2013 in Review

For the 3rd year running, it’s time for a recap quiz of 2013. The quiz originated at All & Sundry and is an easy and nice way to finish out the year somewhat concisely and to compare it to the previous years. I’m actually sort of surprised at how many of my answers didn’t change this year because this was kind of a big year, but I think there’s something nice to be said about consistency. So, let’s do it.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
I started working consistently, in my chosen field, at a job I love. I also got my kid to sleep through the night, which is arguably even better than my job.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

My resolution for 2013 was to stop using the word should and to stop trying to live up to other people’s expectations. And in a lot of ways, I think I really did make some incredible progress towards that. It wasn’t always a linear progression, but I feel like I am more self-assured now than I was in 2012, more confident in my personal and parenting decisions and care a whole lot less about what other people think. And it’s pretty great.

I have no resolutions planned for 2014. Just to do the best that I can for myself and my family and enjoy life.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

A big bunch of my friends did. Too many to name without excluding anyone, but they all have just unbelievably adorable kids.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No. My great-aunt, who was well over 90, died on Christmas Eve, but we were not close. And she lived an incredible life, so there’s just no sadness to be found there. I continue to be incredibly fortunate to have a large happy and healthy family.

5. What countries did you visit?
The United States. We made several visits to San Diego this year and last month went to Washington D.C. with Eli and my family. And we had a great time. I have absolutely zero travel plans for 2014 because I intend to never take my toddler on an airplane again.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
For the third year running, I’d definitely have to say financial security. We continue to be fine financially, but the stress of going into repayment on my husband’s loans and moving in July and putting Eli in a new preschool/daycare that will almost definitely cost quite a bit more is pretty significant. In another year we’ll finally reach a point where we should not have to worry about making ends meet and that will be lovely, though we will probably always be budget people.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 23rd, the day that Eli fell off the bed and spent several days in the hospital with a brain bleed. The trauma of that has finally begun to fade, but it changed us, especially me, in a profound way, forever. May 11th, Eli’s first birthday. July 11th, Eli’s first steps. Also, December 4, but that’s another story for another time.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Recognizing the need for and accepting help. This was a tough year for a lot of reasons and for the first time in my life, I was able to see that I needed help and while somewhat begrudgingly, accept it. I am better for it and learned several good lessons from it.

9. What was your biggest failure?
If you’d asked me this question 3 or 4 months ago, I’d have said keeping my child safe. But I’ve realized that while there have been crappy parts this year, I didn’t fail. I didn’t fail as a mother, wife or person. I made mistakes, but did my best to make them right and learn from them.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
My mental health sucked pretty hard, but physically, I had a wonderful year health-wise. It’s a pretty great thing.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Counseling, clothes that fit my body, a panning video monitor for Eli’s room.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Diapers, wipes, rent, utilities, student loans, credit card payments and a trip to D.C.

13. What did you get really excited about?
Watching Eli change and grow and learn every single day. My husband getting a fellowship that allowed us to stay in Southern California.

14. What song will always remind you of 2013?
Anything Could Happen by Ellie Goulding

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? I think I’m about the same. I’ve been both at points this year, but currently, I am very happy.
– thinner or fatter? Thinner. About 3 whole pounds thanks to a stomach virus in November.
– richer or poorer? Richer, but by the thinnest of margins.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Relaxing, enjoying life, breathing.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying and blaming.

18. How did you spend Chanukah/Christmas?
Chanukah we celebrated at home, at my parent’s house and we celebrated a belated Chanukah at with my in-laws. Christmas was spent back and forth between each of my parents and both holidays were lovely. Eli was incredibly interested in presents, but alternately wanted and did not want to unwrap presents.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
Scandal, Orange is the New Black, New Girl, Bones.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
I thoroughly enjoyed the Hunger Games series, as well as a Jodi Picoult novel and several James Patterson books. Not sure what’s next on the list.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

Eh, mostly old stuff with a few new songs mixed in. We’re enjoying the Frozen soundtrack right now.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
I think I can count on one hand the movies I saw this year, so Iron Man 3, the newest Thor movie, Frozen and that might actually be it.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I hit 30 this year and spent the day with my family at a great restaurant and with an incredible cake. My mom also made me a scrapbook (2 actually) comprised of pictures of me from birth to 18 and including a ridiculous number of things she saved. It’s one of the most incredible gifts I’ve ever received.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Preventing my child from falling head first off a bed.

25. What kept you sane?
Therapy, medication, my husband, my child, my sister.

26. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
That admitting you need help is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness.

Happy New Year!