I don’t even remember when it started but I think it will keep going. I’ll definitely be 99-years-old and writing my epic New Year’s Eve/Day blog posts. Step aside, Homer, people will be reading this in English class one day. And that’s a joke, but only sort of a joke, because blogging wasn’t a thing when I studied English and Journalism, but it’s now very much a thing. And I wonder what people will say about all these changes when they’re studying writing in the future. I have not changed the way I essentially read and write, but I do wonder if I will too.
There’s this theory out there that when David Bowie died (2016), it altered our timeline. And it was a terrible time for me personally, and in the world. Alan Rickman followed closely, and there was also Prince, Muhammad Ali, Elie Wiesel, Gene Wilder, George Michael, Carrie Fisher, and many more. I know we’re not here to talk about 2016, but it’s been a ride, hasn’t it? Strange times, for sure. They all resolve in strange ways. I remember 15 years ago this fall/winter/today – were the worst seasons of my life. There was a bad World Series (depending on who you ask), a bad election (depending on who you ask), I had the worst broken heart of my life, my sister’s best friend passed away (on the 30th), and my brother’s student’s entire family passed away in a Christmas car crash, but she survived. I thought life would never feel comfortable again.
And two more points before I start the end of year survey. I have always been so self aware, or at least trying to be, that if anything goes wrong or missing or miswired or misfired, I always want to know why. And what I can do. For example, if I don’t know about important current events, it’s not because I’m oblivious or too busy. It’s because I’m actively choosing to tune something out. It’s something I don’t want to take in or on. I prefer to let it bounce off – like rain. And which way is better? Do both ways lead to the same levels of activity or inactivity? In the new year, I hope to learn better acceptance of the way things are – and how I can work with and through them.
One last thought. I always thought that many people get more jaded the older they are. And I think I’m the opposite. The older I get, yes, the more doom and gloom I see and hear and feel, but it’s also the more light and love. The overcoming and surviving and thriving. The still believing. That’s the good stuff. I’ll take that with me to the next year. I simply can’t wait.
1 – What did you do in 2019 that you’d never done before?
Ohh.. start with a bang. Well, new roller coasters! I had a cross country business trip, so that was fun. I did less work, or rather more meaningful, slower work, but with more income. That was super new. I got on a plane with one of my kids and no other adults (I’d never done that). I achieved new epiphanies about my heart and its complexities and intricacies, and I learned how to love with more patience, kindness, and acceptance. I mellowed out about some stuff in 2019.
2 – Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Well, let’s investigate what I wrote then. And I’m still thinking about new ones. Answers in bold:
10 Doable New Year’s Goals (I’m not a resolutions girl)
1. Finally leave North America: I DIDN’T. I did go to Canada twice, though, and renewed my passport first.
2. Get Astro, Athena and myself on better fitness plans – of course dependent on doctor’s orders for the puppy: YES! Well, me, at least. I got a bicycle and totally rocked riding it before the bitter winds blew in.
3. Affection: Weird that I wrote that, but yes. SO MUCH AFFECTION.
4. Less screen time when with people: TOTALLY.
5. More screen time when alone.. because it means more work and I can’t stop til I get enough: YES.
6. Small and consistent gestures to be a better friend, family member, and person: I feel this!
7. More fear-conquering: Every. Damn. Day. And so much more than I ever imagined I’d need to do.
8. More helping Cassidy in the kitchen. Whenever it happens, I feel closer to him, closer to myself, and I’m pretty good in the kitchen, I’ve found, when someone is paying me or when it’s making a loved one happy. Extrinsic AND intrinsic: Big YES to this, but sometimes it’s more about helping clean up after he’s made a great meal.
9. At least one new roller coaster (I’m thinking Thunder Mountain later this month.. not so keen on Space Mountain yet): I did this and it was so scary and amazing, but it wasn’t Thunder or Space Mountains!
10. Much more smoothie drinking, because y’all are right – smoothies are heavenly: How did I know we’d get a Magic Bullet and make a billion smoothies with it?
3 – Did anyone close to you give birth?
It was fairly quiet on that front, at least within my family.
4 – Did anyone close to you die?
It was fairly quiet on that front as well, at least within my family. Ever year has losses, though. And this isn’t a person but I want to acknowledge that my mom’s cat, Meeko, passed away peacefully yesterday at age 16. And it’s a heartbreaking loss for her.
5 – What countries did you visit?
I went to Canada twice! Once in September for work (we rode bikes through customs and charmed them all), and then went to a wedding in Ontario in October. Such fun!
6 – What would you like to have in 2020 that you lacked in 2019?
hmm.. definitely, you know, actually leaving North America for the first time! And there are some tangled webs in life I’d like resolution with, although I need to accept if not. And resolutions are so final, sometimes. They’re goodbyes. And that’s as good as it’s bad, and as bad as it’s good. Also I need to drink more water, darnit. The face in the mirror needs hydration.
7 – 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. Plus, big strides in my career, adopting the best cat ever, and unlocking new layers of my heart I honestly didn’t even know were there. I learned much better communication. Sometimes it’s hard to change that.. ever.
8 – What date from 2019 will remain etched upon your memory?
October 4th. That was the flight to Atlanta, Georgia that I took with Des to see whale sharks.
9 – What was your biggest failure?
Hmm.. it’s hard to put into words. I think that since I work hard, and believe hard, and fight for the magic, I get surprised when all things don’t go my way. I need some humbling when that happens. Also, I had a failed friendship or two that really sucked, but don’t they all?
10 – Did you suffer illness or injury?
I’m lucky enough to always answer “no” to this, with the small exception of one cold a year, but I think my anxiety should be mentioned. It’s an illness, however invisible, and should be noted.
11 – Whose behavior merited celebration?
Always, an odd question but I don’t mind odd questions. The answer is all of us – fighting for our rights to party. Really, all of us looking to make the world a better place for people – and not one riddled with difficulties and obstacles. My mother-in-law rocks at that!
12 – What was the best thing you bought?
Easily, Luna. She’s the best cat on earth. The trifecta of personality, temperament, and dashing good looks. Also, the entire trip to Atlanta, Georgia with Des was an excellent purchase. And even though it was a business trip, I spent 10 days in California with Cassidy and surely spent some money on excellent things.
13 – Where did most of your money go?
Oh, see above! Travel and more travel! And also to excellent places – like savings accounts and mortgage payments.
14 – What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Travel to Georgia, Niagara Falls, Ontario, a full week in Cape Cod, and our annual Florida trip, plus 10 days in the California sun. Also, charcuterie plates, work, the kids learning to ride bikes, me relearning to ride a bike, and cool bicycle leggings.
15 – What song will always remind you of 2019?
I have a lot, but I’m really feeling these two:
16 – Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? A little of both, really. More love and more loss.
Thinner or fatter? A year is a long time, but thinner by a few pounds.
Richer or poorer? Richer still, somehow.
17 – What do you wish you’d done more of?
Let the **** go! Let it go, like Elsa!
18 – What do you wish you’d done less of?
Holding the **** on! Send it packing!
19 – Did you fall in love in 2019?
I do every year, but perhaps more than usual.
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. Here are some best friend goals:
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. And you know I’m here for you.
23 – What were your favorite TV programs?
The Mandalorian, A Million Little Pieces, Superstore (favorite), among others.
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 and it’s mostly the same ones I disliked last year! Maybe a few new bad apples, but no one I know well.
25 – What was the best book you read in 2019?
I did love “Where the Crawdads Sing.”
26 – What was your greatest musical discovery?
I don’t know if this counts, but I discovered that I could write a song request on a cocktail napkin and someone would hand it to Bruce Hornsby backstage, and maybe I’d be charming enough in my writing THAT HE’D PLAY MY REQUEST.
27 – What did you want and get?
A perfect (for us) cat, chocolate, travel dreams, whale sharks, money, love, and new friends.
28 – What did you want but did NOT get?
MOOSE. World peace. Less anxiety. Blue whales. Northern lights. A trip to Finland. Resolutions.
29 – What was your favorite film of this year?
I was pretty taken by End Game and Rise of Skywalker.
30 – What kept you sane?
The thought and fact that there are some people out there operating on or near my frequency.
31 – Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Baby Yoda. Ew. Just kidding. And I had this real thing for Chris Pine, but his character died in Wonder Woman but I saw the trailer for the new one and he’s in it! And looks great! So maybe he didn’t die? Or is a sexy ghost??
32 – Who was the best new person you met this year?
I don’t know if I have an answer to that anymore. Can I just say Baby Yoda or Luna? Wait, I think I have an answer but it’s hard to put into words. There are great great people out there – courageous and true. And I can’t remember if I met her in 2018 or 2019.
33 – Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2019.
I’ll never put it into words. I did learn a lot about myself and how I relate to others, though, and about the inner core and strength. I’ll say I learned to not be surprised.. if I keep surprising myself. Yeah. That. Makes no sense, but it does to me. Don’t be surprised if the magic is in you.
34 – Who did you miss?
I miss all of them, always. It’s like a dull roar in my ears. And I miss maybe more what I thought people were, than them themselves. It would be easier to decipher if people were cooler, right?
35 – Quote song lyrics that sums up your year:
Blue-green colors flashing
I would be your only dream
Your shining autumn ocean crashing”
This song has been in my head for weeks, and I’m happy to say it’s moving through me, and then on its beautiful, merry way. I’m nearly done with it, and it’s nearly done with me. Like 2019.