Saturday, 28 December 2013


I don't mind a bit of reflection. You learn twice as much from your mistakes as long as you acknowledge them. 2013 has been a bugger of a year for me. I have worked too much and too hard for too little reward. I have not spent enough time following my dreams (heck I haven't been sleeping enough to even get into the dreaming) or even just having fun. The problem is that I say the same thing about 2012, and 2011 for that matter. It seems that I am not learning from my mistakes. I recently had a minor health scare (fortunately it was just a scare) but whilst I was in the Waiting To Find Out phase I said to the Bookworm "I haven't done anything I want to do yet". In retrospect, that is the scariest part of all. We can be taken from this world at any time by any number of causes and were that to happen to me soon, mine would have been a life half-lived. Sickening to think about. So here's to 2014 and seeking victory.

Here is a little recap of my 2013:

Things I have achieved:
This blog. I always liked the idea of writing, not necessarily Being A Writer, just writing. I have had a strange relationship to writing ever since The Great Gatsby episode in high school. Then at some point this year I decided I needed to overcome some of the blocks in my past (there are a few) and writing was one of them. I tried writing a journal but without a perceived audience I really struggled to make the time to do it,  so starting a blog seemed like a good idea and so far I have continued writing for over 6 months and 37 posts (or as you are reading this, 38).

My WSET 3 exam. This is a fairly high-level wine course that is internationally recognised. I actually did the course a little while ago but had to defer my exam due to some sad family stuff and then multiple 60 hour weeks during which time the very idea of the exam became huge and insurmountable (the longer you put things off the bigger they get). I thought for a while I may never actually do the exam but on the 9th of December I finally did. I am making it into a much bigger deal than it ever was, or needed to be, but it also represents for me a commitment to a career based around wine. I won't get my results until late February/early March but I feel like it it going to be OK.

Ted. All I really did was write an email to begin with, yet the acquisition of Ted feels like a major achievement. Learning about him and his history has also opened my eyes to some of the horrible things people do to companion animals (like this) and the lack of protection they have under our current laws. Ted was dumped at a rural pound in NSW and was about to be euthanised when he was rescued by Mme magic Paws (a bit about her here). He was just a pup, probably about 4-5 months old at the time he was dumped. People are shocked to hear this ("Someone dumped a puppy?") but with christmas just gone, the animal rescue groups and shelters will be filling up again around March. My increased awareness about the policies of some of our animal welfare authorities led to me saving little Puffin too. In the last 8 months we have taught Ted how to play games and how to trust people again and in turn he reminds us daily that arriving home is a matter for much excitement and that there is nothing more important on this earth than the ones you love (except perhaps your frisbee).

Word I learned:
Twerk: dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance. (Oxford Dictionary)
This is nothing new, but the first time I heard this word was in relation to poor (rich) little Miley Cyrus and her wrecking ball. Here is twerking at its finest:

I'm sure I did learn other words this year, probably some very useful ones but for some reason this is the one that sticks out.

Website that helps
If you work in customer service you need to bookmark stories about funny and stupid (and also some truly lovely) customers. It helps, it really does. And you can search the stories by the job title too. It helps to know you are not alone.
PS. The Vet stories are spectacular.

Pretty underwhelming yearly wrap-up hey? That is why 2014 needs to be different. Starting now.

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