(Idea from Notes of an Anesthesioboist .)
1. What did you do in 2014 that you’ve never done before? Became an orphan, when my mother died almost a month ago.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don’t make them. I’m not that resolved.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No.
4. Did anyone close to you die? My mother and my uncle.
5. What countries did you visit? Just this one … Jekyll Island GA three times, Savannah GA, Beaufort SC, Myrtle Beach SC, Murrells Inlet, SC, Boothbay Harbor ME, Kennebunk, ME, Portsmouth NH, Richmond VA, Baltimore and Annapolis, MD, Darien, CT, NYC, Boston and Salem, MA, Bath ME, Longwood Gardens in PA.
6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014? Maybe a French bulldog.
7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? None. I have very few dates etched in memory.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Reading a eulogy at my mother’s funeral. Also getting outside at least a few days each week to walk, hike, snowshoe, bird, ramble, garden.
9. What was your biggest failure? Always, a failure to love more, to be compassionate, to be fully aware and appreciative of what I am receiving.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing I can recall.
11. What was the best thing you bought? Vacations.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Journalists around the world in dangerous locations.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? My government’s. Most legislators’. NFL and college football players’ and the commissioner’s.
14. Where did most of your money go? Housing, health insurance, retirement savings, vacations.
15. What did you get really excited about? Trips to Jekyll.
16. What song will always remind you of 2014? Sadly, probably “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor. The one I liked best was The Pink & Nate Ruess duet “Just Give Me A Reason.”
17. Compared to this time last year, are you…
-happier or sadder? sadder, I think
-thinner or fatter? a bit fatter
-richer or poorer? richer
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Loving. Letting go. Lightening up. Meditation. 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, opening gifts, reading, watching “Fanny and Alexander,” and eating take-out Indian food.
21. Did you fall in love in 2014? Of course. Almost any time I look through the camera lens, I fall in love.
22. What was your favorite TV program? Beachfront Bargain Hunt on HGTV.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I can’t think of anyone I hate.
24. What was the best book you read? The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq. Also the Regeneration series by Pat Barker, set during the first World War, in England.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery? None. Didn’t listen to much new music this year.
26. What did you want and get? Clean scans for spouse. Time at Jekyll.
27. What did you want and not get? Friends’ bulldogs to live rather than die. World peace. Again.
28. What was your favorite film of this year? “Boyhood.”
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old are you? Hung out at home, early 50s.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Perhaps living closer to the the ocean.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014? One basic casual outfit for winter, another one for summer, with confusion in fall and spring.
32. What kept you sane? Time alone. Time outside. The camera. The garden. Exercise. Friends. Faith.
33. What celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I still like Pema Chödrön a lot. The Property Brothers (HGTV) are pretty cute.
34. What political issue stirred you the most? US: gun control reform (please), drone killing, health care reform (more, please). Globally: Scapegoating, witch hunts, and all other forms of mimetic violence. Children being forced to war. The rise of anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish sentiment and action in Europe.
35. Whom did you miss? My dog Gretchen. My dad. Friends who go south in the winter.
36. Who was the best new person you met? Maybe Ruth. Enjoyed getting to know Ann, Alison, Mary Anne, Edie and Steven, and Karen better this year, too. Enjoyed spending time with Marie, Robbyn, Brigit, Jack, and Jim after about 10 years or more of not seeing any of them.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014. “In the end what you don’t surrender, /Well, the world just strips away.” — Bruce Springsteen, Human Touch
38. Quote a
song poem lyric that sums up your year:
You have your eye on a small /elusive detail, pursuing its music, when a terrible truth / strikes and your heart cries out, being carried off.
— Eamon Grennan