Reflections On a Challenging Year


After the presents have been opened, all the food has been consumed and the parties have ended, many of us go through the process of reflection on the year that has passed and set ourselves targets and challenges for the next.

I decided a year ago that 2014 was going to be my year. This was the time where, after experiencing a very difficult time in 2013, there was going to be changes. There was indeed change – I lost my little friend who had been my constant companion for thirteen years, I was hospitalised for nearly a week and had to take five weeks off work to recover (which put a strain on my relationships with some of my colleagues and has affected my health permanently), our charlatan landlady decided to sell the house we had only moved into six months previously, forcing us to take out a loan and find somewhere very quickly while I was still recovering from my illness, The Bloke lost someone dear to him for the third time in three years and had to take on the extra strain and pressure of supporting me while I regained my strength, and my workload tripled.

However, it hasn’t been all bad – I was able to establish a better relationship with family members, my sister got married to a lovely man, my other sister met the man who I think she is going to end up with, and throughout I have been supported by the best group of friends that anybody could hope for.

My New Years Resolutions have followed the same pattern for the last few years and the resulting list will give an idea of how successful I have been in achieving these goals over the last twelve months:

1. Lose weight and get healthy. As I write I am the heaviest I have ever been. Ever. Seriously, ever. Things now wobble that aren’t supposed to wobble and have never wobbled before. A taxi driver asked me a few months ago when my baby was due and then proceeded to give me diet tips when I informed him that I wasn’t pregnant. I can’t fit into my sweat pants. Beautiful dresses that I wore a year ago now don’t go past my hips… However, I do exercise more – I jog sporadically. And by sporadically, I mean that I have been for a total of seven jogging sessions in the last twelve months, totalling about 20 miles. That’s less than three miles a month.

2. Stop smoking. While I don’t smoke anywhere near what I used to, I have been known to enjoy a cigarette or ten when I’m drinking. Or stressed. Or celebrating. Or walking to the bus stop.

3. Take the time to send birthday cards to my friends in other cities. Number of cards sent via post in the last year? One. My friends mean a lot to me and the good intentions are always there, but the execution is decidedly poor.

4. Take more care in my appearance. The last time I got my hair cut? Eighteen months ago. I haven’t really bothered wearing make up since my birthday in November. I spend the majority of my personal time dressed in hooded sweaters and jeans, very much like the teenage boys that I teach.

5. Save money. My current savings account does indeed have money in there: 0.47p. Genuinely. After a years worth of work on a good salary I have successfully managed to save a whole 47p. That should pay for a chocolate bar… Just.

6. Be more organised. I don’t even want to think about the stacks of papers and files I need to sort through. Or the washing that needs to be done. Or the… let’s just say that I have collected a lot of stuff, and it’s everywhere.

2014 was not a year of living, it was simply an existence – getting by from day to day in the hope that things would soon improve. The real truth is that certain aspects of my life in 2014 were not how I imagined my life, and indeed, who I, should be, and at the age of 33 now is the time to stop pretending that a mere existence is acceptable.

For 2015, I have decided that I will get rid of all of my previous superficial goals and replace them with just a single one: I am going to take the risk.


What about you guys? Have you any goals for 2015?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page

17 thoughts on “Reflections On a Challenging Year

  1. My goal is to get back to my high school weight and on the treadmill at least 5 days a week. The only diet plan that worked for me is the primal diet/lifestyle. Every thing worked better when I was on this diet and treadmilling regularly. Happy 2015 Suzie! I am very happy to have “met” you in 2014. πŸ™‚

  2. That’s a great thought for 2015. I like your Picard picture at the beginning – changes don’t happen because the calendar has changed, but because of changes you make yourself, and risks you choose to take. Wishing you a successful 2015. xx

  3. Too funny, I just downloaded that image today to use later this week πŸ™‚

    2014 for me was rocky from the start, and then by the time I was “normal” again, I was too busy to think about anything other than work, work, and work.

    I plan to focus on the positive, keep working to make the changes I should have made already, and leave the year behind πŸ™‚

  4. Hi Suzie,
    Thanks for sharing. Something that might help with your birthday and other cards you might want to send is to use a folder for each month of the year or get one of the 12 slot accordian folders and buy all your cards at once. Then just put your friends name and address on the envelope and drop it in the folder or slot for their birthday month. You can do this for anniversary, birthday or any other recurring event you want to remember. πŸ™‚ Best of luck.
    A few things I’m working on for the year are:
    -Drop another 20 pounds (weight not cash πŸ™‚
    -Pay off all credit card debt (plan is to only owe on my car at the end of the year)
    -Be a guest blogger somewhere (don’t have any place picked out yet)
    -Host a guest blogger once per quarter (this is an open invitation πŸ™‚
    -Read at least 5 things on my reading list. (I have waaaaay to many)

  5. Our lists are quite similar…
    1. Lose weight and get healthy. My version of it is get weight and get healthy. I need to start working out because now I have a sitting job and I need to start eating more.
    2. Stop smoking. I quit smoking 2 years ago but recently I attended a wedding and bought myself a pack of slim menthol Vogues. I thought I had deserved it- tasted like nafta! But i smoked them all over the last 3 weeks. I’m off the fags now again, but craving πŸ™‚
    3. I made a list yesterday of all the upcoming birthdays I need to get cards for. Check.
    4. Appearance. I haven’t had a haircut in 13 months. And I also promised myself to become more girlie in 2015. sigh… difficult seeing as I really dislike shopping…and my wardrobe holds mostly black longsleeve tops and jeans.
    5. Rather than saving money… I think I need to get a loan to sort out a house. In the end that’s what matters, isn’t it? Once you have a roof over your head and smth to eat, we’re rollin’ !
    6. as for being organised… I never have been and never will be! Life’s too short for this! πŸ˜€

    I wish you all the best at reaching your goals… Let’s do this!!!

  6. You’ve opened your heart on this one, though you’ve mentioned nearly everything in earlier posts. But this one lays it all out like an enormous contract. I feel your pain, genuine and acute, and wish you well as you put yourself back together. Remember that the mirror shows the opposite of who you are and the person you like is always inside of you. Best to you in 2015, Suzie.

  7. Great post Suzie and I love the message of taking a chance. I don’t do this enough. In addition to my surfing goal of being able to pop – up I’m adopting Nike’s mantra – ‘just do-it’ – not just in the gym but life in general. Actions speak louder than words so I’m instead of talking about doing things I’m just doing them! All the best with your resolutions and a happy 2015 πŸ™‚

  8. I really appreciate the honesty in this post! I have stayed away from Facebook lately because I am sick of all the “perfect” holiday photos and such. No one’s life is perfect, we should embrace the messiness of it and admit when things aren’t exactly as they seem. The truth is, it’s okay to not have it all together. Thanks so much!

  9. I too had very high hopes for 2014, comparing to the miserable end I had to 2013. Needless to say things didn’t work out exactly the way I thought they would, and while there is a slight tinge of sadness as 2014 ends, there is also hope. I’ll be thinking about my new years resolutions tomorrow – I’m going to try and pick something achievable for a change!

  10. I gave up on resolutions years ago. This year I hope to set some clear goals. What goals? I’m not sure yet. I just hope to come up with something….really soon!

    Being someone who does not take risks, I think that’s a great goal! For me, that’s a scary prospect but I do like to challenge myself at times. I guess that’s taking risks, right?

    Good luck!

  11. Happy New Year, Happy New You, Suzie.

    My New Year’s resolution for 2014 was to start a blog. Yep, I achieved that and have continued to do so despite passing many abandoned blogs along the way. For 2015 I need to get myself on more Social Media. Twitter has worked for me (with lots of thanks to you for #Sundayblogshare) but I’ve never got around to any of the others. I don’t know why, but the thought just scares me for some reason?

    I need to lose wight as well, but I’m holding off until at least June when the weather is warmer and I’ll have far more chance of achieving my goal. It’s not too cold to try and lose weight in January…brrr!

    I’m also going to ask for some guest bloggers. I had my first this month and it did very well. Can I tempt you? πŸ™‚

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