December 31, 2007
I never do memes, those sets of questions that make the rounds of blogs and MySpace pages, and I rarely read them. But approaching my sixty-first post in sixty-one days, I am truly tapped out of ideas, so I’m hopping on the bandwagon and answering twenty-five questions from the currently popular end-of-year meme. Once again, thank you for reading, so much, so often.
1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before? Bellied up to a bar and asked for Alaskan Amber on tap.
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? The Six Goals of a Quality Life, first articulated here in 2006, remain my guiding principles. I’ve made progress on each except Number 6, which appears hopeless.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? My pastors became grandparents for the first time in July. I sent the baby a set of five handknit but mismatched socks from the Sock Lady in Vermont.
4. Did anyone close to you die? Eileen, and Nan, two women with a cherished place in my history whom I claimed to care about but who went away with no word of farewell, neither to me nor from me, because I’d been out of touch too long.
5. What places did you visit? Wyoming, of course (do my readers really need a link? does anybody really want to go there with me again?), and Vermont.
6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007? A clean and orderly house.
7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? March 9, I turned 60.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Being awarded the residency at Jentel.
9. What was your biggest failure? See #4 and #6 above.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Not anything worth mentioning.
11. What was the best thing you bought? My cowboy boots!
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Lynn’s, of course, always. Other people think so too.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and distressed? Well, besides the members of the Bush administration, assorted assassins, and the writers of Friday Night Lights who seem to have lost their way and are working hard to ensure there will not be a third season, there were the people who made fun of Miss Teen South Carolina. Give the kid a break!
14. Where did most of your money go? Millersville University and various bookstores around the world. (The list includes only purchases made August through December for personal use, not for giving away.)
15. What did you get really really really excited about? My own writing, the possibilities and the promise. I finally really believe in myself in this regard, at least for the foreseeable future.
16. What song will always remind you of 2007? Are You All Right? by Lucinda Williams and I’ll Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you
a. happier or sadder? Oh way happier! And I wasn’t unhappy last year!
b. thinner or fatter? About the same.
c. richer or poorer? In money, about the same. In all those other metaphorical aspects, that is, friendships, love, joy, optimism, far far richer.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Cleaning and decluttering, art projects, seeing friends in person.
19. How did you spend Christmas last year? Taking two days off from Holidailies and anticipating Erin’s wedding.
20. What was your favorite TV program? Without a doubt, Friday Night Lights. The link is to the official site at NBC. I hope I won’t have to go in and delete the link soon when the show is cancelled.
21. What did you do for your birthday in 2007? I had dinner with an old boyfriend, only because he happened to be in town that day. Since I was turning sixty, I’d planned to have a big deal party for myself, complete with Elvis impersonator to sing “Love Me Tender” to me, but I didn’t, explained here. (If you clicked on the second link in #4, you’ve already read it.)
22. What was the best book you read? Stacey D’Erasmo, A Seahorse Year (fiction). It’s the reason I asked for her to be my workshop leader at Bread Loaf. I was not disappointed.’
23. Did you make some new friends this year? Oh indeed. There was the extraordinary young man I met last December. What should have been a brief acquaintance (“Dear Editor, one of your staff has committed plagiarism;” “Thank you, we’ll take care of it.”) extended itself into a series of discussions and then became a genuine friendship. And Father Henry at Wernersville. Both give grace and joy to my life. And I reconnected in new and important and enduring ways with another old friend from college, my high school musical friend, and my best girlfriend from elementary school, each of whom I’ve seen repeatedly this year. As much as the failures to connect described in #2 distress me, I did make progress on reclaiming old acquaintance, strengthening the habitual, and nurturing the new.
24. Whom did you miss? Michael.
25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007. You know not the hour and the moment when it will be too late to say a good word, to heal an old wound, to forgive so that you may be forgiven. So do it now.
And you, reading this, some of whom have been alluded to above, thank you again and again and again for reading so much, so often.