This is the first of what will likely be many posts reflecting on the past year and pondering the upcoming one. Last year, saw this survey on a friends’ fetlife page and decided to do it again this year. The italicized answer was last year’s response.
What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
I went to Mexico (Riviera Maya) including to Chichen Itza, I cooked a bunch of new recipes, I went to many new restaurants, I introduced a boyfriend to my family and met his family, I gave a eulogy and went to a funeral, I tried new workout classes (piloxing, kickboxing, hip hop cardio, among others), I lifted heavy weights (deadlifts, yo), paid off my car, and got a deep tissue massage.
2013: I went on a zipline in Vegas, I went to Harry Potter world in Orlando, I had korean barbecue, I learned to grill, I was a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding, I played a bunch of board games I never had played before, and I went to many new restaurants and touristy things.
Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I kept some of them. It took me half the year to get around to it, but I did end up focusing on health in the latter part of the year. I kept up with goodreads, game nights, my gratitude journal, and RSS feeds over the year. I’m also much better off financially. I didn’t write another short story, I didn’t save up as much as I wanted to, and I didn’t keep track of passwords or write letters to folks.
I kept some of them and didn’t for others. I saved the money I wanted to save, and at one point I had paid off my credit cards (alas, I spent them up again). I got addresses for a bunch of people. I went to a never-before-visited destination, and took a bunch of photos. I watched Secretary and tried wax and fire play. I did not do a 5K, work out enough, compile all my online passwords, try cupping, acquire a flogger, or write an erotic story (although I have extensive notes and could still do that in the next few days…)
Did anyone close to you give birth?
I don’t think so, at least not anyone in my immediate friend or family circle.
My cousin gave birth to a beautiful baby boy a few months ago.
Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, my mom. It was unexpected and the grief still takes my breath away, even though it’s been 4.5 months.
No one immediately near me, thankfully.
What was your favorite TV program?
Suits, Once Upon a Time, Shark Tank, Grey’s Anatomy, Game of Thrones.
Game of Thrones, without a doubt. Shark Tank probably takes a close second.
What countries did you visit?
Dubai, UAE and Afghanistan. My non-work-related travel was all domestic.
What do you wish you’d done less of?
I wish I’d kept my feelings to myself less, at least in terms of my needs or being upfront about what people could do to help me when my mom passed.
I wish I’d eaten out less and gossiped less.
What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
July 31, the day my mom died, February 16, the day of my first date with my dude, and September 18th, when we first said I love you.
That one’s hard. Maybe starting my new job in December, or my friend’s wedding over Columbus Day, or vacation in September with one of my best friends, or work travel in June that had bombings, or my family member’s bout with illness that started in April…
Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing beyond the norm.
Not really, just sinus infections/colds.
What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
Confidence…been working on that, am much better than I was a few months back, but still hav ea way to go to be as fearless as I’d like.
Love…as in the true, lasting kind.
What was the best thing you bought?
My vacation to Mexico :), my car (finished paying it off!), personal training sessions.
My table and chairs for our dining room.
Where did most of your money go?
Bills (to put myself in a better financial position), and like last year, experiences – travel, restaurants, fitness.
Experiences – eating out, musicals, events, travel, etc. Trying new restaurants probably racked up the most money.
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting a perfect rating at my job, the report from my last job making the New York Times, losing 30lbs.
Getting promoted twice within 5 months and finding a new job at my promotion’s salary.
What was your biggest failure?
Calling my mom and being home more before she went septic (and the rest of the downfall) in June…not necessarily a failure, but a regret, which is similar. Otherwise…there haven’t been any huge noticeable failures, which makes me happy. If I’m looking for something, I’d end up back with the whole “wishing I vocalized my needs” more within friendship relationships. I wasn’t great at telling people when I needed them to be there for me (felt like if I had to tell them, didn’t count or was imposing).
I had a couple of failed attempted relationships that were upsetting. I also didn’t do a good job at keeping in touch with family/friends that are long-distance, and I utterly failed in my fitness goals.
What did you get really, really excited about?
My dude, my vacation, fitness and cooking.
My new job and my vacations.
What song will always remind you of 2013?
Stay with Me by Sam Smith, Say Something by A Great Big World, Happier by Pharrell.
TBD…maybe Lorde’s “Royals” just because it’s super overplayed? Or Paradiso Girls’ Patron Tequila song featuring Lil Jon and Eve.
Compared to this time last year, are you…
…happier or sadder? Sadder…I’m happier about some things, but the loss of my mom lends a dark tint to things. (Happier)
…just older or also wiser? Both. (Both)
…thinner or fatter? Thinner, by 30lbs :). (Fatter. I gained about 15-20 pounds this year, which sucks balls.)
…richer or poorer? Richer; car and credit cards paid off, more in savings and retirement, making more money. (Richer? I have more in savings and more of my car paid off, plus I’m making more. The potential is all there. (If only my student loans would just disappear.))
What do you wish you’d done more of? Connect with friends and family far away. (Sex.)
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014? The same as always – preppy casual/fashionably comfortable. (The same as always – preppy casual/fashionably comfortable.)
Whose behavior merited celebration? My boyfriend and best friend, who were absolutely amazing in the midst of the horror of losing my mom. (Two of my best friends, whom I meet every week for dinner and board games. My roommate, for always cheering me up. My old roommate, for finally dumping her boyfriend who treated her poorly.)
Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? My father, in not realizing that his actions have impacts. Some of my friends, in not making time or prioritizing friendships when I needed them most. (My sibling’s breakdown upset me quite a good deal earlier this year. I also was very put off by the kink community’s general shift towards shallow and narcissistic interactions.)
How will you be spending Christmas? In the midwest with my immediate family. (In the midwest with my immediate family.)
Did you fall in love in 2014? Yes. (Nope. I was definitely infatuated a few times, but not love.)
How many one night stands? 0. (There was one guy I gave head to at Winter Fire that I never met up with again, so I guess that counts? We didn’t have sex, though, so not sure. Otherwise, I only fooled around with folks I was seeing or have ongoing friendships with.)
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? My mom not dying? Taking control of my fitness earlier in the year, maybe. (…That’s hard. I don’t think any one thing would have done it. I guess finding someone to get more serious with, physically and romantically?)
How will you be spending New Years? With my boyfriend and likely with some friends at a house party. (With friends, playing games, doing karaoke, and drinking.)
Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? No. Hate is a strong word. (No. Hate is a strong word.)
What was the best book you read? The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman. (The Happiness Project by Gretchin Rubin.)
What was your greatest musical discovery? I don’t really know of one. (Spotify :).)
What did you get and not want? A lot of candy from various people. (Some kitchen utensils? Some gross OkC and Fetlife messages.)
What did you want and not get? I can’t think of anything. (I wanted flowers from someone and I wanted a flogger, and I didn’t get those.)
What did you want and get? Close friends at my new job, boyfriend, various material goods. (Too many things to count. Furnishings, cookware, clothing, books. A new job. A close friend at work. Renewed friendships with my old roommates. More routines.)
What was your favorite film this year? Guardians of the Galaxy, Hunger Games, and I can’t remember seeing that many others. As for old movies, Pitch Perfect and Frozen. (Frozen.)
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? Turned 26, I went to dinner with a good group of friends downtown, and then went to a bar and went dancing. (I turned 25, and I went out to Tapas dinner with some friends then went dancing at some bars I’d never been to.)
What kept you sane? While I had her in my life, my mom. The rest of the time, my boyfriend, my roommates, my closest friends, and focusing on fitness. (My friends, most especially my roommates and their crazy antics, my work friend, and my weekly game nights with my two close friends.)
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? No one? I don’t dwell on celebrities much. (No one? I don’t dwell on celebrities much.)
Whom did you miss? My family, most of all my mom. (My close friends in WI/OH/IN.)
Who was the best new person you met? My boyfriend, two new friends at work, and the couple that hosts my book club. (That’s really difficult. Maybe my work friend, who I’d met but didn’t spend any time with or talk to until this year. That, or a woman who hosts a kinky game group.)
What political issue stirred you the most? I’ve been really removed from politics this year…couldn’t tell you. (Striking down DOMA and Edward Snowden.)
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014. Just because you have to ask for something, doesn’t mean the something isn’t worth having or will fulfill you any less. Money isn’t as important as time. Don’t underestimate the place people have in your life. (Learn to say no and slow down. It’s ok to trust others with your feelings. I have the power to make men nervous.)
Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. I have absolutely no fucking idea. (I have absolutely no fucking idea. TBD.)