It's that time again! Everybody's doing it! This is the year-end questionnaire from Sundry (here are my answers from last year). I have to note that, as I have read other people's responses to this, I have had so many ideas about what I would say, but when I sit down to actually write it, my mind goes completely blank and I can't recall a single thing I did this year, let alone conjure any reflections on what I've learned or what I hope to do in the year to come. Seriously. A TOTAL BLANK. But! I shall soldier on.
(Also, I started out putting in links to relevant blog entries, but then I got tired and naptime was over, so...)
1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before? Wrangled a toddler of my very own. Flew by myself with said toddler. Drove all the way to the end of Long Island. Attended a college reunion (not my own). Ate a blowout anniversary dinner at Del Posto. Hosted my child's first birthday party. Found a church home in our neighborhood.
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I didn't make any last year -- it had started to feel like setting myself up to fail, since I usually keep approximately none of them -- but this year I do have one: instead of doing almost all of my shopping online, I am going to make more of an effort to shop locally. We have a lot of great stores in our neighborhood and I would like to keep it that way, rather than have them all close because Amazon is just so damned convenient. I have no excuse other than laziness for not spending a little time checking out the toy store ten blocks away rather than automatically going online for every single thing in the world.
3. Did anyone close to you have a child? Yep, a bunch of friends and relatives gave birth to their second babies! We're sitting this round out, and I'm very content with that decision.
4. Did anyone close to you die? This question sends me into a PANIC every year, because I don't THINK anyone close to me died, but what if I am remembering wrong? How screwed up would that be? I can never remember which famous people died in a given year, so this is an area where I am doomed to mess up.
5. Where did you travel? Upstate for a spa retreat with my moms' group (sans kids and husbands!); Chicago for the aforementioned reunion (and our first getaway together without the shorty); Nantucket for a fantastic week with my family; Charlotte for an AWESOME spa weekend with Allison for my birthday; Montauk with Joe and Felicity over Labor Day (fun until we got rained out); and Florida with Felicity for my Granddad's 95th birthday.
6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011? A second home (haaaaa). More time with friends. Monthly date nights with my husband (we...don't get out very much). A Zen-like calm about everything (HAHAHAhaaaaaa). Enough energy and discipline to stay on a good running schedule. Independent wealth. The time and drive to write my damn novel.
7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory? March 12 (Felicity's first birthday and party); July 4 (looking at the stars from our porch in Nantucket and feeling like I could explode from the perfection of life). And I don't know the specific date, but this fall I went to the ballet one evening with a friend and NYCB was doing a presentation of an award to pretty much every great living City Ballet ballerina, so I got to share airspace with virtually ALL of the dancers I have idolized my whole life (these are women whose photos I cut out of magazines and hung on my wall when I was a teen, alongside all the Jon Bon Jovi posters): Gelsey Kirkland (GELSEY KIRKLAND), Suzanne Farrell, Darci Kistler, Margaret Tracey, Jillana, Violette Verdi, Merrill Ashley, I COULD GO ON; they were ALL THERE -- and after the presentation and the wild ovations (Gelsey got the biggest crowd response -- people went INSANE for her), all of those exquisite ladies came out into the house and sat like TEN FEET BEHIND ME, so when we left I almost BRUSHED ARMS with Suzanne Farrell. It was a night I will always remember.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Mumble, mumble [redacted work-related thing (the first rule of work is you don't talk about work on the Internet, amiright?)], mumble. Finished another half marathon (without really training for it). Also, I think flying solo with a toddler who vomits all over herself en route to the airport and not completely losing my shit when the flight was delayed and I was almost out of baby wipes was pretty good. And this might sound dumb, but in the past few months I feel like I have had a remarkable amount of clarity about a lot of things (deciding to stick with one awesome kid; knowing that the city is where we want to live for the foreseeable future; [redacted career trajectory stuff]), and for me that is a big accomplishment. It's not like I have ALL the answers, but I feel like I have SOME, and feeling that even a few big questions are settled allows me to focus my energy on other things.
9. What was your biggest failure? This may sound silly, but I have a tendency to LOSE MY HEAD when I can't find something, however minor (Felicity's hat, a small toy), and I would really like to be able to keep my composure better over little stuff like that. I think that I need to have less of a hair-trigger for annoyance in general.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Just the usual colds and the endless runny nose from having a small person in the house, spreading germs hither and yon all winter. And a bad migraine.
11. What was the best thing you bought? Probably an iPhone. Also, a few days ago when I was about to throw our desktop PC out the window, we bought an iMac -- between it and the fancy new router I got Joe for Christmas, our Internet is way faster and it makes life less aggravating.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Felicity's -- I think she is a really good kid; she has her challenging moments (on a daily basis), but on the whole I am really happy with how calm, focused, expressive, polite, funny, joyful, and sweet she is (even when confronted by jerky kids at the playground). I also, as always, have to give Joe the credit he deserves for putting up with me even when I'm at my moodiest, for being a thoughtful and conscientious husband and father, for making me laugh, for pulling big, fun surprises out of his hat at least once a year, for giving me unflagging support in all areas, and for generally going along with all of my overthought, inexplicably rigid, ideas about life and child-rearing.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? I am always thrown by this one. Appalled AND depressed? What if I am appalled but SHOCKED, or appalled and ENRAGED? Ahem. Well, I don't know. Honestly, I try not to let other people's conduct affect me that much -- but then again, there were those wretched children who were mean to Felicity in the park that time, so I think I'd have to go with them. Oh, and that gross so-called church that goes around protesting at people's funerals -- I find them hideous and sick, and when I think about some of the hate that gets thrown around in the name of religion and conservatism, I guess I DO get kind of appalled and depressed.
14. Where did most of your money go? Taxes (sigh), mortgage, savings.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? How much fun Felicity has been. This year has been a BLAST, and if, as I have been told, two is even better? WHOA NELLIE. Fasten your seatbelts! I also got VERY excited when Joe told me I would be spending my birthday weekend with Allison at a spa in Charlotte (we had SO MUCH FUN), and about all of our other trips.
16. What song will always remind you of 2011? Probably one of the songs that Joe made up for Felicity, like the chart-topping "Piggie and Bear" song that he composed on our four-plus-hour car ride back from Montauk in heavy traffic with a cranky child. Also some of Felicity's music class songs, like her favorite "Jumpin' Josie."
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer? Happier (last year was practically off the charts, but it just KEEPS GETTING BETTER); about the same weight-wise (I really, really need to do better in terms of fitness and reduce my general bloat-tasticness, and my SHAPE has changed, but the scale pretty much hasn't moved -- aside from pregnancy and breast-feeding weight -- in years); and financially we're doing just fine.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Running. I have GOT to get my butt out of bed and run four times a week. It affects my energy and mood SO much. I have been sleeping until Felicity gets up just because I CAN, and that's just not cutting it.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Worrying about things I can't control; getting annoyed by things I can't control; trying to control things I can't control.
20. How will you be spending Christmas? We spent it here at home, and it was lovely.
21. Did you fall in love in 2011? Over and over and over again.
22. What was your favorite TV program? Happy Endings and SYTYCD.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Not that I can think of.
24. What was the best book you read? I really enjoyed State of Wonder by Ann Patchett and Time and Again by Jack Finney.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery? As a general rule, I don't make musical discoveries.
26. What did you want and get? Great trips; a lot of beach time; an iPhone; time alone with Allison; a terrific, healthy toddler who sleeps and eats well; a great church; many great nights at the ballet; a cough*work-related thing*cough; a sense of balance; a lot of clarity (see above).
28. What did you want and not get? A bag of money on my doorstep.
29. What was your favorite film of this year? The Descendants and Crazy Stupid Love.
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 36 (oof, late 30s), and Joe sent me on a spa weekend with Allison which I MAY HAVE MENTIONED several times above.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Pretty much the same as last year: A 2,000 square foot apartment with a terrace overlooking Central Park, central air/heat and an open kitchen. Also a personal assistant, butler, and chef.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011? Fully clothed (same as last year and every year before and every year to come).
33. What kept you sane? Joe and Felicity. My parents and my brother. Our nanny (part of whose job is also to be my friend). Allison. Danielle. Cathy. Jonna, Gayle, Jennie, Dianna. My moms' group. The ballet. Running. Having time to breathe. Putting away my iPhone and just being here. Fall in Central Park. The Museum of Natural History. Writing about the minutiae of my life here.
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I still dig Barack Obama, no matter what they're saying. I also like his wife a whole lot.
35. What political issue stirred you the most? I was thrilled and proud when New York legalized same-sex marriage.
36. Who did you miss? Pretty much everyone I care about who does not live right next door, which is TOO MANY PEOPLE.
37. Who was the best new person you met? Some of Joe's college friends I hadn't met before; a friend's very lovely fiancee; and someone who helped me through a potentially tough transition.
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011. The more open I am to possibility, the more things fall into place. That is, things happen not because I force them to happen, but because they are meant to happen in their own time. This is a lesson I've had to learn six ways to Sunday, for years and years, and it is finally beginning to sink in. We walk by faith, not by sight, and all that.