Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2013 - Year in Review

I lifted this list shamelessly from Hannah a couple of years ago and it's always fun to fill in. As she pointed out, it's targeted at younger folk than us (what isn't these days other than denture cream and incontinence products?), but whatever.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you've never done before? I watched my son hit two home runs in the Little League World Series. I still can't quite believe that happened even while I'm typing it. I also backed full steam behind into a sign and cracked off half my bumper - I've never actually been in a car accident, so I guess for a first that was a lucky one, and I felt like a humongous jackass but the world didn't end. I watched a full season of a show with my son - it was a borderline-inappropriate-for-his-age show about the apocalypse and zombies, but still, it was a fairly moving experience. I also drove a vanful of gigantic volleyball players around the city on a regular basis.

2. Did you keep your resolutions for 2013 and will you make more for next year? I don't make resolutions, not for New Year's anyway. Living with anxiety and being on the self-sabotaging side, it just feels like setting myself up for failure. I have the same resolution I always do: try to be more healthy, more productive, plan meals, get exercise, laugh like an idiot with my family and be a kind, gracious, generous and loving presence in the world. With a touch of snark so people still recognize me.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? After years of baby-drought as my immediate cohort and I watched our children grow and our eggs shrivel, there are babies bustin' out all over. My friend Susanne didn't quite pop in 2013 but she's due any day, and she lives much closer to us now, yay! and Cynthia had Rose, who graces us with her presence on a fairly regular basis, which is cool because her presence ROCKS.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No, but Matt's Grandpa is dying. We visited on the 28th, and I sat beside him and held his hand, and when he muttered "rub my head, would ya" I did. He was wrapped up and small and looked like he could dissolve into sparkling molecules and float out the window. Of course it doesn't happen like that, does it? He's had a long, rich life full of love and people and magnificent experience, but we love him, and we are sad. He kept saying "oh, I have to go", and as much as we want him to stay, we know that it's true.

5. What countries did you visit? None. Oh, duh, the US for the LLWS. And I went to Toronto and Barrie. What people did I visit would be a better question: Zarah, her kids Alex and Sophie, Nicole and Hannah and everybody else at Blissdom Canada, Matt's dad and his brother Jeremy, Matt's other brother Eric and his wife Sarah and their kids Timothy and Fen in Edmonton at Easter, Matt's aunt Kate and Uncle Fraser. Plus I'm leaving for the Dominican tomorrow with my sister and her family and my mom and dad. I'm a horrible traveler, but a great visit-er.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013? Maybe the ability to remember that it's 2014 before September? I don't feel like I lacked for much in 2013. A part-time job would be good, but I'm probably a year off from that yet. The sleep thing isn't solved yet, but whatever, can't have everything.

7. What date(s) from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? The day Eve and I were visiting Alison and her girls and watching the Canadian Little League Major finals in Glace Bay on the computer, the game that B.C. was supposed to win, and we won instead. The days Angus played baseball in front of thousands of cheering fans and then got mobbed by autograph seekers, and then we watched him get interviewed on tv. Also, the day I smoked pot in a hot tub was pretty cool.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? This wasn't a huge achievement year for me. In the "things normal people would just consider normal" category, my husband says he was pleasantly surprised and admiring of the fact that I handled all the baseball craziness this summer without going insane and dragging the rest of my family along with me. I also got 88% on a Basic Computing exam that I wrote at Algonquin, even though it took me 20 minutes to locate the first part of it online and THEN I realized that the second part was open book, which I hadn't known and so was without the book. AND I did it without disturbing the other exam-takers with either loud sobbing or hysterical giggling. Also, I was just thinking that this year we got decorated for Christmas early in December, I broke out my Christmas music nice and early and got to listen to it a lot, I did as many Christmas cards as I felt like and then stopped without undue guilt, and presents were all bought and wrapped well before December 23rd. I also had fun baking and ended up with just enough stuff. It was a really nice, low-key, low-stress Christmas.

9. What was your biggest failure? Getting myself on a regular sleeping schedule and not succumbing to the temptation to read until 4 a.m. on a regular basis. I started Weight Watchers last January and got into a good routine of meal-preparation, not snacking mindlessly and exercising. I've kept up the exercising, the the meal-prep and not eating crap went out the window around July and hasn't fully come back yet. I lost ten pounds when I probably should have lost at least twenty, and a couple of them have come back. I won't be rocking a new bikini in the Dominican. I will be roasting many vegetables and making meal plans again when we get back. And NOW I've become a big fat stupid cliché by making WEIGHT LOSS one of my biggest FAILURES of the year. I should have stuck to the first one, which could be one of those fake complaints about yourself, like when they ask you your worst quality on a job application and you say "I just CAN'T STOP WORKING, I'm TOO responsible!" I read all night because I love knowledge to an unhealthy degree! This extra weight on my ass is just the weight of existential pondering! Okay, I'll stop.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? I got the flu just after our fabulous family staycation downtown at a hotel during Winterlude. I had gotten the flu shot, but either it was a different strain, or it would have been worse without the shot, in which case I think I'd be dead. I did get a fairly amusing blog post out of it. Other than that, my feet, my back and my knee all played up occasionally, but nothing too severe.

11. What was the best thing you bought? A treadmill. We kept putting it off because of the expense and the space concerns. Then I said to my husband that I thought that was kind of stupid - if we'd had a heart attack and the doctor told us we absolutely HAD to get one, we would. I walk and use the gym like crazy in the fall and spring, but in the winter I don't have footwear that doesn't murder my feet or the balance to walk outside and if I get depressed I don't go to the gym. So we sucked up the expense - the end-of-summer sales at Canadian Tire were really good, fortunately - and once we put our minds to it it wasn't even hard to find a good space in the laundry room. I use it three or four times a week and I love it. Angus runs on it every now and then and Eve walks on it sometimes - when she's in the middle of a vacation Doctor Who-a-thon I often make her walk for one episode. I'm SO glad we did it.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration? I talk about Eve a lot on this blog, so I hope I get a pass for stuffing this post full of the Little League World Series. Even before they went, I was driving Angus out to visit his teammate Jack and we were talking about how everyone on the team, even when they were being celebrated and interviewed and applauded, was just a really nice kid. When we went to someone's cottage for the afternoon or out for dinner after a game, they've always been polite and considerate. The coach was also amazing - self-deprecating, fair, and more occupied with loving the game than winning. I was so proud of all of them. And just to be fair, Eve was an awesome team little sister. Everyone still talks about her comment after the loss to Chinese Taipei: "just remember - it could have been B.C. here losing that game instead of you."

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? Rob Ford springs immediately to mind. Also, The Governor was a complete asshole.

14. Where did most of your money go? To Williamsport, birthplace of Little League baseball. And Loblaws. And the Toyota Collision Centre.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Meeting and squishing Nicole and Hannah in person, then having a blast making fun of Eric Alper, hoovering up snack mix, gossiping in the hot tub and getting silly drunk before partying in our pjs. (I'm not just putting this above Little League World Series stuff to suck up to them, either. 'Excited' isn't really the right word. My status on Facebook after they won the game that meant they were going to Williamsport was: Holy fuck. They won.)

16. What songs will always remind you of 2013? None, because I never remember what year a song came out, or what Olympics anyone won anything in, or what year my kids were born, or how to empty the sink trap in my bathroom (oh wait, I've wandered off-topic). Plus, Hannah picked Inner Ninja, so now the only song I can think of in answer to any question involving a song is Inner Ninja.

17. Compared to this time last year you are: Remarkably unfrazzled considering I'm getting up at five (hate getting up early) to go to the airport (hate airports) to check my luggage (always feel like I should just bid the luggage a fond farewell) and then fly (hate flying) to the Dominican (never been, but I probably won't hate it after the first miserable post-travel-trauma day). Christmas and my anxiety meds have been good to me this year, it seems. (Please don't let my luggage get lost).

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? I could say exercising, or writing, or being awake, but really, that's a mug's game, isn't it? I'm wary of wishing to change the past, and you should be too - has A Sound of Thunder taught us NOTHING, people?

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Well, being anxious, but who knows, maybe if I was calmer it would have caused a tornado in Texas or something.

20. How will you be spending Christmas? It was a long, fairly quiet, luxurious stretch of days in this house. My sister and her crew usually come, but since we're going away together so early in January they didn't. A couple of times I wished we had more company, but we hung out with my parents and had our Christmas party with a bunch of friends, and saw Matt's aunt and uncle and grandparents in Brockville, and did a lot of loafing and movie-watching and reading too, which everybody really seemed to need, and it was wonderful. And now we have a warm week with family before heading back to reality. Also, Eve's been taking care of next door's hamster, who is named Stewie after the evil baby in The Family Guy. So, you know, every Christmas is pretty much the best Christmas ever, but really - BEST. CHRISTMAS. EVER.

21. Did you fall in love in 2013? No. Wait, when did I get my new fridge? No.

22. How many one-night stands? We're not counting the fridge? Then none.

23. What was your favourite tv program? The Walking Dead. I totally never watch The Vampire Diaries, so that's definitely not a close second.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you don't hate last year? I try really hard not to hate, and my life is blessedly free of things like land theft and genocide so far, so I don't really have cause to.

HA ha, listen to me trying to sound all evolved and Zen. I hate people ALL THE TIME. The asshole driving too slowly in front of me. The parents who don't talk to me at the school barbecue. The dumbasses who run my internet and take sinister delight in making my wireless signal crap out just when I need it most. My husband when he says "is there room in the freezer up here for this, or do I have to put it downstairs" when I'm all the way across the room and he's STANDING BESIDE THE FUCKING FREEZER. I'm a big prickly hate-ball. But not right now.

25. What was the best book you read? You'll have to wait until next week for that. I'll be telling you while fabulously tanned. Feel free to hate me.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? That a bowl and a spoon to bang on it made Rose happy for hours.

27. What did you want and get? A treadmill. A party on my birthday. Angus saying "love you" before bed BEFORE I said it to him. Lots of books. Many hugs. A cheeseburger.

28. What was your favourite film of this year? That would require remembering all the films I saw this year. I need a Goodreads site for films. Is there one? I liked The Life of Pi much more than I thought I would. I just looked at a "50 top movies of 2013" list and I've seen two of them - maybe that's why I'm having trouble. Les Mis was in there, and I loved that, but I'm pretty sure I saw it in 2012, so I feel like it's a cheat, but I'll go with it.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I was 43, and we had a party here and there was music and talking and laughing and baby barf and pear margaritas and impromptu ice cream making and my whorehouse glass. It was marvellous.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Look, I keep telling you I don't think it's useful to wish..... oh fuck it. Being able to fall asleep and wake up without it being a whole big thing. Without feeling like waking up is like dying or being born every single day. That would be good.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013? Dunno. Flowy. And I always wear jewelry now, which is funny. I never used to at all, and now if I leave the house without a necklace and a bracelet on, I feel momentary panic when I realize it. I forgot to wear my good-luck swirly necklace to one of Angus's games in Casselman and I was worried that would jinx them.

Ha.

32. What kept you sane? My friends, in the computer and around the corner. Drugs. My doctor. My husband. My kids (when they weren't driving me the other way).

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Idris Elba. See Hannah's post for further reference.

34. Which political issue stirred you the most? Whichever was happening at the moment. I have a short memory.

35. Who did you miss? Nicole and Hannah after I met them in person and they were infuriatingly awesome. Dammit.

36. Who was the best new person you met? Nicole and Hannah for meeting for real, but the bestest and newest? Rose, duh.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013? I don't know. Maybe that sometimes you have to let your kids fail big and you can't make it any better for them. They have to find their own way through it. (See: Little League World Series, Canada vs. Panama. Ouch. Right after the game, I asked him if he wanted to punch me, hoping to lighten things up. It didn't work. We told him to go ahead and cry and take the time he needed. The next day I texted him that if he wasn't the kind of person who didn't hate losing, he wouldn't be here. I don't relate to that personally, but if I'm going to be his mother I have to understand it).

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year? I hear every word that you say / Taking it in like an old fairy tale/ Though for better or worse and the promise of verse/ you make it seem real, like it's all here to stay/ But see how the wind it blows/ All the birds scatter and I'm out here alone/ You say I know your favourite song and I'll sing you back home.

Love to all. Four-star books next week!


8 comments:

Nicole said...

Um, I think *I* was the one hoovering up snack mix. You politely had some in a normal manner.

LLWS! I got your card and showed the photo of Angus to the boys and they were sufficiently awed. What an amazing experience for all involved!

Shan said...

Sounds like a pretty great year!

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

The Governor was really a dick. Maybe worse than Rob Ford.

Hannah said...

Reading this made me miss you even mooooore, because it was like being in the same room and listening to you talk except it wasn't because no hugs and no snack mix.

xoxo

Steph Lovelady said...

be a kind, gracious, generous and loving presence in the world. With a touch of snark so people still recognize me.>>

I think you've got that one down.

Here's hoping 2014 is the year you start sleeping better.

Pam said...

A good year in review post, Allison. 2013 wasn't my stellar year but that makes it more likely that 2014 will suck less. Miss you. Hope you are having great travels.

Kim said...

Oh, man, you just knocked me out with the bit about Matt's grandfather. Broke my heart.

Also, I was just flipping through my calendar for last year and we saw Les Mis on January 3. So yep! Best of the year honors are completely non-fudged. (Mmm, fudge.)

Congratulations on the treadmill work, and I am wishing you the best holiday--safe travels and lots of drinks. As for sleep, well... that bitch is just a jerk and she should treat you better.

Ms. G said...

*LOVE* that's all...except, Oh Yeah, before she left my youngest daughter said her only regret about going was she would miss the season finale of The Walking Dead : )