If this questionnaire were a person, it would be a licensed driver by now. Seventeen years ago, I found this questionnaire, and I’ve been filling it out every December since. 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2003. Seven years ago, I decided I was going to add a few new questions every year from now on. The ones I added over the years are still marked with an *asterisk
2021 felt a lot like 2020, but a lot less scary, and a bit more monotonous. One thing I think I mastered this year was cooking eggs absolutely perfectly. I walked a little over 1,971 miles this year, all the while training my dog not to be so reactive on a leash. Work was very busy. I single-handedly loaded over three million rows of data into Salesforce (at least). Between my three companies, we’re now a team of almost 20 people.
Anyway, here’s my year in review.
What did you do in 2021 that you’d never done before? Got excited about getting a vaccine.
Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I didn’t make any.
Did anyone close to you give birth? No.
Did anyone close to you die? Yes, my grandma Bassani passed away early in the year.
What countries did you visit? None. I didn’t go anywhere.
What would you like to have in 2022 that you lacked in 2021? A vacation.
What date from 2021 will remain etched upon your memory? March 16.
What was your biggest achievement of the year? Training my dog to (mostly) get past his leash reactivity and behave in public.
What was your biggest failure? Let a few of my plants die? I can’t really think of any big failures, really.
Did you suffer illness or injury? Turns out I have two baseball-sized fibroids in my abdomen, so those kind of make me feel inured here and there.
What was the best thing you bought? Boots and a sweater from Norway.
Whose behavior merited celebration? Benny’s for improving leaps and bounds in the spring and then again over the last six weeks.
Where did most of your money go? Payroll, coffee beans, rent, dog gear, boots and a sweater from Norway.
What did you get really, really, really excited about? Regina coming to visit in the summer — we rented a golf cart, kayaks, and ate a bunch of delicious meals. I probably ate a majority of the meals I consumed at indoor restaurants during the few days she was in Virginia Beach.
What song will always remind you of 2021? “Up All Night” by Alex Sigel.
Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? Happier
Thinner or fatter? About the same
Richer or poorer? Richer
What do you wish you’d done more of? Hanging out with friends.
What do you wish you’d done less of? Zoom calls.
How will you be spending Christmas? I spent Christmas having a staycation at home with my dog. I was supposed to go to NJ, but my dad got covid, so I cancelled at the last minute. I made pasta, cookies, and egg nog with Vince on Christmas Eve. I went hiking with John and Benny on Christmas Day. I booked a mountain house next weekend to meet up with my parents and my brother for a belated holiday get-together.
Did you fall in love in 2021? No.
Who were your best friends? Benny. If we’re talking people, then Vince, Jeff and John again, plus my team–especially Lucia and Alexandra, who I spent lots of time brainstorming, strategizing and solving problems with.
What thing did you do that was meaningful to others? I was a good leader and manager to my employees, and I treated them well throughout the year. I made sure they were taken care of if/when they were sick and had days off when they needed them. We switched up our benefits to a carrier that covered everyone in other states. We planned a super fun virtual team-building week in October. We promoted people and gave them raises when it was appropriate. We revised our employee manual and a lot of our client communication to manage expectations and set ourselves up for success.
What was your favorite TV program? The Queen’s Gambit
Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Yes.
What was the best book you read? City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert.
What was your greatest musical discovery? I did not make any musical discoveries this year because I am still listening to the Sunset Fuzz station on SONOS Radio–same as last year.
*What was your favorite meal? Breakfast.
What did you want and get? A philodendron bernardopazii–it was my 40th birthday present to myself.
What did you want and not get? To travel somewhere amazing.
*What did you not even realize you would ever want, but then decided you wanted and get? Three covid vaccines.
What was your favorite film of this year? Dear Evan Hansen.
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I was 40. My parents came to visit for the weekend. I went horseback riding on Friday, and they came to watch and meet Thomas the horse. We went for a hike on my actual birthday with Vince and John and Bruce and Benny. We ate sandwiches and cupcakes on the beach, and I enjoyed a fancy watermelon gose. On the Sunday after, we went to the botanical garden with Benny.
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Pandemic = over.
What kept you sane? Walks, music, dogs, plants, horseback riding, my team, taking long, relaxing baths.
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I have no idea.
What political issue stirred you the most? I was in a state of mind where I didn’t really pay attention to many political issues. Seems like everyone else got pretty spun up about petty mask mandates.
*What mystery from 2021 was never solved? Who has to quarantine when they get covid and for how long and how is it possible no one has a straight answer to this yet?
Who did you miss? Literally everyone.
Who was the best new person you met this year? Janessa.
*Did you start any new traditions this year? This year marked my second annual Thanksgiving feast at my house. Maybe I’ll keep that one going!
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2021: Eggs are best cooked slowly over medium heat. And high quality eggs absolutely make a difference.
Quote that sums up your year: “Values are like fingerprints. Nobody’s are the same, but you leave ’em all over everything you do.” ~Elvis Presley