I posted my own answers first (SELFISH!), and if you sent me a link to your own answers, they are at the bottom of this questionnaire.
1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?
Embarked upon a sane exercise and diet program to lose weight in a healthy manner (and oh man those pictures make me a little snivelly right now, in my current engorged state). Experienced pregnancy while parenting a toddler. Lived through a kitchen remodel. Nothing too exotic, obviously.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Here’s what I wrote last year: I guess my resolution will be this: to go into my goddamn garage (a whole twenty feet from my house) at least ONCE a week and punish myself on our equipment so I don’t feel as bad when I eat an entire bag of cookies in front of the TV.
For a while back in the spring, I exceeded that particular resolution. Then I got pregnant and the whole exercise thing went to hell.
I also wrote: I hope I continue to be motivated to pursue writing in various forms, and I want to improve my parenting skills with patience, education, and trusting my instincts.
Yes on the writing, and “eh” on the parenting stuff. Have my parenting skills improved? Probably by trial and error, but I wouldn’t say I’ve been entirely successful in those particular areas I mentioned.
As for 2008 resolutions, well. I have a feeling this is going to be a very tough year—rewarding, to be sure, and hopefully filled with many joyous and happy times, but I do foresee lots of challenges. I hope I get back in a fitness routine, I hope I take on lots of exciting new writing assignments, and I hope I can embrace the new level of parenting we’re about to experience . . . but I also want to stay sane in the process. I think my only resolution is to try and go with the flow and do my best.
(Is that a totally chickenshit resolution, or what?)
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My friend Sarah, who never updates her blog EVER, had a lovely little boy this year.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thank god.
5. What countries did you visit?
Canada—specifically, Tofino—back in October. You should go there too.
6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
More clarity and motivation in my career, more patience and confidence as a parent.
7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
No one single date comes to mind this year, which is the same thing I said last year. BO-RING.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting in shape, definitely, because even though that didn’t turn out to be a year-long endeavor, it taught me I do have the ability to get healthy when I make it a priority. The runner-up would be getting pregnant again, although that certainly required less day-to-day effort.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Here is what I wrote last year: I don’t think there was one incident or issue, but I definitely feel like there have been times over the last year where I didn’t bring it, parenting-wise. I’ve been impatient, bored, and willing to disengage from Riley at times, and I regret that. I want to feel like I am being a great mom most of the time (no one can do it all of the time, let’s be real), even if the circumstances are trying.
Second verse, same as the first. I have the exact same regrets this year.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Can we count pregnancy as an “illness”? No? Then no.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Well, I didn’t buy it, exactly, but the best thing we’ve invested in this year has been the remodel. It’s been worth every single headache, which is something I sincerely doubted I’d ever say. From the miraculous ice-dispensing whatsit on the new fridge to the warm and cozy TV room, it’s improved our domestic lives in many, many little happy ways.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Dog, whose world has become a far less enjoyable place since Riley’s arrival back in 2005, and yet she never complains, always shows love, and never once has taken a much-deserved bite out of the child.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Britney Spears, and myself for giving a shit what Britney fucking Spears does.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Overall, I’m sure our biggest yearly expense would be house payments. Other paycheck-munchers: savings, car payments, daycare, groceries. The usual suspects.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I’ve been alternating between dry-mouthed excitement and bowel-loosening terror about this pregnancy since I peed on the damn stick back in June. Sometimes, excitement wins!
16. What song will always remind you of 2007?
I think maybe that Salmon Dance song by the Chemical Brothers. It’s not like I listened to it a lot, exactly, it’s just that I’m sure whenever I hear it in the future I’ll remember JB and I dancing around the house singing some of the non-offensive lyrics to Riley: “By the end of the night, everyone was on my team, and the whole club was dancing like a salmon floating up streeeeeam!”
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Boy, I’m really not sure. About the same, I think.
b) thinner or fatter? More pregnant-er, but maybe less fat still? Ah, wishful thinking.
c) richer or poorer? Financially better off.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
More hiking, more weekend outings, and more getting out of the house in general. Also, I wish we’d gone camping as a family even once.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Feeling impatient and frustrated over everyday parenting challenges, and griping about problems instead of trying to fix them.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
Here at our house with JB’s family, followed by a short trip to Port Angeles to see my family. Perfect combo.
21. Did you fall in love in 2007?
Yes, with my heated kitchen tiles. Oh, and my little family, of course. And the delicious combination of vanilla ice cream and persimmon pudding cake.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
If I am going to be 100% truthful here, I think the program we have most enjoyed this year is . . . oh my god, I’m so embarrassed . . . TMZ. We also watched a lot of Battlestar Galactica, Dexter, Weeds, the short-lived and annoying-yet-compelling John From Cincinnati, 30 Rock, and despite its increasing crappiness, Survivor.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No, I don’t think so.
24. What was the best book you read?
I think the one that sort of stands out in my memory is The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I don’t know if it’s the best book I read all year, but I certainly couldn’t put it down while I was reading it.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Jesca Hoop, maybe. Arcade Fire. Spoon.
26. What did you want and get?
I wanted to get pregnant, for REASONS THAT CURRENTLY ESCAPE ME (oh not really) (but kind of? Because jesus do the last weeks of pregnancy ever suck), and lo and behold, I did.
27. What did you want and not get?
Nothing in particular comes to mind, other than “a new president”.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I want to say No Country For Old Men, but that may be because I saw it so recently. I should mention Shoot ‘Em Up, because it was kicked ass and I’m sure it won’t make anyone else’s top film list.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
We went to Bend to celebrate my birthday, and I turned a sprightly and dewy-skinned 33 this year.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If parenting was my dream job.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
In the latter half of the year, I’d say it’s been “Embrace the Belly“. Before then, “Whatever the Hell Fits and Is At Least Marginally Clean”.
32. What kept you sane?
The magical hours between Riley’s bedtime and my own. Caffeine, and lots of it. Friends, family, and everything good about blogging.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I’ve never been sure what this question means, but if it means whose earlobe do I want to tongue like a crazed garter snake, I’ll be predictable and say Mr. Clive “Hot Stubble” Owen.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Here’s something scary and depressing, what I wrote one year ago is the exact same thing I’d say today: Maybe the one where we keep bullheadedly persevering in this shitty-ass war where people are dying in droves every day? Or the one where every time Bush opens his mouth I feel frightened for our country and Riley’s future? I can’t choose.
35. Who did you miss?
My boy, when he was at daycare and I was at work. I should clarify that statement with the word “sometimes”, though.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
I think I met Ashley within the last year, which I’m immensely glad for. I had the pleasure of meeting some fellow bloggers in person, like Mona, Geeky Mama, and Emily. And there are a lot of people who I haven’t technically met, but have made my year better in a thousand different ways (I’m looking in your direction. Yes, you).
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
Improving your physical fitness will improve every aspect of your life. Judging other people’s personal choices is poisonous. Children are the best things in the world, even when they’re being shitheads. Let the bad moments go and move forward towards better ones.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
This is the fourth year I’ve struggled over this damn question. This time, let’s turn to the Talking Heads and some creative interpretation of their classic song “Once in a Lifetime”.
And you may ask yourself / Well, how did I get here?
And you may ask yourself / How do I work this?
And you may ask yourself / Am I right? Am I wrong?
Letting the days go by / Let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by / Water flowing underground
Into the blue again
Into the silent water
Once in a lifetime
(Same as it ever was)
All right, and now to your answers, which are least 395% more interesting!
• Eleanor Q.
• wilddreemer at Tales of a Misguided Mommy (heads up: audio)
Whew! Okay, go read, enjoy, and comment! (Also, many more responses are posted here.)
Happy New Year’s, everyone. I hope 2008 is your best yet.