2016: Let’s Go.

Hello. It’s me …

Calm down. I’m not going to type out entire Adele lyrics. (I love Adele. But still.)

But I do want to apologize for the very, very long silence.

First and foremost, I haven’t had any more breakthroughs with my family research – online or otherwise – so there’s been nothing to really write about. It seems I’ve hit a brick wall – or brick walls, plural. My dream of surprising my mom with a self-published book about her aunt’s life, is a dream deferred (if it’s fulfilled, ever).

My personal life – while relatively pleasant – has also been pretty mundane since the summer, so no inspiration for writing there.

Secondly: I’ve been working with two of my friends on a podcast!

I first made the suggestion to one of my friends back in the late spring of 2014, after an evening of drinking. She thought it was a great idea, and our other friend seemed mildly amused by the notion. But after a week or so of trying to encourage things to move forward, nothing.

Fast-forward to last summer, when out of the blue, my friend (newly – and, unfortunately – laid off from a job) said, “So, how about that podcast?”

You could’ve knocked me over with a feather.

We finally launched our conversational podcast, Sip & Bitch, in late October. We’ve got six episodes so far, which you can stream via Soundcloud or download from iTunes.

What do we talk about? Pop culture, movies, or whatever else tickles our fancy … while drinking.

Some topics are things we’ve thought or talked about, as women in our late 30s/early 40s. We’re still new to podcasting, so production’s basic and we’re trying to work out the various kinks. But we’re still learning and don’t mind a little feedback, so check us out! Our email address is sippers.bottlereturn@gmail.com.

(If you’ve got tender ears or an aversion to coarse language, you’ll probably want to skip it.)

As is my almost-yearly tradition with this blog, I usually start my first post of the year with a super-long screed outlining my long-term goals and wishes for the year (because I hate making resolutions I’ll break in less than a week).

But rather than bore you with 1,700 words in one shot – and in an effort to motivate myself to write more – I’m going to break things up, and share my goals over several entries.

So check back here in the coming days, and I’ll fill you in goal by goal.

I will say this, though: Things were relatively good, but in some ways, I did feel as if I spent part of 2015 stuck in second gear. I’ll be 39 (THIRTY-NINE!) in just over three weeks. It’d be nice if I could make this victory lap really count before I kiss my 30s goodbye. And, taking age out of the mix, I’m sure some of you have felt the same.

So while the dewy newness of 2016 is still on us, let’s pledge to do one thing: take that goal/resolution/however you define it – that thing or things you’ve been dragging your feet and avoiding for months, if not years – and do it. Or at least, take a crack at it. Success or failure means nothing if you haven’t even tried.

Let’s GO.

2015: Nice Things, Please.

So. 2014.

For a lot of people I know – and even those I don’t – it was a good year.

Did I have any good moments? Yes, some nice ones. But I can’t say it was a good year.

My father died in February, and one of my cousins was murdered in late November. So Christmas Day was a quiet, low-key one with my mother and brother, trying our best to enjoy ourselves, but knowing we were just going through the motions, with watery eyes here, and a sob there.

To be frank, I’ve felt as if I spent most of this year forcing myself to put my best face forward in the name of moving on, despite really wanting to just withdraw and hide.

So yeah, I’m more than happy that the new year is here.

If I could, I’d start 2015 by retreating from the world for a few days to take a breather, reflect, then start again. But currently, I only have one, and — as I write this – it’s more than half over.

Life without my dad around … sucks. And although that sting of loss will continue to subside with time, it won’t ever fully go away.

But it has to go on. And I’d like to do my best to resume moving forward.

I want to feel happy this year, without it feeling forced.

For the first time in months, I’d really like to have some nice things.

Not necessarily shiny, sparkly material things in my possession (although once in a while, that would be nice). I mean, I’d like to find that spark and power within to start accomplishing or completing things I’ve either put off, or have never done, and to see results.

I would like to do things that, on occasion, even surprise myself (in the best way possible).

Here are the things I’d like to try to do:

Make a list of goals and start getting them done. Not all of them will be lofty. Some will be as simple as finally hanging up that wall clock or getting a learner’s permit. Others might involve me getting off my backside and learning something new. But my hope is that whatever I include on that list, that I complete at least one per month. If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll knock another one or two off the list. This may work. Or it may fizzle. We’ll see how this goes.

For goodness’ sakes, start writing regularly. Late last fall, I took a brief  introduction to creative writing workshop. It was the one thing I can recall doing this year that wasn’t part of my daily routine, or done out of obligation. It was good being around people who were all at different stages in their writing, getting exercises that forced me to start using my brain again. But since then, I keep staring at the forest-green journal on my coffee, telling myself to write whatever latest thing had been happening … but doing nothing. In a recent conversation with my mom, she recalled a conversation she’d had with my younger brother, in which she referred to me as a “writer – even though she’s not really doing any of that for her job.” How can I be a writer, when I’m not doing any writing? I need to try reversing that.

Find work (or projects outside of work) that are fun and spark some sort of creativity. Every year, I say this. But from where I stand right now, I don’t know what’ll happen to me, professionally. I don’t know whether I’ll find another position within my place of employment, or if I’ll make the leap and do something completely different. But separate from all that, it would be nice to do something where I can learn how to express myself in a different way, and have a ball doing it.

Get back to travelling. Whether it’s a car ride out of the city, a flight state-side to visit family or abroad to somewhere I’ve never been, I need more changes of scenery this year. Last year, I didn’t have the finances, I didn’t want to go far and leave my mom alone, and I just didn’t have it in me to pick up and travel. But I think spending so much time so close to home has left me a bit restless. I’m sure it does a number on one’s emotional well-being.

Face-time with more/different people. I love being around folks — meeting for dinner, drinks, movies, going to social gatherings. But there are some faces I don’t get to see as often as I’d like to. If time and schedules allow, I’m going to try to rectify that.

Once in a while, take a time out. I’m sure there will be moments where I’ll be obsessed with getting things done, or perhaps overwhelmed by something. But I need to occasionally take a breather.

Keep on with my adventures in novice genealogy. I’ll happily continue with my genealogy search, providing the Internet and my relatives are willing to provide help in some way. It would be nice to get some sort of closure regarding what happened to my great-aunt Ellen. But any other historical tidbits? Yes, please.

It’s a brand-new year. I could be writing you at this time next year, in a better place, in a new job, and finally finding fulfillment. Or I could be sitting in the exact same place, about to press send on the exact same thing.

Anything can happen.

In the meantime: Happy New Year. Whether this year presents multiple blessings or multiple challenges, I hope you’ve got the strength, patience, and positive state of mind to navigate whatever lies before you.

Good luck!

2014: Do Better.

Here we are again, kids. Another January of a brand-new year. And it’s a proper one, with cruel, biting cold and the whole blustery bit.

But as I reflect in the moments when I’m not pulling on my thermal tights, I think about 2013, and honestly, I can’t complain. It was pretty decent.

My health was fairly good, except for a period in the fall. I got to travel, both with friends and family. People gave me a couple of brief opportunities to pursue something I wanted at work (albeit, with mixed results).

But in terms of blogging about my adventures, I’ve been woefully inconsistent. And I only have myself to blame.

So, in the spirit of the new year, I’m going to try it again, this time with … an attempt at a bit more concentration.

And I’ll start by resurrecting my yearly “goal” list.

I have ideas of what I want to strive for, and even went to my last list – written in 2012 – for inspiration. I realize I seem to be hoping for things that are very similar to that previous list.

Oh, well. Screw it.

I need to pull up my socks a bit. Especially since I’m in less than a week away from my  37th (THIRTY-SEVENTH?!) birthday. I’m a grown woman. I need to do better.

Sleep better. I feel this might at the crux at a number of things. Not only physical and mental health, but perhaps something as simple as punctuality? I’m wildly inconsistent – sleeping anywhere between four and seven hours a night, five or six days a week. I should be crazed. (Who knows?  – I probably AM. I’ve already been called “weird”.) But I need to find a way to break the habit of spending late nights trawling the Internet and watching TV, for fear of missing out. I know I can find out about it on Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr/BuzzFeed like everyone else. We’ll see.

Find a better home. I’ve lived in my present apartment for over two years now. And for about the first 18 months, it was decent,  a couple things notwithstanding. But then, they started to visit. Cockroaches. Mostly they’d show up in my kitchen or bathroom. Then they’d turn up in random places. At the bottom of my laundry hamper. Or, as recently as a couple of months ago, perching on my forearm while I tried to watch a movie. To their credit, my superintendents have been trying to fight this problem like no one’s business. And for now, the almost-daily visits have slowed to a crawl, so to speak. But it’s only a matter of time before they return. It’s not the first time. I get that it comes with the territory of living as a renter. But before this, I lived 30+ plus years in a home (and student housing) where I’d never even seen a roach. People – not just me – DO deserve to live somewhere clean and relatively pest-free.

Look better. When it comes to sartorial matters, I feel my efforts fall around “that’ll do”, which really is only a step or two above “straight up lazy”. I work in an environment where jeans and running shoes are perfectly acceptable, and I don’t really leave the buildings for assignments all that much (and when I do, it’s right of the blue, so I can never properly anticipate). In winter, no problem. I’m wearing a sweater or layers of some sort about 90 percent of the time anyhow. And that’s fine. But spring or summer always awakens some sort of panic.  It would be nice that – by the time the snow finally melts for the season – I can step out of my abode a looking a little more put-together than the year before. This requires me combing my wardrobe and purging those things I don’t wear or use, despite me thinking they were a good idea at the time. Speaking of purging …

Get de-cluttering. I go through short phases of tidiness and order, which is eventually replaced by much longer phases of slovenliness. And did it ever rule my household of one this year! If the idea of having to pack up and move (or getting a confetti shredder from my dad for Christmas) isn’t incentive, I don’t know what is.

Eat better. By almost mid-year in 2013, I was slowly sliding down the scale with my combination of relatively sensitive eating and regular exercise. But somewhere between July’s trip to the Bahamas with friends and the holiday party season, my on-again, off-again relationship with my boyfriend Baked Goods was on like Donkey Kong. I also welcomed shameless flings with Salty Chips, Sweet ‘n Savoury Anything That Was Within Reach, and had dubious dabblings with burgers and Popeye’s Fried Chicken.  So, yeah – I’m not dealing with being Not 25 very well. The body-as-temple is swimming with wrappers, cookie bags, fast-food containers … and probably plaque. I’ll see what I can do about this. But it won’t be easy.

Handle my work/life balance a lot better.  I’m in the enviable position of working four days a week and being off for three. I work weekends, which means my “weekend” falls during the week, when people trudge back to work. I spend a lot of time cleaning, running errands, orwhen required – cooking meals for my work-week. Aside from pushing myself to exercise, I don’t do a whole lot. That includes writing. That needs to be fixed. Also, my work-life needs fixing. A change needs to happen – something longer than three weeks here or two weeks there. What that is, I don’t know – especially in this current economic climate. To be continued.

There are so many other things at which I could “be better”. But this is where I’ll leave it. And perhaps along the way, I’ll stumble across other things I need to improve and just DO it.

And if could get a “mic drop moment” here or there for incentive, that might help, too! (Are you listening, universe?) But we’ll see, right?

I hope you folks also find things to “be better” at this year – and succeed.

Onwards!

What Do I WANT?

Apologies for not writing this month. It’s been a busy and (sort of) strange one.

Due to some short-staffing in my department at work, I’ve been working more than usual. It’s taken a bit of a toll, sapping energy and motivation.

Adding to that, my workplace is in the midst of budget cuts and – as a result of that – layoffs.

For the last two and half weeks, the work environment was weird, tense, and perhaps a bit anxious.

And then last week happened.

Instant messages over computer, lowered voices in corners and hallways, speaking in sad, hushed tones about co-workers who had meetings with bosses in cramped offices … being told they were being let go … that while they were perfectly welcome to stay in touch, not to count on getting steady employment – that they were better off looking elsewhere.

I was not one of those who had a meeting. However, in the days leading up to those pink slips being handed out, I didn’t lull myself into a false sense of security. I kept reminding myself that – like anyone – my job could be at stake.

It also had me thinking about what I would do, if I were to get a much-feared meeting.

Honestly, by this point, exhausted – perhaps a bit burned out – by work, I couldn’t imagine myself crying over a decision that wasn’t in my favour. I’m not sure I would have been upset at all.

On a personal level, things are … okay. When I haven’t been working like an ox, I’ve been trying to get out and do things here and there. I signed off for another online dating Web site. But it seems I’m running into more of the same types of people that turned me off the previous site. So I took a break in mid-March, slightly discouraged, wondering if it’s even worth it.

I remember mentioning my experiences with a friend at work – someone who’s had a couple of long-term relationships and not doing shabbily at all in the dating department – and she asked me: What is it that I’m looking for? What is it, exactly, that I want?

Perhaps this is the question that applies to all aspects of my life.

What is it that I want?

I keep asking myself this question. And I don’t think I have or know the answer. Or, everytime I try to answer, the words come to mind seem … I don’t know, trite? Phony? Cliche?

Maybe what I want is to have more fun with my life? I honestly don’t know anymore.

I’m hoping that this summer is my first chance in two years to do things other than just work. To do fun things that all my other friends do. Perhaps I’ll re-discover and re-claim a little bit of who I am. Or finally start to discover it.

2012: Start!

So 2012 is finally here, in all of its cold, wet glory.

Actually, it’s almost apt that it’s been raining – as if to partially cleanse some of the filth off of the city before the snow, ice and sleet arrives.

It’s also the perfect weather to start thinking a lot about what I’d like out of this year.

I looked back at last year’s list. Overall, I somehow managed to achieve about half of what I wanted to see happen last year. But – it seemed – things only started to cook in the last few months. And even then, it was a simmer.

Not that that’s a bad thing. But I feel as if I want to take that momentum of accomplishing small personal goals, and kick it up a couple of notches.

And at the moment, as I’m coming down off of last night’s heart-and-soul-busting euphoria, I’m feeling a sense of anxiety about how to make thinngs happen.

All I can think is: Will this be the year I start getting it right? And how the HELL am I going to pull some of this off?

As I try and make the most of my days off of work, here is my wishlist of what I would like to see for 2012:

Start taking better care of myself. Yes, this was on my list last year (phrased a different way), but I would like to seriously try for this one. In the last couple of years, I’ve had a four-day, 40-plus hour schedule, which had me working on weekends. It’s a weird life to get used to. And up until late September, it threw me out of whack. In that time, I’ve packed on about 20 pounds – 10, for sure from the past year alone. It’s all well and good to say that it doesn’t matter what one weighs, and that skinniness shouldn’t a goal to strive for. But I’ve noticed myself feeling a bit out of breath going up stairs or escalators, my clothes becoming increasingly tighter (sometimes to the point that I’ve split my pants), and even how the weight feels on my back and knees. And I’d like to finally dig deep and find the motivation to go and exercise, even if it’s after a frustrating day at work. Who knows? Maybe that can be my motivation.

As well, I realize I’ve let my personal appearance go a bit, because I’ve had such an alternative schedule, so I figure, who cares? But I need to roll up my sleeves on this one. I’ve started trying to do small things. Perhaps I can improve on this ten-fold.

Start feeding my mind. Somewhere between early summer and now, I think I somehow gave up on reading. I mean, I still read the weekly magazine I subscribe to (and I’m still about two to three weeks behind), but I haven’t really read anything else. No newspapers. And definitely no more books. I have to make a renewed effort not to be a walking zombie when it comes to these things. I’m surrounded by so many smart people in my life daily, and yet I’ve let things slide. Bored? Perhaps. (Maybe I was just bored this whole year in general.) Hopefully I can find it within me to be more diligent.

Start making things happen at work. Yes, I say this every year. But maybe this year, it’ll be different. Last summer, I finally got the chance to verbalize to my boss that I wanted to do something different (without crying from frustration). In about a week’s time, I’m returning to a Monday-to-Friday schedule for the first time in 26 months, and I’d like to think that my conversation 6 months ago was the catalyst. My hope is that – once I master the gauntlet of assignments that are heading my way – I can find the niche I want to occupy, and perhaps transition to another area of my workplace in the next 6-8 months. That last part of my goal is probably the loftiest, considering how long it took me to get off weekends. But a working girl can dream, right?

Start travelling again. Last year, I left Toronto (and the GTA) once – to visit a friend in Ottawa. Which is well and good … but I have other friends in Ottawa, and in OTHER places, that I didn’t get to visit. I also had two chunks of time during the summer and early fall to go travelling. And then life happened. In July, my mother had surgery. That was a no-brainer. In September, I spent time I’d hoped to use travelling, moving myself up and out of my parents’ house. So this year, I REALLY want to make up for this. And I’d like those locations to be warm ones. I have three destinations in mind, so I hope the universe will rule in my favour and let me go there, as well as throw in a couple of small side trips.

Start making my apartment feel like home. I’ve had a few people over, but I’ve felt a bit sheepish about it, because there’s really nothing special or “homey” about it. I mean, I understand it’ll take time, and some people take months, even years, to completely unpack and organize their lives. But I’d like to make an effort in the next few months to make things a bit homier. A picture here, a rug there, maybe a couple of nice lamps, would definitely help. And I’ll probably be relying on my friends, since my decor saavy is virtually non-existent at the moment.

Start figuring ME out. By age 35, a fair number of people usually know who they are. I think I know who I am in general. My outline doesn’t need work. It’s … my inner self, I guess, that needs the makeover. I feel that now that I’ve moved out, it’s not just a new chapter of my life. It’s me starting from scratch, in a way. What do I want? What am I passionate about? What am I willing to put up with? What will I absolutely not tolerate? What parts of me need work? I don’t expect to have it figured out in a year. But if I can start creating the conditions under which I can blossom, it would be a start.

Start finding ways of being creative. That could probably start by writing – and blogging – more. I said tthis last year, and didn’t deliver. Maybe I can try a bit harder this year. And perhaps there are other ways to tap into my creative side. Perhaps it’s taking an African dance class. Or working on learning to cook. Or getting involved in friends’ projects in some way. I can only hope I get to experiment.

Start having more fun. I consider myself to be quite social as it is. But maybe once in a while I can do things I wouldn’t normally do. Don’t ask me exactly what that might be. I can only hope I can seize the opportunities if/when they present themselves.

Start being a bit more uncomfortable. I kept things pretty safe this year. The last thing I wanted to do was put myself out there, in uncomfortable positions. I think this is something I need to start doing, because I’m aware I tend to act immaturely in some cases, depending on the situation. Perhaps it’ll help me grow up a bit.

Finally, one secret wish I have for this year:

I’d like to see more “OMG Moments”. By this, I mean the anecdotes you can’t make up, that just make you smile or give you happy goosebumps. The stories I’ll tell my kids (if I decide to have any) and grandkids. I mean, it could be ANYTHING. Who knows what I’ll get to see? Will I get to witness seeing something like this? Will I get something as small as, say, an upgrade to first-class on a flight? Or will I be in the right place at the right time, and bump into someone I admire? (Which would be cool. But I’d probably soil myself, and/or say something utterly ridiculous.) The thing is, my life is pretty good without having crazy stuff happen to me. But everyone likes a red cherry on top of their sundae once in a while.

The year is young. And anything can happen. I can only hope that those things are BIG.

Happy New Year, folks! Here’s hoping there are big things in store for you, too!

2011: Quit It.

Yep. ‘Tis that time of year.

When folks like myself – glad to be rid of the year that’s just ended – look towards the 12 months that lie ahead.

We hold our heads a little higher. We stand a little taller. We have a bit of a spring in our step, and we even allow ourselves to be a little bit happy, because of the idea that a new year holds all this promise and possibility.

Of course, the novelty will wear off in a matter of days.

But as for right now?

I can’t speak for anyone else. But for me, 2011 is like this huge pile of Play-Doh in my lap. It’s brand-new. It’s a little cool to the touch, but pristine. It’s just sitting there, ready to be shaped.

And just thinking of getting my hands on it, in it, around it, makes me simultaneously giddy and overwhelmed.

I mean, honestly – where do I even start?

Well, I think I have a slight idea.

I remember this article I read in Maclean’s a couple months ago.

It was actually a story in the business section, about how workers will start looking for new employment as economic confidence rises. But the sentence that stuck with me was that 2011 was “shaping up to be the year of the Big Quit.”

So what’s that got to do with the new year?

Well … how about this.

People use the new year as a jumping-off point – or maybe an excuse –  to quit things.

Like smoking … overeating … drinking … swearing … whatever.

And then, I turned to my first post from last year, to see what kind of expectations I’d set up for myself.

It was lame. I just sounded kind of lost. And vague. And completely wishy-washy.

I said maybe I should go with the flow. So I tried to do just that. But all I seemed to do was just float.

I haven’t fallen behind. But I’m not entirely sure I’m that farther ahead, either.

So now what?

Maybe I should just … quit.

Quit kidding myself.

Quit telling myself what I want to hear, in hopes I’ll eventually get what it is I’m looking for.

Quit procrastinating. Quit thinking about coming up with a plan – and start doing just that. Come up with plans of action for myself. Start executing things.

Start getting things done.

Some of the things I’d like to see happen for myself this year, is to:

Quit the three-hour commute. Yeah, yeah, I know. How long have I been saying this for now? Well, here are the cold, hard facts: I stayed at home another year to save more money and then buy a place. I certainly succeeded with the “save more money” part. It was the latter part of my goal which didn’t happen. And it’s probably not going to. Which leaves me with only one other alternative. So this year, I’m going to stop being stubborn and proud, suck it up and get on with it.

Quit filling my life with clutter. This goes hand-in-hand somewhat with the previous point on my wishlist. I’ve actually already started on this, in a way. If I pick away at it weekly, perhaps when I finally leave the nest, the squawking from my parents to take ALL my things with me will be minimal – maybe even non-existent. We’ll see how much I accomplish.

Quit taking my health for granted. Since the 2009 holiday season – hell, who am I kidding? Probably since the summer of 2009 – I feel like I’ve just been eating anything and everything, without using an iota of moderation – eating when I’m bored, or following a stressful moment at work or wherever. And the only form of exercise I get is during my weekly visit to the physiotherapy clinic. And even then, I really don’t want to be there. Plus, my sleeping patterns – especially on work nights – are horrific.

Quit this city – and this country – once in a while. No, I don’t mean move to another country or anything like that. When I decided to save more money to buy real estate, it meant saying sayonara to travelling for a while. And I literally haven’t been ANYWHERE outside the GTA for non-work purposes probably since August 2009. This year, I’d like to make up for lost time. I don’t know how much I can travel – because I still have to watch my finances – but I have to rectify this.

Quit being complacent at work. If someone had drawn a cartoon version of me, I’m sure their interpretation would have included a dark cloud that perpetually hovered over my head during the last 14 months. That has to end. Either I suck it up and find something I like about my job … or I pull up my socks and find a new one, on my own terms.

Quit having NO interests. If you were to ask me what my hobbies and interests were, they’d literally be something along the lines of: reading, eating, partying. No, really. I think part of it has to do with the fact that the amount of time I spend commuting, I could be using to learn a sport, a skill, or language … or even volunteer. Plus, I’m really lethargic on my personal time, because I live at least 20 minutes away from anything of interest to me. If or when the first item on my wishlist is rectified, perhaps I can remedy this.

Quit occasionally blogging. I was particularly bad this year when it came to writing. I guess I wasn’t motivated … and probably a bit down and didn’t think I had anything worth writing about. I need to snap out of it, and make more of an effort.

So, there’s my list. And it’s a tall order.

But this year, I have to quit moping and start living. Because no one else is going to do it for me.

Time to start gettin’ ‘er done.

2010: Carpe Diem … Or Go With the Flow?

So 2010 is finally here. And it’s staring me intently in my face.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about this day … what I’d like to see happen this year.

For a little extra inspiration, I took a glance back at my posts from last year (this and this). And in all honesty, I don’t think I failed. In a number of ways, I asked and I received.

I DID go somewhere other than Europe – and loved it.

I DID get a new job, albeit, not in the way I expected.

I’ve been crocheting like a madwoman (if the previous post wasn’t proof enough). I joined a dating Web site. I even got my elusive manicure/pedicure a few weeks ago.

But. There’s ALWAYS a but.

I’m still living at home. (The current craziness of the real estate market has a little something to do with it.)

Eating healthy? That may have lasted about three weeks.

In all, I’m not disappointed with how the year turned out. I’m just not astounded.

So. What now?

Well, I had this whole post thought out, about how this year should be one of opportunities … both making and taking advantage of them. Considering I was probably too dopey or timid to capitalize on whatever opportunities presented themselves to me, it was high time I reversed that trend.

This was going to be a “This year, I’m gonna take the bull by the horns” kind of post. I was going to totally ATTACK 2010.

But then this afternoon happened.

I was combing through the paper and came across the yearly astrological predictions for 2010. (It’s a tradition, I like reading them, so shut it.)

I can’t recall everything I read … but the very last line stuck with me:

“Go with the flow.”

In a way, my New Year’s post last year, was this four-worded philosophy.

So … what to do?

Do I approach this vast ocean of a year, cutting through the waves like a warship … or do I continue to let the currents carry me, like a tiny rowboat?

I mean, some things still remain unchanged for me in terms of goals for this year.

I’m still determined to buy my first place. But I want to be able to do so with confidence and not under pressure or panic.

I’m still determined to find a better job. Yes, I’m working, but my current lot doesn’t cut the mustard. And this CAN’T be all there is. I want better. And I want to have fun doing it.

But despite all this, I know there’s a bigger picture. There are times when you can make stuff happen, or propel it along … and times when you can’t, no matter how much you force them.

So perhaps THIS year, I should try to strike a balance between the two …

To strike like a cobra when there’s an opportunity … and go with the flow when there isn’t – or if the opportunity isn’t there just yet.

And perhaps by being a “mellow opportunist”, things will balance themselves out … which’ll hopefully translate into a 2010 with a some major ooomph.

Because while my life is pretty decent, the one thing missing is the oomph, that va-va-voom. I would really like to be able to say “WOW” on a regular basis, please and thanks.

But in the meantime, I gotta get crackin’. Seriously.