1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
This one’s gonna be a doozy:
1. First time I felt ready for a dog since Harry died.
2. First time I actually felt myself fall out of romantic love with a partner.
3. First WHL hockey game.
4. First date with Sean. First kiss with Sean. First…!!!!! Wow.
5. First time calling 911 to report a partner for domestic violence (NOT SEAN).
6. First time dealing with the police in a crisis.
7. First time getting handcuffed and arrested. (#6 went VERY BADLY). (ETA: the police went badly, not my first date with Sean!)
8. First time in the back of a police car.
9. First time in county jail. For two nights. In a cell block, not alone.
10. First time standing in front of a judge in shackles.
11. First time dealing with any part of the criminal justice system.
12. First time a brand new boyfriend ever picked me up from jail.
13. First time I genuinely, voluntarily didn’t want to drink.
14. First time my therapist began a session by hugging me.
15. First in-depth conversation with my children about why the police aren’t safe people.
16. First time I REALLY understood who and what true friends are (outside of SamnTerry, who are My People).
17. First time I told Sean I loved him.
18. First time meeting Sean’s mom!
19. First PRIDE parade with MY mom!
20. First non-childbirth-related stitches.
21. First trip to the midwest! First time meeting most of Sean’s Family!
22. First trip to Texas!
23. First time since my divorce that I've embraced planning my future and it wasn’t scary.
24. First time getting hit by a drunk driver.
25. First time a total lunatic was elected president by other total lunatics.
26. First time I got to see a BUNCH of my favorite comedians: Maria Bamford, Dan Cummins, Dave Chappelle, Hannibal Buress, Amy Schumer, Tig Notaro (who made me laugh the absolute MOST).
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn’t make any in 2016. I’m pretty good at setting goals for myself and I’m so totally over any body-image bullshit that I’ll never set fitness/weight loss goals again for the rest of my life. This year I’m giving up some things though:
1. No more being used.
2. No more apologizing. Gratitude instead.
3. No more putting off of tasks. I’m gonna do things now, not later, with the hope of decreasing my overall anxiety.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Aside from the many, many clients who had babies, no, and that sucks because I have terrible baby fever and need someone to lend me a crabby newborn for an overnight just to get it out of my system.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
My grandfather did. Just like my grandmother, the hardest part was that we weren’t ever close.
5. What countries did you visit?
TEXAS? My parents are taking us to Mexico in February though!
6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016? It would have been nice to have more good news in 2016. It felt like if something COULD go wrong, it definitely did. More financial independence would be lovely too. I earned more money in 2016 than I ever have before (individually, at least) and have almost nothing to show for it because I drained my bank accounts to pay legal fees and my overhead is so high to begin with. That’s gonna change in 2017. I’m gonna take advantage of whatever pro-capitalism bullshit Trump throws at us, save as much as possible, and use it for good.
7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
January 22 - because that was my first date with Sean.
January 25 - because that was my last day with Patrick.
April 1 - because that was my 40th birthday.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Not drinking. Biggest and easiest.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Not insisting Patrick leave before he got violent with me.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Hahahahahahahahahaha. This was the year my 5+ years of therapy paid off. The Worst Thing happened to me and I was still surprisingly emotionally stable.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
My new car.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Sean’s. Every day. All the time.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Patrick’s, same as last year.
14. Where did most of your money go?
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The election, sadly. I was SO looking forward to being with my daughter when our first female president was elected. I'm still devasted for Hillary.
16. What song will always remind you of 2016?
Don’t Let Me Down by the Chainsmokers and any/everything by Ellie Goulding.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a - happier or sadder? SO MUCH HAPPIER
b - thinner or fatter? A lot thinner, which is a bummer because it’s a visual representation of my anxiety and people LOVE complimenting me for it.
c - richer or poorer? Same. Every time my savings account reaches $2,000, something horrible happens to drain it again. I’m hoping to fix that next year.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Cooking. I kinda lost my gourmet mojo this year.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
RUEING THE DAY. Feeling sick to my stomach from anxiety and stress.
20. How did you spend Christmas? Alone relaxing in my pajamas most of the day until Sean brought the kids home on his way home from work. Then JUST US. My family. It was perfectly imperfect perfection.
21. Did you fall in love in 2016? That would be an understatement. I found the love of my life this year. I can’t adequately describe what it’s like to find the person you’ve been missing for 40 years and to know that they’ve been missing you too.
22. What was your favorite TV program? The Fall, UnReal, True Detective, John Oliver, Narcos, Stranger Things, Westworld, Good Behavior, The OA, so many Bachelor/ette/in Paradise(s), GOT, Summer Heights High, This Is Us, The Night Of, and many, many more. I’m embracing TV again and not at all sorry for it.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Hate is a strong word. There are definitely people I now find odious. My feelings for Patrick can best be described as pity and disgust mixed with a healthy amount of bone-chilling fear.
24. What was the best book you read?
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery? I haven’t actively been listening to new stuff, but I’m really excited about Alex getting into music and finding that we have pretty similar tastes. I let him take the aux cord in my car every time now and I rarely regret it.
26. What did you want and get? SEAN.
27. What did you want and not get? JUSTICE, personal, political or otherwise.
28. What was your favorite film of this year? I seriously can’t remember!
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned FORTY and I had an amazing few days alone with Sean followed by a fantastic karaoke birthday party where my favorite people serenaded me. It was the perfect soul salve.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016? Crazy leggings, comfortable shoes, blue mohawk, red convertible, THUMPING BASS. I’m That Mom and I ain’t apologizing for it.
32. What kept you sane?
Sean. Sean. Sean. Sam and Terry. My friend, Sophie. My children, maybe for the first time. My amazing circle of kick-ass female friends and their super supportive partners. This was a mostly shitty year, but I’ve never seen more clearly who my soul mates are.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Turns out I’m still super gay for Gillian Anderson.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
35. Who did you miss?
Maggie. I think of them all the time and it hurts my heart.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
Sean. Duh. But he’s introduced me to some pretty amazing people too.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
NEVER TRUST THE POLICE. The only good cop is an ex-cop.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
You're the light, you're the night
You're the color of my blood
You're the cure, you're the pain
You're the only thing I wanna touch
Never knew that it could mean so much, so much
You're the fear, I don't care
Cause I've never been so high
Follow me to the dark
Let me take you past our satellites
You can see the world you brought to life, to life
So love me like you do, la-la-love me like you do
Love me like you do, la-la-love me like you do
Touch me like you do, ta-ta-touch me like you do
What are you waiting for?