The Art of Simple posted these questions for children to answer during winter break. I've been sending one question a day to the girls - I'm not making them send me the answers or anything, but just to take a few moments to reflect. Still, it seemed good blog fodder so I'll answer them, too.
What was the happiest part of 2014? The first that springs to mind is the unexpected great time we had seeing Pippin at the Pantages. I impulsively bought tickets at a great discounted price. This has not ever been a favorite before, but we had a great time. Also, The Sound of Music Sing-Along at the Hollywood Bowl. Being surrounded by friends and strangers that truly love this musical, booing the Nazis, hissing at the Baroness, and the ever-present smiles on the girls' faces. And seeing Into the Woods on Christmas Day at the movie theater...and then going home and watching the DVD of the original Broadway cast and singing along.
What was the saddest part of this past year? Definitely the Thanksgiving episode of the X Chronicles.
What was one really hard thing you did? Step down from the Board of the community theatre. And produce this summer's show. I would not have made it through that without Kimie, and I remain forever grateful for her and just wish I could be half as good a person as she is. It's hard to step back from something I fiercely love, but I know it was the right choice.
What are you the most proud of accomplishing in 2014? Switching from smoking to vaping. I'd tried at least three before I found the one that made it possible: Halo's Triton Tank system. Also, being able to move and lease a car without incurring new debt. Also, paying off half my credit card debt.
How do you think you have changed in the past year? I've downsized my commitments so that I can have more time and opportunities to enjoy both solitude and being with my girls. Sylvia's senior year is not flying by for me because I'm present with her for all of it.
What have you been hanging on to that you are ready to get rid of? Ugh, I still have my old desktop PCU. I finally got rid of the monitor before we moved, but the PCU still sits there. It really, really needs to go already.
Are you sad to see 2014 go? Or are you ready for the new year to be here? As usual, I'm ready to see this even-numbered year go already and start the odd one!
What is one dream you hope comes true in 2015? I just want for Sylvia to have a great start to her post-high school life. She's still figuring it out, and I hope that the start of her adult life is one of great beginnings.
What character quality could you work on next year? Patience.
What is one new skill you want to learn? I want to be a better cook. I discovered Budget Bytes this year, and it's really helping. I want cooking to be less stressful for me.
What excites you about 2015? What makes you feel scared? Sylvia's high school graduation. Sylvia's high school graduation.
How do you think your life will be different one year from today? How will it be the same? I don't know where Sylvia will be. No matter where she is, no matter how we celebrate, we'll always be a family, and we will always love each other. I know which friends I'll still have, and I know which friends I may not see very often, but are still ever-present in my heart. I know that I'll have challenges to overcome, problems to solve, and moments of laughter, love and joy.
If you're so inclined, answer the questions for yourself, too. Happy New Year!