Monday, January 05, 2009

2008, a (rather shallow) personal review

This is coming a little bit late, but then really this is only the first proper week of the new year so I guess I'm still okay (and at least I managed to get the depressing global review out of the way).
(The numbers below signify perhaps a reverse chronological order, but really doesn't mean anything apart from the order in which the items popped into my head.)

1. It's really a blessing to be able to ring in the new year with the person you love and care about, and who miraculously feel the same way about you. I am so happy we could just be. Thank you for being with me. xoxo

2. It's been a long time since I've received Christmas presents that I actually liked, but this year unbelievably I received two gifts that really made me feel that the giver actually knows me very well. One is vouchers for a cookery course at Cooks Acdademy; the other is a beautiful set of dessert cutlery from Newbridge silverware.... I'm really gobsmacked and my eyes are filled with tears of joy and gratitude again even just thinking about it. Thank you my darlings.

3. I finally learnt all the words to the carol "Twelve Days of Christmas" - it's really great as a party game right before dinner especially if you have a group of friends (or even reluctant family members!) to whom you could assign particular lines to get them to sing for their festive supper!

4. It's been rather an unlucky year where my gadget purchases are concerned. Now with all the post Christmas / January sales on, I feel an even bigger fool regarding my unfortunate sucker status where PCWorld/Dell are concerned... Can I do better in the new year?

5. I didn't travel at all in the past year, not even to Newry (a town in Northern Ireland close to the border) where all my friends and acquainstances have been over the holiday period to load up on once-in-a-lifetime bargains as the Euro almost reaches parity with the weak Pound. Thus I am one of those smug annoying people who could lecture others about being green when really it was more to do with the fact that I lacked the time to go gallivanting around the globe. Perhaps later this year if all goes to plan... (fingers crossed!)

6. I'm really surprised to all of a sudden come to the reaslisation that I'm beginning to display signs of ageing. OMG! When did this happen????????????? The chief signs are thining hair and shadows under my eyes which are no longer easily shifted after some proper sleep. Thankfully there is no sagging skin or wrinkles, etc. But still, allow me a panicked "Arrrrrghhhhh!" Although I have quite a lot of skincare products (I tended to buy these in binges), I don't really have a beauty regime that I stick to (hey I already found it hard enough to keep to a routine of cleaning my contact lenses okay?) Perhaps out of sheer necessity I will now need to start building a beauty routine into my daily routine... (Probably it's way too late anyway!! Who'd heard of only instituting a beauty regimen at age 30!!!!! Arrgh! I feel like the fabled grasshopper who wastes time singing all summer, and now must try to behave like an ant where my looks maintenance is concerned...)

7. Where general health is concerned, I definitely have been eating healthily thanks to my new-found enthusiasm for home-cooking (and I've ALWAYS been a vegetable person even when I was a child). But my sleeping pattern has been out-of-whack, and is still out-of-whack... I must do better on this, especially if the shadows under my eyes are not to turn into full-blown panda eyes for the rest of my life!! Exercise-wise, although I don't need to lose weight (sorry I've been a skinny cow all my life), I still get my bit in by walking miles to the bus-stop, but I must really, really curb my taxi habit!! If only for the sake of financial belt-tightening in this year rather than from a purely health-and-exercise perspective.

8. Last but not least, looking back on my list of new year's resolutions last year, it seems, execution-wise I still have my priorities upside down, but I'm also glad that I'm able to really pursue a few of them with relative degrees of success:

1. PhD. Still plugging away at this, but am working to a clear time-table for submission, and am comforted by this line from Yeats, "The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of a passionate intensity."

2. "Make time for family and friends, and learn to be relaxed with them." I think I have made reasonable efforts to achieve this in the past year, but still could do much, much better in the new year (i.e. THIS YEAR!)...

3. "Learn to have real courage for my convictions (including all my aspirations in life and love). Put my convictions into practice and continue to rise above those unethical few with axes to grind." I think I am beginning to be able to do the putting-convictions-into-practice bit, and I think I have done pretty well in rising above office politics stuff in the past year... the fact that I released my pent-up work rants on this blog was actually a great, great help. I'm grateful to those of you who have put up with my often irrational rants over the past year on this blog and yet amazingly remain supportive. Thanks a million guys :)

4. "Be prudent in my finances and continue to re-build my nest egg after I spent a good chunk of it building and feathering my new nest last year." Oh well, due to circumstances beyond my control, there was no way I could re-build my nest egg over the past year, in tandem with the majority of innocent savers/small investors the world over. I am thankful though that I still have some level of savings and I will continue to learn to practise the age-old virtue of thrift. (As well as working hard to stay in my job I suppose...)

5. "Continue upgrading my culinary skills, practise the piano for pleasure and go to a dance class in spite of not being able to tell my left foot from my right." I think I am progressing rather steadily on the first item (hooray!); and I did practise the piano albeit only on the rare occasion, but it was strictly for pleasure (hah! what a get-out clause that was!); but I failed to join a dance class at all. (Hmmm, something to look forward to this year?)

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At Mon Jan 05, 08:18:00 p.m. GMT, Blogger laichungleung said...

I dare not to write my own personal review. It's downright scary for the scant non-accomplishment accomplishments. I've got to turn things around.

At Mon Jan 05, 08:32:00 p.m. GMT, Blogger Snowdrops said...

What do you mean? You read a few great books, brought your family to camping, worked hard even over the holiday period, and these are just off the top of my head. Don't sell yourself short on your accomplishments man.

At Tue Jan 06, 02:56:00 p.m. GMT, Blogger laichungleung said...

I am sorry, it should really be about you not about me...

30 is just a baby. Yeah, I remember I was 30. Gee, it's about me again. Got to stop. Anyway, I need to know how to set my goals and stick to them.

At Tue Jan 06, 07:22:00 p.m. GMT, Anonymous Esther said...

All the best for the new year. Your house looks very very homely!

At Tue Jan 13, 01:50:00 p.m. GMT, Blogger Snowdrops said...

LCL and Esther, soooo sorry for my delay in replying again...

LCL: Don't worry, this was rather a shallow personal review anyway, so no probs about going on about yourself (in fact I tended to do that myself more often than not on others' blogs!!)

Esther: Hey, nice to meet you! Thanks a mil' for your kind message. I checked out your blog briefly and it seems you're from Northern Ireland right? How great! One of my best friends in College was from the North herself (Ballymena). And you're based in Philipines now? Hope you're adjusting to life in the tropics.


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