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a sail boat at sunset with a red, white, and black sail.

Twenty years ago, I found this questionnaire on the internet, and I’ve been filling it out every December since. Nine 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. 

I spent the beginning of 2023 coaxing myself out a massive rut I found myself in at the end of 2022. It started when I got covid. It took me months to feel better again, but by then everything was out of sorts. I used a planner and a vision board to keep myself motivated and on track. During the first half of 2022, I chose a different word for each month of the year to focus on getting myself back on track. During that time, I lost almost 20 pounds! I traveled a bit for work and pleasure — I spent a total of about 10 days in New England this summer, which means I’m 1/3 of the way to my goal of spending a whole month there some summer soon. 🙂 Later in the year, I started investing in some companies other than my own, and I bought a house. Benny and I are fully settled in now, and we’re feeling pretty at home here. 

Anyway, here’s my year in review.

What did you do in 2023 that you’d never done before? I learned to sail!

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I did make a few, which I wrote down in my planner. I’ll probably make some for 2024. Lists are my superpower. 

Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes, one of my team members, Alexandra gave birth to Nori. And my cousin and his wife had a baby girl, Everleigh, this year, as well.

Did anyone close to you die? No. But Jimmy Buffett died, and that felt kind of like someone close to me died for some reason. 

What countries did you visit? Just a bit of this one — Palm Springs, CA; Mansfield & Ft. Worth, TX (for work); Newburyport, MA (for work), Providence & Watch Hill, RI.

What would you like to have in 2024 that you lacked in 2023? A reliable dog-sitter.

What date from 2023 will remain etched upon your memory? September 22.

What was your biggest achievement of the year? Buying a house. 

What was your biggest failure? Spending so much time being sad and having anxiety about moving out of my old house.

Did you suffer illness or injury? I broke a finger in the spring because my dog yanked on the leash while it was tangled around it. I got covid again in October, and I was still coughing in December! I also got the flu in November. Note to self: never take Tamiflu again. 

What was the best thing you bought? Two pieces of Danish teak mid-century modern furniture for my new dining room. 

Whose behavior merited celebration? Fred’s for inviting me to go sailing in the spring, encouraging me to join Sail Nauticus, and continuing to take me out sailing, so I can get more experience under my belt. My Port & Starboard and Fathom Coffee teams’ for taking on so many new challenges this year, and excelling at what they do. 🙂 

Where did most of your money go? Payroll, coffee beans, house down payment, rent, vacation, mortgage, vet bills, buying sweaters from foreign lands.

What did you get really, really, really excited about? Taking my parents to Ocean House in August — it was their Christmas present from last year. Attending a luau at Royal Hawaiian Estates during Modernism Week in Palm Springs. 

What song will always remind you of 2023? “Kelly Time” by Owl City

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

What do you wish you’d done more of? Ice skating.

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

How will you be spending Christmas? I spent Christmas having a staycation at home in my new house with my dog. I considered going to to NJ, but I had just gotten over the flue, and I was exhausted and didn’t feel like going. I had actually put up all my Christmas decorations, and I was looking forward to spending my time off getting more of my house unpacked and in order. It gave my parents the opportunity to plan a little jaunt down to Charleston after Christmas and see me on their way back, anyway. I made quiche twice, which accounted for most of my holiday break breakfasts. I baked gluten-free spritz cookies and snickerdoodles. I hosted an impromptu Christmas Eve dinner of chicken Francese with Vince & Ryan. Then I went to my old front neighbors’ house for drinks. On Christmas Day, I walked Benny, went sailing on Fred’s new boat, and joined that Harrells for poker and dinner. I spent the rest of my break working on my vision board, reading, watching cheesy Christmas movies, planning my parents’ Christmas gifts, and basking in the glow of my Christmas tree. They got here last night, and we ordered pizza and opened gifts. I got a KitchenAid mixer! I gave my mom an Unurth mug and a spa day at the Cavalier. I gave my dad a Mustang Survival PFD and a weekend of sailing lessons at Sail Nauticus. 🙂 

Did you fall in love in 2023? No.

Who were your best friends? Benny. If we’re talking people, then Vince, Jeff, plus my team–especially Alexandra & Brittany, who I spent lots of time brainstorming, strategizing and solving problems with.

What thing did you do that was meaningful to others? I took my parents on a fantastic vacation in August. 

What was your favorite TV program? The Gilded Age

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? No.

What was the best book you read? Rules of Civility by Amor Towles, Don’t Forget to Write by Sara Goodman Confino, and The Secret Book of Flora Lea by Patti Callahan Henry. 

What was your greatest musical discovery? Listening to vintage-y music in my vintage-y 1962 beach house. My latest favorite is The Rat Pack: Live at the Sands, which I’ve had on repeat for the last few weeks.

*What was your favorite meal? Dinner at The Club Room at Ocean House. Thanksgiving dinner I prepared at my house. I also enjoyed so much lobster this year — the lobster croissant at the Olympia Tea Room, the lobster roll at Matunuck Oyster Bar, and the lobster roll at Markey’s Lobster Pool were all pretty delicious. 

What did you want and get? A house. 

What did you want and not get? My dog to accept guests without having to be locked in another room.

*What did you not even realize you would ever want, but then decided you wanted and get? A Guernsey sweater.

*What did you not want, but got anyway? Covid & the flu.

What was your favorite film of this year? Barbie. Surprisingly.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I was 42. I…don’t even remember. Did I do anything? 

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Being more strategic in my businesses, rather than in the weeds. You know that old saying about working in the business instead of on the business? I’d really have loved more time working on the business. (I said this last year, and it’s still something that needs improving.)

What kept you sane? Walks, music, Benny, reading books, writing, vacations, taking long, relaxing baths.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Jimmy Buffett

What political issue stirred you the most? 🤷🏼‍♀️

*What mystery from 2023 was never solved? I can’t think of one.

Who did you miss? My grandparents and all my cousins.

Who was the best new person you met this year? Mary Lotuff (at Lotuff Leather), Patti Callahan Henry (at an author talk), Shag (at Modernism Week), and a new client this year, Tommy from Packaging Specialties.

*Did you start any new traditions this year? Spending more time in New England in the summer?

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2023: Wherever I focus my energy, that is where things will change. But I only have so much energy to focus in a day/week/month/quarter/year, so being strategic about where to focus is important. Taking time to plan ahead paid off big time this year. 

Quote that sums up your year: “Are you ready to go?” ~Vince

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