Reflections on 2011

Photo borrowed from Photobucket

Well, I’ll be honest … there’s a part of me that is glad to be done with 2011, that is all too happy to drop kick this year to the curb. This has been a hard, tough year. This time last year, we knew we were in for some significant changes. We knew that we had probably just celebrated the last Christmas in our Delaware house and that we were either going to be moving to Pittsburgh or Iowa sometime in 2011. We also knew that there would be several months of separation while The Husband got established in the new job and new city (wherever that would be) and while the kids and I stayed back in Delaware to finish out the school year and to sell the house.

What we didn’t count on was my losing my job in the middle of all this – which made an incredibly difficult time even much more challenging. There’s a part of me that is still very angry and bitter about that. We also didn’t expect to take as big of a loss ($100,000) on the sale of the house as we did, and despite our mortgage lender’s PR bullshit of being willing to work with its borrowers, we didn’t expect that they would be of no help whatsoever and that we would essentially lose every dime (including every cent of our 401ks) that we had saved since we began working 20 years ago.

In a sense, 2011 was the year that we (like so many Americans) started over. There have been many times this year that we’ve been frightened and scared, angry and sad. But in recent months, there’s been a sense of relief, of feeling that we’ve come through this OK.  The kids have made this adjustment remarkably well in every sense – from leaving a big house to moving into a small apartment, to leaving their friends and family behind to making new friends, to  the demands of a much harder school.  Boo’s on track to get the autism services he needs (and deserves).

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Filed for unemployment.  (Well, technically I did do that before, but only for a week.  This time, it was for three months.)
Visited Pittsburgh for the first time – and moved there!

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My New Years resolution was to “make dinner,” meaning that I wanted to get better at meal planning. I think I accomplished that, even though there’s always room for improvement. I need to continue to make some significant changes in my diet due to my cholesterol numbers, which aren’t good. I’ve already started eating oatmeal and bananas for breakfast in the morning, more salads, and eliminating  

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
A former coworker.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My grandmother, just a few weeks ago.

5. What countries did you visit?
None.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

9. What was your biggest failure?

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Thankfully, no.  Apparently, I just escaped slipping into a coma.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

14. Where did most of your money go?
To the assholes at our former mortgage company who refused to work with us on modifying our loan.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
“Firework” by Katy Perry
“The Edge of Glory” – Lady Gaga (it’s one of my “wake me up/psych music” songs that I love to play at 5 or 6 a.m. when I am on the road heading out for a day of travel for work)

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?

About the same!
b) thinner or fatter?
About the same!
c) richer or poorer?

Poorer due to mortgage and vacation.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Communicate, socialize more, read more (93 books completed this year in comparison to 140-plus in previous years), worry less and obsess less about things I can’t control.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Watch TV.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
At my parent’s house in the Philly suburbs, with family. Christmas Eve church and dinner at a friend’s house, Christmas Day opening presents and having roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
Twice, unfortunately. Still single!

22. How many one-night stands?
None.

23. What was your favourite TV program?

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

25. What was the best book you read?

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Lady Gaga.  I know … I am the last person in the world to discover her and I wrote her off as just being another Madonna clone for the longest time, but damn, the woman can sing. Same thing with Adele.  

27. What did you want and get?
Rainboots for Christmas (I swear, sometimes I think I’m secretly 5 years old!).

28. What did you want and not get?
A new house.

29. What was your favourite film of this year?
I only saw one movie.  “The Muppets.”  Loved it!

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
It was mostly satisfying, except in the area of my love life.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Generally speaking, on any given day I wear something that’s black. Around this time of year I’m into wearing lots of skirts and dresses, paired with a chunky sweater, tights, and my favorite boots. I’m also kind of obsessed with this new pair of Mary Jane heels that I’ve been planning outfits around!

33. What kept you sane?
Facebook.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Don’t like politics and try not to take sides.

35. Whom did you miss?
My best friend from high school.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:
It sounds cheesy, but I learned that you should always take advantage of every opportunity you get. And I learned to speak up more.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

39. So in as few words as possible, how would you sum up your year?
Pretty satisfying!

copyright 2011, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

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