New Year Traditions and Old Year Reviews

Here's a good long post. The video is from New Year's Eve. It's one of my many New Year's eve rituals and superstitions. I run up and down my street carrying a suitcase to ensure travel in the New Year. I think it works and it's a lot of fun.
The rest of this post is another borrowed idea for a blog post, from my friend Amy. She found it on one of her favorite blogs. Since ideas for posts are in short supply, I thought I too would use this as a way to come up with some useful writings. I do love lists and reviews, revealing notes and fun factoids, I’m always a sucker for those forwards that ask you to tell a few things about yourself to your friends and acquaintances. List making is a part of my journal writing DNA. I love the year end reviews of books, movies and music – often I will discover great entertainment gems I somehow overlooked or missed during the course of the previous year. And highlights – well, who didn’t love those old television shows that were a montage or compilation of the best bits from Happy Days or Golden Girls? I want a dvd archive of just the best musical excerpts or Star Wars references from the Family Guy alone! But I digress. Here’s my accounting of a fantastic 2008.
1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before? A Triathlon! A friend mentioned to me in December 2007 that I should enter the SheRox Triathon; I thought she was crazy to make such a suggestion. When she asked me for the third time in March of 2008, something within me clicked into place. I trained, not all the well for about 4 ½ months, and I completed the Tri on Sunday, August 2, 2008, Liz and Ben S. were there to watch and cheer me on. It was probably one of the most emotionally satisfying moments of my life so far.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I try not to make resolutions, more on principal – in that I feel like they are silly and hard to keep. However, I did make a resolution to lose weight in 2007, and I’ve kept on losing – high point 66 pounds. My average total weight loss so far, about 64 pounds. As for this year, I will continue on with my Weight Watchers program. I will learn to drive and get my driver’s license soon; I hope to be kinder to the people close to me and to myself.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? I know a lot of people who had children in the past year, but no one close to me, yet.
4. Did anyone close to you die? Hmmm, not really. It’s a grey area. There have been a few deaths I’ve heard about from my friends, a few members of the congregation where I work passed away.
5. What countries did you visit? Other States, not countries. Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, a brief lay-over in Dallas, Texas; The good old Jersey Shore.
6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? A drivers license; more will power; the ability to run 3 miles solid; more common sense to keep my mouth shut.
7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? March 3rd – my 41st Birthday and the day I hit my 50 pounds lost mark; Biking related events: May 4th – The New York 5 Borough Bike Ride – 50 miles through the 5 Boroughs of New York! May 21st – the Ride of Silence; July 26th – Biking to Ocean City New Jersey; August 3rd – My She Rox Tri. The week of Sept 1 to 5th – a fabulous vacation in Sea Isle City; September 13th & 14th – riding over 75 miles in a Scenic Metric Century Ride and then the Philly Ride; September 30th – 1st Day of Rosh Hashanah and the beginning of a rough Fall season; October 27th – The Phillies win the World Series & October 31st – The World Series Parade; November 4th – Obama wins the Presidential Election! November 7th – meeting Martha Stewart; November 26th – finding my groove; Christmas Eve at Church; Christmas Day, a quiet day at home with Liz and a nice dinner with Liz and Sue S.; the entire Holiday and New Year’s Eve season – spending time with Liz and our friends.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Swimming in the Schuylkill River and running 3.1 miles on the street.
9. What was your biggest failure? Not getting my drivers license.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Not really. I did fall several times on my new bike, and I’ve seriously hurt my left knee, making me unable to do several yoga poses.
11. What was the best thing you bought? My Fuji 3.0 Newest Road Bike; the crackberry aka my new blackberry phone - texting, emails and Facebook have never been so much fun!
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Barrack Obama – the epitome of calm and cool, poise under pressure and just a general all around gentleman.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Nearly everyone in the Republican Party – especially Sarah Palin – hate monger.
14. Where did most of your money go? Doctor’s visits; Weight Watchers; Biking and training; Gym Membership; several new wardrobes.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? The possibility of new life and expanding my family.
16. What song will always remind you of 2008? Not sure really. Specific new music was not a significant part of my 2008. However, I do love Amy Winehouse’s song, Rehab. Not that it’s indicative of 2008, but it’s a fun and crazy song. Plus she’s such a hot cranked-up mess.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner
c) richer or poorer? About the same? Possibly a bit richer, especially in experiences, friends and wisdom.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Took driving lessons; rode my bike more.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Procrastinated
20. How did you spend Christmas? A quiet day at home with Liz, watching endless loops of “A Christmas Story”; cooking a delicious dinner for Liz and Sue. S.
21. Did you fall in love in 2008? I’ve been in love with the same lovely person for almost 10 years now. As for momentary crushes – well, I tend to fall for a lot of people in that school girl crush kind of way for about the first month or so when we first become friends…
22. What was your favorite TV program? Dexter
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Hmm, hate is such a strong word. I dislike a lot of people in the abstract – the GOP for instance. I’m disappointed with some folks mostly, people who have taken advantage of my good faith or kindness.
24. What was the best book you read? YIKES! I’ve not read much at all this past year, not even magazines. That should be another of my disappointments. I did read Ten Points, by Bill Strickland. The book is written by "The executive editor of Bicycling magazine explores childhood, fatherhood and cycling in this moving memoir about the legacy of child abuse and the healing power of sport and family." I found it to be very moving and I connected to it on many levels.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery? Indian Pop music, from Bollywood movies; Adele, a new young British soul singer.
26. What did you want and get? A better physique.
27. What did you want and not get? A new addition to my family.
28. What was your favorite film of this year? I’ve Loved You for So Long; Rachel Getting Married; Slumdog Millionaire.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 41; I worked; went to see the Flower Show on an extended lunch two hours (it was not worth viewing this year); went to Weight Watchers and hit my 50 pound mark. I think the rest of the day was spent like any other.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? For me, more time. For Liz, my having a drivers license.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? Classic Sporty/Preppy with a modern twist.
32. What kept you sane? Liz; exercising; my friends – especially Susan Hill and Sue S.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Anne Hathaway. Classic, gorgeous and so talented.
34. What political issue stirred you the most? The 2008 election overall and how ugly it got towards the end with all the hate mongering and the twisted lies and rumors in regard to Barrack Obama’s heritage, religion and origin of birth. Our pitiful economic times.
35. Who did you miss? Friends who live too far away like Steven H. – spending time with him is fun and enlightening; Rachel, she lives too far away to share our daily interactions and keeping up with the minutia of our lives; Michael C. and Scott T. other friends who live out in Arizona. Both of them make me laugh my ass off when we are together. My Nana Rhoads – who has been gone now for over 13 years. She made me believe that I could do and be anything I wanted; Joe Fee – funniest person I ever knew - I miss him still.
36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008. Don’t be afraid to try something. Do it afraid. Failure is not starting something, or not getting back up when you have fallen.
37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. You make me feel like a natural woman by Aretha Franklin. I heard it recently at a bar and it was like hearing this song for the first time. For me, it represents rediscovering myself though my recent life changes and renewals. Plus, Aretha is such an amazing singer, what's not to love about this song?
Looking out on the morning rain I used to feel so uninspired and when i knew i had to face another day lord it made me feel so tired. before the day i met you, life was so unkind You're the key to my piece of mind
chorus: cause you make me feel you make me feel you make me feel like a natural woman (woman)
when my soul was in the lost and found you came along to claim it i didnt know just what was wrong with me till your kiss helped me name it. now im no longer doubtful of what im living for and if i make you happy i dont need to do more
chorus: ohh baby what ya done to me (whatcha done to me) made me feel so good inside (good inside) and i just wanna be (wanna be) close to you you make me feel so alive


  1. love it, love it! especially the lyrics at the end. brought a little tear to my eye- esp considering all you've done in 2008. :)


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