Meme For The Old Year.

Another great meme I found right here. I think you’re supposed to do this at the beginning of the new year. But it’s close enough right? And heck, I’ve still got Christmas lights up…

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Actually began writing on a daily basis. Had always talked about it, thought about it, never actually done it. Now it feels weird if I don’t write something every single day.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I’ve decided the only resolution I ever need to make and keep is to find balance. Continually seek balance, strive for balance, and be happy when I find moments of balance.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My friends Susan and Stephanie both gave birth to sons, Aiden and Mills.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Both my Muddy and Aunt Ann passed away. I wrote about them in this very space.

5. What countries did you visit?
The Dominican Republic in January for the wedding of a cousin. I saw so many things I have yet to write about because I haven’t processed them. I will though. Also traveled to London with the family and wrote extensively about it. I just love London, it’s such an easy city to visit.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Friends that live in the same town. All my friends seem to live someplace else.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
November 4. For obvious reasons.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finally committing to making a career out of writing. And finally beginning to run. I think Mom would be happy and proud of that. I’m running in my first 5K in two weeks.

9. What was your biggest failure?
The job I took in July. It’s so different from the work I did at Chatham University, not nearly as challenging, or as rewarding, or as meaningful. I just hate it. But it did help me realize I need to focus more on writing as a full-time job. Whether it pays or not.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes, and I’m still dealing with it, but I’m confident to be fully well by summer.

11. What was the best thing someone bought you?
My husband bought me the most incredible meal of my life at Petrus in London. It was the meal of a lifetime – we’re still talking about it.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Everybody who voted for change this past November.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Some of the candidates during the election. And the people who voted for Prop 8. And actually the behavior of some of the people I work with continues to depress me. Narrow-minded gossipy behavior. Yuck.

14. Where did most of your money go?
We moved from Pittsburgh to Virginia, so there’s that. And student loans.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I was super excited about the destination wedding in Punta Cana. The trip ended up being more trouble than it was worth. Drama-filled family surrounded by an all-inclusive resort in the middle of nowhere with ultra poor bussed-in Dominicans working there. Very depressing. I wanted to give them everything I had and then some. I need to write about it.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Anything from the movie Once. I spent most of the year listening to the soundtrack.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– Fatter or thinner?
Fatter. Damn desk job.

– Happier or sadder?
Sadder, but not awfully. I just hate my job and wish I could spend more time at home writing. And walking my dog Lois.

– Richer or poorer?
Richer because we just sold our house last month, finally.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Running. Yoga. The only things that seem to calm my anxieties and fears.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worrying. Being afraid. Eating bad foods and drinking and popping a pill every time I was worried or afraid.

20. How do you plan to spend Christmas?
Oh, I am late on this. I spent Christmas sick as a dog. Entertaining my sister, her kids, and my dad. Trying like hell to play Martha Stewart when I felt like curling up in a ball. It sucked.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
I’ve been in love since the day I met my husband in 1999.

22. How many one night stands?
Not since I fell in love, and not much before.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Mad Men. Nothing else comes close and here’s why.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Hate is such a strong word for someone who tries to meditate and practice yoga. There are definitely people I work with that I wouldn’t choose to hang around on a regular basis.

25. What was the best book you read?
Soul of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
FINALLY seeing Nick Cave live. Damn he was fantastic! Like Johnny Cash and Neil Diamond and Mick Jagger all rolled into one. One of the top five concerts I’ve ever been to.

27. What did you want and get?
A bigger yard for a garden. We got that and acres of woods when we moved. I love it. Where before I used to hear sirens, now I hear cows.

28. What did you want and not get?
A meaningful job.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
Once. I loved everything about it and have recommended it to everyone. And Waitress because it reminded me of my family, and No Country for Old Men (for the direction) and Eastern Promises because whoa, is Viggo Mortensen a badass or what?

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 41, and for the life of me can’t remember what we did. I know I went to Continental Divide for my birthday tequila shot. The shot is a tradition started way back when by my husband and me. We do it every year just to prove we’re not too old to do one.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
To have a meaningful job. To have been able to spend more time at home writing and walking Lois, our doggie daughter.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
I watched a lot of Tim Gunn and discovered I needed a shot in the fashion arm. I cut my hair, ditched all the clothes that didn’t fit, and started dressing in “thirds” rather than “halves” Watch Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style if you don’t know what I’m talking about. I also realized a uniform of jeans, a cute top, and heeled boots isn’t necessarily tired if you always look good in it.

33. What kept you sane?
My husband, my dog, and music. Running. Watching the sunsets out my kitchen window. Listening to mooing cows at sunrise. Meditating to the cicadas and the crickets in the summer.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Fancy? Well, Javier Bardem is as hot as they come. Woof.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Gay marriage. People need to relax and let people, all people, find love where they can find it.

36. Who do you miss?
My friend Scott Nichols. I keep looking for him on Facebook with no success. I want to apologize for being such a shitty friend and losing touch. Not being there for him when he needed me.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
All the new neighbors we met are wonderful. We moved from a city neighborhood where people barely spoke, to a rural neighborhood where people actually say hello and share the time of day and look out for one another. It’s fantastic.

38. What was the best thing you ate?
The meal at Petrus in London. I wrote all about it, for weeks and weeks it seemed. My husband and I still talk about that meal. The meal of a lifetime.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008?
No food, drink, or pill can truly take away your anxiety or fear. It only blankets it.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
I heard this song on my iPod during a particularly bad day and it stayed with me. It struck a chord and really spoke volumes. Now, whenever I have a really bad day at work I play this song to calm me down:

Maze (featuring Frankie Beverly)

…People let me tell you that the time
In your life, when you find who you are
That’s the golden time of day

And then in your mind you will find
You’re upright, shining star
That’s the golden time of day

When you feel deep inside
All the love you’re looking for
Don’t it make you feel okay

That’s like the time of the day
When the sun’s going down
That’s the golden time of day…

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