Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Year in review

Happy new year!  I realize it's been awhile since my last post. What can I say... year end at work, holidays, Christmas, freezing rain/ice storm, travelling DURING the ice storm, etc. etc. etc. I am actually hoping for a slightly less exciting 2014. :p

Anyway...!  I started doing this year-end meme three 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. 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 previous years' posts, 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 (or didn't) in 2013:
  • Lose weight. (Nope -- my weight seems permanently stuck in the same five-pound range. :p)
  • Exercise more. (And hopefully lose more weight...!)  -- Nope.  Probably got a little LESS exercise, since dh now drops me off directly in front of the commuter train station. Since he lost his job, we no longer have to make the daily trek from the parking garage over the bridge across the highway, up & down stairs. On the other hand, I am now carrying my own briefcase for the first time in 23 years -- weight training??)  
  • 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 2012, but almost.  
  • 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 did a better job on this resolution this year. I read 25books (and am on #26) -- just about one every two weeks -- which is much better than the less than 10 I read last year. I've been bringing my e-reader on the commute, just in case I finish my newspapers and have nothing else to read, and I think that's helped.
  • Tackle some of the clutter that never seems to go away. ("Some" being the operative word...) Took several more boxes of stuff to Goodwill... and shuffled some stuff around (= into the basement) -- 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). 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, have not done any scrapbooking since fall 2009. However, a new Michaels recently opened in town, and dh gave me a giftcard for Christmas, so we'll see...!  
2. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

Went to New York City!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Nobody close-close. But several of my friends & cousins became GRANDPARENTS.  (!!)

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully (& knocking wood), nobody close. I did attend at least one funeral home visitation that I can think of (for the father of dh's cousin's wife).

5. What countries did you visit?

 The U.S. -- New York City specifically. ; )

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

More calm, less drama. :p 

7. What date(s) from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

April 30th -- the day dh joined the ranks of the unemployed/early retired.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Surviving all the upheaval, both personally & professionally. Really, to quote Danny Glover in the Lethal Weapon movies, "I'm getting too old for this sh**..."  ;)

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 

I failed too often to be assertive and to express my own opinions & wishes -- in both my personal and professional lives.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

A few colds & crampy days (no thank you, Aunt Flo... :p ) but nothing serious, thankfully.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Nothing major or hugely outstanding that springs to mind -- but I bought a couple of Lucky Brand long-sleeved T-shirts at Macy's in New York that I LOVE (wish I had bought more!). Also bought a lot of jewelry -- all cheap stuff, but fun. :) 

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Malala Yousafzai. What an inspiration she is! I do wish she had won the Nobel Peace Prize. (Take that, Taliban...)

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

As usual, politicians continue to top my list... Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (and his brother Doug) in particular...!! :p 

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.

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

My trip to New York. :)

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?

I don't pay a lot of attention to new music these days... and I can't say that I LIKE it... but Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" was certainly ubiquitous. :p 

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?

Last year, I said I wished 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...).

Spent more time with girlfriends. The chicks weekend in New York reminded me of  how much I miss female companionship and how much fun it can be.

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

Worrying. It never does much good anyway...

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.  ; ) With the added twist this year of flying out in the aftermath of a major ice storm. :p  Our original flight was actually cancelled, but VERY fortunately, I was able to book us two seats on the next flight out (probably the last two available, since they were right at the very back of the plane...!).  Once we got to Mom & Dad's, there was no freezing rain, but the temperatures rarely got above -20C & often hovered closer to -30C (with windchill values reaching -40C). So we spent a lot of time INSIDE, lol.

When we got back home, more than a week after the ice storm hit, there was still 1/4" to 1/2" of ice coating our driveway, sidewalk, front deck & car, and tree branches down all over our yard.

21. Did you fall in love in 2013?

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 rebooted Dallas. : )

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

I don't think so. Hate is a pretty strong word. There are certainly some people I think of less than others.  

24. What was the best book you read?

I read a lot of great books this year (& I reviewed all of them at least briefly on this blog). If I was forced to pick out the one that really stood out for me & stayed with me, I think it would be "Into the Silence" by Wade Davis (reviewed here).  Long, multilayered and complex, but tremendously fascinating.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I must admit, I don't listen to a lot of new music. I loved rediscovering The Rascals, whose album was one of the first I ever owned. Seeing them in concert this summer and reconnecting with the music of the 60s was a definite 2013 highlight.

26. What did you want and get?

Reassurance from a financial planner that early retirement is still do-able for both of us, despite dh's arriving sooner than we had planned or anticipated. (Two more years... two more years...)

27. What did you want and not get?

Still waiting on the sunspot vacation and new everyday dishes I mentioned in previous years, and did not get some of the things on my to-do list done that I had hoped to accomplish before we hosted dh's cousins' annual get-together last summer.

28. What was your favourite film of this year?

LOVED "Despicable Me 2." lol. "Silver Linings Playbook' was excellent.  Lots of new movies out over the last few weeks that we're hoping to see too. :) 

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

I was 52. As I wrote here, my actual birthday was on a Saturday -- so I took the Friday off work, went to the spa and went shopping. On my birthday, I had a nice dinner out with dh later. 53 coming up shortly...!

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

I had hoped that dh losing his job would remove some of the stress on him... and while it did to some extent, it didn't as much as I had hoped. :(

A little more certainty & continuity at work would have helped too. :p

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

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 as little as TWO (!!) more years away. ; )

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

Besides Malala, mentioned earlier, I became a Facebook follower of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield while he was on his space station mission. Since returning to Earth, he's remained funny, classy and... well... down to earth. A great role model for our young people, and a great representative for Canada in the world.

Also, I, like many other people, was captivated by the new Pope Francis. I'm not Catholic, and I know the policies I disagree with have not changed. But how can you not like the guy? He's making a real effort to walk the talk and put the emphasis where it should be, on charity and forgiveness instead of doctrine & judgment. That's heartening.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

It was sad and depressing to realize that the slaughter of more than 20 six-year-old schoolchildren in December 2012 was not enough incentive for the United States to rethink its policies on gun control (or the lack thereof). 

On the other hand, the Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage were heartening and moving. (Justice Antonin Scalia's attempts at "humour" notwithstanding.) I blogged about that here.

35. Who did you miss?

As always, my daughter, and my grandparents.

The Princess -- only getting to see her twice a year, and occasionally on Skype, sucks. :p

My childhood best friends. Don't get to see enough of them. :(

36. Who was the best new person you met?

(I will have to think about this one.)

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

If the food and the conversation are good enough, people won't notice the peeling paint on your backyard shed at your outdoor party. ;)

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

"I don't want to work, I just want to bang on the drum all day..." ;)

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


  1. Happy new year! I hope that 2014 brings many good things your way :)

  2. It's becoming a real obsession this New Year's Resolution. All over the world. But I don't think there are too many people who keep their promises to themselves for the entire year.

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