My thoughts and reflections on my Catholic Faith, Fulton Sheen, the problem of suffering, and books

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A look back at 2013

Inspiration for this blog post comes from The Diatribist. This will be the third year that I've done of these posts; thanks so much, Diatribist!

For comparison, see my answers to these questions at the end of 2011 and at the end of 2012.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
In October, I started a job as a first-grade teacher.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolution, and will you make more for 2014?
No. I did not keep my resolution. I have made more; let's see in 2015 if I've kept 'em.

3. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
A driver's license...car...peace...

4. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I don't know.

5. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
See #1.

6. What was your biggest failure?
I can't remember, and I'm not going to depress myself by trying to remember it.

7. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Bronchitis.

8. What was the best thing you bought?
Well, I got a free copy of the Annotated Code of Canon Law...does that count?

9. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My mother's.

10. Where did most of your money go?
Bills and my cellphone.

11. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Do I *ever* get really, really excited about anything?

12. What song will always remind you of 2013?
"Love is Stronger," by Jason Crabb.

13. Compared to this time last year, are you:
     i. happier or sadder? Both, in different ways.
     ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter. I blame stress-induced chocolate consumption for this.
     iii. richer or poorer? Richer, both in money and in life experiences.

14. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Reading Sheen, revising my thesis, praying.

15. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Complaining, and stress-induced chocolate consumption.

16. How did you spend Christmas?
In southern Indiana with my dad, sisters, nieces, and nephews.

17. Did you fall in love in 2012?
No.

18. What was your favorite TV program?
NCIS.

19.  Do you hate anyone now that you didn't have this time last year?
"Hate"?  No.  "Feel sorry for, miss, wish that she would return to reality"?: my mother.

20. What was the best book you read?
Well, my roommate introduced me to Jan Karon's "Mitford" books; they've brought much enjoyment.

21. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Steven Curtis Chapman. I'd listened to some songs by him before; but 2013 was the year I really started listening to him.

22. What did you want and get?
Nothing really.

23. What was your favorite film of this year?
None.

24. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 24 on Memorial Day. The night before, my roommate took me out to Cracker Barrell. On the actual day of my birthday, I worked both my full-time and part-time jobs as a caregiver. When I got home, my roommate surprised me with a birthday cake!

25. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I'm not sure.

26. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
I like sweaters. I really, really like sweaters. Last year was the first time in 12 years that I wore any time of pants (last year I only branched out to jeans). This year, I've expanded to dress pants, which are very convenient when tying first-graders' shoes.

27. What kept you sane?
Who said I was sane? A few good friends, and the help of a Catholic therapist.

28. Who was the best new person you met?
No one.

29. Tell us a valuable life-lesson you learned in 2013:
Possibly a repeat of the life-lesson I learned in 2012.

30. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
See #12.

You went down one of those roads
Nobody should have to go
Life sure got real, real fast
You couldn't see your way out
Your world was under a cloud
All you could feel was helpless
You didn't think you could do it
O but you got through it

You kept faith when
You didn't have a prayer
Found hope when it wasn't even there
Up against the impossible
You just wouldn't back down,
You kept fighting
That heavy cross you carried
Ain't weighing you down any longer

Life is tough but Love is stronger