The obligatory resolutions post…

Wow, fourteen  days into the new year already and I haven’t even mentioned resolutions yet! That must be some kind of record!  But, of course, I do have some. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t make some kind of resolution for the new year! And obviously they can’t possibly be official until the whole world knows about them. Or at least that part of the world that reads my blog…
After years and years of setting myself vague and probably not even achieveable goals (“be a better girlfriend”, “learn social competence”), this time I decided to go with things that I might actually be able to stick with. So here goes:

  1. Eat more healthily! This doesn’t mean giving up chocolate and cheese (mmmm, cheese!) and all the other yummy yet fattening stuff that I love. But I do want to make an effort to cook us healthier meals… ones that contain actual *gasp* vegetables. (To be fair, I’m not actually that bad to start with, but I do want to start making more meals in which vegetables are the main component rather than an afterthought). I’ve already got off to a good start on this one, as our meal of “vegetable ratatouille” from the other day will testify. Mmm, doesn’t it look delicious! And it was, believe me. I’ve got a whole load of other healthy recipes to try out as well. Last nights effort was roasted aubergine – basically aubergine stuffed using the bits of itself that I chopped out of the middle and yellow peppers with chunks of (low fat) goat’s cheese sprinkled over it. Sorry, no pictures of that one!

    Vegetable ratatouille
  2. Think before I speak! A large proportion of my problems come from me opening my mouth without engaging my brain first. Whether it’s an argument with my boyfriend, a sarcastic comment that came out sounding really, really bad (entirely unintentional!) or another instance of me interrupting someone without even realising… if I could just control my impulse to just say whatever pops into my head immediately many things would be so much simpler.
  3. Improve my translation style. I am a pretty good translator (even if I say it myself). My texts are generally correctly translated and read pretty well. But I quite often receive corrected texts back from my proofreaders in which most of what’s been corrected isn’t actual mistakes, but matters of style (using a different, nice sounding word, phrasing a sentence slightly differently…), and I have to admit most of the time their version really does sound a thousand times better. My goal for this year is to get at least one person to comment on how well one of my texts read, rather than just saying it was “fine”.
  4. Visit my friend in the Netherlands! I’ve been meaning to go and see her since she moved there 3 years ago, and now she’s planning on relocating to the USA I really need to get my act together and go see her! (I’ve actually started arranging this one as well. We’ll probably be going there in February, so I can use up my remaining holiday from last year before it gets taken off me).
  5. Keep up with my blog. I went through several periods of not blogging last year, mostly because I was busy actually having a life. Unfortunately this means I have no record whatsoever of some of the things I did last year. Obviously I still remember doing them (for now!), but I do like to have a written record that I can look back over occasionally. This year I really must try harder with that!

And that shall do. Five resolutions is enough for one year, don’t you think?

So this is the New Year…

We got back from Italy on Sunday and yesterday I was back at work. A little disconcerting going straight from being on holiday back to real life, but it was ok. And tomorrow I’m off again because it’s Three Wise King’s Day (or Epiphany as we English speakers tend to call it) which is a holiday here in Baden-Württemberg.

I actually have pretty high hopes for 2010. I wasn’t dreading going back to work yesterday (which, as some of you will know, is a definite improvement over this time last year) and I’m quietly optimistic that I’ll still have a job once my probation period is over – unless of course I’ve just jinxed myself by mentioning it on my blog. As for other aspects of my life… well, I have plans, but nothing really concrete to tell you yet so we’ll just have to wait and see. I have a notion that things may be looking up though.

So… resolutions… having utterly failed miserable on all of last year’s I’ve decided it to keep it simple this time. So my resolution for 2010 is just to be better. Less selfish, less self-critical, more emotionally intelligent, a better girlfriend… whatever. Just a better me in some way, however small. Surely even I can cope with something as general as that?

I also plan to complete my dissertation this year, but that’s not so much a resolution as something that has to be done whether I like it or not – and which I’ll probably end up doing all in one weekend right before the due date but let’s not talk about that for now…

A very happy New Year to all of you.

Resolution Recap

It’s almost June already. How the heck did that happen? Surely it was only just January?
Anyway… since we are now nearing the sixth month of the year I thought it would be a good idea to dig out my new year’s resolutions and let you all know how I’m doing with them. Goodness knows why I though this was a good idea… perhaps I just like torturing myself?

Soo, resolution number 1 was to try and improve my relationship… to be a better girlfriend and try to make my boyfriend happy (God, remind me why I chose to make the hardest one number one?). I also said that I was going to give it a year, and if my relationship still wasn’t going anywhere I would leave – walk away and let Jan figure out exactly what it is he wants. Much as I would hate to do that, at the time it seemed like the most sensible solution.
Well… if this were a school report the verdict on that one would be “could try harder”. I have managed to be a little nicer… at least intermittently. And as long as I have access to the internet we seem to be arguing less. We’ve also managed to have the occasional talk about things without Jan either going silent or changing the subject and me either crying or shouting, neither of which has the desired effect. OK, so we’ve only managed that about twice, but that’s still two more times than zero. And I still have the rest of the year to work on this…

Number 2 was to become better at work. This mostly involved becoming more emotionally intelligent, less socially incompetent and a good project manager.
The least said on this one the better (mostly because I don’t like to say too much about work on here just in case). I do still have a job though, which is something. And I seem to have got better at pretending not to be utterly terrified when phoning customers. Now I suppose I just have to work on not being utterly terrified.

Number 3. Stop procrastinating. Don’t leave university assignments til the last minute. Actually do the reading that’s set for each week.
I have now actually handed in the assignments for my last two modules, so this one isn’t relevant any more (unless I fail text lingusitics, in which case it will become horribly relevant again soon). But with those two assignments I did exactly what I told myself I wasn’t going to do… left them til the last minute, rushed to buy some books in a complete panic and just about managed to get them finished in time for the hand in date. I think we can write that one off as a big fat FAIL! And next year is thesis time. I already have my suspicions about how that’s going to turn out…

The fourth and final resolution was to get out more and meet up with actual rela live people instead of socialising entirely through my blog and facebook.
I don’t think I really need to tell you how this one is going. I mean, you lot read my blog, right? How many times have you seen me mention a night out or a meeting with friends? My point exactly… (Although I did meet up with a friend on Friday night. She moved to the Netherlands 5 months ago and I hadn’t seen her since so of course I made the effort. And I went to the Maifest at my old student residence. But other than that not much socialising going on over here… especially since my flat became connected to the internet).

Well, that’s the lot. Now you tell me how you’ve been getting on with your resolutions. Only if you’ve failed miserably though… you wouldn’t want to depress me now, would you? 😉

Other people’s children

After yesterday’s epically long blog post (sorry about that!) I shall try to make this one a little shorter…

So, I went into the kitchen yesterday to make a cup of tea and ended up staying there for over an hour.  Two people who used to live here were there with their 4 month old daughter. The baby was asleep when I came in, but after a while she woke up and I got to meet her.
It was great to see the three of them. C&K seem really happy and the baby is gorgeous – she has the most beautiful blue eyes (I know babies are born with blue eyes but I think hers will stay blue now). I’m really pleased for them – but at the same time I couldn’t help but feel just a teeny bit jealous. Not that I want a baby now, or even any time soon (oh God, please no! I will murder anyone that even suggests it (watch out Grandma!)). But… I do want children at some point, and preferably while I’m still young enough to enjoy them (and while my remaining Grandparents are still alive – my dad’s mum is desperate to be a Great-Grandma. Desperate I tell you!) I also want to a) move in with someone, b) get engaged and c) get married at some point in the future. But right now I honestly can’t see any of those things happening. I have a boyfriend who would rather live with someone he was never even all that friendly with (they are part of the same circle of friends but what they had before getting a flat together was more of a business relationship) because “he doesn’t know what he wants”. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but surely if he doesn’t know what he wants then what he has can’t be it. Because once you’ve found what you want you know it. And I know I’m difficult (I sure as hell wouldn’t want to put up with me!), but I do try. And I love him. Surely that must count for something? So yeah, I promised to try for another year (Remember my resolutions?). And after that? Who knows. Maybe it’s about time I started getting over my hatred of cats…

I also went out yesterday afternoon and bought a birthday card for my friend’s son who is one soon. Then I came home and wrapped up the presents I’ve bought for him, ready to send them to England next week. Yup, yesterday really was all about other people’s children.

Oh yes, and I bought myself a Valentine’s present yesterday as well. See, I’m perfectly capable of celebrating love day all on my own 😉

New Year’s Resolutions I didn’t make this year but probably should have…

  • Try to be in bed (with lights out) by 10:30pm at least once a week.
  • Stop spending 3-4 hours every evening reading blogs and facebooking them complaining you never have time to do anything
  • Get some exercise – and no the moring walk to the tram stop does not count.
  • Do something with your weekends that doesn’t involve the internet (admittedly I went food shopping and tidied my room – including hoovering – this weekend but that isn’t quite the kind of activities I meant).
  • Stop eating so much junk food before you turn into a giant chocolate bar and get munched to death by someone even greedier than you. Might teach you a lesson if that did happen though. Ha!
  • Do laundry more often.
  • Eat more some small amount of fruit.

Starting afresh

New year, new start. I’ve been saying those words at the beginning of January for years now. And every year all my good intentions last until about mid-March, then I find myself turning back into the same old me, returning to the same old routine of promising myself that I will make things better, right after I finish this game of Mai Jongg, and get to the end of that book and put this stack of old photos that I’ve just discovered into an album… Hopefully this year will be different.

So, resolutions. They have already been made, the boyfriend has been informed of them. Now all that remains is to set them down in black and white (well white on black really) in my blog. Because only once the whole world knows what I’m planning can it really be official, right? So…

Number 1. Last year I promised I was going to be a better girlfriend. It worked, for maybe a month. Then instead of moving on my relationship seemed to take a step backwards when Jan moved out. No, no. Not like that. We were never actually living together. Both of us just had rooms in the same student residence. Then Jan completed his degree,started working towards his doctorate and decided the time had come to get a flat. With a friend of his. He lated admitted that maybe, just maybe, asking me to move in with him might have been a better idea. But he also admitted later in the year that, although he loves me, I don’t make him happy and he’s not really sure what he wants. So this year’s resolution is to improve my relationship, to try to be a better girlfriend and to make my boyfriend happy. I also told Jan that if we’re still not going anywhere by this time next year, if he’s still not exactly happy with me but unwilling to make any decisions to imporve the situation I will go away and leave him alone, give him the chance to find someone who can make him happy. That is my most important resolution – to try for one more year to improve my relationship, and if I don’t succeed, to admit defeat.

Number 2 in the list of resolutions is to become better at work. I may not even have a job any more after this month. If that happens I’ll just have to try and improve myself at the next place, wherever that may be. This year I want to learn to work better in a team. I want to become emotionally intelligent, socially competent, organised, a good project manager. The kind of person bosses like to have working for them.

Resolution number 3 is to procrastinate less. To stop leaving my university assignments until the last minute. To actually do the reading that’s set for each week. I only have to keep this one up until the end of March when my last assignment for the year is due in. Surely even I can manage to stick to a resolution for 3 little months.

And finally, number 4 is to get out more. Between working full time and studying part time it’s pretty difficult to make room for a social life, plus I’m tired so much of the time that it seems easier to live my life virtually, via the blogosphere and facebook, but even I realise there’s more to life than this virtual reality, so this year I’m going to make more time to meet up with actual real live people, and not just on special occasions either.

So there we have it. Four resolutions. Now everyone please send lots of positive energy and willpower my way. I have a feeling I’m going to need it…