In the past 12 months, I have been happier and healthier (well sort of) than I can ever remember being before. I’m not entirely sure why this is, but I do have suspicions.
That means that I have achieved more than I ever thought possible in 2011. Here’s a summary of what I have achieved and a smattering of what i want to do next year.
I learned how to play the banjo.
I have always wanted to be able to play an instrument which inspired sheer joy for me. I have played instruments before (clarinet & flute mainly) but they never made me feel like the fear of performance was worth the reward. Singing has always been my main creative outlet but I have always wanted to do more. I have always loved the banjo. A folk musician friend pointed me to the EFDSS for banjo lessons and oh how I love playing that instrument.
Cycled the BHF London to Brighton
When I began cycling (about 3 years ago), I set my sights firmly on wanting to be fit enough to cycle the London to Brighton ride. This year I was fit enough and had even acquired a new bicycle. I completed the 54 mile cycle (including cycling up ‘The Beacon’) in 4 hours and 45 minutes raising a total of nearly £400 for charity.
Losing 3 stones (in weight, not literally 3 stones)
At the start of this year, I weighed 3 stones more than I do now and was also 3 dress sizes bigger. I lost weight by eating sensibly and exercising. Who knew that combination actually worked and was not just propaganda.
Joined a Gospel Choir
Covered in a very recent blog post, I won’t repeat myself but i will share an extra picture of us singing at a recent gig. It was a Christmas craft fayre and we were the entertainment crammed into a corner by some stalls. Its not all glamorous all the time.
Improved cooking skills (to the delight of friends and housemates)
I have many friends. Some cook, some don’t. This year, I have shared my skills and also stolen other people’s skills. With regard to my own skills. I have improved my skill set by getting better at icing cakes. Here’s some of the results:
As far as acquiring the skills of others, I have learned how to cook Indian food from scratch. I can now cook, Chicken curry, Chana Masala, Tarka Daal, Saag Aloo, Onion Bhajis, Aloo Tikka and Chicken Korma. Evidence Below:
In 2012, I want to learn how to cook Chinese food.
Friends and Family
This year, I have managed to successfully retain my entire circle of friends but also add to it. I am lucky enough to have a truly amazing circle of friends who treat me very well indeed. I need to see more of my friends who do not live in London. I must make more visits outside of the City.
My family remains entirely intact. My Father’s side of the family had a fabulous reunion this year where we all came together for a jolly good catch up. It’s easy to forget how many of us there are but it’s so good to all be in one room together even though we need to hire a village hall to get us all in nowadays. I stay in touch with my immediate family (Grandmother, parents, sisters, nieces/nephews etc) on a very regular basis but it does get difficult to accommodate every extended family member. In 2012, I resolve to do better as sending more regular letters and updated to my extended family.
Now that I am fitter and thinner than ever before, I have had the opportunity to take up previously untangable sports. The firt one ticked off my list is indoor climbing. I have now completed my beginners course and will be doing the internediate course in the new year.
I do hope to get back on a horse next year too. My sister now owns her own horse and is not all that far away from me (I am in London and she is in Oxfordshire). In 2012, I will visit her and ride her horse to gauge my fear levels before taking the plunge entirely and riding in London. This visit may or may not coincide with a rather fabulous Burns Night Caleigh at the mess….. just saying
I have kept my job. I’ve never really been good at not getting ‘itchy feet’ with regards to jobs and employment. I never normally last more than 12 months. My current job is going strong at 20 months! I have been promoted twice and am challenged every day (not always in a good way but a challenge is still a challenge). Despite the recession, I believe I am truly making headway and gaining skills I will have for life if I choose to use them.
I’ll say that I hope anyone who got to the point of my post had an equally satisfying 2011 and plenty of ambitions for 2012.