I don’t even know if anyone reads personal blogs anymore. Judging from my stats, I’d say they do. And judging from comments I get on personal posts, I’d again say they do. Something has changed, though, and it isn’t me. It’s never me. I’m always bewildered by declines and drops in anything long-form and heartfelt. It’s why I started this blog, it’s why I continue this blog, and it’s why I truly believe I’ll never stop. It all started with a baby, a “Hello”, and whole lot of gratitude.
2019, like most years, came in crashing with intentions, resolutions, and inspiration. I tackled those goals – work-wise. I really did each blog post, tweet, Instagram post, photo with intention and a lot of love. I’m not going to say I finished the year perfectly. I was working 7 days a week, and 12/7 in that quarter 4 crazy photography and influencer busy time. Now that we’re approaching the slower part of the year, I feel that familiar panic, even though I’ve been waiting for this rest.
Like in previous years, I know I’ll be ok. I know I won’t give up. It all comes and goes – inspiration and opportunities and motivation – and I ride the waves. Mostly I think I surf them – occasionally falling but able to sail the ups and downs. That’s a story for this post, though. It’s my annual, epic, New Year’s questionnaire. The most wonderful blog post of the year.
Can You Feel a Brand New Day?
1 – What did you do in 2018 that you’d never done before?
OMG, what did I do? I went on four rollercoasters! That’s new. I pitched brands. That’s new. It was a year of big and overwhelming contracts. I’m sure this will come up a lot in here, but I chose a rescue puppy and have been the biggest part of raising him. Athena is a rescue too, but I didn’t pick her out. She was more of a surprise. So Astro is sort of my first go.
2 – Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I really did! I was panicked by the ebbs and flows of the blogging season last year, because it was all still new to me. Still is! I had strong resolutions and goals to approach this business with heart. Before I realized it was my dream job, I didn’t do it with 100% of myself. I think that showed. Since the new year is the slow time, it’s also the perfect time to start fresh with your approach, your organization, your game plan. I also made resolutions for more fitness, water drinking, and vegetable consumption. And I’ll always make more for 2019. I see this as a year of even more business-minded and heart-minded thinking, and will this be the year I leave North America?! Also, I need more personal writing and photography for 2019.
3 – Did anyone close to you give birth?
Babies, babies! My little sister gave birth in 2018 – and it was on the same day Astro was born. Little Maxwell!
4 – Did anyone close to you die?
I don’t think a year can pass without loss. Both of my dad’s parents passed away in 2018. Grandma Helen passed May 24th at age 92 and Poppa Jo passed on June 16th at age 94. As my dad said, their love was so strong they refused to be apart.
5 – What countries did you visit?
Same answer as every year. One day, I’ll have an answer for this. 2018 was not the year.
6 – What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?
I still don’t have a good work/life balance. I was watching this Hallmark Christmas movie, of course, in which a workaholic takes an afternoon off to have fun and he’s all, “Wow.. so this is what people do? They have fun and eat lunch and relax?” That’s me. And I still don’t have a healthy notion of work and time. When I’m busy, I’m overwhelmed and wishing for a break. When things are slow, I’m panicking they’ll never be fast again. The truth is, they always will be again. My industry is not going anywhere, and neither am I. There’s no logical reason to worry, other than the obvious reason of loving something so much and being afraid to lose it all. I don’t think that qualifies here. Also, I lacked drinking enough water and exercising enough in 2018. I’m fairly decent with eating enough vegetables, but I could throw some more of those in there too!
7 – What date from 2018 will remain etched upon your memory?
hmm.. probably March 15th! Astro was born, nephew Max was born, and that’s the anniversary of Cassidy’s bachelor party. It was called “The Ides of Bowman.” It wasn’t raucous, though. I was there, and my mom was invited to his bachelor party!
8 – What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I think, as always, it can only be that I’m continuing to raise two kind, happy, thoughtful kids. Everything else is just gravy, frosting, or rainbow sprinkles. Photographing my dad’s 50th reunion was a big one because I was so out of my comfort zone – driving alone to Teaneck, NJ, booking a swanky room for myself, putting myself out there. And more importantly – getting to know my dad more. So that’s as priceless as raising the kids. Also, building my business and raising my puppy. All up there!
9 – What was your biggest failure?
I don’t know if I really have failures from 2018. Setbacks, sure. I always want a year with no anxiety and no struggles and no self-doubt, but I really believe in one giant step forward, two steps back, but ultimately – ONE GIANT STEP FORWARD!
10 – Did you suffer illness or injury?
No, I’ve been lucky yet again. I did have one or two kid-gifted viruses. And one was really weird because it involved a fever, and with the exception of the flu in college and labor/delivery/breastfeeding fevers, they’re rare for me.
11 – What was the best thing you bought?
I’m pretty sure you know the answer to this one, right? We bought him together and he’s the perfect dog for this family.
12 – Whose behavior merited celebration?
Always, an odd question. I don’t mind odd questions. The answer is all of us – fighting for our rights to party. But no, all of us looking to make the world a better place for people – and not one riddled with difficulties and obstacles. Also, Athena.
13 – Where did most of your money go?
Into my business, into the wonderful world of Disney everything, and into the puppy getting surgery!
14 – What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The puppy, giving people gifts, the travel to Cape Cod and Florida, and all the creature comforts I hold so dear. A box of chocolates. A warm bath with a book, and the window slightly open. Home renovations, popcorn, and breakfast every day!
15 – What song will always remind you of 2018?
This one came on all summer, and you know how it is with summer songs. This is one of the few hit songs I like:
And this always comes on Alexa in our new bathroom so it’s a big one for me. (not new):
16 – Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? A little of both, really. More love and more grief.
Thinner or fatter? A year is a long time, but thinner by a few pounds.
Richer or poorer? Richer still, even with Astro’s surgery and our travels
17 – What do you wish you’d done more of?
18 – What do you wish you’d done less of?
Working. Holding on to that extra emotional, physical and mental plaque.
19 – Did you fall in love in 2018?
I do every year.
20 – How many one-night stands?
I’m still at a solid zero. There was one incident in the early 2000s but I don’t think it qualifies because we were friends.
21 – Who were your best friends?
I use that term heavily – like I’m holding a precious gem on my tongue. I have a lot of best friends. I’m not a one best friend type of girl but I think I’m pretty lucky to have the kids, husband, mom, sisters, pets, and friends I have.
22 – What thing did you do that was meaningful to others?
I think the smaller scale stuff is what carries the weight. I used to think I had to be everything to everyone, but now I think if I can change one person’s day or life, that’s the stuff. So I hope it was in giving more of myself to others.
23 – What were your favorite TV programs?
A Million Little Things, Doctor Who, This is Us, Jane the Virgin, Life in Pieces, Superstore, Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Place, The Good Doctor, Modern Family, Single Parents, The Kids Are Alright, Splitting Up Together, Speechless, I Feel Bad.
24 – Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Hate is a strong word. I hate people who hate, so if I say that, am I really any better? I’ll say that I strongly dislike people instead of say I hate people. They’re political people, though, and not in-person people.
25 – What was the best book you read in 2018?
I’m wrestling with my library account page and trying to figure out what I even read. Maybe nothing was so life-changing, although I find that hard to believe. I know I really loved “The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah. I waited for it.
26 – What was your greatest musical discovery?
This is more or less what I wrote last year, with some new additions. More Sia. More Bruce Hornsby. And the wonders of the Hamilton soundtrack – BUT IN PERSON BECAUSE WE SAW IT LIVE OMG. I also enjoy a Hall & Oates Pandora station.
27 – What did you want and get?
Work, fuzzy socks, Hamilton tickets, chocolate, affection, a puppy, money, and love.
28 – What did you want but did NOT get?
MOOSE. World peace. Less anxiety. Blue whales. Northern lights. A trip to Finland.
29 – What was your favorite film of this year?
I would have to say Black Panther!
30 – What kept you sane?
The thought and fact that there are many people out there operating on or near my frequency.
31 – Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I just love Chris Pine. I rarely feel anything for actors – more for characters themselves – but I’ve sighed over him in multiple movies so I think it’s here to stay. I don’t have just one type, but if I did, it would probably be him!
32 – Who was the best new person you met this year?
How could it be anyone but baby Max? (in Scarlet’s arms here)
33 – Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018.
I’m always still learning and it’s hard to put into words, but it’s mostly about my own okayness – and the health of my marriage and family. Sometimes the smallest and simplest things are the easiest ways to clarity and communication. It’s astonishing how much I miss, but I shudder to think about going backwards because I think we’re propelling forward, and beautifully.
34 – Who did you miss?
I miss all of them, always. It’s like a dull roar in my ears, although it’s sometimes so hard to feel it properly.
35 – Quote Song lyric that sums up your year:
“Can you feel it, can you feel it, can you feel it
Feel it in the air, the wind is taking it everywhere
Can you feel it, can you feel it, can you feel it
All the colors of the world should be
Lovin’ each other wholeheartedly
Yes, it’s all right”