Survey.

I’ve been doing this one for 13 years, in its various incarnations. It’s stayed mostly the same, but it’s a little like a virtual game of telephone — changing in small, subtle ways. This year, I actually went back (in both Facebook and Livejournal) and found all the surveys I’d done since the first one in 2002. I linked them here mostly for my own benefit — in the name of preservation — but feel free to take a look if you’re curious.

Dropbox Files of Past Surveys

And now for this year’s:

2015

  1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
    Kissed a dolphin.
  1. How did you spend New Year’s Eve, did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
    With great friends, really relaxed, having fun. It was the first year in a long time that I have been with a group of people at the strike of midnight; it’s not overrated. Last year, I resolved to be as kind to myself as I am to others. And to be kinder to others. I think I mostly succeeded. But I want to keep working on that. This week, we plan to make some personal and family goals for the year.
  2. Did anyone close to you give birth?
    Not this year.
  3. Did anyone close to you die?
    Not this year.
  4. What countries did you visit?
    The Bahamas.
  1. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
    A job I really love with a decent salary.
  1. What date from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
    June 26th, the day gay marriage was legalized by the Supreme Court.
  1. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    Renaming my business, launching the illustration arm of it, and opening an Etsy shop. It’s not a moneymaker, but it does give me a lot of joy and self-satisfaction.
  1. What was your biggest failure?
    I failed at finding a way for me to do meaningful and satisfying work while getting paid what my education, experience, and talent should be able to pull in.
  1. Did you suffer illness or injury?
    I didn’t, but The Who had his little bellybutton tucked in, which is really neither illness nor injury, but it was surgery.
  1. What was the best thing you bought?
    The piano.
  1. Whose behavior merited celebration?
    M*’s. I have said this on other years’ surveys (and not said it on still others.) But this year, there’s been a marked difference in the balance of good days vs. hard days and while I give credit to both The Who and to me also, it’s worth giving a special mention to m*.
  1. What situations appalled and depressed you?
    The more than 100 unarmed black people killed by police. And the fact that so many people in this country actually believe that a racist, misogynistic, dimwitted asshat would make a decent president.
  1. Where did most of your money go?
    Travel, basement renovation, new HVAC.
  1. What events did you get really excited about?
    July in Boston and the Spring Break cruise.
  1. What song will always remind you of 2015?
    “Hello” by Adele.
  1. Compared to this time last year, you are…
    — richer or poorer? Individually richer, thanks to the illustrating work. As a family, probably poorer as we pay off the home stuff. Non-monetarily, definitely richer.
    — happier or sadder? Happier for sure.
  1. What do you wish you’d done more of?
    Reading.
  1. What do you wish you’d done less of?
    Facebook and Candy Crush.
  1. How did you spend Christmas?
    We all spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning wondering what kind of virus The Who was suffering from debating a visit to urgent care. Ultimately, whatever it was seemed to miraculously disappear around the 24-hour mark and The Who and I spent Christmas day driving to Boston – the best driving trip so far for the two of us. Made it under 7 hours without incident.
  1. Did you fall in love in 2015?
    I kind of fell in love with our new synagogue.
  1. What were your favorite TV programs?
    Madame Secretary, Project Runway, Nashville, and my regular run of “trashy” reality: 19 Kids and Counting, Sister Wives, 90-Day Fiancée, Couples Therapy
  1. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
    Every year I say that I don’t hate anyone, but this year, I hate Trump.
  1. What was the best book you read?
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  1. What was your greatest musical discovery or rediscovery?
    This year, I introduced The Who to the full “Thriller” video, which I hadn’t seen or heard in years.
  1. What did you want and get?
    A dedicated art space in an aesthetically pleasing basement. Also, a gel manicure set up, complete with the LCD light.
  1. What did you want and not get?
    Not to beat a dead horse, but again with the job.
  1. What were your favorite films of this year?
    Inside Out, Black Mass, and Trainwreck
  1. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
    I turned 41 and I spent it leisurely hanging out at Bittersweet Kitchen in the morning and then going to see The Who and his classmates recite poetry at the kindergarten “Poetry Café.”
  1. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
    A more comfortable couch.
  1. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
    No socks.
  1. What kept you sane?
    My writing group, my therapist, and my friends.
  1. What political issue stirred you the most?
    Gun control.
  1. Whom did you miss?
    I missed my grandmother a lot this year for some reason.
  1. Who was the best new person you met?
    Izzy and his family – even if they are Jets fans.
  1. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
    It gets better.
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