Monday, January 02, 2012

2011 In Brief

For the last few years I have completed this same set of questions...

1.What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

Juggle parenting with working a day job (as in, not freelance work from home).

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I wanted to "Get healthier, enjoy Avery, aim for balance, don't be harsh on myself if/when I don't achieve it." This certainly wasn't the year of health. Himself, Avery and I spent more time sick than I could have imagined. I do think I enjoyed Avery, especially after going back to work, which gave me back some space of my own aside from mum stuff. Which I guess answers the balance question. I'm not sure that I took it easy on myself when I didn't quite manage to juggle everything. I think I should keep working on that as a resolution for next year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My friend Katie and her partner Faith welcomed a beautiful baby girl into their family. There were also women I hadn't met yet who were giving birth to children I now know and love (the children and the women!). Finding mother friends who are very much on my page and creating a community has been pure joy.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No.

5. What countries did you visit?

None. I am heading off to the UK in March this year, so at least I will finally be able to say yes to this question for 2012!

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

Better health. I would like to shake off this permanent aching and fatigue so I can be more present with my family, friends and work.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

January 20, 2011. Celebrating my child's first birthday felt as much of a milestone for me as it did for him.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Heading back to work for another organisation (rather than freelance) part time. I love my work at Express Media and I'm so glad I found this position by serendipity. I wasn't looking for work, I happened to see the job at just the right time, I was lucky enough to get it. In many ways this job is a result of all the hard work (most of it unpaid or poorly paid) that I did in my twenties before CFS kicked my arse. At my sickest it seemed like all the networking, all the connections, all the projects had been for nothing. I'd faded from people's radars and while everyone else moved on with successful careers I was left behind. This job is my opportunity to return to the industry I love with even more purpose and hopefully a more balanced approach to my career.

9. What was your biggest failure?

If there was one, it is probably managing my health. Although honestly, I do believe that with all the bugs Avery bought home from daycare this was less to do with management and more to do with bad luck.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Yes. I would count this as another year of managing CFS, though certainly not at the same level I once had to.

11. What was the best thing you bought? (was bought for you)

Best thing I bought was lots and lots of books by Australian authors. It has been good to get stuck in to some more challenging reads.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Himself, without a doubt. As I've headed back to work he has taken on a massive workload with Avery, dealing with almost all night waking and early mornings by himself. Without all of the hard-slog parenting he has been doing I just wouldn't be able to work. On top of that, he has also been dragged all over town for openings, launches and various work functions despite the fact he would rather be at home on the couch. My parents have also been ace, picking up Avery from childcare at least once a week, minding him when I have work functions to attend and generally making life with a one year old much easier.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

There have been times when members of our family probably deserve to go in this category, but let's not go into that.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Childcare.

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

Avery learning to communicate with us, first with sign language and then with an ever-expanding list of sounds and words. It's pretty freaking awesome.

16. What songs will always remind you of 2011?

I don't know that there is one.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i) …happier or sadder?

Happier.

ii) thinner or fatter?

Fatter. CFS and my own poor health management are to blame.

iii) richer or poorer?

Probably about the same.

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

Sleep.

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

Lying awake at night unable to sleep while my child and partner slept soundly around me.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Christmas Eve Eve with dear friends celebrating the festive season and Himself's 30th birthday. Christmas Eve cooking and dropping food to Himself's family in preparation for the next day, then eating dinner and watching Christmas movies with Clare and Holly (Avery's non-godparents). Christmas morning at our house with my parents watching Avery enjoy opening his presents and playing with new toys. Late morning at my great aunt's house with some family, the rest of the day with Himself's family. I did fall asleep late afternoon and wake up in the early evening to find I had missed most of the day, but it was still lovely.

22. Did you fall in love in 2010?

Yes. With wonderful women and their children, who I am lucky enough to consider my village.

23. How many one night stands?

None.

24. What were your favourite TV programs?

It was such a good year for TV. There was Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, more Doctor Who, a lot more Midsomer Murders, We Can Be Heroes, Treme, Friday Night Lights, Misfits, Fringe. So good.

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

No.

26. What was the best book you read?

Collectively, A Song of Ice and Fire. Individually, A Pocketful of Eyes by Australian author Lili Wilkinson. I just love her writing. Highly rated were also The Hunger Games trilogy, Truth by Peter Temple (another Aussie) and Berlin Syndrome by Melanie Joosten (yet another Aussie).

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Oh dear. This question brings home the woeful lack of new music I have welcomed into my life. I think my greatest musical discoveries were actually rediscoveries. Things I have loved for a long time and now share with Avery. We sing a lot of Queen (especially Bohemian Rhapsody), The Ramones, lots of Muppets songs (particularly Mnah Mnah) and plenty of Beatles.

28. What did you want and get?

A fulfilling job that didn't take me away from Avery too much.

29. What did you want and not get?

Nothing really... if I had to find something I guess it would be travel.

30. What was your favourite film of this year?

It was pleasing to see the conclusion of Harry Potter, but the one that will really stay with me is Black Swan. I didn't understand why people were talking about leaving the cinema feeling so overwrought. Then I saw it. I get it now.

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

I don't remember! Ah crap. I turned 31 and I think I was too distracted getting ready for Avery's 1st birthday to really care about mine.

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

An extra day in the week. Or more sleep. Yeah, actually, more sleep would be like an extra day in the week.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

Try not to get food/dirt/mystery objects smeared all over yourself before you leave the house for work.

34. What kept you sane?

My mum. Himself doing so much to keep us floating while I got back into the working grove.

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

I managed to tick one thing off my Bucket List this year by seeing Alan Davies perform stand up live. He is still top of my list for potential future husbands.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

Apathy. I saw a lot of it this year and it makes me as annoyed as ever.

37. Who did you miss?

Lots of friends from other states and countries visited Melbourne this year, so there has been a lot less missing than most years.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

A group of women I now meet weekly that I didn't know this time last year.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011

The work you put into your career will pay off, even if it takes a while.

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

There are times life will rattle your bones

And will bend your limbs

But you're still far and away the boy you've ever been

So you bend back and shake at the frame

Of the frame you made

(But you don't shake alone)


Even thought this is a song about a parent watching their son, Avery, head off to war (something I never want to do with my own Avery) it is essentially about watching your children grow up and away from you. This year has been one where I've had to take some of those first steps in letting go. It seems too soon.

41. What was your favorite moment of the year?

Hearing Avery say 'Mumma'.

42. What was your least favourite moment of the year?

Probably one of the many nights I realised it was only a couple of hours until I was due at work and I hadn't slept yet.

57. If you could go back in time to any moment of 2011 and change what?

Nothing.

58. What are your plans for 2011?

Travel to London, spend time in my excellent communities (both the writing/arts one and the natural parenting one), improve my current health situation, enjoy our home life more with the dogs, puppies, chickens, veggies, native garden and family.

1 comment:

Sara said...

Oh Lefa, you've made me all teary.

Your village fucking loves you too!

xo