As in previous years (2012, 2013, 2014), here's this year's swan song.
1. What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?
- Made snow angels...as an adult
- Argued with a Swede in Swedish (albeit a short argument)
- Went on a(n overnight) cruise
- Rode on a motorcycle in Sweden
- And...had a baby
2. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes—quite a few friends (and acquaintances), both here and in the U.S.
3. Did anyone close to you die?
4. What countries did you visit? Cities?
- Turkey // Istanbul
- Italy // Taormina, Lampedusa & Fontane Bianche, Noto, Marzamemi
- The Czech Republic // Prague
- Austria // Vienna
- Sweden // Uppsala, Göteborg, Båstad, Svartsö & Gustavsberg
5. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
2016 is going to be so different from any other year in my life that I don't think I can really compare it to 2015, but in any case, a few repeats from last year:
- Greater ease with speaking Swedish, although I don't see this happening until I'm working in an office environment again (or until our little guy starts having playdates with Swedes).
- An apartment/house where we'll be able to settle in for more than a few months/year.
- The kind of work that makes you excited to sit down at your desk and get started (after my maternity leave).
- More local friends...I think the New Mamma/Parent groups arranged by the local baby nurses will help with this (more on that later).
6. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory?
7. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
A safe and healthy pregnancy, followed by surviving 40 hours of labor to deliver our son.
8. What was your biggest failure?
Repeated from last year: not practicing Swedish enough (or...at all, at least not verbally)
Just some pregnancy related aches and pains.
10. What were the best things you bought?
- Plane tickets to Turkey, Italy, the Czech Republic and Austria (well, maybe not Austria)
- Lots of yarn
- A jewelry stand (bought for me by R)
- A motorcycle (bought by R for R, but enjoyed by me)
- The time of a team of painters
- Our amazingly comfortable bed
- Fresh flowers every week
- Everything we bought for the baby
- Countless slices of carrot cake
11. Where did most of your money go?
Travel, baby things, rent.
12. What made you happy/got you excited?
13. Are you happier or sadder than last year? Thinner or fatter? Richer or poorer?
Happier. A wee bit fatter—although this year's weight is not of my own doing, unlike last year (which I blame on the chokladbolls). Poorer.
(Another year proving that being thinner and richer do not equal happier!)
14. What do you wish you'd done more of?
- Speaking Swedish.
- Interesting work projects.
- Been more outgoing/gone to more Meetups.
15. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Hmmm, worrying/stressing, I suppose.
16. How did you spend Christmas?
At home, with a newborn, surrounded by family and friends from NY, Sicily and Stockholm. We had our usual Christmas Eve dinner, but this year I was only responsible for feeding/cleaning up after one person and spent the majority of the holiday on the couch with a bottle of water next to me and a warm, cuddly little body snuggled up against me.
17. What was your favorite TV program?
Old standbys that are still going strong:
- Downton Abbey
- Madame Secretary
- The Good Wife
- Blue Bloods
18. What were your favorite books of the year?
- Rooftops of Tehran, Mahbod Seraji
- The Sunrise, Victoria Hislop
- The English Spy, Daniel Silva
- Act of War, Brad Thor
- The Oleander Girl, Chitra Divakaruni
- The Eleventh Commandment, Jeffrey Archer
- The English Assassin, Daniel Silva
- Mightier Than the Sword, Jeffrey Archer
- Secret Daughter, Shilpi Somaya Gowda
- The Thread, Victoria Hislop
19. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
Turned 32 in Lampedusa, where we went on an ill-fated hike but recovered with the most amazing dinner at Cavalluccio Marino.
20. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
This year turned out pretty darn well, but perhaps on the non-home and family front I wouldn't have minded some more interesting and satisfying work.
21. What kept you sane?
- Long, long walks (when I could)
- Knitting (23.5 projects this year)
- Reading (20 books this year, and all-time low for me)
- Motorcycling (while I could)
22. Recount a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015
Sometimes it's better to not say anything at all.
(Relearned this one.)
One year ago: 2014: The year that was + The end of the year festivities
Two years ago: 2013: The year that was + Red-eyed revelry & Christmas traditions
Three years ago 2012: The year that was + Merry Christmas from Honduras!
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