Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Year in Review - 2014

  1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before? Turned 40. Celebrated my husband turning 40. Rode in a stretched limo as a family for fun (part of the 40th celebration). Attended the Cherry Blossom Festival in DC. Bought a beautiful, modern home. Expanded our business. Saw my daughter get her first job and her first book signing as well. Saw my son start a regular volunteering shift at the library. 
  3. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Two separate questions. To the first one: Nope. I did horribly. Again. Same three things I wanted to do the year before that - write, meditate, exercise. I have this awful habit of wanting everything to be done/caught up/perfect before allowing myself to do something I want, which generally translates into not getting to things I want to do very much. I know better. I counsel people and tell them not to do that. I also tend to run around doing for everyone but myself. This needs to change. I think I do better when I live by a phrase like I have in the past, so I'm doing that again this year. So, to the second question: I am. Mark's clever play on words: The Year of Não ("No" in Portuguese)/Now. See, "Não" is pronounced "now." So it has two meanings - saying no more (in order to say yes to myself more - as in, don't overextend and also, make myself a priority) and also doing things NOW - not putting them off.  
  5. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yep. Two of my SILs. They both gave birth to adorable baby boys - Duncan and Finnegan.   

  6. Did anyone close to you die? No. Thankfully, no.

  7. What countries did you visit? With the house and business moves, we didn't travel much this past year. We did have multiple guests. We did spend a day at the Cherry Blossom Festival in DC. And we did enjoy a week at the beach in Delaware, an annual tradition for us.  

  8. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014? Again, I'd like to take better care of myself. I think a lot of my anxiety/depression comes from not doing enough of that. 

  9. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? April 28th (Harper Lee's birthday) - the day we bought this house. Our birthdays - the big 4-0 for both me and Mark.

  10. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Moving our home and business. Throwing Mark an awesome 40th birthday that I know he truly enjoyed. And, difficult as it is, making some breakthroughs on insights to emotional issues.

  11. What was your biggest failure? Like I say every year, I don't like to think in terms of failure. It is what it is. But I do tend to put my whole heart and soul into others without affording myself the same. It really needs to stop. It's simply not healthy.  

  12. Did you suffer illness or injury? I had a horrible neck spasm in January of this past year - it was extremely painful and scary. It limited my range of motion and was so bad that I almost couldn't lie down to go to sleep the first night, prompting many tears. It was during that really bad cold weather - stupid polar vortex. Stress built up for me this past fall and I dealt with a pretty bad bout of depression. It'd been 10 years since it'd been that bad (and even then, it wasn't as bad as it was in 2003). I had spent the past several years (and especially the past year) repeatedly saying, "I'm breaking." It just got worse and worse until in November, I feel like it snapped and went from "I'm breaking" to "I'm broken." I have felt burned out, overwhelmed, tired, stretched thin, unsupported, low . . . basically, I have run around doing for everyone else but not taking care of myself. I'm not good at it. I don't always feel deserving of it. I know these things intellectually. Putting them into practice is another story. I'm trying. I'm working on it. I'm learning where it stems from and learning how to address that and heal and move forward. It's a process and takes time and work. I've learned a lot from the experience (I have learned every time I've dealt with depression) and I am especially grateful for supportive friends who were simply incredibly dedicated to helping me. I've felt very supported by many, which is very different than 2003 when we had just moved here and knew no one (again, this bout wasn't nearly as bad as in 2003 - having older kids and a support system helps! -, but difficult nonetheless).    

  13. What was the best thing you bought? Hands down, our new house! It is modern and lovely and floods with light every day. Our views from every window are so beautiful that you can't help but stop what you're doing and take it in. As a family, we're often looking at the gorgeous sunsets, snow-covered trees, misty creek, farmland, hills . . . it's all so pretty! At our old farmhouse, we could see billboards and "Big Mike's Beer Warehouse" (or something like that) and McDonald's and while it was a wonderful place to be for over 7 years as we started our business, this change has been so good for us. Our business is now in its own location with TWO patient rooms (which is, as Mark keeps saying, awesome). And our home is modern and open and light-filled. We have closets, a garage, central air, gas heating, an open-floor plan, a fireplace (two actually - one in our room, too), LOTS of windows . . . we love it. We have now lived in a small apartment, a trailer, a townhouse, a farmhouse, and a modern house. It's kind of fun to have different adventures! 

  14. Whose behavior merited celebration? Sherri and Ron's. They helped us move. They offered. They insisted. They showed up. They lent a lot of time, muscle, and truck use as well as loads of friendship and emotional support. We're very grateful to them. And when I started getting down, Sherri jumped into action immediately. She rallied support and was present and reached out to others who she knew would be present, too. She's (and they're) awesome. Sherri, Lisa, and Laura all deserve shout outs on this one.

  15. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? I think I'd rather not say on this one. This past year has been difficult and emotional and stressful in many ways and I honestly thought certain people would have been here, been present, been helping more and, well, they weren't. They didn't have to, of course. And it's my own fault for having expectations (I know better), but I thought maybe and, well, I was wrong. Some people did more dumping on me and not so much with the helping or even asking how I am.

  16. Where did most of your money go? Mortgages!

  17. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Celebrating turning 40 - a party for me, a great day for Mark, and a joint party for both of us. Our new business location. And our new house! We love it. Also, the spread of marriage equality. And Thing 1's first job and Thing 2's first volunteer shifts.

  18. What song will always remind you of 2014? 80s music. We played a great playlist of 80s music at our joint 40th birthday party and it was a big hit and lots of fun to reminisce about with friends! Sherlock theme music - Mark and I watched the first 3 seasons with Kate this past year.  

  19. Compared to this time last year, are you:
    a) happier or sadder? Similar, but hopeful?
    b) thinner or fatter? I think I've gained a couple of pounds - I've got some middle-aged tummy going on, methinks.
    c) richer or poorer? Poorer? The same? A lot of what we'd saved went toward the house/settlement, but technically, that's ours - just not readily available like liquid cash. 

  20. What do you wish you’d done more of? I wish I'd been listened to more. I wish I'd done lots of things - more purging, more projects, more writing. I'm so depleted that I don't even feel as creative as I usually feel. :/

  21. What do you wish you’d done less of? Less feeling frustrated, less crying, less raging. Less being other people's dumping grounds with no thought for how it might be affecting me. That being said, I'm learning from it, so it's not for naught, I hope. 

  22. How did you spend Christmas? Here with my beautiful family. My mom and Jim joined us this year and it was low-key and very nice. I especially enjoyed rediscovering some favorite Portuguese treats, like shrimp rissóes.

  23. Did you fall in love in 2014? I'm already there.

  24. What was your favorite TV program? Parenthood, Sherlock, Gilmore Girls, Amazing Race, Modern Family, The Goldbergs, Big Bang Theory . . . I don't want to choose only one. I even got on an Everybody Loves Raymond rewatch kick this past fall. I wasn't into any new shows that I could binge watch, so I saw some of those and really enjoy them. I'm also watching Frasier with Kate, and Malcolm in the Middle with Max. Pop cultural competence and all. ;)

  25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I honestly don't hate anyone. Though I often feel like people suck. A friend recently told me, "You want to believe that everyone is like you (trustworthy, genuine, etc.) and because of that, you give yourself over to them. Then you get burned because it turns out they aren't all that . . . . There are great benefits to giving yourself over, but also great risks. I wouldn't put this on yourself. I've learned that most people are NOT like us." It was a really good statement to hear and I'm grateful to her for sharing it with me, for several reasons.

  26. What was the best book you read? Flora & Ulysses, The Fourteenth Goldfish, Because of Mr. Terupt - all three are books I've read with our kids. I love reading with them. Oh, and I read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings for the first time ever. It catapulted to my top 5 favorites. Beautiful book. The writing was superb. 

  27. What was your greatest musical discovery? Sam Smith. What a dreamy voice. 

  28. What did you want and get? A new house and a business location with 2 patient rooms!

  29. What did you want and not get? Ha! Here's what I wrote a year ago - glad we did well with this one: "Moving forward with some big life/house/business decisions. So complicated!" I'd say more time/support working on taking care of myself.   

  30. What was your favorite film of this year? 3 come to mind - "What If," "100-Foot Journey," and "The Theory of Everything."

  31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 40 - the day itself was spent with my family and, of course, included gifts and good food. My husband also set up a surprise party for me and my mom and Jim even came down for it! It was the first time in over 20 years I'd had my mom with me for my birthday. We also had many friends there and it was a good night. Mark turned 40, too, this past year. I planned a really special day for him (he has said that he might blog about it). And, together, we threw ourselves a 40th birthday bash in our new backyard this past summer. We got it catered by Chipotle, had great music, a fire pit and torches, s'mores, good friends. It was really fun.  

  32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Feeling listened to and taking better care of myself emotionally.

  33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014? The same as usual. I hate clothes shopping, so I don't tend to get myself new stuff. 

  34. What kept you sane? My family, good friends, TV, books, and Scout.   

  35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Emma Watson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Daniel Radcliffe, and A.S. King.

  36. What political issue stirred you the most? The spread of marriage equality as well as greater focus on feminist issues and gender equality.

  37. Who did you miss? My dad.

  38. Who was the best new person you met? Well, we technically met them before this past year, but our local bookstore's owners have been very good to Kate - selling her books and inviting her to be a part of the local author night signings, and Max - finding Advanced Reader Copies for him (and for Kate) and helping him to become good friends with their son (the kids share a lot of similar interests). It's been nice getting to know them better and enjoying things we have in common.

  39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014. I have some stuff to work through that has been affecting me for years. Now that I've learned more about it, I've found some resources to help. I'm working through it now.

  40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
    I don't know, but I kept thinking about the theme song from "The Jeffersons" as we moved into our new, fancy house. 
    "Well we're movin on up,
    To the east side.
    To a deluxe apartment in the sky.
    Movin on up,
    To the east side.
    We finally got a piece of the pie.
    Fish don't fry in the kitchen;
    Beans don't burn on the grill.
    Took a whole lotta tryin',
    Just to get up that hill.
    Now we're up in the big leagues,
    Gettin' our turn at bat.
    As long as we live, it's you and me baby,
    There ain't nothin wrong with that."


Chelle said...

Oh, it's so nice to get caught up on you! I especially like that I popped in (after a long time of hardly taking time to read blogs anymore) for your year-in-review. Even the condensed version helps me feel more connected to you. Thank you for putting yourself out there. I love real people.

I also really like the encyclopedia of me thing you and Mark are doing. When I'm feeling motivated I'm definitely stealing your idea. It's such a great way to record those little things about ourselves that other people don't always know. My favorite is that you said Niles Crane. I've been watching Frasier again and I will never tire of Niles or of that show.

Happy New Year! I hope this year brings you peace and lots of good things!

Dr. Mark said...

I'm impressed by your openness and honesty. That takes incredible courage. We've talked about SO much of this over the past few months and all I can say is, "Wow." After all you've experienced over the past year, to still see the lessons that have and can still be learned, that is a gift and should help us approach this year together. I've already found love, too. Thank you!

Jimmy said...

So good to hear from you! It had been awhile and I missed hearing from my friends.

I appreciate your honesty--so much to learn from others and the trials we encounter. I hope you know I wish happiness for all of you--and I wish I could have been there for the birthday celebrations!

The Magic Violinist said...

Ha, I love "The Year of Não!" Good job, Daddy.

I think once you start writing in the writer's room, it's going to be really hard for you to stop. ;) I hardly ever want to leave it because it's so peaceful and relaxing. (And if you close the door, it's actually really soundproof!)

So glad you and Daddy like "Sherlock." First episode of S4 is only 11 months away! ;)

LMW said...

I also appreciate that you're willing to be so honest and open while still staying classy. It's clear that you had a year of wonderful and difficult things. I'm glad that you have a good support system and it's time to let those who won't support you go as much as you can. May 2015 be a peaceful year where you get to keep learning about yourself without havig to experience the emotional (or physical) pain of 2014!

Emily Foley said...

I was wondering why we never heard from you about NaNoWriMo and christmas stuff. I'm sorry you were suffering. I hope things get easier for you. I love these years in review, you're a lot more eloquent and detailed than I am.

I really wanted to see the 100 Foot Journey, I guess I'll have to rent it.

Your birthdays sound awesome! I want Chipotle to cater my party in my new back yard. Oh wait. I live in Gallup.

Boquinha said...

Rachelle, thank you! I love catching up with you, too. You are a friend that is in that category of we-pick-up-right-where-we-left-off. I miss you! Feel free to do the Encyclopedia of Me thing. We got the idea from my SIL Emily. Imitation is the highest form of flattery and all that. :) Happy New Year!

Mark, thanks. I'm loving our Schedule of Awesome (TM). Now, if I could not feel guilty about it . . . :P I love you and am so glad we're partners.

Jimmy, thank you. I count you as a dear friend and am so grateful for you.

TMV, it really is great in there. I'm so glad we've cleaned it out and set it up. Scout has even been supportive!

11 months. Is that all? :P

LMW, I get excited every time my email alerts me to tell me that you've commented. I love hearing from you. Thank you for the kind words.

Emily, thank you. And thank you for the idea. I'm pretty sure I got the idea from you! It's a nice way to reflect.

Yes, rent "The 100-Foot Journey." It is SO good. I looooove Helen Mirren.

Tell you what. Move here and buy our farmhouse and we will totally throw you a birthday party in your new backyard catered my Chipotle, our treat.

Emily Foley said...

I like your offer except for the farmhouse. I'd like to skip that stage of life and move right onto "brand new beautiful open floor plan full of light". :)

seventytwofishes said...

Ok, so I'm big-time behind on reading everyone's blogs. The fall semester was trying.

Sounds like an up and down year. Let's focus on the "up" parts.

We were so glad to be a part of both of your 40th birthdays! Fun nights. It was also really nice to meet Mrs. Resendes and Mr. and Mrs. Foley. It's great you were able to visit with both sides of the family in the same year.

Your new home is beautiful. We knew you would be deliciously happy there (even though you had your doubts). We were so happy to be able to help you with that move. It was truly our pleasure and we are honored to have been a part of it.

Friends help friends. I truly believe--deep in my heart--that the reason we are on this planet is to forge strong relationships with friends and family. We are glad to have you in our lives.

Boquinha said...

Sherri, now I'm big time behind on reading everyone's blogs! And now you're in the trying part of spring semester - the circle of life. :P

I love and treasure your comment - we feel the same way about you guys. Thank you. <3