This year I cobbled together bits from the usual New Year's Meme and the Twenty Questions that Tsh at Simple Mom has posed.
Thank you, friends, for reading this, for sharing your insights with me, for choosing to spend your time with me in this small-yet-large way. It means so much to me, and it's an honor knowing you. May 2009 be full of peace, joy and love for you.
SUPER-CRITICAL UPDATE: The two other resolutions I'd forgotten about have now been included.
What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
The recurring opportunity to realize that I am so blessed.
What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
Truly, my head swims at this question. 2008 was perhaps the single most challenging year of my life.
What was an unexpected joy this past year?
Love. So much love, so readily available.
Pick three words to describe 2008.
Long, exhausting, trial.
With whom were your most valuable relationships?
This is a tough one. Relationships are so important, so valuable.
My family, of course; my close friends, of course; but I learned more than I could have imagined from all of them, even the unpleasant relationships.
What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
In 2008 I learned to stop worrying about what others think of me.
It's a remarkable lesson that continues to pay off.
In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
Whether it's causal or correlational to the answer above, I have learned (and continue to learn) to say how I feel and what I need, plainly. Without trying to anticipate criticism or any kind of reaction from the other person, and without letting that anticipation lead me in any particular direction. Slowly, I'm learning that simple really is best. Especially when it comes to people.
What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
I made a ham for the first time! And everybody liked it!
Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any for the last few years. In 2009, though, I resolve:
- To get into shape (there is a sustainable plan in place; it's not something I'm going to "try" to do -- I will do it!).
- To spend more of my time with my family and friends. I will be more present when I am home, and I'm going to ink into my calendar dates throughout the year with my friends.
- To go to bed earlier.
- To give up coffee. I don't like feeling addicted, and everything I've read about the various minor physical ailments I keep encountering says to avoid coffee. So there; tonight marks the second night of it and I think the worst of it is past.
- To stop allowing fear into my life.
Did anyone close to you give birth?
Oh, yes! Ava and Drew had a gorgeous little thing named Audrey Caitlyn. We swoon.
Did anyone close to you die?
We weren't close, but my cousin died in a terrible way. So that something good may grow from a sad event, I've made it a point to be closer to my extended family.
What was the best thing you bought?
The Frye boots I'd wanted since age 15, purchased with the government stimulus check of last spring. Oh, and maybe the Calvin Klein trenchcoat I got for $18. At the Salvation Army. Still had the tags on it. OH YES.
What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Simple things, like hanging out with H. and the boy. Silly things, like going out with friends. And of course, seeing Nick Cave live for the first time, at the Hollywood Bowl. Eeeee!
What song/album will always remind you of 2008?
- Dig! Lazarus, Dig!!/Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (both the album and the song)
- L.E.S. Artistes by Santogold
- Challengers (the song)/The New Pornographers
What was the best book(s) you read?
Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier (thanks, WEH!), Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino (thanks, Pete!) and The Object Lesson by Edward Gorey (thanks, Lisa!).
What was your greatest musical discovery?
What were your favourite films of this year?
Gran Torino, The Dark Knight, Mamma Mia!.
(That about sums up my personality, too, I reckon.)
What did you want and get?
For Christmas, my mister got me something I'd only dreamt of -- in fact I only wanted it in that faraway manner that one "wants" a nice car or a bigger house: a Canon Rebel with an incredible zoom lens. When I unwrapped the package, I immediately set it down, looked away and said to H., OhmyGod. Are you sure? Can you look at it and tell me if it's still there? We had decided only to get each other stocking stuffers this year. When I asked him about that, he said his plan had been to give me the camera for my birthday, which is in July, but he'd come up a bit short. So he'd then decided to continue saving so that by Christmas he was able to get me the camera, the lens and a great bag for it.
I know. I know!
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Back in the Saddle. Not that I dressed all Spaghetti Western, more that I found my voice again.
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Nick Cave. Always + Forever!
What political issue stirred you the most?
The presidential election got me all political.
Who did you miss?
The usual suspects. Come back to Los Angeles, people.
Who was the best new person you met?
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Keep It Simple, Stupid. And don't underestimate yourself.