Every year on New Years’ Eve, or New Year’s Day, I write some kind of inventory. I think about the past year, good and bad, successes and failures, wrong turns and happy accidents and then I think about what I want the coming year to look like, how I hope for it to manifest and what I want to learn, accomplish and experience. During Chanukkah, I found a really cool list that the lovely, sassy and wonderful Ms. Sizzle created. She wrote 100 things about herself in a refreshingly unapologetic, humorous and sweet way and I wanted to try to do the same.
2006 was a pretty great year for me. My novel came to life thanks to James at So New Publishing. I traveled a lot to promote it. I worked on learning to stop more and listen to myself better. I took good care of myself spiritually. I had a really great birthday. I quit being shy about how much I like Jazz. I did a lot of colorful things to my hair. I stood up for myself when I needed to. I made a lot of new friends. I cut through some nonsense with old friends. I took care of things that needed to be taken care of. I took care of myself. I said no when I meant no and said yes when I meant yes.
So, for the first time ever, I’m sharing my New Year Inventory and plunking it right out there in the blogosphere. I’ve never ever shared one of these in my life, but new year, new idea.
1. I have worn glasses since I was 9 or 10. My opthamologist sees (har har) reading glasses in my near future, and lately, I think she might be right.
2. I have a big scar on my left thigh near my hip from a burn, and a scar on the back of my left hand from a stab wound. Yes, a stab wound.
3. I once wanted to be an ice skater, once wanted to be a pilot, but I always wanted to be a writer.
4. I think my feet, my collar bone and nose are all pretty.
5. No matter how many pushups I do or do not do, I just don’t love my upper arms. The rest is okay with me, though.
6. I am a good singer and sing all the time to the slight irritation of those around me regularly, I’m sure.
7. I like kayaking and love canoeing, but don’t do either one very often.
8. I really want to learn how to SCUBA and tango. Not at the same time.
9. I am horribly bad at relaxing. I always have to feel like I’m doing something. When I try to just sit and do nothing, I feel like I’m wasting precious time.
10. I feel like a fierce g-ddess when I run five to ten miles in the middle of nowhere to great music. Eh, I feel pretty great when I have a good run on the treadmill, too.
11. Irish drinking songs, klezmer music, red Gatorade and Nutter Butters get me through a run if I’m struggling. Sometimes, though, I call it a bad running day and abort the mission.
12. The combination of smells of warm garlicky foods, nice perfume, coffee and wine makes me feel snug and happy because it reminds me of when I was a little girl and hanging around the swanky restaurants/clubs my dad worked in.
13. I have been an insomniac my entire life but having my eyebrows or hairline touched puts me right to sleep.
14. When I was little, my dad used to make “monster repellant” for me for nights he’d work late, consisting of water, lemons and his cologne. I would not go to sleep without giving the room a good spritz and roaring back at the monsters waiting to get me.
15. My dad taught me how to tell a story and how to negotiate, my mom taught me to appreciate nice little things like good perfume, girly candles and crossword puzzles.
16. I hold people to their word.
17. I don’t cope well with “things said in anger” because I believe that deep down, they must be believed to be said.
18. I develop sort of a platonic crush on everyone I meet and connect with, male and female, based on their quirky, unique stuff.
19. I’m probably way too tolerant of peoples’ quirks because I usually find them endearing and feel really hurt when I don’t feel that wiggle room back in return.
20. I have a world of respect for my younger brother intellectually, I think he’s one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met, but I think he is a lousy speller.
21. I consider my younger brother a good friend and a really good person with great karma.
22. I am confident in front of a large crowd, or being tactful in a heart-to-heart, but terrible in schmoozy small group situations. I’m working on that.
23. I’m terrible in schmoozy situations because I hate answering the question, “So, what have you been up to?” as much as I hate, “So, how is work going?” because I work really, really hard to make sure things work out. But, talking about working hard to make sure things work out feels like bragging so I hate it.
24. I love dressing up.
25. The act of cleaning is extremely satisfying to me.
26. I’m a great cook but I suck at seasoning Chinese food.
27. I am mezmerized by shiny things. Uh, much like my cat.
28. I love spoiling my cat and babytalking him.
29. Favorite dayjobs have included construction, housepainting, housekeeper and coat check lady.
30. I hate disappointing people, including myself.
31. I had a mini-freakout when I was in my early twenties and feeling burned-out from doing too much and taking too much shit.
32. I dislike roses, but love dogwood flowers.
33. In late 2004, my car was hit by a giant pickup truck and my injuries made my lower back, hip joints and knees completely different ever since, no matter how strong I make them. They’re just different.
34. I lost a family member in a DUI accident and feel really strongly about drunk driving as a result.
35. There was a double-homicide in my family in the late 80s that remains unsolved.
36. I’m really glad I’m so intuitive and have learned to trust it more and more as I get older.
37. I’m bad about asking for help when I really need it.
38. I secretly like it when people just understand that I’m bad about asking for help and just help me anyway.
39. When I ask for help that involves information (rather than something like, “Hey, can you help me lift something heavy?”) I feel threatened and then spend a little time afterwards convincing myself that I’m not an idiot just because I don’t know everything there is to know.
40. I worry about bringing people down with too much seriousness. I think that is why I like to make people laugh.
41. I’m not afraid of death, only of dying too soon or meeting a violent end.
42. My great-grandmother was alive until 2001. Lots of women live a long time on both sides of my family. Probably out of spite.
43. Cattiness and competitiveness from other women makes me walk away sad.
44. I had three imaginary friends when I was a kid. One lived in the dryer, one was a ghost in the walls and one was a king.
45. I get tons of pleasure out of refilling things like soap dispensers, paper towels, cracker canisters and such.
46. I swear a lot and don’t feel badly about that and I feel really insulted when people warn me to not swear in situations where swearing isn’t, say, de riguer, as if I have no sense of judgement.
47. I crave salty/crunchy things when I am anxious like pickles, Cheese-Its, olives, tortilla chips, etc.
48. I have tattoos and want more of them.
49. I scream like a five-year-old when confronted with insects, but I respect their right to exist and won’t kill them.
50. My favorite perfume is Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, but Chanel Chance will do in a pinch. Lately I’ve been getting into Vera Wang, though, too.
51. My favorite store is Anthropologie, but vintage/thrift stores and estate sales are fun to dig through.
52. I believe there is a Simpsons quote for every occasion and that a person can’t be too much of a shit if they can quote the Simpsons regularly.
53. I am afraid of committing too solidly to much of anything because I am afraid of getting overwhelmed and losing myself.
54. I have a lot of gray hair that I cover up with bright colors.
55. My eyes cry involuntarily and I hyperventilate and feel faint when confronted with a needle. Sometimes I really do faint.
56. I smother my fries with ketchup, but am really happy to dab each fry into a little bit of mayo and ketchup mixed together.
57. Monty Python makes me just laugh and laugh.
58. My date to the prom was a gorgeous gay man who will be really famous any day now. Just wait and see.
59. I believe in celebrating the crap out of celebrations. Do it and mean it is my motto.
60. “Sleepwalk” by Santo & Johnny is one of my all-time favorite schmaltzy songs. So is “Never My Love” by The Association.
61. I like going to movies and museums and restaurants by myself just fine.
62. I think being sexy has more to do with laughing, being a good person and smelling good than anything else.
63. I believe you can convey mountains of information and ideas best with humor.
64. I think a healthy appetite for food, sex and laughter are really great qualities to have.
65. I type and walk fast.
66. I think it’s possible to talk about religion with all kinds of people, as long as everyone involved is secure in their spirituality. Otherwise, people scream and get defensive and that isn’t much fun. It is difficult to make me angry in a conversation about religion.
67. I’ve felt panicky and felt like a failure when I’ve been broke.
68. I secretly want to get a grad degree in Anhropology and go to Rabbinical school one day.
69. I do crosswords in ink.
70. I have grapheme/color synesthesia and ordinal/spatial synesthesia but didn’t confirm that until I was in my late twenties. I hardly tell anyone because, well, how often does synesthesia come up in conversation?
71. I am a fierce defender of underdogs and really have a soft spot for other people who are, too.
72. My memory is outstanding for details, colors, sentences, faces and scents, but I can’t remember names or where I put my cell phone hardly at all. Ask anyone. I misplace my cell phone constantly and haven’t figured out a good system of prevention just yet. But, I will.
73. I learn languages pretty easily.
74. I’m very allergic to prickly pear fruit, and because I’ve been a vegetarian for so long, the things my body does when I’ve accidentally ingested animal protein might as well be called an allergic reaction, too. Bleh.
75. I think leaving a legacy is important.
76. I am not living up to my full potential but I will.
77. I love all kinds of people, but I’m not very tolerant of lack-of-ambition, stupidity and people who do really stupid things again and again to complicate their lives out of fear and dependency.
78. A half-hour of yoga changes my whole sense of well-being.
79. I think I look cute in the winter when my cheeks and nose turn pink.
80. I look great in hats of all kinds.
81. My ears get easily overwhelmed if there are several sound sources around me at once.
82. My landlady is really cool, my apartment is really great and I love my neighborhood.
83. I really want to buy a condo, though.
84. I have called both the DCFS and ASPCA on neighbors.
85. I still want to backpack around western Europe before I’m 40.
86. My first car was a Honda hatchback. I caught on fire the day I tried to trade it in on a better car.
87. I think a few quality things in a small but well-made and happy space make a better home than many things in a large, showy, slapped-together space.
88. I drink a lot of water so I have to pee all the time but cannot pee if someone can hear me peeing, no matter how well I know that person.
89. I am a bit of a clean freak but I don’t like ironing and I hate taking out the trash. I’m no germaphobe, just a clutter master, but the trip down the back staircase to the dumpster just sucks, is all.
90. I used to smoke cigarettes and now I’m a real anti-tobacco pest, but I like distant pipe smoke smell sometimes.
91. I would love to go to an adoption agency and say “In the next decade, give me the three that need the most love. I don’t care where they are from or what race they are.”
92. I love The Simpsons, Morrissey, The Cure, skylines and meals consisting of bread, cheeses, olives and wine.
93. I like who I am but I’m way too hard on myself.
94. I love introducing people who end up being friends or lovers or doing good work together or both. I think I have a knack for that sort of thing.
95. My favorite color used to be dark red, but now it is sort of light aqua blue, like beach glass.
96. I love wild, stormy weather and eerie, thick fog.
97. I surprise even myself by how much I like girly things like good make-up, good jewelry and a good visit to the spa.
98. Screw fear. It’s only in my head, so I always take note of when it pops up so I can push through it somehow, or at least try.
99. My eyes are hazel but turn light green when I cry.
100. I trust my hands completely in all matters hands can be concerned with. They look nice and they’re soft but they’re also capable, strong and able to tend to tiny delicate details and big tough projects. My hands take care of things that life hands me.
So, that’s it. No, that’s not it, but that’s what’s on my mind right now. Maybe next year I’ll post another one hundred things and see if my lists are terribly different. Maybe they won’t be, maybe they will. Maybe it’s just making the list that is the important part.
I hope 2007 is a good one for us all. (Shehecheyanu.)