2010: A Year in Review

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I’ve been filling out the same end-of-year survey since 2002. It’s crazy to see how much my life has changed over those years. This year was one of the most eventful. I have truly been there and back again.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
Took a cooking class; took a picture of my outfit every day (in theory); taught dance to a group; made Julia Child’s boeuf bourgignon, and a cake with a heart in it; sewed something; left a church solely based on my own decision; joined an officially PCA church; hired a lawyer; got a divorce (which I fully hope and expect to be a one-time only event); joined a support group; refinanced my home and owned it as an individual; started a public blog; wrote to my Congressman; became a columnist (!!!). These are just the ones I can think of.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My 2010 resolutions were “to scrapbook more, and to hand off at least part of my missions board ministry to someone else.” Well, I didn’t scrapbook very much, but I quit the missions board ministry even before I left my old church. I was also excited about learning to bake bread, and I did plenty of that!

In 2011 I plan to start a thankfulness journal, where I can quickly write down a few specific things I’m thankful for that day. I also got The Daily Writer for Christmas – I doubt I’ll manage to participate daily, but it’s a start. I also want to continue doing new things and taking chances. :)

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Overall this year was a baby lull. 2009 was full of births and 2011 will be too!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My (great-) Aunt Betsy died fairly suddenly on June 19. She was 67.

5. What countries did you visit?
I didn’t leave the country, and I didn’t see any new states either. Next year will be better!

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
An amazing, Godly man who loves me would be great, but overall I feel content with my life right now.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 17 was the day my ex-husband left. September 9 was the day the divorce was final. Those are the only dates my brain had room for.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Surviving terrible things and coming out of it healthier and more confident than I was before. Finally learning to live one day at a time. Does it get much bigger than that? Of course, the credit goes to God, but I can still feel a little accomplished.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I’m going to go out on a limb and say, for the first time ever, that I didn’t have any massive failures. I really think I acted and made decisions to the best of my ability this year. Of course I’ve made mistakes, but overall I don’t feel like a failure.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Just my nearly-chronic sinus problems. And insomnia, which I had never dealt with before. Not fun.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My Emeril Lagasse tri-clad stainless steel cookware. I love using it and am thankful for it every day!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My entire family’s. They couldn’t have been more helpful or supportive. My dad especially has gone above and beyond.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Really?

14. Where did most of your money go?
Legal fees, travel, and house-related things.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My new couches. My sister and college roommate both moving back to Nashville after living far away. Getting together with a few online friends in July (we call ourselves SIPsters – the SIP stands for Scary Internet People :D). The Shelby Farms Greenline. And Myla’s wedding and new album!

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
I already covered this.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier.
b) thinner or fatter? About the same.
c) richer or poorer? About the same, I think.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Productive things.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Facebooking in front of the TV. :P

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my parents, siblings, and grandma at my parents’ house. It was good!

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
No.

22. What concerts did you attend this year?
Paramore (with Tegan & Sara and New Found Glory) in Nashville. I can’t believe that’s the only one, but at least it was a great one!

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Lost. I still haven’t decided how I feel about the ending.

24. Do you dislike anyone now whom you didn’t dislike this time last year?
I guess, in the sense that I dislike people whom I didn’t know this time last year.

25. What was the best book you read?
Fiction: Rampant and Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund; Love Walked In by Maria de los Santos; Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. Non-fiction: Plan B by Pete Wilson; A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L’Engle; Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
My only real “new discovery” this year was Kate Voegele, who’s been around for a while. I LOVED the new releases from Taylor Swift, Sara Bareilles, and of course Myla Smith. :)

27. What did you want and get?
DVR – finally! New couches. A home weather station that works.

28. What did you want and not get?
A new bike. A new oven. Lots of intangible things.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
I didn’t see many movies this year, but The Social Network really impressed me. Deathly Hallows Part 1 was also great!

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 31. I went to work. My friend Stacy took me to lunch, and my parents took me to Macaroni Grill for dinner. It was a nice, if uneventful, day.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not going through all that I’ve been through. Of course. But I believe it was deeply necessary, because otherwise God wouldn’t have allowed it, and I believe that someday it will all be fully redeemed.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
I made an effort to branch out with accessories this year. It went well.

33. What kept you sane?
My family and friends. This isn’t a pat answer. I have the best family and friends ever.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Sandra Bullock. I know that’s so cliché because this was Her Year and all, but her personal crisis was for the same reasons and almost on the same timeline as mine, and she’s been an inspiration to me. She’s maintained so much dignity and class, and not let her situation keep her from happiness or success, or from having a family! I also became a big Pink fan, both for her past two albums and for her general awesomeness.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
The new TSA scanners. I was so impassioned that I wrote a letter of protest about them.

36. Who did you miss?
My many friends who live far away.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
I’ve met a lot of great people at my church, and I’m hoping to get to know them better!

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
When you go through a major loss, a whole world of connection opens up. It’s like a vast social network that I never knew existed. People feel safe enough to share their own stories with you because they know you speak the same emotional language. Along the same lines, friends who understand grief have become much more precious to me. I’m really thankful for that positive “fruit” of hard times.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I’m through accepting limits ’cause someone says they’re so.
Some things I cannot change, but till I try, I’ll never know.
Too long I’ve been afraid of losing love I guess I’ve lost.
Well, if that’s love, it comes at much too high a cost.

– Defying Gravity, from Wicked

About Brenda W.

Christian. Memphian. Reader. Writer. True blue Tiger fan. Lover of shoes, the ocean, adventure, and McAlister's iced tea. View all posts by Brenda W. →
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