I have a very good friend who does this little “wrap-up” every year and thought it was a nice tradition and way to keep tabs on a life that goes by much, much too quickly. The questions are borrowed (with permission) from All & Sundry – I deleted some of the original questions that didn’t seem to pertain to me, in particular, this year and added some that I’d like to keep track of in the future.
1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t typically make New Year’s resolutions since I’m the kind of person who’s constantly making new plans and setting new goals throughout the year. But this year, for whatever reason, it seems like a good idea. So, here we go:
This year has been a big one for me in terms of reconnecting with my older brother. I’m also, very recently, reconnecting with one of my younger brothers. I’ve also been making some new friends here in Oxford – not a small feat since Oxford is a university town and a large number of its residents are transient. Connecting with the “stable” Oxford population is a bit more challenging but important to me since I’ve decided to build my life in this small town.
5. What countries did you visit?
Not a big year for travel – but I did manage to get to the Netherlands twice this year and was able to spend a week in Spain (Madrid and Salamanca). I hope to get back to Australia and to see Italy in 2011.
6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
A stronger work ethic for the things that are important to me and a willingness to let go of the things that aren’t. I’d also like to have more quality time with friends and family and, above all else, more inner quietude and balance.
7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Well, June 16th stands out because that’s the day we closed on Angelwood. Also, May 10th – my last day of full-time teaching. And, of course, some day in August (can’t remember the actual date) – the month Buford came to live with us.
Oddly enough, I think leaving my career behind was my biggest achievement. It was a torturous decision – to choose writing (which promises nothing) over teaching (which at least promises some level of stability…sort of…these are trying days for academia). But in the end, and even though I’ve accomplished very little thus far, I think it was one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made. Following through with it was an actual achievement. I also published a little this year – including my first creative nonfiction essay (forthcoming). A small achievement, and by no means my “biggest,” but worth mentioning since it’s been a little while since I’ve had any presence at all in print.
9. What was your biggest failure?
It’s funny – but my biggest failure is also part of my biggest achievement 😉 It’s true that I finally got back on the publishing horse, but I didn’t do it nearly as much as I needed to or should have.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Other than the annual bout of bronchitis, I was pretty healthy this year. No injuries…knock on wood!
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Angelwood. Without a doubt.
12. Where did most of your money go?
Angelwood. Without a doubt. 😉
13. What did you get really excited about?
I see a repeating pattern here: leaving my job and buying the house.
14. What song will always remind you of 2010?
I don’t have a song, per se. But I spent the first half of 2010 commuting from Oxford to Cleveland (1 hr. 40 min. one way) every day. There were two albums that I listened to REPEATEDLY. Taylor Swift’s Fearless (I know, I know, mock away!) and KT Tunstall’s Eye to the Telescope.
– happier or sadder? Definitely happier.
– thinner or fatter? A little thinner.
– richer or poorer? About the same.
16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Reading, writing, playing the piano, meditating, exercising, and cooking. Sigh.
Worrying and stressing.
In Pigeon Forge, Tennessee with the White family.
19. What was your favorite TV program?
I finally got around to watching ER this year (about ten years late, I know) – also discovered Fringe and Breaking Bad.
20. What were your favorite books of the year?
Taylor Swift, KT Tunstall, Amy Winehouse, Joss Stone, Amos Lee
23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 39 this year (gulp) – dinner, hanging out with friends, the usual.
Actually finishing the renovation on Angelwood.
I’m a comfort girl. I’m all about the comfort. Jeans, t-shirts, docs or boots. It’s the accessories that I’m working on – the perfect belt, the right jewelry, that kind of thing….
My friends. My family. My partner.
If you want something, you have to make it happen. No one’s going to hand you your life on a silver platter. Believe it can be done. Then go after it.