was the best thing you bought? 
A new laptop, which I purchased with student loan funds last week and haven't mentioned on the blog yet. I know that once you go Mac you don't go back, but back I went - I'm currently typing this on an Acer Aspire. It has a 15-inch screen (a step up from my 13-inch MacBook) and while the switch back to PC is a little frustrating, I'm happy with it. (Though if I had the money, I would have totally gotten another Mac. Alas.) 

12. Who's behavior merited celebration?
All my dear, dear friends who basically pulled our wedding together at the last moment. I will never forget the morning we spent at the Depot, making centerpieces and bouquets and a gorgeous ceremony site from scratch  They are all the best. A close runner up: my fellow second year students, and the handful of us who spent the summer organizing and taking part in a voluntary workshop that yielded much fine writing and publications. I love being surrounded by ambitious people who take their craft seriously. 

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Up until about a week ago, I would have said no one. But the sad and tragic events of late, as well as the vitriol and ignorant remarks I've read, have been pretty depressing. 

14. Where did most of your money go?
Wedding. Tuition. Rent. 

15. What did you get really excited about?
Graduate school, as usual. I love my MFA program so hard. I'm also excited about my novel-in-progress (when I'm not terrified by it). 

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
There's not really a song that sticks out this year, though I will confess that I developed a shameful fondness for the local Top 40 radio station. 

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a. happier or sadder? About the same, though this year has been more emotionally intense than others. 
b. thinner or fatter? About the same, which is good, considering the fact that my running has been lackluster and my diet is 75% hummus and popcorn.  
c. richer or poorer? Last year I didn't think I could be more broke. I was wrong. 

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

I wish, always, that I had spent more time writing and reading. I also wish I had spent more time blogging - my poor little blog was definitely a casualty of 2012. Don't worry - I plan to remedy that situation in the new year. 

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Drinking and being hungover. I have to keep reminding myself that I'm 30 now. 

20. How did you spend Christmas?
I plan to spend Christmas at home in Wilmington, with Nathan and the dogs and the chickens and a few dear friends. It'll be our first Christmas without any family. I'm sad about that, but we can't afford to travel this year. On the other hand, it will be nice to create some of our own traditions. 

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
I'll keep the same answer as last year: I fell more in love with the same person. (Aw...)  

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I still love the same shows as last year - Parks & Rec, and Breaking Bad. I also liked catching up on The Walking Dead, even though it scares the bejesus out of me. And we've had the latest season of Mad Men on DVD (I pre-ordered it) but we haven't had time to watch it. Soon!

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate at this time last year?
Nope. I try to avoid hating people. Too much energy.  

24. What was the best book you read?
I read We Need to Talk About Kevin for a class, narrated by the mother of a boy who commits mass murder at his high school, and it was an amazing book - beautifully written, dark and sad, full of important questions and ideas, and all too relevant. Highly recommended. A close runner up: Wild, by Cheryl Strayed.

25. What music did you get excited about?
Top 40 radio. Oh, the shame.  

26. What did you want and get? 
An awesome wedding. Chickens and bees. A new laptop. Amazing friends and family. 

27. What did you want and not get? 
Less debt. A honeymoon. A goat. 

28. What was your favorite film of this year? 
Honestly, I didn't have a lot of time for movies this year, and most nights I was so tired and brain dead from school that we resorted to TV shows via Netflix (Freaks and Geeks and Buffy, mostly). Film requires so much attention and focus, and I lack that in the evenings. 

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 
I turned 30 (huzzah!) and Nathan and I spent a great day in Myrtle Beach where we got daytime drunk on a pier, followed by a lovely dinner with friends in Wilmington, and then some drinks downtown. It was great. 

30. What one thing would have made your year more satisfying? 
These questions feel more repetitive than I remember. I would have been more satisfied if I paid off more debt, published more stories, and earned a few new PR's. 

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011? 
Frazzled teaching assistant who resents being in front of a class at 8AM. That is: Jeans, sweater, dangly earrings. I will do better next year. 

32. What kept you sane? 
Red wine and good friends. 

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? 
No one, really. I am not into celebrity crushes. 

34. What political issue stirred you the most? 
Reproductive rights continues to be my cause of choice. This year's election season made that cause more intense than usual, but we seem to have come out on top (for now), so I'm happy (for now). 

35. Whom did you miss? 
All the usual people - my Texas friends, my family. I also missed Nathan, since our schedules were running opposite for a few months and it felt like we only saw each other in our sleep. 

36. Who was the best new person you met? 
We got a new crop of first year students in the program, and I met Paul, and he is awesome. 

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011. 
Surround yourself with a community of kind, generous, and loving people, and be kind, generous and loving in return, and everything will be just fine. 

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. 
Top 40, while fun to listen to in the car, doesn't really speak to my life.