1. What did you do in 2005 that you'd never done before?
Lose my job.
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't make resolutions, I make goals. I only had one for this year: get a new job. I suppose I did make it, since I'm not working where I was a year ago. It's not quite what I had originally envisioned, though...
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I don't believe so.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes. It's been an uncomfortable year on the death front.
5. What countries did you visit?
Japan and Mexico.
6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2004?
Economic stability. A job that I like. (I almost wonder what the point of putting down that last one is, since I've been saying that for as long as I've been doing this annual meme.)
7. What date from 2003 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
September 18. Anyone who cares knows why. Otherwise, it really hasn't been a year of things etched in my memory. More of a year that I would prefer to forget.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
??? I'm afraid the only real achievement I can claim is that I have survived the year, and am still financially solvent and more or less mentally stable. It has been a year where all of those are acomplishments of no minor note.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Job, job, job. Though I'm starting to reach the point where I'm not sure if it is so much a failure as just not achieving what I want. There is a difference, though I'm pressed to say exactly what it is.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No. I've actually had a fairly happy year, health-wise. The annoying foot problem that has been bothering me for over a year has even more or less cleared up.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Hm, tough question. I've bought so little this year that anything that I pick up that is even remotely a luxury is a little treasure.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
A lot of my friends have been supportive above and beyond the call of duty. I must thank slothman and obsessivewoman in particular for their being willing to drop whatever they were doing and help me out.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Ugh, I really don't feel like thinking about it. It's generally been a depressing year.
14. Where did most of your money go?
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
It's odd... There has been so much unhappy stuff going on that I keep forgetting that there were bits of the year that were really awesome.
16. What song will always remind you of 2005?
Hard to say. As I said, it's not a year that I ever really want to remember.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Much more at peace, in many ways.
ii. thinner or fatter? Not sure.
iii. richer or poorer? Oddly enough, I think I have more money now than I did this time last year. (There is still money left over from the Golden Handcuffs -- for all that my stock is back under water again, *sigh*)
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
I wish that there was a lot less stress in my life. Yes, I suppose that it's all up to me whether I feel stressed or not. But at this point I'm inclined to whine that honestly, I've had enough Major Life Problems that anyone would be feeling stressed if they were in my shoes.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
I just want this phase of my life to be over so I can move on to something new. I really want to stop hurting all the time.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent the morning at home, where my parents came over and we watched Pirates of the Carribean. Then we went over to my friend Diane's mother's place for Christmas dinner.
22. Did you fall in love in 2003?
No, not really.
23. How many one-night stands?
24. What was your favorite TV program?
More an answer of what am I excited about watching these days. Veronica Mars, Stargate, Atlantis. I'm liking the current Japanese drama/romance of the year, Wakaba.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I don't really have the energy to waste on hate, and am working on getting that kind of negativity out of my space.
26. What was the best book you read?
All I can remember reading is the Mirage of Blaze series. (Book 15, yo!) In recent years I've mainly been re-reading books since I haven't had the brain power to deal with anything new, so it's a bit odd to realize that since June I have read 14 books. Given that they are all in Japanese, that's a bit of something of note -- or at least to me it is.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Not a lot of new music this year, due to budget problems.
28. What did you want and get?
Laid off? Hmm... I wanted to go to Rally Mexico, and I did.
29. What did you want and not get?
A job I like.
And for the third year running, that is the same answer to this question. Feh.
30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Probably Batman Begins, though I'll toss out The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe as a contender.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I took off work "early" (read: after a mere 8 hours) and went to dim sum with a friend.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Order. A sense of financial security -- which is included under the "order" category in my mind. I want to have life be "normal", rather than all up in the air and changing all the time.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2003?
I've actually started dressing a bit more nicely recently, thanks to being a contractor. And I've rather been liking it. This has also been the year of starting to wear earings.
34. What kept you sane?
Oddly enough, I've recently been thinking that sanity is really a luxury, not a requirement. It is quite possible to not be entirely sane and still be a fully functional human being.
That said... I've loved chatting with lucifie and azgregm (and, when she joined us, mizutamari) during rallies. Having WRR back is one of those things that I pull out as proof that not everything sucks completely -- along with a certain flag hanging on my wall. And being able to share snarky comments and stuff while listening to the radio has been wonderful beyond the describing.
Like I said before, slothman and obsessivewoman have helped greatly, as has hanging out with taeriel and seshat. It was great hanging out with velvetpaws when she was out here visiting and commiserating about the annoyances of brain-lock. (And I am still amused by the JNTO Ninjas!) In fact, sharing with everyone who is having the same type of brain-lock problems has really helped a lot. It's nice knowing that I'm not the only one who is having that particular problem and hanging out with people who understand that some days deciding what to eat for dinner is really asking a lot too much.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I don't really chase celebrities.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Don't get me started on the emminant domain decision. There was something else that came up around the same time that really torqued me at the time (and would probably annoy me still if I could remember what it was.) The things done in the name of the Patriot Act continue to annoy and concern me.
37. Who did you miss?
Brian. Beef. Richard.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
Did I meet new people this year? I've been a lot of a homebody this year.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005:
I've doen a lot of learning valuable life lessons this year. Not sure I can really put down what I've learned in words yet, but I'll give it a go...
Decide what's really important. Anything that isn't on that list, let it go.
Things are going to happen when they happen. Fussing about it isn't making a difference, so let it go.
There's more, but I think I'm still processing through it.
I like this statement: "If you're not making mistakes, you're not taking enough risks." I'm working on allowing myself to make mistakes. Or to quote Lois, "I've always thought - tests are a gift. And great tests are a great gift. To fail the test is a misfortune. But to refuse the test is to refuse the gift, and something worse, more irrevocable, than misfortune." Misfortune is, well, unfortunate. But it's not the end of the universe. Sort of like failure. It's not the end of the universe either. If you don't make mistakes -- if you don't risk failure -- then you aren't changing and you are stuck, static. So in a way failing is something to be proud of. It's a sign that you're willing to grow, even if it may not all turn out the way you want it to.
My rally calendar this year had a picture of Tommi in Rally GB 2003 for January. At the beginning of the year I took it as a positive sign. It reminded me of one of the best times I had in recent memory. Whimsically, I thought "no year that starts with Tommi can be all bad."
Now... Well, the year hasn't been ALL bad. Just mostly bad. (Which means it was a little good? Yeah...) But it has been a very trying year.
This year is the year of the rooster. I'm a rooster. At the beginning of the year I said "this is my year! Everything is going to get better in this year!"
Now I'm thinking of this as the year of the chicken in the pressure cooker. I've been under huge pressure the entire year, starting with the deal for my company being sold going through up to all the job stress now. (And the stress of looking for another -- and please, this time, better? -- job.)
And yet... Things are getting slowly better. I haven't enjoyed this year, but I think it was important that I live through it. Not that I want to do it again, uh, ever, really. But now I have a better appreciation for the things in my life that I do have, rather than sitting around being critical about the things that I don't have. I'm a lot more grateful for anything good that comes my way, and for all the kindness that my friends and family have shown.
The past several years at New Year's I have toasted the end of the year with a snide "don't let the door hit you on the way out." Every year I keep expecting that the new year will be better than the last -- because it's new, if nothing else. This year, I think I've finally reached the point where I can with full peace say "what will happen will happen." I hope that it will be better. But at this point I will continue doing the best job I can and accept that I can only ever do my best. If it's not good enough or not fast enough, then that is what it is. Accept and move on.