The Year in Review 2014

This blog seems to have little purpose besides my annual summaries, but it’s time for one of those so here goes.

# What did you do in 2014 that you’ve never done before?

I met in person someone I’d become friends with online. I flew on a trapeze. I spent Christmas abroad (at home). Transitioned to minimal shoes (loving it).

# Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I found this one-word focus thingy online (can’t remember where) and chose the word “kindness” for 2014. I then tried to figure out what that might mean in my life, wrote it down and didn’t look at the paper again until now. It’s been a bit hit and miss: I definitely increased my exercise time, treated myself to a lot of performances (mostly dance but a mix of cabaret/circus/theatre/music, plus exhibitions) and pushed my (anti)social boundaries, especially since summer (last spring is a bit of a blur – I must have…existed..?). I’ve meditated more but not at all consistently, I haven’t followed through with my creative ambitions, figured out a career or even worked much at all.

I think there should be resolutions. I think they need to be very concrete and measurable. They will include finishing a dissertation (and breaking that down into doable baby steps). Other than that, I’ll try to make the resolutions about things I love rather than necessities like finding a job – also a must.

# Did anyone close to you give birth?

Finally yes, a friend of mine had a baby boy. I haven’t met him yet, though. Expat problems.

# Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully, a body count of 0.

# What countries did you visit?

Denmark, and lovely it was, too. Would definitely go to Copenhagen again.

# What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

Before I get on to this year’s answer, here’s what I’ve wanted for two years in a row:

A proper kitchen (afraid not), a proper washing machine (equally unlikely), better time management (joking, right?).

Guess what? Two out of three in 2014. Not bad, not bad at all. I’m going to keep better time management on the list and add a sense of purpose and a career plan.

# What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

I moved house on 12 August. I won’t remember that in years to come, but it’s the only date I can think of.

# What’s your biggest achievement of the year?

Going with a list again: I moved house, finished fieldwork, rediscovered Flying Low, rediscovered circus, started handstand classes, relaxed some dietary restrictions (mostly successfully). I tried to make use of where I live, seeing and doing things – I even went drawing a few times. Oh, and I got back up after last year’s big fall.

# What was your biggest failure?

I completely lost motivation for my PhD. These things happen.

# Did you suffer illness or injury?

Stress-related body-fuck-uppery has been a frequent companion. Got a pretty impressive knee wound from falling last spring. Currently nursing a weird patella pain that just won’t go away. Countless harmless bruises from training. Oh and ear infections. Haven’t had those since I was a child. Suddenly I can see why the year’s been less than optimal.

# What’s the best thing you bought?

Maybe my first tablet? It hasn’t been as brilliant as I hoped it would, mainly because I bought it too cheaply (meaning it wants to speak Chinese). It’s certainly the most expensive thing I’ve bought, apart from travel. Which reminds me: annual ticket to ride, that’s been good so far. And if they count as things, circus classes are top of the list.

# Whose behaviour merited celebration?

On a personal level, friends old and new have shown kindness and a couple of teachers have made a big difference to my confidence. On a global level, news go in one ear and out the other and I really couldn’t tell you what went on this year as opposed to last year or ten years ago. It’s all mush.

# Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

I read some comments on a news website. Mistake. (I read some news. Mistake.)

# Where did most of your money go?

As ever: rent, transportation, tuition fees.

# What did you get really, really excited about?

Circus. Mainly doing but also admiring people who actually know what they’re doing. La Soirée and Timber! are recent highlights.

# What song will always remind you of 2014?

Looks like youtube is not working (again) but this was my August soundtrack:

# Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder? Richer or poorer? Thinner or fatter?

  • I’ve had a couple of sad days recently. I’m hoping they’ll pass. Impending change and insecurity will do that, as will failure to reach work goals.
  • For various reasons, poorer. Not “only oatmeal from now on” poor, but I can see myself reaching that point in the not too distant future.
  • About the same, I’d imagine. There have been fluctuations.

# What do you wish you’d done more of?

Worked. Worked worked worked. Many other things besides (yoga, singing, even more dancing, reading – all things I did, just want to do even more), but for very practical deadline-meeting and earning-a-living reasons – worked.

# What do you wish you’d done less of?

Grinding my teeth, sitting, worrying, doing nothing instead of doing something, spending time glued to a screen (oops).

# How did you spend Christmas?

Mum came over and we explored Christmas in a big city. It was interesting and we had a good time. I missed having some proper quiet time though.

# Did you fall in love in 2014?

With circus, especially aerials, yes.

# What was your favourite TV program?

I got into Stargate Atlantis but haven’t watched after the move. Recently discovered Adventure Times. Other than that it’s been the same old: QI, Doctor Who (like Capaldi, still not keen on Moffatt), Bake Off…

# Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Nah. I have very little respect for some people but that’s not the same as hate.

# What was the best book you read?

Tough call. I didn’t read all that much, but Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (I also saw the plays!) and Life After Life by Kate Atkinson were both excellent. However, I think the one I enjoyed the most was Mantel’s Fludd. It’s an oddly charming and funny little book, much recommended.

# What was your greatest musical discovery?

OK Go was not exactly a new discovery, but their latest album was this year’s new thing for me. For bouts of homesickness, Reino did the trick:

# What did you want and get?

A new home.

# What did you want and not get?

Flexibility (of the physical kind, although mental would be good too), among other unrealistic wishes.

# What was your favourite film of this year?

I quite liked What We Do In The Shadows, and remember enjoying The Wind Rises.

# What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

A dance class, and dinner with new flatmates. They gave me a onesie. I’m older than I can believe.

# What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Take away the impending doom of “what next”, inject a few measures of motivation and discipline, and it would not have been a bad year as such.

# How would you describe your personal fashion concept for 2014?

I bought my first ever pair of skinny-ish black jeans. Other than that, sweatpants all the way. Tights for more circus-y activities.

# What kept you sane?

Movement. Nothing beats a good class. A bad class is better than nothing.

# What celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I didn’t, really. Don’t mind feasting my eyes on acrobats, though.

# What political issue stirred you the most?

Privilege. Becoming more aware of how it works. Racism, sexism, ageism, all the bad isms.

# Who did you miss?

We get younger as we get older and so I confess: I miss my Mummy. More of my family and friends should live closer.

# Who was the best new person you met?

Circus people are lovely.

# Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

As nice as day dreaming is, day doing gives better results in the long term. (Honestly, I don’t know where the year has gone. It’s just…gone. I need a bit more to show for the next one.)

For once, I’m quite early with this thing. I have no plans for New Year’s Eve apart from continuing my festive eating marathon, peering out the window for fireworks and drawing up plans to make next year a better one. I hope yours will be everything you hope for.

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