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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. 2019, 2018, 2017, 201620152014, 20132012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2003. Six years ago, I decided I was going to add a few new questions every year from now on. I added one this year. See if you can find it. Also, the ones I added over the years are still marked with an *asterisk

I posted a year ago that 2019 was a strange one because I got a skin cancer. Ha! A measly stage 1A melanoma was nothing compared to navigating a worldwide pandemic while managing three companies and my debilitating anxiety! I haven’t been this depressed since college! 🤣

What even happened this year? I remember an ice skating competition, a six-week-long cough, baking my own birthday cake, a blurry summer, getting a puppy and 27 million mosquito bites, a blurry fall, and an uneventful past two months. So many Zoom calls.

But we made it this far. Two businesses are growing/flourishing, and the other is stable for now. So far, so good, all things considered. I guess.

Anyway, here’s my year in review.

What did you do in 2020 that you’d never done before? Social distancing.

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I didn’t make any that I can recall. But if I had, I probably wouldn’t have knocked out any under the heading of “Travel”, that’s for sure.

Did anyone close to you give birth? No.

Did anyone close to you die? No.

What countries did you visit? None. I was supposed to go to Portugal in April, but…pandemic.

What would you like to have in 2021 that you lacked in 2020? My life back?

What date from 2020 will remain etched upon your memory? March 8.

What was your biggest achievement of the year? Skating at Adult Eastern Sectionals, cooking hundreds of meals, beating our revenue goal at Port & Starboard, offering matching 401(k) plans to our employees, and hiring new team members during a pandemic. And maybe chronicling my social distancing days on Facebook. People seem entertained by that.

What was your biggest failure? Letting a pandemic cause me to waste some of my time second-guessing almost every major decision I’ve ever made. But that was months ago. I’m fine now.

Did you suffer illness or injury? I had a cough that lasted for six weeks starting the day after I returned from the figure skating competition. During the sixth week, I had a low-grade fever. I received a letter that I was likely exposed to COVID-19 at the competition, but the letter arrived about four weeks later, and it was impossible to get tested back then. I had weird high heart rate and high blood pressure issues for a few weeks after my cough went away. Then I was fine. Mentally, I feel very injured.

What was the best thing you bought? Benny, a bunch of plants, and my new car.

Whose behavior merited celebration? What’s a celebration?

Where did most of your money go? Payroll, coffee beans, rent, plants, an espresso machine, puppy food, puppy toys, puppy treats, my new car.

What did you get really, really, really excited about? Gluing sparkly rhinestones to my figure skating dress. Every new plant I acquired. Finally finding the right size ice skates.

What song will always remind you of 2020? “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cook and “Time Will Tell” by Blood Orange.

Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? Sadder
Thinner or fatter? Thinner
Richer or poorer? Richer

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

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

How will you be spending Christmas? Zoom. Just like every other holiday, I spent Christmas doing Zoom.

Did you fall in love in 2020? No.

Who were your best friends? Vince, Jeff and John were mostly the only people I saw in person for 80% of the year, so…

What thing did you do that was meaningful to others? I have no idea. Wore a mask? Oh, I helped Vince pick out a bunch of crap for his new house.

What was your favorite TV program? The Mandalorian

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

What was the best book you read? Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Roebuck. I think that was this year. I can’t really remember.

What was your greatest musical discovery? The Sunset Fuzz station on SONOS Radio.

*What was your favorite meal? I made a pretty delicious Thanksgiving feast. But I also made hundreds of meals…and most of them were pretty delicious, too.

What did you want and get? A few days off work early on in the pandemic.

What did you want and not get? My real life back.

*What did you not even realize you would ever want, but then decided you wanted and get? Bruce. Then Benny. Oh, and a rather extensive rare plant collection.

What was your favorite film of this year? Slim Aarons: The High Life.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I was 39. I roller skated on the back patio at the coffee shop. My team brought me a cake and sang happy birthday to me on the sidewalk. I made myself a fancy dinner and a birthday cake. I decided I wanted Coca-Cola instead of wine, so I ordered myself a few 2-liter bottles from Domino’s because it’s completely normal to order whatever you want and have it delivered now.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? The lack of a coronavirus infecting upwards of 10% of the world population.

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? Kaylee Ellen.

What political issue stirred you the most? The pandemic.

*What mystery from 2020 was never solved? Who even started the pandemic and how come some people who live with infected people don’t get infected and why are there still not enough tests?

Who did you miss? Literally everyone.

Who was the best new person you met this year? Alexandra Craig.

*Did you start any new traditions this year? I have a dog now, so we have a nightly tradition of doing nothing and watching TV to numb our brains from hearing about a virus. Also, I have like 65 rare plants, and some of them are growing in semi-hyrdoponics, so on Monday nights I do flushing and re-watering those. Maybe my figure skating coach and I started a new tradition of going to competitions together, but we probably won’t know for sure until 2022.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2020: Wash your hands and don’t touch sick people? No…I already knew that. I have no idea. How to cook a turkey? Eh. That was pretty easy. Maybe just that things can definitely be worse than you imagine, so be careful what you wish for (for example, a few days off or a holiday that doesn’t involve driving to NJ), and enjoy whatever it is you’re doing in case you can’t do it anymore tomorrow.

Quote that sums up your year: “Are you infected?”

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