Summing up 2009

Jane Yee posed these questions over at The Girl’s Guide, so I thought I’d answer them here and give you something of an insight into my year.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
Went to Europe.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I’m not really that much of a goal-oriented person (maybe that’s part of my problem), but the one real goal I had for the year was to finish my degree and achieve honours.  Part one: check, part two: not so sure.  I don’t think I’ll make resolutions next year, I’ll just try to live well, or live better or something.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yup, Timothy Scarlet was born this year, bringing my total up to one niece and one nephew.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
I didn’t go to any funerals this year, and I can’t think of anyone who died that was particularly close to me.

5. What countries did you visit?
England, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Germany.  Exciting times!

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A new job.  At this stage it seems like it’ll be good to get back into a routine of some sort after a very unstructured and undisciplined year.  Although it is nice that I’m not working too much at the moment but still making enough to get by.  It’ll be good to not work two jobs this summer like I did for the last three.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Nothing particularly stands out in my mind as far as dates go.  Stuff has happened, but nothing big enough to go down in a “this day in history” kinda thing.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finishing my degree, definitely.  It feels really good.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Probably not putting in that much more effort, which would have resulted in a better mark than what I did get.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope.  I live with the belief in not getting sick, and I didn’t.  And I am still all in one piece.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My digital SLR camera I would say.  Its been my most useful tool this year and has seen a lot of use.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Nothing comes to mind.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Again, nothing comes to mind.  I tend to just be annoyed by people.  Some things have made me appalled at the collective choices people make (like attitudes about things: mass consumerism, general stupidity or ignorance, that kind of thing).

14. Where did most of your money go?
A big chunk of money went on my trip, so I don’t have savings anymore, and materials for my degree really stretched my bank balance, what with film, printing, photocopying, etc. etc. especially at the end of the year with my presentation.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My biggest excitement was Europe, and especially going to Paris, which I’ve wanted to do for the longest time.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
Probably Shift by Grizzly Bear.  Although I don’t tend to associate music with particular times.

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

a) Happier or sadder?
I’m not sure.  Probably about the same.

b) Thinner or fatter?
I think I’ve lost weight, which isn’t a good thing because I don’t have weight to spare.

c) Richer or poorer?
Monetarily poorer; experientialy richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish I had used more of the resources available to me at uni.  Like I regret not doing more printing in the darkroom because I would like to have actually used the paper and chemicals I bought at the end of last year.  Lame.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Angsting.  I should have gotten out more at the start of the year and not let myself get down and unproductive.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Still uncertain, maybe out of town with family, although I will have to be back in town for work on Boxing Day, so we’ll see how it works out.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
Nope, no one caught my eye, although my friend Sam is in the process of trying to hook me up with some girl from his work.  I’m meeting her tomorrow so we’ll see.

22. What was your favourite TV programme?
I don’t watch a lot of tv, and what I do I’ve been watching online mostly.  I did watch one episode of The Jacqui Brown Diaries and that is pretty much the best thing on tv I think.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I don’t do hate.  Its not healthy.

24. What was the best book you read?
I have to say Hard To Admit and Harder To Escape by Sarah Manguso, and also The Life To Come by Dara Horn.  Both very different but really satisfyingly written.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I’ve discovered a bit this year, but my favourite would probably be Grizzly Bear.

26. What did you want and get?
Peonies.  I bought them last week.  They smell nice and look pretty.

27. What did you want and not get?
Sufjan Stevens to come to New Zealand (it was rumoured that he was coming this year).  It didn’t happen.

28. What was your favourite film of this year?
Where The Wild Things Are.  Genius.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 29 and I don’t remember what I did.  So you know, something awesome and memorable.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Doing better at uni.  I should have put in more effort earlier.  I like what I did, but probably could have pushed it further.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
If I like it I’ll wear it to death.  My signature items were a double-breasted grey hoodie I bought at TopMan in London (my new favourite store), a pair of blue Wrangler Strangler jeans and some shoes I bought for €10 in Barcelona.  All of these items are slightly worse for wear now, but I still love them.

32. What kept you sane?
Church.  If I hadn’t been there (almost) every week I would probably be a total wreck right about now.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I’m going to go with Zooey Deschanel.  She was my personal revelation this year.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
I’m not strongly political.  My political leanings are less leanings and more straight down the middle.  I think neither left-wing or right-wing politics have it right and need to be balanced out with some common (uncommon?) sense.

35. Who did you miss?
The person I missed most made a late in the year reappearance in my life so I no longer miss them.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I’m going to go with Ariél.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009
If you want to get things done you have to actually get out of bed.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year
“I was in love with the place in my mind, in my mind. I made a lot of mistakes in my mind, in my mind.” Chicago by Sufjan Stevens


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