Friday, January 01, 2010

40 Annual Questions

40 Questions I Answer Annually:

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
Became interested in gardening. I planted several pots with flowers and fruit this past summer and really enjoyed watering them and watching them grow. And eating them!

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions and will you make more for next year?
I did not make a resolution last year, and it's a good thing too. I never would've kept it. This year I intend to read more books. And Scott and I have made resolutions for each other, things we know the other would like to start doing but don't have the motivation for. So Scott has resolved that I will get back into writing poetry. (I've resolved that Scott will get back into woodworking.)

Also plan on re-instituting the chore schedule for my new home.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Cheryl and Matthew gave birth to Caleb. Graeme and Emily gave birth to Violet. Pete and Rebekkah gave birth to Juliette, our second niece.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Scott's family's lifelong friend Frank passed away this year. I only knew him for 4 years, but I loved him very much, just as the rest of Scott's family did. My love goes out to his family this holiday season, as it will have been a hard one.

5. What countries did you visit?
Went to the States in April.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A better turnout in my TinyTalk classes! And a profit! Wow, that would be amazing, to actually make MONEY while working...

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory?
June 10, knowing that was the day my mom first decided out loud she wanted a divorce. :(

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Starting up a very successful breastfeeding text messaging service (with the help of my BfN colleagues!) where pregnant mums can join up and are assigned a 'buddy' whom they can use for support in the early days of breastfeeding. It's going on six months, and it's great!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Falling off the chore schedule wagon. But I'm getting back on for 2010!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I was involved in a car accident (their fault) in July and suffered whiplash. I am fine now, though, and pleased to be getting a pretty settlement!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our new car!

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Fifi and Lolly's. Fifi has been so fantastic with her new baby sister, and Lolly is the sweetest, most contented, easy to look after baby I've ever met. Let's hope both children continue on in the same vein!

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

14. Where did most of your money go?
As always, bills. Council tax, in particular! But for the first time in years, we've actually started putting money in savings, which feels kinda grown up and nice.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Christmas! And moving house. I *heart* our new house.

16. What song/album will always remind you of 2009?
Just For Now by Imogen Heap. It's an old song, and the album itself reminds me of being pregnant with Fifi, but that song took on new meaning this holiday season as I had to put aside family hurts because 'it's that time of year, leave all our helplessnesses aside, just for a little while'.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
happier or sadder? happier, with great periods of sadder.
thinner or fatter? thinner, though this Christmas season has beefed me back up a bit!
richer or poorer? about the same financially, but exceedingly richer in spirit!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Rushing about trying to do a million different things instead of just enjoying my kids. This year I am going to cut back on all my responsibilities and volunteering and really make memories with my kids.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas morning (5am) woken up by Fifi. (Made her stay in bed until 6.) Checked to see if Santa had eaten his milk and cookies and brought presents. Opened presents. Went back to bed.

Had Christmas dinner at in-laws with Scott's family and my dad.

21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
Last year it was my mom. This year it was my dad.

22. Did you fall in love in 2009?
I'm going to need to change this question and the following question. This is always the same... just falling more in love with kids and hubby. Next one is always no. So new question to replace this one:

22b. What's your best memory from 2009?
It's hard to remember all year, as I'm sure there are lots of good memories, so I'll list a few good ones: going to Nardinis in November with Carol and Maria and all six of our kids; eating out on my patio table at the old house during the summer and lying on a blanket in the grass under an umbrella; Club Noir with Paula, Debbie and Heather; visiting my old high school in April with Jessica and feeling like a celebrity in Mrs Balgavy's class; and Lolly's dedication ceremony.

23. How many one night stands in this last year?
Nada. New question:

23b. How have you seen yourself grow as a person this year?
I've realised that in order to grow and protect the things I love, I have to be fully honest with myself about who I am and what I am capable of. Whether it be in regards to me as a mother, a wife, a daughter or a professional, I have to be willing to admit, at least to myself, my shortcomings and then work hard to rein those things in and resist the temptation to give into them. It's almost like keep your friends close and your enemies closer; in this case, my enemies are my own weaknesses.

24. What was your favourite TV programme(s)?
One Tree Hill. That was my new one. I still watched a LOT of Scrubs as usual.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Man, I want to change this question too. I'm not a big hater. And even if I were, I wouldn't blog about who I hate. So new question:

25b. What one special thing would you like to do in 2010?
I'd like to go to my 10 year high school reunion. But seeing as that is highly unlikely, I'd like to go on some kind of interesting holiday to somewhere. All four of us.

26. What was the best book(s) you read?
I didn't manage to read much at all this past year. It was kind of all a blur having two kids to look after. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and How to Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish was probably the best book I read. It really changed the way I deal with Fifi and made a significant difference. Now that's she's a bit older, I think it's time to reread it. I'm starting to retreat back into my old ways! (If you have kids, this is my official recommendation to go find this book and read it.)

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Does anyone else have time to discover music with small children? If so, please give me recs.

28. What did you want and get?
A new home. And while it's still a rental, I'm perfectly happy with that. Not gonna buy now anyway. It would be silly to buy now. So all I wanted was a bigger place, and boy did we get one!

29. What did you want and not get?
A Xyron 500. And a new telly.

30. What were your favourite films of this year?
Harry Brown may have been one of the only films I saw this year, but I liked it a LOT. And the new Harry Potter (was that 2009? I don't even know).

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 27 and let's see, what did I do? I have a feeling this year I did nothing... Was I in America for my birthday? No, I left the weekend after. So chances are, I was packing.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Can I be really sad here and say having my parents still together? :(

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Trying to look hip again? While trying to lose weight and still being able to breastfeed in any item of clothing? On a budget?

34. What kept you sane?
Lolly's amazing ability to sleep almost through the night from birth. I. Love. Sleep. (Fifi, however, is hellbent on making sure we DON'T get sleep, as she wakes us up religiously at 6am every morning.)

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
*EDITED* Scratch my original lame answer. Dev Patel from Slumdog Millionaire -- Talk about yummy! Mm mm mmmm.... break me off a piece-a dat!

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Besides the obvious answer of the economy, there was that one woman who widely and publicly criticised the Prime Minister for misspelling her son's name in the hand-written, personal letter of condolence after he was killed in Afghanistan. I mean, seriously? He's the Prime Minister and he takes the time to personally hand-write every letter of condolence to every family who loses a loved one in combat, and you are going to publicly criticise his 'insensitivity' for misspelling a man's name that he's never even met but cares enough about to personally hand-write you a letter? That just pissed me off. I'm no Gordon Brown fan, but that is just ridiculous, lady.

37. Who did you miss?
My parents. And I really found myself missing my brothers and sisters-in-law. I really wish I could get to know Danny and Matt and Charity better and have more of a relationship with them. I'd love for Fi and Lolly to know them as more than just names and photographs.

I also really miss Carol and her boys. I hope they are having a great life in Abu Dhabi, but I think they were better here!

38. Who was the best new person (people) you met?
Can I tell you a secret? I have a total girl-crush on Jane. Shhh, don't tell.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
Please, please take time to protect your marriage. Take the effort to work out differences, even when it seems like too much work. Don't just keep things inside, bottled up, or hope they will work themselves out or go away. Take time to be a couple, even if you are also parents. Care about the things that make your spouse happy, even when they don't seem a big deal to you. Even though I never believed this before, please put your spouse ahead of your children - in your heart, at least, because in reality, your children will take the majority of your time and energy. But if you leave your spouse on the periphery, irreparable damage can be done.

Guard your marriage with your life.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?
There are places I remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain

All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new

Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more
In my life I love you more

(For funnsies: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)