New Year, No New Goals

It’s a little belated, but Happy New Year! The Bloke and I celebrated by indulging in a slightly more healthy set of snacky treats than the cheese and Toblerone apocalypse that was Christmas, watching Stardust for the bajillionth time followed by broadcast of the fireworks from the bank of the Thames and the London Eye, after which we went to bed. 

Party animals, we are not. Even now, at the rather spring-chicken-esque age of 37, I think it’s safe to say that my days of throwing on a dress the size of a tea towel and strutting my stuff around a heaving nightclub in a pair of heels that would make my feet hurt for a week are long gone – even the mere thought it sends me running upstairs to find my comfy jammies and slippers.  Continue reading

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Reflections On a Challenging Year

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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.

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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 http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks

A Brand New Me?

ImageI had a post already finished and saved for the end of the year. I had spent hours creating it, reviewing the events of the last twelve months, setting targets, thanking people and creating resolutions in which I would commit to becoming a brand new me.

There’s nothing new about this: every year I make myself the same promises to improve myself. I always start positively, excited about the potential of what the new year brings. However, after a few weeks, inadvertently, life gets in the way, and I find myself falling back into old habits. This is then made far worse that I mentally chastise myself for not completing something, which leads to a negative feeling about the start of the year.

There are lots of things that I’m sure are frustrating about me.

  • I’m the queen of procrastination and if I can find a way to create a shortcut I will use it.
  • I repeat myself.
  • I bore my friends and family with knowledge of pointless facts and information about celebrities.
  • When a song that I adore is played in public I have a habit of singing along loudly to it.
  • I sometimes don’t think before speaking and have had to explain myself after accidentally offending someone.
  • I am useless at replying to text messages and missed phonecalls, and I always forget my friends birthdays.
  • I hate washing up and so The Bloke has to do it.
  • I can sometimes be extremely negative, get stressed easily and have to work hard to control my temper.
  • I’m messy and disorganised.
  • I am incapable of doing anything in moderation.
  • I change my mind a million times a day.
  • I worry about silly things.
  • I am hopeless at saving money.
  • I have a nasty addiction to all foods that are bad for me, eat enormous quantities of it and then get upset when I can’t fit into my favourite items of clothing.
  • I can’t stand adverts in between television programmes and will channel hop for hours.
  • I make plans and later have a lack of motivation to follow them through.

I’m glad I do all these things. I’ve worked hard to get to this point and they are all part of what makes me… me.

I like me, and the people that I care about do as well (at least, I hope they do). I can look at myself in the mirror at the end of each day and know that I have done my best, and in my opinion that’s all that matters.

I’d love to be a thinner me, a richer me, a more intelligent me – I think most of us would. However, my hope for 2014 is that I am a happy me.

I was reminded of this song the other day by my bloggy friend, Kaela, which I thought would be appropriate to share at the point.

I hope you have a happy you, too! Happy New Year!

Written in response to the Daily Prompt.

Image credit: pinkchocolatebreak.com
Video credit: Pharrell Williams

What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

Whenever I hear this question, I always think of this song. My favourite version is this one, performed by Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Zooey uploaded to her YouTube channel in 2011 and it has received millions of views since.

When I was in my late teens and early 20’s, I spent New Year working in a nightclub. I supervised several of the bars and my shift would generally start at 7.00pm and finish at 5.00am the next day. It was hot, loud, ridiculously busy and I absolutely loved it. I got a buzz from the atmosphere, the music and the dancing – it was almost as if I were being paid to have my own little night out.

However, there seemed to be a point in my mid-twenties where my body and mind started to shudder at the thought of leaving the house on New Year’s Eve. For many years, when I was generally single, I developed my own little tradition – I would have a long bath, put on some clean jammies and I would spend the whole evening watching my Sex and the City DVD’s and drinking cheap alcohol until I fell asleep. I have no idea why I was single – surely most men would jump at the chance to spend their evening with a (rather drunk) northern, pyjama wearing numpty???

The Bloke and I haven’t been out for New Year’s Eve during our entire relationship. He doesn’t drink and we both are agreed in the fact that it is too busy, crowded and expensive, with little chance of getting to the bar, finding a seat or managing to get a taxi home, so we generally stay in with a film, the cats and an assortment of snacky treats. I did go to a karaoke party a few years ago, and I had fun, but I returned horribly drunk and spent the rest of the evening vomiting, which isn’t something that I am keen to repeat…

I sound so old…

What are your plans for New Years Eve?

You can also find me on Twitter @Suzie81blog