2015.

The archways at UWA, the university I attended way back when.

Some arches at UWA, the university I attended way back when.

Oh hi, 2015!  Where did you come from?  Once again, the new year is rolling in with quiet stealth.  It feels like I’ve just blinked and January is a fifth over already.

Last year’s resolutions were only partially successful, so this year, my resolution is to build on those successes, in addition to a general “live in the moment”-ness.

So, my resolutions have shaped up to be:

1.  Blog more regularly

I was doing so well for a short time … and then, life took over.  This year, I aim to make a rough editorial schedule and stick to it.  Hopefully.  Watch this space.

2.  Step up strength and flexibility

2014 was the year I started ballet again.  Oh, 17-year-old self, you did not know how good you had it, with limbs which flew every which way you wanted them to without complaint. (Legs: meet ears.  Please and thank you.)  Now, it is more of a case of my finger tips taking a trip to meet my toes and deciding to take an unplanned and unlimited stop at my shins.  While the weekly classes have left me feeling healthier and I love moving with the music again, this year I need to start pushing myself to improve.

3.  Learn (more of) a language

Last year, I completed Level 1 and Level 2 Spanish with a local language school, which is great, until I realise that basically, I can only speak in the present tense with an incredibly limited vocabulary (read: virtually non-existent).  Levels 3 and 4, here I come.

4.  Domestic goddess it up

I actually didn’t too badly with the keeping a tidy house in 2014, although there is definitely room for improvement.

5.  More time with Boy Robin

Or, more specifically, less nights on the couch in front of the tv, while simultaneously reading / playing games on our respective devices.  In 2014, I really improved my communication skills with Boy Robin, to the point where I hardly ever expect him to read my mind.  However, I’ve noticed that we’ve slipped into a really lazy pattern of couch potato evenings.  While down time totally has its place, there are probably definitely some better ways to relax together (rather than next to each other).  Now to convince Boy Robin that playing Just Dance 2015 (one of my favourite Christmas gifts) is a good way to relax together.

6.  Live in the moment

That is, a mish-mash of less procrastinating and more seizing opportunities as they arise, with some spontaneity thrown in for good measure.  I was made redundant at the end of last year and while I’m between jobs, I’m doing some consulting work.  It has the potential to be very successful, if only I could build up some will power to stick to self-imposed deadlines and be confident enough in my skills to take on bigger projects.  Working from home is hard and its so easy to talk yourself down (especially when you have no-one else to talk to).  But, living in the moment applies to life in general – not letting procrastination and self doubt be barriers to achieving goals, not least of all these resolutions.

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Happy New Year.

The road ahead

Who I am and why I’m here.

In contrast to the cheers and fireworks (or, in our case, sparklers) of  12 midnight on the cusp of 31 December 2013 and 1 January 2014, the new year is rolling in with quiet stealth.  Already it is 3 January and before we know it, we will be wondering where the week / month / summer got to and how time managed to slip through our fingers while we weren’t looking.

It’s about this time you think “This year, I’m not let the year slide by, full of opportunity not grasped and achievements not achieved.”  Not that the year (or life) is a list of tick boxes, but we are alive so briefly in the grand scheme of things it seems utterly tragic not to make the most of it.  And yet, despite the start of the year stretching out like a road, full of promise and good intentions, all too often, we make New Year’s Resolutions to find out that six months in (or three, or two or one), those resolutions have fallen by the wayside.

I am a mid-twenties girl who is slowly easing her way into her late twenties (although I’m holding onto the mid-twenties as long as I legitimately can).  In May 2013, I married Boy Robin, the love of my life, and I am still trying to get my head around it, while we make our nest together.  I drink copious cups of tea and have an incredibly sweet sweet tooth.

I started this blog in part to navigate and document my newlywed life with Boy Robin, as we go forth into married life together and in part as a creative outlet with my work life does not fulfil.  Although I don’t really expect anyone to read what is basically a public diary, I figure that my writing will only get better if it is subjected to unbiased criticism (although, please make it constructive!)  There might be people who read and have that “aha! I’m not the only one” moment.  And as I jot down my wifely observations and thoughts, I might just make sense of it all.

So far, I have found wedded life to be complicated.  Not that I thought it would be simple – bringing two people together who had never lived together was never going to be easy.  But I thought it would be, as all those congratulatory wedding cards foretold, “one life”.  Spoiler: it’s not.  Or, more specifically, it’s like a rope.  A rope made up of all these different threads.  There’s a couple of work threads, multiple family and friends threads, threads of expectation, social pressure and conflicting ideas, of hopes, disappointments, agreement and misunderstandings.  Oh, and love – love winds its way through it all.

Sometimes it feels like Boy Robin and I are careering along those love and hope threads together.  Those are the nights we make dinner together seamlessly, perhaps with a glass of wine in hand, before sitting down to dinner together, conversation gushing like a waterfall.  Or when a song comes on the radio and we spontaneously get up and dance together.  Other times we split off onto our respective work threads.  They’re not exciting, but important if we want to keep paying the bills.  Other times still, we spiral down separate threads of disappointment and misunderstanding.  Those are the times when the rope seems to fray slightly.  Other times, we’re just on different threads – doing things without the other because quite frankly there is only so much cricket I can watch and only so much art gallery Boy Robin can walk through.

I think I still need learn that being on different threads is ok.  To have our own interests is a healthy part of married life – we made vows of husband and wife, not conjoined twins.  As long as we keep coming back to those love and hope threads together.

So, I think this blog has morphed into documenting my “threads in the rope”, for want of a better word, the ones that I travel with Boy Robin and without him.  And with that in mind, I have set out my New Year’s Resolutions below.  Hopefully, publishing them with that weird kind of indelible-ness that only the internet can give, it will be that little bit more difficult to let them fall away.

1.  Blog more regularly

There’s not much point having a blog if I am only going to post sporadically.  I already know maintaining the discipline of regular blogging, while hopefully keeping the posts interesting, will be a challenge.  Taking part in WordPress’ Zero to Hero project will make it a bit easier.  It might even make it a hard to break habit.

2.  Take dance lessons regularly

All through primary and high school, I took dance lessons most nights after school.  Not only did it keep me fit and healthy (a sports person I am not), but I loved the transcendent, expressive feeling of moving with the music.  Once I reached university, it became a bit sporadic.  And when I started work, it all became too hard.  This year, I want to change that.  I have already agreed with my sister to start classes together.

3.  Learn a language

Dancing will keep my body fit and learning a language will keep my mind fit.  At the moment, I am tossing up between French and Spanish … I will let you know how it goes.

4.  Keep a tidy house

This would be the “nesting” part of “Nesting Newlywed”.  Boy Robin does help and does the things I either can’t do (such as handyman-type things, reaching things on shelves I’m too short to reach, etc), or don’t particularly want to do (I hate taking out the rubbish and unpacking the dishwasher).  I’ve spent the past couple of days cleaning – scrubbing, wiping, vacuuming and mopping until I feel high on cleaning products.  Although the big clean leaves you feeling really satisfied, I’m sure having a tidy house most of the time (rather than letting it degenerate until you can’t stand it any more) would be even more satisfying.  You wouldn’t have to dash home and frantically tidy up before having people over, at any rate.

5.  Communicate better with Boy Robin

I absolutely adore Boy Robin, but I often get frustrated with him … only to realise that the only way to have avoided the frustration would be for him to read my mind.  What seems so obvious to me is not always obvious to him (and vice versa).  Although I don’t want to sound like I’m giving touchy-feely relationship advice, communication is key.

So, there you have it.  Nothing really ground breaking, but something to work towards throughout the year.  And if I manage to stick to No. 1, you are likely to hear about 2 to 5.

WordPress has set a Zero to Hero 30-Day Blog Challenge, giving bloggers daily tasks – sometimes writing, sometimes reading, sometimes tinkering with WordPress.com – to take bloggers from “What’s this blog thing?” to a blog they are excited and proud to publish.  Find out more here.