1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
Go to England, Go to Nashville, Attend General Conference, Get a 4.0 (spring semester) in school post-high school, hitch-hike, Road-trip across the US, ride (and purchase!) a road bike, dress in full spandex and think it was normal (for biking, of course!), Visit family (and meet some new!) in Arizona, see the Grand Canyon, Donate to a political campaign, step into the ecumenical movement of the NCCC, Travel to Israel.
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't believe in "resolutions," but I always like to have a set of goal I am working towards. Last January, my goals were updated to continue living life as fully as possible, "making room for surprises and new possibilities to truly LIVE and explore the opportunities God places in front of me." I absolutely did that, and I hope that stays on my "to-do" list for years to come. Second, I wanted to keep focusing on my health in positive ways. I could have done better at this, but since all of the walking and hiking on our trip to Israel proved that I was among the most fit in the group, I must be doing ok. Always more to work on, though!
I haven't decided upon any new, specific "goals" for the new year, but I've been tossing them around and surely will post them at a later date.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes!! Laura (from seminary) gave birth to precious Lily in January, and Laura (from home in SD) gave birth to adorable Aeryn in July. (We'll soon know if the Bakers will give birth to little Stinker before the new year, of if it will be the first birth of the new year!!!)
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not close to me, but close to people I am close to. Its not any easier, and I still think of them often (especially Scott Williams... and Aaron Beier).
5. What countries did you visit?
England (twice!) and Israel.
6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
A Master of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. and my best friend living nearby (that can't happen, but you asked...).
7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Election Day. November 4. (and with it November 5). The election. Life changing for millions, and the role I got to play in it. I will NEVER forget being in Grant Park that night.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I don't know? I believe each one leads into the next. Really. So - completing another year of school? Or perhaps the Ride:Well Tour and how much I grew from it as a result of risking so much personally to "put myself out there," be stretched, and to grow.
9. What was your biggest failure?
The word "failure" is such a harsh word, don't you think? I don't like it.
I certainly wish my communication were greater, my focus were better (especially for school), and I always always always need to work more on personal devotion time.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I was sick (cold/flu etc) for a couple months at the beginning of the year, that was a pain. Otherwise nothing seriously. (though I am thinking about having my knee looked at...)
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Plane tickets. Traveling is the best form of introspection.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Voters. With few exceptions, I was VERY impressed with how many elections turned out this year, big and small. (though few, the exceptions are important ones)
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Relating to previous questions, some voters. Such as those who voted against Proposition 8 in California. It is depressing to see such injustice and such blatant discrimination justified in our laws.
14. Where did most of your money go?
School and related bills (rent!). Outside of bills, to traveling.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The United Methodist Church, Blood:Water Mission, Cycling, Elections.
16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
so, so so many, especially from the Ride:Well Tour. If I had to pick only one, I suppose it would be Believe by The Bravery. But I could probably list 20.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? More serious, but I do not think that means either.
ii. thinner or heavier? Heavier.
iii. richer or poorer? Poorer financially, but richer in all other ways of the word.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Spend time with close friends, been more active with causes I believe in.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Less time being upset over trivial things, less time working.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent Christmas Eve morning with friends in Bethlehem, then the evening at worship with some of the same friends in Jerusalem, then traveled on all of Christmas Day. I celebrated Christmas with family on the 27th in South Dakota.
21. How will you be spending New Year's Eve?
I have no idea. Maybe home writing and catching up on work? Exciting, I know.\
22. Did you fall in love in 2008?
With ideas and friends, but not with anyone "special."
23. How many one-night stands?
Seriously? Where did this question come from? The closest I've come to that is to stand for one night to keep me awake as I read a book or write a paper in the quiet of my apartment.
24. What was your favorite TV program of just 2008?
In the spring it was still Grey's Anatomy - the only show I watched each week. I haven't even seen that since September, if that tells you anything about how much TV I watch.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Hate is a powerful, dirty word. I would say NO.
26. What was the best book you read?
Unfortunately, I started several and finished few. Few that weren't for school, that is. Book I spent the most time with? The United Methodist Book of Discipline. A book I actually completed and loved? Anne Lamott's "Traveling Mercies"
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
2, I suppose: The Killers (thanks, Blocker!), and Matthew Perryman Jones
28. What did you want and got?
To continue traveling and embarking on new adventures, to complete another year of school, good heath and great friends. Oh, and new winter coat!!
29. What did you want but didn't get?
My student loans paid off. That would be nice.
30. What was your favorite film of this year?
That's tough. There were some great ones this year. More than the movies, I have favorite memories attached to them, but I suppose that doesn't count much for this question...
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 24, and I was exhuasted from General Conference that ended the day before! I woke up to have breakfast with a friend in Dallas (always good to see Becca!), then flew home to Chicago, where I likely crashed upon arrival. Exciting day, huh?
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More positive feedback and support from my Conference as I continue toward ordination to do that which I feel called to, not that which they want me to do so I can "fill an empty spot," which is how it sometimes feels.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
I wear what I can afford. Which means lots of jeans and lots of t-shirts (we got 9 free on the Ride:Well tour alone!). I also really like brown, and I wear a lot of scarves. Both for warmth, and for decoration.
34. What kept you sane?
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Probably Obama. Not because I think he's perfect or that I will like everything he does, but because of the hope and change he represents. I am confident in his new administration that will be here very soon. But lets be honest, I also absolutely love Ellen.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Homosexuality. and the Death Penalty. and... well... you know- all of those "hot button" issues for which I am often accused of being "liberal."
37. Who did you miss?
My great-grandmother and Jenny, may they rest in peace. Some friends around the world I wish I could see more often. Also Eliot, Ruby, Megs, Allison and a few other friends that I actually still see once in a while but have drifted from.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
Ride:WellTeamLeanne. (that can count as one since there are no spaces, right?)
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
What it truly means/looks like to spend significant amounts of time out of my comfort zone... and how to find me in there.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
For some reason this is always difficult, so I leave you with an old song:
Confused enough to know direction,
sun eclipsed enough to shine
be still enough to finally tremble
see enough to know I'm blind
-Faith Enough, Jars of Clay