New Year’s Quiz 2013

Six years doing this year-end recap thanks to Sundry’s inspiration! I’m purposefully not reading last year’s because I cringe just thinking about the enormously screwed up headspace I was in.

Let’s do this thing. With bonus gifs because I do what I want, Thor.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

I got divorced!


It was official in April, but I’d been on my own since the first week of November, 2012. I can’t say that the process itself was fun, but I can say that it was necessary and ultimately the best possible solution for every party involved. It took a while for me to believe that it was the best thing for the kids, because hurting your own children — even when it’s not your fault —is the worst feeling ever. But as I healed and became a better me, a more present me, I knew it was the best thing for them. And they love the time they spend with their dad. I can’t speak for him, but I think he’s also able to be more present with them when they’re with him now.

I quit drinking coffee too. Not recommended. Unless you have insomnia and anxiety, in which case, highly recommended!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?


I think my resolution was probably to write more, in which case, nope. I haven’t blogged much and I almost finished revising my manuscript in the early fall and then dropped it yet again. This time I’m much closer to being done though, so maybe I will get the damn thing finished this year so I can do something with it other than agonize about how much I hate writing a book.



This year I just want to keep being the best me I can be. And that sounds like a nursery rhyme but I mean it. Basic health stuff, you know? Checking in with myself emotionally. Working out with a little bit of frequency. Eating better than I do right now would be nice. Continuing to go to bed at a decent time will keep helping. Dating dudes would also be a plus. I miss me some dudes.

And maybe I should recognize that while I’m not writing fiction or attending to my blog, I am researching and writing dozens of articles a month and supporting my family doing so. Which is a thing.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

One of my dear college friends had a baby this fall and I got to hold him yesterday. Man, babies. They’re cute.

4. Did anyone close to you die?


5. What countries did you visit?

I didn’t visit any countries, but I did visit NYC. Which is like visiting a lot of countries.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

A social life. Considering I got a nervous tummy flutter just typing that, it’s definitely time that I worked on filing down that jagged edge of social anxiety.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

April was a suckfest of having my wisdom teeth out and getting the divorce finalized.
September was a suckfest of getting the flu and that ulcer thing.

December was glorious with super fun family travel and an exceptionally nice Christmas.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

My biggest achievement was moving out of surviving mode into living mode. I think anyone who has gone through a traumatic life event can relate to this. At some point I stopped measuring my success. I stopped counting how many hours I’d gone without crying. I stopped counting how many days I’d gone without having a panic attack.

I started enjoying my days and the tidal rhythm of life.

Considering where I started, this is a huge achievement and I’m really happy to be where I am right now.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Screw this question. I FAIL AT NOTHING.

I did go visit friends while accidentally wearing two different shoes yesterday though. Which wasn’t so much failing as just being me.


10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had a pretty iffy year, health-wise, though nothing was super devastating. I had a couple of sinus infections, strep throat, my wisdom teeth out, my ovarian cysts acted up (and are currently back, sigh) and I had that whole fun times endoscopy and ER visits on top of the flu. I feel good right now though, despite the ovary pain, and I hope that being more physically fit and less ultra stressed out will help me continue to be healthier in 2014.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

In the spring, we adopted Loki, a six-month-old terrier mix. I think he’s a Jack-a-poo (Jack Russel Poodle mix.) Ollie is so happy to have a little brother and they play together so well. I love seeing them run crazy circles around the big back yard. They cuddle together on their bed and major cuteness makes up for the fact that Loki is a major barkmonster.


I also got a memory foam mattress topper in the fall. Holy shit, you guys. It improved my neck pain and sleep so much. Every single time I get into bed I’m like THIS IS THE BEST BED EVER. It’s so great.


12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My kids have adapted so well to their new lifestyle. I’m just so proud of them both. Single parenting is challenging, but their companionship this year has enriched my life in ways I couldn’t imagine. They’re such cool dudes and they’ve really rolled with everything our lives have thrown at them.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

This is such a loaded question. I try not to let other people’s behavior depress me if I can manage that. Meh.

Almost everyone on House Hunters is appalling.

A few choice menfolks on have been appalling as well. I’m looking at you, 23-year-old dude who told me he was into “mature women.”


14. Where did most of your money go?

Rent, utilities, health insurance. (COBRA is not my best friend.)

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

  • Bulleted lists.
  • Obamacare.
  • Yardwork.
  • Organizing my garage and tools.
  • Sex.
  • Spray paint.
  • Crafting.
  • Going to NYC with my oldest son and my best friend.
  • Seeing Pink with my mom.
  • My best friend moving next door. Like, directly next door.
  • Twitter pals.
  • Riding SheiKra at Busch Gardens.
  • My mattress topper.
  • Nail polish. (I stopped biting my nails! Mostly!)
  • Makeup.
  • Hockey hockey hockey.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?

Roar, by Katy Perry. Shhh.


17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

  • happier or sadder? Happier
  • thinner or fatter? The same? I guess, but my pants are saggy cause Barre3 actually did reshape my “seat” apparently.
  • richer or poorer? Poorer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

[Edited to add: Reading.]

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying. But I think I’m getting better at this, in baby steps.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

I spent Christmas with my parents and siblings and kids and cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. I’m not religious and I don’t drop the B word often but I am truly so blessed to have the family that I have and the opportunity to raise my kids with so much help.

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?


22. What was your favorite TV program?

I got rid of cable this fall, so I’ve been watching way less TV. But I enjoy American Horror Story: Coven, Game of Thrones, Top Chef and Teen Wolf. I also watched approximately 340 episodes of House Hunters. I find it so soothing and hilarious.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Nope. I teach my children that hate is a bad word and I really try not to cultivate anything that even feels close to hate, because dude.


24. What was the best book you read?

I am really embarrassed at how little I’ve read this year. I can’t even think of something I’d list as the best book I’ve read this year. Maybe I should hastily add a New Year’s Resolution or two.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I don’t think I really had any big musical discoveries in 2013, but I really enjoyed seeing Fitz and the Tantrums and Two Door Cinema Club at the Coastline Music Festival.

26. What did you want and get?

Some grownup fun times. As brief as that stint was, it was, uh, restorative.


27. What did you want and not get?

Financial stability — which isn’t really something you get when you’re a full time freelancer. That being said, being enrolled under the Affordable Care Act will really help me keep my family’s finances and health costs more predictable. I’m insanely grateful for the opportunity to get affordable, comprehensive health care.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I hardly ever go to the movies. I feel like there must have been some things I liked but nothing is coming to mind. I recently liked The Hobbit and Frozen.

I’m a little concerned that I can’t think of any other movies I saw this year.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 33 and I can’t remember what I did, so I assume it was nothing.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

This is another goofy question. You could answer it with anything. An endless supply of pear Jelly Bellies! A portal to travel through space and time! Nine billion dollars! Nothing reasonable would make life immeasurably more satisfying.

And the things you think you want aren’t without complications of their own.

I’m satisfied with my life right now.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Same old jeans and tank tops for the most part. But I’ve been wearing makeup more often and I do my hair once in a while. I’m so happy it’s finally long. Please no one ever let me cut it all off again.

32. What kept you sane?

  • My mom.
  • My friends.
  • Snacks.
  • My therapist.
  • Getting things in the mail.
  • Texting and instant messaging with my lady friends.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Jeez probably still Dylan O’Brien. Tom Hiddleston is a close second though.


34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Gay marriage, women’s reproductive rights.

35. Who did you miss?

I don’t miss the individual I was married to, but there are many times that I miss the life I thought I’d be leading.


When my kids come home from school with cute drawings or behavior notes, I want to turn to my co-parent and share the ups and downs of the children we made. That kind of stuff.

I miss the casual intimacy of love and the comfort of companionship. But I’ve missed those things for so long that it’s not a stabbing ache as much as a reminder that love is not impossible and the future is very unknown.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

They aren’t new people but I’m incredibly grateful for the team of women I work with. My editors are brilliant and compassionate and I wish I could teleport to meet them and work alongside them. I love the freedom of my freelance schedule but I miss a good old-fashioned in-person brainstorm or a long lunch on a Friday.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.

Having jumper cables is not the same as knowing how jumper cables work.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

It’s a little heavy-handed on paper, but I love the Lumineer’s lyric, “It’s better to feel pain than nothing it at all.”

My year hasn’t been summed up by pain, not by any means. But I’m an emotional woman. I overreact, I fly off the handle. I could list a lot of negative things about the way I feel my feelings, but I won’t. Because I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t experience things at eleven and a half. And I’m glad I’m me.

us boys moose chipmunk


  1. This was awesome. Tummy flutters are good. Go 2014!

  2. I’m pretty sure you win this whole year for adding gifs to this post. Woo!

  3. “I’m an emotional woman. I overreact, I fly off the handle. I could list a lot of negative things about the way I feel my feelings, but I won’t. Because I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t experience things at eleven and a half. And I’m glad I’m me.”

    Your words, lady! I’m so glad for them.

    Here’s to 2014 kicking so much ass. I have a good feeling.

  4. So, look. This is either maybe something I should shut up about, or something that you should be told:

    There were many, many times in 2013 (like, at least once a month, but probably more like twice a month) where you’d tweet something and I’d just stop and be like, “Damn, she is doing so great” with a little bit of shock (that’s the part that I don’t want to offend you)– shock because I was just such a fucking wreck after my divorce, I swear it took me like five actual years to get my shit really together and be who I am.

    And here you are, barely a year later (and had your shit together way before that) and are healthy in all the ways. Plus lookin’ smokin’ hot, bein’ a righteously awesome mom, supporting the shit out of your little family, and it’s just… It’s Wow, Maria. Super wow. You really know how to Get Shit Done. I’m very proud of you, in whatever way creeps you out the least.

    • Maria Melee says:

      Aw man I want to print this out and stick it on my corkboard. High school style.

      Thanks so much for saying this.

      Things were epically shitty for a while there, but I think part of getting better was that things were so unbelievably bad BEFORE my marriage exploded in my face. Being single became a license to get better sooner than I think it would have if I’d been leaving a happy relationship.

  5. 1. Pear Jelly Bellies are the shit!
    2. Your jumper cables line made me laugh out loud.
    3. As different as our lives are, we have some similarities in there that I can empathize with deeply.
    4. It’s good to see your smile.

  6. Debbie A-H says:

    I have missed your blog this year, but I completely understand why you needed some break from it. I wish you so much good in the coming year. And you can have my pear jelly bellies–it is the only flavor I hate! (Well, that’s a lie. I also hate the black licorce ones.)

  7. I would like to have you over for pear jelly bellies and House Hunters and makeup and we can dance around and sing Roar at the top of our lungs (I picked that song for this year too!)

    I hope you have a fantastic 2014 Maria. ROAR.

  8. Oh I love reading everybody’s New Year’s memes. The inclusion of GIFs made yours even better. 🙂

  9. I love this, and oh man- you are stunning and so are your children!!


  10. This feels really weird to say, so I hope it comes off the right way, but it is so inspiring to see you just owning your life. You have a well of strength that I just admire so, so much, and while I hope so much for you that you get to stop calling on it, it’s also inspiring to see.

    Also? EXCELLENT gif selection. Perfecto.

    Here’s to 2014, another year you’re going to just be amazing.

  11. You are so sinfully foxy in so many ways.

    You make me proud!

  12. Came over from Avitable’s site…glad to see things are better (even if I’m late in realizing it).


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