16 June 2015

15 Things in The Year of The Sheep : An Update

Ahhhh yes. It's that time of year again, that glorious time when I publicly shame myself by revisiting all those things I said I'd do when I had a song in my heart and a skip in my step and a firm delusion belief that this year would be different.

But guess what? With an average grade of B (-ish) things actually aren't looking too shabby so far, despite life throwing its usual hilarious curve balls at us. So, with head held high, I present this update on 15 things in the Year of the Sheep.

1. Read more. Specifically, read at least fourteen books in twelve months. B-. Slow but steady progress. I feel like I'm closer to achieving this than the stats say, because the stats say that I've only actually finished three books. But I'm reading pretty much every day, and I'm reading on flights, and when I'm waiting at the doctors, and when I'm out eating solo, so it feels like more. I've tackled a few doorstoppers to date, but I've got some thinner reads lined up so I'm hoping to make some more ground on this one in the coming months.

If you're interested so far I've read: The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (excellent in all kinds of ways); The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (I hate to say it but...disappointing; parts of it are so over the top and hysterical - all that mooning over a girl - but parts of it are heart achingly sad/beautiful - the fish and chip shop scene for one, but on balance, disappointing); and Waiting for Doggo by Mark Mills (a bit of light fluff, completely inoffensive, I forgot it as soon as I read it).

I'm currently most of the way through Questions of Travel by Michelle de Krester, which I'm thoroughly enjoying, especially for the writing on travel and the way it captures the very essence of Sydney. And I'm on the brink of finishing This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett, a collection of essays that I cannot possibly say enough good things about. If you have any interest in writing, or family, or dogs, or friendship, or life, go read it. Go read it now.

I've been on the brink of finishing it for awhile, but I can't quite bring myself to. Not because I don't want to say goodbye to such a great book, but because the second last essay starts "Two days before my dog Rose died..." and I haven't yet been able to make it past that opening sentence.

2. Read more blogs. Randomly quantified with the goal of posting three thoughtful comments a week. D-. Like most things I have good weeks and bad.  Okay, good months and bad. This past month has been a bad one.

3. Blog more. Specifically, blog at least six times per month. A+++. Six posts every month in 2015! Oh yeah! I'm a flipping bloggy superstar, no?

4. Write more. About everything. Specifically, write a My... post every month in 2015. A. I might just squeeze them in on the last day of the month but I've got them done. I've really enjoyed writing them; I hope you've enjoyed reading them. I think my favourite to date as been the one on travel.

5. Related, pitch at least five stories to magazines. F. I made one pitch, which translated into an article on modern lace makers - three profile pieces, plus an introduction, plus a bunch of photos. Ummm, Y to the AY! You'll be able to see it in the upcoming Issue 26 of Uppercase. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

I also had the chance to interview the lovely and clever Helena Leslie for Extra Curricular (she did the cover illustration for their Messy issue, which you can find here). Outside of that I've done zip, zero, zilch. And seeing as things are all a bit akimbo in our life right now (yet again! more on that later...) realistically it's probably all I will get to do this year.

6. Finish my 365 project on Instagram. A. Half way through and going strong! You can see some of my favourites here, or follow me on Instagram to get the full shebang!

7. Hit fifty sales in my Etsy shop, Jorpins Vintage. B. On track! I'm sitting on 26 items sold. I've got a ton of amazing stock still to clean and photograph and list. I'm feeling vaguely confident about this one.

8. Finish three walking events. C. I completed the 22km Jabulani Challenge in April (yay me!), and I've signed up for the 9km Bridge Run - not a long distance but it has tight-ish (for a walker!) cut off times, so it'll help me focus on pace. As for the third event...stay tuned!

9. Walk 1500 kilometres by the end of December. C. I was doing really well with this! I was doing a good 25 to 35kms per week, I made it to Forster, and then, well, life happened. The past few weeks I've barely managed 15kms. But, thanks to my cheer squad (aka the Operation Move community!) I'm feeling inspired again. I've got a plan to kickstart things, this goal isn't over yet!

10. Sort my health out. B+. I've been seeing the dentist regularly and we've got a long term plan for a bunch of stuff. I finally got around to getting a pap smear, and discussed contraception pros and cons with a GP. The other day I even visited an optometrist for a full eye health check up. Next on the list - physio.

11. Cook at least one new meal for the family each month. B. I haven't been keeping track of this, but I feel like we've been kicking its arse. I recently refreshed our cookbook shelf - ditched some we'd never used and bought some new-to-us classics (ie. everything by Karen Martini).

We've been cooking at home, heaps. Okay, yes, maybe last night we had tacos, again, but we have been adding some new stuff to our standard repertoire. This sausage ragu has become a firm favourite. We've also tackled mince pies, chicken pot pies, all kinds of stews and soups, and a slow roasted lamb cooked on the BBQ.  Have I told you how much I adore winter cooking? I freaking adore it.

12. Related, attend two cooking classes. F. Nope. The one I had booked got cancelled. Right now unless someone is willing to provide two all expenses paid trips - one to Italy, one to Thailand - I can't see this happening.

13. Watch twelve movies. And blog about them. D-. Well, I am watching loads of new movies this year, but I'm not really blogging about them. I do have some draft posts, just asking to be finished. So maybe.

14. Organise my office, and keep it organised. B+. I had been chipping away at this, little by little, and then last week I spent two whole days on a final push. It's still not there but it's really, really, really close.

15. Do more road trips! F. I've wanted to, I've really wanted to, but I just haven't. I did have one booked, but I had to cancel (for a pretty substantial reason, none of this dog ate my homework stuff). The next six months are looking good though - we've got trips to Canberra, Thredbo,  and the Hunter Valley planned. Oh, and I'm hopefully heading to Cowra to meet this talented lady!

Do you have a list of things you were hoping to achieve this year? How are you tracking?


  1. That is so exciting that your pitch to Uppercase got accepted! Awesome!! That should upgrade you to a B+ surely!

    1. Awwww, thanks Adri! And yep, it IS pretty exciting! x


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