2013 Resolutions

As you’ve probably gathered, I have never been so happy to kiss goodbye to a year as I was as 2012 ticked into 2013. I know resolutions divide opinion and of the blogs I read, it seems to be pretty evenly split by haters and hopers. Personally, I never reflect and mull (get it!) more than I do over the festive December period. I think it’s a combination of being around loved-ones and family, the kind messages scribbled into Christmas cards, spending time back in the house and town I grew up in… oh and the fact I am drunk at some point most days. This means that when December 31st comes around, I couldn’t be in a better position to really give myself a shake and think about what I want from the year ahead.

They are probably of way more interest to me than anyone else, but I feel if I put them out for the world-wide-world to see, then perhaps I’m more likely to achieve them.

2013

2013 New Years Resolutions

01. Read 51 books: In typical fashion, after basking in my 50-book reading challenge victory for about ten minutes, I decided it had to be upped to 51 for this year. So far, so good, and I am on book number two. I’m currently reading Invisible by Paul Auster which from the description I was desperately hoping for something similar to one of my absolute favourite books The Secret History by Donna Tartt. It doesn’t really bear any similarities other than being based in an American university but it is a very captivating read. I am only a quarter through but the fact that whilst reading it I was stood in the kitchen cooking my dinner and let the the pasta boil over for about three minutes whilst I got through a particularly tense bit says quite a lot.

02. Learn to surf: In February I’m finally taking the holiday I was meant to have in October but my cyst Vs body take over hijacked. Nick & I are spending a week in the depths of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, and amongst many activities (hikes, a bird sanctuary, haggling at souks, star gazing… oh and a few massages and dips in the pool of course!) we are going to spend the day learning to surf in the bath-water warm sea. I’m so excited to try something so entirely new, although not too hopeful at my ability since I am clumsy enough walking on two feet in flat shoes.

03. Visit 3 countries (not including Europe) and 10 new cities: This sounds like a vast amount but with Africa already booked, then being fortunate enough to travel with my job (although it’s not like a holiday as I used to naively imagine work jet-setting would be. Oh no! Try 15 presentations in 14 days, with jet lag and a broad accent that not a single person understands thrown in) and a few other tricks up my sleeve… well lets just say I think I’ll be a different person come 2014 with a much broader view of the world and my place in it. I’m going to buy a big map and some coloured stickers and chart all the place I go. Note how I even manage to make something fun and spontaneous like travelling, organised and colour code-able.

04. Climb Snowdon: I’m also keen to make the most of the UK and see more of it this year. Part of this is a pact I have made with a good friend to join him on his conquering of Mount. Snowdon in Wales (his new years resolution is to climb a mountain in England, Scotland & Wales). I know it’s probably wrong that at the moment I’m most excited about what things I can bake for a picnic (!) but it will definitely feel like a real achievement.

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05. QUIT caffeine: Caffeine is pretty sinister. I highly recommend the you are not so smart blog on it. I never really thought I was addicted to caffeine, I just knew that I loved coffee in all it’s forms and also as a proud Yorkshire girl had an excuse to drink 20 cups of tea a day. I’m not kidding, I regularly had 2 or 3 cups on the go at my desk (the difference in shades of tea-brown was very aesthetically pleasing!) Then had my C-scare and all round month of medical misery, and I did everything I could afterwards to find out how to avoid a relapse. Part of this was seeing a nutritionist who believes that the key (in my case) is to keep everything in my body as balanced as possible, and part of this is avoiding spikes in blood sugar/adrenaline. And part of that? Quit caffeine. At the point I was given this I was having 3 coffees a day and yes, about 20-25 cups of tea.

Soooo… I didn’t go cold turkey obviously, but I started replacing tea for the wonder that is Rooibos (rank on it’s own, yet a taste sensation with milk). I also made the glorious discovery that my beloved Yorkshire Tea make a decaf version and are still are polite enough to use the lets make a proper brew tagline on it, even though I am from Yorkshire and definitely don’t think it’s a proper brew with non of the good (hmm, bad) stuff in it. 3 Months on and I now just have one coffee a week, as a treat on a Saturday! Cutting down was far more brutal and painful than I ever imagined. I got the absolute worst splitting headaches that no pain killer could touch. I swayed deliriously between napping on the bus and nights of sweaty insomnia. I know this is very un-PC but at one point I did say “If it’s this hard to come off coffee, how hard must it be to come off heroin?“. I just massively under-estimated that yes, I was addicted to coffee. In fact (and my bank balance could have told me this years ago) I was a heavy user. Anyway, this year I aim to cut out all caffeine entirely.

06. Finish knitting my scarf: For a decade my new years resolution was consistently to learn to knit. I have finally succeeded! So proud! I’m so nauseatingly twee that it was ridiculous that I couldn’t actually knit before. The other day I found myself knitting, drinking herbal tea, wearing a floral dress & listening to the Magnetic Fields. I actually out-tweed myself.  So I am well on the way with a neat maroon/navy striped scarf. I need to get a wriggle on and finish it in time to gift it next winter, and to finish the knit-your-own-owl (!) of dreams Craig bought me.

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07. Brush up my Spanish: I did Spanish GCSE and got a B. Nowadays I can still pronounce the funny j noise and I can say I’ve got a hangover. Then it all gets a bit fuzzy. In 2003 I backpacked in Spain and after a week of stuttering and stammering over my hola’s, me and my backpack buddy went to a Spanish rock club and drank aLOT of bodka and suddenly I was conversing with everyone in there about how many brothers/sisters they had and whether they preferred the beach or the forest. Important GCSE level questions  My friend couldn’t believe it and thought I had been lying the whole time about my level of Spanish ability… but it proves that with me it’s a confidence thing as much as a forgetful thing. So I signed up for a 10 week course (beginner level as I miserably failed the intermediate online test!) and am really looking forward to getting grips on another language again. And I got given a really beautiful handprinted notebook for Christmas that I can use for my homework. New stationary makes any project instantly exciting non?

 08. Write half of the secret-project: Well isn’t this annoying? It’s something I am sworn to secrecy until the future, so this is all I can say… for now!

09. Blog more than 2013: Given the fast and furious pace I am blogging at the moment I have probably already achieved this! You’re going to be sick of the sight of me. It feels really good to be writing for myself again, rather than just at work, and it seemed such a shame not to be using my little slice of the internet pie that actually costs me money every year. I’m not really hung-up on the fact it’s not a beauty blog, it’s not a fashion blog, it’s not a book blog etc etc. It’s a lifestyle blog. That covers all bases right!

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09. Alter my work/life balance: I graduated university, I moved to London and I became a rat race face and never looked up. I dread to actually think the hours I have worked in the last 5 years and getting ill made me realise that the body can only take a certain amount of burning the candle ferociously. So I have thrown myself back into my pilates, swimming and am being really strict not to book & doublebook every evening, night and weekend up with seeing people and going places and packing and unpacking and then tossing & turning all night having feverish work-dreams. Something definitely has to give, and I’m determined not to end up on the operating table again any time soon.

10. Be brave: I never associate myself with being brave, and it’s something I aspire to be and know I am really, but this year more than ever I will be putting myself in positions out of my comfort zone just to keep on growing into a big tough lion girl… woman.

11. Get back in music: I used to be surgically attached to my mix tapes, homemade CDs and always ahead of the curve with new bands. I am now SO sick of the same songs on my itunes and the fact that I ‘forgot’ to get the new Metric CD… who are one of my favourite bands?! Also that I didn’t even know about the Kings of Convenience side project? Poor show. Going to End of the Road festival  really whet my musical appetite again and since then I’ve enjoying some of the lesser-known acts I discovered. I’m currently listening to a lot of Alessi’s Ark, Tennis, Dead Man’s Bones, Foxes, Kimbra, Band of Skulls, Kurt Vile, First Aid Kit, John Grant, Django Django, Miracle Fortress and Tame Impala. It’s so nice not to be stuck on a permanent shuffle-shuffle-shuffle-same-old-stuff cycle.

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12. STOP saying “Oh my God”: Why do I say this? Why oh why. I have actually adapted it to Oh my gosh but that’s still very annoying. How do other people express surprise?? I hear myself saying Oh my godgosh in my shocked-voice and I must say it multiple times a day and I hate it. Can you please recommend other words? Or maybe I just need a shocked noise?

13. Daily Records (Thirteen resolutions for 2013!)Last year I took a photo every day and it was so useful for my sieve brain to remember events and orders of occurrences that usually drop out of my head as soon as they’ve happened. This year I am going to continue taking a photo a day as it’s a natural habit, but I’m also going to take a photo of my face everyday! I’m not really vain I promise, but as I head towards the big 3-0 (not til 2014, phew) I am really curious to track my outfits/hair style and well skin to see if I start to look older. I’m not going to put them anywhere public, just for my beady eyes. I’ve shared one below though, which perfectly illustrates my current no-make-up state and also the lions man hair that I couldn’t tame. The final record I am keeping is that I bought Lol & Craig this for Christmas. You get asked a question a day, and keep it for 5 years. Then another one arrived from Amazon randomly so I get to partake too. The questions are brilliant and go from the deep (Can people really change?) to the inane (What was the last restaurant you went to?) I never know what on earth to write in a diary, so the daily prompt is perfect.

& That’s it. Have you got a resolution? Have you seen any other good bloggers list theirs? I’ve seen a few but I’d love to see more. Roll on 2013, I have a really good feeling about you being sparkly and shiny and super.

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  1. Ani’s avatar

    I always admire people’s resolutions but I can never stick to mine – if I even bother to make some.

    Ha, Invisible is such a good read – I really, REALLY enjoyed it! Paul Auster is one of my favourites anyway!

    Reply

    1. Bee’s avatar

      I’m hoping I stick to all of mine, if not I just carry them over (hence learning to knit finally being upgraded to ‘finish scarf’ after a decade!) but I’ll definitely give them my best shot!

      Invisible is blowing my mind. I hadn’t even heard of Paul Auster before (how!) what others of his would you recommend? I’ve definitely got the bug.

      Reply

      1. Ani’s avatar

        Oh, most definitely the New Trilogy: The 2nd story in it, Ghosts, wasn’t quite my cup of tea but I really like City of Glass and The Locked Room!

        Reply

      2. Rosie’s avatar

        Thankyou for your lovely comment on my January Blues post, and for your advice and kind words. Your resolutions are the best I’ve seen this year, I love how many adventures you seem to be going on as well as the personal targets (for the record, I say ‘Crikey!’ – it’s a weird habit too as people sometimes find it an odd word!) I’m hoping to go to Marrakech in March but I love the sound of your Morocco holiday. I can’t go anywhere near somewhere you can surf however as my boyfriend is a surf obsessive and I would lose him for the whole holiday!

        BTW, do you have Twitter?

        Rosie | A Rosie Outlook

        Reply

        1. Bee’s avatar

          Aw shucks, thanks sweetpea! You have been on my mind SO much since starting back blogging as I know just before I went on a mega hiatus (due to big life altering times afoot) you had filled in a wonderful Q&A for me and then I never got to post it, which has haunted me guiltily every since! So it’s lovely to be back into the swing of it, and like I said – really enjoying every post of yours. I usually make a cup of tea and save a few to read all together. Fangirl!

          I think I could get away with Crikey! Although my accent makes it more like ‘crikehhh’. Definitely worth a shot and way less offensive than OMGing all over the place. I’d love to hear how you find Marrakech? I have heard wonderful things from friends who’ve been so I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. In fact the one thing that is a shame is that we won’t get to visit such a bustling souk/market – just smaller local ones where I imagine we’ll be the only tourists! I need to practise my haggling. I wonder if me or my boyfriend will transform into surf obsessives?! It’s a bit harder to maintain in London though…

          Yes I am on twitter! I am here http://twitter.com/hellobee

          Reply

        2. Michelle’s avatar

          These are sound like fantastic resolutions. I’ve never been one for resolutions, really, but I am going to set myself some goals. I wrote about them on my blog, but they’re kinda difficult ones to achieve! Wishing you all the best for 2013 – and I’m looking forward to seeing how you get on with what you aim to achieve!

          Reply

          1. Bee’s avatar

            Thank you! I read about your tough, rough 2012 – what a year you had too. I don’t know many people that last year was particularly kind to. I’m so pleased you are starting to achieve little glimmers of independence and loved what you said about reading less books and being able to get out & about instead. I wish you all my luck in getting where you want and deserve to be, but it sounds like you’re being incredibly brave already so have something to build on!
            I’ll certainly be logging & blogging my adventures too.

            Reply

          2. Katrina’s avatar

            Your Morocco trip sounds amazing! Morocco looks like such a beautiful country to explore, are you organising all the activities yourself? I’ve recently moved to the South West & would love to learn to surf, the water certainly won’t be bath-warm round here though!

            Reply

            1. Bee’s avatar

              I am SO excited about it, and having had to postpone it once has only made me increasingly giddy about it! I’ve never been to north Africa and spend all day gazing at exotic photos of the places we will hopefully be visiting shortly. I was really fortunate with the accommodation we booked, as the manager is very proud of the local area so most of the trips are organised/recommended by her with villager friends of hers who work as guides. The surfing is even all organised with an instructor, equipment and travel so we really lucked out! We will still keep a few days free to be spontaneous and see where the Moroccan wind takes us though.

              You should definitely try a surf lesson! Especially if you are new to the area as I bet it’s a great way to immerse yourself in the locals and their passions! But yes… maybe worth waiting until its slightly less arctic out.

              Reply

            2. Kate’s avatar

              I really like your list, Africa sounds all kinds of amazing too.

              This post definitely got me thinking about my resolutions for the year. I also have no idea how you’ve managed 2 books already this year. In still on book 1 and I read for an hour every weekday!!!

              Reply

              1. Bee’s avatar

                Thank you, I’ll definitely be blog-crazy with Morocco stories and snaps so you’ll know how amazing as soon as I’m back!

                Did you decide to make any resolutions? Best of luck if you did and I’m really flattered it got you thinking. I have to ‘fess up that my first book (Dolly – Susan Hill) was pretty short so am now reading a chunkier effort to balance out!

                Reply

              2. meg’s avatar

                You are brave already 🙂

                Reply

              3. cind’s avatar

                YOU ARE SO LOVELY X X X X

                Reply

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