1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before? I started to say “Nothing”, and that’s stupid. I got laid off. I started my own company. I cofounded a web show. I volunteered with a roller derby team. I lifted a weighted barbell over my head. I ran an 11:00 mile. I helped develop a grassroots community initiative. I pre-ordered a book. I did a boudoir photo shoot. I worked on two high-dollar proposals, back-to-back. I came off of Lexapro. I learned about food and nutrition and started making conscious, well-thought-out choices about what I feed myself and my family. It was a busy year.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Y’all are probably sick of hearing about last year’s resolutions and this year’s resolutions. However, I’ll link to them!
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? It was a busy year for babies! Lots of my internet ladies gave birth this year. Lots of chubby baby cheeks for me to drool over.
4. Did anyone close to you die? My MaMa, the matriarch of my extended family, passed away in early April of this year. I want to say that I miss her, because obviously I do, but she drops so many not-so-subtle hints that she’s around that it’s impossible to feel left behind.
5. What countries did you visit? TUSCALOOSA.
6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010? I said “More courage” in 2009 and I’ll be damned if I didn’t personify that in 2010. In 2011, I would like grace. I feel like I scraped by this year, sometimes falling into caverns of sadness so deep that I feared I wouldn’t get back out. This next year, I would like to keep my wits about me and be more graceful.
7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? March was a big month for me, career-wise. I made a jump that would change things. June ended that jump, so that was earth-shattering. The summer meant lots of hard, physical labor and mental anxiety. By September, I had a light at the end of the tunnel. By November, I had found my place and was glad to be there. No particular one date, but lots of seasons.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? There’s a saying you hear around here a lot: “You can’t find the wheat for the chaff.” It means you are kept from the good by all of the superfluous. This year, although it’s not something I can put a pin in, I cleaned out a lot of chaff. I whittled my productive measures down to the bare minimum, which is where I seem to be operating now. Work – family. That’s it. Now I can start building on that with the knowledge that the choice is mine and I have control of it.
9. What was your biggest failure? You know what’s awesome? What’s awesome is that I had a lot of little failures this year. Too many to count, honestly. But when I look back on it, I don’t see the failures. I see the attempts and the courage behind them. I would rather fail at something that scared me to death to try than never fail at anything because the fear won. One of my favorite quotes ever is “People think I’m failing / they never understand / these temporary setbacks / are part of what I planned.” – Jason Robert Brown
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? The day after I wrote about how our new food resolutions kept us healthier this year (like, Tuesday? of this week?), Bryan came down with the flu and is still suffering. Other than that, though, we all were mercifully healthy.
11. What was the best thing you bought? This is SO stupid and my mother is going to hate it, but .. my tattoo.
It’s on the back of my neck and this is probably a pretty crappy photo of it, but it hurt like a MOFO to get and I often forget it’s there until the random day that I wear my hair up at work and people look at me suddenly a little differently. Occassionally, they’ll ask about why I got a fleur-de-lis and I get to talk about New Orleans and my love for all things Louisiana and the warmth of the bayou will take me over and regardless of where I am, it’s a nice reminder that a little piece of lagniappe is always with me.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Jesus God, my husband. This year has been such a roller-coaster for our family, and he never once – even when I probably had it coming – was ever anything other than incredibly supportive of me. When we finally hit rock-bottom financially, as unemployment tends to do, it was never a pointing match. It was merely a “Well.. it is what it is and let’s fix it.” His patience was overwhelming.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? There was an incident in October that so completely gobsmacked me that I spent a week nauseous over it. And while I’ve kept it to myself and my husband (and, okay, Delle), it’s never far from my mind. Also, an uncle that I loved very much as a child was a complete asshole to me and my family at my grandmother’s funeral. Italians don’t forget, John.
14. Where did most of your money go? “Mortgage and daycare. Daycare is such a rapist.” – 2009. SURPRISE, 2010 WAS THE SAME! Although, this year, a lot of our money also went to taxes. Bitches.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? The boudoir shoot. And my Lord, what a fun night! I can’t remember a night that was THAT much fun. Lots of wine, lots of makeup and hairspray, a little nudity, and BFFs that I love dearly. It was a perfect night. Even if the pictures sucked.
16. What song will always remind you of 2009? “Defying Gravity” from Wicked. It’s been my power ballad for awhile now .. years, in fact .. but this year, god almighty, every single word meant something. From the separation of friends to the taking the leap to the realization that things aren’t what they seem.. it all was real.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter? (I’m stronger.)
c) richer or poorer?
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? “Reading.” – 2009 Yes. When we get some extra cash, maybe for Valentine’s Day or a belated Christmas gift or a Sarah-Just-Deserves-This present, I’m buying a Kindle or a Nook this year. I don’t always have time to go buy/borrow a book. I always have time to download. And I miss reading.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Gah. I stared at this one a long time. About halfway through 2010 I stopped biting my tongue and doing things because they were expected of me and started doing things because I wanted to or because the opportunity arose. But I can’t think of much I wish I’d done less of. I wish I’d done less eating out. There. That’s true.
20. How did you spend Christmas? Um, honestly? I spent Christmas resenting our custody situation. Like, big time. Like, it caused a horrible blow up on Christmas night. I spent Christmas according to another household’s calendar, and it will be the last time that happens.
21. Did you fall in love in 2010? blah blah blah.
22. What was your favorite TV program? We live by the TiVo, but the two shows that we inevitably watched live were The Walking Dead and Hoarders. I’m sure this makes us horrible people, but there you go. Also, Modern Family, which is still the best comedy on tv right now.
23. This question has been deleted because it’s SOOO teenage emo Xanga shit.
24. What was the best book you read? The Hunger Games series consumed my life from May until August, no lie. I loved them. Jack loves them. It’s been the first series we have all devoured and been able to discuss as a family. I LOVE THAT.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery? I’m only, say, a million years late on this, but this year’s soundtrack has been mainly composed of Kanye West, Florence + the Machine, and the Glee recordings.
26. What did you want and get? I upgraded my phone, I paid off two credit cards, we now have a sofa with a pullout bed so Bryan and I don’t have to sleep on the bunk beds anymore when his parents visit.
27. What did you want and not get? Read: ANYTHING ON MY CHRISTMAS LIST.
28. What was your favorite film of this year? OHMYGOD, Machete, hands down. I have this really sick love of grindhouse films, and that one just rocked my socks off. Also, it may have been the only movie we saw in the theatres.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? For my 30th birthday, my in-laws came into town to stay with us. I know, right? Isn’t that how YOU’D want to spend YOUR 30th birthday? (We did go see Machete, though.)
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? “A 25th hour in the day.” – 2008. “Ditto.” – 2009. “Hells yes, gimme some of that.” – 2010
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010? Um. Well. Trendy professional? Love Them Layers? Engineer a Go-Go?
32. What kept you sane? Me. I did. Dude, I want a fucking TROPHY for this year.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? This is such a weird question. Um, I think Elizabeth Edwards, rest her soul, had a year that was graceful beyond comparison. I wish to have a mere iota of her grace in the coming year. Also, any of the Real Housewives. (I KNOW. I AM SUCH AN ENIGMA.)
34. What political issue stirred you the most? The election this year was not so good for Alabamians. From a gubernatorial candidate who ran on the platform of “We only speak english in Alabama” to a political figure who switched parties after elected, I pretty much hated all elected officials, all year long. Except for our mayor, who is a pretty decent fellow with a wicked sense of humor.
35. Who did you miss? I miss my friends. Y’all, in all honesty, I am having the WORST depression about not having time to see my friends right now. It is KILLING me. I have no one outside of my husband, and although he’s lovely, he DOES NOT DRINK or LIKE TO GOSSIP. I need some girl time, FOR REALS.
36. Who was the best new person you met? For a short part of this year, I was part of a professional networking group that met once a week. There was a lady in there that I arranged to have a one-to-one meeting with, which is supposed to be a sort of coaching/mentoring session. But she and I got to talking about everything and we just really clicked. We see each other occassionally in odd venues and it’s like we never separated. It’s bizarre, since I wouldn’t really call us friends, but she’s just one of those effortlessly awesome people with whom I connected. Also, she and I have an unnatural obsession with the salted caramel hot chocolates at Starbucks.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010. “I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned the hard way that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.” – Gilda Radner
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“If I didn’t believe in you
Then here’s where the travelogue ends.
If I didn’t believe in you
I couldn’t have stood before all of our friends
And said, ‘This is the life I choose-
This is the thing I can’t bear to lose.
Trip us or trap us, but we refuse to fall.’
That’s what I thought we agreed on, Cathy.
If I hadn’t believed in you
I wouldn’t have loved you at all.”
“If I Didn’t Believe in You”, The Last 5 Years