Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Survey: 2006 Retrospective

1. What did you do in 2006 that you'd never done before?

Adopted a cat. Bought real health insurance instead of just the catastrophic kind. Made a latchhook rug without a storebought pattern - a larger latchhook rug than I've ever made before - and completed all the post-latchhooking final touches myself for the first time. Was pre-approved for a mortgage loan big enough that I could actually buy a residence of some kind if I found one that I wanted. Trained coworkers on a much more extensive and long-term basis than I ever had before. Started actually divulging fairly large amounts about my personal life to coworkers.

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

Yes. My New Year's resolution at the beginning of 2006 was:
"I have tended to feel that I was deeply indebted to certain people, in ways that were hard to define and for that reason almost impossible to feel I could ever really pay off, and that, in my mind, gave those people the right to ask me to put up with a hell of a lot of unpleasantness as a way of paying off my previously incurred supposed debts. It is still unclear to me to what extent I actually did owe such emotional debts, versus to what extent I was merely manipulated into thinking I owed them, or to what extent I simply chose for myself to convince myself that I owed them (because maybe on some level it's kind of nice to imagine that the nice things people have done for me were more significant and debt-incurring than they necessarily actually were). Regardless of that, however, I do very definitely feel that as of now, any such debts that I may previously have incurred have by now been FULLY PAID OFF. I owe nothing to anybody anymore. Anybody who's done nice things for me, I've already done equally nice things for in return; and anybody who's had to put up with mistreatment or bad behavior from me, I've put up with equal mistreatment or bad behavior from. All tally sheets are now reset to zero. So I resolve that in 2006, anything I do for anybody and any time I spend with anybody is going to be either purely for my own enjoyment rather than any sense of duty or responsibility whatsoever, or else for a sense of duty or responsibility incurred by some nice thing that the person in question did for me during 2006, and not before."
I primarily had one particular person in mind when I wrote that, and that particular person did indeed attempt to collect in very expensive fashion upon emotional debts supposedly owed by me from before 2006 (while having certainly done absolutely nothing whatsoever during 2006 itself that could possibly have made me re-indebted to them). I came dangerously close to paying up, but ultimately I refused, and I am very extremely glad that I did. So I followed through on my resolution and I am proud of myself for it.

As for next year's - it's too early to decide that yet. But I don't think there are any similarly major resolutions I need to make this year. I just need to continue keeping that one. Which is really easy at the moment, since no one's asking me to put up with much of anything lately.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Don't think so.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

It was 2006 by the time I found out that thezerosystem had died, but she actually died in late December 2005. kamigirl25 died in 2006, but I wasn't "close to her" in any sense other than that I read her journal regularly. I never added her to my LiveJournal friends list, and I only commented once or twice in a year of reading her, so I'm sure she never took much if any notice of my existence. But I was very aware of her existence, and for me, reading her journal helped to fill in the long gaps in thezerosystem's journal, because they were both dying of cancer but whereas thezerosystem eventually became too sick to write anything anymore, kamigirl25 continued writing right up to the end. So for me, kamigirl25's death gave me a kind of closure that I had not previously had with thezerosystem.

5. What countries did you visit?

None. The furthest place I visited was San Francisco, to see joannasatana and jsinevil. But electronblue and thorn11 visited me from the U.K.

6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?

A girlfriend.

7. What date from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

May 13, because that's when I picked out Stardust from the animal shelter.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Keeping my New Year's resolution. Though being promoted was great too; it's just that being promoted feels less like something I achieved by myself and more like an acknowledgment from others for other things that I achieved by myself.

9. What was your biggest failure?

2006 has been a year of successes, not failures. The only failure I can think of is that I failed to persuade rekraft to visit me.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had one or two colds, and I spilled boiling water on myself.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A cat.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Mine! Also my supervisors' and probably some of my other coworkers'.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled?


14. Where did most of your money go?

Into my bank account. Other than that, hmm . . . to Stardust's veterinarian.

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

The prospect of buying a house.

16. What song will always remind you of 2006?

I can't think of one. Is there a song about adopting a cat?

17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

Much happier. At this time last year I was burdened with someone else's incessant emotional problems. At this time this year I'm not burdened with anything.

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

Making use of my expensively purchased health insurance by getting the checkups and preventive treatments that I ought to.

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

Bothering to care about the fact that I do not have the ability to fix other people's emotional problems. But I did at least do a lot less of it in 2006 than I had done in 2005.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

Opening presents at my maternal grandparents' house with my parents and brother and cousins and such.

21. Did you fall in love in 2006?

No, 2006 has been all about not being in love with people anymore.

22. How many one-night stands?


23. What was your favourite TV programme?

I didn't turn on the TV even once the entire year.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

No. I like one person considerably less than at this time last year, but it's not hate, and I'm not sure it's even quite exactly dislike. Maybe it's just a lack of like. Or to be more accurate: I have mixed feelings, but the dislike is now of at least equal weight to the like.

I think I still like everybody else just about as much as I did last year.

25. What was the best book you read?

Probably The Book of Salt by Monique Truong, but with honorable mentions to Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs and Lucky by Alice Sebold.

The worst book I read this year was Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. From my previous experiences with Calvino, I had come to expect great things, but this time he just bored me to death.

26. Who/what was your greatest musical discovery?

The soundtrack Battleship Potemkin by the Pet shop Boys. Not so much for its own greatness as for what a different aspect it shows them in than their usual one.

27. What did you want and get?

A promotion! And a kitten. And for the kitten to grow up and not be quite so hyperactive anymore. (She's sitting calmly on my bed right at this very moment, not zooming around crazily.)

28. What was your favourite film of this year?

The only film I saw this year was Happy Together, and I didn't really like it all that much.

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

I turned 30, and I opened presents at my parents' house and ate chocolate birthday cake, much as I had done on the previous 29 birthdays.

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

A love life.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?

I'm not sure whether I even bought a single article of clothing in 2006. So it was probably exactly the same as it was in 2005. And pretty much the same as it has been ever since I first learned how to talk and started making my own decisions about what to wear.

32. What kept you sane?

The absence of anything going particularly wrong to drive me insane.

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

Adrienne Rich.

34. Who did you miss?


35. Who was the best new person you met this year?

lala_annie, archimedes314, and hansel25. None of whom I actually met in person, or probably ever will. But they're lovely people, all three of them.

36. Did you enjoy this year?


37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I told you, I can't think of any songs about adopting cats. Or even songs about getting promoted. Maybe songs about not needing people? It seems like there must be a fair number of those, but I can't think of any that seem particularly apt.

38. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?

My supervisors at work. I don't think I placed or received a single phone call for social purposes this year.

39. What did you want and not get?

Haven't we already covered this under #6, #9, and #30? I'm not sure how many more ways I can come up with to rephrase the same answer.

40. What political issue stirred you the most?

I don't feel like I've been as political this year as during the several previous years. The war in Iraq remains horrible, but more people have started noticing than were noticing when it first started, so I feel a little less needed and a little more burned out on that issue. I've been starting to return more to my previous political interests, such as prejudice of all kinds and, of course, queer by choice issues.

41. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006.

You are responsible for what you choose to put up with. Don't put up with ridiculous shit anymore. (I've learned it in previous years too, but hopefully I learned it better this time.)
Tags: surveys
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