Recently I came across and joined a group on Facebook called the Greater Chicagoland Blogger Meetup. Though I haven’t gotten to know many of the members yet, I appreciate the opportunity to connect with other local Chicago area bloggers. One of the women in the group posted a link this week to a meme on her blog with fun and interesting questions encouraging readers to reflect on their lives in 2011. I enjoyed reading what she wrote and thought I would give it a go.
Answering the 35 questions listed below was harder in someways than I expected it to be (there I go again with my expectations). Many of my answers came to me right away and others took me some time to contemplate. If you choose to participate (either on your blog, via a Facebook note or you can even send me an email with your answers), please let me know so I can read and comment on yours too. Enjoy!
I wish you and yours a very Happy New Year! Thank you for being a part of my life in 2011!
1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before? Owned/lived in a house with four bedrooms, a side driveway and no alley.
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I kept some of them and, as always, there is much room for improvement. I have already made more for 2012 and will share about that in my next Time Warp Tuesday blog entry on January 3.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes, some of our close friends and family members. I am very happy for them and look forward to watching their new additions grow and develop.
4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes, one of my dear childhood friends, my great aunt (one of my maternal grandfather’s sisters, his last living sibling) and a cousin that I never got to know, but wish I did.
5. What places did you visit? Hilton Head Island, South Carolina and Disney World in Orlando, Florida
6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011? More balance and focus in my life.
7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? November 11, 2011, because 11 has been my lucky number for as long as I can remember, so it was awesome to be able to experience 11-11-11 and make “the ultimate wish” at 11:11:11 on 11-11-11! We were also vacationing with family in Disney World that day, so spending it in such a magical place with loved ones made it extra special!
8. What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year? Being a good mom to my children, helping our family’s transition from our old home to our new home go smoothly, being able to support loved ones going through difficult and uncertain times in their lives, being the Lay Director for a women’s retreat at our church, writing that I am very proud of here on my blog, as well as other places, and even getting paid for some things I wrote (which was very validating).
9. What was your biggest failure? Not keeping up with my housekeeping/cleaning responsibilities as well as I could have/should have.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Luckily just a few bad colds.
11. What was the best thing you bought? A flat screen TV for my husband Bob as a surprise Christmas gift. He has wanted one for a long time and was very happy to receive it! I did it within the holiday spending/gift budget that he gave me, so it didn’t cost us anything extra during a year when things are tighter financially since we bought and moved into our new home.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My husband has an amazing work ethic and he always amazes me with his accomplishments at work and on the home front. He is a great example to me and our children. He is also very patient with and believes in me, especially during difficult times in our life.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Theresa Erickson and others involved in her baby selling scandal. There were also some people I know personally whose behavior really hurt and disappointed me this year, trying to make peace with this was the hardest part of 2011 for me.
14. Where did most of your money go? Into our new home.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Getting to buy and move into our new home with my husband and children. This has definitely been a “living the dream” experience!
16. What song will always remind you of 2011? Raise Your Glass by Pink
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter (but just a bit)
c) richer or poorer? Richer (but not a lot)
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Kept our home clean and organized. Seriously, I really dropped the ball here and know that I can and will do better in 2012.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Procrastinating
20. How did you spend Christmas in 2011? We hosted Bob’s family in our new home for dinner on Christmas Eve which was fun and a bit chaotic and included a very special guest/new member of our family. We went to church on Christmas morning and I served as a Eucharistic Minister, which I really enjoy. We had my family (minus my sister, brother-in-law and niece/Goddaughter who were spending the holiday with his family in Minnesota. We celebrated early with them the previous weekend) along with Bob’s parents over on Christmas Day. Our celebration was low key, in a good way, as well as also fun and relaxing.
21. Did you fall in love in 2011? I didn’t fall in love so to speak, but I did choose to continue to love my dear husband, children and other closer family members and friends this year.
22. What was your favorite TV program? Parenthood
23. What did you do for your birthday in 2011? Celebrated with my niece/Goddaughter Cora and my side of the family. Cora and I share a birthday, so it was awesome to be able to celebrate my sister and brother-in-law’s daughter’s 1st birthday in conjunction with celebrating my 36th!
24. What was the best book you read? The Magic Room by Jeffrey Zaslow
25. What did you want and get? To be able to sell our old home, as well as to buy and move into our new home!
26. What did you want and not get? A white Christmas. There were likely other things I am sure, however that was the first one that came to mind. The lack of having to shovel this winter hasn’t bothered me though, as I shoveled so much during the big blizzard/snowstorm that hit Chicago in February.
27. What was your favorite film of this year? I didn’t see any movies for adults in the theater, that I can recall. I even looked up a list of movies released in 2011 to try to jog my memory. I am not even sure if I saw any on DVD that were released this year. I think Bob and I were still catching up on movies from 2010 (such as The King’s Speech and The Social Network which we really liked)! I did see a few kids movies in the theater with Sean that I enjoyed (Cars 2 and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules), but I wouldn’t call any of them my favorite film.
28. Did you make some new friends this year? Yes, in the perinatal bereavement support group that I attend most months called Caring Connections and I also made new friends through the CRHP women’s retreats that I participated in and then helped to facilitate at our parish church, as well as through a MOPS group that I go to twice a month with other moms of young children.
29.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? If there were more hours in the day or if I could ever learn not to take on so much in my life, which would lead to a similar outcome (feeling like there was more time to get everything done and enjoy what is most important to me).
30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011? Trying to find new ways to wear old clothes since money is tight and we can’t afford for me to buy many new clothes.
31. What kept you sane? Writing, exercising regularly and be able to talk with close friends and family members (about the joys and struggles we face in life).
32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake were two of my favorite entertainers this year. I just can’t get enough of their History of Rap performances on Jimmy’s late night talk show, as well as Justin’s hosting gig on SNL (it was one of the funniest episodes, in my opinion in a long while) I also enjoyed following coverage of the Royal Wedding in England.
33. What political issue stirred you the most? A lot of political issues stir me up, but I can’t think of a particular one at the moment. Corruption in our government bothers me a lot, so living in a state where a number of our former Governors have gone to jail for their conduct while in office is frustrating.
34. Who did you miss? Molly, my grandparents and other loved ones who left this world too soon.
35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011. That our lives are almost always in a state of flux and transition. In effort to experience more happiness in life, it can help to try to embrace the ambiguity.