Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Thoughts for 2014

Happy new year!

I have had a great holiday period, enhanced by the fact my parents were over from the UK and it was my first Australian, summertime Christmas. And also my first Christmas on a boat, which was lovely, but weird. I have had lots of time to reflect as we spent a week with intermittent 3G (imagine!) and I properly unwound for the first time in months (possibly since emigrating) and let my mind wander without boundaries.

Our boat for Christmas week - Hannah-Joy

The result of this is some new goals and plans for 2014. I won’t call them resolutions because, from experience, labelling them as such dooms them to failure before Easter. These are more guidelines and amendments for the way I want to be going forward and are also influenced by the fact I turned 35 on New Year’s Eve.

It is not so much the ‘being 35’ that bothers me but the fact I am now only 5 years off 40 and 15 off 50. My life seems to be sliding away too fast and I guess this sadistic peering round the corner at the next big milestones has made me feel a little rattled by the fact that I have somehow reached 35 about 10 minutes after my 25th birthday. Or at least, that’s how it feels.

So, throughout this year (but not by any particular defining dates) I want to slowly get fitter, eat cleaner, move more and become more tolerant of stupid people. Of all of these things the last one, for me, will be the biggest challenge.

I came to the conclusion that these are the areas I want to focus on to make me a better person after reflecting on the things I do well and the things I don’t do well at, a summary of which is as follows...

Things I believe I am good at:

Correspondence – I always return calls, emails, letters, communications of any kind. I often instigate the sending of the same, even when I know I am sending them into a non-responsive vacuum (which kind of baffles me). I have a busy life but I always reply to things because people matter and making time to reply to anything that someone has bothered to send me is not a chore, it’s just polite. I would like to be less upset about it this year when people just don’t respond to things cos that’s a reflection on them rather than on me (and anyway it’s physically impossible to actually respond to anything ever when you have kids so that’s a handy caveat to employ as reasoning most of the time). 

Cooking – man do I love to cook. One of my favourite things in life is seeing how happy my cooking makes my husband, friends and family. I was over the moon when my mother in law sent me a birthday text which also said she was craving one of my pad thai dishes! I want to learn to cook more ‘clean’ things though, living in a country with such an abundance of fantastic fresh produce is inspiring this and I also want to pick my quorn blog (which is quite flatteringly now pinned all over pinterest!) back up again and develop it further.

Talking and listening – I know I can usually get my message across in any situation and if you put me in a room with a total stranger I won’t find the situation distressing. I am always capable of filling/bridging awkward silences. I pretty much talk for a living as a project manager – with clients, departments, colleagues and partners and I love it. I don’t want to change this at all.

Things I believe I am not very good at:

Tolerating idiots – this is why I definitely made the right decision in not doing my teacher training. I mentally find it such a massive battle to have patience with people who don’t grasp concepts, ideas or just sentences quickly or need to live their life through a drama filter. This is getting worse as I get older and have to bite my tongue every time a ranting doofus pipes up on social media; hell, Facebook in particular is a stream of ranting idiots these days, a pestilent, semi-literate, Jeremy Kyle-esque, flow of continuous ranting status updates - usually just vague enough to provoke lots of similarly malignant responses from other drama whores. Going forward I will hide/cull more of such tosspots and not worry so much about them realising I have done so.   

Enjoying exercise – although I am getting better at this, largely thanks to Zumba and living in a country where I spend far more time outside. I still detest running (despite a brief and godawful flirtation with it last year) and this year it’s all about walking more (better for my knees) and keeping up the Zumba sessions. I also want to start swimming seeing as the sea is virtually on my doorstep and very warm at this time of year. The shark issue I am pushing firmly to the back of my mind.

Fashion – yep, there you go. I am a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, always have been. I feel like a complete tool usually when I wear anything other than these kind of things and usually this doesn’t bother me but I would like to maybe evolve into someone who actually has a defined and less tomboyish ‘look’ and maybe learn not to hate clothes shopping quite so much. At the moment the fact that I work somewhere that I don’t have to wear business dress is causing me issues as my home and work wardrobe are now one and the same – whilst this has it’s perks (I don’t have to engage brain in a morning) it also has downsides. Namely, that I feel very conscious about my lack of any kind of fashion sense. I probably shouldn’t care but I do so I figure I should maybe set myself the challenge of trying to change this.

So, these are the things I am going to try and work on over the coming months. There are other things too – some potential professional/career related ambitions and a general promise to myself to read more books and less Digg on the tram (but that site is SO addictive!). I will no doubt be back to update on these various intentions soon and I have also not abandoned the #100books challenge (it's just that the new Donna Tartt came out and I got a bit derailed!).

I am currently sat on my porch after work, in the sunshine with a cup of tea so all in all things are not going too badly this year - long may this continue!