I quit doing new year resolutions years ago, if I ever did them. I've been thinking that if you can change something in your life, you can do it any time during the year. However, I've been trying to set goals for the new year, and for 2019 my only goal was to make it a good year.
2019 was tough. But it sure has been the best year since a long time.
One of my main goals since 2017 happened - we moved to Ireland. It was hard work - but so worth it. We've played lots of music, made new friends, and we've bought a little house.
I've spent the year mainly studying Italian. It's been lovely, although I've now sworn I'll never set my foot in a university again.
In reality I absolutely loved spending most of my time with Italian grammar, movies, literature and more, but never-ending deadlines and knowing that exams were coming up partially destroyed the joy of studying. I like to study for learning, not to stress over an exam. I guess I'm not a university person, I just want to learn! The exam period was horrible, but at least quite short, and my husband fed me glögg and gluten free mince pies. However, one thing that I realised when I started writing the first exam, was how much my Italian skills have improved. All of a sudden I didn't struggle anymore to express myself in Italian, I just wrote. I loved that feeling! So no matter the results, the goals with my Italian studies are reached already.
I also spent the year playing music, working hard in the new garden, tasting whiskey, and trying to figure out what to do with my life.
What to focus on during 2020
Move more. A year ago before moving to Ireland, we lived with my in-laws and I went to a gym twice a week. When moving here, I planned to continue exercising and had a program I could follow at home, with loose weights or simply my own body weight. Well, that didn't happen, because I was so busy studying all the time and had a hard time to squeeze more things into my weeks. Now I hope to move more, go for walks, and go to the gym down the road.
Get back to photography. During 2019 I've taken quite a few photos but nothing brilliant because I haven't really focused on photography - I haven't worked on skills, improving composition etc. I've mainly just taken photos in the garden and snapshots when we've been out and about. Now is the time to get back to more focused photography, get back to skills I used to have, learn more and take better photos.
Write more. I'm going to work on my writing, both in English and in Italian. I definitely want to write more than I fiddle with web design and tech stuff. That's why I've now put my blog on a lovely little flat file CMS, and accepted that I'll have to use Disqus for comments, because this platforms is so much nicer to work with than any of the other applications I've used. Read more about Pico CMS here. Some time ago it seemed like Disqus had become a paid service only, but I discovered later that it hadn't. I'm not fond of Disqus but at least it works and it enables me to use a nice, safe CMS that makes me want to write.
Be nicer to myself and my body. As I mentioned, I want to get moving and exercising regularly, but also take better care of myself generally. This includes good and positive thinking, a healthy mindset, thinking of myself in a nice way, eat better and all these things.
Continue to study Italian and make it fun. I'm going to repeat everything I studied during 2019, practice grammar, vocabulary (I have loooong list of new words to go through!), write in Italian, and attend the lovely group in Cork. Who knows what else! I still want to become fluent.
Music. During 2019 we've played music at least twice a week, but have mainly played songs and tunes we've played for years, but have become better at them. Now I want to learn new stuff. I plan to work on some flat picking on the guitar, mainly little runs, intros etc so far, and I hope to take some lessons from a friend of ours. I'll also work on my concertina playing, learn new tunes, work on other fingerings, and the first week of March if all goes well I'll be in county Clare for the concertina workshop week with Noel Hill. I'm so looking forward to that!!
Continue to work on career plans. I don't have any details about this right now. But I'll simply develop some ideas I have and see where that leads.
I wish all of you a brilliant start of 2020!