Year in Review: 2012

It’s time once again for the year’s end survey! Am I richer, thinner, and happier this year? Do I hate anyone? Read on and see.

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

I went to physical therapy for a running injury, placed in my age group at a (very small) 5K, went to Iowa, tried cross-country skiing, taught a 90-person lecture course, asked the internet for help and received it, started taking care of a paraplegic dog, and made caramel.

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

Last year, I wrote: “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).”

The half marathon goal was put on hold due to injury; I succeeded at riding my bike a lot more, together with my awesome cycling partner; I shelved one article in favor of working on a different one, which is sort of a success, I guess; and I mostly ate healthy food — although in the context of a different relationship.

For 2013, my goals are: keep cycling an active part of my life on my soon-to-be-acquired new road bike; train for another half marathon while avoiding injury; send out at least one article for publication; pay off at east 75% of the remaining dog surgery bills.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Two women in my work-friends circle both had new little ones this year. Very much cuteness.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No. Thankful to be able to say this again.

5. What places did you visit?

The exciting new place to visit this year was of course Iowa, but I also spent a little time exploring Chattanooga and liked it a lot. The usual trips to Mississippi and Atlanta happened as well.

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

Road bike, still. This year I finally started saving for it, so it’ll become a reality in early 2013. There’s usually something intangible that I feel needs to go here, too, like time or patience or balance, but this year I am feeling good about all that, so I’ll have to just make this a materialistic answer.

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

March 11th – a tough decision that was also very easy

June 9th – a second first date (our first first date was two and a half years ago)

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I’ll have to go with a professional achievement this year: being given a new format for a course and working with others to plan and design it, and then bringing it to fruition, mostly successfully, was a big part of my year. It was a challenge, an opportunity, and a huge learning experience.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I think the time between January 1 and March 11, when I was in a situation I knew was bad (knowing I was being lied to and suspecting I was being cheated on) and I waited to take any action to change it, was a bit of a failure. I told myself I was waiting to know for sure, but I was really just postponing the inevitable, and I shouldn’t have.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Only the stupid hip flexors that would not heal. And the mysterious haunted leg. I don’t think I ever really got sick this year, knock wood. Not even a cold. (Oh dear, I never should have typed that, should I? Shit.)

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I didn’t buy a lot this year. When Eegs had to go in for surgery in May, I went on a shopping hiatus that’s lasted for the rest of the year. I guess paying for his surgery (with my own funds + your donations) was my most important purchase.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My friends who helped me through a tough time this spring. The community of friends and strangers far and wide who helped me pay for Egon’s surgery. I’m so grateful for all that;  I really will never forget it.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Oh boy. Well, how about anyone who tries to tell me teachers should carry guns? How about that? I am a teacher and I will never carry a gun to work. I will never work in a school where guns are permitted. Not happening.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Rent, dog surgery bills, and some to savings (for summer living expenses when I don’t get paid and for a new bike)

15. What did you get really excited about?

A guy.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?

Either That Goyte Song (for the first half of the year) or That Lumineers Song (for the second half).

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

a) happier or sadder? Happier by FAR
b) thinner or fatter? I think I’m about the same (I think this time last year I was also carrying a little “holiday weight,” just like Ross Geller)
c) richer or poorer? I got a small raise, so I’m technically richer, but with all the vet bills and socking so much away into savings, I feel poorer, with less “running around” money.

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

Running, although that was beyond my control. Academic writing (the new course took the place of that in my schedule).

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

Nothing, really.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

At my boyfriend’s family home in Iowa, with nine other people. We went to mass on Christmas Eve (they go at 7:00 pm instead of midnight) and then had a big meal. The next morning, it was breakfast and presents. I was the very lucky recipient of some generous gifts. We watched Lord of the Rings (over a few days). I got to talk to my family on the phone — they enjoyed the gifts and candy I sent their way.  All in all, a top-notch holiday.

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?


22. What was your favorite TV program?

Mad Men was great this year, as is The Vampire Diaries. I’m also still really loving Parks and Rec. CW and I are re-watching Friday Night Lights, and I’m reminded again of how stinking fabulous it is. I also re-watched all of Buffy earlier this year. That show cannot be beat. Cannot.

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

Not…really. I don’t want to have room for hate in my heart.

24. What was the best book you read?

The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach. Fantastic. A campus novel with wonderful characters, and baseball! I’m finishing up Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving right now and loving the hell out of it, too.

25. What music did you get excited about?

The Lumineers, Furthur and The Grateful Dead (oldies but goodies of course), and in the last month or two, I’ve been addicted to Of Monsters and Men.

26. What did you want and get?

The one who got away. Snow at Christmas. A happy and healthy dog.

27. What did you want and not get?

A year of injury-free running. A new bike.  Zero credit card debt.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Movies I saw in the theater: The Avengers, Cabin in the Woods, The Hunger Games, Breaking Dawn 2, Skyfall, The Hobbit, The Five Year Engagement, Moonrise Kingdom, Magic Mike, The Dark Knight Rises, The Bourne Legacy, Looper. 

Magic Mike was the worst of the worst (how could a movie about male strippers be so boring?!) and Looper was kind of mediocre in retrospect (though exciting at the time). The best of the best? I’m not sure. Of all these, the ones I really want to see again are Cabin in the Woods, The Hobbit, Moonrise Kingdom, and Breaking Dawn 2. That movie was so much better than the book. OH YEAH, I SAID IT.

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

I went for a run, got a manicure & pedicure with my friend, and had cocktails and dinner with my boyfriend. It was a great day. I turned 35 this year.

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

I’m not sure. I’m satisfied already. I’m tempted to say something snarky like “revenge,” but when it comes down to it, the best revenge really is living well. If somebody screws you over, the best thing you can really do is just go right out and get happy again. So my year has been pretty damn satisfying in that respect.

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

This year, in the fall especially, I’ve been trying to dress more professionally at work and not repeat so many of the same outfits. I did a series of photo posts on that here and then eventually started a tumblr for just that purpose. I think it involved a lot of cardigans, trousers, pencil skirts, belted dresses, and (when the weather got cool enough) blazers and boots.

32. What kept you sane?

Good, supportive friends both online and off; a boyfriend who makes me laugh and whom I could talk to about work stress (among countless other things); twitter and blogging.

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

Coach Taylor. (Both the Academic version and the TV version)

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

The election was big. Guns and schools are big. Look, I’ve already brought this up ONCE and I don’t want to get all stirred up AGAIN, so let’s just leave it there.

35. Whom did you miss?

My far-away friends, as always. My two BFFs from college are both having big years, with big things going on, and I’d have liked to be around and be there for/with them more this year.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I haven’t met any significant new people in my day-to-day life in Auburn. Of course, there are the usual nice new colleagues who join us every year, but no one I’ve become close to yet. Can I say “everyone in Iowa” for this question? I’m hoping the Iowa people will be part of my life for a good long while.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

The value of trust really can’t be overstated. And, of course, as every year: qui patitur vincit.

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

If everything we are is real
Our memories are attics in those houses on the hill
Our love is there above us holding everything so still
And we are always here, yes, we are always here

So follow the lights that line the streets
Connecting telephones
Follow the lights from house to house
And they will lead you home

They will lead you home
‘Cause there was never anywhere to go
There was never anywhere to go
There was never anywhere to go
But home, home

(Ryan Adams, “Follow the Lights”)


  1. This is my favorite year-end survey. So glad I found it through you years ago. 🙂
    And I’m glad that 2012 started on a shitty note, but got better and better as it went on. It’s always good to end on top!


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