a year in review — 2011

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Tried orange roughy, got scanned in a body scanner at the airport, ate at Red Lobster, used a treadmill, transcribed a whole TV show episode (twice), ate a waffle shaped like Texas, ate oatmeal without sugar, chopped cilantro, walked across the Tennessee River, changed the oil and filter on a riding lawnmower, hosted the fam for a night at my apartment, worked from home, been expected to check my company email after I was let go from a job, and visited Colorado, Maryland, and Oklahoma.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
For 2011, my goal was to try to not be so sensitive. Well… I tried! Seriously, though, I think I did well with the effort overall.
For 2012, I plan to again work at not being so sensitive, and try to stay positive while I’m looking for a new job.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No — thankfully!

5. Where did you travel?
I took 11 business trips: to Virginia, Louisiana, Texas (twice), Colorado, Missouri (twice), Maryland, Oklahoma, and Georgia (twice).

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
My biggest dream is still to own a home. If I can get closer to that in 2012, that would be awesome.

7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
December 8, because that’s the day I was let go from my job

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
“Achievement” seems too grand a word, but I accomplished some things on my To Do list, such as converting all of our home videotapes to DVD and saving a backup of notable emails that are in my Yahoo accounts.

9. What was your biggest failure?
There is one area of my life where, just when I think I’ve got it, something happens and I feel I have to start back at square one. Repeatedly.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes, a mild yet lingering mystery ailment that started the week before Thanksgiving and is still with me as I write this.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
a new desk chair

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
our community, who came together and worked hard not once but twice after storms toppled trees in my mom’s yard

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
the store manager who fired my sister over seven spare cents

14. Where did most of your money go?
to paying for my apartment

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
fish tacos, added to the menu at Rosie’s Mexican Cantina

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Probably “Rollin’ in the Deep,” because I first heard a *fantastic* version of the song by one of the entrants in a talent show as part of the WC Handy Festival in Florence, Alabama.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? about the same
Older or wiser? wiser… I like to think so, anyway
Thinner or fatter? about the same… I like to think so, anyway
Richer or poorer? poorer thanks to weeks of down-time (read “no pay”) at work

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
appreciated people for who they are and not what I think they should be

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
been a raving hypochondriac

20. How did you spend Christmas?
The fam and I went to the service at church. Back at mom’s, we ate a fairly simple lunch that included Yum Yum Muffins made with a spice cake mix instead of devil’s food. We then opened our gifts, and I videoed the openings with the cheap videocam that I bought the day after Thanksgiving. We ended the day watching some non-Christmasy shows on DVD. (My sister wasn’t interested in the Christmasy offerings we had to watch.) In the background of our festivities, I did a load of laundry

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
No

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Thanks to DVDs, I continue to get reacquainted with my old favorites, such as Caroline in the City, and I remain enamored with Simon and Simon, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, The Young Riders, and Booker.

23. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
my (now former) boss

24. What was the best book you read?
Aside from Christian periodicals, the only book I read this year was Dan Hyland Police Reporter by Norton Jonathan.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Near the start of the year I discovered the wonder of fan (music) videos at YouTube, and thanks to those I’ve been exposed to some great songs that I’d missed before such as “Touch My Hand” by David Archuleta, “Creepin’ Up on You” by Darren Hayes, and “Big Bad Handsome Man” by Imelda May.

26. What did you want and get?
My mystery ailment finally started showing signs of improvement. Runner-up: the neighbor’s dog finally stopped coming into my mom’s yard.

27. What did you want and not get?
Seems like there was a lot this year that fits in this category; without a doubt the biggest was a diagnosis of and medicine for my mystery ailment. Runner-up: I wanted very much to see U2 in concert – literally the only concert I’ve wanted to see (and no doubt, WILL want to see) for many years – but thanks to a weird work schedule and my nearest venue being sold out, I didn’t get to go.

28. What was your favorite film of the year?
Films Released This Year and Really Liked: Thor, Pirates of the Caribbean 4
Films Released This Year and Liked: Tangled, Source Code, Moneyball
Films Released This Year That Weren’t Quite What I Expected: Green Lantern, Captain America, Cars 2

29. What did you do on your birthday?
I computered first thing: downloaded several mp3’s and watched U2’s video for “The Sweetest Thing” for the first time. Then I went shopping with Jeff, and I was thrilled to find most of the things on my list – on sale, even. Unfortunately, after looking forward to dinner at the Indian restaurant, I was disappointed to find that they took my favorite dish off of the menu, and then I was further disappointed that I didn’t like the dish I ordered.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
This is so shallow… but true… If I had felt pretty.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Since I started working from home in June, I’d sum up my “personal fashion concept” for the year in one word. Lazy! Some days I didn’t even change out of my pajamas.

32. What kept you sane?
Faith, especially repeating this Bible verse: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and brave. Do not be terrified. Do not lose hope. I am the Lord your God. I will be with you everywhere you go.” Joshua 1:9

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Bono (from U2)

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
the inability of both sides in Congress to put aside party differences and actually accomplish something

35. Who did you miss?
Caren, from work

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I met a lot of people while on business trips, but the only one who kinda stands out (for not being obnoxious) was the grandfatherly gentleman that was our main contact in Virginia. He was such a hoot!

37. What changed the most in your life this year?
Here as the year ends, I’m unemployed again, so I’ll be starting over in my career yet(!) again(!).

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:
Life doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect to be pretty dang good!

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“When the waves are takin’ you under, hold on just a little bit longer. He knows that this is gonna make you stronger.” ~ “Stronger” by Mandesa

40. How will you spend New Year’s Eve?
I’m supposed to drive over in the afternoon to see my long-distance (okay, one hour away) boyfriend; we’ll probably part ways by 8:00 and then I’ll hang out with my mom and sister. We will not stay up to see the new year in.

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