I can't help it -despite barely writing this year, despite everything, I still kind of like doing this Year In Review thing. The urge to document overcomes. I've deleted or altered questions from past years, because some of them just don't apply or I'm sick of them.
1. What did you do in 2016 that you'd never done before?
I ran the 10K of the A Christmas Story Race in Cleveland and dressed up as the Leg Lamp. I should add that the impetus for this crazy weekend jaunt to Cleveland was to meet friends that I had only previously known on the internets. Our original connection was the Hogwarts Running Club, a virtual Facebook based Harry Potter themed running club, of all the awesomely nerdy things, and it was 1000% worth it to take the leap and spend a weekend meeting these amazing, incredible, irreverent, funny people who make me laugh every damn day.
My Leg Lamp costume
Most of the crew on our tour of the A Christmas Story house, which is INTERACTIVE and totally worth a visit.
2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions and will you make more for next year?
I should change this question. I say this every year, yet it remains, ha! I do not do New Year's resolutions. I did have some goals, which I knocked the fuck out of the park, thank you very much. My first goal was to run 1000 kilometers in 2016 (621 miles). Thanks to marathon training, I kicked that goal's ass back in October. My secondary mileage goal was to see how close I could get to 1,000 miles. I am at 898 today, and will pass 900 by the time the New Year rolls in. That's pretty damn good, considering I had six full weeks that I could not run due to surgeries, and I just generally felt Not Right for the first 5 months of the year due to scalp reconstruction bullshit. My next big goal was to run the Marine Corps Marathon. I got in via lottery back in March, and was elated and terrified at the same time. My training had a rough-ish start, as I hadn't run mileage like that in several years, and it was record heat & humidity on the East Coast. I spent several weeks feeling sore, tired, and disheartened. But I got stronger, the weather cooled off, and I was feeling really good about 3 weeks out from the marathon. Then I got pretty sick with a horrible respiratory virus that turned into a sinus infection, and let me tell you, frantically calling your doctor to get antibiotics two days before your marathon is not at all ideal. It also ended up being stupidly hot (high of EIGHTY) on the Oct. 30 marathon date. So. It wasn't pretty, and I wanted to cry and quit, but I did it anyway. Along the way to the marathon, I ran two half marathons, and had a really great time. For 2017, I want to run more half marathons, improve my time (2:10 would be amazing, and I think it's possible), and kill that 1000 mile goal. And have FUN. I've gotten to a point that I feel pretty fit, and feel really confident in my running again, and I don't want to let that go, because it feels great.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes! My beloved friend Jennifer gave birth to a baby boy a couple of weeks ago. Her infertility story is long and heartbreaking, and she is such an optimistic, resilient, unsinkable friend. I wanted Jennifer to have a baby, so badly. I wished (right here on this blog) that I could be a surrogate for her. And guess what - a new opinion from a new doctor, a relatively simple surgery (after many others, I should note) and she was able to get pregnant. I am over the MOON for her, and hey, be right back, I need to go shower her and that baby with more presents.
4. Did anyone close to you die? No. 2016 only killed my youth, taking down David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Harper Lee, Pat Conroy, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Muhammad Ali, Gene Wilder, John Glenn, George Michael, and Carrie Fisher, among many others. Reading a list of all the artists and minds the world lost in 2016 is really, really, really depressing.
5. Where did you travel? Always to Martha's Vineyard a couple of times during the summer. Cleveland, for the A Christmas Story Run, so it was actually way more exciting than it sounds. A fantastic weekend at my friend Janine's house in western Massachusetts in October. It was not a year for traveling. Hoping next year will be better on that front, and that it's not because we flee the Trump regime for Australia.
6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you didn't have in 2016? Here's what I wrote last year, and still true: "Far fewer doctors' visits and medical nonsense." The first half of 2016 just fucking sucked because I went through 5 months of scalp surgery and reconstruction, and it was so, so miserable. My sick leave & annual leave balance are depleted, and I need a long, boring stretch of time where no one is sick and everything is boring and pleasant. The second half of 2016 was good on that front, so I just need to keep that up.
7. What dates from 2016 will be etched upon your memory and why? First the bad: Waking up on Nov. 9, 2016 and realizing that Donald Trump was the president-elect. I sobbed in bed. I could barely function for days. I've recovered, and I want to fight, but I am still scared as hell. Now, the good: making my dead, cramping legs run up the last hill to the Iwo Jima Marine Corps Memorial and crossing the finish line of the Marine Corps Marathon.
8. What was your biggest achievement of this year? Training for and finishing the Marine Corps Marathon.
9 . Did you suffer illness or injury? Oy. This fucking question. I spent the first 5 months of the year undergoing 2 surgeries and weeks and weeks of tissue expanders under my scalp to finally put all the hairs back where they belong on my head. It was wretched and horrible and miserable, and I would like to pretend it never happened and keep moving forward.
10. What was the best thing you bought? Race entries. I hadn't raced much in several years, and I did 5 races this year, and can't wait to do more next year.
11. Whose behavior merited celebration? Hillary Clinton, after she lost the presidential election. Class act.
12. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? The more than 50% of women who voted for Donald Trump. No, sweeties, no.
13. Where did most of your money go? Probably mortgage.
14. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Going to Cleveland for this crazy race to meet crazy, awesome people. Worth every penny.
15. What song will always remind you of 2016? The whole Hamilton Original Cast Recording, and the Hamilton Mixtape. If you want individual songs, I guess my two favorites are Yorktown on the OCR, and My Shot on the Mixtape.
16. Compared to this time last year, are you (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer? Mostly happier. Last year, I was staring down the barrel of my first scalp surgery. This year I have the impending Trump administration casting a pall over everything. But other than that, I have had a pretty awesome time in the latter half of 2016. I am probably thinner, definitely motherfucking STRONGER. Probably richer monetarily, though I don't keep track of our specific investments. Richer in my heart because of all the amazing people that I got to know this year.
17. What do you wish you'd done more of? Traveling. Seeing my best friends.
18. What do you wish you'd done less of? Spend time dealing with medical crap.
19. How did you spend Christmas? At our house, with my in-laws visiting. Our former nanny and de facto family member Janine also came over. We ordered Chinese, per our tradition, paying homage to Jewish "Christmas." I also made a roast chicken, an eggnog cheesecake, and some other stuff, because I wanted to. We drank mimosas all the live long day, ate like crazy, watched the kids play with their toys, played board games & card games, sat around, topped the day off with a viewing of Home Alone, and a last drink. It was a Good Day.
20. What was your favorite TV program? Stranger Things. I cannot WAIT for the next season.
21. What was the best thing you learned? That I can still get my 43 year old ass into shape and even get faster.
22. What was the best book you read? I read a fair amount of not-deep stuff this year. I needed to escape. My two favorites were the Throne of Glass series by Sarah Maas, and The Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater (author of the Raven Boys series).
23. What was your greatest food discovery? Pineapple and Pearls, a restaurant that I cannot believe is in our neighborhood. I have a fangirl crush on chef Aaron Silverman. I got to watch him at work at his other restaurant, Rose's Luxury, and I am in awe. P&P was definitely in the top three dining experiences of my life, perhaps top two.
24. What did you want and get? To train for and run Marine Corps Marathon.
25. What did you want and not get? A tropical resort vacation. Hopefully on tap for 2017.
26. What was your favorite film of 2016? I never go to movies in the theater. I just saw Rogue One, and loved it, so I guess I'll say that.
27. What was your best musical discovery of 2016? HAMILTON. Kicking myself for not being on that bandwagon sooner. In love, worshiping at the altar of Lin Manuel Miranda. Finally got tickets for June 2017. CANNOT WAIT.
28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? Forty THREE. Jeez. I really don't recall what I did. I was not in a good state of mind in February.
29. What kept you sane? Running. My pocket friends on Twitter and Facebook.
30. Who did you miss? I always miss my best friend, and college roommate, Becki. She really needs to live next door.
31. Who was the best new person you met? The incredible people that I met via the Hogwarts Running Club who have become true friends, and who make me laugh every day.
32. What was a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016? If your flight is cancelled, do not hesitate for a hot second. Rebook IMMEDIATELY if not sooner.
33. What are some of your favorite photos from the year?