Year In Review: 2019

I’ve been doing this annual questionnaire for so long now that I don’t think I’m allowed to quit it.

Previous years’ answers are available here: (200720082009201020112012201320142015, 2016, 2017, 2018). Over time I have modified and deleted some of the original questions, but here’s what I’m working with this year:

1. What did you do in 2020 that you’d never done before?

Started powerlifting. Stopped at a portapotty in the middle of a 10K race. Almost served on a jury for a murder trial (got eliminated from the pool at the final stage, after 3 days of voir dire).

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

Last year, I wrote, “I don’t have a real resolution. I am going to sprinkle a few monthly challenges into my year, including Dry January (currently going on right now, yay?), a month of daily blog posting, a no-spend month, a run streak month, a decluttering month, and more to be determined later. My leisure reading will focus on the voices of women, people of color, and LGBTQ writers.”

I did pretty well on these. The only monthly challenge mentioned above that I didn’t complete was the run streak. This year, I have a few similar goals: Dry January is happening again (we have been doing it yearly for a while now); I’d like to run a half marathon without getting injured in the middle of the training cycle (eyes on Magic City in November); and I plan to work with CW to organize our garage, donate some old furniture, and make better use of our third bedroom.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Internet friends and work friends. And another local friend is due any week now!

4. Did anyone close to you die?


5. What places did you visit?

Atlanta (for shopping and the aquarium), Iowa (family visit), Sioux Falls (friend visit) and Mississippi (friend visit). We have some bigger travel plans happening this spring — more on that later!

6. What would you like to have in 2020 that you lacked in 2019?

I’ll repeat last year’s answer, which is still true: “A sane president, mainly. I would also appreciate more time alone and a more organized house.”

7. What days from 2019 will you always remember?

Nothing comes to mind as I sit here. I may think of a day later, but if I do, it wouldn’t really qualify as a day I’ll “always remember,” so.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Lots of little daily achievements involving mundane exercises in patience.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I kind of mentally checked out on myself in a couple of areas of life and wound up feeling like I was constantly playing catch-up or trying to figure out what I needed to do that I’d forgotten. I’m trying to stay more present and intentional now.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Plantar fasciitis crept up on me in the midst of a half marathon training plan and kept me from running the race. I was so sad about it.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

We finally upgraded to a king-size bed with a new Casper mattress and it is just divine.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My husband has been a pretty awesome member of the team this year.

13. Where did most of your money go?

Daycare. I’ll just keep repeating this answer every year until they start kindergarten.

14. What did you get really excited about?

Designing the new course I’m currently teaching. Running in general.

15. What song will always remind you of 2019?

“Water Me” by Lizzo. My very favorite running tune this year.

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

a) happier or sadder? same
b) thinner or fatter? fatter
c) richer or poorer? same

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


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

Getting injured. Emotional eating. Spending money.

19. How did you spend Christmas?

Sandwiched in between two different family visits, we had Christmas at home just the four of us. It was great.

20. What was your favorite TV program?

The ones that stand out to me are The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Schitt’s Creek. Other shows I enjoyed: Atlanta, Shrill, Big Little Lies, Sharp Objects, the final season of Game of Thrones, and the return of Veronica Mars.

21. What was the best book you read?

The Lager Queen of Minnesota — J. Ryan Stradal

Here are some other highlights from this year:

  • Evvie Drake Starts Over — Linda Holmes
  • My Sister the Serial Killer — Oyinkan Braithwaite
  • The Carrying — Ada Limón
  • Good Bones — Maggie Smith
  • There There — Tommy Orange
  • The River — Peter Heller
  • Becoming — Michelle Obama

22. What music did you get excited about?

Lizzo and The Highwomen

23. What did you want and get?

A new bed, a Garmin, and an Impeachment trial.

24. What did you want and not get?

A new car. I don’t need a new car. I’m just jealous of my husband’s new car. His pretty, pretty new car.

25. What was your favorite film of this year?

Nothing stands out as a clear favorite, but some highlights were: BlackkKlansman, A Star is Born, Always Be my Maybe, Booksmart, and Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker.

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

Went with the family to Krispy Kreme on the way to work/school, ran 12K (an almost-yearly tradition on my birthday) and got a manicure. [ed note: I did these exact things last year, too!] I also had brunch with my husband and cake with my family. I turned 42.

27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2019?


28. What kept you sane?

Last year I wrote, “Coffee, running, and Twitter,” which is still true.

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

Maggie Smith. The poet, not the actor.

30. What political issue stirred you the most?

The Democratic primaries, I suppose. (Team Warren.) I mean, and the whole impeachment thing.

31. Who was the best new person you met?

My powerlifting coach?

32. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2019.

You cannot take your body back in time to make it something it was in the past. It will never be its past self again. And, as I say every year, qui patitur vincit.

33. Quote a song lyric or poem that sums up your year.

“Rain, New Year’s Eve” by Maggie Smith

The rain is a broken piano,
playing the same note over and over.

My five-year-old said that.
Already she knows loving the world

means loving the wobbles
you can’t shim, the creaks you can’t

oil silent—the jerry-rigged parts,
MacGyvered with twine and chewing gum.

Let me love the cold rain’s plinking.
Let me love the world the way I love

my young son, not only when
he cups my face in his sticky hands,

but when, roughhousing,
he accidentally splits my lip.

Let me love the world like a mother.
Let me be tender when it lets me down.

Let me listen to the rain’s one note
and hear a beginner’s song.

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