Admittedly, I’ve put this blog on the backseat during the last few months and I haven’t written a post since September – yikes! However, as is in keeping with tradition, I felt the need to write another end-of-year post to round up the year – and this time it’s not just the end of a year,but the end of a decade as we head into the next round of the roaring ’20s.
On a personal level, I feel like 2019 was positive for me, but on a wider level, I can’t help but feel nervous for what the next year has to told. The results of the UK general election last month left me feeling deflated and just a few days into 2020 and I’m waking up to more news of the devastating bush fires in Australia and ‘World War III’ trending on Twitter. Not quite the positive start to the year we were all hoping for.
Of course, no year goes by in history without its tragedies, conflicts and challenges but am I naive in my thinking that humanity should be more progressive and compassionate by now? Racist incidents have continued to rise throughout the UK and food banks are being used by UK families more than ever before. It’s safe to say that the news this year has left me feeling more helpless than ever before.
However, it’s important to remember the positives that have come out of this decade, some of which are recounted in this article from The Week. Some personal favourites of mine here include the Michigan Kindergartens who supported their friend as he was formally adopted and the Iraqi Muslims helping their Christian neighbours to rebuild their church after it was destroyed. It’s moments like these that remind us that human compassion can be found everywhere across the world and acts of kindness are happening around us all the time despite the the negativity that surrounds us.
So to recap on my 2019 resolutions: I successfully completed Dry January and I didn’t actually find it too challenging! Pistol squats on the other hand were maybe a bit too challenging for me – I’ve given them a go a few times, often using the TRX ropes to help me, however I think I need to improve my balance and core strength before I attempt these properly!
This year, I’ve set myself a fair few little goals. I’ve been challenged to give up sweet treats for the whole of January (this includes things like biscuits, cakes and chocolate but I can still enjoy fruit and natural yogurt.) I’m also going to try and go without alcohol for as long as I can without officially declaring it a dry January. I also thought it would be fun to set myself a small skill to learn every month so I’ve put together a list of 12 things I’d like to try and achieve. They range from useful skills DIY skills to fun party tricks. I haven’t decided what order I’m going to attempt these in but I figured it’d be interesting to see where I get to:
- Successfully sew up a hole or button (I put successfully, as I have sewn up a few holes in the past but not to the best standard)
- Dice an onion (I’d love to be able to do this really neatly!)
- Learn the astrological constellations
- Tie a bowline knot (very useful for climbing and my friends are probably sick of doing it for me!)
- Grow a fruit or vegetable (this one may take some planning as it will be season dependent)
- Learn the capital of every country (perhaps quite ambitious but I’ll see how many I can learn)
- Shuffle a pack of cards (I’ve scuffed up too many packs not doing this properly)
- Make an origami figure
- Eat with chopsticks (tried and failed with this many times in South East Asia)
- Wire a plug
- Learn to say the alphabet backwards (definitely a party trick this one!)
And there we have it – a fair few challenges to be getting on with. Here’s to the new decade and hopefully some more positives to come!