The Purple of Life

She told me to hold on to the purple in my life.

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Location: Chicago, United States

I'm a 37-year-old editor and city dweller, wife and mother, moderately liberal and radically optimistic. I would fill my perfect day with a cup of coffee and the Op Ed section, a flea market and the playground, a run along Lake Michigan, a walk through the neighborhood with my son and my greyhound, a Cuban dinner and a bottle of red with my husband, and an evening flight to some European city. I wouldn't be picky about which one.

January 1, 2008

Yes, it's a meme

But it got me to write, so I’m not going to knock it. I omitted the questions that seemed repetitive and/or dumb.

I also wanted to say here (and in doing so, hold myself accountable) that during a few months of this year—including January—I’m going to take at least one photo a day and post it on Flickr. So if you’re interested, head on over to view snapshots of my daily life. I’m not promising anything other than frequency.

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before? Got promoted to a managerial position, and started learning how to make big decisions by myself and manage people. Real, live, breathing people. It’s an ongoing challenge, but I’m loving it. I also ran five 5k’s—I’ve ran them before, but never five in one year. My best time was 28:44, which I feel pretty great about.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? My big resolution for this year was, boringly, to work out more, scale back on portions, and lose a few pounds. Actually, I’ve been pretty successful in this regard. I’m working out regularly five days a week, and as I type this, I’m wearing pants that I almost threw away last year because they pinched my internal organs. They feel great!

As for next year, my resolutions are focused on photography (doing more of it) and running (I’d like to run an 8k).

3. What countries did you visit? We stuck around the U.S., mostly: St. Augustine, Florida; Sonoma and San Francisco, California; and northern Michigan. We did go to the Bahamas’ Abaco Islands, which, excitingly, requires a passport.

4. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007? More confidence in my new role at work. A more zen attitude about possible parenthood. A slightly thinner waist would be nice, too.

5. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Same as #1—running and working. A lesser achievement was getting out and doing more Chicago things during the summer, which was a goal of mine. I went to the Renegade Craft Fair, the Randolph Street Flea Market, a free symphony concert at Millennium Park, the Taste of Chicago, the Police concert at Wrigley Field, the Freedom Museum, several architecture tours, and the Greek Festival.

6. What was your biggest failure? Writing. I blew it off in a big way, both in this journal and in my free-time creative projects. I really want to do better this year.

7. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nope.

8. Whose behavior merited celebration? My good friend Rachael, who, along with her husband, bought a boat, sold their house, and embarked on a year-long sailing adventure. She is incredibly inspiring to me.

9. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? George W. Bush’s—nothing new there.

10. Where did most of your money go? Mortgage and savings. And to paying off my college loans—which we finally did, no small feat!

11. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Seeing Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova in concert at the Vic in Chicago. Wow. That’s about all I can say about that.

12. What song will always remind you of 2007? Anything from the Once soundtrack: “Falling Slowly,” “Say It to Me Now,” “Leave,” “When Your Mind’s Made Up,” etc. Runners-up would be “I Turn My Camera On” and “You Got Yr Cherry Bomb” by Spoon and “End of the Night” by the Traveling Wilburys. And I shouldn't leave out the Weepies or Death Cab for Cutie, either.

13. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer? Just as happy, a bit thinner, and making more money.

14. What do you wish you’d done more of? Writing, taking pictures

15. What do you wish you’d done less of? Obsessing about having a baby

16. How did you spend Christmas? The usual—in Michigan, ping-ponging between our parents’ houses at an alarming rate. It’s wonderful to see everyone, but the jam-packed schedule leaves something to be desired. Still, I enjoyed helping my mom prepare the traditional Cuban Noche Buena meal. I received some excellent presents, including a 1979 edition of the Lonely Planet travel guide to the Netherlands—very cool. I drank heaps of beer with John’s family as we played raucous versions of Taboo and bingo. I ate and talked a lot.

17. Did you fall in love in 2007? Being married is a funny thing. Sometimes I cannot be in the same room with John because he’s annoying me so greatly. But then it’s Christmas night and I look across the crowded living room at his parents’ house and see him, and I feel such a surge of love I can barely suppress it.

18. What was your favorite TV program? I just started watching and enjoying Project Runway. But I’m going to have to say The Sopranos, which very sadly ended this year. Runner-up is Big Love.

19. What was the best book you read? Ooh, tough one. I think I’ll have to go with The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje. The writing blew me away.

20. What was your greatest musical discovery? I know this is repetitive, but Glen Hansard.

21. What did you want and get? A few beautiful pieces of clothing from J. Crew and Anthropologie. Getting promoted enabled me to not feel guilty about buying them. I also splurged on a really expensive pair of jeans, and they were worth every penny.

22. What did you want and not get? Not sure about this one. I honestly feel like, at least materially speaking, I have everything I want. I'm trying to work on not wanting a lot (this isn't easy). I suppose a big back deck would be nice.

23. What was your favorite film of this year? Once, Paris je t’aime, Sicko. I don’t really see a lot of movies.

24. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 31 last January. It was a snowy Saturday, and I spent a few hours reading magazines at my neighborhood coffee shop. John and I went out for tapas downtown, then we met up with some of his coworkers at a bar/club and I danced as if I thought I was 24. Not a bad birthday at all.

26. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007? This is a weird question. I dress fairly conservatively for work, but I like color and I’m not afraid to wear it. I love dressing up to go out on the weekend—slim jeans, black or gray boots, a fun top. I am a huge sucker for handbags and interesting pieces of jewelry. This year I really got into wearing long necklaces, and I’ve always had a soft spot for big cocktail rings.

27. What kept you sane? Making time to read InStyle magazine while drinking a glass or two of wine. And, as always, Moose.

28. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? This year I discovered the sharp, smart, and talented Keith Olbermann, and he has been added to my Secret Boyfriend List. He deserves a mention in this meme, so there it is. (Don’t worry, Stephen Colbert, I still fancy you too.)

29. What political issue stirred you the most? The appalling number of Americans who don’t have health care, or don’t have enough health care to keep them from going bankrupt if they become seriously ill. It makes me embarrassed for my country.

30. Who did you miss? My college girlfriends—I don’t get to see them often, although this year was better than most in terms of getting together with them.

31. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007. I’m capable of more than I think I am.

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