14 October 2016

15 Things in The Year of The Sheep : A Very Very Belated Final Update

Remember way back, when I still blogged semi-regularily and the shape of life looked a little different? Remember when I used to write myself a list of things I wanted to do for the year, and then basically never actually do them, but I'd still update you all on my progress anyway? Here's the thing, I never wrote my final update for 15 things in the Year of the Sheep, and it's keeping me awake at nights. So, ten months late, here's an update on how I went in 2015...

1. Read more. Specifically, read at least fourteen books in twelve months. B-. I ended up reading twelve books, which is pretty good I think. (By-the-by I am killing it in the book reading stakes this year. Not blogging, not being on line so much, opens up all this time which one can fill with reading. It's pretty great actually.)

Here's what I read in 2015 after my last update:
- Joyful by Robert Hillman which I actually really loved. It took awhile but it hooked me in, eventually. A slightly mad, beautiful tale of love and death.
- Hot Little Hands by Abigail Ulman. A collection of short stories noted for the fact all the protagonists are female. At the time I was a bit ho hum about it, it was a good solid read but not life changing. However, two of the characters have stayed with me, for some time, so I think perhaps it had more power than I gave it credit for at the time.
- We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. Go read this. Now. Seriously, do it. It's bloody brilliant.
- We're All Going to Die by Joel Meares. A collection of essays, about life and stuff. A nice read with occasional moments of brilliance. One to carry in your bag and dip in to during those stolen moments when you're waiting in the doctors office or stuck on a train.
- The Embassy of Cambodia by Zadie Smith. A tiny little book I kinda just threw in to make up the numbers. Pleasant enough but really, I can't even remember what it's actually about...
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. One for the 80s geeks. Packed full of fun nerdy references. A bit tiresome and cliched at first but I thoroughly enjoyed the action packed end...looking forward to seeing what they Spielberg does with the movie.

2. Read more blogs. Randomly quantified with the goal of posting three thoughtful comments a week. F for Fail. Life did a complete flip around late last year. I went from a keeping-the-home-fires-burning wife of a constantly travelling executive to a retail/hospitality business owner and manager working six or seven days a week.* So, not a lot of time or motivation for blog reading.

(*In case you didn't know, we bought a McDonald's store! For more on my history with the golden arches have a look at this post.)

3. Blog more. Specifically, blog at least six times per month. F. Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Aha. Ha.

4. Write more. About everything. Specifically, write a My... post every month in 2015. F. See above, especially points 2 and 3.

5. Related, pitch at least five stories to magazines. F. I'm not just going to write 'see above' for all of these, but...see above...

The really awesome thing is that despite having a million other things asking for my attention I've somehow been able to keep writing and submitting articles; a few pieces for Extra Curricular, and something in UPPERCASE every issue since that first piece on lace making. I am so grateful to UPPERCASE editor Janine Vangool for giving me the chance to interview and photograph so many amazing people. My latest piece, which will be in issue 31, is about artist Amy Joy Watson, her work his heavenly - colours and stitching and playing with mediums and scale, all the things I adore. If you don't subscribe to Janine's amazing mag you definitely should.

6. Finish my 365 project on Instagram. B-. I finished it! Very, very late (there's a theme here right?) but I finished it! You can see the full collection here

7. Hit fifty sales in my Etsy shop, Jorpins VintageC+. I'm on fifty sales right now, not sure when I passed that milestone but I'm pretty sure it wasn't in 2015, hence the C grade. The store is looking pretty empty at the moment. I do have loads of gorgeous retro wares to photograph and list, but it won't happen just yet. Maybe 2017 will be the year?

8. Finish three walking events. C. I finished up with two events - the 22km Jabulani Challenge and the 9km Bridge Run. The Bridge Run was part of the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival and I loved it so much that I immediately signed up for the 2016 half marathon, which I completed in September (BOOM!). I am now contemplating the full marathon for 2017...

9. Walk 1500 kilometres by the end of December. F. Nope.

10. Sort my health out. B+. Never made it to the physio but I'm doing okay in the health department I reckon.

11. Cook at least one new meal for the family each month. C. Sort of. Maybe. Well, probably not.

12. Related, attend two cooking classes. F. Nope, not one.

13. Watch twelve movies. And blog about them. F. Watch? Yes. Blog about them? Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Aha. Ha.

14. Organise my office, and keep it organised. B-. Husband would probably rate me an F- on this one but I think my office is pretty neat and if he wants to grade me he can start his own freaking blog.

15. Do more road trips! F. Nope.

So, there you have it. A very, very belated look over my 2015. I've said this before but I do love looking back over the goals I set for myself, remembering that optimism and hope, that naive belief that change isn't the only certainty and things will pan out a certain way. Ah bless my early 2015 self...

ps. I think I may have missed the boat for 2016 but I might try and get back on the horse for 2017. 17 Things in the Year of The Rooster, I like it!