As the year is coming to an end, I can’t help but reflect on the time that has passed and wonder if it has been as good as I would have liked. 2014 was a bit of a struggle for me. No, nothing dramatic happened. I started a new job and eventually became quite ‘settled’, for want of a better word. As I became more involved and present with my life here, I felt a pang of sadness at the life I left behind in London — new experiences, new people, and possibly the love of my life.
But things happen and life doesn’t always turn out how you’d like it to. I think that’s been my biggest lesson this year. Life isn’t how you want it, and it will still go on without you. You just gotta keep going with it and make the best of what you’ve got. It’s nothing profound, but a lesson I’ve had time and time again.
Anyway, let’s move onto my goals for 2014 shall we? I mean, before I even go through them I can tell it’s been a bit of a bust. If I were to rate my year based off goals achieved it would be quite miserable, but I am a (sometimes) sensible woman and I realise that my year’s been pretty good despite having some goals go unachieved.
Holiday in Japan
My Younger Sister is currently studying in Tokyo, Japan (I’d say she was lucky, but I know she worked really hard for it). She suggested a family holiday once her school year was over. I’m not sure how The Parents feel about an overseas trip, but I’m excited at the opportunity to visit another country. Hello Japan!
After some discussion and consideration, I decided that I would need to delay a trip to Japan this year in order to go on a trip to the US and visit my Paternal Grandparents instead. It’s not exactly what I had planned, but things happen and my pennies went towards a trip to see family in LA instead.
Although it was dire circumstances that brought me to LA, my relatives were nothing short of kind, generous, and keen to involve Dad and myself in their lives and show us around town. It was strange meeting my relatives for the first time and to meet cousins I never knew existed. And it was sad to think it was the last time I’d ever see my Paternal Grandpa. But it was a good experience overall, and I can only hope better circumstances bring me back for another visit in future.
Drink at least 2 glasses of water a day
Sounds like a no-brainer, but I’ll let you in on a secret. I barely drink one glass of water a day. Coffee is my liquid of choice. I can hear my inner coffee-addict saying, “but coffee…” I will still have coffee, don’t worry, but I will also drink some water. Or try to at least.
Well, I sort-of tried with this one. There were days I remembered and fulfilled my self-imposed requirement, and days I forgot and didn’t even look at the stuff. Overall, it’s an improvement and I’m hoping to continue this trend in future *sips from glass of water*
Start and finish the C25k app Program
I downloaded the ‘Couch to 5k’ app on my phone last year and started the first two sessions, but then stopped because I couldn’t be bothered continuing. Something about running in the backyard or the dismal park near my house was kind of un-motivating (I miss walking/running through London’s Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens). But I need to suck it up. I am not fit, and I want to be. End of story.
I didn’t even start. What more can I say? Better luck next year.
De-clutter the House
My parents are hoarders. Seriously. Why do we need three bags of a dozen pairs of slippers? Truth be told, I can be just as bad. All the clothes and shoes I’ve bought but never worn. All the books I rescued from second-hand stores and never read but kept because I like having a jam-packed bookshelf. This has got to stop. Although I’ve already sorted through and donated my unwanted items to charity, I think it’s time for another round. Or ten.
I actually made progress with this (yes, I am genuinely surprised at myself). After putting it off for months, I stuffed my unwanted clothing, bags and shoes into boxes and loaded up Chiswick (my car) and headed off to my local charity store to drop them off. And man did it feel good. There might not be a noticeable difference as I glance over the living room now and see so many of my clothes strewn across chairs and folded in piles on the floor, but I can assure you the house is on its way to being de-cluttered (although I could do with another round of clearing out).
Buy more handmade and second-hand/vintage
I know I just mentioned de-cluttering the house, but I want to clear it out to fill it instead with some much-needed furniture and decor. I love a good browse and shop at IKEA as much as the next person, but lately I’ve started to appreciate all the vintage or second-hand bits and pieces people seem to effortlessly fuse into their homes or upcycle. I’ve also been doing some more browsing through Etsy lately too. I’m obsessed. I’d love to be able to support independent artists and reduce the amount of rubbish we send to the tip!
Well, I had every intention of buying more handmade and second-hand, but it never really translated into reality. I bought a typography print off Etsy, which I love. It’s hanging on my shelfie wall. But apart from that, I’ve done a lot more shopping through big, well-established brands/stores. I don’t regret my purchases, but I do know that if I put a bit more effort into my shopping I could be supporting independent and local artists, as well as have one-of-a-kind finds.
On the plus side, I have been doing some scavenging to find things to decorate the house with. When Super Boy and I explored Newcastle City, we came across a fallen branch which had interesting leaves and flowers which we helped ourselves to, and now they form part of my decor. Pretty nifty (and thrifty) if you ask me!
Finish Family Gallery
I bought a few random photo frames (from IKEA!) with the idea of turning the large blank wall in the hallway into a family gallery. It’s taken more time and effort than I thought. Who knew that choosing photos and hanging them up was hard work? It’s about one-third complete. I actually ran out of photo frames. But I will get some more and finish this project. And once that’s done, I might even do this for a space upstairs as well.
Oh my gosh I am so close to doing this! I cannot believe how hard it is to find a suitable hallway table. My kingdom for a black hallway table! Seriously, where did they all go? Anyway, I just need to scan and print a few more photos before it’ll look complete, but I’m quite chuffed with how it’s going. My Mum gets a laugh every time she sees a particular photo of my Younger Sister as a kid, and honestly, that is rewarding enough.
Finish Knitting a Throw/Blanket
While I was unemployed, I took up knitting again. And I became addicted again. I used to knit lots of scarves, which seems quite redundant if you know what an Australian winter can be like. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed it. After knitting a multi-coloured (first time ever!) infinity scarf for my Younger Sister, I bought more yarn and started to knit a throw/blanket to be used during the cooler weather when lazing on the couch. I’m hoping to finish it before winter sets in.
I lost motivation for this project halfway through the year. Perhaps a knitted blanket was too big a project for me to start with. I’ve downsized to making a big scarf instead, and that seems to be progressing well considering I don’t spend all my spare time knitting. It’s about 140cm long at the moment, but after I knit two more skeins of yarn to it, it should be the perfect length. It won’t be finished before the end of the year, but I’m excited and glad that I’ll be finishing this project very soon. Then, hopefully, I can start making stuff with the chunky yarn that I’ve been eyeing online.
So that’s a wrap for my goals of 2014. I guess I partly achieved some and blatantly failed others, but all in all, it has been a good year for me. It’s nice to take a look back on these goals, but I’m getting pretty excited about setting new goals for the year ahead!
What about you guys? Did you set goals this year? If so, did you manage to do better than I did? And if not, will you be thinking about setting goals for the new year?