Whilst not wanting to jump on the blog bandwagon of posting my year in review, I really feel as though 2014 has been a lifechanging one for me, and was definitely worth a little recap.
Posting in late January last year, I made a few goals I wanted to achieve. I’ve met some of them, decided some of them were completely wrong for me, and achieved other life goals I couldn’t even dream of back then!
One that I have not met, which I want to resurrect for 2015, is to run a 10k race. Again, though I had not been having trouble with headaches at the start of last year, they came back, and once again, running was off the agenda. I’ve been okay for the past few months, but since November I’ve had awful back pain, caused by one over-rotated and one under-rotated hip! (Argh, I sound so old). So the plan for this year is to fix that with the help of a chiropractor and then get back on course with running and fitness in general. There’s a gym just down the road from us, and so many beautiful running routes (though very hilly ones!) so I have no excuses! I am aiming for a 5k by summer, and 10k by next winter. I have just signed up for a 5k race in May, to keep me on track.
The other goal was to finish the PhD. Hmmm. Well, I submitted a version of it at the end of last year, but I was very unhappy with it. Despite spending hours and most of my spare time on it and stressing endlessly about it (possibly contributing to the resurgence of the headaches), I really could not find enough continuous hours to focus fully on it and develop my ideas to the requisite level of sophistication, so what I handed in was really not very good. It did not help that in the middle of summer, a creative meditation course finally allowed me to acknowledge what my subconscious had known for years – law is really not the career for me. I have decided that in 2015 I will take my career in a totally new direction (more on that in a bit), and so finding the motivation to work long hours on a qualification I will never use (except to smugly change my passport and bank cards to Dr Anna!) is nigh on impossible.
I am now faced with a tough decision for the start of this year. Do I sacrifice another six months of every spare moment, torment myself and my family and friends with the stress, and hope that I will eventually have done enough to defend my PhD (realistically I may never get it to the standard needed), or do I admit that I don’t want to do it anymore and quit? Honestly, right now my heart says quit, it simply isn’t worth it, but my head says (as does my Dad!) that it would be a waste of years of work and just the title alone will be helpful in my future, whatever I decide to do. And my pride is telling me it would have a hard time dealing with confessing to people that I quit my PhD. That’s not the sort of thing I do. But really – my ego could do with a little hit now and again, and is the gargantuan effort to finish it really worth it just for that? We will see. The main thing people have said is think of all the hours I have already spent on it and the things I’ve missed out on doing, but I’m over them, they’re in the past. What I don’t want to do is spend yet more hours that I really can’t spare on something I don’t think is worth it anymore, or miss any more events in friends’ lives. Any advice or thoughts on this massively appreciated, either way! And watch this space for my decision.
My main goal of 2014 however was to finally become debt free after more than 15 years of owing money to banks and the government and credit cards. I smashed it by early Summer! Not only that, I was able to take on freelance work which enabled me to save for the first time. Very proud of myself. Ste also managed to do the same, which led us to start thinking about buying a house. We thought we would be years off because of the size of deposit we would need, and also because we would not be able to get a big enough mortgage on our current salaries, but an exploratory visit to a mortgage advisor revealed actually we were in a far better position than we thought! However, Berkshire, and indeed, anywhere near London, was still not really affordable unless we bought a one bed flat, no good of course with 4 animals and lots of friends wanting to visit. Given that Ste had been working remotely from his job in Yorkshire for some time, he hinted our money might go further up there, and so I started having a sneaky look on Zoopla for places, and was absolutely amazed at the price difference. I’d always thought Yorkshire very beautiful and have always wanted to live in the country, so we decided a move up north was on the cards. The first week of November we looked at 16 properties, the very last one we viewed totally charmed us both, and we put in an offer there and then. Just 37 days later (thanks to our amazing solicitor (highly recommend Humphries Kirk with Poole and Co in Crewkerne to anyone – I used to work there and they are fantastic)) we moved into our new home, just in time for Christmas! Quite the spectacular end to 2014, and a goal I hadn’t anticipated achieving for years yet!
So, 2014 was the year I decided to change careers, and the year I bought my first home. One to look back on I think! But I have a feeling 2015 will be as well! This is the year I intend to actually make that career change (more on that another day), and the year we make our house a home. Who knows what else it holds?!
As for goals for this year – the running and fitness, and the career change, as well as the renovation of our home are sufficient to be going on with I think, and let’s see what I decide re the PhD.
Happy New Year everyone, I think it’s going to be a good one!