Monday, 6 January 2014

2013 Not Really Resolutions - The Conclusion

I very nearly didn't do this post.

My absolute shame at my performance in 2013 is overwhelming.

It is not going to be one of those "Oh look at me and how great I am".

This is going to be one of those "Well I don't call them Resolutions anyway so it doesn't matter that I basically didn't do any of them."

Prepare yourself for some class A excuses...

1. Get behind the wheel of a car again - Completed! This resolution was invaluable as it has meant that when I have had access to a car I've been able to get out and about, something which is impossible to do when living in the middle of nowhere. I've been able to hire cars to make long journeys rather than depend on the UK's expensive and unreliable rail service (and it does pain me to say that, having been a rail traveller for so long). There is definitely a post I want to write about being a first time driver on the roads - it was a bit of a baptism of fire for me. My first drive on a motorway was a 3.5 hour stint down the M5 to Tavistock which was all kinds of intense. But I'm pleased I've got this one under my belt - you can read about my refresher lessons and my experiences driving my sister's Tank.

2. Project 365 - Failed. I don't really know what happened here because it was actually going pretty well but then I just....stopped. I think I got busy with the impending move in the flat when The Person was moving here and just forgot to take photos. Plus I really didn't do anything and taking photos every day was a bit of a literal reminder of that. I'm amazing I made it through half of the year to be honest. Still, I did do Project 365 in 2011 so I'm not a complete failure (I tell myself).

3. Read 12 Classics - 9/12 - FAILED! I know! First year that I have ever ever failed this Not Really Resolution in all the years that I've been doing it. My downfall was finally picking up a Classic and a half in the shape of Vanity Fair. That is quite the tome you know. I have had a tendency sometimes to play it safe with my Classics and pick up slimmer volumes or easy volumes (for instance, one of my Classics this year was 101 Dalmatians...) so whilst I do feel sad that I didn't complete this one, I feel proud that I took on the challenge of Vanity Fair and conquered it.

1. North & South, Elizabeth Gaskell
2. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
3. Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
4. The Pursuit of Love, Nancy Mitford
5. The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins
6. The Chrysalids, John Wyndham
7. The Edible Woman, Margaret Atwood (a review of which can be found HERE)
8. The One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Dodie Smith
9. Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray

4. Crochet an Elmer Blanket - Abandoned! You may remember that I abandoned this Not Really Resolution back in April as I decided I want to make a Tetris blanket. The Tetris Blanket is currently ongoing...

5. Learn to Knit - Failed! It just....never happened. Nothing more or less to it!

6. Bake once a month - Failed! It was just too hard, living in someone else's house for half the year isn't really conducive to taking over the kitchen randomly and I spent most of those weekends travelling to Preston to see The Person which meant I didn't have much time left for baking.

Jokes. I just bought cakes and ate them rather than making them.

7. Go abroad - Done! I went to Corfu with The Americans and The Person in July and it was amezzing and beautiful and I loved it and I didn't want to leave. It was made even better by the fact that the day before flying to Corfu, The Americans became Engaged Americans which made me giddy beyond belief.

That's what it looked like. Damn. Now I want to go back immediately.

8. Makeover a chest of drawers - Failed. HA. We moved into an unfurnished flat in August and let me tell you, furniture is expensive, even when shopping for cheap stuff. We still don't have a bed in the spare bedroom so we can have guests over, I am far from having the time, willingness and energy to makeover a piece of furniture I already own.

9. Cross stitch a big picture/item just for me - Failed. In the same way that 2012 was the Year of the Cross Stitch, 2013 was the Year of the Amigurumi and I have crocheted my fingers off. I have barely done any cross stitch at all.

10. Only buy 12 books throughout the year - HA! As if. In 2012 I managed to go a whole year without buying books so this should have been easy but it seems that with me, it's either all or nothing, and looking at the state of my to-be-read bookshelves I may need to implement a ban in 2014.


So there we go. TWO out of TEN Not Really Resolutions completed.

You are totally allowed to sit back and feel pretty damn good about yourself right now.

Hey, at least 2014 is going to be better....right?!


Take a look back at my past attempts...
Not Really Resolutions 2011
Not Really Resolutions 2012


  1. Well I think you've done well, you've had a lot going on this year and you managed the most important one which is to go on holiday AND the most scary one which is the driving.

    I was pondering these aims lists the other day when I was looking at mine and it struck me with yours too - they're a bit silly really as we never know what the year is going to throw at us when we make them in January, then beat ourselves up if we don't achieve everything come December, even if we have managed to do other stuff instead - cases in point: Elmer blanket//Tetris blanket, cross stitch//amigurumi, and in my case: Babette blanket//ripple blanket.

    Don't be hard on yourself, you've done loads, even if it wasn't what was originally planned. These lists should really just be a guide shouldn't they, a sort of fall-back in case we're at a loose end?

    Now, what's on the agenda for 2014???

  2. I agree with Lucy. I create post-resolutions at the end of the year where I look back at what I've done and give myself a pat-on-the-back for what I *have* achieved in the year and pretend that me of 2013 had the hindsight of 2014 - things I may not have expected or ones I've secretly or underlyingly wanted to do for a while and whaddyaa know, turns out last year was the year for it! But how could I have known that 10 months before it happened?

    It's much nicer looking back at things you did manage to do. Can you do that as a post soon? The "Never Really Were Resolutions (but I did them anyway!)"

    Also, I personally feel, with the measurement ones, like "Read 12" or "Snap 365" become kind of mundane once you've done them already. Like, you know you *can* do it, so there's almost less motivation to manage it again, it's less exciting. Especially when faced with a dreary classic.

    Gosh, this comment is rather extensive for one who does not comment often. Pretend that we're all internet friends and it's cool to get involved, while I leave quietly having been that overly familiar new girl at the party...

    1. I don't think you can be the overly familiar new girl at the party - you've been here the longest!!

      This is the first year I haven't done a look back over the year - you're right I probably should, even if for myself, I think the tough kind of times that I've had towards the end of the year have really coloured my overall feelings of the year.

  3. Goals and interest change through the year and it would be daft to restrict yourself to the plans you made on day 1. You achieved loads through the year so you should be pleased with that. Besides, 9/12 classics is a clear majority and counts in my eyes ;)

  4. I was going to say, you have managed to do loads this year, Vanity Fair is no mean feat!

    Maria xxx

  5. I think that the good thing about goals is that it encourages us to look at what we did do, even if we didn't do everything we set out to in the way we expected. You have achieved lots, and hopefully the stuff that you have made (amigurumi, tetris) will be used lots and give you lots of happiness - loads more important than meeting a mythical goal set months ago


  6. I agree with Lucy and Flitterbee; you should cut yourself some slack. Plus, you moved in with The Person. That's big! Oh and the amigurumi is awesome.

    I also fell off the project 365 wagon. Meh.

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  8. 'I really didn't do anything and taking photos every day was a bit of a literal reminder of that' - this is exactly why I failed at 365, there's only so many last minute pictures one can take of shoes or books in the vicinity... I wouldn't feel too bad, at least you got the important ones crossed off! :)

  9. Some good books on that there list, and Vanity Fair I gave up on the one time I tried to read it so I consider that worth a few bonus points!

    Randomly I did learn to knit in December. The in-laws came to stay and I decided it might make for some nice bonding if I asked MIL to teach me. I'm quite enjoying it. It feels useful, even if only know how to make flat square things so far!


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