Happiness

22 things for 2022

As in previous years (didn’t bother for 2021) I have put together a list of things I would like to do in 2022. I’ve tried not to include too many habits, although there are a few and I have tried to include things I would really like to do, not things I think I should.

  1. Paddleboard on the sea
  2. Cycle from Albufeira to Vilamoura (and back again).
  3. Don’t buy new clothes.
  4. Reduce single use plastics – specifically with regard to toiletries
  5. Publish a crochet pattern in a magazine
  6. Enter a flash fiction competition
  7. Walk 1000 miles
  8. Eat one piece fruit every day
  9. Read 12 fiction books
  10. Take a photography class
  11. Make a dress for myself that fits
  12. Go to a Grand Prix
  13. Visit Scotland
  14. Visit Wales
  15. Grade 1 saxophone or Grade 7 Clarinet
  16. 365 days of creative writing
  17. Listen to 12 new albums
  18. Long distance walking challenge
  19. Write a blog post every week
  20. Ride a Horse
  21. Snorkelling Trip
  22. Visit my friend in Dresden

This has taken a bit thought than usual! I don’t generally plan things. One thing that was on and off the list quite a bit was not drinking alcohol for 365 days. But that felt like a bit too much of an ask! But we’ll see how I get on with that one. So here are the reasons for my choices:

1.  Paddle Board on the sea.  I’ve wittered on about this for years.  This year I’m going to do it, and if I spend most of the time in the sea than on the board, well then never mind! I have spent some time swimming in the sea in 2021 so my fear of falling off the board into the sea is hopefully less of a thing.

2.  Cycle from Albufeira to Vilamoura and back again.  It’s about 50 kilometres there and back. There are really good cycle paths around Vilamoura – I just have to get there first to cycle on them.  This could take some achieving and probably a bit of planning, especially as I’ve not cycled for a while.

3.  Don’t buy any new clothes.  I have far too many as it is.  This does include not buying things from the charity shops. I volunteer in my local St Peter’s Hospice shop and it’s a nightmare. So much really good stuff comes in and it’s really hard not to buy it all. One thing I would like to add to this is to personalise clothes a bit more. Add a decorative flourish here and there! There is a bit of a caveat with this one – things like undies and socks when needed!

4.  Cut back on single use plastics in toiletries:  When you look at the recycling bins both in Portugal and Bristol, by far the most full is the plastics.  I’m a sucker for buying toiletries when they are on offer – but so much of the packaging isn’t actually recyclable.  The labels are misleading – some of them literally mean ‘they can be recycled if the right facilities exist’ and in so may places the ‘right facilities’ don’t exist.  So I’m going to try to find a way to reduce single use plastics and toiletries.

5.  Publish a crochet pattern in a magazine:  I just need to get off my backside really!  I’ve published a few patterns to Ravelry, I just need to crack on and try this. My excuse is always that I’m in the wrong country and don’t have access to the wool needed, but that is just an excuse and I am going to give it a try. Every time I buy a crochet magazine I think ‘I could have designed that’ but I don’t. Much like many other things, I just don’t get off my arse!

6.  Enter a flash fiction competition:  I started another degree in 2021 and as part of it discovered I’m actually quite good at Creative Writing.  Flash Fiction is a form of creative writing – generally between 500 and 1000 words.  And there are competitions – so I thought I might try entering one to see what happens!

7.  Walk 1000 miles:  I walk 10,000 steps most days, so this shouldn’t be too difficult!

8.  Eat one piece of fruit every day:  I am rubbish at eating fruit and veg and thought this would be quite a simple way to make sure I at least got a bit more fruit into my diet.  

9.  Read 12 fiction books:  Part of the creative writing course is based on reading fiction with a readers mind and looking at the way in which authors write.  I haven’t really read much by way of fiction for quite a while – so thought one per month was a good place to start.  I’m going to add to this by only reading fiction books that I already have on my Kindle.  A bit like clothes shopping, I have loads, so there is absolutely no need to buy any more.

10.  Take a photography class: In 2020 it might have been my husband bought me a new camera because we were due to to quite a bit of travelling to new, unusual places that we were definitely only going to visit once. Obviously, that didn’t quite happen. But I do enjoy using the camera, I just don’t really have much of a clue what I’m doing with it. So I’d like to do a course to learn a bit more about the camera and the kinds of things I can do with it.

11. Make a dress for myself that fits:  I love dresses and I love sewing.  But the two have never really panned out that well.  So I’m going to take my time and actually make a dress that fits.

12. Go to a Grand Prix:  Covid allowing. We were meant to go to one last year, and the year before, but they didn’t quite happen.  So hopefully 2022 will be the year. Currently wondering about Barcelona or Budapest.

13. Visit Scotland:  Last summer we had a lovely trip to the North East of England.  We have some friend that has recently moved back to Scotland so hopefully we will make it up to visit them.

14. Visit Wales:  This seemed like it was worth a shout as I was going to try Scotland, why not add in wales too! We do also have friends that live just over the bridge in Newport, so no excuses really!

15. Grade 3 saxophone:  I can play the clarinet and got as far as grade 6.  Option A was finish Grade 7 and 8, option B was to start again at the beginning with saxophone.  I’ve ordered a metronome and will make a start with the clarinet – as my saxophone is currently with my dad and so I can’t actually play it at the moment – although that would be by far the easier option! My sister thought I’d finished Grade 8, but I never really got there!

16. 365 days of creative writing:  I bought a book as part of my degree course with a daily creative writing prompt.  It starts from January 1st.  I tried starting the book in May and just got confused – so I’ll start again at the beginning of the year and follow the book along.  I’m really rubbish at committing to things like this, so this will be a real challenge for me.

17. Listen to 12 new albums:  1 per month.  Back in the day I would have brought a record / tape / CD and listed to all the tracks, warts and all.  Nowadays I tend to just listen to songs – like many people.  I love music and have a friend who recently recommends full albums to listen to.  So I’m going to start listening to them, and I might even branch out.  Maybe try a bit of jazz. I might also listen to some of the albums I probably should have listened to years ago – a bit of Bob Dylan or something like that.

18. Long distance walk.  I see these advertised every year and think that I’d quite like a go at one.  I quite fancy going to the peak district.

19. Write a blog post every week – as much as anything to keep track of the 22 things! I do enjoy writing, but I just get side-tracked. I am going to endeavour to not get side tracked this year.

20.  Ride a horse:  I nearly did this last year but kept wimping out and finding excuses not to.  But if it’s on the list, it needs to happen!  I even got so far as messaging a stables near Albufeira to find out what I needed to do.  

21.  Snorkelling trip:  This is another one that I meant to do in 2020.  A family friend wanted to go snorkelling in Portugal and I said I would go with her.  But it never happened.  So this year, I’m going to go ahead and do it.

22.  Visit my friend in Dresden (Germany, not Longton):  This is another one that has been moved time and time again.  We first met in the early 90s in America and life has taken over. It’s been a really long time since we saw each other in the flesh. This year, I really hope that I make it to Dresden to visit her.

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