2009 in review

One of my friends posted this. I generally don’t do memes here (memes are internet quizzes that tend to get copied around between various people), but this one asks some good questions and I didn’t have some OTHER brilliant idea for what to write about today. So here you go!

2009 In Review

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
Made apple butter and ate radishes. All the other examples are things that I probably don’t want to admit that I have ever done, mostly related to Thane’s health and comfort. We took the boys camping, which turned out to be a completely awesome thing to do. And for the first time, I had a relative live with me for an extended period (my brother). Dim sum.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I made a resolution to do my best to serve a vegetable with every single meal (well, lunch and dinner) even if no one else will eat them. I’ve actually been really successful with this, even though no one else eats them. At least it’s meant that *I* eat more veggies. I lack a good articulation of what I’d like to do next year.

3. Did anyone close to you have a child?
Both my neighbors had babies this year, and several of my internet friends. There were also some sweet little babies at church, with more on the way. Whee!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My father-in-law died about 10 months ago. The “firsts” without him have been hard. We miss him a lot.

5. Where did you travel?
This wasn’t a year for wild adventurous travel. We went to Atlanta in May, Washington State and Victoria BC in summer, and New Hampshire for camping. (Hey honey! I just remembered… you need to renew your passport. This reminder brought to you by the hours we spent sitting in the passport office in Seattle this summer….)

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A ____ where I am more ____ and ___ than I am at my current ____. Also, a big exciting international adventure. Also also, I’d really like to see my friends down in DC.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory?
Dude. I still can’t remember my eldest’s birthdate. I would say it was the night my father in law died, but I’d be lying because I only vaguely remember which month that was, although I remember with cristal clarity listening to my husband pick up the phone and hear that his father had died — a day before he was going to fly down to see him.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Most of the things I’m striving for are longer term than a year, and none of them really came to fruition this year. I’ve been working towards raising two wonderful young men (time horizon: 20 years), building a vibrant church that serves Christ and humanity with joy and enthusiasm (time horizon: forever), and creating a strong and joyful marriage (time horizon: my lifetime). Maybe I need a few shorter term goals, eh? Oh, I did learn Flex at work?!

9. What was your biggest failure?
I am not very fit or strong or in shape. It gets hard to do everything else if your body is not adequately attended to.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No, I’m really pretty darn healthy.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I got this glass teapot with these jasmine tea flowers that unfurl. I’ve been looking for just the perfect tea setup, and I finally found it. I’m just happy every time we use it. Add to that “St. Petersburg” and you get some of my happiest quiet evenings, even though I always lose. Also, bras that fit.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Grey has been fantastic this year. He was really difficult a year ago during the summer, but he’s really hit his stride since. He’s polite, charming, interested and interesting, funny, affectionate and generally a joy to be around.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I’ve been really disappointed by the willingness of Americans of all stripes to accept their labels “Conservative” or “Liberal” and then make all subsequent decisions based on that identity. I’ve been disappointed with all our politicians from both sides of the aisles for playing politics instead of making the best possible governing decisions. I have not yet understood whether it is not possible to govern for the people the way our system is currently organized, or whether they choose not to do so. I do feel that the media, by handicapping the political horserace instead of discussing the substance of the issues being debated, has furthered this tendency.

Also, I really wish we were better people than to pay so much attention to the private lives of others whom we’ve never met. Frankly, it’s none of my business how Tiger Woods chooses to comport himself. And I still haven’t figured out WHY Paris Hilton is a celebrity.

14. Where did most of your money go?
I’ve been asking myself this question a LOT lately. It believe the top four largest are the mortgage, taxes, childcare and charitable donations.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Christmas comes to mind! Ooh ooh! I know! Hiking the West Side of the Wonderland Trail. I was vibrating for 24 hours at having gotten the perfect itinerary at the last minute. It was AWESOME.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
The Symphony of Science MP3s became favorites this year.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
I remain generally quite happy. I don’t really think I can be much happier on a regular basis than I am. I am, sadly, no thinner nor fatter. (This time last year I was 2 months postpartum, so one would HOPE I’d be thinner. One would be wrong.) I definitely think our expenses to income ratio is higher this year, due to the second childcare issue.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I would like to have read more books (well, of the non-Sandra-Boynton variety) and gotten more exercise.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Being anxious. Also, I should never call my parents before dinner on Friday night.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
I spent it with my boys. Thane the clingy with his ear infection, my husband with the Kindle he just got, Grey rotting his brains out with video games. I even got to play some video games myself!!! The joy of the boys was a great delight.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
I deepened my love for my laddies. I did fall in love with suated radishes and plum jam. I did many things that I love, but few of them were new.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I don’t watch much TV. I did enjoy the Avatar dvds. I like most of the Discovery Channel programming. Baseball was really pretty “eh” this year.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
This is going to sound corny, but the extremists (esp. in Pakistan/Afghanistan) who blow people up in mosques, threaten voters, destroy girl’s schools and demolish their countries’ infrastructure seem beyond the pale. Usually there’s another side to every conflict, but these people seem to be working against everyone, including their own co-religionists, own ethnic group, and own people. I cannot fathom what they are working for, and cannot imagine how they think they are doing good and will end up in heaven when they walk into one of their own holy buildings and open fire on people worshiping there.

24. What was the best book you read?
The two books of the Sarantine Mosaic by Guy Gavriel Kay.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Maddy Prior and the Symphony of Science were my two favorite new music thingies.

26. What did you want and get?
A largely repainted interior of the house!

28. What did you want and not get?
A raise.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
This would be between “The Blind Side” and the new “Enterprise”. I suspect for staying power, it would be “Enterprise”. I’m angling to watch it again — maybe tonight!

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 31 this year. I believe my husband made me my favorite chocolate cake. Birthday season will likely always mean mine is a moderate celebration.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
My life is generally very satisfying! Is it shallow of me to wish that my online works had been more successful? I would’ve liked it if this blog had gotten a bit bigger audience, or had a post that went viral. I would like it if some of the online work I was doing for my church resulted in more people who are seeking meaning finding it with us.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Machine wash only.

33. What kept you sane?
I often remind myself that I have agency over my life. The patterns and outlines of my life are ones that I have laid and chosen — and I know I’m lucky that’s the case. Very few of the boundaries of my life are ones that I couldn’t change if I chose, but I am unwilling to accept the sacrifices that would require. That is a choice, even if it is one that might not seem like a choice because I’d never choose otherwise. But it’s always good to remember when I feel greatly bounded that we are usually only trapped by our minds and perceptions, and could generally untrap ourselves if we are willing to sacrifice what we have and take risks. I’m not sure that’s a clear articulation of what I mean (I do not feel trapped, and I do not wish to escape) but knowing that I am where I am because I choose to be is freeing.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I’m about 20 years behind the times developing a crush on Carl Sagan, but there you have it.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
The divisiveness of the dialog and inability to find common ground.

36. Who did you miss?
I missed having a best girlfriend next door who loved babysitting and coming over late at night to chat. Pretty much every other slot in my emotional landscape is beautifully peopled.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
I didn’t meet many new people this year. Maybe that’s something I should try to change for next year!

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
You keep your balance better when your eyes are on the horizon, not on your feet.

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

5 thoughts on “2009 in review”

  1. Correction, your parents are the only people you should call on Friday night before dinner. It’s our job! And we like it fine. No one has a better job than mine ….


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