While it was a great year in some aspects - like getting engaged, working on paying off debt and some new blogging opportunities - it really sucked in others - like losing my job, losing friends and losing interest in things I love.
I've felt very stifled and stuck in a rut lately, and I'm hoping a new year can bring a refreshed outlook on life. As one is wont to do at this time of year, I'm taking some time to regroup and take a look at what I want to focus on in 2014.
Write more, write betterI want to do more and better blogging, and expand my vintage/history writing to other websites, magazines and companies.
I only posted 54 blogs in 2013, compared to 88 in the first year of Retro Reporter. While I always argue quality over quantity, I don't think my heart has been into blogging lately, and it makes me sad because I love blogging, vintage and history more than anything! I want to do it MORE but feel like I never have time, but I know I need to make time.
I also want to explore other writing/photography freelance opportunities, but again I have no idea where to start. I really struggle with putting myself out there and selling my talents and I know that needs to change. I already have a few ideas of what I'd like to do, which includes combining my talents with my hubby-to-be's. So stay tuned!
Lifeguarding & Teaching: I've gotten the ball rolling on getting re-certified as a lifeguard and swimming teacher. I used to do both when I was in high school, but never transferred my teaching awards to Alberta or kept up with my lifeguarding, which I really regret as it's something that would have come in handy when I was laid off.
I don't plan to quit my job and start teaching as soon as I'm re-certified, but it is nice to have the option, especially for when I start having kids. Plus, is it ever a bad thing to know how to save someone's life? Probably not.
Save wisely, spend wiselyMoney has become quite the theme on this blog, so I have a number of goals under this one.
Now I want to expand that mindset to other things. Want a new food processor, or $200 winter boots or a vacation? We need to put that money away AHEAD of time instead of paying it (and interest!) off after. I've learned that the hard way (and my debt isn't that bad compared to some people's) and I'm not interested in continuing on that road.
Less Waste: I want Ian and I to reduce our waste drastically in 2014. We already recycle heavily (he is a B.C. boy after all) and use reusable containers, so my goal is geared towards food waste. Primarily I want us to stop buying food that we don't eat (or make sure we eat all our food) and stop throwing out food scraps, and instead compost (we have a big compost bin in the backyard that we don't even use). I'm unsure about how the compost one will go, since we'd need another bin (we have so many bins in our kitchen) and I think it will attract our garbage loving cats and dog. Any suggestions?
Start saving for a downpayment: As I mentioned previously I am well on my way to having my portion of the wedding saved up for, but instead of stoping my savings plan, I'm going to continue to save for our downpayment on top of my TFSA.
I've created a payment plan so I would be credit card debt free by next December, but I'm already four months ahead of that plan, which means I can save even more money! Ideally Ian and I would like to have $25K for a downpayment and we already have $10K, so it would take me 37 months ($7,500 / $200 a month) to save up my half. BUT that $200 is based on still having credit card debt to pay off; once it's done I can split my monthly payment between the downpayment and my student loan or car loan.
Give What I CanMoney: I've always budgeted in my Mint for charitable contributions, but I've rarely actually doled that cash out unless I'm explicitly asked by someone on behalf of a charity. No more! I created a spreadsheet of 12 charities that are close to my heart and attached a month to them so on each first of the month I can just go into the spreadsheet and go donate (like a bill, but with tax deductible warm fuzzies after)
Time: I also want to start giving my time, especially when I can incorporate my skills, like knitting or teaching others to knit, writing, photography, etc. The possibilities are endless! If anyone reading this works for a non-profit and thinks they can use my skills, please get in touch!
Blood: I am a big believer in donating blood. Not only do I know a few people who have had blood transfusions, I am also a rare blood type - O+ (for those who don't know, that means I can only receive O+ or O- blood, but anyone who is Rh+ can receive my blood).
|This has nothing to do with blood, but it's just so damn weird that I had to share.|
SO there is my long-winded photo-less first post of 2014. Have you made resolutions?