Hallo 2013

I’ve been cogitating about this post for a while…I always spend some time in January thinking about what I want to achieve in the year to come. It seems that the older I get, the harder it is to set goals for myself – I have achieved most of the big life-goals that I set for myself in my 20s. Now I’m just picking luxury goals really. Anyway, here it is, my year ahead:

I want to pass roller derby freshmeat and join the Dead End Derby league. I started doing the roller derby training last year just to keep Megan company, but I’ve decided I love it! I’m not the fastest or the toughest, but I’m doing okay for a former couch potato that only strapped on roller skates for the first time 6 months ago.

I’m looking forward to lots of little family getaways and some romantic mini-breaks. In my sights for this year are Tekapo and Queenstown in winter, Rarotonga to break up the winter, and Auckland to see my nieces and nephew.

I’d like to see a new roller skating rink getting underway somewhere in Christchurch. This is a pretty ambitious goal. I’ve never done anything like this before, and people more knowledgeable than me have not managed it yet. But I’ll give it my all and see what comes of it.

And you know what…I’ve scoured my brain and I can’t come up with anything else! I’m looking forward to a year of hard work in my job which I love (almost) everyday, fun times with my favourite people, meeting new friends, lots of good food, laughs and kicking back.

If I get the the end of 2013 having achieved all this, it will have been a mighty fine year indeed.

The 40 b4 40 challenge: Update

In January I set myself 40 goals to achieve before I turn 40 in November. You can see the list and how its progressing OVER HERE.

Some of them are easy enough – things I intended to do anyway. Some of them I’ll definitely do and they are in the schedule.

Some things probably won’t happen, but they are goals I’ll keep in the list and think about doing in the future.

I’m not sure I’m going to go on a cruise or go jet-boating this year, if ever. What was I thinking with these ones?! I get really horribly seasick. I really want to do both of these things, but the suffering is probably not worth it.

Others, like owning a car, are on the back burner this year. We made a choice to get a new kitchen instead. It was a good call, I LOVE our new kitchen. Sometimes I stand in the dining room and admire it. It’s so smooth and shiny and clean.

I have to admit, I’ve never been one for this kind of resolution-making. I like setting goals and I like making lists, but I’ve never vowed that I will do this-or-that by a certain date. That’s not how my goal setting works. So if I don’t achieve everything on the list, no matter. There is always next year!

The tyranny of the scales

I weighed myself at the gym today, it made me remember once again why measuring myself this way is a waste of time.

When I first started losing weight in 2003, I was going to the gym every second day, and I weighed myself once a week. It was a good way of keeping track of the slowly diminishing number and gave me something to spur me on. Sometimes I’d gain weight and it would give me a fright, but in general, the trend was downward. Once I reached 83 kilos, the weight-loss stopped. I’d lost 45 kilos in about two years, so I was happy with this. Losing more weight would have involved serious dieting, and I didn’t think that was wise.

Since then, I have continued to eat sensibly and exercise regularly, and my weight has fluctuated very little. There have only been two only exceptions to this, in 2008-2009 and 2011.

In 2008-2009 I was very ill, culminating in the removal of my gall bladder. Both before and after surgery, I had trouble eating and dropped to about 78 kilos. The weight gradually climbed and settled again at 83 kilos once I got better. Isn’t that a funny thing?

Last year after the 22/02 earthquake, the huge changes we all went through altered my diet and exercise routine again. My weight jumped to around 87 kilos. I went back to the gym, refocused on what I was eating and once again I returned to 83 kilos.

So here’s my point …. today I weighed in at 84.5 kilos. In the past couple of months I’ve been doing a lot of running, and I know that I have changed my shape – I have more muscle and less fat. I’ve lost about half a dress size in the past two months. Not a lot, but just enough for me to notice that my clothes are looser. So I’ve gained weight and lost size.

So while the scales might be telling a sort of truth, it’s not a truth I want to listen to.

What I’m looking for

When I posed these questions to myself the other day, they seemed pretty straightforward.

  • What do I want to do?
  • Who do I want to be?
  • What am I looking for?

Once I started thinking about how I might answer them, it was harder than I thought. Not for the reason you’d think either. I know the answer to these questions. But the answer just isn’t all that interesting or thought-provoking. I know who I am, what I want to do and what I’m looking for.

The past couple of years have been a huge period of change for me. Before now, the questions would have been really difficult to answer, and might have sent me into an emotional spin. Let me tell you what I mean.

When my son turned 18 (in November 2006), I was going through something of a life crisis. I was in a job I wanted to quit, an unhappy relationship and my children were growing up. These things defined me, and they were changing. I spent the next couple of years struggling with this, becoming more and more unhappy until eventually, in 2008, I had enough. I quit my job, left my relationship, kissed my children goodbye, and wandered off to find myself. And I did find myself, somewhere out there in the wind and rain and sunshine.

So these are easy enough questions to answer, but hard to make thoughtful and interesting. I’ll have a go.

1. What do I want to do?

This is the easiest question to answer. I want to keep doing what I’m doing now, but even better, and moreso.

I had such an amazing time last year, I’m not sure how to top it. I got engaged, became a grandmother for the second time, watched my children grow up a little more (21, 18 and 10, significant years). I had a very successful year at work, I made some amazing new friends, I tried new things (hockey, roller blading, tennis, futsal) and loved them. So these things, I want to keep doing.

There were also some challenges. I’ve had a difficult few months health-wise. I’ve struggled with migraines and back and hip pain. The hip pain made me hang up my running shoes for the latter part of 2010 and that’s been really hard. Running keeps me sane, it sets me to rights. I’ve not found anything I like as much. So this, I’d like to change. And I feel like I’m heading in the right direction with that.

  • I want to (and will) get married this year.
  • I want to watch my family grow up some more, and be there when they need me.
  • I want to continue to improve my skating – stopping, pivots, speed, crossovers.
  • I want to be active. I want to run, walk, dance, skate, blade, play tennis.
  • I want to be social. I’ve met some cool new people this year and I’m looking forward to hanging out with them.
  • I want to slow down a bit. Well, I’ll do my best!

2. Who do I want to be?

I’m pretty happy with who I am right now. So in 2011, I just want to be me some more. Mother, wife, nana, friend, worker. I want to be happy, and healthy, and present, and alive.

The biggest change for me is the ‘wife’ bit. I’m looking forward to being Stephen’s wife, more than I can express here. It means a lot to us both to be making this commitment to each other. It’s not something I thought I’d be doing again, but it just feels right.

3. What am I looking for?

This is a harder one to answer. I don’t know. I have found what I’m looking for. It sounds like a cliche, but I was so lost and now I’m not. When my son turned 18, I had lost my purpose. I didn’t know who I was or who I wanted to be, where I wanted to be. It took time, but I figured it out. For now anyway.

So 2011 will be a year of consolidation for me. In the last couple of years I’ve taken actions and made choices that have set me on a path. I did the hard yards and now I have a clear trajectory to follow. I just need to sit back and enjoy the ride.

I’m looking for a smooth ride.

A new year

A lot of people I’ve spoken to in the last few days have said, “I don’t do new year’s resolutions, but I might start/stop/continue/change x”. Even people who don’t like the formality and cliche of the new year’s resolution seem to recognise the ticking over of the year as a time to reflect and make changes.

I love the idea of using this time to think about where I’ve been in my year, and where the coming year might take me. I want to learn from mistakes made over the past twelve months, and shape the direction of my adventures for the next twelve.

I was discussing goal setting with a friend over coffee the other day. It’s something that’s important to us both and we had an earnest and illuminating conversation about it. So with thanks to Erin, I will answer three questions about 2011:

  1. What do I want to do?
  2. Who do I want to be?
  3. What am I looking for?

I’m going to think on these and write more about them in the next few days.