I used to do these (but then I couldn’t find them in my blog, so I’m not sure when I actually did them…) It looks like January 2012 is the one time I did this. I feel compelled to this year, for some reason.
1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?
And the first question is a doozy! We traveled as a family, on our own, which was special and memorable. I think there were a lot of things we did new, especially as the kids continue to grow and challenge us to grow in new ways. It’s fun and pretty much always new. A few highlights are dropping back into a yoga backbend, hiking with all four kids, trying out a batting cage, and arranging for my colleague to give a presentation on turtles in the boys’ classes.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
We did not make resolutions this year! We’ll probably make a few for next year. It’s interesting to see what the boys vow to do, and one year, I wrote it down and got it out occasionally.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! There were several new babies added this year. My friend Erin had her third (a girl!–who I get to meet in a couple of days); my friend in NC had her third (a boy!–and we got to go see him this summer!); my very close friend here in town had her second and we’ve gotten lots of snuggle time with him; on the winter solstice, my friend had her first (a sweet little boy! who I got to hold almost 24 hours after he was born, which was indescribably delightful); another dear friend had a her second girl in Oregon this spring, and we’ve commiserated about babies who won’t take bottles; and another friend in Oregon had a baby in July. I may have missed someone, but I hope not. And next year, according to my Christmas card stash, I have more babies to look forward to!
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Both my paternal grandfather and my paternal aunt passed away this year. My aunt just yesterday, so it was a bit of a sad tinge to the holidays. We had a nice celebration of my grandfather’s life in Lexington this May, and I got to see my aunt there, so I’m grateful for that.
5. What countries did you visit?
None this year! But last year I went to the Bahamas with Seamus and Gilbert, and they were such good traveling companions, I’m taking them to Germany in May, and the whole family will drive to Nova Scotia this summer. I’m determined to get some use out of these passports we got for the kids!
6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you didn’t have in 2017?
Sleep. Research time and writing time (but I’m going to get it for sure!–sabbatical…coming up in AY 18-19).
7. What dates from 2017 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
February 26 when my students performed a powerful and moving reading of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues. Harlan’s first birthday when it snowed the only big snow we got this year. Easter in New York was a magical time with the family. Late July visit to Montgomery, Alabama when the boys go to sit at MLK Jr’s desk.
8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
I got tenure this year! We kept four kids alive and healthy. Patrick and I still enjoy spending time together. I recommitted to my yoga practice.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I really am trying to be more balanced as a parent–to listen and respond to the children when they are challenging. So, biggest failure is that I lost my temper more than I wanted to. Also, I had an essay I’d worked on over and over summarily rejected, and that stung my ego.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I think fewer colds than usual, so I’ll call it a win!
11. What was the best thing you bought?
The dustbuster has been amazing. The kids can clean up their own messes (the other day, Seamus clipped his own nails, and then got the dustbuster and vacuumed up the mess–I thanked him and he was pleased with himself, but partly because he thought I was being sarcastic at first). I guess Patrick bought that, so it’s really more on him. I’m really happy with my Stitch Fix which sends me clothes that will suit my post four baby body at work. I’m planning on writing more about it later, when I’ve had a few more boxes to go on for the review.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Family. The kids all reached great milestones this year, worked hard, and learned a lot. The extended family has been helpful and reliable. Our babysitter is amazing. So many of our friends have been understanding about our lack of participation in anything right now because we are just so tired at the end of the week.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The same ones that did for most of America.
14. Where did most your money go?
Boring places–like grocery store food and rent. But we did take some wonderful trips this year.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The Women’s March. Skiing with the boys. Going to two Nats games as a family! Our trip through the Southeast. Going to NYC for a conference, and taking the family. Summer reading at the library. Friends who visited us.
16. What song will always remind you of 2017?
Oodelally–Porter sings it constantly as he pretends to be Robin Hood or Alan A dale.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
I think this is a stupid question.
Happier: no–I still have a lot of anxiety, so yes, I’m happy, but not markedly happier.
Thinner: weaned Harlan and went back to yoga practice, so a little, but could stand to give it another 7 lbs.
Richer: I did get a promotion, but I’m going to half pay next year, so???
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Nothing. I wanted more of everything.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
With friends and family. So much fun.
21. Did you fall in love in 2017?
Not with anybody new.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
I have gotten into Jane the Virgin–hilarious and emotional. And we started The Crown, but I haven’t watched enough to know.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No. But have deep antipathy toward many.
24. What was the best book you read?
I really enjoyed Manhattan Beach, for it’s craft and intrigue. Oh, yes, I also loved Anything is Possible, and thought New People was weird and wonderful. My favorite library summer reading was What it Means When a Man Falls from the Sky. I read a LOT for work this year, and feel a little googly eyed from it.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Hamilton–I know. I’m super late to the party.
26. What did you want and get?
Family time and vacations. We’ve had so much fun exploring.
27. What did you want and not get?
A time turner.
28. What was your favorite film of 2017?
Wonder Woman. It’s not the only thing I saw (even though most things were kids’ movies), but I just enjoyed it for it’s power, story, and visual.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
We got a babysitter! We did a lot of family time and I turned 37.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I don’t know.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2009?
Emerging from baby land.
32. What kept you sane?
Exercise, cooking, coffee, my friends, Patrick, sunshine, laughing at all the mess.
33. What political issue stirred you the most?
This question seems so quaint…so 2008.
34. Who did you miss?
Everyone who I didn’t get to see much.
35. Who was the best new person you met?
We have some new neighbors who are nice. I will count the people we’re going to visit in Germany because I just met them at the end of 2016 and developed a friendship with them this year. Many of my wonderful students.
36. What are you looking forward to in 2018?
Sabbatical. Research. Nova Scotia, Cape Cod, Jersey, Germany. Those are big things; I’m also looking forward to the small moments of hilarity and beauty with the kids, in quiet peace with myself, in common mind with friends, and in fellowship with family and community. I’m hoping for more compassion in the world and in our interaction with others.