A Look Back at 2011

I saw this questionnaire on my cousin’s blog. She fills out this questionnaire every year, and as it looks like just the type of thing I like to do at the end of each year, I thought I’d give it a try. Feel free to add your own comments reflecting on your year.

What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before? How about we rephrase this a bit and say, “What you did you do in 2011 that you haven’t done in over 10 years?” – I ran the Seacoast Half Marathon. Actually, this was the first time I’d ever run this particular half marathon. My last half marathon was the Covered Bridges Half Marathon in Quechee, Vermont in 2000. I also ran the Saunders 10k which I’d never run before.

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I kept a lot of them! I wrote a blog post on my achievements! I will definitely make more for next year. As a matter of fact, I plan on making the big annual resolutions and then smaller monthly ones to keep me motivated. I did this in November, I made a resolution to remember to take my vitamins and it worked. I now remember them almost every day.

Did anyone close to you give birth? My cousin’s son Christopher and Christopher’s wife Meagan had a beautiful baby boy, Marc.

Did anyone close to you die? No.

What countries did you visit? No foreign countries this year, but I did travel to New Jersey to visit my Dad and other family; to Providence twice; to D.C to see Wicked; to Virginia a few times to visit with my kids, and as a bonus, I got to see Wendy, Barb and Bruce, Peggy and Rick, and Brenda; and of course I traveled to the neighboring states of Maine and Massachusetts frequently.

What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011? I wanted to ski and I wanted to take a trip with Kelsey and Taylor. I already have a ski trip planned with Kelsey, so I’ m partially there.

What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory? 11/11/11 because it was so cool, and I remember 7/7/77 when my mother woke me up and said, “It’s 7/7/77, this day won’t come again for 100 years!” (At the time I didn’t think it was very interesting).

What was your biggest achievement of the year? I started running again, and completed the Seacoast Race Series and the Seacoast Half Marathon.

What was your biggest failure? I didn’t win an account that I pitched with a colleague which we really should have won!

Did you suffer illness or injury? No! I was nice and healthy in 2011. I did trip while running and scraped up my knee and elbow, but I healed.

What was the best thing you bought? Toyota Prius – 50 miles to the gallon, baby!

Whose behavior merited celebration? Taylor for getting engaged to Nora, and Kelsey for getting a professional job in her field of public relations and working hard all year.

Where did most of your money go? Mortgage payments, dinners out, and Christmas presents

What did you get really, really, really excited about? Taylor and Nora getting engaged

What song will always remind you of 2011? “Born this Way” by Lady Gaga and “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele (as performed by Hayley Reinhardt on American Idol)

Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? — Equally as happy
Thinner or fatter? — A bit thinner, certainly healthier
Richer or poorer? — Richer as I saved a good amount of money, but poorer in that my retirement funds keep losing money.

What do you wish you’d done more of? Seeing my kids—I can always do more of this. Skiing–I didn’t get out at all in 2011 or the previous two years, but I have a trip planned for January with Kelsey so I’ll get both things accomplished.

What do you wish you’d done less of? Grumbling about the world situation, the economy and politicians!

How will you be (or did you) spend Christmas?
I had a great Christmas. Even before the actual Holiday, I totally enjoyed December this year. I went to Kennebunkport for their annual Christmas Prelude. It was wonderful. Shopping in the local boutiques that were all decorated for Christmas, complete with cider and cookies; listening to Christmas Carols being sung in the town square (yes, real Christmas Carols); hot cocoa and the lighting of the tree! The tree is all decorated with lobster buoys. It really ushered in the spirit of Christmas. The following weekend, I was at Strawbery Bank in Portsmouth for the Christmas Stroll. We got a tour of the colonial houses, had some homemade chicken pot pie in the old William Pitt Tavern, and listened to some folk music at the Cider Shed. There were people were dressed in colonial costume, carolers and even Santa Clause was walking around.
For the actual holiday, I went to New Jersey to visit dad and my relatives. Kelsey came up from Virginia. (Taylor didn’t join us, but he was with me for Thanksgiving so I did get to spend holiday time with him and Nora). We spent Christmas Eve as we traditionally do, with my cousins Michael and Sally, Carolyn, John and Maureen and their kids, and Sally’s family. We ate the traditional 7 fish dinner (although I think we had 8 fishes this year), exchanged gifts, drank wine and cordials, and had a wonderful time. Afterwards, Kelsey, my father and I went back to his house and exchanged gifts under the tree. Christmas Day we went to Ellen Jane and Vin’s house as we do each year. Again, we had a wonderful time with them, their son, Michael and my cousins Vincent and Lola. Lola made a beautiful vegan entrée which she, Vincent and Kelsey totally enjoyed. Kelsey shared some with me, and it was delicious. The rest of us omnivores enjoyed the pasta, meatballs, filet mignon, ham, and all the fixings’! Aside from a small scare where we briefly lost Duncan (Kelsey’s adorable dog), the day was perfect!

Did you fall in love in 2011? Let’s assume this question is really asking, “How is your love life?” to which I will answer – good.

Who were your best friends? My best friends don’t change, so I’m going to change this question to: “Did you make a new friend this year and/or get closer to an acquaintance?” I made a new friend, Sarah. We met in our running group and we ran training runs and numerous races together this summer and fall, including the Seacoast Half Marathon. I also deepened a friendship with Jen who I met in 2010 during Leadership Seacoast.

What thing did you do that was meaningful to others? I think the others would have to answer this one, but I’ll give it a try. I helped a friend get on an exercise program, and I think I motivated them to exercise and eat healthier. I gave Taylor my mother’s diamond to have set into a ring for Nora. I think this was very meaningful for both of them. I know it was for me. I didn’t do much volunteer work this year. I think I’m still burnt out from my years of helping out with the PTA, sports teams, church related activities, the women’s training program, and others!

What was your favorite TV program? Parenthood, So You Think You Can Dance, American Idol, CSI: Miami

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Oh let’s phrase this differently, “Have any of your relationships worsened over the past year?” No

What was the best book you read? Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand –a must read, A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, and I am rereading the first 4 books of The Song of Fire and Ice Series (A Game of Thrones) by George R.R. Martin so I can enjoy the new book, “A Dance with Dragons”. I’m also listening to the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss another excellent fantasy epic.

What was your greatest musical discovery? I really didn’t have a musical discovery, but I did see Lindsey Buckingham in Portsmouth at The Music Hall and Southside Johnny at the Hampton Casino Ballroom.

What did you want and get?
I wanted and I got myself a new, fuel efficient car (Prius), a new smartphone (Droid), and an I-pad. I also got everything on my Christmas list!

What did you want and not get?
The one resolution I made and didn’t achieve was taking a family trip, but I did meet the kids in DC and took them to see Wicked, if they weren’t living just outside of DC, this would have counted as a trip! And of course, I wanted my investments to rise and they DID NOT.

What was your favorite film of this year? As I don’t watch too many movies, this is hard to say, I did enjoy the final installment of Harry Potter, TRON, Black Swan (was that this year?), and Water for Elephants. I am looking forward to seeing The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, I Bought a Zoo, and when it comes out, The Hobbit..

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I went out to dinner at a wonderful Italian Restaurant in Portsmouth, Ristorante Massimo with a special friend for my 52nd birthday

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? A booming economy (or at least one with a pulse!), and a rise in the stock market

What kept you sane? Running, yoga, reading and spending the spring and summer on the water
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I really don’t have much use for celebrities, but I was impressed by Steven Tyler on American Idol, and I was touched by the passing of Steve Jobs.

What political issue stirred you the most?
The economy and the mess in the Arab countries and the Middle East

Who did you miss? My family when I’m away from them, and my mother

Who was the best new person you met this year? I met a new business colleague, Shelley Fajans and we worked together on a project for a new client; and new yogis Bjorn and Jody Turnquist, owners of 3 Bridges Yoga – a wonderful new yoga studio in Portsmouth.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011: Live in the Present Moment, and To Thine Own Self Be True

Quote that sums up your year: “What goes around comes around”


  1. So glad you did this! Sounds like you had a fabulous 2011. =) Mind if I put you on my list of people/bloggers to visit in 2012? Happy New Year!

  2. Always love reading your stuff!


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