1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
Became a Product Manager. Went to New Zealand. Played the general of an army in a massive (>500-a-side) LARP battle.

2. Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I determinedly made no new years' resolutions last year, as usual. This year I'm kind of tempted, but what I want to do is generically Do Better - stay hydrated, exercise more, take my medication correctly, eat less rubbish, be less randomly unkind and dishonest to people due to bad survival programming making me echo my surroundings / try to stay out of trouble.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Almost certainly. In fact I distinctly remember some babyposts and some general awwing. Not, you know, well enough to confidently name any of the parents or children, though. I'm pretty much reconciled to being a Bad Person when it comes to remembering tiny swarmlings.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
I lost a couple of grandparents. Going to my grandmother's funeral was more affecting than I thought it would be, even though she'd checked out some time ago; I think of her more now than I have done for a while.

5. What countries did you visit?
New Zealand, technically via the UAE and Australia although we didn't get out of the airport at either. Usually I also visit a variety of fantasy locations, but I think I actually only visited the Empire this year.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Basic competence at life maintenance tasks. I am also distinctly considering owning a house, as my savings aren't doing anything but gradually dwindling otherwise.

7. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I don't think any of them will. Despite the many awesome things that have happened, 2013 really feels like basically a non-event for me.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I'm not dead yet? I feel like this ought to be something about turning the company I work for in more of the direction I thought it should be going, but I'm not sure how much credit I can really take for that.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I basically totally disengaged from politics to save my sanity. I have a whole batch of terminally undelivered delivery here (it's now way out of date) and one batch I still need to get up the wherewithal to deliver. I'm thinking maybe I should just cut those ties altogether; I'm not convinced I'm that much help and while our local MP is awesome it's getting harder every day to defend the party as a whole.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
2013 was the Year of Perpetual Cold-Like Illness, which hasn't really helped with the whole finding-anything-meaningful thing. Not being able to breath properly causes (mild, but still irritating) depression-like symptoms in me, too.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A holiday to New Zealand. I mean, I caught a hideous noseplague on the way over and mostly concluded that I am still not good at holidays, but there was lots of nature and pretty things and ridiculously good food.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My grumpy cat face tells me 'everyone sucked', so I suspect the answer to this is 'everyone I interacted with, for putting up with me'.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Primarily? The government. And everyone who meekly went along with the 'benefit scroungers' line in any capacity.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent. Food. Spent a fair chunk of change on the holiday, although quite a lot of that was also accomodation and food.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I managed to get kind of excited about the holiday, and about the stuff I got to spearhead at work. See under 'illness', though.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
Songs kind of require a certain level of passion. If I had to pick it'd be something by Embrace - maybe Come Back To What You Know, or I Wouldn't Wanna Happen To You, or if I'm feeling particularly optimistic, The Good Will Out. (That is, uh, not quite as optimistic a song as the name suggests...)

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Probably sadder, but kind of less panicked and angry about it?
ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter. There was a lot of saying Fuck It and eating the pity chocolate / driving instead of walking this last year.
iii. richer or poorer? Richer. I still just don't spend this much money - hence thinking of housebuying in Cambridge, which should sort that problem out again for a while...

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Just drinking some water and getting on with it.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Being ill. Not that I could really control that. Eating chocolate. Beating myself up about the things I didn't do because I didn't have the energy.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent actual-Christmas on an Airbus coming home from NZ because the flight was, like, half-price. We will be doing postponed-Christmas with Nicholas' family this weekend, because his sister was working A+E over Christmas so she wasn't around either.

Question 21 has been eaten by wolves.

22. Did you fall in love in 2013?
I am still in love. It's quite nice. People continue to express surprise that it hasn't faded yet.

23. How many one-night stands?
I don't generally pull all-nighters any more... nor do I need more sex than my husband wants ;-)

24. What was your favorite TV program?
I hear some people still have time for television somehow. I guess they don't play so many computer games or read so much fanfiction.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I don't do much hating, but see under 'appalled and depressed'. Hating always seems like such a waste of time, though. I did a bit of it this year (to a target who had presented themselves some time earlier) and it was just useless and inconvenient.

26. What was the best book you read?
I can't remember things I read more than a month or so ago, but during the Great Holiday Reading Binge, Maddaddam stood head and shoulders above the rest.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Checking the added times on Spotify, musical discoveries (rather than re-discoveries) this year were Vanessa Carlton, Hollywood Undead, and lostprophets. Yes, that lostprophets. Yes, I still like their music. I even kind of find it makes some of it better, possibly because I'm a terrible person.

28. What did you want and get?
Food, shelter, warmth, friendship, some measure of influence on my surroundings, essentially everyone that most people ever aspire to in life. Damn you, human hedonic treadmill...

29. What did you want and not get?
The government not to be fucking awful and decide to screw over a large part of the population including many people I like (and there but for the grace of God go I).

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Loki 3. Because I am saddest of fangirls. I also liked Hobbit 2 for approximately the same reason, although it didn't stand up to re-watching whereas Loki 3 totally did.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I actually did something on my birthday (a small meal with friends), unusually. Normally it's at a LARP event and I don't really care. I am now at the embarrassing stage where I have to calculate my age - 2013 - 1985 is apparently 28.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I'd say 'ending up in a more senior position after the reorg' but I'm not actually convinced. The tide of opinion about the Lib Dems, or at least about public services and social welfare, changing would have been good?

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
'The same shit that I have been wearing for the past 10 years, with occasional drop-in replacements'

34. What kept you sane?
Basic human survival reflexes, I think. That human ability to ignore the suffering of others that are out of line of sight, particularly.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
it is totally socially acceptable to have a terrible Loki crush okay?

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The government's continued efforts to fuck up basic provision for the disabled. Although the Bedroom Tax, the demonising and trapping in a kafkaesque bureaucracy of all unemployed, the dismantling of the NHS, general horrific immigration-related rhetoric and abuse, and fracking all came pretty close runners-up.

37. Who did you miss?
A whole load of people. If I listed them I'd miss someone. I am in the enviable situation of having too many excellent people in my life to keep track of everyone at all times.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
I have trouble remembering when I met people, but James Bore from Empire deserves an honourary mention for keeping House Ezmara together against all the odds and generally being a decent human being.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
Everything which actually affects your catastrophic failure chances is totally out of your control, so concentrate on the things you can control to make your life (and by extention, everyone else's) better. (At least I hope I have learned this - I guess the coming year will be the proof.)

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
The sunshine of my life's been burned
And I didn't see the way

Swallow down your pride
It's wrong and I'll help you hide

There must be a time between the well meaning
When the good will come out and start the healing
You won't know how well you've played
Until you've won

And if at first you find you can't imagine
How good can heal
When you've got nothing worth healing
You won't know how well you're made
Until you're down and all you have is gone
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Michelle Taylor

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