A new year

by Elizabeth on January 1, 2013 · 4 comments

in Life

There are few things that make me as happy as the beginning of a new year.  January 1 feels like the best opportunity to draw a line, to finish a chapter and make conscious decisions about the plot of the next one.  It’s a chance to stop the habits that have snowballed and make better choices.

2012 was really good to me.  We travelled, we spent lots of time with our favourite people, and creatively it was an inspiring year for me.  I made drawings and paintings and photos and handmade things.  I turned my office into a place that made me happy, and I did my job well.  I grew up a lot this year, I think.

In my job I spend about 4 months in planning mode for the next year.  It can be confusing when New Years Day comes around and I have to remind myself that it’s only just turned 2013 – no, it’s not 2014 yet!

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Yesterday I packed away the Christmas decorations and my mind felt clearer.  I love Christmas, but this year I needed to put it behind me and get excited for the things ahead.

But before I get too deep into 2013, here are the questions I tackle once a year (you can read the last couple here: 2011, 2010).  I’d love to hear your answers too!


1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

I saw the Red Sox play at Fenway Park.
Crossed the Brooklyn Bridge.
Tried frozen custard and lobster rolls.
Saw a movie at the drive-in.
Built a gingerbread house.
Went to my first roller derby.
Travelled to 3 new states in the USA and toured the Ben & Jerry’s factory.

2012 was full of adventures I’d never had before!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My only new year’s resolution was to begin my new 101 Things in 1001 Days project.  I managed to finish 30 items in 2012, plus a bunch of progress on 16 other tasks.  I’ll be writing a big 12-month progress report on that soon.


3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Two sweet little girls arrived in 2012 – Georgia Mae and Eva Rose.  They are heavenly.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My grandmother’s sister passed away suddenly last month.  One of my best friends at work lost her beloved husband after a long, cruel fight with cancer.

5. What countries/states did you visit?
We didn’t travel much in Australia this year – just up to Brisbane to see Mum & Dad.  To make up for it we covered a lot of ground in the USA (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, NYC, Florida) and stopped over in Vancouver and Toronto.  I hope to do more domestic travel in 2013.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
I would like to spend more time on the things outside of work that make me happy.  Painting, photography, reading books.  For me I think that means simplifying our lives (and throwing out stuff) that hinders my ability to just sit down and get to work.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I think I’ll always remember New England’s beautiful autumn each time September & October roll around.  It’s magic there.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
There are a few items on my 101 list that were really satisfying to complete.  Maybe the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation (12WBT) – that was brutal, but so good for me.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I didn’t spend enough time with my friends in 2012.  That’s something I need to change this year.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I have a foot injury which has put an end to my running for a while.  I hope it’s not for long, because I’m itching to get back on track.  Aside from that we were both pretty healthy this year.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
That’s easy – my new camera.  I feel very lucky to have it.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Julia Gillard’s speech about Tony Abbott and misogyny was pretty effing great.

13. Whose behaviour was appalling?
Most of the things that come out of Alan Jones’ mouth are pretty appalling, but when he suggested that the Prime Minister’s father died of shame I was absolutely disgusted.  Later, Tony Abbott appeared to reference that quote in parliament which basically confirmed to the nation that he’s a scumbag.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Definitely our overseas trip.  Worth it.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Our overseas trip, mostly.  But aside from that?  Fort Birthday!

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?

I had this one incredible NYC moment in October that I’ll never forget.  I was standing in Sephora in Times Square; the store was packed with people and the music was loud.  Suddenly Empire State of Mind by Jay Z & Alicia Keys came blasting through the speakers and every staff member stopped what they were doing and danced and sang along.  There was nothing choreographed about it, and none of the customers got impatient.  That’s pretty rare for NYC.

It was this cool, spontaneous display of pride for their amazing city and it just about made my heart burst.

(Also Thrift Shop by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis!)

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

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
More drawing, more reading.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Mindless internetting.  I did a huge clean out of my RSS feeder a few months ago and it really changed the way I spend my time online.  I was a bit tired of the constant advertising that was creeping into my life and it helped when I put more thought into the blogs I read.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas was quiet, except for a big family lunch at my cousin’s place.

21. What was your favourite TV program?
We’ve been hooked on a few shows this year.  We are in love with Downton Abbey, Breaking Bad and Newsroom, and we’re halfway through re-watching The O.C.  It’s rad.

22. Did you make a friend with anyone that you didn’t know this time last year?
There are a couple of new people at work that I’ve liked spending time with.  My workplace is weird though, people don’t really socialise outside of the office.

23. What was the best book you read?
The Great Gatsby.  Not exactly a new release, is it?  I hope the movie does justice to the book.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I rediscovered Classic FM and discovered that I get less road rage when I play it in the car.

25. What did you want and get?
Quality time with Tim’s family, not just days packed with sight-seeing.  Some of my favourite memories are the quiet days that we had with his parents in Maine & Vermont, just hanging out together.

26. What did you want and not get?
We had hoped to make some decisions about buying a house this year, but it all looks a bit hopeless.  We’re not really any closer to figuring out which suburbs we should be looking at.  Boo.

27. What was your favourite film of this year?
Moonrise Kingdom was easily the best movie of 2012.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 32.  I spent the day with my favourite guy in Fitzroy wandering the markets.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A couple more weeks in the USA would have been perfect.  We’d have spent more time with Tim’s family, more time in NYC and I’d have tried to fit in a trip to DC or San Francisco too.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Skinny jeans, ballet flats, long scarves.  Long hair with a thick blunt fringe.  Smashbox BB cream, Urban Decay foundation and Smashbox electric pink lipstick.  More makeup, but less jewellery this year than at any other time in my life.

31. What kept you sane?
Running is the absolute best thing for my sanity.  I wish my foot wasn’t busted so I could get back on the wagon!

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I have some pretty serious respect for Barack Obama after the 2012 election.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?
There is no issue in Australian politics that is more important to me than the treatment of our refugees.  Our record, our policies, are sickening.

34. Who did you miss?
I miss having Tim’s family as part of our day-to-day lives.  The timezones make it pretty hard.

35. Who was the best new person you met?
Tim is growing a beard right now and it feels a little bit like having an affair.  Tim 2.0 is cute.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012
Don’t sweat the small stuff.  I’ve gotten a little better and putting that into action in my own life in the past year, though I still have a long way to go.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year
But tell me, what have I done to deserve you? 
Must have done something cause that’s how it works 
Must have been kind to kittens and birds, 
In a previous life must have thought happy thoughts…

I Want to Sing – Regina Spektor

I have this feeling that 2012 was the prequel to something bigger.  I’m ready for you, 2013!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

gawee January 1, 2013 at 10:49 pm

I always enjoy reading your year in review and this year is no different.  Last year I was inspired to answer those very same questions myself and am intending to do so again (I’m half way through so it should be posted in the next couple of days).  Thanks for again sharing your year.

G. xx


Elizabeth January 1, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Thanks G!
It takes some time to answer these questions, hey? Some of them are straightforward, others take a little more reflection. Looking forward to reading yours when it’s done.


vanessa January 2, 2013 at 4:14 am

i admire how committed you are to your desires (“resolutions”/101 things list) and how you take the time to think about the things that are important to you, and why, and to commemorate them in some way. even if we grow apart and/or i never get to meet you in real life, you were one of the kindest friends i had in 2012 and that’s what will always come to mind when i think of you. you inspire me and i wish you a beautiful 2013. xo


Cj Jones January 2, 2013 at 8:58 pm

I really enjoyed reading that and how you reflected on the past year. I’ve always like reflecting back at the end of the year and looking forward to the year ahead. I think I might just have to got through that list of questions myself.


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