Monday, 7 January 2013

Q & A: 2012 in Review

2012 was a crazy year for us. This seems as good a way as any to sum it up.

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

Giving birth would probably be the biggest thing! 

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

I don’t set resolutions, so there was nothing to keep. I guess if anything I just keep trying to work on self improvement over time :)

3. What countries did you visit?

2012 was certainly a year for travel. I went to: USA (Washington, DC & New York), Scotland (Aberdeen), Germany (Berlin), and now I’m in British Columbia, Canada.

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

Stability. As enjoyable as all the travel has been it would be nice to have a home of our own again and at least the illusion of job (and financial) security for another chunk of time.

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

August 3rd, the day that Walter was born. Giving birth under normal circumstances is memorable enough, but the unplanned home birth with the help of the emergency response team certainly ensured we would never forget it :)

6. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Organising an international move, packing, and getting all the paperwork in order in the 8 weeks after giving birth. Juggling that with a newborn was epic. I never want to do it again! But I did it fairly successfully and it felt pretty good to see what I could accomplish (I think thanks to a heavy dose of divine grace). A close runner up would be the feeling of success and pride I had when I could successfully set up things (like internet & phone) in Germany. It felt so good to get on in a country where I couldn’t just rely on English.

7. What was your biggest failure?

So far it’s been keeping up with correspondence/thank you notes in the time since we left Cambridge. Being on the move has made it very difficult to keep up with emails, letters, cards etc. I’m pretty exhausted most of the time and keen to use Walter’s mummy-free moments to veg and try to recoup some strength.

8. What was the best thing you bought?

Walter’s travel system. It’s been invaluable and allows us to be out & about, undertaking all sorts of adventures, with minimal fuss.

9. Where did most of your money go?

Travel. Flying is expensive, getting screwed by East Coast Rail was expensive, and being in a new country every few months is expensive.

10. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Moving to Germany for two months. I should probably say “having a baby” but that was also terrifying. Germany was less scary and it was awesome to finally make it to the continent!

11. What song will always remind you of 2012?

“Call Me Maybe” simply because it was the top song on August 3rd and I listened to it when I entered it into Walter’s baby book. It’s the first time in years that I’ve actually listened to music that was current! “How Can I Keep from Singing” may also stay in mind for 2012, as it is Walter’s favourite song and one that I have taken on as my anthem for the past year.

12. Compared to this time last year, are you richer or poorer?

Much, much poorer financially. We’ve lost 2/3rds of our income in the past few months and it’s been really hard, especially as we’ve had to keep moving around for various reasons. But I feel that my faith is richer (hard times will do that to you!), I’m learning the grace of Hope, and although my family is going through a tough time it’s something that the three of us are trying to face together. We’re certainly richer for having each other, especially the blessing of our little son.

13. What do you wish you'd done more of?

 Book reading, at least in the latter half of the year. Once Walter arrived it was hard to get a chance to read. In 2012 I only read 83 books, the lowest number I have on record (I’ve been tracking books-read since 2006). It means I’ve been spending more time on the computer, which generally is not as good for my mental health although it is easier when juggling a baby.

14. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Planning! Almost nothing went the way we thought and if it were possible to live life with no plans it certainly would have saved me many hours of anxiety!

15. How did you spend Christmas?

We spent our time with David’s family in Victoria, and then celebrated all over again in Port Alberni for a slightly early Ukrainian Christmas. It was lovely to be home again for Christmas after three years abroad.

16. What was the best book you read?

Vanity Fair. It made it into my favourites for rereading list, right up there with Gone With the Wind.

17. What did you want and get?

To go back to Canada for Christmas.

18. What did you want and not get?

A place to call home for a significant length of time.

19. What did you do on your birthday?

Bubble Tea, Turkish kebabs & pommes frites mit mayo, a special German supper cooked by David, and just a fun family day with my husband and son in Berlin.

20. How would you describe your personal fashion concept?

practical bohemian!

21. What kept you sane?

Prayers, both ones I said and the ones said for me. Without God to get me through this past year I don’t know if I could have made it.

22. What political issue stirred you the most?

The attack on religious liberties, at least in the press and the halls of the politicians! I was engrossed in the German circumcision issue, as I found it fascinating that the Europeans polled, or the ones I spoke to, would react so vehemently against it.  

23. Where did you ring in 2012?

On Glen Lake, watching the fireworks over the lake while taking a brief break from Pathfinder.

24. Where will you ring in 2013?

Considering I can’t even tell where I’ll be in a month or so, there’s no way I’m going to guess where I’ll be in 2013. But I hope that it will be with my little family :)

25. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

And I don't know what the future is holdin' in store

I don't know where I'm goin',

I'm not sure where I've been

There's a spirit that guides me, a light that shines for me

My life is worth the livin', I don't need to see the end
                -- John Denver, Sweet Surrender

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