1. What did you do in 2006 that you’d never done before?
I went to the park and tossed some stale bread at some ducks. Sure, I've tossed bread at ducks before, but never at these particular ducks. These ducks are local ducks, and can be found just down the road from where we live - but after living here for the bulk of my adult life, who knew there was a duck pond virtually in our back yard? Not me, obviously. So we fed the ducks and it was grand. Ironically though, in the week following this thrilling adventure, the stupid council drained the stupid pond and the stupid ducks left to find a new home. Fuckers.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? My resolution was to not make any resolutions which, when you think about it, presents a conundrum of sorts, as in making my resolution, it was kind of blown as soon as I made it. I've been thinking about my resolutions for next year and while I've not come up with anything concrete yet, I'm hoping they include the words 'tequila', 'jelly', and 'shots'....
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, which is okay because until they do, I'm still queen.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Does Steve Irwin count? Because I misted up (again) last night while watching (again) the tape of his tribute show.
Closer to home though, my neighbour died accidentally in October.
Somehow that 'accidently' thing makes a difference, both for my neighbour and for Steve Irwin, and I wonder if their passing would be easier to bear had they died in their sleep, or of a heart attack, or of cancer or something. There is, in my opinion, something sadder about a life being cut short when there's an 'oops' factor involved.
5. What countries did you visit?
6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?
Direction. Self esteem. Confidence. Tequila.
7. What dates from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
December 26. While Daniel regularly clings to me like a little limpet when I carry him around, on that day, he raised his little arms to indicate that he wanted me to pick him up. He sat perched on my lap for a bit, facing me and smiling his big, gooby smile, then he threw his arms around me, burrowed his head into my shoulder and gave me a big hug. A hug! I hugged his little body back and, of course, cried.
No other dates come to mind, not because nothing memorable happened in the last year, but because I lost my mind shortly after falling pregnant. Breastfeeding also seems to fry one's memory cells, so much so that I only remember Tuesday's hug because it didn't happen more than five days ago.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Daniel, and twenty bucks says y'all guessed I'd say that.
He's the happiest baby in the world, amazingly socialised, incredibly confident and even I find all these superlatives annoying because lordy, the pressure on me to be the superlatives my own mother identified me with was awesome, and not in a good way, so a mediocre child would be just fine thankyouverymuch, because then I wouldn't feel guilty for laying the pressure on him by commenting on his personality type - but people, I'm just quoting other people's observations about my son, so why do I feel guilty? Aargh. ANYWAY, the point is that it's been a year, and the boy is still tripping along and happier than ever, and while some babies are just plain born happy, it still doesn't detract from the fact that all the smiling contentedness the boy exudes makes me and my parenting skilz look pretty damn good.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I didn't realise how much having mum here affected me until she'd been gone for a while and I somehow turned into the Mother Of The Year. I'm so patient with him now, so calm and rational. Meanwhile, when mum was here, oy. You only need to read my archives during that time. I mean, I yelled at Daniel on more than one occasion. Yelled. I raised my voice to a helpless baby. He relies on me for everything from food to shelter to comfort to his sense of self, and I fucked with all of that because I'm too spineless to tell my mother to stick it. God, I should have been yelling at her, not him. Not that I condone yelling, but if any voice raising had to occur, I think a sixty six year old woman (and *da dum* she turned that age on June 6 *da da da dum*) is more equipped to handle it than is an infant. When I think about how it was during that time, I actually feel sick, so my biggest failure is letting my relationship with my mother affect the one I share with my son
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
If you don't count the twelve (TWELVE!) colds I caught in the three months between June and September, because they're just colds, schyeah, right, in regards to my health, this year's been peachy(!)
11. What was the best thing you bought?
My Infinity stroller. Mine is rock star black, just like in the picture, but sans bassinet.
This year lead me to the realisation that I am a stroller whore, and while I already had three when I saw this one, because I am that whore and because there is no way in hell that I could ever hope to lay my impoverished hands on a Bugaboo, I snatched this beauty up when it was on sale at Target for under two hundred bucks. People, the recmmended retail for this bitch is $549. Can we say bargain? Fuck! We've only used it once or twice as we stick to the Bertini jogger (I snapped up at 80% off last year the day before Daniel was born, booyah!) when we go walking, and the backpack when we're not, but fuck it. It's pretty and I love it. Woot!
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My sister-in-law's. After being treated like the family pariah for almost twenty years, my SIL has been making sure I'm no longer am, and unlike my mother, who pranced back into my life by pretending those dark years never existed, my SIL hasn't ignored the past. Rather, she's used it as a point of reference so we can go forward. There's a small part of me that's a bit pissy that no one gave a shit when it really mattered, and while I know the interest is because of Daniel, not me, the greater part of me is happy to dip her toes in this family stuff.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My own (see above, question 9). Also, my mother's because, seriously.
14. Where did most of your money go?
The biggest single chunk of it is now growing in the backyard. NO, I'm not growing pot, geesh (though I do have some pretty good stories to tell about growing that in the past, ahem) I'm growing grass (hardiharhar). I think the rest of my money went on the multitude of plastic crap scattered around me that hates me and wants to trip me over and/or break my toes.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The OC, season 3, on DVD.
16. What song will always remind you of 2006?
Snow Patrol, Chasing cars, because I am a dork. Also, because I can't remember anything further bak than last week (see above, question 7) and I just heard this song on the radio.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
a) Happier, if by 'happy' you mean 'deliriously ecstatic'. No shit, it's as if I'm on drugs or something. And the drug is luurve, LUURVE! Each day I feel myself expand with more of the luurve and consequently, more of the happy, and what with all that expanding, each day feels like this must be the day I burst , but I don't. I just expand some more. I'm so happy I don't feel like I can be any happier, and then I am. You know how the universe is expanding, and you know how that concept is a serious headfuck because the universe is infinite so it's expanding into whatever the fuck because there is no outside of the universe for it to expand into, god help me. Well that's a pretty....atrocious, actually, analogy of me and my happiness.
This is an extra good thing too (despite it worrying me because is it sane to be so ludicrously happy? Or am I actually batshit crazy?) because at the time of Daniel's birth, I had a laundry list of risk factors for post natal depression.
b) You know, I'm really not sure. I feel fatter, but I can fit into stuff I couldn't even zip up this time last year. Then again, this time last year I'd just had a baby (no shit?) so probably yes, I'm fatter this year but last year, I was floofier.
c) Put it this way, I tried to buy some groceries on Christmas Eve and my bank wouldn't let me, so it's a good thing I'm growing grass in the back yard, ahem. Also, it's a good thing I'm stupidly happy (or just stupid?) because otherwise this being poorer thing would blow.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Stating my boundaries the many, many times my mother was here. Also, blowing raspberries on chubby baby bellies. Oh, and jolly jumping. I should have made sure Daniel got to do more jolly jumping than he did.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Regressing to being around five years of age during the many, many times my mother was here. Also, yelling at helpless infants.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
The plan had been to spend a relaxingly casual afternoon with some friends but, pfft. Christmas was busy, busy, busy. As I'm still queen, by the time Christmas eve rolled around, I'd had two last minute phone calls begging for my presence at their events.
The day began at my brother's in-laws. We gracefully accepted gifts, mingled for a few hours and left just as they were serving a humungeous Indian feast, and toodled off to visit with some long time friends who had originally opted to do the Only Immediate Family thing. Seems they couldn't be without me, so at their request, I graced them with my queenly presence, arriving as they were putting the last of their dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Again, gifts were opened and mingling occurred. Daniel was still in fine form, though his presence scared the bejeezuz out of their fifteen month old. He understood her screams of terror to be an invitation for play, so you can imagine how that went. Finally, we left for our final destination, arriving at around 9pm, which was just in time to watch their leftovers be covered in cling wrap and placed in the fridge. Daniel, who still hadn't slept any more than the five minutes he snatched in the car several hours beforehand and who was still ticking along nicely, had been fed during a pit stop between destination B and C, but I must have been the only person in the First World who didn't eat on Christmas day. More gifts, more mingling, bla bla bla.
While Daniel got a veritable bounty of delights, I got nothing. Zilch, zippo, niente and nada. Apparently this lack of gifts, more so even than the presence of an actual baby, is proof that I am a mother. I think it's proof that my mother is on some trip, what with the acting all elusive and I Don't Care-ish, which is what I want from her actually, more than the gift set of stinky ass perfume I would have got otherwise because ma, how many times throughout the year do I have to drop the big ol' motherfucking hint that I DON'T WEAR PERFUME? so why do I feel there's another shoe that's about to drop?
21. Did you fall in love in 2006?
Only more and more each day with my little baboo (see above, qeustion 9).
22. How many one-night stands?
None, which, thank god. There is, in my opinion, way too much bad sex going on. I'd rather stay home and watch TV than take the chance on any one nighter being more exciting than the leftover oatmeal sitting on the sink over there. Also, not interested, which may or may not be a side effect of breastfeeding. Put it this way, I'm glad I'm single and so, not duty bound to perform.
23. What was your favorite TV program?
Grey's Anatomy, season 2, though you fuckers are already on Season 3, aren't you?
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Nope, and for the record, I don't hate my mum. I love her, that's why I feel so sad about our relationship. I feel angry too, because jeezuz. I don't hate The Innappropriate Sperm Donor eiother. Right now, I think he's an annoying git, and I hate that one way or another, we're going to spend the rest of our lives together. Hating him though, that would require a degree of passion, and I just don't care enough about him to hate him.
25. What was the best book you read?
Um. A book? As in read one? Hoo boy. Do blogs count? Because I've read a lot of those.
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
iTunes. I've been downloading, not like a fury, but enough to have a small, eclectic collection of shit that keeps me entertained, and my toes tapping.
27. What did you want and get?
A better camera than the piece of shit I bought last year, and new running shoes. And I think that apart from the basic essentials like food, water and electricity, them there are the only material things I got for myself this year.
28. What did you want and not get?
A new fridge because mine is dying, and if it takes all that expressed breastmilk with it, I shall curl up into a ball and whimper.
29. What was your favorite film of this year?
Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason. I thought it stunk, but as it was the only film I saw, I guess was also be the best film I saw.
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I attended to the needs of a bossy little midget, and I turned (breathe, breathe) forty. *thud*
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Being less than forty and so, being able to entertain the possibility of having more children.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?
It if fits, it's fashionable.
33. What kept you sane?
Am I sane? I'm ridiculously poor and ridiculously happy, and these should be, according to ye olde booke of aibee, mutually exclusive states.
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
If breastfeeding hadn't completely squished my libido, it would've been McDreamy, or whatever his name is. But it has, so it isn't.
35. What political issue stirred you the most?
This is embarrassing to admit, but none. I've been too absorbed in my new life to notice anything outside of my own nirvana. Actually, I hate being so ignorant, so if anyone has any suggestions on how to be more informed, I'm in.
36. Who did you miss?
For the first time in a lot of years, my dad. He died thirteen years ago and it was something I just accepted. He and mum had been gone for several years before he died anyway, so I'd got used to not having a father. Apart from not being able to talk to him on the phone every few weeks, it wasn't much different after he died. It wasn't until I was sorting through some photos earlier this year that I felt that pang in my heart and a yearning for my dad to be here, to be my father again, and to be my son's loving nonno. Even if he was alive, he'd probably still be the emotional vacuum he was while alive, so I'd probably still miss him anyway.
37. Who was the best new person you met?
The girl I work with, B. Her step-sister-in-law, K, is my Avon lady, and AGES ago, K took my business card to give to B, who is a personal trainer and who had been looking for someone to work contract out of her studio. In the meantime, B had her son and then I had mine, and when Daniel was almost six months old, B found my card in the back of a drawer and on the spur of the moment, called. We set up a meeting and the rest, as they say, is history. She's thirteen years younger than me, and her son is five months older than Daniel, and we get along really well, both socially and professionally, so it's more than just a business arrangement. Also, we share similar philosophies on life and also in regard to personal training, the latter being quite distinct from what is generally out there, so we're very lucky to have found each other as we compliment each other in so many ways.
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006.
Always wear sunscreen?
39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
If how whacky doo happy I feel is anything to go by, then it's Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.
So there it is, my year in review, just one in a life that could possibly be summed up succinctly and completely in only one line: has mother issues. If any of you cats decide to do the meme/thing too, do let me know. I'd like to read it. :)