Michelle (chess) wrote,

I didn't do an end of year meme for the end of 2014 or 2015, but was reminded they exist and thought of doing it again. Like the last one I did for the end of 2013 it is... not uniformly positive. Looking back at that one it is slightly weird how things book-end.

1. What did you do in 2016 that you'd never done before?

Was an employee representative in a redundancy process.

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

I continue to keep the only new year's resolution I have ever kept, which was to make no more new year's resolutions. I did have a Plan for the last couple of years though - which I comprehensively failed to deliver on.

I don't intend to make new year's resolutions, but I'm probably going to try a different plan this year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Ruth is over a year old now so must have happened in 2015 rather than 2016. There is definitely an increase in spawnling frequency among my friends, but I generally can't tell you what year anything happened in.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My other grandmother - Nanny - the one I was closer to. Weirdly I didn't feel as much about this as I did the first one, on an actual emotional level; I more felt like I should feel things / felt worried for other people? I used the feelings I ought to have been having as an excuse for a bit, but mostly my actual feelings were more along the lines of 'that looks a lot like the way I am going to die'.

5. What countries did you visit?

I didn't get out of England this year. I still intend to next year, although I worry that currency differences will have made it impractical (at least to my skinflint mentality, if not in reality!)

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?

A church. I keep vaguely looking for a church I can tolerate but it's not straightforwards.

7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

I continue to be terrible at remembering dates. Even the year's big redundancy-risk event is just 'it happened sometime in the early summer' and the US election is 'sometime in early November'.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I didn't get made redundant? I was literally the only software tester that was kept on as a developer. Taking a major paycut didn't feel like much of an achievement.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not campaigning for Remain as strongly as I did for Yes to AV. But like all my failures this year (not getting senior management to see reason in the redundancy negotiations, not managing to get PD crewing to a state where I could stay) it feels like it was out of my control - I was barely holding my own life together and really didn't have any spare energy.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I've been ill to one extent or another practically all year; I tried going to the GP about it earlier in the year but eventually gave up because the symptoms are just too tenuous for them to get a grasp on - cold-like symptoms, headaches, occasional dire rear, my reflux acting up - everything intermittent, of course, but always something.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

The only things I really remember buying are computer games and food, hotel rooms and car fuel. I'm sure I must have purchased some non-consumable physical object at some point during the year but I don't recall any that stood out.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

In the words of http://imago.hitherby.com/2005/01/forgotten-things/ - "every bunny who muddled through, even— Even knowing—"

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

Every bunny who did not muddle through, but instead decided to blame someone they felt they might be able to actually pick on and have power over, and go and kick them (literally or metaphorically).

14. Where did most of your money go?

The mortgage (or the related offset savings account). Which means I'm actually building an asset? That would be more comforting if the looming shadow of Brexit didn't suggest that even Cambridge property might fall off its pedestal. I guess it's nice to mostly be in debt in sterling right now?

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

My plot running at Empire and people interacting with it and liking it.

16. What song will always remind you of 2016?

I continue not to have a very firm relationship with time, and most of the music I've played this year has been character music, not 'me' music.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Sadder. I did not make the progress on getting not-ill that I intended, and my workplace imploded.
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter. See under 'sadder'.
c) richer or poorer? Poorer. See under 'pay cut'.

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

Exercise. I'm not convinced I actually could, but I wish I had been able to?

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

Eating junk food.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

Did Christmas Day with immediate family (last remaining grandparent, briefly aunt and step-uncle, then just my parents and partner). Ate nice things, talked about nothing much, watched Guardians of the Galaxy.

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

I don't do telephones. I expect it was the succession of brief / emergency phone calls to Nicholas to tell him I'd arrived at a place to pick him up or that I'd busted the car up again. This does mean we finally found (or someone made up) question 21 though!

22. Did you fall in love in 2016?

No; just continued.

23. How many one-night stands?

I continue to have a lower sex drive than my husband and he has a capacity for sexual jealousy, so zero.

24. What was your favourite TV programme?

Orange is the New Black. The first TV show in a while that I watched all of and was sad when I ran out.

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

Hate requires far too much energy. I prefer a kind of resigned despair. I generally see the reasons behind why people behave like they do even if I still dislike their behaviour, which makes it pretty difficult to hate people. There is one potential entry on the list due to the kerfuffle at work, though.

26. What was the best book you read?

I have trouble remembering when I read books I didn't read recently, but my Kindle library tells me this was a year of excellent books: the conclusion to the Mancer series by Ferrett, the Split Worlds trilogy and the actual finished book version of As Simple As Hunger particularly stood out, I'm not convinced I can pick between them.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

It appears Spotify's What You Played This Year list has gone away, but I'm pretty sure it's this year I went diving back into the Levellers back catalogue and came out with some extra gems.

28. What did you want and get?

I'm still alive and so is Nicholas? I'm still employed? I'm not convinced I got anything else I wanted.

29. What did you want and not get?

My way - in my workplace, in my hobby, in my country's politics, in world politics.

30. What was your favourite film of this year?

Captain America: Civil War. It was good to actually like most of an Avengers film again after the failure of Age of Ultron.

31. What did you do on your birthday?

From Facebook:

Having gloriously emerged triumphant from software engineering interview and Empire 2, I have now gone down with the most irritating lung-death-plague I've had in a while.
It features constant coughing fits, a terrible sense of unfairness because it's summer and I shouldn't have to deal with this all year round, and the creeping dread that I'm wasting the month trial period I have in my new role before RG decides whether to actually keep me.
I normally keep this kind of thing on the whinging filter, but it's my birthday, so you can all have some :p.

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

The UK voting to remain in the EU. It's a close run thing with 'being able to persuade senior management to keep the software testing function / all of the software testers' and 'being able to persuade PD to pursue a more open and delegative management structure, or at least give me a seat at the table'.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?

Things other people bought me, with a dash of 'can I use this for LARP?'.

34. What kept you sane?

Regression to the mean, the hedonic treadmill, whatever you like to call the self-balancing process which convinces humans it's not that bad and they should just get on with it.

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

I continue to generally not fancy celebrities or public figures. I guess Instagram Hair Bun Guy Brock is kind of hot?

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

I didn't have enough energy to stir for any of the awful political issues, which did not make me that happy. I did go and stand in the rain for a Cambridge Remains rally after the EU referendum loss though.

37. Who did you miss?

My housegroup from my previous church. I still get their emails and they are people I liked, even though I never really felt like I could break down the walls between us, but I can't live with giving tacit consent to things that hurt my tribemates any more.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

I never have any idea when I met people. I don't think I have met many completely new people this year that I have sorted out from Generic LARPer in my head (JK's Kate, perhaps?). I got to know Abi and Terry better, which was good.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016:

I don't want to learn anything 2016 is trying to teach me, because it would all be bitter cynical stuff like 'never trust an employer'.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

I hitched a ride with my soul
By the side of the road
Just as the sky turned black
I took a walk with my fame
Down memory lane
I never did find my way back

You know that I gotta say time's slipping away
And what will it hold for me
What am I gonna do while I'm looking at you
You're standing ignoring me

I thought that I heard someone say now
There's no time for running away now
Hey now! Hey now!

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