Five years ago, I found an end of the year wrap-up quiz on a really good blog called All & Sundry Mourning. I thought the questions were interesting and it seemed a good way to remember what happened in the nearly-over year and prepare to move forward into the nearly-here one. This is a mildly tweaked version of her quiz, which may be a mildly tweaked version of someone else’s, if I read her explanation correctly.
So here is my 2016. What was yours like? If you want to share your answers, I’d love to read them. Either way, I recommend taking some time and thinking about the year that was.
1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
So these things may not seem like a big deal, but as I haven’t been much of a traveler in my life (so far) they were novel and exciting for me.
I went to Scottsdale, Arizona with Shakira, her hubby and another fabulous friend for our 20 year ‘Friendiversary’. In Scottsdale, they sell liquor in the Walgreens, even on Sunday and there were many apartments that looked like they were right out of the Three’s Company 70s. It was fabulous.
I took all three of my kids on a plane trip by myself to visit my family in Florida. None of them were experienced flyers, so it was exciting for us all. Please note that Southwest Airlines makes a fine Bloody Mary.
I stayed in a hotel room by myself for the first time ever on a work trip in September. One of my all-time favorite things to do in life is watch tv in bed, but I don’t have a tv in my actual bedroom, because I suspect it would encourage my latent agoraphobia to blossom, so I especially adored this part of the trip. It’s the little things, baby.
Unrelated to travel: I saw the movie Elf.
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions at the end of last year, since 2015 was a shitstorm for me. But I’m feeling stronger, so it’s time to make goals:
I’m going to spend time with the people I adore.
I’m going to spend time alone.
I’m going to write and work on things I love.
I’m going to keep running regularly and participate in some races.
I’m going to try not to say yes to things I don’t want out of a warped sense of obligation.
I’m going to say yes to things that sound like fun to me, even if they scare me a little.
I’m going to ask questions and seek answers.
I’m going to say what I need to say.
I’m going to keep working on building myself and my boys back up.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
A dear friend had the most wonderful, smiley and cuddly baby in April. I’m so glad I get to know this little girl!
4. Did anyone close to you die?
David Bowie, Prince and George Michael. Plus Carrie Fisher. Ugh, this year was brutal. And yes, I’m aware that I did not know these folks personally and the actual year didn’t kill them. And yet….there are still a few days left in 2016 and I’m hoping that all of the Duran Duran guys and Judy Blume are taking their vitamins.
5. What countries did you visit?
I kept my magic to the good ol’ U S of A! I did go to Canada in my head for a while in November, though.
6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
Optimism. The year 2016 may have killed my optimism. And my faith in humanity. I hope those things can be resuscitated.
7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory?
The day I started my job. The day I got my second divorce. The day I ran the half marathon with my sister (that one’s easy, ’cause it was my birthday).
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting my high school prom picture etched in glass to create the “I’m So F*cking Impressed” award. It’s best idea I’ve ever had. Looking forward to celebrating the ISFIs in the near future. It’s gonna be bigger than the Oscars!
9. What was your biggest failure?
My morning routine with my boys is a colossal failure. It does not go smoothly AT ALL. EVER. I need to rework it in 2017.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had a couple of colds and some allergy issues, but nothing major. KNOCK ON WOOD. The year isn’t over yet.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
12. Where did most of your money go?
See 11. The rest goes to HEB, Target and Trader Joe’s where I buy all the foods that come from mythical creatures, plus cheap wine.
13. What did you get really excited about?
I was extremely excited about my Friendiversary and Thanksgiving trips. I was very excited to eat and drink with abandon after I ran the half marathon. And I was pretty excited to return to Stars Hollow, via my couch, to watch the Gilmore Girls update. The dorkiest thing I got really excited about was catching the Pikachu with the Santa hat while playing Pokémon Go with my son.
14. What song will always remind you of 2016?
Phosphorescent’s Song for Zula. It didn’t come out this year, but I listened to it a lot. I mean, these lyrics:
“Some say love is a burning thing
That it makes a fiery ring
Oh but I know love as a fading thing
Just as fickle as a feather in a stream
See, honey, I saw love. You see, it came to me
It put its face up to my face so I could see
Yeah then I saw love disfigure me
Into something I am not recognizing ”
“I am not some broken thing
I do not lay here in the dark waiting for thee
No my heart is gold. My feet are light
And I am racing out on the desert plains all night.”
15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? Happier. Wow.
– thinner or fatter? A little fatter. (Why? Why?!?)
– richer or poorer? Considering I didn’t have a job last year, I’m much richer!
16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Playing outside with my kids. Going to the movies. Sleeping.
17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worrying. Crying. Reading internet comments with mouth agape at the level of stupidity, unkindness and atrocious spelling contained in them.
18. How did you spend Christmas/Hanukkah/Major Holiday of your choice?
I drank all the booze and ate all the food. Hmmm…wonder why I’ve gained weight? On Christmas Day I had my boys in the morning, then I went to a great party and got to spend time with some of my dearest people in the evening. We had an impromptu George Michael dance party, possibly to the chagrin of some of the men in attendance. It was a good one, except for the part about losing George.
19. What were your favorite TV programs?
Stranger Things. Offspring. Fargo. Catastrophe.
20. What were your favorite books you read this year?
The Book Thief. M Train. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.
21. What was your favorite music you heard this year?
I went to see/hear way more live music in 2016 than I have in a long time and those experiences have been the highlight of the music part of my year. At one show the band did a cover of David Bowie’s Space Oddity and it was sublime.
22. What were your favorite films you saw this year?
Keanu and Bad Moms. Comedies for the win! I didn’t go to the movies enough this year, though. Gotta put that on my list of resolutions!
23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Ugh…I turned 45. Just typing that makes me want to lay down. My fabulous sister came to town and we went to Houston and ran a half marathon together. Then we had dinner and many margaritas with Shakira and her hubby. It was a truly great birthday, except for the whole being halfway to 90 part.
24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
The first female president being elected.
25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
Librarian up to no good.
26. What kept you sane?
Who says I’m sane?
27. Share a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
I learned that I am stronger than I thought I was. And I have a voice that may be rusty from squelching it down for so long, but it is still there. I feel unsure sometimes, a residue from years of feeling like I was all wrong, but I am learning to trust my instincts again. Even though it has been painful at times, getting the chance to rebuild my life and make it my own is an amazing thing. I am lucky.
OK, 2017, let’s do this! Happy New Year to one and all!!!