It’s almost time to leave the year 2017. I love looking back at these reflective surveys each each and seeing what I was thinking, feeling, and experiencing at the time. Some things never change, and some things do, radically. Here are ones from New Year’s Eve 201620152014201320122011.
1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?
How about SKYDIVING?

skydiving st andrews airport, south carolina

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

Yes, I did save a lot of money, which was my biggest goal. Plus I paid off a lot of debt too!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Everyone’s blowing out babies lately … a thought that was applicable throughout 2017.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
We lost our first pet together, Oliver.

5. What countries did you visit?
Finally! I got my passport this year and went to Mexico on a cruise for our annual girls trip!

girls trip 2017

6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?
Less head and neck aches. I’ve been having worse ones this year that sometimes defy medicine. I’m on a quest to remedy it and I’m starting with pillows. More to come on this.

7. What dates from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The day we lost Oliver in June, skydiving, and the week of our girls trip cruise.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Tripling my freelance income has been incredible. I didn’t even really realize how much more I was pulling in until I added it up, thinking ahead towards the next tax season. Let’s just say I better start paying quarterly on my freelance income … my CPA is going to give me a stern talking to.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Falling off of the fitness wagon. Like, had to buy new pants this autumn falling off the wagon. I still walk Meatloaf several times a week but I need to add vigorous cardio and weightlifting back in.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Just the head and neck ache issues.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Hmm, gonna have to say a new couch.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Paying off my debt and saving! I saved about $9k and paid off about $9k in debts (the HELOC for the kitchen reno). Also still food and beer.

13. What did you get really excited about?
I got a “promotion” so to speak at my main freelancing gig, the Free Times. I now write the weekly food news column, plus my weekly blog posts on the latest food and drink news around town.

14. What song will always remind you of 2017?
I don’t think I had an anthem of the year.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? Happier for sure.
– thinner or fatter? I reluctantly have to say fatter.
– richer or poorer? Richer!

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Being outside.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Commuting to work.

18. How did you spend Christmas Day?
Had family over for a late lunch, then went to the Whig!

kitchen at christmas

christmas at the state house 2017

19. What was your favorite TV program?
I totally watched all of the Golden Girls over the summer. I was so into their world that I still think, ooh I wonder what they’re doing next. But sadly I’m not in a living room of wicker furniture in Miami.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
Ooh. I read a lot this year thanks to my Kindle, but my GoodReads list is the best way to keep up with that. A very recent one I was into is Eight Hundred Grapes and Small Admissions.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

Same classic rock that it always is and always will be.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
I still don’t think I went to a movie theatre this year again.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
This year for my 32 and our anniversary trip, we went to Asheville to eat and drink and relax in the mountain air.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
As much as I like my job, having a work from home or a location flexible job would have been so great for those warm days when taking the laptop outside and working on the porch would have been IT.

sunset in cayce

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?
Comfy. I have gotten so lazy with my fashion. I’m lucky they don’t pay that much attention at work most days since we rarely have client-facing meetings.

26. What kept you sane?
Maybe it sounds terrible to say, but the security of money. We aren’t swimming in money or else I would 100% have a pool in our backyard (#goals) but having a comfortable safety net is something that makes me less stressed. If my 18 year old Jeep just quit running tomorrow, I could pay cash for something used. If the HVAC unit blew, we wouldn’t have to take out a loan. I’ve never had that kind of security and it feels good, not gonna lie, and I’ve worked hard to have it.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.

Good opportunities come when you least expect them.