Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year in Review 2011

I enjoyed doing this year-end meme so much at New Year's last year that I decided to do it again this year. Interesting to see what's changed (& what hasn't!). Feel free to use on your own blog (& let me know if you do!).

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

As I said last year, I generally don't make new year's resolutions anymore -- they tend to be pretty much the same, year after year (erk):
  • Lose weight. (sigh)
  • Exercise more. (And hopefully lose more weight...!) -- sadly, did no better in 2011 than 2010. :p
  • Write more in my journal (blog??). Didn't write in my paper journal at all. Blogging: at xx posts (including this one), I didn't quite equal the 131 posts from 2010, but still, not bad...
  • Read more of the books that have piled up around the house. (Need to do better at this... the faster I read, the more I buy, it seems... yikes!) Read ## books this year... but still nowhere near keeping up. :p
  • Tackle some of the clutter that never seems to go away. ("Some" being the operative word...) I did make some leeway here... took some old suitcases & several boxes of old dishes, glasses, vases, etc. to Goodwill this fall. Of course, there's always scope to do more....!
In January 2009 (almost two years ago), I also resolved to:
  • Finally do something with the spare bedroom that was to have been the nursery (get new furniture & linens to replace the old castoffs). I did get a new bedding set earlier this (ADD LINK), but still have the old furniture.
  • Set aside the nephews' scrapbooks for awhile, & start a scrapbook for dh & me (that will hopefully be finished in time for our 25th anniversary in 2010). And maybe (finally) start Katie's, too. Very little scrapbooking done this year too.
2. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Nothing comes to mind at the moment. I have to admit I'm not a terribly adventurous person.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes, PND had a little girl in September. : )

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully (& knocking wood), not close-close. However, dh's uncle passed away of a massive heart attack in July. He was only 70. The wife of one of dh's cousins also lost her mom earlier in the year -- also of a heart attack, also in her early 70s. Both of my parents are also in their early 70s, so this is starting to get a little too close for comfort. :(

5. What countries did you visit?
I didn't leave Canada this year.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

Last year, I said: More time (& energy) to get more things done. :p A sunspot vacation. : ) A greater sense of self-confidence. I'd go with those again this year.

7. What date(s) from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
My 50th birthday (Jan. 12th), for obvious reasons. : ) My 25th anniversary at work (Aug. 11th). I don't remember the exact date, but dh & I met 30 years ago in late September/early October (1981). And a very merry Christmas with PNGD/The Princess. : )

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Surviving ANOTHER busy, turbulent year at work, including ANOTHER new senior manager (second one in less than a year, after 16 years of working with the same person), new director (similar story), new VP, more new (& mostly much younger) coworkers, and an office renovation, which involved purging & packing up all my stuff, TWICE.
And, despite all this, reaching my 25th anniversary, not just with the company but also with the department. I'd say that's an achievement. ; )

9. What was your biggest failure?

As I wrote last year: So many things that needed to be done around the house -- projects both large & small -- remain untouched. Also, I did not lose any meaningful amount of weight, & I had really hoped to be in better shape before I hit 50. :p

I also did not get any scrapbooking done, again. :( However, there's a Michaels opening near me soon. Maybe that will be the incentive I need. ; )

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing serious, thankfully. I did have the first significant sore throat/cold that I've had in quite a long time -- over Christmas, of course. :p And my knees are feeling a tad creakier than they used to. :p Knock wood, & thanks to a careful strategy of avoidance, I have not had any problems with my allergies (food or otherwise) in a long time.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A netbook for dh for Christmas. : )

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
The first person who popped into my head is Olivia Chow, widow of Jack Layton and NDP member of Parliament. I haven't always been a big fan of hers, but I thought she showed great poise and dignity in the public eye at a very difficult time.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

I continue to be less than impressed by the vast majority of politicians on both sides of the border, federal, provincial and municipal, and spanning the political spectrum. We had both federal & provincial elections this year (& municipal elections in late 2010), & then of course there's the neverending U.S. presidential election (how many debates do the Republican candidates need to have??).
I also second my comment last year about the ignorant commenters on any newspaper column dealing with infertility, who think we should all get over ourselves and "just adopt." This includes the heartless and appalling commenters who felt the need to judge Michelle Duggar and how the family handled the loss of their 21st child. I'm not a fan of the Duggars -- their hyperfertility seems like a slap in the face (however inadvertent) to those of us who struggle with bringing even just one living, healthy baby home -- but a loss is a loss, whether it's your first child or 21st.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Beyond the essentials of daily living, and savings, our biggest indulgence is probably reading materials -- books & magazines. We didn't do any major projects around the house this year (although we probably should have...). No, wait, we did hire stepBIL to reset one side of the backyard fence (the other side was done a few years ago). It was leaning horribly & just about ready to topple over, & neither dh nor I were keen to have the neighbours' two rambunctious dogs using our back yard as their bathroom. :p

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

PNGD/The Princess. : ) And, I have to admit, I did get excited about my 50th birthday & 25th work anniversary. Whatever you think about aging, it's still a milestone.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?

"Rolling in the Deep" & "Someone Like You" by Adele.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?

(a) happier, I think. (b) probably more or less the same :p (c) slightly richer, thanks to some diligent saving and investing (even accounting for market decline).

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

Scrapbooking. Reading. Theatre. Taken more time off work. I have a ton of unused vacation & lieu time, & I didn't even use all my personal days this year.

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

Saying stuff that I knew would make me look ancient in the eyes of my 20-something coworkers. Sometimes I just can't help myself, though. ; ) And working through my lunch hours. I feel so much better when I get away from my desk for awhile.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

In Manitoba with my family (my parents, sister & her boyfriend). Mesmerized by The Princess. ; ) Reading a few books, enjoying Mom's shortbread, playing cards & dominos. Sleeping in. Isn't that what holidays are for?

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?

Yes -- with PNGD/The Princess. : ) And with Burnt Sugar Fudge, lol. ; )

22. What was your favorite TV program?

My favourite continues to be The Big Bang Theory. : )

23. Do you hate anyone now that you did not hate this time last year?

Hate is a strong word... nobody comes to mind immediately.

24. What was the best book you read?

I read quite a few good ones this year -- 21 (22 if I can finish the one I'm reading right now by midnight, lol). I read three of the four Flavia de Luce books by Alan Bradley (read the first one, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, a year ago LAST Christmas) & love them all. And I really did enjoy The Help.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Adele. (See #16, above.) Love her big, soulful voice!

26. What did you want and get?

More charms for my Pandora bracelet (from dh for Christmas). : ) And a new bedspread for the spare bedroom.

27. What did you want and not get?

A sunspot vacation (again). My parents are hoping to spend a month in Florida this winter, though, & if they do and have the room, we may go visit them there. : ) I've promised dh a visit to Cape Canaveral as incentive. ; )
I didn't get the new everyday dishes I've been hankering after (which I mentioned in last year's post) this year either. (I have a pattern in mind & am watching for sales!)
Tickets to American Idiot. It's only on for a few weeks, the theatre is in north Toronto (not as convenient as downtown), & you have to buy tickets for at least THREE productions at the same theatre, even if you're really only interested in (or can afford) one show. :p Bah humbug.

28. What was your favourite film of this year?

We saw a dozen new movies in the theatre this year, which is actually on the low side for us. The vast majority of them were very good. Hard to pick a favourite, but two that come to mind that I really enjoyed were "The Help" and "Midnight in Paris." We're both big Woody Allen fans from way back, & this was probably one of his better movies in many years.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I was 50 (erk!). I spent the day at the spa, & dh took me out for dinner later. And I blogged about it, here.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Less stress & upheaval at work. I felt like I was just getting used to my new boss when she quit in March, just nine months after she started. On the bright side, her replacement is a former coworker (albeit a much younger one, whom I used to mentor when she was a summer student...!). Things finally seem to be settling into a more even keel. Knock wood...
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

As I said in 2010, not sure I have one, let alone a new one every year?? I did buy a lot of new clothes -- capris with tanks worn under cardigans for work (in the summer -- definitely not in winter, lol). I bought several new cardigans, both winter & summer style. I like to look nice, but I definitely favour comfort over trendiness as a rule. Lots of Reitmans, Gap and some Laura & Cleo thrown in. ; )

32. What kept you sane?

Again, as I said last year: dh, weekends, & being able to vent to my online friends. : ) And knowing that retirement could be just four more years away. ; )

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Ditto the above comments about Olivia Chow, and her late husband, who went from one battle (political) to another (cancer) & was gone in a shockingly short period of time.
Kate Middleton, for showing grace under extreme pressure, and choosing a classic & classy gown for her wedding. And her grandmother-in-law, who is 85 & will mark 60 years on the throne next year, and is still going strong.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?

The Occupy movement didn't make too much of a splash locally, but they had my sympathy, even though I work for one of the institutions they love to target. I'm also concerned about the growing secrecy & concentration of power in our Prime Minister's Office. Democracy is not being well served.

35. Who did you miss?

As always, my daughter, and my grandparents.
Our nephews. Being 19 & 23, they like to spend their spare time with their friends, so we don't get to see as much of them as we used to.
Our friends from our support group.
Last year, I said I missed my college roommate, but happily, had been able to reconnect with heer for lunch last November (2010). Sadly, I haven't seen nor heard from her since then (although I have called her & left messages on her birthday & a couple of other times).

36. Who was the best new person you met?

One of my coworkers. Technically, I met her when she joined our department in November 2010, but this was her first full year working for us. She is young (just turned 26), full of energy & enthusiasm and questions. Her mother is a year older than me (!!!). She makes me feel ancient sometimes, but she also makes me smile.
I also got to meet Deathstar this summer, in person -- but I felt like I already knew her from her blog. ; )
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

Stressing out isn't worth it (no matter what the stressing is about). It's a lesson I've had to learn before... but it seems I have to keep releaning it. :p

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Can't think of one offhand.

New Year's Eve 2007

New Year's Eve 2008

New Year's resolutions for 2009

New Year's resolutions for bereaved parents

New Year's Eve 2009


  1. Great post, Loribeth! I really enjoyed reading this (like all of your posts). Working on my answers now - will be back soon with a link.

    Wishing you the happiest new year.

  2. Happy New Year, Loribeth! Hoping you have a terrific 2012.

  3. Love this! Thank you for sharing! I especially enjoyed your take of some of the questions, as I interpreted them a bit differently in some cases. You are right (as you said in your comment on my blog/list) that our lists are very similar (with a few exceptions). It was interesting to notice the differences.

    I like that both of our "favorite things we bought" were presents for our DHs! :) You also have my curiosity about "burnt sugar fudge" now and will have to follow your link. It didn't occur to me that you could "fall in love" with something in 2011, other than a person, so I appreciate how you answered that one. I definitely fell in love with our new house, though I miss and daydream about our old one at times.

    I love the questions (and your answers) about fav book, movie and songs, as it will be neat to look back on in time, knowing what was popular and you liked this year. :)

    Thanks again for letting me know you did this too and a very Happy New Year to you and your loved ones! xoxo

  4. I love this. I might do it myself.

  5. I enjoyed reading your answers and did my own at my blog. Here's to 2012 - I hope it is a good one!