Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Year in Review

Yikes -- where did 2015 go?? It's time for another Year in Review post!

I started doing this year-end meme five years ago -- and, although I feel like many of the answers don't change much from year to year, it's still a great way to look back and keep track. Feel free to use the questions 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 have said in the past, I don't really make new year's resolutions anymore -- they tend to be pretty much the same ones, year after year. So here are the perennials, and the progress I made (or didn't) in 2015:
  • Lose weight.  Alas, I am more or less the same weight as I was this time last year... I go up a few pounds, I go down, I go up again. :p  I did buy a new digital scale, which will hopefully help in terms of accuracy.   
  • Exercise more. (And hopefully lose more weight...!)  We weren't quite as consistent with our morning walks this year during the spring/summer/fall (perhaps one reason why the scale hasn't been going down :p ) -- and since the advent of colder & wetter weather, we haven't been out walking much at all. I am planning to look into yoga classes at the local rec centre in the new year to help bridge the activity gap until the nicer weather returns. Last winter I spent entirely too much time sitting on the couch. :p  
  • Write more in my journal (blog??). Haven't written in my paper journal in years. Blogging: Being unemployed has been good for my blogging output as well as weight loss.  I wrote 150 posts in 2015 (including this one), the most I've written since 142 posts in 2009 (my all-time high is 172 posts in 2008, my first full year of blogging). And I reached a milestone: 1,000 posts!!       
  • 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!) I racked up my best "books read" count since I started keeping track a few years ago: 27. :) I've reviewed all of them on this blog except the most recent one I finished (a review is coming shortly). And I'm almost through another one, which will be #28 for 2015 or #1 for 2016, depending on whether I finish it tonight. ;)      
  • Tackle some of the clutter that never seems to go away. ("Some" being the operative word...)  This is one resolution where I can say I have made significant progress! Over the past year, dh & I (well, mostly dh) have hauled almost 60 (!!) boxes (liquor store-sized cartons) of stuff to the local Salvation Army thrift store -- which includes almost 40 boxes of books alone. I did not count the many, many bags of clothes and other things that also went to the Sally Ann. I also gave my old stereo, vinyl collection and cassettes to our oldest nephew and a ton of my scrapbooking/craft supplies to his fiancee. Giving up stuff (& especially books) is very hard for me, and I am proud of what I accomplished this year. I still have stuff, of course -- more than I probably need -- but there is a lot less of it, and it is neater and better organized.
  • Finally do something with the spare bedroom that was to have been the nursery (get new furniture & linens to replace dh's college apartment castoffs).  I did get a new bedspread several years ago, and there's now a fresh coat of pain on the walls, but new furniture is still on the to-do list... 
  • 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. Sadly, I have not done any scrapbooking since fall 2009.  I have more time now (& still have a TON of supplies to use...! -- even though I gave a bunch to Oldest Nephew's fiancee), so I am hoping to carve out some regular time for scrapbooking into my schedule in the new year. (Besides which, I'd better finish the nephews' books before any great-nieces and nephews start showing up!)  ;)   
2. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?

Nothing really earth-shaking stands out. :p

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Nope, no new babies in my circle of close family & friends.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Sadly, SIL's mother (our nephews' grandmother) died in late February. 

5. What countries did you visit?

Did not leave Canada this year. :(

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

To travel!! Even just close by. I loved getting away for our anniversary for a few days at a resort in cottage country. Maybe next year... :p 

7. What date(s) from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Our 30th wedding anniversary. :)

For less happy reasons: Dh's emergency trip to the hospital. :p

The day (quite recently) when Nephew #2 popped the question to his girlfriend & got engaged. :)

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting to enjoy more of the Christmas season than I have in YEARS.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not speaking my mind enough, and drifting instead of taking the initiative to get things done that I wanted to do.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Thankfully, no. A bit of a cold recently, & assorted aches & pains, but nothing that a couple of ibuprofen and some rest couldn't fix. 

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Loving our new car. :) That was probably our most major purchase this year.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Our new prime minister. I don't think he's the Second Coming (in a religious, political or genealogical sense, lol).  He's going to screw up, eventually. To be honest, I don't get the whole "hot" thing. (He's nice looking, for sure, but "hot"??) And frankly, it's rather disconcerting to have a prime minister who is not only a decade YOUNGER than you are, but whose birth you clearly remember...! But the change in tone from the top has been most welcome. And anyone who promises gender equity in his new cabinet -- and then delivers on that promise, with some exceptional choices -- and justifies that decision by saying, "Because it's 2015" -- deserves some kudos. :)

Members of the Ontario legislature from all parties, who passed Bill 141 to provide more research into pregnancy loss and more support for affected families. 

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

While some politicians did deserve kudos this year (see #12, above!), politicians (from both sides of the border) continue to top my "appalled and depressed" list. :p  With an election here this past fall, and one coming up in the U.S. next year, there has been no shortage of appalling & depressing behaviour, it seems. :p

14. Where did most of your money go?

As usual, beyond the essentials of daily living, and savings, our biggest indulgence is probably reading materials -- books & magazines. And as mentioned above, we also bought a new car, which was a big chunk of money to shell out all at once. :p

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

Younger Nephew's engagement, just before Christmas. :)

Seeing the Little Princesses at Christmastime. :)

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?

I can't think of an obvious candidate.

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

About the same, across the board. 

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

Travelling -- even just within driving range. Maybe next year.

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

Two years ago, I said, "Worrying. It never does much good anyway..." I said the same last year, and I think I need to remind myself again this year...!  :p 

20. How did you spend Christmas?

In the usual way:  with my family (my parents, sister & her boyfriend).  Lots of visits from the Little Princesses, lots of good stuff to eat, lots of fun card games.

21. Did you fall in love in 2015?

Never fell out. ; )

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Poldark! I also (still) love The Big Bang Theory, Bob's Burgers and Modern Family.

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

As I've said before, no. Hate is a pretty strong word. Although there are certainly some people I think less of than others. 

24. What was the best book you read?

I read a lot of good books this year -- primarily memoirs. The one that has stayed with me the longest, I think, and one that I have probably talked about & recommended the most, is They Left Us Everything by Plum Johnson.  Not sure about its availability outside of Canada, but definitely worth a read.

Honorable mentions:
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

As in the past, I must admit, I don't listen to a lot of new music...

26. What did you want and get?

More Christmas-y experiences this year:  Black Friday shopping with SIL, Swedish Christmas festival, craft show with my girlfriend, Toronto Christmas Market with dh, BIL & SIL (as well as Oldest Nephew & his fiancé), Christmas shopping by myself at the Toronto Eaton Centre -- all stuff I didn't have time to do when I was working. Made the season much merrier, and got me into the Christmas spirit early on. :)

27. What did you want and not get?

Still waiting on that sunspot vacation. ;) And there's a pair of earrings that I've looked at & passed up on, several times, even when they've been on sale. I swear next time I see them, I'm buying them. :p

28. What was your favourite film of this year? 

We saw 23 movies in 2015 and they were all pretty good.  (We're planning to see the new Star Wars movie on New Year's Day.) The one that was probably my favourite was the one we saw most recently:  "Spotlight." Great cast, great story, great script. A strong contender for the Best Picture Oscar. The runner-up would probably be "Inside Out" from this past summer. Not really a kid movie, and one that made me cry.

Other movies dh & I went to the theatre to see in 2015 (working backward from most recent -- all of them good):  SPECTRE, Steve Jobs, Bridge of Spies, The Martian, Everest, Mr. Holmes, Ricki & the Flash, Man From UNCLE, Trainwreck, Minions, Love & Mercy, Spy, Tomorrowland, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Woman in Gold, Casablanca (yes, THAT Casablanca...!), Birdman, Kingsman, Selma, Wild, The Imitation Game.

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

I was 54, and we went to our favourite steakhouse for dinner. Freedom 55, coming up shortly...!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

A little less anxiety, from both dh & me. Much of it was totally unnecessary -- but then, anxiety is rarely rational, is it?

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

I spend most of my days in yoga pants & T-shirts, lol.  So I'm not sure I have a "personal fashion concept"??! 

32. What kept you sane?

Staying busy and getting out of the house most days, particularly during the LONG winter. :p

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

This was another one I had to think about... no obvious candidates yet...!

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

The plight of the Syrian refugees, and the demonization of immigrants generally (here in Canada, as well as in the U.S.), bothered me a lot this year. Unless you're from an indigenous/aboriginal tribe, all of us in North America are descended from immigrants -- some of us more recently than others -- and many families (including my own, & dh's) have their own stories about ancestors & family members who were vilified and mistreated by those who came earlier.

35. Who did you miss?

As always, my daughter, and my grandparents.

The Little Princesses.  Only getting to see them twice a year, and occasionally on Skype, sucks. :p Time goes by too quickly, and they are growing up way too fast. :(

My childhood best friends. Had a wonderful visit with them when I was home this summer, and realized how much I miss them and that I really don't get to see enough of them. :(

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I really haven't met an awful lot of new people, aside from one-offs. So I will have to think about this one too.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015. 

When painting & doing other renovations... go with your gut instinct (despite the painter's assurances). Use the dropcloths!!  ;)

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

"Time keeps on slipping, slipping... into the future..."  ("Fly Like an Eagle," Steve Miller Band -- an oldie but a goodie that seems appropriate) ;)

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
New Year's Eve 2010
Year in Review 2011


  1. You've had a busy year! Particularly on the downsizing of your books, writing and reflecting.

    I've been struggling with past hobbies too. I can't seem to pick up a pair of knitting needles to save my life. I figure I'll get there when the timing seems right, but for right now reading and baking has been a focus.

    May 2016 bring the travel you desire!

  2. I am with you 100% on #12 and #13. He is cute, but not hot. And I was disgusted by the actions of several politicians both here and in the U.S. in 2015. We are also in absolute agreement about our personal fashion- yoga pants and t-shirts are awesome!

    Wishing you all the beest in 2016, Loribeth! :)

  3. I’m tired just reading your 2015 review!
    Great questions – you have me thinking about how I would answer them, several we have similar answers.

    What is it with clutter? It just silently seems to multiply when we are not looking. Two people in our house (4 bedda) and every wardrobe/cupboard is filled. Admittedly I have commandeered 1 spare bedroom as my sewing room, and the second spare is ready for visitors as long as they don’t need the wardrobe space. It holds the overflow of material/wool/patterns/ from the sewing room.

    Haha, my fashion concept was always based on comfort and now that I’m not working, even more so, yoga pants/shorts and t-shirts in the summer, tracky daks and jumpers in the winter – but only when at home.

    Roll on 2016!

  4. Buy those ear-rings!

    I'm very impressed on the clutter, and the 23 movies. And if you're maintaining your weight - neither up nor down - at our age (did I just say that?), you should be proud of yourself! It's not easy. Argh.