a year in review – 2017

1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?
been classified as “IT support,” changed careers with no time gap between, climbed more stairs than ever before, found myself in the vicinity of a possible active shooter situation — thankfully a false alarm, memorized the list of books of the Old Testament, occupied an office (i.e. cubicle) not on the ground floor, participated in a digital interview, removed a lizard from indoors, saw a show at the new Cineplanet theater, used predictive text, watched a snake travel from limb to limb five feet off the ground, witnessed NASA’s Super-Guppy in flight

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
For 2017, I planned “to look for something positive in my real life situations.” I did that… but not nearly enough. I repeatedly lost sight of the positive altogether.
For 2018, inspired by Psalm 119:37, my goal is to seek out and spend more time on what “adds value” to my life.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
no

4. Did anyone close to you die?
yes, several family friends :*(

5. Where did you travel?
only to local cities that I’ve visited before

6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?
my own home

7. What date or event from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
August 21, the day of the “Great American Eclipse.” How can I forget it when I often hear songs from the eclipse playlist?

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
The duties at my new job are very straightforward and there’s plenty to be done, and so I am the most productive I’ve been at any job for years.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I spent much way too much time in a “bad headspace,” almost certainly triggered by overthinking.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
only mild recurrences of existing ailments

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I purchased several storage and decorative pieces, with the best (arguably) being a chest of drawers.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
the people who hired me!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
sadly, my own, with recurring bouts of a mood so changeable I felt a kinship with Dr. Jekyll… and sometimes Mr. Hyde

14. Where did most of your money go?
household expenses

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
the answer to a long-time prayer request

16. What song will always remind you of 2017?
“Reverse” by Greg Sykes. Also, “Sometimes He Comes In The Clouds” by Steven Curtis Chapman, particularly the line “Sometimes our faith can only grow when we can’t see…”

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? happier, because although #9 and #13 weighed me down, #33 and #39 lifted me up, up, up!
Older or wiser? wiser… at least in the sense of #33
Thinner or fatter? about the same
Richer or poorer? about the same

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

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
What-If-ed

20. Did your heart break?
Yes. But, then again, it seems I had *some* sort of emotional reaction to nearly everything this year!(!!)

21. How did you spend Christmas?
My mom, sister and I opened our gifts around nine-thirty, after I set up our twenty-year-old, low-frills video camera. I took pictures of our unwrapped gifts, and we cleaned up. We had a light, early lunch and headed over to spend the afternoon on a lovely visit with my cousin and his family. Back home, we enjoyed Christmas music on the radio.

22. How are you spending New Year’s Eve?
After breakfast — and brunch 😉 — I went to church. After lunch, I finished these questions and posted them on-line. Since evening service has been cancelled, the fam and I will probably watch DVDs, and then ring the new year in as we typically do: sleeping. We’re hopeful that today’s arctic blast will thwart the neighbors’ usual sleep-delaying holiday fireworks.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
I still don’t watch any current programs, opting instead for DVDs. This year, I expanded my collection to include a series I’d never seen: The Nanny. I also rediscovered a fave from years past: Murder, She Wrote.

24. What were your greatest food discoveries?
French toast made with wheat French bread from the Walmart bakery. Plus, at long last, I identified what I consider the “classic” spices for soup: mustard seed, celery seed, and onion powder.

25. What was the best book you read?
Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young is what comes to mind of the ones I started to work my way through

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
WDZK, a new radio station whose country music mix from back when — and WAY back when — introduced me to my new theme song (ha!), “Walk Me Down the Middle” by The Band Perry

27. What did you want and get?
a new employer, and a shorter commute

28. What did you want and not get?
I didn’t get the answers I was looking for to my Big Questions… but I got the ones I needed, which is even better!

29. What was your favorite film?
I saw two films in the theatre — Lego Batman, Thor: Ragnarok — and liked them both, although neither earned a place on my “favorites” list.

30. What did you do on your birthday?
I attended the morning service at church. Since I was pressed for time, lunch was one of my favorite frozen meals: Lean Cuisine’s Butternut Squash Ravioli. I purchased some MP3s of CCM and put away the items I’d bought previously, after taking the requisite photo of my “gifts.” I returned to church, where my fellow choir members sang the happy birthday song to me during practice. After the evening service, I went to pay my respects at the funeral home.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
if the work I’m paid to do was less routine… and felt more meaningful

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?
My new place of employment is a slightly more formal office — no more wearing jeans every day — and so I modified my wardrobe accordingly.

33. What kept you sane?
At exactly the right moment, God opened my eyes to something pivotal that I’ve been missing.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
A character from a TV show: John Casey from Chuck. Also, earlier this year, I was reminded that I adore John Waite’s voice, and for weeks, I scoured YouTube for songs of his I hadn’t heard.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
My state’s special election made national headlines with its antics. :facepalm: After so much badness, we *all* lost, as far as I’m concerned.

36. Who did you miss?
Sean and Jessica from my old job, and, from my current job, my boss, who has been on sick leave since August

37. Who was the best new person you met?
the seven people in the department I joined

38. What changed the most in your life this year?
Change abounded for me in 2017. Accepting a new job (naturally) included adjustments — new responsibilities, office, co-workers, daily routine, etc. Elsewhere in my personal life, there’s the “pivotal” development mentioned above. (See #33… with my apologies for being so cryptic, for now.) In the community, our thirty-year-old Madison Square Mall was demolished.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.
When you find yourself mentally and emotionally in the strangest place ever, you can mope about how you “don’t even recognize” your life, or you can learn to be thankful to God for the clean slate, a desperately-needed “reset.”

40. A quote that sums up your year:
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)

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