Pretty Good Year

I stole this meme from another blogger friend of mine, and since it’s been about a month since the last time I posted anything, I figured this is a good place to start to get the writing juices flowing again.

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
We did some traveling to places we’ve never been before. We went to Rehoboth Beach with the kids (well, my wife has been there before, but it was the first time for me and the girls), and we went to Montreal for a long weekend without the kids.

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t think I made any resolutions for 2014. I did, however, make some for this year.

3. Did someone close to you give birth?
My cousin’s daughter gave birth. My cousin, who is only a year older than me, is now a grandfather.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No.

5. What countries did you visit?
As mentioned before, we went to Canada this summer.

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
More “us” time for me and my wife. This is one of the aforementioned resolutions. And more non-dad time for me, whenever possible.

7. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 18. My wife came home from work early, and after dinner we curled up on the sofa with the girls to watch Frozen for the first time. We had no idea at the time what a game-changer it would be.

8. What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year?
Starting (or rather, re-launching) this blog. I used to do it on a somewhat regular basis about 10-12 years ago or so, but time grew shorter, demands on my time grew greater, and I stopped doing it in favor of things like Facebook posts. However, I missed the the depth of analysis of situations that longer-form blogging provided. That, and I seriously needed a creative outlet to feel more like me and less like “#1 and #2’s dad.”

9. What was your biggest failure(s)?
Losing my patience too often, especuially with the kids. That, and not taking proper care of myself, which led to stress, which led to me losing my patience too often.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing earth-shattering, although I did have a cold with sinus issues that helped spoil some of the holiday events we had planned in December.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A new TV in the bedroom. I know the research says you shouldn’t watch TV in bed, but we tend to put something on that we like, turn it off when it’s finished, and go to sleep. Sometimes.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My wife, for enduring a tough situation at work that was followed by a new position with new (and better) challenges. That, and she had to put up with my hand-wringing angst all year.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My own. I look at how I dealt with some of the situations this past year and I say to myself “Really?!?!”

14. Where did most of your money go?
The mortgage, regular bills, and the girls.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Getting Daughter #2 to use the potty after months of ambivalence. Of course, we had no idea that this was going to be a long, protracted process that we’re still dealing with today (we’re very close, though).

16. What songs will always remind you of 2014?
“Let It Go,” naturally. That, and “Happy” (as it’s one of the only songs that will keep Daughter #2 on the potty–see #15).

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Hard to say. There have been ups and downs.
ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter. I’ve got to get back to the gym and clean up the diet.
iii. richer or poorer? Probably about the same.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Looking at the positive in every situation.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Stressing out about things that are out of my control for the most part.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas for us is a multi-day, multi-stage process. We started off at home for a quick breakfast, then it was on to my mother-in-law’s house to see what Santa brought the girls (since he drops his presents for our out-of-state niece there, he just saves himself a trip and drops the girls’ gifts there, too). We then moved on to my wife’s aunt’s house for brunch and more family gifts, and then back to my mother-in-law’s house for some grown-up gifts and stockings while the kids napped. This was followed by dinner and the trek back to our house.

The next day, we did the same thing at my father-in-law’s house, only this time we came over for breakfast. then, a week later, we did the same thing with my side of the family at my sister’s house, only this time it was for lunch.

21. Did you fall in love in 2014?
No, I was already in love.

22. What is your favorite photo from 2014?
The girls, holding hands, from their birthday photos.

23. What lesson did you learn about yourself?
That I’m really not wired to “wing it.” I do much better with a solid, organized plan.

24. If you had more time to invest in this past year what would you do with it?
I would listen to more music. I don’t get a say on what we listen to in the car any more, which was my previous sanctuary, so I need to remember to have my iPod and headphones for my rare kid-free moments.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I think hate is such a strong word, but I’ll say this: if all the stuff about Bill Cosby turns out to be true, I am going to be incredibly saddened and disappointed.

26. What was the best book you read?
Lions, Tigers and Bears by George Takei. I’ve read pitifully few books this past  year. Another resolution, perhaps?

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The Division Bell. It sounds far more like the Pink Floyd of old than Momentary Lapse of Reason ever did. It’s a shame it took me 20 years to pick it up.

28. What did you want and get?
More non-kid time, although I didn’t get that until September. Don’t get me wrong–I love my girls, but I’m the kind of person who needs a little alone time to regroup and digest situations.

29. What did you want and not get?
A clean house (I have a whole separate blog post on this one).

30. Favorite film of this year?
I don’t think we made it to a theater this year. As far as home video viewing goes, Frozen did not disappoint.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 43 last year, and we celebrated by going to Shady Maple Smorgasbord for breakfast.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Better weather. Although the summer wasn’t too hot, the winter was brutal. I realize I’m wishing for something that is beyond my control, but just sayin’.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
Don Johnson Ain’t Got Nothing On Me. I didn’t shave very often. I’d give it up completely if I didn’t look so silly with a beard. That, and the girls don’t like it all that much.

34. What kept you sane?
Blogging. That, and the network of fellow bloggers I’ve found. Also, my kids–yes, the sources of a lot of my insanity help keep me sane.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Mike Rowe.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
I tend to keep my political views private, thankyouverymuch.

37. Who did you miss?
Oddly enough, Joan Rivers.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Rojeania. I knew her from Usenet a lifetime ago, but I really got to know her this past year. She’s a fellow blogger, and has been a great cheerleader for my blog. Thank you.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014?
CTFD – Calm The F— Down.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around.” I know it may be a bit cliché, but I’ve liked that line since the first time I heard it, and this was definitely the year of Elsa.

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One thought on “Pretty Good Year

  1. #25 I know, right?!? It’s almost as bad as when the news about Michael Jackson broke. My little 8-year-old heart broke into pieces. Ugh. Now I’m hearing that Cosby is making jokes about it at performances? I just don’t even know what to say.

    #37 I took the loss of Joan Rivers harder than I might have thought, though it probably had more to do with the short time between her and Robin Williams’ death. Comedy took a big hit last year any way you look at it.

    #38 You’re pretty supportive yourself. Thanks for that. Now post more! Now! LOL.

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