I read this yearly recap on All & Sundry’s blog, and thought I would do it myself as I reflect on the new year.
1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
I ate only raw foods for two weeks. And I actually liked it.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Oh boy. Here’s what I wrote last year:
Separating work time from family time – I mentioned this in another post, but finding the balance of working at home has not come easy for me. We have finally set up a situation where I have two days of in-home childcare. Our home has a mother-in-law suite in the backyard so we now have a babysitter who lives there in exchange for childcare. Previously we have rented this studio out, and it has been hard to lose that income because it paid for half our mortgage. But I’m thinking sanity is the priority right now, and this is really helping. So now I have a couple days a week devoted to working, and I’m trying to make sure I am NOT working on the other days, but also not getting sidetracked on my work days. This has not been an easy transition, because I have developed the terrible habit of working constantly, and as miserable as multi-tasking is, there is also some anxiety for me in stepping away from the computer for a few days at a time. But, it’s necessary.
Focusing on quality over quantity – this is related to above, but with the addition of some childcare I am trying to make sure that the time I am with the kids is focused on them, and the time I am away is focused on work. I think this is a win for all of us.
Getting out of the house – I could write a whole post on this one, but in a nutshell, taking for kids ANYWHERE is a challenge, and I am working on developing a thicker skin so that the potential side-glances of strangers who don’t like children in public spaces does not relegate me to a lifestyle of hiding out at home with my children.
Keeping our house stocked with healthy foods – This is related to above. I have anxiety taking the kids shopping, but I also have way too much work to do to use my limited childcare days on solo grocery runs. When I get alone time, the last thing I want to do is spend it listening to horrible muzak at the grocery store. The result is that I go way too long between grocery store runs, which means we run out of fresh foods and start eating packaged stuff out of the pantry. I want to make a commitment to getting out and keeping the house stocked with fruits and vegetables. I also want to get us on some kind of menu schedule – a task that has alluded me my entire adult life. It is time.
Going to bed on time – Again, explaining this would probably warrant a whole post but I find it very, very hard to go to bed at a reasonable time. I am tired and grouchy every day, and promise myself that TONIGHT I will get enough sleep. But then the kids go down and I have the blissful moments of solitude in a quiet home, and I get grabby about it. I become Gollum with his ring about my alone time. When I get it I gaze at it and call it “my precious”, and the consequence is that I am tired all day long from staying up until 2am.
Turning off the internet – This is related to above, because I am quite sure that if I lost my internet connection at 10pm, that I would not be up until 2am. I can spend hours reading up on current events, reading blogs, shopping online, cleaning out my inbox, etc. There is always more to do, and I get a burst of energy late at night to get things done. I am contemplating putting an application on my computer that turns off my internet at a certain time, and only giving the password to Mark.
Dealing with my emails – Is there a show about people who keep too many emails? Kind of like a Hoarders: Technology Edition? Because I need Jeff VonVonderen to come give me an intervention.
Maintaining my friendships – This has been a hard one to balance, and I am hoping to re-instate some playdates that allow me some adult interaction, and also be more intentional about calling friends and making plans and (see above) getting out of my house.
Getting outdoors and active – a year ago, I had just run a half-marathon. Then Kembe came home, and I completely stopped taking care of myself physically. I want to get back to that – not necessarily to the point of running a half-marathon, but I at least want to get outdoors, get to the beach, and break a sweat a few days a week.
FAIL!!! Fail on every level. Seriously. This is just depressing.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No . . . for the first time in a long time, none of my sisters or sister-in-law had a baby or adopted a child in the past year. In the past five years I gained 7 neices and nephews . . . but this was a quiet year.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
My friend Angela lost a long battle with cancer this year.
5. What countries did you visit?
None. A fact that really, really bothers me. Mark and I have been talking about travel a lot lately. We both love to travel and we are trying to figure out a way to budget some bigger trips as our kids get a bit older.
6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
More balance and more sleep.
7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I think our 15 year anniversary was a pretty big milestone. I am really glad this year was not marked by anything majorly catastrophic. Last year I hoped for a drama-free year and I’m happy to report it was.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Having my blog named on Babble’s Top 100 Mom Blogs list was pretty nice. There are many lists like this but Babble (which is Disney’s new parenting site) is the one I’ve always considered more credible because it’s chosen by Babble instead of by random internet votes. I was shocked to be at #17, among so many bloggers I have admired for so long (many of whom were my inspiration to start blogging a couple years ago). That felt like a nice achievement on the work front. I wish I could write potty-training Karis, here . . . but we’re still working on that.
9. What was your biggest failure?
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I’ve been really struggling with my allergies and asthma this year – to the point of being sick for most of October and November. I think allergy shots are in my future.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
I am pretty in love with my Vitamix blender.
12. Where did most of your money go?
Paying off our adoption debt.
13. What did you get really excited about?
Mark and I got to get away for weekend this year, just the two of us. That was pretty exciting. And I am always really excited to go to blogging events and connect with friends.
14. What song will always remind you of 2011?
My kids have been singing Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite” all year. Also, isn’t “Pumped Up Kicks” the official theme song of 2011?
15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? About the same, which is not great. I don’t do winter well. That’s another post.
– thinner or fatter? A few pounds heavier, despite going gluten and dairy free. My metabolism is not my friend.
– richer or poorer? Richer. Thank you, adoption tax credit.
16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish I’d spent more time at the beach. I only went a few times this year. I love going, and just fail to make the time for it.
17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
I wish I’d spent less time on my laptop, and less time worrying.
18. How did you spend Christmas?
We had a mellow Christmas at home this year.
19. What was your favorite TV program?
Mark and I got a little overly-invested in Breaking Bad this year. We watched all four seasons in the course of a few months. It was a show I simultaneously loved and loather. I wouldn’t recommend it. (OMG YOU HAVE TO SEE IT).
20. What were your favorite books of the year?
I read some really great books this year. Hunger Games deserves its own post – that series took over my life for a week last month. Pretty by my friend Jillian Lauren was fantastic. Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker is the book I always wanted to write but now don’t have to. I also loved Secret Daughter, Little Bee, Molokai, Room, and Cutting for Stone.
21. What was your favorite music from this year?
I am really digging The Black Keys, Adele, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes.
22. What were your favorite films of the year?
I think Crazy, Stupid Love is the only non-animated film I saw in the theater this year. It was okay.
23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 37 on New Year’s Eve. We went to dinner at my favorite Cuban joint.
24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I think that being more intentional with my friendships would have made my life more satisfying.
25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Hahaha. That question is cute.
26. What kept you sane?
Sarcasm. Blogging. Cuddling my kids. Time away from the kids. Friends.
27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
Gluten-free monkey bread is every bit as disappointing as it sounds.