Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 in Review: Triathlon, Cleaning Service, Lady Gaga

More than ever, I'm super-into the idea of being intentional about setting goals and exploring what kind of a life I want to create.  In the last few weeks, I've been toying with some of the prompts and tools from Reverb 10, most especially Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project (and her resolutions), How to Conduct Your Own Annual Review from The Art of Non-Conformity and Gwen Bell's How to Create Your Personal Manifesto.  I'm thinking strongly about inviting a small group of people to sit down and work through a few of these exercises together in a sort of New Year's Retreat, just because I think it's inspirational to think and talk about the possibilities and then find ways to make it happen.  (And if you're local, and if this sounds fun, let me know.  I really want to kick off 2011 in a positive, creative way.)

But in the meantime, it's fun to look back at 2010, and I make a little time at the end of every year to answer the same questions.  Without further ado, 2010:

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
Swam half a mile in open water, did yoga at the top of a sand dune, and competed in a triathlon.  Went to a writer's conference, and read what I'd written to the group.  Celebrated 11 years of marriage.  Watched my daughters turn six and four, and made peace with the idea of not having more children.  Took the girls to Disney, hiking and kayaking in Sleeping Bear Dunes, in the Harbor Springs 4th of July parade, camping, bowling, and to see their first fireworks.  Got a hot stone massage at a spa in the mountains, and took Annie to get her first pedicure.  Grew eggplant, peas, lettuce, shallots (fail!), and carrots in our garden.  Made cupcakes with bacon and learned to bake my own bread.  Ran out of gas.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I resolved to do a triathlon, rectify my out-of-control e-mail inbox, and say "yes" more.  I kept the first two, but probably not the third, though I think I did do a slightly better job of saying yes to the girls when they wanted to do something (stay up late, bake a cake, play the millionth round of a game).
For 2011:  
1.  Kick the year off with a January detox - no alcohol, no red meat, very little "white" anything, lots of water and fresh fruits and vegetables for one month.
2.  Find a meaningful way to "give back" and start doing it.
3.  Establish good systems to organize the things in my life that consistently overwhelm me:  photos, recipes, books, and kids' art.
4.  Complete and make public my Life List.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes, again, lots of people close to me!
4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
Quebec City, Canada.  (And traveled within the U.S. to Asheville, NC for the second time, Chicago twice, and up north lots more, including taking the girls to Sleeping Bear Dunes for their first visit.)
6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
A more positive attitude.
7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Doing the triathlon on the morning of my 33rd birthday is pretty hard to beat, but there are also a few bright, shining moments from the summer that stand out as quintessential beach memories, plus the unforgettable weekend in Quebec City with Jason.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Not to keep harping on this, but I really think that signing up for and training for the triathlon was huge for me.  It felt scary, and it took a leap of faith and a lot of hours of training to complete it, and I'm so glad I did.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I didn't write as much as I would have liked in those precious few hours on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  I still - still! - lack the kind of patience and calm that I think would make me a better mom.  
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing major, though I did fall while running and scrape myself up pretty badly, and I had a pinched nerve in my neck that hurt enough that I sought out a chiropractor while we were on vacation in the fall.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
A cleaning service - prompted, actually, by this exact review last year and the question that asked what would have made my year better.  Coming home every other Tuesday to find the entire house spotless is pretty awesome.  I am also 100% thrilled with the money I spent on cuter-than-average rain boots, my long down winter coat, and airfare to fun places.
12. Where did most of your money go?
The usual - mortgages, school loans, insurances of many and varied kinds, retirement savings, and an alarming amount of groceries.
13. What did you get really excited about?
Conquering swim practice, and post-practice dinner with Jason every Wednesday this summer.  My annual girls' weekend.  Watching the girls' faces at Disney World.  Realizing that I love to road bike.  Seeing Brandi Carlile at Meijer Gardens.  Getting our Christmas tree.  Bell's Cherry Stout.  A surprise weekend getaway with Jason.  
14. What song will always remind you of 2010?
I am sorry to admit it, but anything by Lady Gaga really did it for me during boot camp and treadmill workouts.
15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? Happier.
– thinner or fatter? Same, I think.
– richer or poorer? Richer.
16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Enjoyed the moment I was in while I was in it, though I am getting better at that.
17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Been grumpy at my family first thing in the morning.  Gossiped.  Complained.
18. How did you spend Christmas?
At home in the morning, Kalamazoo with Jason's extended family later in the day.
19. What was your favorite TV program?
Three-way tie:  Modern Family, 30 Rock, Mad Men.
20. What were your favorite books of the year?
The Help by Kathryn Stockett, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.
21. What was your favorite music from this year?

The Brandi Carlile station on Pandora, which is a lovely, mellow mix of Patty Griffin, The Weepies, Allison Krauss, Rufus Wainwright, Indigo Girls, and lots of other folky, harmony-laden semi-famous artists.  It's on in my kitchen almost constantly.
22. What were your favorite films of the year?
Ah, the movie question.  We hardly ever see movies in the theater, and I fall asleep when I try to watch them at home.  Embarrassingly, I really did love Toy Story 3, The Princess and the Frog, and Tangled, which I just took the girls to see yesterday.  (Help!  I'm a cliche!  I'm a 33-year-old mom, and I only watch Disney movies!)
23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I did the Reed's Lake Triathlon, hosted a fun post-race party at my house, ate a ton of Marie Catrib's pudding, and took Annie to get a pedicure in the afternoon.  I turned 33.
24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Well, if I'm dreaming here, I would always welcome more time reading in bed.
25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
I was recently dismayed to realize that I seem to only have two "fashion concepts:"  either horrifyingly inappropriate for leaving the house (unshowered, no make-up, hair askew, just-worked-out-but-haven't-showered-yet, ugly) OR completely and totally put together including blow-dried hair, full make-up, actual jewelry, cute shoes.  Sadly, the first is far more prevalent than the second (and in many, varied public places until very late times of day) and there seems to be no in-between.
26. What kept you sane?
Exercise, girlfriends, yoga, the absurdity and affection of my children, the patience and good nature of my husband, wine, coffee.
27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.

You know what I think?  I think everyone has a story to tell, and everyone, in their own little way, is just trying to matter.

1 comment:

  1. I love your idea of getting a group together to talk through some of the exercises and concepts you are exploring. This is something I did frequently when I was coaching full-time. I'm in such a different mental space now...would love to spend more time there again. Too bad I'm across state. Although, if you find you don't have local interest, I'd be happy to help coordinate a tele-group. It's free to get the conference line, the calls can be recorded (to be revisited), and nobody has to go anywhere. We would miss seeing faces and sharing good food and drink, though!