Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Year in Review

Past years: 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008
1. What did you do in 2013 that you’ve never done before?
Parented a toddler. Zip-lined. Organized my photos. Started a work at home job. 
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I never make resolutions, I usually make a list of general wants (things like “a healthy, happy baby” or “lots of travel opportunities.”) Looking at my list for the start of 2013, I would say most came to fruition. I’m a big believer in writing things down and letting them go. :) 
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I foresee this being a long answer for the next few years of my life while all my friends are in baby-making mode... Let’s see: Wino Emily had her second, Cameron, in February. Our best buds Anne and Locke welcomed their first in June, Elijah or as Bo prefers to call him “Baby Li Li.” My dear friend from book club, Anna, had her first, Bennett in June (on the same day as Eli was born.) My high school friend Krissy had her first little boy, Jamie, in September and high school friend/grad school roommate/psuedo big sister Jen had her second, Tobin, in November. 
4. Did anyone close to you die? Matt’s family lost a wonderful soul at the end of the year, his mom’s father, or “Pa” as he was known to all. I’m so fortunate I had the chance to know him, because he was so important to Matt and I’m thankful I got to witness that relationship. Matt grew up next door to his Nanta and Pa, who have been sweethearts since they were 17, and they helped raise him. It was a heavy loss for his family. We also sadly said good-bye to our sweet Buddy in August
5. What countries did you visit?
We didn’t leave the country this year but we got plenty of domestic travel in again: Phoenix in February, Park City in March, Garden City Beach (SC) in April, Rochester in June, Topsail Beach (NC) in June, Asheville in July, Rochester in August, Boone in November. 
6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
I honestly can’t think of anything! Last year I said sleep and bless my sweet Bo, he’s been a great sleeper this year. I feel totally fulfilled in every other area of my life. Pinch me!
7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
August 23rd - said good-bye to sweet Buddy
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Advocating for Bo to get him started early on physical therapy. Scoring a new job that is work-at-home, flexible, pays well and is interesting work. 
9. What was your biggest failure?
Lots of little moments where I failed to parent at my best because I was tired or impatient. 
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
One brief stomach bug right before Utah but otherwise, a healthy year for all of us. Grateful for that! 
11. What was the best thing you bought?
I bought it (used!) in 2012 but my BOB has been one of my best investments. We’ve put lots of happy miles on that guy. 
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My dear husband who has turned into a wonderful daddy - who works hard so I can stay home with our little one, but always jumps in to play or help me out with Bo. Also, both sets of grandparents who have been so engaged and part of Bo’s life and so willing to take over parenting duties so we can escape on our many little trips. And lastly, my dear tribe of mommafriends, some who live nearby, some who live in my phone, who are always ready to lend a hand or an ear to support each other through the many interesting moments of parenting littles. 
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I’ve ceased watching a lot of news because it just depresses me, and because I’ve found when something truly big happens, I’ll learn about it anyways through Facebook, Twitter or just conversations. Every year I grow more frustrated hearing about the mass shootings that happen all over our country and frustrated that politicians aren’t representing the requests of american people to change gun laws. I hope I see that change in my lifetime. 
14. Where did most of your money go?
Target and student loans 
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Ben Folds Five, Guster and Barenaked Ladies touring together. (And they were amazing!). Bo’s first steps. 
16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
Wheels on the Bus 
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:a) happier or sadder?b) thinner or fatter?c) richer or poorer?
a) Happier… I’ve grown more and more content and grateful with each passing year. b) Thinner!!! Finally back in pre-baby clothes. c) Richer… thanks to some aggressive payment plans, we’re starting to see a dent in student loans and husband has been one year out from residency and making a real salary. So, financially, richer. In every other way of interpreting that though, much, much richer. Our family life is full and happy, we have everything we need, we have our health - we couldn’t ask for more. 
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Meditated. Wrote. Blogged. 
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Judged. Gossiped. Read Facebook.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
We spent Christmas with my family at our house and watched Bo learn what “presents” meant. We traveled down to Charlotte a few days later to spend Christmas-belated with my in-law’s family and did a low-country boil at my sister-in-law’s house. 
21. Did you fall in love in 2013?
More and more every day. 
22. What was your favorite TV program?
How I Met Your Mother, The Mindy Project
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
24. What was the best book you read?
Conversations with God, The Gifts of Imperfection
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Lullaby station on Pandora. Great to fall asleep to, great to write to. 
26. What did you want and get?
A healthy, happy toddler. More sleep. More travel. Debt reduction.
27. What did you want and not get?
A house in my favorite neighborhood (Eventually…) 
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Pitch Perfect (obsessed!!!)
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
31 - we had a few friends over for margaritas and a cookout
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
To have seen my book reach more people (which would require me to do more work marketing it… I know.)
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Oh hello, old clothes! I missed you! (Returning to a pre-partum wardrobe. Regretting selling a favorite pair of jeans on ebay.) 
32. What kept you sane?
Matt, gratitude journaling, dance trance, running with the BOB, wine, porch mornings
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Brene Brown. I want a coffee date with this woman and pick her brain.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Guns. Food industry. Chemicals in our shampoos and soaps. Feeling like consumers have to do all the work because we can’t trust businesses to look out for us.
35. Who did you miss?
My grandparents. Akanksha. Anna. Winos. 
36. Who was the best new person you met?
Do my friends’ new babies count? 
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
Happiness is not about arriving at big moments in your life - although some of those moments will be extraordinarily happy when you do arrive. It’s more about the quiet, day to day contentment and gratitude for the life you currently have. This summer was hard for a couple of reasons that I wrote about before, and I could feel a quiet, pervasive sadness in my chest for a couple months. But despite that, I still felt a greater sense of hope, contentment, peace and optimism that it would be okay. I read this post by one of my favorite writers/inspiration-givers Danielle LaPorte in early 2013 and when this sad period hit, it came back to me. “This is why we practice.” This is why I practice gratitude, meditation, prayer. This is why I exercise. This is why I connect with others. So that when the hard things do show up, I’m not running on fumes to deal with them. I’m not writing this nearly as eloquently as she did (of course) but hopefully the message will convey.