2015 52 in 52: Year in review

This year I realised again I’ve been approaching the 52 in 52 all wrong. I always tend to get to the end and focus on what I didn’t do, then think of it as a failure.

I’m so wrong.

I should be looking at all the things I did do, and celebrating the fact that the year didn’t pass by without trying something new, doing something worthwhile, or impacting someone else’s life. And when I look back on the things I ticked on my 52 in 52 list for 2015, I think I had a pretty darn good year. Where I’ve been able to blog the experience I’ve included a link; I went a bit quiet for the second half of the year so not all of these will have an associated story.

Stayed tuned for the list for 2016!

Physical Activity:

Hire something fun e.g. Mini Moke, Segway, House and/or BBQ boat etc: 

Funnily enough this one only just happened earlier this week – what a way to finish the year! For my sister’s partner’s brother-in-law’s birthday (mouthful much?) he hired a bbq boat and the family were all invited. I made up a stupidly large container of Pim’s punch, there were salads, meat and desserts galore, and we cruised the local waterways. So much fun.

bbq boat

Run 5km in under 30mins:

Unfortunately I’ve lost this fitness now, but 2016 will be fixing that! It’s still one of my greatest achievements for the year, and something that I had dreamt about achieving for so long.  (Blog link)

Have a sauna:

I managed to achieve this one at the gym as well, with a nice sauna after a workout. I really do need to use this more often, and get those toxins OUT. (Blog link)

Do a class at the gym:

I’ve actually done a few classes now, including RPM and body pump (talk about pain – my body was in agony for days). I see myself attending a few more of these during 2016, as the motivation to focus on my health and fitness has come flying back. (Blog link)

Sign up for the 12 week challenge at the gym:

This one doubled as do something that scares me, since I ended up posting photos of my before and after photos online – scary stuff. Alas a combination of stress, lack of exercise and poor diet meant I’ve regained the weight and more, but I’m back to focusing on that and should see that turned around during 2016. I’m still very thankful for the program through, as it allowed me to meet new people who are still workout buddies to this day. I also learned some new training techniques that I do still use from time-to-time, and encouraged me to try out some of the classes at the gym. (Blog link)

Hobby

Read one James Bond Novel: 

I ended up reading Casino Royale as well as Live and Let Die. According to Goodreads I actually read 12 books this year, although I’m sure the number would be higher as I was pretty lazy in updating it with my Book Club books. I enjoyed the James Bond novels, although I have to admit I love the movies more (I’m a stunt fan and like to see the live action). Still, if given the chance to read more James Bond novels in the future I wouldn’t say no.

Watch all of the Big Bang Theory series:

I was quite disappointed when I finished this one; I’d enjoyed coming home from work and switching on the show at night. They’re releasing more episodes so I will need to keep up-to-date, and there’s talk of the entire series ending soon, aww! But this was a fun one, and I finally got to see what the heck went on with Sheldon and Amy!

Do a jigsaw puzzle:

Holy smokes, this feels like it was SO much longer than January! It’s weird that at the same time as being in disbelief that the year is over so fast, that it actually feels so long. Crazy. Putting this jigsaw together was actually something for me to focus on while I went through a pretty brutal detox (see the Autoimmune Protocol one further down) (Blog link)

Jigsaw puzzle

Read a book from the NYT Bestsellers list: 

Based on the recommendation from a lot of my friends I ended up reading “The Girl on the Train” which admittedly was amazing. The book actually debuted at no. 1 on the NYT Fiction Best Sellers of 2015, and remained in the top position for 13 consecutive weeks (thanks wikipedia). Pretty impressive!

Do something that scares me:

Referring to my blog post from above, this was posting the after photos from my 12 week challenge at the gym. Posting photos of myself in a sports bra and bikini bottoms is NOT something that I’m still comfortable with, although I’m proud of myself for doing it.

Do a course in something that interests me:

I had another goal to build my own custom wordpress theme for my blog, which I haven’t done yet, but this particular challenge plays right into that. I’ve been studying CSS and HTML, and while I’ve made a lot of progress in this area I haven’t yet reached a point that I can build a theme. But I’m on my way there, and already finished CSS basics along with some HTML stuff. I’ve also finished a basic wordpress course but nothing there seemed all that new to me. I’m loving learning something new again though, and stay tuned for a much improved blog layout!

Pass the first test in Duolingo with 100%:

If you’re not familiar with Duolingo, it’s a fantastic website with mobile apps to help you learn new languages. My partner’s family are Italian, so I thought it would be nice if I learned the language. We’re also planning on visiting Europe in 2017, including Italy, so the skills will definitely come in handy then!

Fold origami:

This one was so much fun! A couple of my friend’s came over, and we put together a crane! Mine ended up being a drunk crane though as it kept falling over. To this day I still have the cranes on the bookshelf at home. I blogged the process, because it was quite an experience (let’s just say I’m not that crash hot at origami) (Blog link)

Origami - I did it

Paint something:

A few years ago I added “Colour in a picture”, and my friend loaned me her colouring pencils with some print outs of pictures I could use (I can’t seem to find my blog post about it unfortunately). The funny thing is though, that this year colouring in for adults has become all the rage again! I proudly declare that I was ahead of my time.

This year I had decided I wanted to paint something though, so I bought a paint by numbers – remember those? I haven’t finished it yet, but when I do I’ll be sure to post a picture of it in all it’s poorly painted glory! But stay tuned folks – in a year or two people will be catching back on to the Paint by Numbers phase, and I’ll have moved onto the next great thing (can you hear me beating my own drum?).

See a waterfall:

This one I count as having being done with our recent efforts trying to go camping on Fraser Island. Driving rain, insane winds, lots of water running down over rock faces as we made our way to the barge. Yep – we saw waterfalls alright!

Social

Games night with friends using board games purchased from the op shop:

This is another one I can’t believe was only done this year – it feels like so long ago! But it was one of my favourite nights this year, it was so much fun. We played the rudest board game I’ve ever seen (Kevin Bloody Wilson) and my new favourite, Mad Gab. Great fun, looking forward to the next games night. (Blog link)

See a musical:

This was also a great night! I went to see Wicked! in Brisbane with some friends, and had an absolute ball. I bought a light-up cocktail glass with a green cocktail in it, and learned some new songs. Fantastic!

Bingo:

Ah, now this 52 opened up a massive can of worms! Since the original game was played that fulfilled the 52 item, there have been many repeat nights. To be honest, I can only last until half time before I get bored, but a lot of my friends have really embraced it and there’s been a few repeats since.

Contact a company I had a good experience with and say thanks:

I’m really glad I wrote this on the list because it’s always nice to tell someone when there’s been a job well done – you can just tell it makes their day. But to be honest, when I contacted the company to say thanks I didn’t think about this 52 at all – I just wanted to let them know how much I appreciated them! I had to organise an event this year, and this company had massively stood up to the task. They were able to take everything I had in mind and make it come to life. The event was a mammoth success, and it was directly relevant to them. So I made sure they knew it.

I think they’re deserving of another shout out, so if anyone on the Sunshine Coast is looking for a company to help with decorations & themes for any reason, I highly recommend Mask Events.

Health

Stick to the Autoimmune protocol diet for 4 weeks:

At the start of this year I was not well; I was fatigued and crawling back into bed mid-morning for a nap. I had no energy, and it was very clear that something was amiss with my body. I’d seen doctors and had blood tests but nothing stood out. Thus I turned to my nutrition. I stuck to the diet for 4 weeks, but after the 4th week nothing had changed, so I began to think that it wasn’t that.

I finally figured out what it was many, many months later, and it turned out that it was related to food after all. It’s worthy of a blog post on its own, but it appears my body is intolerant to fructose! Once I cut that out I felt amazing; my energy was back, I slept better, my moods stabilised, and I even dropped a few kg’s without trying. Alas I’ve had a few relapses, and when I do my body clings onto every bit of sugar I eat so I’ve unfortunately put on a fair bit of weight since the start of last year – another issue to deal with separately. But main thing is that I now know what was causing the issues, and I learned quite a new cooking methods and recipes as a result of the AIP. (Blog link)

Get a sight check:

Long story short, guess who’s now wearing glasses!! Well, to read anyway. I’d been getting headaches and the like at work, and thought that my eyes felt a bit strained. I added it to the list as a “why not, let’s cross that off the list” only to find that I did indeed have an issue. No headaches related to my eyes since! Glad I had tackled that one. (Blog link)

 

Get a molescan:

Technically done – I did get a scan. I just have to go back so they can do a scrape and test some of the moles they reviewed. Ew, scary doctor stuff 🙁 That’s one for 2016.

Get a massage:

Done several times over. I was getting massages done to help loosen up my muscles due to some training that I was doing, and learned that my hip flexors and TBL’s are incredibly tight. I was prescribed a few exercises to do at home and that was that. But daaaaamn sports massages hurt! (Blog link)

Donate blood:

I’ve actually become a regular at the centre now! During 2015 I donated blood once, and have at least on 5 other occasions donated plasma. I aim to top that with a lot more frequent plasma donations during 2016. Just a timely reminder for everyone too – if you can donate please do. There are many people out there that need your help.

Travel

Go on a ferry:

Done, because we caught a ferry to/from Fraser Island for camping, as well as the Stradbroke Ferry back from Stradbroke Island at the start of the year. Nothing exciting to report though, and I had intentionally wanted to use this one as an excuse to go for a ride on the Brisbane City Cat, which didn’t end up happening. Another time perhaps.

Use public transport:

Done! When the other half and I stayed at Gold Coast earlier in the year we used their new trams several times – it was so much fun! I really do wish the Sunshine Coast had trams, but unfortunately the public transport system here remains woefully inadequate. We only have the option of infrequent buses, or highly expensive taxis. Uber have arrived recently, although not technically legal in our state just yet. I’m embracing it though – the Sunshine Coast needs all the help it can get! Put it this way – if I needed to get to the airport from my place (approximately a 15min drive) I could spend 1.5 hours travelling by bus, or pay nearly $40 by taxi – nearly a full tank of petrol!

 

So that’s that! All up, I think I had a great year with lots of fun memories with friends. I very nearly didn’t do a 2016 list, I was feeling a bit burned out, but after chatting with a friend I became re-inspired, so bring on the new year!

Anyone else feeling inspired to create their own list?