Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2012 Year in review

I didn't get this post finished in time for New Year's Eve (or even New Year's Day, for that matter) -- but since I'm half Ukrainian, I'm claiming I have until Jan. 13th/14th (Ukrainian New Year, or Malanka, based on the old Julian calendar).  : )  I was brought up in a part of Canada where there were lots of us of Ukrainian descent, and when I was in university, we had an annual Ukrainian New Year's social, complete with a polka band... those of Uk. heritage who had the full costumes wore them, and those who could do the traditional Uk/Cossack-style dancing, did.  (In what's known as a kolomyka, everyone joins hands in a big circle while the solo dancers take turns trying to outdo each other.)  Despite my maiden name, I fell into neither category ; ) but it was always a great party anyway.  

I started doing this year-end meme two years ago... although some of the answers don't seem to change much from year to year, it's a great way to look back and keep track (even if it is a little late this year..!). 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 have said in the past, I generally don't make new year's resolutions anymore -- they tend to be pretty much the same, year after year. So here are the perennials, and the progress I made in 2012 I(or not...!):
  • Lose weight. (Afraid not)
  • Exercise more. (And hopefully lose more weight...!)  -- Really slacked off on the walking this year... this is one resolution I hope I will do better on in 2012 -- once the weather gets nicer, at least...! 
  • Write more in my journal (blog??). Haven't written in my paper journal in years. Blogging: not quite as many posts as I wrote in 2011, but almost. Not bad, I think. 
  • 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 fewer than 10 books this year -- my teenaged self would NEVER have believed it. :p
  • Tackle some of the clutter that never seems to go away. ("Some" being the operative word...) Took several more boxes of stuff to Goodwill this spring... but there is still scope to do much more...!
  • 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 in 2011, 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. Sadly, have not done any scrapbooking since fall 2009. 
2. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

Went to Kingston (Ontario, not Jamaica -- for our wedding anniversary -- what took us so long??). 

Gave myself a top rating in one category on my annual performance appraisal, for the first time in 26 years. ; ) I am normally not much given to self-promotion, but in this particular case, I felt I deserved it. Happily, my boss agreed. ; )

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Several new babies in the extended family, albeit none too close. Several of my friends & cousins also became GRANDPARENTS.  (!!)

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully (& knocking wood), no one close-close. Probably the closest was my father's half-sister, the last of his three half-siblings to die. I think she was about 90, so she had lived a good long life. I hadn't seen her in well over 20 years (sadly, because of a silly, lingering family feud), but she was certainly part of my rapidly disappearing childhood. It brought home to me how quickly my aunts & uncles (& parents -- and ME) are aging -- my dad's oldest brother will be 85 this year, and his older sister -- my aunt and godmother, who has been extremely good to me over the years -- will turn 80.

5. What countries did you visit?

Sadly, I didn't leave Canada this year.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

As in past years, more time (& energy)... a sunspot vacation : ) ... and a greater sense of self-confidence would be welcome.

7. What date(s) from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Dec. 21, the apocalypse that wasn't. ; )  Dec. 14th, the tragedy that was. :( 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Probably just hanging in there...!

9. What was your biggest failure?

As I've written in past years, so many things that needed to be done around the house -- projects both large & small -- remain untouched. I did get a few crossed off the list, but it's a LONG list. :p 

Also, I did not pick up walking again while the weather was nice, nor lose any meaningful amount of weight. :p

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing serious, thankfully. I did have a couple of bad colds, after a couple of years of excellent health in that respect. (I have dodged the nasty flu bug that seems to be going around -- so far!)

11. What was the best thing you bought?

No major purchases. I bought some really great books, though. ; )

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Our two nephews (now in their 20s) have both grown up to be kind-hearted, thoughtful and funny young men. I am so proud of them. : )

Queen Elizabeth II. Whatever you think about the institution of monarchy in general, you have to admit, she has done an excellent job within its parameters, and has rarely put a wrong foot forward (unlike some members of her extended family). For SIXTY years!! I think the celebration was merited.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

Last year I mentioned politicians on both sides of the border. I'm afraid they haven't done much to improve my opinion. :p 

14. Where did most of your money go?

Beyond the essentials of daily living, and savings (retirement now looming on the horizon), our biggest indulgence is probably reading materials -- books & magazines.

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

The Olympics and Canada's great performances there. One of my cubicle neighbours at work had a cousin in the men's eights rowing final, which took place on a work day at 7:30 a.m. Toronto time. We took an early train to work and I arrived in the office and turned on the TV set JUST as the starting gun sounded. There I was, jumping up & down and cheering and shouting "YESSSS!!" in the middle of the office. Nobody else was around, thank goodness ; ) -- although they probably would have been cheering alongside of me!  We watched a few events en masse, when there was a Canadian in medal contention. That was fun. : )

PNGD/The Princess. : )  So frickin' adorable. : )

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?

"Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen. (I'm rather sick of it, especially since it was already ubiquitous in Canada before it became a monster hit in the States -- but it was certainly dominant.)

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

(a) slightly less happy :p (b) probably more or less the same :p (c) slightly richer -- gotta keep saving for retirement...!

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

In retrospect, I wish I had gone to my cousin's 50th birthday in the fall of 2011. (Yes, I know that was 2011, but bear with me.)  She & I were born the same year;  her mother (my mother's cousin) is one of my godmothers;  we spent a lot of time together as kids, visiting our grandmothers in the summer.  There were a dozen reasons why I didn't think I could go, all of which seemed valid at the time:  it was right at year end (a busy time at work), I would have had to fly, just for a weekend, which is expensive and something I am not in the habit of doing, I wouldn't be missed in the crowd of celebrants, etc. 

This spring, she was diagnosed with cancer. She has been going through chemo, radiation and surgery ever since then, while still holding down a demanding job. 

We all like to think there will be a "next time." Sometimes there is -- but sometimes there isn't. I hope there will be many more "next times" for us to get together.  We need to learn to say "yes" to those opportunities to be with family and friends more often (and there were other such missed opportunities in 2012, although none I regret quite so much), and make them happen, even if they seem inconvenient or too much effort. They are what really matter in life.

I also wish I had used all of my personal days at work and more of my vacation time.  I lost my two unused personal days (which fall under a "use it or lose it" policy -- although they can also be used a sick days, which is why I tend to save them, just in case...), and I'm carrying over two weeks of vacation!

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

Dare I say I spend too much time on the computer?? I love my computer time, but I would probably have more time for the other stuff in my life if I spent even just a little less time mindlessly web surfing. :p 

20. How did you spend Christmas?

In the usual way:  with my family (my parents, sister & her boyfriend). Entertained by near-daily visits from The Princess.  ; ) Reading, enjoying Mom's shortbread & other goodies, playing cards & doing a jigsaw puzzle. Went to see "Les Miserables" on New Year's Day. Staying up late & sleeping in. Isn't that what holidays are for?

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?

Never fell out. ; )

22. What was your favorite TV program?

My favourite continues to be The Big Bang Theory. : ) But also:  Sherlock, The Republic of Doyle, and the return of my old favourite, Dallas. : )  Not sure whether they can keep up the momentum without Larry Hagman (JR), though. :(   The new season starts Jan. 28th, so we'll see...!

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

I don't think I hate anyone... that's a very strong word.  But there are a few people I can think of, personally and in the public realm, that I think less of today than I did a year ago.

24. What was the best book you read?

I may not have read a lot of books this year :p but there were some pretty good ones. Cheryl Strayed's Wild and Susan Cain's Quiet have stayed with me in the months since I read them.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I must admit, I don't listen to a lot of new music. And I hate to say it, but my biggest discovery was probably One Direction, lol. "That's What Makes You Beautiful" is still playing in my head.  Catchy stuff!!

26. What did you want and get?

I managed to connect with some distant cousins and add a great number of branches to my family tree. : )

27. What did you want and not get?

Still waiting on the sunspot vacation and new everyday dishes I mentioned last year. There were also several things I wanted to get done around the house that didn't happen. They need to happen soon, though... it's our turn to host the annual get-together for dh's cousins this summer (about 40-50 people). If that's not incentive, I don't know what is...!! :p

28. What was your favourite film of this year?

We saw about a dozen new movies in the theatre this year, which is actually on the low side for us. Most of them were pretty good, and some of them were really, really good. "Skyfall" would probably be my favourite, I think, just because it was so well done and (as a longtime James Bond fan) so much FUN.

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

I was 51 -- took the day off work and went to the spa, and had dinner out with dh later. 52 coming up shortly...!

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

Less stress. If one of us is stressed, then both of us are inevitably stresed and unhappy -- and there were a few too many days of being stressed out for my liking.  :p  Work and the commute to & from (and there were alot of changes to our commute & regular routines this year) are probably our main stressors. Sometimes it feels like all the construction -- at our local commuter train station, at Union Station and elsewhere downtown -- will never end. (More likely, it will probably end right about the time we both retire...!)

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?

As I said in 2010, not sure I have one, let alone a new one every year?? 

32. What kept you sane?

As I have said in previous years: dh, weekends, & being able to vent to my online friends. : ) And knowing that, if all goes well, retirement could be just three (!!) more years away. ; )

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

Besides the Queen, above, Hillary Clinton. (Girls rule!!) I've long admired her, and all the "Texts from Hillary" and other press she received this year just reminded me of it. And having had a couple of blows to the head myself, I fully sympathize with what she's been through the past few weeks. I hope she has a happy retirement... at least until 2016. ; )

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

It was absolutely appalling to see old white men (on both sides of the border) patronizingly trying to tell women they know what's best for us and our bodies, while they tried to take away our choices, so hard-won by our sisters in the past. Having to refight the battles of the 1960s and 1970s is incredibly depressing. But fight again we must, and will.

The issue of guns and gun control also raised my blood pressure, after Newtown and Colorado in the States, and some high-profile gang-related shootings here in Toronto (one not too far from where my father-in-law lives).  I simply do not understand why anyone, outside the military and police, and possibly people living in remote rural areas, would need or want to own a gun (let alone an entire arsenal of automatic assault weapons designed to inflict the greatest amount of harm on the greatest number of people in the shortest amount of time).

35. Who did you miss?

As always, my daughter, and my grandparents.

Our friends from our old support group. Most of us have stopped attending group events (for reasons I have blogged about in the past), they are busy with their kids and lives, and we seldom seem to get together otherwise. :(

I miss my childhood best friends. I have been thinking of them a lot lately. Don't get to see enough of them, either. :(

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Last year, I got to meet Deathstar;  this year, I finally got to meet and spend an afternoon with Msfitzita. : ) Which blogger(s) will I get to meet in 2013? 

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.

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.

"This is crazy." -- Carly Rae Jepsen ; )

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! I loved reading this and I love your honesty!!! I'm going to tackle this meme myself. Not sure when I'll get it done but since my (Jewish) new year doesn't usually start til September-ish, I'm giving myself some time!

    Happy Ukranian New Year to you and yours, LoriBeth. I'm thankful you're in my life!


  2. I had to chuckle at #19. And yay for #21.

    Holding your cousin in my thoughts and prayers.