72 hours of overtime in 4 weeks to finish a long-overdue work project I inherited 'to fix'.
Go-Karted at Philip Island.
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Last year, I said I dont really believe in new years resolutions. And I cant remember if I made any or if I kept them.
This year my resolution is to move up two levels at work, and save more money than I've ever seen in one place before. To that end, I'm going to give up smoking and buying coffees/lunches at work - but they are not 'new years resolutions', just the means to achieving the real resolutions. Believe me?
3. Did someone close to you give birth?
Seems like anyone at work who CAN give birth, has this year. The wives of my cousins, Luke and Adrian both had second babies. My new friend, Marianne had a baby last week.
5. What countries did you visit?
Last year I said
No new countries - not even any plane travel. I did go to Rocky Gully at easter - that was an experience.
This year I didn't visit any new countries, but I did visit my daughter in Melbourne, with my son, for a week, which was nice.
6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
Here is what i said in 2008 with the commentary I added in 2009 and last year. This year's commentary in
Less credit card debt - 2009 still - 2010 yep, still
2011 In August, I got a personal loan and consolidated my two very high interest credit cards. This has freed things up enormously. Yay me (and the bank)!! I HAVE LESS CREDIT CARD DEBT!! The loan will be paid out in August next year.
Tickets to a Willie Nelson concert – 2009 nearly – moved house - 2010 not even close. Willie Nelson got arrested tho.
2011 Nope. Willie's not getting any younger, and nor am I - but he's still on my bucket list.
Time off to walk the Bibbulmun track end-to-end – 2009 nope – only one day walk this year - 2010 didn't get there at all this year
Nope, didn't get there this year either. I did think about it. It's still on my bucket list - perhaps long-service leave in 2013?
More fun, but more spread out through the year – 2009 lots of fun, and some not so fun -2010 This year has been alot of hard work. Not much fun at all.
2011 CHECK - I've had some fun this year - work was fun (!!), holiday in Melbourne was fun, making my family history blog was fun, and I've been to a few concerts and things. Always up for more fun, though.
Less kid-related dramas and more time with my kids – 2009 a few big kid dramas in the middle but lots more time with my kids - 2010 Much less kid related dramas - in fact kids have been awesome, and added Luke to the list of kids full-time. Would like to have more time with my son in 2011.
2011 CHECK. How much do I rock?? Kids were awesome - oldest daughter moved to Melbourne and settled right in, youngest daughter graduated high school and we're waiting to see whether she'll get in to Uni next year. Took my son to Melbourne for a week - spend some solid time with him. Yay
a visit from my friend Rick in New Zealand – 2009 YES!!! Rick arrived in October - 2010 and left in December. Next year it would be nice to visit Rick in New Zealand. But Willie comes first.
2011 well as it turned out, Melbourne came first - so no visit to or from Rick this year, but it's on the list, after Willie.
a new job – 2009 I did a six month secondment, then went back to my old job - 2010 I've had some very big work related dramas, but they seem to be resolved at least for the short term. If it stays the way it is, I'm not looking for a new job.
2011 CHECK AGAIN!! Same workplace, different job, happy happy happy. Looking to move up this year, but only within the same area - I have the BEST job, just more money would be nice hey?
hmmm, so here is what I said I'd like to have in 2011 that i lacked in 2010:
Less credit card debt
Tickets to a Willie Nelson concert
(hmm thats interesting - if i had less credit card debt, I could maybe get to a Willie Nelson concert, and that would be a holiday... then what would I write in my round up?)
2011 - Less credit card debt - YES! Tickets to Willie, not this year :( , a holiday - YES!!
7. What date(s)/event(s) from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Last year I said
It's been a pretty blah year and i'm pretty happy its almost over. Nothing - Nothing - sticks out as I sit here thinking about it, as far as dates go.
I'm glad to report that this year has not been 'blah'. Memorable/reportable events include:
Holiday to Melbourne/Philip Island with my son, to visit my daughter.
My youngest daughter graduated from high school.
I finally paid off my HECS (student loan, for the non-Australians).
8. What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year?
Last year I said:
I'm pretty sure I've cleared my HECS debt (the cost of my university education for those not in Australia)
Got my first tax refund in years!!!
Got the ex-husband to start paying child support on an ongoing basis, without the need for constant communication. Finally.
Bought my lovely Mac laptop.
survived what was basically a crap year.
This year my biggest achievements of the year were:
Finally paying off my HECS debt
Finishing that big project and getting (what turned out to be the 'first' draft) in on time
Having a holiday
Taking my son on a holiday and finally going go-karting with him
Getting my youngest daughter through her last year of high school
Getting that consolidation loan to get rid of two credit cards
Opening a savings account and earning actual interest!!
9. What was your biggest failure(s)?
in 2008 I said:
not getting the kid thing sorted is something i'd like to have achieved and didnt. I dont think i had any real failures as such.
in 2009 i said This year I got the kid thing more sorted. I’m happy about that. Biggest failures? Cant think of any
Last year I said - no big failures, but I learned a couple of lessons about acting on negative situations sooner.
This year, I'm happy to report that I had no big failures and lots of different sized successes.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Last year I said: I had the flu from hell that lasted seemingly months, and a horrible gastro-ey thing that required hospital intervention (but not admission, thankfully).
This year, I had a cold I didn't need to have, gifted by a colleague who swore it was allergies, which transferred to my daughter, just in time for the start of her final exams. But other than that I've had a healthy year.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
My holiday with my son
Tickets to see Tim Rogers
Tickets to the Triple J Nick Cave tribute concert in Melbourne
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Last year I said: My son's for finally learning to drive like a citizen, and passing his driving test.
My new boss for being the manager we were all desperately waiting for.
My youngest daughter for going to school and applying herself in a way she hasnt for the previous few years, even though she was sick alot of the time... getting up even when sick and saying 'mum, PLEEASE can i go to school?? :)
And my youngest daughter again, for getting her Learner's permit (driving) first go.
My two daughters and Luke for holding the household together while I dropped my bundle for a few weeks, and looking after me.
Wow last year really was blah!
My eldest daughter for successfully moving out of home (to the other side of the continent)(not because she moved out of home, but because she went with a backpack and a one way ticket, and she's still there, and settled in.
My new new boss for being the manager I've been desperately waiting for
My youngest daughter for making it through this last year of high school in spite of the obstacles she came across throughout the year. We made it!!!
My revolting neighbours for behaving less anti-socially (still radically anti-socially at times, but less often and less in general).
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Last year I said: Certain members of the Western Australian police.
My immediate supervisor at work.
This year: The woman who brought the cold to work, insisted it was 'allergies' while coughing and spluttering throughout the day and then taking four days off, after giving it to the rest of us.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Last year I said: If you can tell me, please do.
This year, my money:
ran a household for two;
funded a holiday for two;
got two female cats spayed;
paid off a chunk of debt; and towards the end of the year, as I emerged from my hermitage/hibernation, funded some fun, social activities.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
In 2009 I said:
Leonard Cohen concert! Simon & Garfunkel concert! Gurrumul concert! Samson & Delilah. Dating. Noongar Radio – best radio station EVER!!
Last year I said I'm struggling to think of anything. Recently I became much happier, moving from one section of my workplace to another (same job, different location). But that just returned me to my 'old self'. Hopefully next year will have some things to get excited about in it.
This year definitely had some things to get excited about in it. I moved work areas again, from a temporary quick-fix move to a more permanent move. I got quite excited about how awesome that arrangement is turning out to be. I got really really really excited about taking my son on holiday. I got really really really excited recently when I went to see the very wonderful Tim Rogers in a lovely intimate setting (about 200 people) and finally got to hear him sing 'heavy heart' live. It was worth the wait, but should have happened sooner.
I got pretty excited about finally putting my HECS debt to bed. I started my degree in 1995 and finished it in 2000. I've picked up a couple of post-grad units that I never finished, but still had to pay for, that slowed the process down a bit. I got very excited about my youngest daughter's graduation (which I may have already mentioned) because for a little while there, it looked like it might not happen and we might have to do it all again next year. I was very proud of her when we finally got there!
Having a savings account with money in it that actually accrued interest, was sadly, VERY exciting. It continues to excite me, as I plan it's rebuild, post-Christmas.
16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Last year I said: Anything by Fleetwood Mac, or by Rod Stewart off his 'American Songbook' album - but only because its what the next door neighbours play ad nauseum at a much too loud volume.
Nothing positive to add here.
This year, I got an iphone, and have discovered the joy of having my phone/ipod all in one place. The neighbours have reduced their volume considerably, and if it's even loud enough to be audible, I can drown them out with music or a good audio-book.
So this year the song that will always remind me of 2011? I'm not sure that any particular ONE stands out - and nothing new or recent - 'Nobody's Baby Now' because Paul Kelly sang it at the Nick Cave tribute concert my son and I went to in Melbourne, and it's my favourite Nick Cave song; 'Mercy Seat' because Bertie Blackman who is a tiny young woman, absolutely nailed it at the tribute concert; 'Heavy Heart' because it's one of my all-time favourite songs and I finally got to see it sung, live, by Tim Rogers himself; 'When a man loves a woman' because I caught up Richard Roberts,one of two singers of a blues brothers-style party band I used to see every weekend when I was 18/19 and went to see him perform twice recently, and on both occasions, he dragged 'When a man loves a woman' out of mothballs and sang it for me. Richard has a glorious soul voice and his version of 'When a man loves a woman' still gives me goosebumps - but it reminds me more of 1983/4 than of 2011 :)
17. Compared to this time last year, are you
i. happier or sadder?
Last year I said: I think my list of things to be really excited about this year is an indication. I wouldnt say i'm sadder now, but I definitely have been through the course of the year. There have been positives, but overall its been a hard hard year.
This year: HAPPIER.
ii. thinner or fatter?
'bout the same, just like last year
iii. richer or poorer?
Last year I said: poorer. I've had less disposable income, not that disposable income was in great supply before, and I've had less consumable fun. But non-financially, I've learned some lessons and made some progress, so in that sense, probably richer. I could do with more money and less lessons, thank you universe :)
This year: richer. More or less the same income - just more of it to play with.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Last year I said:
Last year was 'hard in places'. This year its been more the reverse - easy in places. I wish I'd had more fun. I did get to see Jerry Hall as Mrs Robinson in the Graduate. That was a bright spot. In recent previous years the hard stuff was related to me dealing with the ex-husband, the kids and their issues and so on. This year i've been dealing with a very difficult supervisor on a daily basis at work - much like dealing with the ex husband, but the daily grind has been harrowing and relentless. The ex-husband has finally retreated and the kids are all getting it together. I've resolved the workplace issues for the time being (watch this space). My brief foray into relationship territory came and went. I havent been bored, but i've been very unhappy. I wish I'd been happier, I wish i'd had more happy 'me' time.
I'm happy to report that this year has been a vast improvement. The work situation was resolved in a very positive way and I'm very happy and expect to become happier as time goes by, in that regard. I still wish I'd done more happy 'me' time - but not because it was in particularly short supply this year, just because I had some and I liked it :)
I am definitely planning more travel - where to, when and who with are the unanswered questions. I did have fun this year, but I'm always open to having more of it. I have spent a large portion of the year largely in what I call hermitage. When I wasn't at work, I was home, alone, and chose not to go anywhere I didn't absolutely have to when I wasn't at work. The Melbourne holiday was an exception, and since then, in November and December, I've been going out and doing things and seeing people alot more. I believe the hermitage was about healing. It certainly felt healthy, if solitary. So more fun, spread evenly through the year, would be nice. I discovered the joys of audio books and devoured quite a few in quick succession (hermit can do that). I'd like to do more of that. I discovered an awesome guitar tuition website and started to play my guitar again, briefly. I certainly want to do more of that. I'm going to continue to identify the things that make me happy, and do more of them :)
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
In 2008 I wrote: Dealing with kid-dramas and the ex-husband. I think i will be completely happy when i no longer have to deal with him at all. Looking back on the year, the only dramas/worries/stress i have had this year has been related to kids, and those dramas are directly related to the fact that he is housing them and that is all.
in 2009 I wrote: Dealing with kid dramas – although the more input I have, the less dramas there are, so that’s improved. Moving house was complicated by the house being small and the number of people living here increasing – as predicted. Angsting about the unexpected advent of ‘dating’.
In 2010 I wrote: well I wish I had dealt with the workplace situation sooner - although that may not have been possible until recently anyway, with the management change.
This year I got really really angry because my daughter was raving, enraptured, because her father had gone and got a professional haircut for her graduation ceremony. I was angry that the bar was so low, that something as normal as a haircut would not only rate a mention, but deserve a medal. I'm over that now, and am pleased to report that apart from that, I've had no dealings with the ex-husband this year and life is, as predicted, much improved. Apart from that, what do I wish I'd done less of? I guess having come out the other side, I wish I'd done less of the hermitage thing, although it seemed just fine while I was doing it, and I do think it was healing, the alternative is much more fun, and life is short. The more fun to be had, the better. But other than that - I've got nothing. Must have been a pretty good year.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
This year I'm taking my son and daughter to a Dim Sum brunch on Christmas day. My son is then going to go about his other Christmas activities, and my daughter and I will spend the evening with extended family (my Nanna turned 92 in November!) and I'm hoping to get to Bunbury to spend some time with my Dad's side of the family between Christmas and new year, with or without son and/or daughter in tow.
21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
No. And I have to say I'm pretty happy about that. I did consider running off with Tim Rogers, but he didn't ask me to.
23. How many one-night stands?
24. What was your favorite TV program?
I rarely watch tv these days - on tv. I watch ABC stuff on iview, on my laptop. I just finished watching Wuthering Heights and loved it. I was sorry to see the end of Spicks and Specks, although the finale was wonderful. I like Rockwiz. Other than that, nothing.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
26. What was the best book you read?
I discovered the joys of the audio-book this year. 'The Painted House' by John Grisham stands out, as does 'The Help', but the real gems are the auto-biographies read by their author. 'Just Kids' by Patti Smith; 'Life' by Keith Richards and 'The Fry Chronicles' by Stephen Fry are stand-outs. I would have enjoyed reading those books anyway, but there's an added dimension of awesomeness to hear it read in the authors own voice. Keith Richards' voice is strangely hypnotic.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Last year I said That even your favourite old rock and roll can become tired if played ad nauseum by your next door neighbours at top volume. Their disgusting conversations over the top, and their attempts to sing along 'ad' to the 'nauseum'.
Whenever I walk into the kitchen and Luke is listening to something that really appeals to my ears, i ask him what it is, and its always Mars Volta. So I guess Mars Volta is my musical discovery this year - although I've only heard them in passing.
This year, believe it or not, I think it was the Rolling Stones. Naturally I've heard the Rolling Stones throughout my life. But I don't think I've ever really listened to them. I think through listening to Keith Richards' autobiography, coupled with listening to the music through earphones from my iphone, I've heard new things in the songs - I've never noticed the juxtaposition of Keith's voice against Mick's, or how clear and beautiful Keith's voice is. And other things about the arrangements and instrumentation that I've never noticed before - the details.
Other than being a born-again Rolling Stones devotee, Adele is probably my musical discovery.
28. What did you want and get?
Last year I said: Less kid-related dramas. My ex husband to fade into the distance.
This year I had more fun, more money and a better work situation.
29. What did you want and not get?
Last year I said: A peaceful life free of passive-aggressive bullshit.
This year, I'm happy to report, my life was virtually free of passive-aggressive bullshit, and was indeed fairly peaceful. What I wanted and did not get this year? A trip to the US to see Willie Nelson. Other than that I've pretty much done whatever I wanted, and got pretty much whatever I needed and quite a lot of what I wanted.
30. Favorite film of this year?
I'm wracking my brain trying to remember if I've seen anything. Clearly nothing memorable.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 47. I had a day off from work.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
There is nothing (short of a large lotto win) that would have made my life more satisfying this year. If I wanted to do it, I did it. I achieved a few goals, short-term and longer term, big and small, and everything went along pretty smoothly.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
black and safe. I've noticed a bit more colour creeping in, towards the end of the year.
34. What kept you sane?
Who says I'm sane? Well it's been a pretty good year. I haven't had, or needed, any one or anything to keep me sane. I guess my iphone allowed me to block out the neighbours if they got obnoxious - but really - it's been a pretty good year all up.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Also it was nice to meet Tony Robinson in Bourke St, Melbourne one day. But I wasn't about to run off with him.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The Occupy movement, the government's handling of the proposed gas works up north and the government handling of the subsequent protests. And the protester's handling of the government. Awesome.
37. Who do you miss?
Last year I said: My grandmother, my dad, ben, Gough Whitlam and Paul Keating.
This year I would say 'ditto' and add my daughter to that list.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
The colleague I now share a work space with.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
Last year I said recognise passive aggressive bullshit early, and deal with it early. Don't try to 'manage' it. It is 'their' behaviour and not my responsibility.
I'm proud to say I did just that during the year. When faced with passive aggressive behaviour this year, I called it, and I put it right back at them. works a treat.
A valuable lesson I learned in 2011? I don't know that I have one this year.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Last year and the year before, I said: 'you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need'.
Last year I also quoted Kev Carmody's 'Freedom' lyrics.
This year, with all the protests worldwide, and the Occupy movement, I think the song lyric that sums up this year would be: "power to the people, power to the people, power to the people, Right On!"
but a lyric to sum up MY year? Has to be you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need.
If I have any readers left, I hope you have had a happy and healthy 2011 and I hope 2012 is also happy and healthy.