Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010: A recap

I started this questionnaire this morning after reading it at All & Sundry and also OneNJen earlier in the week. I didn't think I'd actually do it because I thought I had crappy, boring answers for most of them - a signe of my daily struggle to find meaning in the small things that I do each day. I changed my mind because I thought that while the past few months have been more difficult than the rest of the year, it might give me a different perspective on the year and maybe even an idea of what I want to focus on in 2011.

My biggest fear for 2011 is that I am not going to succeed as a mother of two. With even less sleep ahead, I have little confidence in my abilities to find a balance of time for each child being able to manage my emotions when I am stressed and overtired. I hope that I will be able to surprise myself daily; to be more gracious and understanding of myself and others is a goal.

So, farewell to 2010. Hello to 2011. I'm a little surprised that it is here but I am hopeful that I will be a better person and that the light at the end of the tunnel might show itself enough to give me the courage to keep going.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
Went to New Orleans.
2. Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions, and will you make more next year?
I've never been one to make New Year's Resolutions. I seem to make resolutions for myself as the need comes up throughout the year.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not close to me, but a cousin of mine was killed in a car accident. I didn't know her much at all but still experienced a sense of loss.
5. What countries did you visit?
Went to Canada.
6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
More patience for my daughter and my husband, especially when I'm tired. More sleep but I know that isn't going to happen!
7. What dates in 2010 will become etched in your memory and why?
I am truly having a difficult time to come up with any of that.
8. What was your biggest achievement of 2010?
This is a difficult question for me because I do not feel like I have achievements. While I truly believe that being a SAHM right now is where I need to be and would not want my wee ones being raised in a daycare, it is still hard for me to identify measurable achievements on a personal level. I never imagined that I'd be a homemaker without some prospects for a personal career, even in terms of just a few voice students, on the horizon. I struggle with this daily.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Screaming at my daughter the other day when things were difficult. I find that when my main purpose in life is to be a stay at home mom right now, there isn't much else for me to screw up. Not sure if that is good or bad.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing other than a sinus virus and the physical strain on my muscles from being pregnant the second time.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our 2010 Rav4. Now my husband can drive with more confidence (he and a standard do not get along), it's easier to get Sweet One in and out of the vehicle and there is much more room for stowage. And it is brilliant in the snow that we get when a lake effect system comes through the area.
12. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage and paying back the money the in-laws loaned us so that we could put a full 10% down on the house and avoid the mortgage insurance. We are quite happy that the in-laws are paid off both because it felt good to get that taken care of and also because we needed that money freed up so that we could buy the new vehicle.
13. What did you get really excited about?
Going to Montreal to visit my friend, having my friend come to visit me, getting pregnant again. Again, this is a situation where my first reaction is to say that I don't get excited about things. I do get very excited about things with Sweet One, like when she had a most amazing time watching the hot air balloons (more than a dozen of them) taking off at an annual event here. I'm also very excited when she reaches milestones.
14. What song will always remind you of 2010?
I am absolutely blanking out when it comes to naming just one specific song. Funny how if I hear a song from some point in my past, I can almost remember exactly where I was each time I listened to it!
15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
- happier or sadder? neither. Things feel more challenging physically and emotionally for me but I am not necessarily 'sadder'.
- thinner or fatter? well, I'm about to enter my third trimester and my boobs are competing with my ass to see which can get their own zip code first while my belly pulls at absolutely every muscle in my back!
- richer or poorer? about the same on a monthly basis but knowing that the mortgage is getting paid down gradually does help us feel like we're getting somewhere.
16. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Found daily adventures.
17. What do you wish you'd done less of?
18. How did you spend Christmas?
With my little family for most of the day and with friends/surrogate family for brunch.
19. What was your favorite TV program?
I'm a tv addict and probably enjoy watching much more than I should. Usually a question like this is very difficult but I can say without a doubt that Parenthood popped into my head the moment I read this question.
20. What were your favorite books of the year?
Too Close to the Falls by Catherine Gildiner.
21. What was your favorite music from this year?
I used to listen to music all the time, it was a occupational hazard, but I have really stopped listening as much. I'm trying to put music on more, especially since Sweet One really enjoys it, and have been enjoying James Taylor, Glee soundtrack, Sarah MacLaughlan, Jason Mraz and Sara Bareilles.
22. What were your favorite films of the year?
Inception. We watched it last night with On Demand and it was totally worth the $4. I've watched a lot of movies this year but can't think of any more at this point.
23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
We went up to our friends/surrogate family's house for dinner. Nothing else of note is popping into my head. 32.
24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Finding something that gave me a sense of personal fulfillment outside of being a mom.
25. How would you describe your fashion concept in 2010?
Is it dirty? Does it fit somewhat? Despite my completely frustration with my post-partum wardrobe, there was no point in trying to do anything about it because of plans to get pregnant again.
26. What kept you sane?
Going to the movies by myself once in awhile. Making a new friend a few doors down who has three boys and Sweet One loves playing with them!
27. Tell us a valuable lesson you learned in 2010.
For most of my life, all of my friendships were made in school. This made it very easy for them to be based upon similarities that were right there in front of us; we didn't have to spend a huge amount of time getting to know one another because things just seemed to 'click'. I have not met anyone where everything has just clicked into place and I feel like I can be myself 100%. However, I am learning that friendships can grow and be valuable even if everything doesn't just pop into place. To be able to appreciate people and what I can learn from them because of how they see things differently than me is something I found hard to do. This has enabled me to becomes friends with the woman down the street and her friendship is turning into a very important one to me. I have learned new things about building friendships over the past four months that have helped me grow up a bit.

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