Friday, January 11, 2013

2012: The year that was

*sparklingly (
{ Copacabana | Rio de Janeiro | March 2012 }
I love things tied up neatly with a perky bow. Beginnings, middles and ends. A coda, if you will.

And, I love reading personal roundups on blogs of things done, seen, tasted, lived and accomplished in a year. I think that's one of the main reasons I began reading blogs oh...10 years ago. For that peek inside someone's notebook, inside their calendars, their lists, their bags (I really can't get enough of those "what's in my bag" or "a day in the life" posts!). And, it's something I think about when it comes to my scribbles here, because I started this for two main reasons:
  1. To remember the small things—especially when I think back to the old blog I had. I wish I had never stopped writing in these 7 intervening years because I'm sure it would have been amazing to read back through (especially since I'm "paging" through the offline archives now and remembering things I had forgotten).
  2. To try and make myself more positive, which also leads to maybe being too "perfect" here, but I think anyone who does this for more than one post knows that it's always a little tricky to know how much to share (especially if you're like me and would rather stay anonymous for now). On the one hand, what fun is it to read someone's writing if they don't share enough for you to relate to, on the other, I don't want to share everything and on the other (third hand now?) it depends on who/what you're writing for. 
So, even though I didn't pluck away on my keyboard over here for all of last year, I'm going to do a little share-fest summary of 2012 anyway to remind myself of this past year and give more meaning to the 365 days that just passed. And, I'm going to borrow a bit from Holly's format, because, well, why not?
*sparklingly (
{ Buenos Aires | March 2012 }

1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before? 
  • Took on freelance projects (three!). 
  • Had a grown-up, couples sleepover with friends that left the city for NJ (and an apartment three times the size of their NYC one for 2/3 the rent. Sigh.).  
  • Spent a week alone while R took a trip to the Caribbean with family (obviously I've been alone before, but it was the first time he'd gone off without me). 
  • Went to South America, the Mexican coast and Honduras.
  • Saw the space shuttle Enterprise fly over NYC. 
  • Went to the end of Long Island (after 5.5 years living in NYC as an adult!). Also, made a day trip to Coney Island (finally!).
  • Went on a post-college vacation with just my mom (to Mexico). 
  • Surivived without water, electricity or heat for 8 days during 30-degree weather.  
  • Hosted long-term houseguests...twice. 
  • Adjusted how I eat even more, completely rethought how I exercise and drastically changed the products I use
  • Traversed the entire length of Manhattan on a bike. 
  • Did a two-hour boat tour of the NY Harbor. 
  • Drove a convertible. 
  • Saw a blues show. 
  • Swam with dolphins!

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions and will you make any for next year?
Nope, and oh yes. Stay tuned.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My college roommate, whom I haven't seen in years, but still stay close to thanks to Facebook, her blog and the random texts we send each other quoting Friends.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Counting myself lucky to claim another year with everyone I care about still here.

5. What countries did you visit? Cities?
Countries: Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico and Honduras.

  • Sanibel/Captiva, FL
  • New Orleans, LA (which I hated)
  • Atlanta, GA (for work)
  • Montauk, NY
  • Hudson, NY
  • Tom's River, NJ
  • And, a couple of towns in NJ that are visible from NYC (not sure if that counts)
*sparklingly (
{ Riviera Maya | Mexico | July 2012 }

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
More time for things that I want to do, not just that I have to do.
Also: a dog. (Would not mind a washer/dryer, either).

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

Hmmm. Nothing really comes to mind. 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Perhaps taking better care of myself physically and mentally (although there's room for improvement on the latter).

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not feeling like I was the best daughter, sister, wife, friend that I could have been.
Vague yes, but what grates on my mind the most.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
One weird bug at the end of the year, but nothing else that I can remember.
*sparklingly (
{View of Sugar Loaf | Rio de Janeiro | March 2012 }

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A ticket to South America in March. R and I spent 10 days between Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and Colonia di Sacramento. It was amazing.

Also: a slew of passes to Aire.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Travel. Rent. Savings.   

13. What did you get really excited about?
Making progress on the moving-abroad front.
Finding a good stash of creamy local milk from happy cows

14. What were your favorite songs of 2012?
Sadly, I had to actually look up a list of 2012 Top Hits because I couldn't remember anything specific, so this is probably not even accurate, but:
  • Adele, Set fire to the rain
  • Kelly Clarkson, Stronger
  • Fun, We are young
  • The Wanted, Glad you came
  • One Direction, What makes you beautiful
  • Carly Rae Jepsen, Call me maybe (seriously)
  • David Guetta, Titanium
  • Chris Brown, Don't wake me up
  • Mumford & Sons, Babel (I pretty much liked the whole album)

15. Are you happier or sadder than last year? Thinner or fatter? Richer or poorer?
Neither happier nor sadder. A little thinner. A smidgen richer.
(Interesting: I'm "thinner"/richer", but not happier. All those happiness platitudes are right!)
*sparklingly (
{ Captiva sunset | Florida | August 2012 }
16. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Spent more time with my family—willingly.
Learnt new things.

17. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Complaining. Worrying. Stressing.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
Two weeks with R on an island off the coast of Honduras.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
I tend to watch shows after they've popped up on Netflix, so I'm a bit behind but:
  • White Collar (love the bromance, love Mozzie, love the implausible plots)
  • Mad Men (finally got on board)
  • Private Practice (took me a while to start watching this, too)

20. What were your favorite books of the year? 
*sparklingly (
{ New Orleans | September 2012 }

    21. What were your favorite films of the year?
    Like TV, I don't see a lot of movies when they're out, but of the ones I have seen that actually came out in 2012 were The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Skyfall. Sad, huh? Any suggestions for others?

    22. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
    Turned 29 on my first (and last) trip to New Orleans. Thought I'd love it. Instead I hated it. Was not the feisty, mystical, bayou, cracker-jack-of-a-place that I thought it would be.

    23. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
    A job I was completely and wholeheartedly passionate about—the kind that you go to bed thinking about and wake up thinking about. Do those exist? 

    24. What kept you sane?
    • Being able to walk to and from work when I switched jobs—those pops of time outside alone made the days better. 
    • Time to read 47 books and finish 8 knitting projects.
    • Lazy weekends at home with R,  a pretty breakfast spread, pots of coffee, music, candles and the NYT.
    • Adding a few new orchids to my collection.
    • The newly-built dog park on the waterfront near our apartment—which makes for very amusing weekend walk breaks.

    25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
    Not everything will be like you imagined—and that's okay.
    (Some things may be even better).


    1. I think of you now and see sparkingling weather in my mind. What a lovely year of travels!

      I might of mentioned - it truly took me two years to retain Swedish city names and terms so the feeling you express is not isolated. The language often felt so funny to me that once I began speaking my husband gently told me that I needed to "be serious" when I spoke Swedish. (... and it a very direct language - no fuss "Julgransplundering = Christmas Tree Plundering! Happy Weekend!

      1. Oooo, I love that I'm associated with that image now!

        I do like that directness about compared to Italian which is often very roundabout. The one hope I have is that since the Swedish sentence structure is so similar to English, that I might "get" it quicker.


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