November to Remember

Except, not as much to do with pro-wrestling as one would think (for those who get the ECW reference at the top of the picture). Just under 12 months ago I set up some goals I wanted to achieve by New Years’ time 2012. I’ve written a few times about how I’m getting on with them but as New Years’ closes in I realise how many of the 10 I set that I’ve achieved or am closing to achieving soon.

I wanted to make more of an effort to see my friends from Uni, and those I studied and graduated with, and with the exception of one meetup this year it’s not gone the way I wanted. The reason I chose this as a resolution because I felt it was important to make the effort to see friends who otherwise I wouldn’t see regularly due to our differing life schedules in what we’re doing now. I don’t know whether expecting to see them as a group more than once a year is a realistic one but it is still one I want to pursue, and perhaps refine as we move into 2013, by sorting out more regular (and if needs be)  smaller meet-ups.

I set myself a goal of also reading at least one book a quarter (so four in total for the year) and having been captivated by George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series I resolved this resolution and am now on the fifth book of the series ‘A Feast for Crows’, only two more to go until the new books come out, but I think it’s a goal I’ll keep for next year. I started reading Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’ and Jonathan Powell’s ‘The New Prince’  so I would like to finish them before I start any really new books but it all looks very possible.

Having interests, hobbies and activities that take up a lot of your time and focus can build up a lot of pressure on someone’s character and it’s important they release some steam every now then, without the responsibilities, expected of them by those hobbies. This was true when I set my New Years’ Resolutions and I think it’s still true now. I did manage to get away for a few days in Manchester this year, a month ago, for Annual Labour Party Conference. I’m also on a conference later on this month, so whilst it’s work-related, it’ll still be a good opportunity to relax, unwind and enjoy the social side of life (at least after the hard-work during the day is done).

My cultural side was also important to me when I set out the resolutions and I wanted to see three plays by the end of the year. I was invited to Stafford School Sport’s Partnership Olympic Dance Presentation so I’ll count that as it was cultural, I also managed to see Les Mis by MYTS, a College performance of Trojan Women and Romeo and Juliet the Summer Festival Shakespeare. After all that I think it’s challenge completed.

I also wanted to be a better blogger, which I thought I could accomplish by blogging at least once per week, which looking at the number of posts with the 2012 category I’ve achieved with 69 out of a proposed 52. Though recently I’ve been thinking that the better way to accomplish this would be to separate the political from the personal like I did last year with a few changes I made. So my political blog, www.rowandraper.com (or so it will be), is there and will feature specific articles about my experiences and development in politics (check it out and let me know what you think) so I’m going to use this site to blog about my personal life (or what I’m willing to share at least).

Perhaps it’ll take a new direction because one of the area’s I’d like to focus on is in learning how to cook better food. I’ve not managed to do it thus far but if you’ve got any good recipes you’d like to share, do post a comment and let me know below.

What have I failed to complete, so far, but likely won’t by the next time I set New Years’ Resolutions so:

  • Write at least one act of a good play about a subject out of my comfort zone
  • Pass my Driving Theory Test by the end of the year
  • Get myself in shape

Three out of 10 isn’t too bad. What do you think? How well do you get on with your New Years’ Resolutions?

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