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I did a yearly review last year that I found at All and Sundry and even though Linda has decided not to do it this year, I wanted to do the survey again this year because I’m lazy and it makes it so easy to compare to last year. In the past I’ve pulled up my favorite posts from the year and shared them, but it feels sort of self-promotion-y and honestly, I’m not all that proud of the writing I’ve done this year. This list feels like a better way to encase this year and to see how thing have changed these past 366 days.
1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
I gave birth. I promise this won’t be the answer to every question, but that was the big one. I also graduated for the last time (even though I didn’t get to walk) and started my first job in my chosen field.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Well, upon looking back, it turns out my resolution last year was to worry less, so, no, I think we can all safely agree that I did not keep that resolution. In my defense (as if someone besides me even cares), I did try and I did manage a lot of my worries better than I have before. But when it comes to the safety of my child, my worrying was nothing short of completely out of control. I’ve been in therapy for a few months now and we have made some progress.
My resolutions for this year are to get rid of the word should, both out loud and mentally. I’m tired of fighting against someone else’s idea of what is right instead of what is actually right for us. So this year is about doing what is right for us, unapologetically, 100% of the time.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My big sister. Also my uterus.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No. I am unbelievably lucky to have all my loved ones alive and well.
5. What countries did you visit?
Just the United States. We did travel to Arizona in September and San Diego in November, but that was the extent of our travels this past year. We have a few exciting (domestic) trips coming up in 2013.
6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
Financial security. We are doing fine, but we are also beginning to pay off some sizable debts (debts that we got into knowingly, so please don’t mistake this for feeling like a victim, it just sucks), both to our schools and to our family and it would be nice to feel like we had a little breathing room in covering costs and paying down debts. I don’t expect 2013 will be the year we get that, but we dare to dream.
I just looked back at last years and holy crap I wrote the same thing. Well then.
7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 10th, our last day as a family of two, my last day as a grad student.
May 11th, the day we became parents, the day I graduated and our whole world changed.
August 27th, my first day of work.
October 25th, the day my niece joined our family.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Graduating and passing my board exams. Those were 3 of the hardest years of my life and I finished them, got my diploma and passed my board exam on the first try, after studying with a newborn. I’d say also going back to work and leaving my child, which was probably also the hardest achievement of the year.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Breastfeeding. As much as I have tried to let this one go, it will always nag at me. I know it seems silly, but something so tied to my role as a woman and mother isn’t so easy to just let go, even if it wasn’t really my fault.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope! You have no idea how crazy that is, after having (or perhaps letting) my life be completely intertwined with my health, this was the first year in a long time that I’ve been healthy. I didn’t see a neurologist the entire year, nor a neurosurgeon. I was not on any medications except over the counter ones. My child has been a bit of a health train wreck the last month, but he’s getting through.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Honestly, we were given so much from people this year that we didn’t buy all that much ourselves. If I had to pin down one thing I’d say my breast pump, which is both boring and a little awkward, but it allowed me to continue providing my child with the nutrition I wanted, despite our breastfeeding woes. I’m done talking about my boobs now, I promise.
12. Where did most of your money go?
Diapers, rent, food (this was the year of eating), baby clothes, baby toys, food. No major purchases this year per se, just making payments on the things we already have (car, rent, credit cards, student loans).
13. What did you get really excited about?
Passing my boards, getting a job, getting a second job, the baby napping his own room (as of this week!), really adorable diapers (judge me, I’m cool with it), how incredible this child is and all the really unbelievably cool things he does. What? backwards crawling is cool, I defy you to prove otherwise.
14. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Some Nights by fun.
15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? Happier. Embarrassingly happy.
– thinner or fatter? Fatter. I weigh one whole pound less than I did the day we came home from the hospital.
– richer or poorer? Richer, though using the word rich here makes me laugh.
16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Exercise, sleeping, reading.
17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
18. How did you spend Chanukah/Christmas?
We celebrated the first night of Chanukah with my in-laws, and lit the candles at home and opened gifts each night by ourselves. Christmas was with my family, in my hometown. And truly, it was one of the best Christmases I can remember.
19. What was your favorite TV program?
Modern Family, New Girl, Criminal Minds
20. What were your favorite books of the year?
I am embarrassed to admit that I read zero books this year, well, that’s not true. I’ve read Goodnight Moon and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom many times, but adult books, none. Honestly, every time I sat down to read, I felt like I should’ve been doing a hundred other things and so I did them. I have loaded the Hunger Games onto my Kindle and will be starting that during Eli’s afternoon nap today.
21. What was your favorite music from this year?
I am particularly obsessed with fun. right now, but as usual, I listen to a lot of the Glee soundtrack, even though the show has jumped about 8 sharks already.
22. What were your favorite films of the year?
The Avengers (which we saw on my due date!), Pitch Perfect, The 5 Year Engagement (they are my favorites because they are pretty much the only movies I saw this year.)
23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 29 and I did absolutely nothing (well fine, I went to Babies R Us and Five Guys). I was offered the chance to go to San Diego to hang out with some of my husband’s friends, but I was 8 days postpartum, an emotional wreck, and had almost no bladder control (yay more TMI), so I stayed in my apartment and wallowed a bit.
24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
The easiest answer is to say worrying less, which I also said last year. But the truth of it is, I cannot imagine this year being immeasurably more satisfying. I wish breastfeeding would’ve worked. I wish I’d have stayed awake fewer nights worrying about something happening to my child. I wish Eli hadn’t been so sick these past few weeks. But none of those things would’ve made this year immeasurably more satisfying, hell, not even measurably so. This year was incredible and satisfying in just about every way.
25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Lazy. Until the baby was born, I was wearing fairly cute maternity wear, because when you’re pregnant, it’s cool to have shirts that are snug. Since the baby has been born I’ve been wearing any and everything that is unsnug. I have some feelings about my postpartum body and wardrobe, but now is not the time to go through them. Safe to say, there is room for improvement on both. And a handful of gift cards that will be used to address at least one part of that situation.
26. What kept you sane?
My sister, my husband (though he also enjoys making me insane, so), the internet
27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
I learned this year how incredibly fortunate I am. I have lived as a victim for a long time. A victim of my brain stuff, a victim of pain, a victim of anxiety. And in that victim mode I couldn’t see the things before me that were so incredible, that many people would’ve killed to have. I couldn’t see that the bad things were so insignificant compared to all the great that surrounded me. It doesn’t mean I don’t ever get to feel frustrated or disappointed or complain, but it does mean I pause when I start to get into that mode and work to get out of it faster. My life lesson was to stop focusing on the bad and appreciate the tremendous amount of good.
A lot of you have expressed a desire for 2012 to end, as evidence by the high number of “good riddances” I see on various social media sites. And as much as I understand those sentiments since that was me in 2009 and 2010, and to an extent in 2011, this has been, hands down, the best year of my life. This year I became a mother. I became an aunt again. I became myself again. I feel better than I have in years. I am struggling with anxiety, but I am truly, genuinely happy very much of the time. Though I am looking forward to 2013, I am sad to part with 2012 because it was so, so good to me. I’m genuinely sorry for all my friends who have struggled this year and I hope that 2013 is what you are hoping it to be and more.
Happy New Year to you and yours.