( Idea from Notes of an Anesthesioboist )
1. What did you do in 2009 that you’ve never done before? Owned two houses at once, involuntarily. I don’t recommend it.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Didn’t make any. As T. (the anesthesioboist) says, one day at a time is more my speed. If I think of something I want to do or get done, I do it at the time.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Not very close, but A. did this summer.
4. Did anyone close to you die? A friend and bookgroup member, DF, died suddenly. At least one parent is about to die (not suddenly).
5. What countries did you visit? None. Travel was extremely limited this year. See #1.
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009? More cash on hand. Someone living in our former house (it’s lonely).
7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? I’m not good with dates, but the day C. put B. (little dog) to sleep, early in January 2009. When T’s job started, at the end of March. And our settlement date for the new house, in late September
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I guess it’s maintaining some equanimity and serenity in the face of uncertainty and a lot of loss (loss of community, friends, money and financial security, family health, etc.)
9. What was your biggest failure? Always, a failure to love more, to be compassionate, to be fully aware of what I am receiving.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? No, not much.
11. What was the best thing you bought? The new house.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My dog’s behaviour almost always does.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Most people reported on in the media.
14. Where did most of your money go? Mortgages and housing expenses, and health and veterinary care.
15. What did you get really excited about? Most days, my dreams during the night before energise and inspire me. Visits from friends, too.
16. What song will always remind you of 2009? None (not good with dates)
17. Compared to this time last year, are you…
-happier or sadder? a little sadder, or maybe just quieter
-thinner or fatter? same
-richer or poorer? poorer
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Loving. Letting go. Lightening up. The usual.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Fretting. Acting out of fear. The usual.
20. How did you spend Christmas? At home with spouse and dog, eating take-out Indian food. (The dog ate dog food, rice and carrots.)
22. What was your favorite TV program? House MD in the spring. After that, didn’t watch much TV beyond sports and home shows.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? No. Well, perhaps the faceless, nameless non-buyers of our house. Weasels.
24. What was the best book you read? Midnight Fugue (2009) by Reginald Hill.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery? Nothing comes to mind. I couldn’t stop singing Coldplay’s Viva La Vida but I think that was 2008. Also God, Please Let Me Go Back (Josh Rouse), but that came out in 2007.
26. What did you want and get? Friendship. A new mattress. A smartphone. A modern-style house.
27. What did you want and not get? Dried pears. A house within walking distance to spouse’s work. A trip to Jekyll.
28. What was your favorite film of this year? The best film I saw this year was Play Time (1967), dir. by Jacques Tati.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old are you? Hung out at home, late 40s.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Having sold our house.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009? Huh?
32. What kept you sane? Friends’ support. Time alone. The dog. “AbFab.” Regular exercise. Crime fiction.
33. What celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I can’t remember most of their names — but I do fancy Hugh Laurie. I like the late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus’s words about death.
34. What political issue stirred you the most? US: health care reform (wish we were “talkin bout a revolution”). Global: degrading, cruel, horrific treatment of women in the DRC and elsewhere. Scapegoating, witch hunts, and all other forms of mimetic violence.
35. Whom did you miss? My friends, acquaintances and bookgroup from my former community.
36. Who was the best new person you met? Caren, Liz, Dan … Time will tell.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009. It’s easier to move when you don’t have a lot of crap.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light,
Next year all our troubles
Will be out of sight …
Faithful friends who were dear to us
Will be near to us once more.
Someday soon we all will be together,
If the fates allow.
Until then, we’ll have to muddle through