I love to do yearly reflections as well as new year resolutions. I consider it to be an important time to consider if I’m going where I want to go or living how I want to live. This year, I found the following questions on one of my favorite blogs, Rage Against the Minivan, who appears to have “stolen it” from another blogger who has taken it from another blogger, etc. so I too am using these questions for my yearly reflections.
1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
I went zip-lining at Irvine Regional Park. It gave me a taste for the activity but was a pretty “tame” zip line. I look forward to doing a higher and longer one in the future.
Here’s Big E, my daughter, doing the same line.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I kept some of my new year’s resolutions and not others. I was successful in my career goals and writing goals of finishing my first draft of my memoir. However, I wanted to blog more regularly and that just didn’t happen. I was also successful in connecting with friends regularly but I had wanted to have a “fun” night out every month and that happened irregularly. Health goals were hit and miss but I did gain understanding of what really works for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and what I need to do to be successful in that area. Now, I just need to create habits to ensure I’m moving toward health.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My brother, Kerby and his wife, Anna gave birth in April to my niece, Courtney, number four in their flock of girls.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, my mentor, Beth, died in June after a 22 year battle with cancer, almost 14 of those with it metastasized in her bones. Another friend, a graduate school roommate, also died and even though I hadn’t seen her for years, it was a significant loss because of who she was to me.
5. What countries or new places did you visit?
Although I did travel some this year, the only new place was June Lake, California.
6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
I would like return to better daily routines. I did a poor job of having a daily routines in 2013, which resulted in less productivity and fun because I wasn’t as effective as I needed to be for the fun and work balance.
7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 25th, the day I learned my friend, Amy’s brain cancer returned, this time Stage 4. June 13th, the day Beth died.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
With the assistance of my brother, Brian’s accountability, I finished the first draft of my memoir, though now the real work begins.
9. What was your biggest failure?
1) Purging and organizing my garage, I just never created time for it after Dennis, my husband, put up shelves. 2) Failing to live with a budget. We want to pay off my still large school loan in two years, which means living intentionally with our finances.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
My plantar fasciitis was painful for months, making running impossible until August.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Bar stools, reclaimed steel and wood. I’d refused to settle for anything less than what I loved so for two years we lived with just two.
12. Where did most of your money go?
13. What did you get really excited about?
Bird watching. I led a Backyard Challenge group for Big E’s girl scout troop in February, which was the trip I saw a Green heron for the first time.
Then everywhere we went, we looked for new birds. On a November trip to Sedona, AZ, we found three new ducks we’d never seen before.
Wood Duck American Wigeon
14. What song will always remind you of 2013?
Passion – 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) [feat. Matt Redman] It reminds me of God’s “Withness” as well as how each day is a true blessings, not something to take for granted.
15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? Mixed. I’m happier in my marriage than I’ve ever been but the realities of the cancer in my friend, Amy, makes my heart sad for the challenges she is facing every day.
– thinner or fatter? the same. Though I’m regrettably weaker from changing my workout to a less weight bearing routine. I hope to remedy this situation in the new year by trying out a few companies with previously purchased Groupons, but by April, I’ll need to find a workout partner because only my LA fitness membership is budgeted until I get that school loan paid off.
– richer or poorer? Richer but as stated above, commitment to paying off school debt hasn’t translated into feeling richer.
16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish I would’ve watched more movies in the theater, had more girls’ nights out, date nights with my hubby and had more fun with my kids
17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Driving and preparing 5th grade curriculum for homeschooling.
18. How did you spend Christmas?
With my family in Washington, enjoying the ice for skating and sliding but wished for more snow.
19. What was your favorite TV program?
I watch very little television but when I do…Parks and Recreation (though I’m only on season 2); guilty pleasure — Nashville
20. What were your favorite books of the year?
Most of the books I read were written in previous years but here are my favorites from both this year and previous ones: The Obituary Writer, The Yellow Birds, Cutting for Stone, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, and The Gift of Imperfection.
21. What was your favorite music from this year?
It was a huge group year for me, loved the new music from Imagine Dragons, One Republic, and The Civil Wars though my favorite single was Gary Allan’s Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain).
22. What was your favorite film of the year?
I loved both the Way, Way Back and Silver Lining Playbook. In the Way, Way Back, there was something incredibly refreshing to me about the resiliency of the 14 year old protagonist, Duncan.
23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
43, I went to see Silver Lining Playbook with Dennis before meeting our friends, Jud and Mandy at my favorite restaurant, Panda Inn.
24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Creating a more disciplined editing schedule so that I would’ve completed my second draft by the end of December; instead, I have about a month or two worth of work left.
25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Lots of tops with loose and flow-y with asymmetrical lines and leggings or skinny jeans. Also, if I didn’t live in Southern Cal, I’d live in sweaters so I found some fun “holey” sweaters that aren’t especially warm.
26. What kept you sane?
Regular walks, prayer, snuggles with my kids, and family dinners.
27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
Goodbyes at the end of one’s life are incredibly hard but so life giving for those you leave behind. Not only did my mentor’s life leave a legacy within me because of the time she spent with me speaking into my life, but her death taught me something about living well.