This Year’s Life

Facts, figures, lists. How I love them! No matter how I add them up, they equal 2014.

Around Christmas, my FitBit stats were as follows:

  1. Sat through a 2.5-hour Hobbit movie
  2. Sat at my desk
  3. Curled into a depressive, fetal ball in bed
  4. Stood in front of the fridge eating a chicken leg
  5. Walked downstairs every day at 4:30 a.m. to move the Elf
  6. Stumbled around Target, looking for husband’s present
  7. Sat in my car, crying
  8. Clicked links
  9. Played Wii bowling

Rather fantastic, no? I think crying burns calories, as does moving my arm to eat the chicken leg. Emotionally, it was liberating, eating that chicken leg in front of the fridge like a barbarian, though I don’t know if barbarians had fridges, so perhaps I am culturally stereotyping them.

But that was just one lonely week. I thought I would tally all my figures from 2014. See if I could make sense of this year’s life.

The Profession

  • Books written this year: ½
  • Books on submission: 1
  • Offers: 0
  • Manuscripts cannibalized to make another manuscript: 2
  • Blog entries: 22
  • Journal entries in the book in my nightstand: 49
  • Full-time jobs I was offered that I didn’t even want: 0
  • Permanent freelance gigs lost: 1
  • Permanent freelance gigs won: 1
  • Conference calls where I: 1) called in, 2) announced myself, 3) pressed Mute, 4) put down phone: 4
  • Money earned from anything remotely related to writing: $0
  • Money earned from editing other people’s books: All of it
  • Satisfaction level from career pursuit: -987
  • Satisfaction level from correcting other people: +1


  • Elderly men who tried to lure me into getting into the same revolving door compartment that they were in: 1
  • DILFs I wanted this summer at the community pool: 6. What? Delicious Icy Lemon Freezies
  • Grizzled losers who told me how no one at work was as smart as them: 2
  • Epaulets on any given shirt belonging to my husband: 2
  • Discussions with husband about epaulets: 500
  • Monologues I’ve sat through from husband about Trotsky’s epaulets: 10
  • Photos of husband wearing pink-and-white-striped shirt called “Cabana Boy”: 31
  • Times husband was asked if he was a member of the Kingston Trio while wearing “Cabana Boy”: 12
  • Epaulets I cut off otherwise nice olive drab men’s shirt: 2
  • Dances shared with husband: 0, because dancing is stupid
  • Old boyfriends who resurfaced by emailing me after 20+ years: 2
  • Old boyfriends who resurfaced by emailing me unpsychotic messages after 20+ years: 1
  • Dudes half my age that I checked out: 208
  • Dudes of any age who checked me out: 5
  • Dudes who I thought were checking me out but were actually looking at someone younger behind me: 4
  • Dudes who checked me out that were not trying to lure me into the same revolving door compartment that they were in: 1


  • Rage blackouts I had while driving behind cars with stuffed animals in their rear windshields: 8
  • Rap feuds I began while sitting behind a car that did not pull up fast enough in the Starbucks drive-thru line: 3
  • Eminem lyrics I wrote while stuck in traffic on I-94: 27
  • Bruised hands from pounding my fists on the steering wheel: 2
  • Nights I’ve driven to Target, talking to myself like Matthew McConaughey: 13


  • Gray hairs: 6
  • Makeup that changed my life: 0
  • Makeup that will change my life: undetermined
  • Number of lipsticks I blend together to replicate the natural hue of my lips: 3
  • Shades of brown eyeshadow that I own: 15
  • Pounds gained: 4
  • Pounds lost: 4
  • Days ruined by number on scale: 100+
  • Number of scales I now own: 0
  • Pretty dresses purchased: 3
  • Hideous dresses purchased: 3
  • Pairs of ugly Old Navy shorts I ironed while crying in the basement: 1
  • V-neck t-shirts accidentally worn backward: 1
  • Sweatpants: 1 (don’t need more than 1 when 1 is my soulmate)
  • Sexy sandals: 4 pairs
  • Sexy sandals that in reality are flip-flops/Birkenstocks: 3 pairs
  • Scarves: infinity
  • Times I’ve been in denial about the size of underwear that fits me: 7
  • Amount of perfect-fitting bras I found in the irregular bin at TJ Maxx: 1
  • Times I’ve worn white socks/brown shoes/black sweatpants combo or Uggs/sweatpants combo: 25
  • Running shoes: 1 pair
  • Running shoes worn not for running but for walking to Walgreen’s to buy candy: 1 pair
  • Prescriptions for Lexapro: 1
  • Actual number of Lexapro pills consumed: 1
  • Underground zits currently gathering strength: 2
  • Tears shed over stupid shit that doesn’t matter: zillions

The Family

  • Times I walked Dad (over the phone) through mundane household tasks, such as changing bed sheets: 3
  • Cookies Dad returned to Costco: 1 tray (flavorless)
  • Rotisserie chickens Dad returned to Giant Eagle: 1 (dry)
  • Pork chops Dad returned to Heinen’s, grilled but put back in packaging: 2 (inedible)
  • Peaches Dad returned to Heinen’s: ¼ (mealy)
  • Episodes of Dad crying on phone: 5
  • Times I was able to help him feel better: 0
  • Assorted family batshit emails: 6
  • Margaritas shared with siblings: 4 pitchers
  • Dogs that died: 1
  • Arguments with Dad about how to activate a gift card: 2
  • Conference calls with family members about assisted living facility: 1
  • Emails about assisted living facility: 7 or 70
  • Thoughts about assisted living facility: 300+


  • People who have thanked me for my understanding: 5
  • People that I actually understand: 0
  • Times I bought a book that was a number-one bestseller: 1
  • Times that book was the D&D Player’s Handbook: 1
  • Nights I’ve been drunk drunk: 1
  • Nights I’ve been a charming drunk: 6
  • Times I’ve been told by others that I am a charming drunk: 0
  • Dreams deferred: 1
  • Career derailed: 1
  • Groupons expired: all
  • Miles walked: 1,095
  • Miles paced: 1,095
  • Miles to go before I sleep: undetermined, if sleep is a metaphor for death; otherwise, zero
  • Resolution for 2015: Fear everything



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