New Year's Meme

I found this questionnaire on another blog, and think it is a good one for looking back, and looking ahead.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
I played video games for the first time - Guitar Hero with my daughter. A very silly new thing to do, but my daughter loves it when I play with her. I also started a public blog. With very little effort on my part to "market" the blog, it is starting to get quite a few hits.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't really make any, other than the usual vows to eat right, get more exercise, lose a little weight, etc. None of which were accomplished for 2008... I am pushing the "Reset" button for 2009.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
The coworker who comes closest to being a close friend had a baby girl in August, and another coworker had a baby boy in September.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No deaths this year. Thank goodness.

5. Did you visit anywhere exciting?
No trips this year other than family visits. Probably the closest to this would be the day we sailed to Kingston, Ontario, and spent six hours at at 25 degree angle.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Reestablish my vegetable garden, and renovate my flower gardens. I also dearly want more leisure time in general. Accomplishing that is up to me - I am good at spending too much time in the office.

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
February 21 stands out as the day I became very ill with an ovarian cyst, and needed unexpected major surgery. Election day. And December 9, when the last piece of work for my masters' degree program was emailed to my professor.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I completed the work for a Masters in Public Administration. I won't actually graduate until May 2009, however, because I didn't file a form on time.

9. What was your biggest mistake?
Spending too much time at my desk at work. If it was all productive, necessary time that would be one thing, but I am not always focused on what needs to be done, and end up working late as a result.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
My left ovary blew up to the size of a softball and had to be removed. No cancer, though! And one of my doctors was worried. I took a nasty fall off the front deck of our home, and have a permanent bruise on my shin as a result. Also, my MS is progressing, slowly but surely.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Siding on the house. What a huge boost that gave both my husband and me!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
To quote a friend, "Thank you, American Voters."

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The actions of our current President, George W. Bush, and his closest advisors.

14. Where did most of your money go in 2008?
Our biggest costs: siding the house, access to telecommunication services, and putting our daughter through college. As far as donations go, our largest donations were to political campaigns - not just national, but local and state races, and national, state, and local political committees.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The election. It kept my attention riveted for weeks. The Internet - I am such a junkie. Feeding that addiction, I got an iPhone in December. Now I know why some people call them crackphones.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
What I will remember most musically will be the program of songs our band performed in concert this year, over and over. And I'm not tired of them.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
Oh, this is a hard one. I think that I am happier, but I carry a strong streak of bittersweet in my soul.

ii. thinner or fatter?
A little fatter. I'm still wearing the same clothes, though.

iii. richer or poorer?
Richer at the moment. That will end shortly as second semester bills and tax payments hit. At least we have saved up the money we will need for those big ticket items.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Cooking real meals, taking walks, working in the gardens, sailing. Breathing more fresh air.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Staring at the computer screen.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Just the three of us at home, opening a few presents, eating lots of good food, watching My Neighbor Totoro on the TV.

21. Did you fall in love in '08?
I stayed in love.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I watched very little TV this year. When it is on, it's pretty much dominated by MSNBC. I did see some Battlestar Galactica episodes, and watched many episodes of Futurama while recovering from surgery.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No. I don't think I hate anyone. I can usually understand where another person is coming from, even if I don't agree with it. We are all twisted up in little knots in one way or another. Deciding not to hate can have unexpected results - like the lovely thank you note my husband got from the woman who was his chief adversary when he was an elected town official.

24. What was the best book you read?
I don't think I read a single book for pleasure this year. Now THAT is a sad statement, and a situation that must be rectified!

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I made so much music this year, I hardly got out to listen to any. Perhaps my biggest musical discovery is that I am improvising more when I play flute solos with the band. I am learning to imagine different musical lines, then recreate them in sound, building a library of musical tools over time. I suspect that all those great jazz soloists have similar libraries of bits and pieces of melody in their memories, which they pull out and combine in new ways.

26. What did you want and get?
Completion of my masters program. It was starting to feel like a monkey on my back. The iPhone - yes, I had lust in my heart for that particular toy.

27. What did you want and not get?
A vegetable garden.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 57, and went to a new gynecologist for a checkup. It was a workday.

29. What’s one thing that would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Frittering my time away at home rather than at the office. Eating salads from my own garden. Eating supper at the table more frequently with my husband. Spending more time on the water.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Variants on the color pink. Dark slim slacks, colorful top, interesting scarf, handmade bead earrings, short well-cut hair.

31. What kept you sane?
My family. My friendships, both in-the-flesh and digital. Making music. Blogging.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I have never gotten over Patrick McGoohan in "Secret Agent".

33. What political issue stirred you the most?
All of the presidential election. Political events in NY were quite exciting as well, with the sudden resignation of Governor Spitzer and the sudden elevation of Governor Paterson. The economic meltdown is affecting NY badly, and will make my job more difficult in the months ahead. And locally, the project my husband has been working on for a decade is gaining traction.

34. Who do you miss the most?
My daughter, when she is in Montreal.

35. Who was the best new person you met?
I made some new friends in cyberspace who I treasure. No new friends in my tangible life.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008?
Flexibility in job scheduling doesn't always help you grab hold of more time for yourself.

37. What are your New Years Resolutions for 2009?
Spend more time outdoors, moving my bones and working in my gardens. Spend more time on the sailboat. Clean away some junk from the property. Get home from the office earlier. Get more exercise. Don't borrow any money in '09.

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