In review: 2015

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January 5, 2016 by 8junebugs

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before? Sculled!

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? The word for this year was Focus. For the first year since I started this word intention thing, I feel like it was either an utter failure or a bad choice for the year because I forgot I had a toddler. How I view it really depends on the day.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yup. Per usual.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No, fortunately. But each year I become more aware that the worst part of adulthood may be the ever-increasing amount of loss and grief, or responsibility for more — and more complicated — crises.

5. What places did you visit? We stayed really local this year. The only “awaycation” was a couple of days at my friend’s cabin up in Arnold.

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015? More fun, less frenzy.

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? None come to mind. Oof, this is going to be a sad, sad recap.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I remain unmedicated in spite of not handling stress very well? Oof, oof, double oof.

I brought home my first non-novice masters medal — silver in the 8+ at SW Regionals. I also shared the coaches’ annual award for most improved rower, and I was elected to the Board by my teammates. I erged 100K between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve as part of the Concept@ Holiday Challenge.

9. What was your biggest failure? My procrastination is back. I achieved far, far less than I set out to this year, and I’m pretty cranky about it.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? I pulled a muscle hard enough to keep me in the coxswain’s seat for a couple of weeks. I also had a mass on my thyroid biopsied (benign), and an ovarian cyst turned up and then resolved itself. Yay, adulthood!

On the other hand, the fibroids diagnosed in 2011 that made pregnancy so freaking uncomfortable are now smaller than they’ve ever been, for which I’ve decided to credit rowing.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Probably my kid’s Kindle Fire. I hate how engrossing it is and how much he likes it, but I can’t ignore the effect on his imaginative play or vocabulary. Watching him incorporate some of the stories offline is hilarious.

As well, I think a lot of the hysteria over screen time for kids is based on a false belief that 2-year-olds watch Tom & Jerry and play Halo. We rotted our brains on pure entertainment with the occasional moral lesson; my kid’s learning about humpback whales and maned wolves, to say nothing of the occasional Spanish phrases that come out of his mouth.

“If tablets had existed when you were a kid, we’d all be living on Mars by now.” ~Gary Gingras/Grandpa

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My dad visited for a week and I gave him a chore list, which he took on without complaint. I’ve promised we can do Napa next time.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Trump supporters. The level of hatred and willful ignorance in our public discourse is appalling, and too many of them are reveling in it.

14. Where did most of your money go? Aside from the house (what’s up, new paint, blinds, doorknobs, shelves, and light fixtures, plus the regraded bit of backyard)? Rowing, deferred car maintenance, and medical stuff.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? My dad’s visit, which was also a chunk of vacation time for me.

16. What song will always remind you of 2015? My entire erging playlist and Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance.”

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Happier. Low bar considering how we spent the end of last year.

b) thinner or fatter? Bits of me are smaller enough that I needed a new uni before last season, and I’ve dropped a little over a size in pants. Erg scores indicate I’m stronger than last year. Even so, I have lost no weight.

c) richer or poorer? Ennhhh, about the same. I rearranged some things to get more organized and better allocate funds, but it’s a long-term process.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Family outside time. More hiking! More beaching! It’s a travesty that we live where we do and are mostly indoor cats.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Driving. Grayson will now only reliably nap in the car, which means I have spent hours on the weekends contributing to the climate mess he’ll be cleaning up later just to keep him from being a total grump every day.

And I have always hated driving. We’re going to turn these into family adventures in the new year to make the trips more worthwhile.

20. How did you spend Christmas in 2015? 

This about covers it, although I spent Christmas Eve and Boxing Day night cleaning up his vomit and comforting him.


Grayson, on December 27: “I will never throw up again.” (Totally my kid.)

21. Did you fall in love in 2015? Nope.

22. What was your favorite TV program? The Expanse and, still oddly, Survivor.

23. What did you do for your birthday in 2015? Sculled for the first time, in a quad with Graham and two other teammates. Loved it!

24. What was the best book you read? Raising Your Spirited Child, Third Edition: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic. It was, at least, the most useful. I also read The Expanse series.

25. What did you want and get? A lot of races in stroke seat, and more medals. Also, a chance to make a difference here and there on things that matter to me, however small.

26. What did you want and not get? A more successful second head race season. A lot of things fell apart at the same wrong time, and I spent too much time in my head on the water.

27. What was your favorite film of this year? “The Force Awakens.” Hands down. We only saw two movies this year, though, so…

28. Did you make some new friends this year? Yes! I changed teams at work and my now-less-new team is packed full of awesome.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? More sleep. Most of the problems I’m working to resolve are directly tied to Grayson’s transition out of the crib and his elimination of naptime.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013? “This is probably clean.”

31. What kept you sane? Still rowing. Still for real. The desire to be good at the hard, beautiful thing, plus the endorphins, plus the dedicated time to do something that’s about working on me all help keep my head on straight.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Karl the Fog

33. What political issue stirred you the most? Racism and #BlackLivesMatter, not that either are new. It would be more accurate to say that I’m stirred by the utterly ridiculous and transparent efforts to deny both institutional and unconscious racism. It should not be this hard to look at a thing you believe, look at data and lived experience in direct contradiction of what you believe, and go, “Shit. I had that one wrong.” Even if you never, ever lift a finger to fix the problem, just this small act of self-awareness will help. There are plenty of other things to be right about — if you’re white, this is not the hill to die on.

34. Whom did you miss? My extended family. Parenting without a built-in village is brutal.

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015. I’m a better person and a better parent when I’m rowing. Even erging will take the edge off…and more cleanly than a martini or a double dose of Celexa with a Wellbutrin chaser.

Also! Kids are people, not problems to solve. I think I already knew this, but nothing has reinforced the lesson better than my son’s Epic Toddler Experience.


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