Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009: A Year in Review

I skipped 2008. Time to catch up. Thanks to Avindair for the format!

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?

Had an MRI. (To be more concise, about 5.)
Got diagnosed with Multiple-Sclerosis.
Had a spinal tap. (It's really not as fun as the movie.)
Gave myself injections. (Not as bad as I thought it would be.)

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

Some I was able to keep. Others, due to circumstances, couldn't be kept. I think of them more as hopes than resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes. Two co-workers.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes. I lost my uncle, Leo, in September. Then my grandmother, Minnie (Leo's mother), in November. It's been difficult, but toughest on my Dad, who's now the only one left.

5. What countries did you visit?

Sadly, just the U.S. of A.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

Steady health.
Fewer "emergencies of the week".

7. What date(s) from 2009 will remain etched your memory, and why?

April 20
It's the day I went into the emergency room and was admitted to the hospital for the "attack" that led to my MS diagnosis.

December 12
Seeing our son as Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol" and getting to hear him sing! If I'd been standing, it would have knocked me off my feet!

8. What were your biggest achievements of the year?

Recovering from the attack and going back to work full time.
Learning to give myself injections.
Learning to pace myself and listen to my body.

9. What were your biggest failures?

Not that I didn't make mistakes, but I think just getting through this year was a win.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

See everything above! Yes, I was diagnosed with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. At first, it was a very frightening prospect. My grandfather had MS, although he must have Progressive MS, and every year of his life we watched as his physical capabilities went downhill. From cane, to walker, to wheelchair. But treatments now are so much better than they were for him. There's no cure, but there are options. I just have to listen to my body, stick to my medication, and stay as healthy as I can.

Although I have my good days and my bad, I'm coming to terms with it. My family has been unbelievable through everything. Our friends have been wonderful. My workplace has been incredibly supportive. I can't ask for more.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My medication (That seems to be doing it's job.)
XBox 360 Elite for Tony's birthday

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Avindair, SportyGirl and MonkeyDude: I don't know where to begin. Their strength and love has seen me through so much this year. Words can not express.

MagicMarmot: For seeing me through getting admitted to my hospital room... and the laughter and tears. I am truly grateful.

Garrett: For watching out for my family that first night. You are truly a friend indeed.

Penmaster and Raven: For showing up on our doorstep and holding our hands through the rocky early days of the diagnosis. We are blessed to have you as friends... but really, you are more "family" than "friend"... but you know that! :-)

My Boss and Co-workers: My boss made sure that work was to be the least of my worries. If it weren't for her support, I really wouldn't have recovered as quickly and returned to work like I did. My co-workers helped carry the load until I was able. I couldn't have done it without them.

My Dad: He's been through so much this year. He was a caretaker to his brother and his mother. Seeing them both through the last days of their lives. His strength astonishes me.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The usual:
Corporate America
Our government leaders
Americans in general

14. Where did most of your money go?

Hospital Bills

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

Small moments (really small, like being able to write my own signature legibly!) in my recovery from the "attack"
Going to see Gaelic Storm again with the family
MonkeyDude in "A Christmas Carol"

16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2009?

I don't think there are any. I'll have to wait until 2010 and beyond to see.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder?

Believe it or not, happier. December 2008 was tough, as I recall. Mostly due to work. Plus, I just had a good MRI that showed some small reductions on my brain lesions. So... good news.

ii. thinner or fatter?

About the same. I'm wearing the same pants, at least.

iii. richer or poorer?

Richer. Avindair has a regular paycheck now.

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


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


20. How will you be spending Christmas?

At home with the family. Maybe light the fireplace. Play some games. See a movie or two.

22. Did you fall in love in 2009?

Over and over... with Avindair.

23. How many one-night stands?


24. What was your favorite TV program?

That needs to be "programs". :-)

"Big Bang Theory"
"Doctor Who"
"True Blood" (except for the season finale - fail)

24b. Shows that let you down?

Mine are all the same as Avindair's.

"Battlestar Galactica" - Final episode EPIC FAIL.
"Smallville" - Dullsville

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

No. People worth hating aren't worth my time.

26. What was the best book you read?

"Orlando" by Virginal Woolfe

27. What was/were your greatest musical discoveries?

SportyGirl can answer that question. I just listen and enjoy.

28. What did you want and get?

- I put work in its proper place.
- I had more time with Avindair and the kids.
- I got perspective and found more joy in the little things in life.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

Probably "Avatar".

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

I turned 43. We picked up Buca's on the way home from work and had a lovely, quiet dinner with Avindair and the kids.

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

Nothing. Everything - good or bad - had its purpose. Just making it through 2009 is satisfaction enough.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Business casual at work.
Casual casual at home.

34. What kept you sane?

My family.
My recovery.
My work.
My friends.

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

Still a big fan of Ewan McGregor and Hugh Jackman.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

The health care issue... or lack thereof.

37. Who did you miss?

My Grandma Minnie
My in-laws (yes - my in-laws - I adore them)
Penmaster and Raven

38. Who was the best new person you met?

One of my new co-workers. She's something else! (In a good way.)

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:

Take each day as it comes.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

"I've paid my dues -
Time after time -
I've done my sentence
But committed no crime -
And bad mistakes
I've made a few
I've had my share of sand kicked in my face -
But I've come through

We are the champions - my friends
And we'll keep on fighting - till the end -
We are the champions -
We are the champions
No time for losers
'Cause we are the champions - of the world

I've taken my bows
And my curtain calls -
You brought me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it
I thank you all -

But it's been no bed of roses
No pleasure cruise -
I consider it a challenge before the whole human race -
And I ain't gonna lose -

We are the champions - my friends
And we'll keep on fighting - till the end -
We are the champions -
We are the champions
No time for losers
'Cause we are the champions - of the world"

-- We Are the Champions - Queen

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