I like the idea of having foci rather than resolutions. Mainly because I tend to break resolutions and feel disappointed. With foci, there is a sense of purpose and direction – but you don’t feel quite so pinned down.
Last year, I didn’t actually to commit to any resolutions until February – looking back, I did OK with them although time got in the way. I definitely improved my work-life balance. The turning point was taking my work email off my phone so I don’t here the constant ping of work nagging at me when I try to relax. As I’ve got more comfortable in my role, I’m more relaxed about it; when things don’t go as I wish them to, I work on making them better but overall, I’ve got better at accepting that somethings are outside my control and my goal is to manage this rather than feel anxious about it.
Walking to work was fun – I found that it slowed the pace of life down and I enjoy listening to books, podcasts etc as I walk. My daughter has joined me (she has started at my school now) and the company is fun. However, too much walking to work proved tiring. Over the course of the year, I’ve realised it’s good to balance the walking with cycling depending on my energy levels.
Knitting wasn’t on the list but that has been a focus- over the year, I’ve learnt lots of new techniques and become confident and fluent; I’ve completed projects I feel proud of. However, this brings me to my foci for this year:
1. Make clothes that fit better. Last year, I focused on learning skills and techniques; it wasn’t until towards the end of the year that I started to think about FIT. But now FIT is starting to become a source of frustration. There’s no point knitting lovely garments that sit in a box because they don’t fit. I’ve finished my pair of sock and yes, I was mindful of fit- I restarted the socks twice, once to knit a smaller size and secondly because the sock was too long when I turned the heel. I still didn’t get it quite right as I didn’t take enough off the heel and this is the result:
A baggy heel- OK for round the house but annoying when you want to put shoes on. I have been knitting tension squares for jumpers and this has helped but obviously I need to look more carefully at sock sizing and tension.
I’m also going to reknit a jumper I made for my husband earlier in the year – lovely but too big. It’s sat in the wardrobe all winter. The wool was expensive so there’s no point just leaving it sitting there. As you can see, I’ve started unravelling it. I’m going to go down a needle size this time and check the fit by comparing it against the original.
2. Play the Guitar. There’s been a guitar craze in my family this Christmas. My husband (who plays well) has got his guitar out and started to play again, inspiring my children. Now I’m inspired too. I used to play chords as a teenager and I’m very rusty but if I practice most days, I’m sure I’ll get better. It’s a cheerful activity – good for hygge.
3. Go on more cycling adventures. The highlight of 2015 was cycling the Coast to Coast with my husband. When we came back, I was buzzing with ideas for mini-trips and weekends away. I love cycle touring – seeing little villages and roads you wouldn’t notice in the car and seeing changing landscapes. I also love camping – either caravan or tent! The appeal is waking up in the landscape. This autumn, my daughter has started to join me on regular bike rides at weekends which has been a great chance to chat as we ride along’ I’m looking forward to more adventures with her. The challenge is to convince my son – he’s younger and gets bored – he prefers sprinting and skidding. Hopefully, we’ll manage an overnight camping trip with the children – a bit ambitious but doable in the summer.