Monday, January 3, 2011

A Indulgence

Indulge me while I navel-gaze for a moment and do a little review of 2010. This little survey has been cannibalized from one of my favoritest blogs ever:

Actually that little gem all by itself is strange since she and I are on such different life-paths. However, I do love her writing and she continues to be quite the inspiration for me – very probably because she has zero intent of doing so deliberately. So here we go. Roughly the same set of questions from last year.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
Went to Austria. Rode a train in Europe with my husband from Salzburg to Vienna. Everything I did with my nieces counts as a first. I made springerle this year for the first time ever, and my beloved husband made sachertorte.

Also, I did something else which I’ve been hesitant to post about for multiple reasons. My hesitation stems from an ancient, generations-old paranoia about publicly sharing such personal things online but my remaining eagerness to share anyway is gaining strength. I'll continue to conceal for now. Soon though, I'm sure I'll be able to share.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t make new year’s resolutions.

Listed goals for last year, however were as follows:

A) Finish Book – Done. It’s still pulled apart with edits, but I did get to the “the end” so I call it finished.

B) Go on “too late to call it a” honeymoon – Done. Austria. It was... oh my goodness it was wonderful. Loved every second of it. Even the seconds I didn’t love, I loved. You know?

C) Stay employed – Done. Wow, KKF, shoot for the stars, eh? Well, to be fair the economy was really going down the tubes and there was a distinct trend toward national unemployement and since I was at the bottom of the food chain it was very likely I’d have been the first sloughed off, if any such sloughing should have needed to have taken place. However, it didn’t. And that’s just grand.

To list goals for this year, which are not actually New Year Resolutions but just happen to coincide with the coming of the new year, I’d have to list the following:

A) Read more books. 12 of them. Cover to Cover. – I am not a good reader. This will be hard. One of them needs to be my brother’s published book. One of them needs to be mine.

B) Publish my book. Probably self publish. Get an ISBN. Just like my big brother.

C) Regain a normal schedule for going to the doctor, dentist, and car-doctor and car-dentist (aka whatever monkey-chain business is in my neighborhood to check my tires and oil and crap)

Things I anticipate in the new year, but which I do not consider to be goals, include:

A) New tires for the car.

B) Finish the “dead zone” in the back yard with a grape trellis for the grapes. To be fair, that’ll be more of Husband’s influence than my own. (B.2 = hang the blasted window already!)

C) Prune/Tame the honeysuckle. Because, dude. Egad.

D) and this one scares me a little in light of the last two years of pretty strong stability I’ve established. My beloved husband is presently two-ish months away from achieving his PhD. Then he’ll need a real live grown-up and proper job. With a boss and a paycheck and a parking space and everything. That could *gulp* entail a change of venue for us. For him, it’s no biggie, he’s moved loads. Me, not so much. I can do it, and I look forward to most of it, but the packing and the selling and the finding and sorting… gragh… it costs me stomach lining every time I think about it. He’s very vocal about how he wants a job here though… so that we don’t have to move. But time will tell. He will be the one with the PhD after all, and his career will take the throne over mine. To be honest, I don’t resent that. Not much. He did, after all, choose to study here. So concessions have already been made. AND it’s not like my job skills aren’t transferrable. I just… really like this company and this office. And for once in like ten years, I’m not too keen on starting over yet again. We’ll see what happens though. As is my genetic curse, it will work out.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Oh yes! Loads! All of them, it seemed at times. 2009 was the year of a thousand weddings and by thunder the lions’ share of those weddings have brought forth the chubbiest cheeks and most twee little fingers you ever did see. All of them strong, healthy babies with roaring voices and the brightest stars shining in their eyes. All parents are fully accounted for and each is bursting with love and pride such as I’ve never encountered in them before. Good people, all of them, and they forge ahead, clutching their new charges with uncanny skill. I’m waiting to hear back on a few other pregnancies, and eager for a few other couples who are trying hard to be a part of baby-town too. Fingers are crossed for them. Fingers are crossed.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes. As this kind of event is almost always unexpected, the misfortune of this year seemed almost doubly so. A painful loss struck my home town this year, and has shaken me rather unexpectedly. He was a piece of America. And he is lost. For all that he was to my brother and his family, for all that he was to my home town, and for everything he did for me, I will always feel impossibly grateful. And I’ll always be glad I never stopped being at least a little bit scared of him. Not because of what he was… but because of who I was. He was the only person in the world who understood that.

Honestly, many such losses happen in my home town every year, but this one stood out.

The one loss that could have happened, didn’t. And I’m just superstitious enough to not share another word about that one.

5. What countries did you visit?
Let’s see, there was Austria. While in Austria we took day trips to Slovakia and Germany. All three of which were new to my husband, only one of which was new to me. I experienced each location with new eyes and a fresh new personality, though, so they felt like brand new places and will be remembered as such.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
Heh. A raise? Lest my hubris get ahead of me, I think mostly what I was missing was just a sense of direction. My compass seems to have stalled. My momentum seems to be not so much stuck in a rut but extremely comfortable in it’s place and not entirely willing to shake things up again. I both do and do not desperately hope to upset the applecart. I’m afraid of staying here forever. I’m equally afraid of starting over in a new place.

Again though, it will work out. If I’m famous for anything, it’s for my impatience. This too, shall pass.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The biggest one that stands out for me, is the SECOND* birthday party of my nieces. Playing with them at the playground in that retina-searing mountain sunshine is a memory I cherish. Hearing them squeal with delight when I so much as nudged the swings and watching them do their little Frankenstein-jogs between the playground equipment and then feeling their unexpectedly heavy warmth tumble onto me when they tackle me for a hugs and tickles… all these things are wholesome and energizing and warming to me.

Just as energizing was the long nap I took at home after the party was over. It’s good to be Tante!

*They turned two - and they had a small family party last year so it's the second party. BUT it was the first party that was at the park with friends and stuff.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting to and from Austria, safely, soundly, and smiling all the way. Also, I got a strong The End for my book. Just gotta’ tie up the corpse now and we’re gold.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I was an ass a little more than I wanted to be. I had a few weeks of hysteria too – toward the end of the year – which I’m none too proud of. All that is in the past now, though. Moving forward.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Got a nasty cold at the end of December: Toddler-goo, Toddler-goo. Good for them, bad for you. They get sick, you will too! It’s Toddler-Goooooo!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Dining room table. Hands down. Four normal chairs, two captain’s chairs, all hard dark wood and smooth smooth perfection. Not a stitch of upholstery, either. Gorgeous. Luv. Luvluvluv.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage, The.

13. What did you get really excited about?
Austria, naturally. Making the Christmas present for the girls consisting of the most garish dress-up clothes I could find at the ARC store! The trip my husband and I took with my very own mother in law to Mesa Verde was also a huge thing for me. I was so excited about it and it sooo exceeded my expectations in every way. It was awesome. So many great memories.

14. What song will always remind you of 2010?
Probably the Hallelujah song that was played at the funeral I went to. I don’t cry so much to music anymore but that one just ripped me to shreds and stomped on the pieces with perfect pitch, timing and harmony. And the lyrics? Holy crap in a hat. Just ... yeah.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? Probably a little less of both, actually.
– thinner or fatter? Softer. Working on that, too. Halfheartedly.
– richer or poorer? Richer, both financially and existentially.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Reading. Writing.

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

18. How did you spend Christmas?
This year was spent with my family at my parent’s home. The Husband and I spent the night there and played rummikub over wine after my brother and his young family went home. It was an awesome, perfect evening. Sausage, Strawberries and Fat Belgian Waffles for breakfast the next day capped the experience beautifully.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
Big Bang Theory.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
The girl with the dragon tattoo. Smila’s sense of snow. Red Cliff. (good lord we’ve read a lot of subtitles this year)

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
According to my blog (um yay?) I was days away from being subpoena’ed. Again. For the same stupid trial. I was also about a week away from beginning my journey down the canyon of fear and dismay concerning the health of one of my family members. On the actual day though… hang on. Gotta’ research. Can’t remember.

OH! RIGHT! It was a Wednesday so we didn’t do really much of anything. That weekend though we went out for a very nice dinner, got all shined up and everything, and ate that dinner at a table in a restaurant over adult conversation and everything. It was cool. Got really overshadowed by the bad news later on, but for what it was, it was really awesome.

I turned exactly one year older than I was the previous year at the same time. Funny how that works, eh?

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Oh gods, let’s see: world peace? An end to childhood obesity? Cure for aids? Solution for cancer? Peace and disarmament treaties canvassing the entire middle east? Relentless diffusion of social inequity across Africa?

How about I just settle for pants that fit? Like, pants that fit my butt, my legs AND are long enough to obscure my shoes when I wear nice heel-y ones. Whoa, I know. I’m a greedy little nugget, aren’t I? It’ll be easier to stick with the first list, methinks.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
Let’s see:

“This has no holes, is less than five years old, and doesn’t make me look pregnant. This is good.”

This was also the year I turned a swatch of my hair purple.

This was also the year I started to play with a hair straighten-er.

Both good moves. I will continue with both for as long as finances allow.

26. What kept you sane?
My purple hair. Lots of medicine. Mostly though, my beloved husband. (awwww! I know, right?)

27. A valuable life lesson learned in 2010.

Beloved Husband will always, always be there. Always. Unflinchingly. Always. Unfailingly. Always.

(also: purple hair makes me normal. Don't ask how it works. Just know... it works!)

(apologies for the funky formatting. Don't have time to sort it out right now.)

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