1. What did you do in 2021 that you’d never done before?
bought + used the O’Cedar QuickWring bucket and mop,
donated through gofundme,
got hacked — or at least spoofed — on Facebook,
had a home invasion of big black ants,
ordered food to go from Rosie’s Mexican Cantina,
owned a smartphone,
signed up for Evernote (quickly lost interest),
spied a few termites in the kitchen,
started freezing bread to make it last longer,
“buttered” mashed potatoes and grits with Greek yogurt,
tried canned chickpeas (liked them!),
tried canned artichokes (that’s enough of that…),
tried Haribo chewy Star Mints (a new favorite),
tried the Spiced Pumpkin Pie Cliff bar (was more spice than pumpkin)
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
For 2021, I attempted to improve communication with my family. They reciprocated in some ways, and that inspires me to persist in the effort.
For 2022, I want to “live loved.” Reflect on the ways God loves us — me! — and identify its handiwork in my life. Then, live securely in that love, especially in the way I respond to others.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
In August, the coronavirus took the life of a long-time family friend. :*(
5. Where did you travel?
mostly to the store for necessities, although I did venture out to the nature trails at Rainbow Mountain
6. What would you like to have in 2022 that you lacked in 2021?
a long-term job outlook, so that I can move forward with plans for my own home
7. What date or event from 2021 will remain etched upon your memory?
the 20th anniversary of exchanging emails with my friend, Michele
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
being content to wrap up my efforts when I discern where enough is indeed enough
9. What was your biggest failure?
A few of my undertakings — worthwhile things that I very much want to do — blindsided me with extremely challenging moments. I was further stunned by my horrible attitudes in response, and by how long they kept resurfacing.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Illness, yes. The “couple dozen recurring ailments” that cropped up last year are still flaring up. On the bright side, I see definite improvements, and so they are less “concerning.”
11. What was the best thing you bought?
A new smartphone. It started as a necessity due to upcoming changes with my provider, but I quickly warmed up to the convenience of the features I gained.
Runner up: a new Gotham non-stick skillet, for cooking eggs
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
One person who was — repeatedly! — truly interested to know what I have to say on a certain topic, and another who expressed an appreciation for a comment I shared in our Bible study group
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I was beyond disappointed that the people I’d most expect to listen to me, didn’t. It happened time and time again, and it made for a very lonely year, overall.
14. Where did most of your money go?
household expenses, particularly to paying people to work in the yard (totally worth it, btw)
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
A dictation feature, as in I talk and it types what I say. I’ve tried the options on my home computer, but apparently that microphone is insufficient. Happily, on my new phone, I can transcribe notes to a Google document — and I’ve been like a kid with a new toy. The resulting text isn’t perfect because some words get lost in translation. But even that’s a win because most of the mistypes amuse me greatly. For example,
ME: “… analyses…”
TEXT ON SCREEN: “… and now the seas…” xD xD
16. What song will always remind you of 2021?
Probably “My King is Known By Love,” which I learned this year after rejoining the church choir. The song’s warm description of the love of Jesus continues to resonate with me, and it is now one of my favorites out of all the ones we’ve ever done.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? happier
Older or wiser? (arguably) wiser, feeling as if I’ve learned a valuable lesson or two
Thinner or fatter? judging by my clothes, about the same
Richer or poorer? probably richer, because working from home means I purchase gasoline every few months instead of nearly every week #HighFive
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
recognizing specific ways in which I need to declutter (both physically and emotionally), and then doing it
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
resented my family obligations
20. Did your heart break?
21. How did you spend Christmas?
While waiting for our Christmas activities to begin, I worked on these questions and did a load of laundry. My mom, sister and I opened our gifts around nine-thirty, after I set up our low-frills video camera. I took pictures of our decorations and gifts, and made lunch. With the temperature near 70 degrees, even my cold-natured self could enjoy a long walk outside with only a light jacket. (“Have yourself a balmy little Christmas,” lol.) The fam and I ended the day watching DVDs.
22. How will you spend New Year’s Eve?
I had a holiday from work. With the temperature again near 70 degrees, I went outside for a walk. I ran errands, did chores, and finished these questions. The fam and I watched DVDs, and then rang the new year in as we typically do: sleeping.
23. What was your favorite TV program?
24. What were your greatest food discoveries?
“The greatest” has to be the delicious organic Indian products by Food Earth. But my breakfast experiments produced some notable contenders: cottage cheese on an English muffin, and mashed sweet peas spread on French bread toast with shredded chicken
25. What was the best book you read?
I’m still savoring “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen.
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
a pre-owned Norah Jones CD for $0.50 now has a prominent place among my easy listening replays, alongside Johnny Mathis and Kenny G
27. What did you want and get?
to meet safely again with my church family, and again reap the benefit of their encouragement
28. What did you want and not get?
two of my loved ones seem to be on a detrimental path due to unhealthy habits
29. What was your favorite film?
I didn’t see many, and not one of those merits a mention here.
30. What did you do on your birthday?
The theme this year was “a few of my favorite things” (yes, shamelessly stolen from Christmas-time). Lunch was my new-this-year favorite prepackaged food: Vegetable Biryani. Supper was my long-time favorite restaurant food, Rosie’s fish tacos. The day included some of my preferred pursuits, such as hiking at Rainbow Mountain, and socially-distanced shopping.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Feeling unheard has been a long-time struggle for me. Recently, I’m attempting to not take people’s inattention so personally. I mean, I don’t hang on their every word either, right? Still, the practice would have been more satisfying if it hadn’t so often taken the form of withdrawing into a sad, “Why bother?”
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2021?
Working from home again this year, I wear slacks (or a nice pair of yoga pants) during business hours, to help keep me in Work Mode.
33. What kept you sane?
While I was paralyzed much of last year by fear of the unknown, recognizing that God is working even in the unexpected is developing my “eyes of faith.” I’m pressing on despite feelings that threaten to stall me. Sometimes I’m even able to look forward with a sense of adventure!
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I mildly fancied a few TV characters. Jonathan Hart and Jim Rockford each made an appearance in a sweet dream in which I was so comforted because I simply knew they liked me. In every episode of The Greatest American Hero, something about Bill and/or Ralph appeals to me. A lot. 🙂
35. What social or political issue or news story stirred you the most?
I’m still limiting my news intake, but from what I heard, my main takeaway is that people must’ve found a way to get paid every time they use the word “booster.” #WearingItOut!
36. Who did you miss?
my former supervisor, who was transferred to work on another contract in October
37. Who was the best new person you met?
Kimberly the hair stylist. I shared my desire to chop off my grown-out pandemic hair, and she was so enthusiastic about my “transformation”
38. What changed the most in your life this year?
In addition to this list of ways my new normal gets newer all the time, I accepted a new role at church, where we gained a new pastor and our choir leader is taking a sabbatical. At work, staffing changes have left me as the only one on my project.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2021.
Make room. It made such an impact that I felt compelled to elaborate.
40. A quote that sums up your year:
“If you dwell on your own feelings about things rather than dwelling on the faithfulness, the love, and the mercy of God, then you’re likely to have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Our feelings are very fleeting and ephemeral, aren’t they? We can’t depend on them for five minutes at a time. But dwelling on the love, faithfulness, and mercy of God is always safe.” ~ Elisabeth Elliot