Tag Archives: goals

2016 :: A Year in Review

2016 Year in Review - Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha

It is not, it appears, the fashionable thing to admit that 2016 has been a rather good year for “one”. But disastrous referendums and potential WWIII aside, it was a year of much joy for me personally, and one that I will no doubt look back on fondly.

2016 was the year in which I ceased to be a newlywed, and became just a ‘wed’, and I feel I truly embraced the role of a wife. Y’all, I wifed my damn butt off this year, and in return, Mr H husbanded me even better. Admittedly, that makes me seem like some kind of farmyard animal, but it remains nevertheless true. After the initial honeymoon phase of marriage began to dissolve, I was left with the most wonderful life partner who actively cares for me each day.  What a boon.

Allotment 2016 - Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha

It has also been the year where I have developed a taste, if not skill for gardening, and seen my beloved allotment go from strength to strength. It was our tentative first year, with many mistakes made, but I can’t help but feel incredibly proud that I stuck to something for so long. I have no plans to give up the sacred plot in the foreseeable future, rather the opposite, I heartily plan for years of dragging reluctant future children over to do a spot of weeding.

Portugal with T - Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha

In the summer I went on holiday to Portugal, with my wonderful sister T. It made me remember what a privilege it is to have your family close, and that there are very few people in this world who know and tolerate me as well as she does. It also made me realise I am not, and never was a party animal, and that one should not book an AirBnB in Biarro Alto if one values their sleep.

My Career 2016 - Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha

Professionally this year proved my most challenging to date, and although there were many days where I woke up thinking that I couldn’t possibly continue to do this for another day, let alone for the rest of my life, there were also many days where my heart sang for the joy of watching young people learn something, or at the least run around the playground pretending to be a horse. Teaching is a bloody hard job, for want of a more eloquent way of describing it, but I am a long time from throwing in the proverbial towel, just yet.

Teaching also gave me the opportunity to realise a long dream of mine, to direct my own play. It’s not something I think I’ve mentioned on the blog actually, but my school was a part of the 2016 Shakespeare for Schools Festival, and I was the Teacher-Director of a 20 minute production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It was a huge undertaking, with 22 primary school students taking part, most of whom had never performed before such a large audience before. It reaffirmed for me the realisation that seeing others perform under my guidance gives just as much of a thrill as performing myself once did.


But what of 2017?

What indeed. I have the somewhat expected goals of getting fit, losing the extra heft I’ve carried for the last three years, but what else?

To tell you the absolute truth, I’m not exactly sure. I have some abstract goals that I don’t feel ready to share just yet, but also I’d quite like to continue in much the same manner as 2016.

I would, however, like to focus more on 2017 being the year of friendships. My dear friends have taken a rather paltry 3rd place after Mr H and my job this year, and so during the next I’d like to perhaps place maintaining and developing friendships slightly higher on the list of priorities. One tends to miss one’s friends, even more so when one is almost entirely to blame for not seeing them.

And so, to you my dear (possibly imaginary) readers. How has your year been? What goals or dreams do you have for the next? I raise a glass of mediocre but cost-effective champagne to you all.

January Joy: Try Something New

Courage Works 2016 - Hello Sam Goodbye Samanth
Image via courageworks.com

I didn’t make any 2016 Resolutions as such, but instead I focussed on 3 feelings I wanted to foster in my life this year. These were:

  • Calm
  • Organised
  • Prosperous

Coinciding with the inspiration to focus on these elements in my life, I got a wonderful Christmas present from my Mum – the Living Brave Semester, the first e-course from Brené Brown‘s COURAGEworks programme.

Focussing on two of her books, Daring Greatly and Rising Strong, the  12 week programme ‘provides participants with the opportunity to explore what it really means to fully show up in [their] lives – to be brave, lean into vulnerability, and to rumble with the challenges that come with living a daring life’.

Now, does that sound like my cup of tea or does that sounds like my freaking cup of tea? (It does).

I’m not going to lie, it’s a big commitment of time in a period of my career where I have less time to myself than ever before, but knowing what I know about Brené Brown, and knowing what I know about giving time to the things that are important to you, it feels like it’s manageable. I’m damn well looking forward to it.

The first lesson starts tomorrow morning my time, and so I’ll spend this evening catching up on my pre-lesson reading (seems I am still working on the feeling of ‘organised’ in 2016….it’s only January!).

I’ll try and report back on how it’s going over the 12 weeks, and if you’re interested, I really do recommend you give it a look!

Thoughts on 2015

Looking Forward - HSGS

I do realise that we haven’t yet reached that all important 25th day in December, but nevertheless it hasn’t stopped me from starting to reflect on the year that was 2015.

To prevent you from having to hang around here all night, here are some of the things that have happened this year, in the Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha family:

  1. I returned from Australia, and resumed life as an expat
  2. Mr H passed his driving test and our lives were transformed by having so much more time
  3. We developed our back garden
  4. A new job for me
  5. I started driving lessons
  6. A spell of freelance writing work for me
  7. We got the hallway re-plastered
  8. My first UK teaching job finished
  9. Oh yeah, a wedding
  10. My family came to visit and many of them stayed with us!
  11. My second job started
  12. My life went crazy when I started primary teaching
  13. I booked my driving test (9 days peeps!)

So, yeah. It’s been pretty crazy. Professionally this year has kicked my butt, but as my new hero Brené Brown says, I’ve been down in that arena, daring greatly. I’ve managed, however, to end on a really high note at school, but am seriously looking forward to having a proper break.

Personally, there are a few goals I’m thinking of setting for the new year, and once I’ve settled on them, I’ll definitely share them here on the blog – perhaps it will keep me honest.

2016 is the first year, in what seems like forever, where there will be no big changes. I’m not moving anywhere, I’m not changing jobs, I’m not getting married again that’s for sure, so I’m looking forward to it being the year where I can really smash out some personal and professional achievements.

It’s been a big old year, that much is for certain. I am looking forward to 2016, but before that, let’s all see out what’s left of 2015 in style.

How I Developed a…Hobby?

A few years back, I got my first adult bike, and started cycling to and from work every day. I very rarely cycled on weekends, mostly because my partner at the time didn’t have a bike and so we like to walk around Rochester together. Around the same time I got on a bit of a health kick, losing about 7 kilos, which I found easy to maintain with the weekly cycling. I felt great for the first time in ages, physically fit and sleeping really well.

I had become a pretty confident cycler, and could pretty much have cycled home every day with my eyes shut, except for y’know, all those cars on the road. Apparently I began to disregard them, which culminated in a stupid minor crash with a car full of delightfully lovely and non-angry boys. Sorry about that chaps. Anyway, my bike was off the roads for a few months while I saved up the money for repairs, and ANNOYINGLY it got pinched from it’s lock at my flat. Damn. It was the pause I really didn’t need, because it took me about another year to replace the bike, by which time my exercise mojo had totally dissipated.

Over the next year or so I changed jobs at my firm, upped the stress levels and my long term relationship ended. These factors, plus a new ability to eat shocking amounts of pizza, meant that I say 2014 in at a new low of fitness and a new high weight. Oh dear. It wasn’t so much that I felt bad about myself, more that it was bloody annoying to be overweight because none of my clothes fit any more and I couldn’t afford to replace them. I also was returning home to sort out some visa issues and retrain as a teacher.

The last six months of this year have been spent in my hometown of Perth, which has been rather excellent despite the distance from my new BF (now fiancé!!). I’ve spent this time working myself up to a new activity that I had really wanted to try for ages. It was a name I really wanted to give myself, but I couldn’t. You have to earn it. Ladies and gents, I took up running. I have started to become a runner.

I run the same route 3 – 4 times a week, which is about a 5km run. But boy, I certainly didn’t start off running. It was 80% walk, 20% run, but over the last 8 weeks it’s nudged up and up until this week, where I am so close to non stop running that I can almost taste it! This might seem like a long time to work up to a mere 5k run, but to be honest, I never wanted to push myself so hard that I was crippled the day after. I didn’t want to put myself off. So I’ve always given myself more time than needed to run an extra leg, only doing it when I still felt amazing at my old resting spots. I’m really really really enjoying it.

This week however, was my first fully fledged week after some really dodgy runs last week. I hadn’t been feeling particularly well, and had had an extra day off. It felt like my body was sticking two fat fingers up at me, with my fitness totally obliterated. By the second run last week I felt like I never wanted to run again (despite still not quite running 5k), but I was determined to push through. This week had been great, I felt energetic and had an excellent 2nd wind which brought my pace up unexpectedly. But then…..dun dun DUN….I had a mysterious pain in my shin…..

Turns out I have developed shin splints in my right shin, which is a literal pain. I feel a little  afraid that I will lose my mojo, but I guess that you only fail if you give up, so if I just trust that once I’m healed I’ll get back into it, hopefully it will happen! I have no goals as such, I just want to continue on. I think somewhere down the line, probably before my wedding in August, I would like to do an official 5k or maybe even a 10k run, just to see if I can!

I absolutely adore sewing, although I haven’t had much opportunity to do so this year, and via that interest I stumbled upon Melissa Fehr of Fehr Trade. She designs and sells activewear sewing patterns, and is also an avid London-based runner. I have been utterly devouring her blogs this week!