Time for the annual year-in-review post. Last year is here and, as always, I’d love to read yours if you do one (so leave me a link in the comments!).
1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
I got through the year without making any big life changes! I didn’t move, didn’t switch jobs, didn’t have any babies. I feel like I was a lot less restless this year than I have been in the past. I’ll take that.
We also started camping as a family, which was a lot of fun.
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn’t make any formal resolutions last year, other than wanting to have the kind of stability I mentioned in the first question. I had hoped to finish my dissertation this year and that didn’t happen, which I am mostly okay about.
In terms of 2016, I’d like to see us make some progress towards a big financial goal we have and I want to be done with the dissertation. I’d also like to buy my last box of diapers ever (so get on it, darling daughter).
3. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?
I think we’ll be home and cozy. I’m not a going out person for NYE. I’m happy to be watching a movie and having some snacks with my family.
4. Did anyone close to you die? Did anyone give birth?
I feel like my 20s were the decade of weddings and my 30s are the decade of babies (both mine and my friends) so I got to meet several new babies this year. Thankfully nobody close to me died this year but I had several friends lose parents this year, which still feels shocking to me even though the parents of my friends are now starting to edge into their 70s.
What countries did you visit ? Did I travel this year?
Given that I have young children, a husband who hates to fly and a lack of excess cash (see: young children), I am unlikely to visit any other countries anytime soon. But, I did get to take some fun trips this year. Miles and I did a quick Florida trip, which confirmed for me that I like DisneyWorld well enough but I am not a DISNEY! person. The Harry Potter sections of Universal Studios were amazing though.
We did a family trip to Wisconsin again, which I always love. I have determined that I need to have days sitting next to water in order to maintain my mental health.
6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
And this was my answer last year: I’m really hoping to finish my PhD in 2015, so I am hoping to have more free time in 2015 after I am done with school stuff.
I will say that answer still holds plus I would like to push myself further in terms of my non-academic writing life in 2016.
7. What date from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I realized on November 14th that I have quadrupled my freelance work from last year to this year. I still get excited that I can make money from my words and that, as a lifelong affirmation hog, that the fact that I keep getting work means that my editors keep liking my stuff. I had an article that got over 1,200 comments on it and that blows my mind.
I didn’t read all of them though, because I’ve learned something along the way and that something is that I don’t love it when people call me a ” stupid bimbo” online when I’ve written something clearly intended to be tongue-in-cheek.
Also the day I found out that one of my dearest friends was going to visit from Arizona was pretty great.
8. What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year?
Finishing a 2.1 mile open water swim race in very choppy conditions. Passing my oral exam and making progress on my dissertation. Staying married. Keeping all the plates spinning of having two jobs, two kids, and being in grad school.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Pass. I worked hard this year and I don’t feel like I want to dwell on the stuff that didn’t go well.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing major, the usual viruses and bugs. I did have a sleep test done though and discovered I have severe sleep apnea. I’m using a CPAP machine and- whoa- the difference it has made is pretty amazing. Who knew that breathing while you sleep is so important?
11. What was the best thing you bought?
A plane ticket from my oldest stepson to spend Christmas with us. It was lovely, through and through. He is such a great guy and the little kids were thrilled to have their 24 year old brother to snuggle and play with.
12. Where did most of your money go?
The usual list of grown-up things: a mortgage, pre-school for Evelyn, groceries. Our biggest ticket item this year was a new computer for me.
13. What song will always remind you of 2015?
This is the year I discovered Hamilton and I may never recover. My life’s dream right now is to see Hamilton live.
14. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I did a lot of reading for fun in the last month and it has made me realize that I miss reading novels. I’ve gotten somewhat out of the habit of using down time for reading versus wasting time on the internet and I think reading is ultimately more satisfying.
15. What do you wish you’d done less of?
I went through a very spendy phase this fall and I have some regrets about the amount of money I spent buying things online that I didn’t actually need.
16. What was your favorite new TV program?
I enjoyed the new season of Project Greenlight. Catastophe was 95% good and 5% contrived ending to the last episode, but I’ll still watch the next season.
17. Do you love anyone now that you didn’t love this time last year?
Actually, lots of people. I had a very good friend year this year thanks to a Facebook group that turned out to be filled with lovely women who’ve made my life markedly better. I feel like I have my tribe.
18. What was the best book you read?
The Royal We was charming and I liked FanGirl a lot as well.
What was your greatest musical discovery? Let’s change this question to something that doesn’t assume I am trying to stay abreast of the latest in pop culture. How about what item of clothing did I wear the most.
Black leggings. I have several pairs and a day that I can wear a tunic and leggings is a very good day indeed. Long live the legging!
20. What was your favorite film of this year?
Hmm, no clear winner here. I liked Age of Adaline a lot, Mr. Holmes was very well acted, and I thought Spy was funny and silly.
21. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 37 and was delightfully surprised by the fact that a number of friends had arranged to each bring over small gifts during the day. It was fun to have little surprises during the day and made me feel bashfully happy.
22. What kept you sane?
The RHOSP, hand down. Friends, both old and new. Having a job that doesn’t make me feel annoyed on a daily basis. Having money in savings.
23. Who did you miss?
My step-sons, always, and several friends.
24. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned.
Almost nothing fixes things as well as time.
25. What pictures best represent 2015?