Year in Review: 2011

Here we go again, y’all: it’s the end of the year review! I really do love completing this every year, and reading everyone else’s.  Much like Project365, it faciltates self-reflection in an interesting way. Speaking of Project365, stay tuned for my Year in Photos post coming up soon. Please feel free to do the questionnaire on your blog or answer any of the questions you want to in the comments. If you do a blog post, leave me a link so I can go read about your year!

Note: This year, I took the liberty of re-phrasing a couple of the questions. I never liked having the pressure of visiting other countries, so I changed that question to “places.” I also don’t really make “musical discoveries,” so I re-wrote that one, too.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

Had a seriously ill/injured pet — Egon’s back injury and surgery were definitely new for me. I also earned the job title of Lecturer. I had a few photography gigs by special request (some were even paid).

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Last year, I wrote: “For 2011, I would like to: run a half marathon in under two hours, bike a half century (50 mile) ride, compete in at least one more triathlon, publish that article, and take action to achieve better job security.”

I came close on the half marathon goal and I’ll keep working on it for 2012. I completed the triathlon in August and earned a promotion at work that allows me a lot more security. I did almost nothing in the way of cycling beyond the triathlon training, and as far as my article, I, well…got distracted.

For 2012: I’d like to keep working on that half marathon goal, ride my bike more regularly (whether for commuting or sport), continue work on the article, and try to make healthier eating more compatible with my relationship (i.e. not just eat whatever he’s eating).

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

A friend from work had a baby girl in August — cute as a button. I had the pleasure of doing her portrait for both the birth announcements and the family Christmas card — so much fun!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

I’m thankful to answer “no” to this question once again.

5. What places did you visit?

I traveled to the usual destinations in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi, went to a conference in Kentucky, had a bachelorette weekend in Savannah, traveled to spectate at a race in St. Louis, ran a race in Savannah, visited with friends in Asheville and family in Tennessee.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

A nice road bike, an HDTV (which is already on its way), a coffee grinder, my own office at work.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

May 5th – Cinco de Mayo dinner with Golightly, PSP, Brunbec, and W.

May 31st – First date.

July 2nd – Golightly and PSP’s wedding, my first photography gig

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

The job promotion, I suppose. It was neither likely nor easy. I’m proud and satisfied and I just hope I can do it right.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Second-guessing myself and my judgment in a few personal situations; being immobilized with indecision. But not in a major way — I wouldn’t say anything’s been a real failure this year, thank dog.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

No illness; only minor running overuse unjuries.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Renting my new apartment was a pretty great thing: it is by far the nicest place I’ve lived and I still love it even after the shine’s worn off. Of course, I did not “buy” it. Let’s say the washer and dryer. I still love doing laundry in my own machines enough that it is not a chore.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My dog. After a rough start, he wound up dealing with the surgery and recovery very, very well. Certain students were wonderful as well.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Plagiarists and cheaters. I simply cannot brook these behaviors; I cannot.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Paying off old debt (and acquiring new debt in the form of dog surgery bills, goddammit), general overhead. I’m a teacher, so I feel like it’s pretty probable that my answer will always be “general overhead.” Rent and basic necessities/bills are by far the bulk of what I spend money on.

15. What did you get really excited about?

Watching the finish line at the St. Louis marathon, shooting my good friends’ wedding, eating vegan food in Asheville, Egon coming home from the hospital, meeting someone new just when I needed to.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?

Florence + the Machine’s “Heavy in Your Arms”

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

a) happier or sadder? happier, maybe, but probably the same
b) thinner or fatter? fatter by five pounds — thank you date nights at restaurants!
c) richer or poorer? richer — thank you salary bump!

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

Reading for fun, strength training. (Oh ho ho, same as last year. I need to create space in my life for these things, apparently. I will officially…try.)

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

Feeling guilty for saying “no.”  I always feel as if I am “working on” this issue but I never feel that it’s resolved. I try.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

In Tennessee with my family, trying (successfully) not to strangle anyone or get disgustingly drunk. Cooking dinner with my brother, fretting about gifts, and trying to mind my dog.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?

You know I did; don’t make me say it like some kind of big goober.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Doctor Who. I always knew I would love this show but it seemed so overwhelming and I didn’t know how to get started. I mentioned this to W on our first date, during the inevitable “What do you watch on TV?” conversation, and he was all like, “Oh, I can help you with that.” So we watched all 6 seasons of the new version of the show together and I fell in love. Someday I’ll watch the older show, too.

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

Nope, but this year it’s just barely.

24. What was the best book you read?

I would love to say it was David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King, but I didn’t get very far into it before I started re-reading Infinite Jest for work. I very much enjoyed Deborah Harkness’s A Discovery of Witches and Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake.

It wasn’t a really big reading year for me, though: I read a lot of things I wasn’t thrilled about, and am at the moment partly finished with more novels than I actually finished! I blame W. My normal reading time has always been at night, in bed, before I fall asleep. That’s not what I’m doing with that time slot now.

25. What music did you get excited about?

Nothing new this year, really! Hence, my normal year’s-end mix CD did not happen this year. Bummer.

I listened to Adele and to Mumford & Sons, just like everybody else did. I got the new Decemberists album (“The King is Dead”) and EP (“Long Live the King”), and the new Death Cab for Cutie album (“Codes and Keys”) but I didn’t get too excited about any of that. I think my favorite album from this year was Kanye’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” which was actually released in 2010. Oops.

26. What did you want and get?


27. What did you want and not get?

An injury-free year of running, a sub-2:00 half marathon, a road bike.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

What did I see…hmm… Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part II), Breaking Dawn (part I), The Hangover II, Paris at Midnight, Bad Teacher, Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, Contagion, In Time, Super 8, Bridesmaids, Captain America, Our Idiot Brother, Source Code, The Adjustment Bureau, Horrible Bosses, and probably a few others. Early in the year I caught up on 2010’s Black Swan and 127 Hours. (To figure all this out I had to consult both the blog and a list I found online of 2011 movies.) I’m hard pressed to pick a favorite. I did really love the final Harry Potter movie: every single scene was good. Bridesmaids was great, too.

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

On my birthday, W took me out to a really nice dinner and then we stayed up a little late drinking champagne and singing along with the stereo. The next day I had friends over for a small get together and very nearly everyone showed up whom I’d invited and a lovely time was had by all. I turned 34.

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

Honestly, I can’t think of anything. Maybe spending the Christmas/New Year’s week holed up in a little cabin in the Smokies with a case of Champagne and my boyfriend and our dogs and some snow. That would have beat the pants off of Reality Christmas.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

Desperately Wishing for Cooler Weather. I hate trying to get dressed for work in hot weather; it is impossible. I would like for my personal fashion concept to involve as many blazers and cardigans as possible.

32. What kept you sane?

Twitter. Mostly.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

David Tennant. Man, he is just fabulous. Also The Doctor, as a character.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Protests around the world (in the Middle East and the Occupy movement) and, to a lesser extent, the Republican primaries.

35. Whom did you miss?

Far-flung friends, as usual, but no one person in particular this year.

36. Who was the best new person you met?


37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.

Qui patitur vincit. Trust your instincts. Wait and watch and see. Don’t run Rock ‘n’ Roll branded races. Drink more champagne.

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

This on is always a stumper. Here. Have this:

Sigh no more, no more.
One foot in sea, one on shore.
My heart was never pure
And you know me
You know me.

And man is a giddy thing
Oh man is a giddy thing
Oh man is a giddy thing
Oh man is a giddy thing.

Love: it will not betray you, dismay or enslave you,
It will set you free
Be more like the man you were made to be.
There is a design, an alignment, a cry
Of my heart to see
The beauty of love as it was made to be.

— Mumford & Sons


  1. I always dig reading these. If you’re looking for some music from the last year to get excited about you might check out the following:

    The Mountain Goats – All Eternals Deck
    My Morning Jacket – Circuital
    The National – High Violet


  2. Dude, I want you to know that I am naming St. Kate of the Great Family after reading your twitter this Christmas.

    Also, I am glad Egon is doing better. I have a soft spot for all Egons. As I was going to marry the original. (You know, when I was eight.)



  3. Noticed a mention of Infinite Jest on your list. One of my New Years resolutions is to read/complete the literary beast. This is my third attempt at getting all the way to the end. I tried when I was a teenager and again when I was at U of O. I created a Twitter account for the endeavor, if only to encourage me to stick with it. If you know of any online reading guides, I could use one. The ‘yrstruly” passages are especially impenetrable.


      1. Thanks for the recommendation. I’m on page 190. It’s been a tough read so far. I’m enjoying it in the same way someone might enjoy a workout.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s