- What did you do in 2021 that you’d never done before?
Lost a sibling; started a flossing habit; biked a metric century; biked to Indiana; caught a mouse with my own hands; eliminated dairy from my diet for an extended time; solo parented for a weekend; actively sought out professional mentorship; took both kids ice skating; dropped a kid off for day camp; met with a flying consul.
- Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My word for 2021 was NOTICE. I did a lot of noticing!
- Did anyone close to you give birth?
- Did anyone close to you die?
My brother Eric died a week before his 25th birthday.
- What countries (or new places) did you visit?
I biked to Indiana a number of times.
- What would you like to have in 2022 that you lacked in 2021?
- What date from 2021 will remain etched up on your memory, and why?
February 22. While making dinner (red curry with butternut squash) the evening of the 21st, I got a call from my sister. Our brother was dead. They found him at home. I somehow got through the rest of the evening, including calling my parents, largely in a state of shock.
- What was your biggest achievement of the year?
This was probably the best year I’ve had at my job but also the hardest.
- Did you suffer illness or injury?
We thankfully avoided COVID for all of 2021 despite close family exposures. I was diagnosed with (more) osteoarthritis in my foot in September which a couple of months of PT helped address.
- What was the best thing you bought?
I intentionally didn’t buy clothes for 6 months which was pretty terrific and helped shift my awareness of consumption a bit. I bought panniers for my bike that were instrumental in supporting bike adventures and facilitating grocery runs. Right now I’m appreciating my adjustable kettlebells for home workouts.
- Whose behavior merited celebration?
Everyone who got vaccinated even if they were afraid to do so. Everyone who put their community ahead of their individual desires.
- Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Everyone who had the option to get vaccinated but didn’t. Everyone who participated in the Capitol invasion. Everyone who tried to interfere with other people making responsible choices for their health and the health of our communities. A whole lot of white people.
- Where did most of your money go?
Food and rent.
- What did you get really, really, really excited about?
- What song will always remind you of 2021?
- Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
ii. richer or poorer?
- What do you wish you’d done more of?
Running, traveling, spending time with other people.
- What do you wish you’d done less of?
Making complex choices about COVID risks. Worrying about COVID. Reading about COVID.
- How did you spend Christmas?
In Rockford with my family. We got a hotel room for the night and it made a world of difference in terms of stress. I made Roberto The Soup for Christmas Eve dinner, and Mark and I made breakfast tacos for Christmas Day. My sister’s kids were under the weather earlier in the week, so we didn’t get to spend much time with them, but it was wonderful to all be together. We got to have a bit of outside time in the afternoon, including uncovering a nest of mice in the treehouse, but left in time to be home for dinner. It was wonderful to have the time together, particularly during the first holiday season after Eric’s death.
- Did you fall in love in 2021?
I fell in love with my bike all over again. Also beans.
- What was the best thing you ate?
I went all in on beans.
- What was your favorite TV program?
- Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No, pretty much the same jerks year after year.
- What was the best book you read?
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous was probably the best, but I was full on obsessed with The Book of Eels, so it gets a mention as well.
- What was your greatest musical discovery?
The Hackers Soundtrack is as good as I remembered.
- What did you want and get?
Hundreds of miles on my bike. Really great tan lines. Trips to the beach with the kids. HUGS. Several glorious restaurant meals. More than one professional haircut. A new friend or two.
- What did you want and not get?
Mostly travel, but also peace of mind.
- What was your favorite film of the year?
Dune, which I’m so glad I was able to see in the theater.
- What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 41. The small kid and I went out in the snow to pick up an early morning birthday coffee. I felt depressed about having a midwinter, mid-pandemic birthday when I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything or see anyone. I think we ordered pizza and I made cocktails. I don’t think we had cake. The next morning we drove up north to pick up pastries from Sauce and Bread. We took a snowy walk in Roseland Cemetery and saw a bunch of deer. I made ramen for dinner.
Since plans on my actual birthday weren’t possible, we had lunch at Reggie’s On The Beach for my half birthday. No friends or cocktails, but I’ll take it.
- What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More travel. More hugs.
- How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2021?
Jean shorts and my David Rose-esque star sweater for the 2nd year in a row.
- What kept you sane?
Nicolas, my sister, Eva, Kim and Angie, KZ, Jenny and Iona, my 5 year journal.
- Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Who has time for that?
- What political issue stirred you the most?
I had the opportunity to participate in the Racial Equity Institute’s Groundwater workshop which was absolutely transformational for me. Every day offers an ongoing recommitment to undoing white supremacy, past and present.
- Who did you miss?