Thursday, December 29, 2011

The 2011 Survey

I do the same year-end survey every year. I'd be really interested to read some of yours!

1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?
Bought a Mac; auditioned for a national game show, and danced alone in front of several hundred people; ran, both individually and in two 5Ks (though not the whole thing); visited the Pacific Northwest; got paid for my writing!!!; had professional portraits taken; hired a lawn service (totally worth it); joined Twitter; celebrated Thanksgiving with someone else's family; tried a Shellac manicure; took a staycation; pulled off more than one surprise party; sponsored a Compassion child.

 2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My main resolution was to keep a thankfulness journal and write down a few specific things I was thankful for each day. I missed days, but always caught up later. I'm glad to have the list to look back on. I also wanted "to continue doing new things and taking chances." MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

I think my 2012 resolution will be to make space in my life. I took this entire week off from work and am still stressed out. It's made me very aware of how insanely overscheduled my life is, and it needs to stop, for many reasons.  The hard part will be not letting people guilt or shame me into re-committing to things or being busier again.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My best friend from college, Emily, had Jameson. My cousin Brooke had Jake. Another friend (who lives in Knoxville) had twin girls. And the real baby bonanza is still to come!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully, no.

5. What countries did you visit?
As usual, I didn’t leave the country. But I did visit FOUR new states: Indiana, Oregon, Washington, and Utah. (Utah was just a layover, but I say it counts!)

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked this year?
A better job situation… and a man in my life. Even just one nice date would be great.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
September 3 – the day my sister announced she was pregnant!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Becoming a "real," "professional" writer, even though I still don't feel like one!

9. What was your biggest failure?
I can't think of anything specific. I'm a general work in progress.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
The usual series of ear and sinus infections. Nothing serious.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Can I list three? My new-to-me oven, my bike, and my Macbook Pro.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My immediate family and close friends. That's a cop-out, but I'm blessed with so many wonderful people.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Eh, they know who they are. Or would if they cared enough to think about it.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Other than bills… travel and my bathroom remodel. And probably clothes. :|

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Having my bathroom remodeled! Going to the Keys with my parents. Going to Oregon. My good audition for Wheel of Fortune. Also, 2011 was definitely a year of restored relationships! I reconnected with two long-lost best friends and one of my favorite cousins.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Here you go!

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

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Honestly? Relaxing and having unstructured time. I'm thankful I got to travel and experience things and really suck the marrow out of life this year, but it's not working for me as a permanent lifestyle.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Worrying. Although I am getting better.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my parents, siblings, and grandma here at home! I love not traveling for Christmas.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
I fell in love with my church. Seriously. I've never felt such fulfillment and a sense of purpose and belonging. I had pretty much given up on ever having this kind of experience. I'm so thankful.

22. What concerts did you attend this year?
Taylor Swift and Needtobreathe (plus several surprise guests) in Nashville! Sara Bareilles at Minglewood Hall. Hanson at the Delta Fair. Also, Bebo Norman at the Levitt Shell and Matthew Smith at my church. And I was honored to be at Myla's first performance at the Bluebird Café in Nashville!

I also got to meet Robin Jones Gunn (in Oregon) and Angela Thomas (here in town) and hear them speak. They both signed my books, too! Meeting authors I admire is always a huge deal for me.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
So You Think You Can Dance is appointment viewing when it's in season. Other than that, the only shows I keep up with consistently are Glee, New Girl, Whitney and Saturday Night Live.

24. Do you dislike anyone now whom you didn't dislike this time last year?
Not that I can think of.

25. What was the best book you read?
Fiction: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins; Goliath by Scott Westerfeld; The Help by Kathryn Stockett; The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen; 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Non-fiction: Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman; Bossypants by Tina Fey; Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg; Flying Solo by Denise Hildreth Jones

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Needtobreathe. My brother first played their music for me in May, and now I have all three of their albums.

27. What did you want and get?
See #11. These were my answers to "What did you want and not get?" last year. I also bought long-awaited faux wood window blinds and a Kindle just this week. I'm so spoiled.

28. What did you want and not get?
See #6. Oh and a Dyson Animal vacuum.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
Deathly Hallows Part 2. Perfectly done.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 32. I went to work, but had lunch with Alanna and Myla at Newk's. Then I had dinner at my parents' house and we went to see The Help.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I'm pretty satisfied with this year, but it would have been great to make it onto Wheel of Fortune! I still have no idea what I did "wrong." Oh well.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011? 
I'm officially tired of this question! My personal fashion concept stays pretty much the same. "Smart casual" with a dose of quirkiness. Also scarves.

33. What kept you sane?
Probably my daily phone talks with my sister as we both drive home from work. If I didn't have her to tell about my day, I would be a lot lonelier.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
The Duke and Duchess of Windsor are so sweet and classy. :) On the other end of the spectrum, I'm weirdly fascinated by Nicki Minaj. She's out there like Lady Gaga, but in a more endearing, approachable way.

35. What political issue stirred you the most? 
The lack of an exceptional Republican Presidential candidate. Is it really too late to start over? :P

36. Who did you miss? 
The usual people who don't live here, plus my brother, who moved to Indiana in June. It's been a sad adjustment not to see him as much.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
I joined a small group at church entirely made up of people I barely knew or had never met. They've all turned out to be awesome. I love it when that happens!

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
I kind of learned this last year, but it's been reinforced: Don't speculate or make decisions based on how you might feel about something in the future. You never know how God will change your heart over time.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I turn the music up, I got my records on 
From underneath the rubble sing a rebel song 
Don't want to see another generation drop 
I'd rather be a comma than a full stop 
Maybe I’m in the black, maybe I’m on my knees 
Maybe I’m in the gap between the two trapezes 
But my heart is beating and my pulses start 
Cathedrals in my heart.
  - Coldplay, Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall


  1. I loved reading every word of this! Did you make this survey up? Is this something you do every year? I have seen things like this before but these questions were very thought provoking! I may steal them and use them for personal reflection.
    Also, let's hang out sometime. I feel like we are kindred souls in so many ways!

  2. Fun reading this. I usually do one or two of these over at Livejournal. Macbooks are great; my twin sis and brother each have one and they love them.

    So when is your sis due? It will be exciting to be an aunt!

    I hope you at least get a date in 2012! :)
    One of my goals for 2012 is to run a 5k. I'm feeling better about it now than I did last week.

  3. Enjoyed reading your answers -- especially #37! Had a great time at lunch the other day. Happy 2012!