1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?
Visited Wine Country. Served as a delegate at the DFL City Convention. Participated in a worldwide protest.
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I accomplished eight of my 40 x 40 goals. (Saw a local performance of the Nutcracker, did a behind the scenes tour of the Aquarium, read East of Eden, started a college savings account for Christopher and added to Clare's, volunteered at Clare's school, baked an apple pie using my grandmother's recipe, took both kids to a movie at a movie theater, and went on our yearly friends camping trip.)
I didn't make any other resolutions, but this year I have two.
~Find a regular volunteer opportunity to do with Christopher.
~Talk about our budget on weekly basis with Ben.
3. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thank God.
4. Did anyone close to you have a child?
Yes! My sister had my new nephew Otto in November. Katie had Eero in January.
5. Where did you travel?
Fort Myers Beach, Florida; Northfield (Girls' Weekend), Whitewater State Park (Friends' Camping), Lake Itasca State Park, Gooseberry Falls State Park, Sonoma, Lake Vermillion, Cascade River State Park (Friends' Camping), La Crosse (Girls' Weekend), and several trips to Evansville.
6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?
Oh let's see, maybe a world that doesn't feel like it's falling down around me? I don't see that happening, though.
7. What dates from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory?
January 21 - the day of the Woman's March. My nephew's birthday in November.
And I think, in general, I will remember all of 2017 as just being terrible.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Hmmmmm. Let's stick with something really, really small. I finished a knitting project. (A cowl for Clare.) And I read more than 50 books.
9. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes. I had a procedure done and ended up with a tear in my esophagus. It sucked. (I am okay now.)
10. What was the best thing you bought?
I mostly buy stuff for the kids. Also: a plane ticket to Sonoma.
11. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My friend Heather, who is now the President of ERA Minnesota, among her many other volunteer duties. She has started doing all of this since the election. I really admire her.
Also, as every year, Ben is really my rock. I couldn't ask for a better partner, even if we annoy each other sometimes. And I can say that because I know he won't read this.
12. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and the rest of the Congressional Republicans; Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein, and all of the other abusers of women; and of course He Who Shall Not Be Named.
13. Where did most of your money go?
Same as last year: Things for House and Children.
14. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My new nephew. My trip to Sonoma with my college friends.
15. What song will always remind you of 2017?
Anything on the They Might Be Giants "Science is Real" album.
16. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
I hate to say it, but sadder and fatter. About the same financially.
17. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Exercised and washed my face. Had date nights with Ben. Every year I say this, and every year I mean to prioritize it. Spoiler alert: I don't.
18. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Yelled at my kids.
And, because I think I need to repeat this every year, what I wrote last year and the year before and the year before that:
Worried about things that are out of my control. I think I'll wish that every year. Also: obsessed about things that have already happened. (And are therefore out of my control.)
19. How did you spend Christmas?
We hosted my parents and my sister and her family at our house in Christmas Day. We spent Christmas Eve at my sister's house. It was our usual fun: church and then lots of taco dip and wine. The kids were thrilled with their haul, including the American Girl Diner for Clare (which I found on deep discount on Cyber Monday) and a bunch of transformers for Christopher. Ben gave me an emulator to play all of the old school Nintendo games, and the promise of a weekend to myself at home.
We had a lot of festive fun this month, including Ben's family party complete with swimming at the hotel pool, a hot drinks party at my friend Sarah's, Cindi's annual Christmas party, and my office party with my friends. (Day drinking for the win!) We are spending New Year's Eve in Evansville, with VIP visitors. (My brother, sister-in-law and nephew, who flew in from London for a short visit.)
20. What was your favorite TV program?
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Good Place, Brooklyn 99, Master of None, and Star Trek: Discovery. (I am not ashamed to admit it.) I have also been rewatching Friends again, which is a nice distraction.
22. What was the best book you read?
My top five:
1. "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte
2. "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
3. "Commonwealth" by Ann Patchett
4. "Lilac Girls" by Martha Hall Kelly
5. "This is How It Always Is" by Laurie Frankel
23. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The Palace Theatre in St. Paul. (Can a place count as a musical discovery?) I saw Belle and Sebastian, The Pixies and Wilco. All great shows, and all over by 11 p.m. This is my kind of place.
24. What did you want and get?
Clare's amazing teacher. I requested him and he has more than lived up to my expectations. I am so happy that she gets to have him as her teacher for 3 years.
25. What did you want and not get?
I mean, obviously there are a million things that I wanted to go differently this year for this country and this world. However, on a purely selfish and materialistic level I'll say a new phone.
26. What was your favorite film of this year?
"Lion", "Moana" and "Lady Bird".
27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Ben worked late on my actual birthday, and I spent a few days sulking about the lack of celebration. Then my friends kidnapped me two days later and took me out for a surprise dinner and drinks and showered me with some lovely presents, including a beautiful bag that my friend Sarah made herself. She could seriously sell these bags. This made up for any other birthday woes. I also went out to dinner with my sister, which is always nice. I turned 38.
28. What one [or three] thing[s] would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I say this all the time, but I would love some more time to myself. Now that Christopher is in school three days a week I have a few hours on those days. However, I am really trying to make exercise a priority so that pretty much eats up all that time.
29. What kept you sane?
Wine. Joking, sort of.
My lovely friends Kerry, Sarah, Heather and Peggy. I honestly don't know what I would do without them.
30. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Honestly, no one. I am sick of celebrities.
31. What political issue stirred you the most?
This isn't a political issue, but I want to fit this in somewhere. I was a delegate for the wonderful Melvin Carter, and HE WON the election in St. Paul. I am so excited and proud that he is going to be our next mayor.
I am also really mad at the Democrats right now, because I don't believe they handled the Al Franken situation correctly.
32. Who did you miss?
Same as last year: Christina. My grandpa. Robby and Andri.
33. Who was the best new person you met?
Christopher's preschool teachers, Sara and Machael. They are lovely. And, of course, Otto!
34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.
I finally got it through my head that when I exercise regularly I feel so much better. This seems like something I should have figured out before I turned 38. Now, to make myself do it, especially since I've gained quite a bit of weight eating my feelings over the past year. I joined the Y, and I must make this a priority.
And now 2018. Brace yourselves.
|Making Christmas cookies.|
|At the Nutcracker at St. Kate's.|
|His new blanket from Meema Mary Theresa.|
|Snow on Christmas Eve.|
|Christmas Eve night.|
|Ready for fun on Christmas morning.|