I wrote a wordy review last week of my general experiences of 2016 and intentions for 2017, but here’s more of a precise look back at what I fancied doing last year and forward to my plans for this year. I’ve never really been a New Year’s Resolutions kind of girl, but I couldn’t function without my daily to-do list and I enjoy expanding that to a longer term, no pressure list of fun things I’d like to do.
The 2016 Bucket List (full post here)
What I did that was on the list:
– Went to Skye and Eilean Donan Castle. These were everything I’d dreamed, and a lovely long-weekend trip.
– Trained for and ran Race for Life in June. Not only that, but I actually kept it up and then ran the Dandara 5k in September, too. A bit more on this below, but I really enjoyed running more frequently. I must admit, I’m a fair weather runner, but I did get out there as soon as spring started to show its face in 2016 and am keen to get back to it soon.
– Did some decorating. I did take pictures as promised, but I think I was having camera troubles at the time and they’re all fuzzy except for this one, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that we did a good job 🙂 We each have our own little home office in this house and each one is suited to our own tastes now so we’re contented little bees!
Extra things I did:
– became self-employed and started two new jobs. After a few fiascos and with the offshore industry looking less and less of a wise place to be, I was keen, verging on desperate, to get a job with either the NHS or one of the local universities or councils. Meanwhile, I decided to see if I could turn my hand to transcription and started freelancing for a company based in London. As it turns out, I absolutely love it! I then did find a part-time job at one of the unis, so I’m now splitting my time between the two. At risk of jinxing it, I’m finding it an absolutely perfect balance. Both jobs are interesting but in different ways and have their own challenges and rewards. I find three days in the office the perfect amount of social interaction, while the remaining four days I can set my own schedule of when I want to work, sleep or do other things. The harder I work at the freelance work, the more I earn, and on the other hand, while of course I’m conscientious in my office job, I can rest easy knowing that I have that secure income each month.
– got into some decent routines. I got myself a Fitbit in the Black Friday sales in 2015, and realised that the end of the year is a good time for me to establish myself in a routine and feel a little bit rebellious for not doing it in January 😉 It’s helped motivate me to walk a lot more and I upped that into running in the warmer months, plus I’ve kept up my habit of going to at least one or two gym classes a week. It also helped me work out what sleep routine works best for me, and I’ve realised I’m a real early bird. I feel best when I’m in bed by 10 and up at 6 – this doesn’t always happen, but it’s the aim, and the difference in how I feel is enough to make sure I keep vaguely to that schedule, even if it does end up being an hour or two later that my sleep starts and finishes. I’ve learned that I absolutely have to stick to 6-8 hours of sleep though, because if I get more than that, I feel awful and sluggish all day, and if I consistently get less, it’s a one-way ticket to a migraine. I’ve also been tracking (and upping) my water intake and feel so much better for that too.
– as well as those health-related routines, I’ve gotten into a good routine for keeping myself organised. I’ve always been a big fan of lists, and for a while now I’ve been writing a daily to-do list with absolutely everything I have to remember on it. Often this includes everything right down to showering and eating lunch, because it’s not unheard of for 3pm to come and I suddenly realise the reason I’m so light-headed is that I haven’t eaten! It felt a little bit daft at first, but it really works for me. It also helped me when I was job-hunting to be able to quickly and easily look back to see what jobs I’d applied for, and to be able to tell James what I’d been up to when he came home from work. It’s so easy for a well-meant “What did you do today?” to be taken the wrong way when you’re feeling sensitive and dependent!
The 2017 Bucket List
Things I didn’t get to in 2016 but am carrying forward to 2017:
– a trip up Cairngorm mountain on the funicular railway. A vague plan is already in the works for this, so watch this space!
– Blair Drummond Safari Park
– Edinburgh Zoo
– the Kelpies
– Footdee – it’s absolutely ridiculous that I’ve lived in Aberdeen for eleven years and never been to one of its most picturesque locations. Thankfully I righted this wrong the other day and you will soon see the photo evidence!
– introduce James to my Kiwi friends. One of my favourite people in the world is a young lady named Erin. Long story short, she’s from New Zealand, we met in Germany, and she currently lives in the UK. I’ve seen quite a bit of her and her husband over the last few years, but it’s never worked out for them to meet James – either he’s been away for work, or I’ve visited them while on father-daughter trips to London, etc. It’s reached the point that there’s a running joke that James doesn’t exist, so I’m hoping to get them up for another visit this year and make the myth a reality. I may even take them to Loch Ness to look for Nessie too 😉
– explore a new European city (Prague / Venice) or rediscover one I visited in my youth (Paris / Amsterdam / Budapest). These are the current suggestions but we’ll see. Europe is our oyster 🙂
– send (and make???) Christmas cards! This one is non-negotiable, even if I have to start preparing in January 😀
– Last but most random: go to Clatt. When my gran was a young mum (I’m not sure, but I believe when my dad’s eldest sister was a toddler, so before my dad was even a twinkle in her eye) she lived in a tiny village in Aberdeenshire called Clatt. She’s always asking me if I’ve been yet, and I haven’t because honestly I think it probably is the definition of a one-horse town, but I actually looked it up the other day and it’s not as far away as I thought, so I’m going to take a little road trip some time soon and take some photos, just because it would tickle her.
What are your dreams for this year?