>A Review of 2008 in Survey Form

>For the 5th Year Running: – 

A Review of 2008 in Survey Form

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

Sailed competitively.  Took a creative writing course

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

Honestly I can’t remember.  If I made any I suspect they were to complete more of my 101 in 1001 (which I did) and to lose weight (fail!).  I may make more.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?



4. Did anyone close to you die?

No! (you have no idea how pleased I am with that answer, having had to answer yes the last three times).  My great uncle did die but I didn’t really know him and truthfully I’m not even sure I ever met him properly – my Nan’s family is big and complicated and it used to be “normal” to be out shopping with her and for her to be chatting to someone I’d never met and be told it was her brother or her niece or whatever.

5. What countries did you visit?

None, just England for me this year.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

I’d like to take a break that’s actually a break and to travel abroad again.  And more money.  I’ve felt my life has been a bit out of control over the last few months and I’d like that control back more than I’d like money but it’s related. 

7. What date from 2008  will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

None really.  I was tempted to say the first regatta but I can’t remember the date exactly, so no.  We could go with 10th – 15th September which is the crazy several days where I 1) had all my hair cut off 2) went to the NEC with mum for the knitting and stitching show 3) Took part in the Challenger National Championships.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Making some tough decisions; planning and reaching long held goals; deciding to stop wallowing and start making my dreams a reality.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I can’t help but be disappointed that some of the tough decisions had to be made because my attempts at bringing change failed.  I actually don’t think those failures were my fault as such so I probably shouldn’t be disappointed.  But disappointed I am.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had several small viral bugs etc (including one now that does not appear to want to clear up).  But overall I’ve been pretty healthy.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Acer Aspire One Netbook

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Not sure.  I have some good friends who’ve been really supportive and helpful this year.  And naming no names someone else I wouldn’t necessarily call a friend as such was so calm and OK about one of my big decisions. And also continues to be very supportive about it despite the fact that good as it is for me it more than likely caused problems for her.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

“Appalled and depressed” may be a touch too strong but I have been very frustated (and once or twice upset) this year by the behaviour of several carers and also people who aren’t carers but who are supposed to provide me with services as a part of their jobs and have failed to do so.  The carer thing may be because I’ve had all new ones over the last month or so and new carers are always hard.  But truthfully I didn’t expect nor did it need to be this hard.  And it has been an on and off issue since January at times.  I am toying with alternative ideas for that magical time “after christmas”

14. Where did most of your money go?

Bills.  And clearing my overdraft then ending up back in it a couple of times.  Not a good financial year for me.  Fixing this is a goal for next year.

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

Various theatre trips particularly the Lion King.  Oh and the Knitting and Stitching Show.  

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

I can’t think. This survey seems much harder this year than in previous ones


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

i. happier or sadder? The same or a little happier

ii. thinner or fatter? fatter (significantly)

iii. richer or poorer? Poorer in monetary terms of at least it feels like it!

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

Things that matter; just lately I seem to be spending much more time online doing things that fill my time but aren’t necessarily productive.  Next year I hope to achieve more things and make more of a difference to myself and to  others.

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

Getting frustrated and upset about things that just don’t matter in the long run.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

At my parents house.  Although for the first time, I will not sleep there.  Instead I will go up about five ish this afternoon for dinner and festivities then my Dad will walk me back at bedtime to sleep and shower here.  I will get ready to face the day here tomorrow then walk up in my powerchair and spend the day with the family before some walks me back at bedtime again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

22. Did you fall in love in 2007?

No, love is overrated.  I did come closer than before though.  And for the first time it is something I could maybe see in my future.

23. How many one-night stands?


24. What was your favourite TV programme?

I don’t really watch a lot of TV but over the last couple of weeks I’ve just started watching NCIS and I really enjoy it (I have only seen about three episodes of it though).  If my TV broke I wouldn’t replace it.

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

Not hate.  But one or two people have done things which have changed our relationships in a slightly negative manner.

26. What was the best book you read?

Tough one.  At the moment I’m reading “It’s My Party And I’ll Knit If I Want To” by Sharon Aris and it’s fantastic.  I’m tempted to list that as my favourite book but as I haven’t finished it yet (that’s this afternoon) I will give it an honourable mention instead.  

Best fiction book would be A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell.

But overall best book would have to go to The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler.  Both the book and the show are extremely powerful and they really hit me, spoke to me in ways I didn’t expect.

Actually all three of those books are ones which make you think and feel – I’ve been wanting more than mindlessness and chick lit this year.  Although I have and still do enjoy mindless escapism every now and then.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

This year it seems to be all about the musicals for me.

28. What did you want and get?

A laptop (well, I got a netbook but as soon as I knew about them that was what I wanted instead).

30. What was your favourite film of this year?

27 Dresses

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

I celebrated my birthday with lunch out with a friend and her son and then dinner at my parents house (roast chicken, sausages and all the trimmings) one day and then a trip to flashdance with my mum the next day.  But my actual birthday is tomorrow and I’ll be 27.  I am ambivalent about my birthday this year.  I really enjoyed both things and the gifts I received but the birthdayness I am ambivalent about.

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

I really can’t think of anything.  There are things I would like and things I would rather had not happened but life as such has been pretty good and if I’d had those things or they hadn’t happened it wouldn’t have been what it was.  And it’s good.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Bit of a scruff, living in trackies mostly with skirts in the summer.  And all new short somewhat spikey hair once September arrived and I cut all of my hair off!

34. What kept you sane?

Knitting. Reading. My friends. Playing silly mindless games online (thank you king.com!)

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

John Barrowman? Or Gordon Ramsay like I said last year.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

I refuse to say right to life again because I always list it here it seems.  But it matters, damn it.  So I will say the benefits system and changes that have been made to it.

37. Who did you miss?

Different people at different times.  For a long time I’ve missed the “Emma” I used to be.  But lately it seems I’m coming back to me.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

I don’t like this question.  But I’ve met some great new people, a few thru the RCV swimming group (I’m glad I left but glad I stayed as long I did to meet these people) and several through the creative writing class and from other places too.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:

That I need to stop wallowing, take care of myself and to be the one to make things happen for me

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

I know I’ve used both of these lyrics on this survey in previous years BUT

You can spend your whole life building something from nothing
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway
You can chase a dream that seems so out of
reach and you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway

~Anyway, Martina McBride

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes 
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred moments so dear 
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes 
How do you measure – measure a year?In daylights, in sunsets 
In  midnight cups of coffee 
In inches, in miles 
In laughter and strife

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes 
How do you measure a year in the life?

(Seasons of Love, Rent the Musical)

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