- Had a sleepover at the Telus World of Science with my daughter's Sparks unit.
- Proceeded to purchase a family membership to the Telus World of Science, which has already paid off in spades.
- Actually took the Summer Reading Lists seriously and read the following recommended novels:
The Substitute, by Nicole Lundrigan
Do Not Become Alarmed, by Maile Meloy
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
(Bonus - my husband read all of the above with me, plus he also managed to read this one as well: Baseball Life Advice, by Stacey May Fowles.)
2) Where did you travel?
Wabamum Lake was the farthest we travelled this year, and I'm grateful for it.
Family vacations have become an exhausting endeavor for me, and they're far from relaxing. So this year we purchased a trampoline and an above-ground pool and had mini stay-cations each evening in our backyard instead.
We did, however, have a houseguest in August, when one of my husband's army buddies drove up from the US and stayed with us for a bit....... And then in November we flew in my mother-in-law, which proved an absolute blessing to our family....... And then my husband's army buddy again drove up here just a few weeks ago, which came as a complete surprise to me.
("Hey babe, there wasn't a good time for me to tell you this before, so here goes: Richard's coming to stay with us again. He'll be here in less than 3 hours.")
That's right. I had no warning at all, which means I didn't even vacuum or clean the washrooms before he showed up.
3) What was your biggest achievement of the year?
4) What was your biggest failure?
I'm not even changing my response from last year:
Everything about this year has been a constant struggle. I've spent the entire year just trying to keep my head above water to make it through one day at a time.
5) Did you suffer illness or injury?
My petty illnesses aren't worth mentioning, but I did spend more time in hospitals and care facilities this year than I care to admit.
In October, my 88-year-old uncle (or Zio, as we call him) fell and broke a bone in his neck. I spent 10 hours with him in emergency on October 14 -- and, since then, I've visited him in hospital every day after work (and on weekends), mainly to keep him company and to ensure he's managing all right.
To summarize, it's been exhausting. Caregiver burnout is very, very real..... and I'm not even his primary caregiver. Getting old is not for the faint of heart.
6) What things / people disappointed you the most?
- Trump, and the people who continue to support him.
- The lack of adequate and available assisted living residences for seniors.
7) Where did most of your money go?
- Daycare / School
8) What did you really get excited about?
Reading. As my husband repeatedly tells our daughter: Books are magical.
9) What song will always remind you of 2017?
Holdin' My Own, by Eric Church
My daughter even belts this out while we're driving, which is proof that I must be doing something right in life after all.
1) What do you wish you'd done more of?
Been more physically active.
11) What do you wish you'd done less of?
12) Favourite film this year?
The Glass Castle, which is based on Jeannette Walls's memoir of the same name.
Woody Harrelson's performance as Rex Walls was phenomenal.
13) What was the one thing that would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Same as last year: Good health for me and the people I care about, including my Zio. As mentioned, he's been in care since his fall in October.
And my Zia (his 91-year-old sister) fell and broke her hip in August. Following her surgery, she was moved into palliative care, and she passed away a few weeks ago on December 16.
On the day of her funeral, December 21, we took my Zio out of care for the morning so he could pay his final respects and see her one last time -- but it was too much for him, and he collapsed at her funeral.
An ambulance was called, and I rode with him to the hospital for assessment.
Like I said, this year has been extremely difficult for us.
14) What kept you sane?
Sure, the year couldn't have been all bad -- but I'm hard-pressed to remember some of its better moments right now.
The one thing that does stand out to me, though, is this:
I will forever be grateful to this family for making me laugh again and again. And again.
15) Which celebrity / public figure did you fancy the most? Fancy the least?
My not-so-secret love for Scott Bakula has been ressurected, thanks to some marvelous writing / acting on NCIS: New Orleans.
And Donald Trump is still a narcissistic sociopath.
16) What news story fascinated you the most?
See question # 14 above.
From now on, I want to enter every room with as much sass and attitude as that little girl.
17) What sports moment did you like the most?
The long-overdue playoff run for the Oilers this past spring did wonders to boost this city's morale.
Sadly, they're currently on pace to miss the 2018 playoffs, which does quite the opposite for our volatile morale.
18) Who do you miss?
My mom, still, and always.
19) What do you look forward to in 2018?
Fewer hospital visits would be a good place to start.
And a lottery win would also be a nice touch.