New Year's Meme
(Tenth [!] in a series)
1. What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?
*Watched a family member die
*Participated in a semester-long research seminar at the Folger
*Bought a second house (sequentially, not concurrently)
*Resolved (maybe) to do some substantive nonacademic writing
*Fell off the blogging horse as I've never fallen before
2. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes. My oldest friend had her first (but births are slowing down now that I've hit 40).
3. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes. My mother-in-law.
4. What countries did you visit?
5. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
More time at home. In 2016 one or both of us was out of town for 30 weekends out of 52.
6. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Very little of what I did in 2016 feels like "an achievement," but moving/painting/setting up the house took a lot of effort. So did flying back and forth to D.C. for a semester. So did grieving and supporting the bereaved.
7. What was your biggest failure?
Not finishing the Essay of Doom on time. That itself isn't the biggest deal in the world, but this has been a really tough writing slump psychologically. As my inability to write anything of substance here for two months indicates.
8. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope. I think I had exactly one full-blown cold. Which is remarkable, given the upheaval of this past year.
9. What was the best thing you bought?
10. Whose behavior merited celebration?
On the national level, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Especially post-election.
11. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Donald J. Trump.
12. Where did most of your money go?
On a household level: buying a 100-year-old house and the inevitable repairs, improvements, and new furnishings.
On a personal level: I sure wish I knew!
13. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
a) Sadder. I'm feeling grim about the election, and the past 18 months have involved too many deaths.
b) A bit thinner, but not so's anyone would notice.
c) Poorer in terms of bank balance. About the same in terms of income.
14. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Entertained. We hosted Thanksgiving for our families and a department potluck, both of which were terrific--but I'd like to do much more of that.
15. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Grieved. Felt helpless.
16. What was the best book you read?
Helen McDonald's H Is for Hawk
17. What was your favorite film of the year?
18. What was your favorite album of the year?
Prince, 1999 (I will be listening to Prince until the day I die)
19. What was the best play you saw?
Best new play: Hamilton (Broadway)
Best revival: Love's Labor's Lost (Great Lakes)
20. What kept you sane?
Our house. I'm thrilled to be out of an apartment, for one--but holy shit do I love this house.
21. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
We broke it, we bought it, and now it's up to us to fix it.