It’s the start of a new year and we are awash with adverts and articles tempting you to jet off to foreign shores, encouraging you get out and find the new you…but not before you sign over your life savings for a subscription to the local gym which you’ll avoid like the Plague after the first week!
As we’re on day three of January, I’m a little late with jumping on this self-improvement bandwagon, but I’m jumping nonetheless. Now, I’m perfectly aware I have a bit of a reputation – consistency is not my strong point and in the past, the only success I’ve had with my resolutions has been the ability to pronounce the word with my short-tongue!
So I don’t make them. As such…
Do you remember my Bucket List post of 2016? Well, two years on from my ‘oh-my-I-get-old-this-year‘ wish list and I can say I have ticked two items off the list: visiting Iceland and publishing a book.
Okay, okay…so I self-published it and it’s still only an e-book but I reckon few other people can say they received the grand sum of 13p in royalties last week. Retiring to that luxury log cabin is still in sight! 😉
But in all honesty, one success a year isn’t too bad I guess. And now I have some openings, a hole in my bucket-list to fill.
This blog started as an outlet for my fads, those all-encompassing hobbies whose life-span was generally less than a common butterfly. Last year, I tried my hand at origami. Two months in and I had a pile of unused paper. BUT, I’m a dab hand now at making paper hearts.
And who remembers Cyril (or Cedric?) the cello? My heavy-handedness quashed all hope of being a master cellist. That, and never actually having a lesson with a professional!
However overall, additions to my growing list of fads have been lacking lately. It’s time to redress the balance!
So here, in no particular order, is a list of things I’d like to achieve by the end of the year. You have full permission to come back in December and slap my wrists for everything I’ve failed to attempt!
Let’s begin with some I’ve already had some success with:
I had a sudden urge last week to be creative. And knitting always seems like a cosy activity, one you can do whilst huddled under a blanket, with a view to making another blanket to keep you warmer. I am a granny in training!
So off I went to the local craft store, purchased some needles and an array of wool and tried to remember how my Nana had taught me to knit one, purl one.
And I did it! I cast-on and knitted several rows without the need for any outside / internet-related help. Then I decided the tension was all wrong, unraveled it and went out to buy fatter needles. I’m currently knitting a scarf. I doubt I can achieve beyond this – I mean, it’s a whole culture, with its own language, customs and weird contraptions. I’m a little out of my depth beyond the basics. But perhaps I’ll have a new scarf by the next winter season…
Which brings me nicely to my next fad:
I’m quite good at languages. I mean, I was at GCSE and A-level, achieving some qualifications in French, German and Spanish. Plus, I got by with basic skills when we first visited Italy.
But Japanese. Well, that’s a whole new ball game. I couldn’t choose a regular language, could I? I had to select one where the alphabet system is entirely different to my own. One that has not one, 26 letter alphabet, but a language with essentially 3 alphabets, one of which has thousands of symbols!
And then there’s the culture and traditions – certain structures used only in specific situations and a whole section to learn on apologising!
So why Japanese? I’ve always been fascinated by the culture and traditions and I like how it sounds. Plus, I’d like us to visit in the next couple of years. However, it apparently takes 2200 hours to become proficient.
I’m currently working on 10-15 minutes a day. So…yeah…maybe I’ll finally know enough to retire to a log cabin at the foot of Mount Fuji. Then I can tick off the volcano wish too!
(If you fancy learning a language, duolingo.com is a great site I’ve found. Has a really simple set-up and style that I personally find easy to use. Plus it’s free, is available on various formats and covers a multitude of languages. They’ve not sponsored me to say this either!)
LEARN A MARTIAL ART
Yep, this one is still here. Maybe I could wait until I visit Japan and find a school to attend for an intensive crash-course.
But sticks have to be a feature. I want to be able to skillfully wield sticks…
However, perhaps I’d be better off getting my exercise fix with some dancing. I can dance already. I mean, actually dance to routines, not just sling out some shapes on a dimly-lit dance floor after a few vodkas.
But it’s years since I’ve done it with any serious intent. And once you get to a certain age, classes seem to centre around line-dancing, tap or ballroom.
I want to wear pretty tutus, or bust some street-dance moves and be worthy of appearing in the next, chart-topping music video! I want to try aerial routines and be swathed in lengths of silk as I tumble and glide through the sky. Although, I’d more likely end up swathed in bandages after I injure myself in the first ten minutes!
LEARN TO PLAY THE GUITAR. OR DRUMS.
Oh no, I hear you cry. Did our ears not suffer enough when subjected to the straining tones of Cyril?
Okay, hear me out. I’d still like to learn an instrument and figure that the part of playing the cello I WAS good at, was pizzicato – or plucking. Like you do with a guitar. I mean, it’s essentially just a small cello that you play at a different angle. Right?
Plus, I have the benefit of having a guitar school at the top of my street. So no excuses for learning. In theory…
However, I reckon I’d be even better as a drummer. I’m basing this entirely on a) knowing I have decent rhythm, b) successfully playing a salsa-beat on some bongo drums several years ago and c) ‘playing’ my steering wheel as I drive to work.
So which do you think Sam and the neighbours would appreciate more?
This is a pretty serious one and one goal that’s connected to my job. When I return to work next week, I’ll have worked a year as behaviour and emotional well-being lead in my school. I’ve learned so much about the reasons behind children’s behaviour, specifically associated to anxiety, anger and attachment theories. And for the first time, I feel like I’m making a difference in the classroom.
But I want to learn more.
Psychology and what makes humans tick has always intrigued me. In fact, I was offered a place to study it at degree level but chose instead to train as a teacher. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to devote to a full degree course but a part-time or online course would possibly work. We’ll see.
So there we have it. My new, revised bucket list 20.18!
Have you decided to try anything new this year? Let me know your thoughts (and also how likely you think I’ll be to achieve my goals) in the comments!
IMAGE CREDITS: Mine plus Pinterest, livingarts.org, Wikipedia and IMDB.