Things I Did in 2013

2013 is finished and it’s time to look back at the list I admittedly, kind of forgot about. But that was the beauty of the original list. As the year progressed I scratched off plans that were no longer relevant to me. It was more of a brainstorm than your traditional New Year’s Resolutions or goal setting.

Find a buddy and learn Spanish.
Forgetting the botched attempts at the start of the year, in a bizarre turn of events December renewed my interest in Spanish. All thanks to a little app called Duolingo — Apple’s app of the year. Sure it doesn’t beat having an actual Spanish tutor, but it’s a fun and easy way to do a bit of Spanish every day. I particularly like the ‘Strength’ feature which keeps tabs on the parts of language you need to brush up on as it fades from your memory. I’m looking to complete all the app has to offer and reassess my position from there.

Sign up to a physical sport. Hockey? Indoor Soccer? Turbo Touch?
I signed up to hockey in the end and even scored a trophy for Most Improved Player at the club (my early training attempts were clumsy to say the least). Hockey was the sport I had always wanted to try, but only this year did I go for it. Hockey’s a fast sport of running, sprinting, catching your breath, a little ball control, and well, more running. But I won’t let the trophy get to my head, as evidenced by the intensity of Summer hockey I still have some ways to go.

Practise Yoga.
This didn’t go very far. I tried an app, but I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right. In unrelated news, this year I actually tried Zumba for the first time. It would be pretty cool if it weren’t impossible to catch up with the instructor. For now I think I’ll stick with regular walks.

Go overseas by myself.
I visited Melbourne, stayed in a crappy hostel, met Gabe & Tycho from Penny Arcade, and went broke in the process. It was an amazing experience going solo, kinda scary, but awesome trying to cope on one’s own. But if given the choice again I would take along company. It was amazing how home sick I got so quickly. Note to self: Do not buy tickets to go gallivanting overseas if you think you might enter a relationship during said time.

Learn a self defence martial art. Hapkido?
This can’t have been high up on my priorities. I don’t think I even researched this one.

Actually go ‘clubbing’.
Same with the above. If I actually wanted to do it I would’ve done it by now. Some things aren’t meant to be.

Get to know my workmates better.
Seeing as I left my temping assignment, and went and done a new one–which is also now finished– this proves a little tricky. But I am soon meeting up with an old workmate, so I consider this a success regardless. And the folks I hung out with were good people. We played cards and broke bread together (and KFC), and I made a good friend at the desk next to me. For a wallflower like me that’s not too shabby.

Have a relationship.
And ladies and gentleman, this one I accomplished rather early on, and it kind of just happened. And it is so much more than just a tick of a box. The relationship is nearly one year strong. Who’d a thunk it?

Host events/parties/catch-ups.
Through my girlfriend and her living space I’ve co-hosted board game nights, a Firefly marathon, a cocktail party and more besides. And of course the odd Xbox night. So I think I’ve done well in this regard, though of course you can never have enough time with friends!

Initiate contact with friends and family.
I started doing the phone family thing once a week, but they kept asking what I wanted! Also, I’m not the most eloquent on the phone so I really let this one slip. At least I live locally so they’ll see my face at least once a month. Oh yeah and I’m also living back at home now… As for friends I think I arranged a few catch ups, but it really is too easy to keep to oneself.

Get my full driver’s licence.
That happened in 2013? It feels like I’ve had it for longer than that. I passed the test with a word of caution from the driving tester about my overconfidence. Yes, overconfidence, me? Mwahahaha.

Learn guitar.
Can’t say I did much in this regard. Well I did give my guitar to a community house, so I can’t have been overly attached to the thing.

Practise public speaking.
Oh yes, near the end of the year I did sign up to my local Toastmasters club and should really be preparing my Ice Breaker speech. I stood up and spoke on a couple of Table Topics with nerves aplenty. Apparently I like to put my hands on my hips when I’m nervous.

Take on a leadership role.
I did more than just that. I set out to become an Animal Rescue Duty Officer. But along the way I also became a committee member. Somehow I also came into charge of the Facebook page, newsletter, and even secretary of all things. It’s been interesting. There have been a few bumps along the way, but it’s worked out so far. I just need to work on my growly voice, err gentle recommendations.

Record and upload my own podcast.
I recorded a short story in late December thanks to Graeme. It’s not technically a podcast until I sort out an RSS feed and get it onto iTunes. But it’s available on SoundCloud and if we are both dedicated, we could turn it into something regular.

Run from Upper Hutt to Silverstream.
My running started off well. I was running most evenings with my flatmate, then switched over to mornings. Using the Zombie Run! app I became rather proficient, all for training for the Warrior Dash. After that my standards slipped. Winter came and without something to train for I piled excuses on top of excuses. I tried picking up running towards the end of the year, with a new Zombie Run app! but I was getting shin splints or something and I ceased once again. Think I’ll stick to walking for now.

Read more books.
I finished the Wool trilogy and… and I’m struggling to name other books. Oh, Terrorbyte & Archive by Cat Connor! And a bunch of Writer’s Plot short stories and work in progress novels. It’s nothing compared to how my girlfriend devours books, but I’m making progress.. kinda.

Edit my novel.
I can’t actually remember if I had a go at editing it or not during the year, but I did get some friends from my Writer’s group to have a look over it. They had some encouraging words and good feedback. It still didn’t get me rushing to my keyboard to cut out the curd.

Get rid of excess crap.
I definitely tried to do this, at least a few times. But it just hasn’t felt right, like I’m waiting for the right scanning device, or if it’s just me exercising an ultimate form of procrastination. I don’t know if I can be bothered with the mountain that has crept up on me.

I started re-learning basic maths thanks to Khan Academy, but I fell off somewhere, probably the same time I found a girlfriend! Towards the end of the year I used which teaches basic programming in Java. But that seems like a long-term investment, especially after handing in my Java card at uni. Spanish is keeping me afloat at the moment.

Mini goals.

– Drive to Wellington and back.
I’ve done this at least several times now. I believe the first was on a date to see a U2 laser show at the observatory, and I only got lost once!

– Visit SPCA Wellington.
Still haven’t done it and it’s something I still wish to do. But now that they’ve moved buildings I guess it’s as good a time as any.


So that’s that. Stay tuned for a more-in-depth retrospective, and a new list for 2014.

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