(Eighth in a series.)
1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?
*Had a book published
*Received my second tenure-track job offer
*Solved the two-body problem
*Got an EU passport
2. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes: two good friends had their first, one her second, another her third--and one lucky lady had her first and her second (twins).
3. Did anyone close to you die?
One of the children mentioned above did not survive.
4. What countries did you visit?
5. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
I'd like to have more of a sense of excitement and adventure, both of which seemed in shorter supply than usual.
6. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
This was a big year for achievements. But the one that feels the most like an achievement was finally placing the Article of Eternal Return.
If we're talking about achievements in a less end-driven or goal-oriented way, though, I'm most happy with how I spent my leisure time this year. I probably read more novels in a 12-month period than I have since my twenties; pursued a more aggressive gym routine; kept studying Italian; and managed to meet friends for drinks every week.
7. What was your biggest failure?
Lots of little failures. No big ones.
8. Did you suffer illness or injury?
9. What was the best thing you bought?
I've been gradually replacing items in my wardrobe, and I really love the shape it's taking. There's not one particular item I'd single out, but I bought several dresses that make me very happy.
10. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I'm not sure "celebration" is appropriate for anything anyone did this year--though I'm certainly grateful for many people's kindnesses and gestures of support.
11. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
This was a grim fucking year, nationally and internationally. So the list is long.
12. Where did most of your money go?
Clothes and books. But I've been spending money almost nonstop since October, after a year of deferred purchases during my sabbatical.
13. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
a) Tough call. A lot of good things happened this year, but there's also been a lot of upheaval
b) Thinner. I returned from sabbatical heavier than I've ever been, but since August have lost it all (and then some)
c) Probably a wash.
14. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Is my answer to this question always a wish to have written more, done more research, made more progress? Probably. And it remains true.
15. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Sat around paralyzed with anxiety, frustration, and dread.
16. What was the best book you read?
Best re-read: James Baldwin, Another Country.
Best new read: either Marilynn Robinson's Home (which I liked better than Lila) or Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend.
17. What was your favorite film of the year?
So many good movies this year! But I'd say Ida.
18. What was your favorite album of the year?
I'm not sure I bought an album that came out this year. But I like what I've heard of Taylor Swift's 1989 and D'Angelo's Black Messiah.
19. What was the best play you saw?
Best new play: Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play (Almeida)
Best revival (if that's the word I want): Tamburlaine (TFANA)
20. What kept you sane?
Being back in our house.
21. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
Shit's never going to work out exactly the way you want, on exactly the terms you want. Get over it. Only then can you recognize your abundant good fortune, your own hard work, and the generosity of others.
Wishing everyone a good 2015--may it bring you all you deserve or desire!