Monday, December 31, 2018

Back to Basics

It's fitting, I think, that I'm sliding into this last post of the year right at the deadline.

Back in the days of blogging I had a number of end of year meme sort of posts I would use to wrap up the year. I do most of that offline now. I miss those memes, though. So I figured I'd use a couple for this month's post. 

It used to be that listing the first line of your first post of each month was a small sampling of what you'd written over the year. For me it's more of a table of contents and it's going to get super meta once I get to December but I think that's cool.

January: The big world is different and my little world is different.

February: For my birthday last month I took myself out to a show.

March: You're not detail oriented.

April: How many of you out there are writers?

May: Someone said, "They should have taught us better."

June: Dear Mr. Pratt;

July: As things have ramped up with my dog training business I've learned a lot about my own anxiety.

August: This morning I was flipping past some photos of a Christmas Eve a few years ago and suddenly asked myself, "How did I feel about last Christmas Eve?"

September: When should I quit my day job?

October: I saw Anne Lamott speak recently.

November: I can do this....right?

December: It's fitting, I think, that I'm sliding into this last post of the year right at the deadline. 

Another thing was this list of questions that went around. Back when I did this regularly I wouldn't redact anything but this year is going to require some redaction. I was going to let that keep me from posting the questions and then I decided that I'm sick of little rules of my own keeping me from doing things I want to do.

1. What did you do this year that you’d never done before?
Had an MRI.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions?
Kept up a 365 project. Did good things. Beat my dog training earnings goal.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not someone very close but I did get to meet a baby at an annual gathering, and she was delicious.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Lots of deaths but none too close to me...yet. Probably the closest was my neighbor, Sharon Robinson. She was a community organizer and when she found out my name she always called out to me as “Ms. Robinson!” and I returned it. She was lovely and she’s missed.
5. What cities/states/countries did you visit?
Went to Paramus for a dog training seminar.
6. What would you like to have next year that you lacked this year?
    Naps/recovery time.
7. What date(s) from this year will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
    My brain was so scrambled that the dates won’t stick but M’s pool party, the visit to Barbara & Margaret with Sara, Anna’s diagnosis, my MRI, my biopsy will all stay big.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Hanging out w/M.
Exceeded my earnings goals w/dog training.
Quit [redacted].
9. What was your biggest failure?
Not realizing [redacted] was a problem earlier.
Some of my interactions with M and the [redacted] students.
10. What other hardships did you face?
All the breast cancer shenanigans.
Anna’s terminal diagnosis.
11. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Diagnosed with atypical lobular hyperplasia so figuring out how or whether to take steps to reduce my cancer risk.
12. What was the best thing you bought?
    The trip to see Barbara with Sara.
13. Whose behavior merited celebration?
    M, C, Momma M, Sara, & Rob, the folks who ran the camp we sent M to.
14. Whose behavior made you appalled?
M’s school, [redacted reason].
15. Where did most of your money go?
Veterinary things.
Human medical things.
16. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    [redacted job related stuff]
17. What song will always remind you of this year?
18. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. Happier or sadder? Sadder
ii. Thinner or fatter? Fatter
iii. Richer or poorer? Richer
19. What do you wish you’d done more of?
    Training my dog.
    Snuggling my cat.
    Rehearsing Chekhov.
20. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Ride on the subway.
Phone calls.
21. How will you be spending Christmas?
Went to NH. Visited friends and family. Drove back to BK on Christmas Day.
22. Did you fall in love this year?
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
    Pretty much the same people, though the next door neighbors are looming large right now.
24. What was your favorite show?
    Vikings, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Game of Thrones, Ray Donovan
25. What was the best book you read?
The Hazel Wood - fiction
26. What was your greatest musical discovery of the year?
I love Fairytale of NY, I’d never heard it or known that I heard it and we played it several times on the Christmas road trip. It makes me want more Pogues and more of just that song.
27. What was your favorite film?
    I can’t even remember what I saw, I’ve seen so few.
28. What was your favorite meal?
    Michelle made me a dinner party for my birthday and it was glorious. Scallop apps, a stew, Mollie made a cake for dessert. It was awesome.
29. What did you want and get?
30. What did you want and not get?
    An easy diagnosis for Anna.
31. What did you do on your birthday?
    Can’t remember. Sure I hung with friends. In April Michelle made that dinner party for me, which was amazeballs.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
    More time in my house, hanging with my animals, also napping.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of the year?
Stretchy, washable, clean...ish.
34. What kept you sane?
    My friends, hands down.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Norman Reedus
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Getting T out of office/mid term elections.
37. Who did you miss?
Auntie Blanche
Anna, pre-emptively
38. Who was the best new person you met?
39. What valuable life lesson did you learn this year?
How to [redacted life skill].
40. What is a quote that sums up your year?
“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.”
  • Carrie Fisher

In my search for the right quote, and I really think that the one above is the right quote, I found a lot of other great ones. I could have found more but I stopped when I found the right one. I didn't want to leave the other greats behind, though, so here they are as a bonus!

“My desolation does begin to make a better life.”
William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra

“You know nothing.”
- Game of Thrones

“What do we say to the God of Death? Not today.”
  • Game of Thrones

"It's easy to confuse what is with what ought to be”
  • Game of Thrones

“Besides, she was the Wraith – the only law that applied to her was gravity, and some days she defied that, too.”
Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows

“The heart is an arrow. It demands aim to land true.”
Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows

“The water hears and understands. The ice does not forgive.”
Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows

“There is no point at which you can say, 'Well, I'm successful now. I might as well take a nap.'”
  • Carrie Fisher

“The only thing worse than being hurt is everyone knowing that you're hurt.”
  • Carrie Fisher

And then there's this. Some people think it's silly but I've had a lot of luck with my "Year of ____" strategies, starting with the Year of Yes. So I'm sticking with it.

“Back to basics”

Part of going back to basics will be coming back here at least 12 times next year - specifically one each month. I'm looking forward to it.