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11 January 2013

Summing up 2012

I happened upon this yearly recap over on Jennifer's blog, and it looked like something that I should do. Reflection is something I struggle with, so a little bit of forced reflection should be good for me, right?

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

Straddled the states. I visited Bristol Tennessee/Virginia to see Mumford and Sons and straddled the state line that ran down (obviously) State Street. It was pretty awesome. I took a picture. :)

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I was pretty bad about my resolutions, only succeeding with a few. (I always make a lot so I can feel some success no matter what!)

I was definitely successful in the Year of MaryBeth. I set up some more firm boundaries about what I will and won't accept in my life, and I took a lot of risks, saying "yes" more often. I'm pretty happy with that change, and I hope to continue it into 2013.

I failed miserably at my photography resolution. I'm not sure what happened, but I've gone months at a time without picking up my camera. This still makes me sad, but I just don't feel inspired. Maybe it's stress related?

I started off the year strong with my fitness -- getting to my high school weight! -- but then fell off horribly. I blame my boyfriend for making me happy and comfortable. :)

New Year's Eve was spent in this time zone and was in fact at home. I was even in bed by 10. I blame that on the chaos of moving two houses between Christmas and New Years. Yuck.

And I didn't finish my dissertation. Fail.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

While we aren't as close any more, my former AT friend, Katie, delivered a bouncing baby boy. After a long struggle to get pregnant, her and her husband's prayer were finally answered. I'm so happy for them!. In the last few weeks of 2012, a large handful of friends announced pregnancies. I'm pretty excited about that!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, thankfully. My gram had a stroke, and we were pretty worried about her for a while. But she's back to her feisty self, and I couldn't be more happy.

5. What countries did you visit?

Does America count? After a few years of some significant globetrotting, this year was spent without using my passport once.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

More money. Money has seemed to be really tight in the last year, and a little more wiggle room would be appreciated.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Meeting my love in July (the 2nd). That was a pretty great day.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Keeping my niece for five weeks this summer and 1.) not killing her and 2.) not going crazy. :) We actually had a lot of fun while she was here, and it was a really great experience for both of us.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not finished that cursed dissertation. That thing is haunting me, and I'm beginning to feel like it'll never be done.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Other than a killer ear infection this summer, I've been really healthy.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A silver necklace in the shape of NY with a heart over my hometown. I found it on Etsy and they custom cut it for me. I love it. A lot.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Governments and politicians who ignore the needs of women. For example, the Indian government that dragged their feet when woman was savagely beaten and repeatedly raped on a public bus (after which, she died from her injuries). And in Ireland, my favorite place, a woman was left to die in her pregnancy because the hospital refused to perform a life-saving abortion. And Mitt Romney ... don't even get me started on his plans for women had he been elected.

14. Where did most of your money go?

My apartment and my car. Without those two necessary expenses, I'd be rich!

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

Going to see Mumford and Sons in Bristol with a good friend. Best. Concert. Ever. I still get goosebumps when I think about that night. The most amazing spontaneous rendition of Wagon Wheel I've ever heard. and everyone was just happy. And the weather was gorgeous. And I was 100% completely relaxed. It was borderline magical.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?

"Ho Hey" by the Lumineers. Or "I will wait" by Mumford and Sons.

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

I'm significantly happier, 10 pounds heavier, and (once my tax return comes) a little richer. But, if we're talking rich in spirit, I'm a gajillionaire.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Travel. Even just local travel. I felt that I sat still for much of the year. That makes me a little sad. There is still so much of the world I want to see.

I also wish I had written more on my dissertation ...

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

Worry. I know that nothing good comes from worry, but I often can't seem to self-talk myself out of it.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Unpacking boxes and setting up a new house/apartment. It was pretty exciting to move to a better place, but the timing -- between Christmas and New Years -- was a challenge.

21. Did you fall in love with 2012?

Yep. Truly, madly, and deeply.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

The Walking Dead. It borders on an unhealthy obsession.

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

I don't have the energy to hate people, but there are definitely people that I have chosen to distance myself from. I've always held the policy that I surround myself with people who make me feel good about myself and who contribute in a positive way to my life, and a few people in my life have shifted across the line into toxic relationships. It's sad when friendships end, but I've gotta look out for me. After all, last year was the Year of MaryBeth, right?

24. What was the best book you read?

That's so hard! I've fallen in love with John Green this year, and I truly enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars. It wasn't the best book I've read, but it ranks pretty high.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

The Lumineers! I love them! They compliment my Mumford obsession nicely.

26. What did you want and get?

A partner to share my life with. That's been pretty awesome.

27. What did you want and not get?

More contentment in my job. That's a long story better shared in person, so that's all I'll say there.

28. What was your favorite film of 2012?

Brave. Love that Disney finally has created a princess that didn't need a man to be happy.

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

I turned 32 this year and celebrated it with my love. We went to a beer tasting, watched Dark Knight Rises, and had a great dinner. JD bought me a ton of different beers and wines and even a little ducky toothbrush holder (because of my minor obsession with baby animals ... namely ducks.). It was a pretty great birthday.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Honestly, I can't think of a single thing. 2012 was pretty great in the overall scheme of things. For once in my life, I can't really complain.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2012?

Does this mean what I wore or what other people wore? If it's about me, the same as every other year. I'm not trendy in any way. I'm more classic. I like things that don't go out of style. If it's for other people, I can just say that I'm happy the Ugg trend is waning.

32. What kept you sane?

My Bushmills Irish Whiskey from Ireland. I know that sounds bad, but sometimes the prospect of a relaxing 12-year-old whiskey when I got home was what got me through the day.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

The recent gun debate. It was late in the year, and I'm already over it. I'm in no way anti-gun, but the whole debate is people just yelling at each other and not really listening. It's not a debate. It's a shouting match. But, then again, most of politics is that way, isn't it?

34. Who did you miss?

LL. She lives so far away, and we don't see each other nearly enough.

35. Who was the best new person you met?

JD. Obviously.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.

Trust my instincts and trust my heart. When I have a bad feeling about someone, it almost always turns out to be right (even if it takes a while to reveal itself). I need to trust myself more. In both the positive and negative.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

"It's a little bit of everything, / It's the matador and the bull, / It's the suggested daily dosage, / It is the red moon when it's full. / All these psychics and these doctors, / They're all right and they're all wrong, / It's like trying to make out every word, / When they should simply hum along, / It's not some message written in the dark, / Or some truth that no one's seen, / It's a little bit of everything." Dawes
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