Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Has Ended And It's Time To Breathe Again

I can't say 2016 has been my best year.  Actually, I think I'd rank it as the worst year I've ever had.  There was too much fighting, hurt feelings, family discord, no traveling, too much time spent in Arizona, not enough time over the road, and several other things. Just waaaaay more bullshit than I like to deal with. Not all of it was bad, of course, but I can say I hope to never have another year like it.  And because of how crappy last year was, I'm going to work extra hard to make sure 2017 is markedly different.

That said, let's get to the good stuff - my year-end meme.

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
Bought a house.  Operated a 3-ton vibratory roller. Spatchcocked a chicken. Participated in a 5K.  Got a 10-year safe driving award and as a result of all those safe miles, was awarded a cruise for it.  Ate real sushi.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s Resolutions, and will you make more for next year? 
I didn't make any last year and I probably won't make any this year either.  I think I'm giving up on the New Year's Resolution thing.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No.  All of my friends are waaaay past baby birthin' age.  Although, I saw on Facebook that a girl I went to high school with had a baby. At 49 years old!!  WTF was she thinking??

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not really anyone close to me, but Ed's aunt passed away, my mother's good friend Pamela unexpectedly died before Thanksgiving, and then in the beginning of the month my mother's cat died. Other than those three, no one else I know was called home.  But holy shit, who didn't die this year?  David Bowie, Alan Rickman (loved him!), Abe Vigoda (Barney Miller, anyone?), author Harper Lee, Nancy Reagan, Garry Shandling, Christina Grimmie (one of my favorite American Idol contestants, gone, at 22 years old), Merle Haggard, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Elie Wiesel, Garry Marshall (amazing films!), Gene Wilder, Arnold Palmer (this I only took notice of because I once dated an avid golfer), Leonard Cohen, Florence Henderson (Carol Brady!), Alan Thicke, Zsa Zsa Gabor (Dahlink), George Freakin' Michael, and then Carrie Fisher AND her mother, Debbie Reynolds!  What the fuck, 2016??  Yet the Short-Fingered Vulgarian is still with us.  Life is cruel.

5. What countries did you visit?
None.  Sadly, I barely left Arizona.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016? 
Less body aches, less aggravation within my family, more exclusive "me" time (manicures and pedicures, Heavenly Feet visits for foot massages, salon days, etc.), a hobby, vacations, time with my friend Vicki, a trip to New York, a trip to Canada, and although Ed will never go for it, I'd love to have a kitten.

7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The day we bought our house.  My birthday dinner - Ed surprised me with dinner and great gifts.  The horrible presidential election season and its outcome.  And the time we spent helping my mother officially moved into her new townhouse (lots of work, great result!).

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Buying a house and getting through my mother's townhouse renovation without having a mental breakdown. It was maddening.  I can't even imagine what our renovation is going to be like.  I'm going to need a vacation immediately following its completion.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not doing a damn thing to improve my health or lose weight.  I totally and completely dropped the ball on my plan.  In fact, I weigh more now than I did last year at this time, which is just total bullshit.  I seriously don't know what the hell happened.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? 
I was feeling a bit under the weather in the beginning of the year so I made chicken soup to help me out.  And then, on December 31, 2015 (late enough in the day that I'm counting it as January 1, 2016) I injured my leg in the grocery store by walking full force into a display case. It took more than six months to heal and still doesn't look right.  Two things.  Not so bad.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
New bras. How sad is that?  Ed bought a brand new pickup truck.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Ed, for his dedication to exercise and commitment to riding his bike on a regular basis - improving his time and distance - in preparation for his participation in the 34th Annual El Tour de Tucson.  What an accomplishment! 

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? 
I think everyone in America knows the answer to this.  The president-elect.  He has shown himself to be an absolutely disgusting human being. Actually, even using the word human is too good for him.  I will hope for impeachment or some other reason to get him out of office, but if that doesn't happen, the next four years are going to suck politics-wise. What I find even more appalling and depressing are the people who supported him.  I can't even fathom how a person can listen to the garbage he spewed and say to themselves, "That's my guy."  Especially those who call themselves "Christians".  I can't even.  In the words of the orange buffoon....SAD.

14. Where did most of your money go? 
New house, new car, new house-related items, retirement fund.  Ed bought a pellet smoker, an air compressor, a table saw, and various other tools and items.  I bought a few gifts, new sneakers, and those bras.  The rest is being squirreled away into my I-don't-want-to-eat-catfood-when-I'm-old fund.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The DNC, for one.  Winning an election, two.  Obviously, the winning part didn't happen, even though - aside from Barack Obama's 2008 win - Hillary Clinton got more votes than any other U.S. presidential candidate in history.  How do you get more votes and not win??  Damn the electoral college!

16. What song will always remind you of 2016?
"Rise Up" by Andra Day.  It was the song used by Hillary Clinton's campaign, played at many of her rallies, and Andra Day performed it live at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.  I heard it a lot.  It's a great song with an inspiring message.  

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?
I think I'm a little sadder than last year, definitely fatter, and happily richer.  Because you know, even when you're sad and fat, you can still make money.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Read.  I already have a short stack of books waiting to be read this year.  They include "How Not To Die", "Fire Shut Up In My Bones" by New York Times columnist Charles Blow,  "Stolen Lives:  Twenty Years in a Desert Jail", "The Space Between Us", and the story of my favorite HGTV couple, Chip and JoAnna Gaines, called "The Magnolia Story".

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

20. How did you spend Christmas? 
In Arizona, at our house. I cooked for twelve of us.  Ed made a delicious Santa Maria Tri-Tip on the grill, and I made mashed potatoes, brown-sugar-glazed carrots, and this cauliflower dish on the side.  I also made another cheesecake - the first one, for Thanksgiving, was a huge hit, so I did it again.  Everything was delicious.

21. Did you fall in love in 2016?
I fell in love with the cheesecake I made, that's for damn sure.  I also fell in love with the gorgeous jewelry Ed gave me for Christmas.  It's AMAZING.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Hands down, This Is Us.  If you haven't seen it, you absolutely must. You'll have to watch it from the first episode, since it will be difficult to follow if you don't.  And if I were you, I'd binge watch.  Find it online, stream it, pay for it if you have to, and then hole up in the house or a hotel room or the sleeper of your big rig and enjoy.  Totally worth your time.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? 
Not really, but don't push me.

24. What was the best book you read? 
I didn't read any books but I did finish listening to an audio book, so I guess that counts.  It was called "The Long Way Home" by Louise Penny. 

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? 
This song by Clean Bandit.  I LOVE it.

26. What did you want and get?
I wanted new sneakers, so I guess that's covered.  

27. What did you want and not get?
A new iPad. I've been dragging my feet on getting one because I'm not really sure I need it.  I haven't been using the iPad I have very often so can't seem to justify buying a new one yet.  I also wanted to lose weight, but I blew that as you've already read.  I really don't think I have many real wants, so I'm not often disappointed.  I want things like snowy vacations (didn't get that), trip to Europe (didn't get that), a new car, Ashley Graham's body.  You know, things that don't just happen, or are flat out impossible to have on demand.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
This was my 49th year on earth.  Ed, my mother, and my best friend conspired to surprise me with a dinner at Vivace, a surprise cake, and a balloon-laden apartment full of gifts.  It was a great low-key way to spend the evening.  Next year is fifty, folks.  Ed better start planning from now.  I have high expectations for my half-century birthday!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If our house plans didn't turn into a fiasco.  And if the architect finished the drawings for the renovation, which he couldn't do because of the house fiasco.  Conundrum. 

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
Black.  Pants, tops, shoes, purse.  I can't seem to branch out from that color this year, although I did buy some new shoes and a couple of pairs of wide-legged pants that I love (and which aren't black).  But I'm kind of getting into the black thing.  It makes getting dressed a whole lot easier and my accessories go with everything.  When I'm not wearing black, I seem to be in pajamas.  It's gotten so bad, I wear them out.   

32. What kept you sane?
My incredible ability to cope with anything, and my friend Kim.  I get annoyed at things (like, almost everything), but I am able to weather most situations without falling apart.  Even when others around me are falling apart.  But there were many times this year when the only thing that got me through the drama, was venting.  And Kim listened to every single word.  I totally owe her.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I am completely enamored by the most amazing First Lady in my lifetime, Michelle Obama.  Her speech at the Democratic National Convention, in support of Hillary Clinton, was incredible.  Emotional.  On point.  She said what so many of us were thinking, and expressed how so many of us felt.  It's been called the best speech by any first lady - ever. I agree.  Then, a few months later she issued another powerful speech, this time rebuking a disgraceful pussy-grabbing man-child.  It was remarkable.  Everything she is, is remarkable.  Beautiful, poised, intelligent, funny, empathetic, entertaining, authentic. She's the real deal.  I look forward to her last speech as First Lady.  It's sure to be emotional.  She will most certainly go down as one of the best First Ladies in history.  She's truly beloved and deserves every ounce of admiration and praise that's been heaped upon her.  I'm sad to see her go.  And I don't look forward to what's ahead for the next four years.  But we'll have to remember what the Obama Family motto is - "When they go low, we go high."  Although I'm not sure I'll be able to be as charitable as she's been with that.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Immigration.  I'm so tired of hearing about "that fucking wall".  And I'm disgusted with all of the people who disguise their hatred for immigrants as patriotism.  These people don't give a shit about keeping our country safe, they just want a way to keep Mexicans, refugees, or Muslims out because of who those people are, what they look like, and where they come from.  I'm pretty sure if we had a rush of blond female beach volleyball players from foreign countries crossing our borders, not one male GOP supporter would give a shit.  What many people seem to forget is that forty percent of undocumented workers in this country didn't sneak over the border to "take our jobs".  They arrived legally, by plane, and then just never left. Tell me exactly how a wall is going to fix that?  Does the orange wonder plan to build one high enough to stop aircraft?

35. Who did you miss?
It's not who I missed this year, but what I missed.  Since we've been working two-and-a-half days a week on a dedicated run, we haven't been all over the country in our usual over-the-road fashion.  And I miss it.  I miss seeing different states, being in different weather, meeting up with friends in different places.  It's a trade-off, for sure, and being home does have benefits, but I miss the real trucking lifestyle.   

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Can you believe I didn't meet any new people this year?  Ed's right - we need to get out more often.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
Don't work with family.  Don't tell anyone how much you make.  Don't tip your hand.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
This is from one of my favorite songs, called "Breathe (2 AM)" by Anna Nalick:

'Cause you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable
And life's like an hourglass glued to the table

No one can find the rewind button, girl
So cradle your head in your hands

And breathe, just breathe

Oh, breathe, just breathe

Here are the full song lyrics.

And my slogan for the New Year...SURVIVAL THROUGH SERENITY! 
Last year's slogan - BLISS - was a complete bust.  So this year it's going to be all about just getting through.  Surviving whatever comes my way and trying to do it serenely.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2015: The Sun Sets On 2015
2014: Thanks, 2014. For Everything.
2013: I Am Gonna OWN You, 2014!
2012: Wrapping Up A Year Of Making My Own Sunshine
2011: Later, 2011!
2010: That’s A Wrap!
2009: Out With The Old
2008: Another Year, Another 365 Days
2007: All Good Things Come To An End
2006: The Symphony Of A Thousand Saws
2005: Suicidal Firewood

1 comment:

MAE said... of your best meme's...thank you for sharing...