2017 in Review

Every year since I started this blog, I’ve done an end of year survey. I’m going to keep almost the same questions as last year, but if there are any I can’t answer two years in a row then I’ll change them next time.

1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?
Went to Sammie’s school play. It was the first school event of hers I made it to, so a very big deal.

I also joined Running Ninjas, which is a running club. It turns out you don’t actually need to be able to run (or even get out of bed) to be a member. It’s the group Johan is part of and I love seeing how everyone is doing.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s Goals, and will you make more for next year?
I managed some of them, but not all. Going to have a separate post with specifics.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes. Laura’s baba is gorgeous!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
As last year, no-one I was very close to, but some people I knew, and others I admired but was too ill to contact. And our upstairs neighbour, who was physically close.

5. Where did you visit?
South Tyneside Hospital for getting teeth sorted. Gateshead and Newcastle. Sammie’s middle school for her school play. Care home. I also went and watched the Great North Run on the Felling Bypass.

6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?
Better health. More showers please.

7. What will you most remember from 2017 and why?
Getting new, much nicer neighbours. The old neighbour being murdered. Seeing Sammie’s school play. Going to the Great North Run and seeing Mo Farah, Aly Dixon and Johan running really really fast!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Going to Sammie’s school to see her play. It was the furthest I’d travelled in at least 6 years, possibly more.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Probably not having a single bath while in the care home. That’s because I was using all my energy on bedding changes as they weren’t checking on me enough. Also only getting standard daily living PIP with no mobility because I can walk and don’t need care apparently (tribunal is in February). Having to give up loom knitting as my hands wouldn’t cooperate.

10. Did you suffer any new illness or injury?
I caught a cold while recovering from going out to see the Great North Run. Then another, and then another. So I’m doing worse both physically and cognitively than in 2016. It sucks.

11. What was the best thing someone gave you?
Penguin fairy lights from Jen. Little abstract paintings from Mathsie. Penguin pillow/handwarmer from Sammie. Purple sparkly crystal thing from Johan. Crochet penguin from Tony and his wife. And I’d had more. I’ve been completely spoilt this year.

12. Who impressed you this year?
Johan with the progress he made with his running, including two full marathons and lots of half marathons. Sammie with how much she cares about her friends and for seeking help when the situation was too big to handle alone. Everyone who survived despite how terrible a year it was.

13. What made you appalled and/or depressed?
I might not have liked my old upstairs neighbour, but he didn’t deserve being murdered the way he was. Politics in general. The DWP both in general and for the PIP decision they made (they acknowledged I can’t sit up or stand, but say I can walk. And I don’t need carers, just aids and adaptations. They still haven’t explained how that works with me being almost completely bedbound). TERFs. Bigots.

14. Other than food, bills and disability stuff, where did most of your money go?
Technically disability stuff, but I bought a new tablet which is awesome. Also Philips Hue lights and a Google Home Mini, so I can do funky stuff with my lights and control them via my tablet or voice. Sammie’s computer took most of my savings, so need to build them up again 😛 Was worth it for how much she’s enjoying it.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Sammie’s school play! Great North Run! Friends doing awesome things! Johan getting better at running and getting medals! Penguins! Cats, especially Bilbo, Tilly and Erica! Ratties! Bunnies! Animals in general! Space!

16. What big events will you remember most from 2017?
Trump. The lack of of plans for Brexit.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
About the same.
b) healthier or more ill?
More ill. A cold really knocks me around – three in a row and some days it’s an achievement just to wake up.
c) richer or poorer?
Poorer. Standard daily living PIP is much less than higher/higher DLA. Johan now gets more PIP than me. If it weren’t for that, we’d probably be struggling much more.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Getting out of bed. Showers, bed baths and hair washes, as been too ill most of the time, especially since September. Communicating with friends.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Being anxious. Panicking. Hallucinating (I suspect due to not sleeping well). Feeling ill.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Opened presents, slept, had Christmas Dinner Johan made in the afternoon (roast duck, and his roast potatoes were even better this year). Watched the Doctor Who Christmas special with Johan. Video chatted with Sammie. It was a good day.

This year our tree had lights (it’s a fibre optic tree as our old one broke), decorations and a penguin on the top! Then 10 minutes later the penguin fell off. Need to think of penguin securing methods for next year.

21. What did you love in 2017?
Other than Johan, Sammie, and family, seeing friends and people I like achieving their goals. Also cute animals, including penguins 🐧

22. How many trips out?
A few in the first half of the year. After coming back from the care home at the beginning of August I only just recovered enough to watch the Great North Run, and then I caught colds so I’ve been completely bedbound since then.

23. What was your favourite TV programme?
Steven Universe. I managed to catch up with season 3. I’m looking forward to watching season 4 as soon as I’m well enough.

24. Do you dislike anyone or anything now that you didn’t dislike this time last year?
Most people who are awful now were already awful. My PIP assessor and decision maker though I dislike for their blatantly wrong decision.

25. What was the best book you read?
Hard one. I liked The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making, and Feeder. I can’t remember enough of any of the books I read to decide on a favourite.

26. What was your greatest media discovery?
I didn’t watch any films this year, see any new TV shows, or listen to any new music. Do video games count? I liked watching Johan play Vostok Inc., but as he’s the QA guy he knows the game very very well. When I can hold a controller I’m wanting to play myself.

27. What did you want and get?
I got to see Sammie’s school play, which was amazing. I also got to see the Great North Run, which I’d been wanting to go to since I moved here (the route goes past about 15 minutes away).

28. What did you want and not get?
Baths in the care home. More showers. Despite many hints, no flowers from Johan 😛 I also had to give up my World of Warcraft subscription as I was too ill to play.

29. What was your favourite film of this year?
I’ve not seen any films this year, as have been too ill. I’m hoping to change that next year.

30. What did you do on your birthday?
Spoke to Sammie on video chat! Got awesome presents! Played with a light up balloon! Had cake a few days later.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not relapsing. It sucks.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?
Comfy, purple, penguin and cut up fleecy pyjama tops. Being able to put my fleece on and off by myself makes me happy, even if it does look weird and untidy.

33. What kept you sane?
The usual (Johan, Sammie, friends, penguins). Twitter. Pictures and videos of cute animals. Chocolate.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I can’t think of anyone. I do fancy a few people, but they’re not public figures.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Brexit and Trump. It seems every time I look it’s gotten worse.

36. Who do you miss?
Other than Sammie, Johan and my friends when I can’t talk to them, I’ve really missed Ron this year, especially when I’ve been feeling worse.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Online, probably Ellen (and Bilbo), though it’s very one sided (I follow them, but I have had a note when buying things). The only notable person I can think of who I met offline was Sammie’s favourite teacher at middle school. Some of the care workers from the new care agency are also awesome.

38. What was the best thing you ate?
Johan’s potatoes were even better this year. So them.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017?
Do things you want when you can, as there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to do them in the future. Also, Tories are evil.

40. A quote that sums up your year:
“Braaaaains.” – me in zombie brain fog mode. Which is most of the time.

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