As the back-to-work deadline looms, it’s utterly predictable that I am sat at my laptop blogging…
First of all, Happy New Year! I have to be honest – I’m (completely inexplicably) not a fan of odd numbers, which means I approach odd-numbered years with a slight sense of dread, and I also had an extraordinary 2014 (which I’m hugely thankful for and which has set the bar quite high). No pressure, 2015.
The Highs of 2014
Of course, it’s a time for looking back as well as looking forwards. Highlights of 2014 included marrying my wonderful husband on a sunny May day in London and then partying all over again on a balmy evening in Nicosia; our honeymoon travelling around Tuscany (eating and drinking like kings in beautiful villages like San Gimignano and Montepulciano); turning 30 with my fantastic friends and family; buying a little place with aforementioned husband; and landing more writing and editing work.
Those closest too me were healthy and mostly happy, lots of close friends got engaged, got married or started their families and there were new jobs too.
Well done, 2014. You really were spectacular.
And so I found myself feeling a tad melancholic on New Year’s Eve bidding goodbye to such an incredible year, especially as I contemplated the number of loved ones who have moved away from London or gone travelling in the past few months. My youngest sister is off around the world with her boyfriend, my youngest brother and his girlfriend are working in Dubai, my oldest friend moved to York, two moved to Switzerland, another to Singapore… people have set off to have adventures (which I’m thrilled about) but that does make it harder to see them (which makes me pretty sad).
The solution? More Skype, more FaceTime, more texts and more planning to get dates in the diary to see people when they’re around. With a shiny little car outside, 2015 will see lots of trips to see them!
The Resolutions (Skip if Too Dull)
Inevitably, I have made resolutions. Resolutions which I haven’t written in a diary (as I don’t keep one since I read my teenage missives years ago and threw them out in a fit of pique) and I haven’t shared them on Facebook either, because, well… I haven’t.
I did want to write them down though. So here they are:
1) Start Saying No
I am a people-pleaser by nature. I would rather say “yes” to something to please someone else and find I’m doing something I don’t really want to do/don’t have time to achieve/generally don’t enjoy, rather than say “no” and risk hurting their feelings.
As I type, I realise how ridiculous it is that, at the age of 30, I haven’t yet mastered this. But hey ho, I will now. My default answer to suggestions will now be, “Let me see – I’ll get back to you”, to sleep on it before making a decision and then send an answer the next day.
And it will be OK if that answer is “no”. It actually will.
2) Write More
Along with thousands of other bloggers, my plan is to write here more often. I posted a fairly unimpressive three posts in the second half of 2014… so the good news is, the only way is up(!)
I’d like to get into the habit of posting something at least every two weeks. Just for the pleasure of writing. So let’s see how well I fare… I’d also like to work on getting my translation work going.
3) Get in Shape
Yes, yes, I know, I know, and I’m sorry, but I do feel alarmingly unfit and out of shape. The plan is to get dancing and to get back to Pilates. I hate running and swimming is a faff. If I can dance once a week and do Pilates once a week, I’ll be happy. We’ll see.
As the eldest of five children, and a member of a very close family, I’d say I’m pretty hopeless at self-soothing, whether that means being happy in my own company or coming to terms with something by myself. I’d like to get better at that. Writing on my own I find extremely soothing, so that’s a start.
5) Improve my Greek
I started learning Greek last year. I’d like to continue learning and to make the time to actually commit what I learn to memory!
6) Learn to Cook More Dishes
I’m not a great cook. But I would like to at least be a decent one. One new recipe a week doesn’t seem ridiculously over-ambitious…
Wishes for 2015
My wishes are as follows, and appear in no particular order:
- I wish that my parents will be able to sell their house in order to buy their dream place
- I wish that my middle sister and my brother-in-law will be able to buy their new place near to us
- I wish that my husband and I get some lovely jobs this year
- I wish that my youngest brother and sister have amazing adventures but come home safe
- I wish that all my family and friends stay happy, healthy and active, and
- I wish to feel healthier and happier too.
So there you have it – a post for me, by me, as a yardstick to see how well I get on. Every New Year I make resolutions and every year, about three months in, I am beating myself up about failing to achieve them.
I’d like to rethink that process. I’d like to check back in with this post and all its good intentions and try to keep my expectations realistic.
January is not the easiest of months for most people, so I plan to make dates with friends and family, go to galleries, watch films, get cooking and keep warm.
Here’s to a very Happy New Year. May it bring you all you wish for.