Annual Goals

Despite my efforts to make this ‘publish’ whilst I was enjoying life, I failed ūüôĀ ¬†But that’s given me time to reflect (and enjoy my time off) and so I’ll ensure everything listed still fits reality!

Financial

– Save a total of $20k by 22 Dec (for mortgage refinancing): ¬†Current balance is $13,487.55. ¬†Whilst this account doesn’t pay bills, it is dipped into occasionally for ’emergency’ spending (which sometimes means ‘a flight’s a really good deal, and I can save that money up again’!)

– Continue to meet all bills with weekly savings contribution of $200 per week

– Aim for $100+ ‘generosity’ per week – charity, church, random acts of gifting and kindness (this is setting the bar HIGH – but it’s in the ball park of 10% of salary, if others can do it, I should try it!)

Health

– Cook at home at least twice a week – living alone, cooking semi-regularly means I have some healthy food, and limits my take out. It also means I don’t have to buy lunch (which I hate – not the buying as much as the decision making process… and then the money spending… I hate spending money and then finding it was ‘wasted’ because I didn’t like what I bought!)

– Limit wheat intake¬†– try to make the ‘right’ choice more often

– Limit sugar intake – maybe ‘dessert’ once a week. ¬†No sweet snacks…

(both the above aren’t measurable… so not very exact. ¬†The rule I used between 12 Nov (my return from my last trip) and Christmas was to not eat any sugar. ¬†Whilst that wasn’t strictly adhered to, I certainly lowered it significantly. ¬†Whilst I was away, every day pasteries was the order of the day!! )

– TRAIN and play water polo – I’m good at attending every game (been known to reschedule holidays around games!), but not so good at training, so I need to commit to a weekly training, and stop making excuses!

Cultural

– 2 films a month – a few years ago, I counted my ticket stubs on new years day, and had 40 for the year! That’s INSANE but an indication of how much I love immersing myself in the cinema (musty carpet smell and all!) ¬†It’s truly a few hours where I can escape. ¬†It’s not the same to steal it from the internet, and do your mending or cook dinner at the same time. ¬†When I go to the movies, I don’t text. I don’t let ‘normal’ life interfere (though… I do chatter away to someone who has been silly enough to come along with me – sorry!)

– 2 books a month – So far I have had 52 loans at my local library, and given I’ve only been ‘in area’ for a year, that would be more like one a week (actually seems I started lending in March, so more than one a week!). ¬†That being said, some of them aren’t ‘read’ – I did borrow some CDs. ¬†I also borrow magazines, and they aren’t something I’m willing to count as ‘books’.

Social

It does seem weird keeping¬†targeted¬†lists on social front. ¬†But there are a lot of friends who I don’t keep in touch with as much as I’d like to. ¬†I’ve certainly been better since I stopped being a student (Being a student just sucked life out of me – there was always something I ‘should’ have been doing, and it never seemed there was enough time just to live… to enjoy life…) ¬†In the past I know I set a goal of calling a friend a week (obviously targeting ones I wasn’t seeing regularly, so largely those who live interstate) This was a big deal for me, as I realised I don’t call people ‘just for a chat’ and felt awkward about it. ¬†One thing I have mastered in the post card sending whilst on holidays, as well as Christmas cards (though this year the latter list was severely truncated…)

–¬†touch base with an out of town friend once a month

– make time for friends around regular commitments (work, church, water polo): I’m mindful that a close friend mentioned I was ‘always busy’, and therefore did lessen my load with water polo.¬† I want to make sure my friends don’t feel like they are neglected, but at the same time, not that I’m leeching off them to spend every hour together -it’s a balancing act between needy and hoity independence sometimes!

Professional

– Get my certification: Agh this is something I have to do, but have NO enthusiasm.¬† I shouldn’t take the next week off, I should stay at work at write career episodes – but the friends goal above is winning out!

– Start looking for my next role: career progression targets at work mean this is the year I need to look for a new role, so I can meet the certification + experience targets to continue progressing.¬† I’m loathed to leave where I am – I have a great boss, I’m still learning, I love my work, and I don’t want to risk any of those things by moving.¬† But if I don’t move, then I might be closing doors for my future (and I’m young, there’s a lot of ‘career’ ahead!)

Things I achieved in 2012

*Published in 2019, but back dated to be ‘year end’ summary*

In line with the 2013 summary I published, I thought I’d take the time to review each year since I was at school, as a record of my life. ¬†Things get hazy as time goes on, and it’s not going to get any better as I age! ¬†So here we go!

In 2012

  • My parents live in Toulon, France from Sept 2012 to Jan 2013
  • I visited my parents in Toulon, but we met in Marrakesh and visited Casablanca too, in Oct/Nov 2012
  • Visited Duabi alone, shopping up a storm and going hot air ballooning over the desert
  • I flew business class on Emirate from Paris to Dubai to Sydney at my cost on an A380 and a 777
  • I started dating “The BF” at the start of October 2012
  • Prior to “the BF”, this was my year of dating! ¬†A good friend spent a lot of time awkwardly setting me up!
  • Memories of brunches with Mr DIY and his GF
  • My first year living the apartment I bought (the loft), having settled on 22 Dec 2011
  • I equipped a whole home with living furniture – sofas, kitchen stuff etc
  • Hosted a Thai birthday banquet for myself at the new house
  • Recarpeted the upstairs in the early days, meaning I lived in my living room when I moved in!
  • Had the loft painted (un)professionally
  • Updated the tapware (thanks Aldi!)
Toulon harbour
Toulon harbour

 

Selfie from a hot air balloon in United Arab Emirates
Selfie from a hot air balloon in United Arab Emirates

 

Dubai location shot
Dubai location shot

 

The view from my Paris hostel
The view from my Paris hostel

 

Royal Air Maroc
Royal Air Maroc

Living solo

This post is inspired by the following article:

http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-opinion/a-room-of-ones-own-20120629-217rx.html

When I ‘moved out’ for the first time, it was to a house for (Anglican) girls coming to uni in the ‘city’. ¬†It was great, but I was naughty (which, then, I most certainly was not!), and so when I reapplied to live there in second year, I was told they were looking for a different mix of people. ¬†I then moved onto uni housing – 8 bedroom purpose built apartments, with 3.5 bathrooms and a double kitchen. ¬†And to single rooms in French ‘Cite U’s’. ¬†But it wasn’t until I bought my own place did I really have the sense that I was ‘living alone’.

When I was looking to buy, I consider living somewhere more ‘affordable’ so I could buy something with two bedrooms, and have a flatmate. ¬†Then it was a balance – would I pay more, knowing I’d have a flatmate? ¬†Would I stretch my loan that much further, but then be¬†obliged¬†to live with someone? ¬†And then I recalled mum’s horror that I re-categorised the pantry. ¬†Or when I wanted less in some cupboards.¬†¬†I started to think about having someone in ‘MY’ space! ¬†And then it became simple.

If I was OK to live alone, I could live wherever, as I was fortunate to be able to afford (and accept living in) ‘small’.¬†¬†And I didn’t want more than small – bigger than small needs more stuff. ¬†And one thing I don’t want to get sucked into is more stuff. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, I have stuff, but feeling the need to ‘fill’ a space with stuff… makes my stomach churn at the waste of money and resources… ¬†For my little body can only sit in one chair at once… or be in one room at once!

I do feel proud that I can and have lived alone.¬† That I can balance the budget, feed myself, truly live without relying on someone else.¬†¬†I luckily live so close to some wonderful friends, who have stuff… like power drills and spirit levels and hard disc drives full of TV shows to starve out the demons that intrude my home when I have a long weekend and no firm plans. ¬†Because, living alone is 90% lovely, and 10% crazylonely. ¬†It’s lonely when you imagine that everyone else is having a grand time – with someone, doing the banal things in life. ¬†You never actually imagine houseshares or couples fighting… or the piles of dishes that no one washes… ¬†even though that’s more like the reality. ¬†It’s crazy ’cause it’s not truth that you imagine, but this fairytale fiction of what it would be like to live with someone.

It’s nice to come home to as clean (or dirty…!) a house as I left it. ¬†But, man, it’s oh so lovely to get home when a friend’s been staying, and play ‘spot the difference’. ¬†Love to my friend who emptied the seldom used dishwasher and put everything away. ¬†Thank you housesitter for new toliet paper, washing powder and wool wash (and oh so sorry for not replenishing those, and for me thinking that you’d need more plain flour and sugar… cause surely she’ll bake?!)

Living alone is great, when you live so close to¬†your community. ¬†And connected enough to get out when you need to – to spend time with people. ¬†I’m lucky to have a few nearby buses, and a train station that’s an oversized block or two from my place. ¬†And I’m lucky that just one stop on an express train (15 minutes) I can be at the station closest to my parents and brothers’ place.

None of this is to say that living alone is something that’s so good I’d never consider anything otherwise, just that I am thankful for what I’ve got in the here and now!

To new beginnings!

With days until NYE, and more than a year of commenting and enjoying so many great blogs out there, I’ve decided to (re-)create my own! ¬†My very first blog still exists and¬†occasionally¬†it generates a spam email. ¬†It was of my life in France in 2006, when I studied there for an exchange. ¬†I got sick of writing long emails, and figured I could put all my photos interspersed with text on a blog, and those that could be bothered would hopefully drop by and read it. ¬†At the very least it was more appealing than rereading emails with lots of text and then a collection of photo attachments with no captions!

This blog… probably won’t share as many tales of my jaunts overseas, though that’s not a promise that there won’t be some juicy ‘what I saw when I went here’ posts. ¬†I mainly plan to document my life, and write posts inspired by other bloggers. ¬†A place to reflect on life, and then to plan and achieve all those things that are on my lists!! ¬†Looking forward to taking you along for the ride.