2008 year in review

At the end of every year, Kelsey fills out a lengthy survey to take stock of things.  This year, I’m following suit.  Happy New Year, y’all!

*what did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?:*

Followed a pattern to sew something.  Spent nearly a solid year walking or bicycling to work.  Joined Twitter.  Attended the Church Hill Irish FestivalUpkept a garden for an entire year, all by my lonesome.  Drove through Nevada for a sec.  Threw the first annual Tess’ birthday cemetery picnic.  Set up shop.  Attended the Richmond Christmas parade.  Learned how to play the dreidel game. Looked through Brides magazine.

*did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?:*

I don’t really make resolutions, but I have a general mantra I’m always trying to get better at: more love, more kindness.  I’ve had my ups and downs with that one this year, and it’ll remain my focus for 2009.  I can’t imagine that I’ll ever have mastered it enough to focus on something else.  In other news, while nobody can completely master the “keep calm and carry on” mantra, it’s helped me out immensely and I think I’ve done a good job with it.

*did anyone close to you give birth?:*

Yes.  🙂  I have a couple of new friends named Keaton, Millie, and Jackson.

*did anyone close to you die?:*

No.

*what places did you visit?:*

Mostly various presidents’ homes.  Also California, Assateague, Va Beach, and Blacksburg.

*what would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?:*

A kittycat.  More books.  More free time.

*what date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory?:*

October 13.  That was the day we officially got engaged.

*what was your biggest achievement of the year?:*

Does getting engaged count?  Also, updating my blog more often, serving others via SynerGeo and Loaves & Fishes, helping Dan get through the divorce, getting out of credit card debt, getting away from MG, and finally starting Always Midnight.

*what was your biggest failure?:*

Still not being able to sew articles of clothing from scratch (hoping to change this with a new dress pattern).  Every time I was too tired to continue partying into the wee hours.  Any time my carelessness in speech hurt Dan’s feelings.  Any time I wasted on, as Morrissey would say, “people who don’t care if I live or die.”  Not doing enough for the homeless crew that chills in the park behind my house.

*did you suffer illness or injury?:*

Nothing major.

*what was the best thing you bought?:*

The kitty washroom!

*whose behavior merited celebration?:*

Almost everyone I know!  But in particular: Dan, Kenny, Brandi, Michael Otley, and Tracy.  Some people have just particularly inspired me this year with their hospitality, great parties, always-available ears, and their strength.

*whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?:*

Nobody’s behavior makes me appalled and depressed, but I know of a wretched self-loather or two whose behavior (hatefulness, jealousy, ability to alienate those around them by being crude at all times, etc.) frequently makes themselves appalled and depressed.

*where did most of your money go?:*

Rent, food, bills, paying off credit card debt, paying off school loans.

*what did you get really, really, really excited about?:*

Fun Size, crafting, road trips, the future.

*what song[s] will always remind you of 2008?*

“Sowing Season” by Brand New, and definitely “Fish Heads” by Barnes and Barnes.

*compared to this time last year, are you:*

i. happier or sadder? Happier, if that’s possible!
ii. thinner or fatter? Slightly thinner.
iii. richer or poorer? Less indebted.

*what do you wish you’d done more of: *

Crafting, road-tripping, eating seafood, going on long walks.

*what do you wish you’d done less of?:*

Wasting time on teh internets.

*how will you be spending the holidays?:*

I spent it hanging out with family in the southside.

*how will you be spending new years?:*

GWAR!  And Taryn’s party.

*did you fall in love in 2008?:*

More and more all the time.

*how many one night stands?:*

Zero.

*what was your favorite TV program?:*

Metalocalypse.

*do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?:*

No.

*do you like anyone now that you hated this time last year?:*

No.

*what was the best book you read?:*

American Sphinx and New Moon.

*what was your greatest musical discovery?:*

Scopitones.

*what did you want and get?:*

Complete happiness, and a diamond ring.

*what did you want and not get?:*

Nothing of consequence.

*what was your favorite film of this year?:*

The Dark Knight.

*what did you do on your birthday?: *

On my actual birthday I had dinner at my parents’ house, but to really celebrate my birthday I had an amazing cemetery picnic.

*what one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?:*

I wouldn’t change much about it.  I can’t think of anything in particular that would’ve made it much better!

*how would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?:*

Darkly feminine.

*what kept you sane?:*

and


*which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?:*


*what political issue stirred you the most?:*

No taxation without representation?  The stamp act? 

*who did you miss?:*

Noel, Daniel Lawson, Daron + Jenny, Jaime, Nicole.  Having a cat around the house.

*who was the best new person you met?:*

There are so many!  But if I had to pick one right now it’d be Jess Tyree.

*tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.*

  • Sanity is worth more than a paycheck.  I hope to never trade my richness of life and general well-being for the security of a “good job” ever again.
  • To eliminate leftover traces of drama in your life, just cut ties with the people who consistently stir up the drama and aren’t satisfied unless some conflict is swirling around them.  Duh!  Well this one really isn’t 2008, but it was reinforced greatly this year with much success.  I can honestly say that there isn’t one person close to me who elicits a sigh and a cringe because of his or her frequent temper tantrums or outpourings of doom.
  • Usually I live by the rule that enduring a momentary annoyance in silence is better than getting all complainy, looking ungraceful, and ruining your own day.  I still stand by that principle, in most situations.  But with housemates or life partners, I say speak up!  I find that I internalize complaints and store them up in my head if I don’t air them to those with whom I’m in close quarters.  Historically, I’ve built up these lists of grievances in relationships but instead of working the stuff out with the guy, I would just let the list fester and burn and try to be a sweet little girlfriend and not mention all that stuff while I slowly go insane.  From the beginning of my current relationship, I decided to try something different: the total honesty tactic.  It’s been awkward for me since I hate to bring up “the small stuff.”  It’s pretty meaningless, and it puts me at a risk of seeming like I’m nagging.  But I’ve found that since I mention things that bother me to Dan whenever they come up, we can deal with each little miniscule issue as it arises instead of me bottling them up and having some internal list of 97 times when he did this or that thing (not such a miniscule issue anymore).  So in a nutshell, I make myself go “hey can you please pick this piece of trash up” and it’s no biggie, instead of later me having to say “OMG you’ve NEVER ever picked up a piece of trash in the past 10 years” or whatever.  This really works.

*quote a song lyric that sums up your year:*

This doesn’t really sum up this year, but I always come back to these lyrics because they’ve been poignant and relevant in my life, and I think others would do well to consider them too.

“If I don’t let myself be happy now then when?”
If not now, when?

*other memorable moments of 2008 include…*

There’s no way I could list ’em all.  Thank goodness I have this blog, so you can just look back through old posts if you want.  But if I had to pick I’d say the best moment of this year was getting engaged to Dan.  ❤

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