Friday, January 4, 2013

2012 in 40 Questions: A “Meme”tastic New Year

I usually do not do this, but what the hell.  I’ve been wanting to write something about the transition from one arbitrary set of days to the next arbitrary set of days, and this meme provides as good of a format as anything… 

I stole the questions from a friend’s blog.  Don’t know where she got them from.

2012 was a complicated year.  Maybe a meme is what I need to help make sense of it. 

Fair Oaks, California.  January 4, 2013.1 What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?

This gets right to the meat and bones of how 2012 will go down in the books…

Families are complicated these days, and instead of having just two parents, this number can range from one to many.  For me, there are four, though my mother and father both married their current spouses after I was grown, so I tend to refer to them as my parents’ husband and wife as opposed to “stepparents.”

However, I’ve been fearing the day when one of the “big four” would pass, having just buried the last of my grandparents a couple years back…

On November 8, my mother’s husband Mario passed.  While he was still more of my mother’s husband than my stepfather, his passing is in the process of completely re-arranging my world.

I’ve been fearing having to make funeral arrangements for anyone, no longer...  I’ve been fearing “what to do” with mom or dad when the time came when they could no longer live on their own, no longer… 

A lot of firsts are wrapped up in this event.

2 Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Yes and No. 

I wanted to make further strides towards becoming a “professional” photographer & writer in fields outside of Technical Writing, and life was too complicated this year to do much towards pursing this goal, other than just taking a lot of pictures.  This is a goal that will continue in 2013.

This time last year my number one goal was to try to get a gallery showing (okay, some pictures on a coffeehouse or bar wall) by the end of the year.  Not even close.

However, I did get two-thirds the way through draft of a novel, and that ain’t nothing.  If life had gone according to plan, that draft would have been finished by January 1, 2013.

These sorts of things are more goal than resolutions, but resolutions are not something I really do.  Daily resolutions are more my pace, since life in recovery is lived, in this sense, one day at a time.

3 Did anyone close to you give birth?

Since I have to pause and think before answering this question, I will say no.

4 Did anyone close to you die?


5 What countries did you visit?

Only my own.

6 What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

The space and time to not only develop some more serious career goals but to actually have the space and time to pursue them.

7 What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

November 8.  See many of my other answers here.

8 What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Seeing the progress my children have made towards overcoming their issues since I got custody in 2011.

9 What was your biggest failure?

Not being able to help the boys’ mother progress further towards overcoming some of her issues.

10 Did you suffer illness or injury?

Other than a pesky strained ankle that bugged me from the spring through the end of the summer until I got off my feet a bit and let it heal, no.  Thank God!

11 What was the best thing you bought?

While I received some amazing gifts this year, I bought very little for myself outside of a few books about once every three months.  Probably a subscription to flikr PRO would be the most rewarding and productive “purchase” of the year.

12 Whose behavior merited celebration?

My children have been remarkable this year.

13 Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The Congressional Republicans?  The news media?  Of course.  On a more personal front, I would rather not go there.  I truly believe that everyone in my life has been trying to do the best they can, though mileage has varied.

14 Where did most of your money go?


15 What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Watching my boys really come together in 2012.  Specifically, the big one seeing some real, independent success in school and the little one making new friends where ever he goes.

Of course, the opportunities brought about by having reliable transportation after a nearly year of busing, biking, and walking and from the DSLR I received for my birthday/Christmas are up there too.  Finding out about the Adobe Cloud (which gives me all the software I’ll need for my 2013 goals at a price even I can afford) ranks pretty highly, as well.

16 What song will always remind you of 2012?

Really, this is hard to answer right now.   It will be interesting to see what songs take me back to this period of my life in the future. 

Probably anything by Murder By Death, O’Death, Ha Ha Tonka, and Kelly Hogan’s I Like To Keep Myself In Pain will be taking me back to the 2011 / 2012 period years from now.

But, if I have to pick one song, “Society” by Eddie Vedder will probably be the song I associate the most with 2012.  Partially because I am using it in my One Day On Earth video, so I am hearing it a lot right now, but mostly because of the lyrics.

This song reflects a lot of what I have learned about myself in 2012. A lot about how my perceptions of what I need and want from the world have changed this year. How my perceptions about where I am in life and where I am heading in life have changed over the last 12 months or so.

It is the song I used in this video.

One Day On Earth: 12.12.12 - Stills I: What I Have & What I Need from A. F. Litt on Vimeo.

17 Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder? 
This is a difficult question.  There is a lot of sorrow right now, and a lot of fear due to some major changes taking place in my life, re-defining my life, but I would say that, underneath it all, I am happier.

I am more content and I am more secure about who I am, what I am doing in life, and where I am going in life and, really, who could ask for more?

So, happier, I would say, though this is a difficult and sad time.

ii. thinner or fatter?

Easy one, thinner.  Though that may not be the case if I don’t start getting some more exercise soon.

iii. richer or poorer?

Spiritually, I am much richer.  Financially, about the same.

18 What do you wish you'd done more of?

I wish I had the time and energy to work more with the boys’ mother and to help her find a more content place in her own life.

And more camping and hiking.  Always.  But I got as much in as circumstances would allow in 2012.

19 What do you wish you'd done less of?

Staring at screens in unproductive ways.  Mostly this would have been last winter.  It took awhile for me to figure out what I wanted to be doing with this time in my life and spending my “free time” trying to drive up hits on my websites was not the best use of my time, though I re-oriented away from this fairly early in 2012.

20 How will you be spending Christmas?

Past tense, now.  Not in any way I could have foreseen before November 8.  I had hoped to spend Christmas with all of my family in California celebrating a hell of a lot of successes since my last trip down here in 2010 / 2011. 

Unfortunately, aside from my geographical location, this Christmas couldn’t have been more opposite from that and it was not a pleasant day.

xMass 2012: Fair Oaks, California from A. F. Litt on Vimeo.

22 Did you fall in love in 2012?

No.  Not even close.

23 How many one-night stands?


24 What was your favorite TV program?

Firefly.  It and Lost were the only two shows I took any time to watch this year and I really enjoyed both of them, though Firefly wins by a nudge.  Of course, they were only new to me.

25 Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

No.  I don’t have the time for that crap.

26 What was the best book you read?

I re-discovered Faulkner and loved every second I spent reading the Snopes Trilogy in 2012 (though I am still finishing the third novel, The Mansion).

27 What was your greatest musical discovery?

Easily Ha Ha Tonka.  Never heard of them before they opened up for Murder By Death this summer.

28 What did you want and get?

Most everything I needed.  Really.  I am not kidding, even in a materialistic sense.  I was very blessed in this way this year.

29 What did you want and not get?

Well, I still need a new external hard drive, though access to my mother’s laptop has mitigated this need temporarily.  Other than that, nothing comes to mind.

30 What was your favorite film of this year?

I will say The Hobbit though I have yet to see it yet.  Just the fact that it exists is enough for me.

This was not a big year for movies for me and, after the Dark Night shootings, my interest in going to the theater really evaporated.  Strange, for me.  Such things usually do not affect me like that.  Finances were also an issue for most of the year and contributed quite a bit to this gap.

Oh, and I might have been one of the only people in the world to have given John Carter a fair shot and I enjoyed the hell out of it.

31 What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 40 and had a very nice day taking pictures and exploring the country outside of Sacramento before spending a great evening with an old friend. 

I suppose I am fortunate that I got all of the turning 40 angst out of my system last year when I turned 39.

32 What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

If the boys’ mother had been able to make a bit more progress towards her treatment goals. 

33 How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?


34 What kept you sane?

Faith.  Period.  Though photography and writing helped a lot.  It was nice adding the writing to the mix for the first time in years.

35 Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?


36 What political issue stirred you the most?

Of course the presidential election had me the most fired up, but the most moving issue for me was to see that Gay Rights are becoming accepted by a majority of Americans.  It is abhorrent to me to see my LGBT friends not being treated as equals in the U.S.

There is still a long way to go with these issues, but I really believe that 2012 will be seen as the year when the tide irrevocably turned on LGBT rights.
37 Who did you miss?

Mario and, while I am away helping mom through this time, my children.

38 Best new person you met?

A great community of local Portland writers in the NaNo Portland Facebook group. 

In “real” life, though I did not technically meet them this year, I gained a couple of good, new friends in the faith and recovery communities and I look forward to building those friendships more in 2013.

39 Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.

It is not a lesson I learned this year, but it was re-affirmed in some powerful ways...  Faith can get us through anything.

40 Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.


Related Posts

No comments:

Post a Comment