Saturday, 28 December 2013

Annual Appraisal

It shouldn't really have taken a horrid cold to get round to reading a book. I watched the last two Harry Potter films, some of The Office, and two episodes of Game of Thrones, and for whatever reason I'm reading again and it feels good. It's JPod by Douglas Coupland, a book I borrowed from Rob when I visited him before Christmas, and he made me feel bad about how much prep he put into the Christmas card he got me, and then on Christmas morning he made me feel bad again because he made me an amazing present and I just got him a Moleskine. Saying that, he's the Creative. I'm the Suit. I gave him the gift of practicality, he gave me magic and whimsy.

I keep looking over at my dressing table and thinking it doesn't look like it belongs to me, as it's currently decorated with lots of pretty costume jewelry I've acquired over recent weeks and it's actually tidy for once. I'm not very good with jewelry, but I picked out some beauts the other week, and I got a gorgeous necklace in Secret Santa at work.

I'm feeling incredibly cliche and reflective at the moment due to the time of year, but it's been a big year. This time twelve months ago I was on the cusp of a fairly obviously imminent break up and I dealt with that much better than I thought I would. There were a couple of other break ups, these ones with friends, and they were pretty necessary. It's difficult to see how destructive certain relationships are until you take a step back from them.

This was the year I learned how and when to be selfish. I pushed myself a lot, and I got something valuable to show for it. Next year I want to move out. It's a goal but if it's not achieved it's not the end of the world because living with my Mum is a really sweet deal. I'm completely spoiled. Mum does my washing and cooks my tea for me. She's currently forcing medicine for my cold down my throat three times a day because the taste reminds me of sambuca and I hate sambuca. This has just reminded me of tequila shots at the Christmas party with my manager, I'd completely forgotten!

I'm so busy all the time these days and I find it difficult to switch off from work. When I go back in the New Year I'm aiming to work harder than I ever have before. I've never been one for New Year resolutions. Thinking about it I think it's because I was complacent, I wasn't aware of my capabilities, and it's difficult to think about improving your life when you already think things are good. On reflection, last year things were barely okay. I could have settled for that but I would have always been disappointed. I'm not a believer of New Year magically fixing things, but I think making resolutions this time round is appropriate. I'm not going to be self-destructive anymore.

Sunday, 1 December 2013


I really love driving, and long sessions on the open road are ideal. Especially those wherein I'm not sat in traffic and I'm not in a rush because I'm running late. (I'm going to throw it out there right now that I am a terrible driver. Just awful.)

My love for driving probably stems from the (faux) privacy of the car. It's a personal little booth where I can belt out some Britney, and it's where I do most of my thinking. I used to drive back to Lancaster every Sunday night after an emotionally pent up weekend working this frustrating unrewarding job, and sing my heart out and just blow off the steam that had collected since the week before. (Not only am I terrible driver, but my singing would upset you.) When I'd get back to my flat I'd usually be exhausted, and I would have re-evaluated my life and how I'd handled things and feel bad that this was how I felt about my life.

Every evening on the way home from my current work, this 45-or-so minute drive, I think back over the events of the day. There are these perfect little eureka moments when it comes to understanding myself, and for a lot of other people these usually come in the shower. For me it's when I'm behind the wheel. These days the drives are a lot more positive.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post gushing about how much happier I am now, and it's true, but I don't feel I really got into it in the writing. My 2014 goal was achieved in 2013. This is such an undeniably huge deal for me, because I didn't honestly imagine that it would happen. 2013 was a useless year for many reasons, but my career wasn't one of them. What's even more unbelievable is that going from the feedback I've had so far from my colleagues, I actually seem fairly capable. I guess I'm trying hard and they can see it, and I'm having fun while doing it. I've been there for two months now and I've noticed my commute home consists of 'so this went well today' or 'I learned something new - how am I actually going to put it into practice?' or 'wow, I'm actually doing this.'

I am still one of those bores that has become consumed by her job, but at least it's an interesting job, and this habit will diminish in time. It's refreshing though to be able to say how happy I am, and I'm not going to stop.

On perhaps a less meaningful note, last night I put a quilt on my bed as a mattress topper and good lord. I slept like a baby, which only highlighted how badly I've been sleeping for all this time. My joints haven't cracked once all day!