A review of 2012

Since having children I found time can do interesting things.  It seems to run both insanely quickly, with months flying by in the blink of an eye and then at the same time move at a glacial pace with minutes, hours and days dragging on for an eternity.  2012 was like this, especially once I went back to work in July.  I think it’s something to do with watching children grow up.  One minute they’re tiny babes in arms the next thing they come up to your belling button and you automatically grunt at the effort it takes when you pick them up.  That time in between feels like a nano-second.  But when you’re in the middle of a day or a week or a month at home with kids all the time, then time really does stretch like elastic.  Those hours of crying, whining and whingeing seem to cause the second hand to tick backwards.  The enforced role-playing as a fairy or a daddy (I’m never the mummy!), or a jockey (the latest fad) or whatever it might be feels like a form of torture when you’ve played the same game a dozen times in one afternoon.  And let’s not even start on what happens to time when you’re up at 3am with a baby that just will not go back to sleep.  But despite all of this, or perhaps because of it, 2012 has been a good year, a great year.  And now with it coming to a close I thought I would revisit the goals I set for myself last January and see how I did.

1.  Reading
The goal for 2012 was 15 books, including the Elegance of the Hedgehog and A Suitable Boy.  Considering the length of a Suitable Boy it was completely insane to think I would get through that plus 14 other books.  In fact I was a long way off the mark only reading 8, but actually I’m pretty happy with that given that sleep deprivation has featured heavily for a good chunk of the year and my reading pace increased considerably towards the end of the year.  I did manage to get through both books mentioned, plus 6 more and all were enjoyable, gave me an escape and helped when insomnia struck in the last few months.  Yes, that’s right, I finally get Miss One sleeping a little better and I still can’t manage a decent night’s rest, go figure.

2.  Cooking
This year my aim was to work on getting Miss Three to eat a proper meal.  You know sit a the table…. normally…., actually put food in her mouth, chew and swallow and not be bombarded with complaints, excuses, tears and tantrums.  I tried altering our diet somewhat so that the meals were more child-friendly.  Each of the new dishes I served up was eaten once or even twice and then was refused (the exception being tacos which was a winner most of the year, but is no longer a fail safe option now).  In the end I went back to cooking what I wanted and what Mr Good and Miss One liked as it really made no difference.  We tried a sticker chart (generally not my thing but I was willing to try it).  She had to get ten stickers for eating well and then earned a colouring in book or a story book or some such thing.  She did it once, earned her reward and then the very next night she took one look at the plate in front of her, turned to me and said “I don’t want a sticker tonight Mum” and bang, back to square one.  Now we just totally ignore her, which seems cruel at times, but it’s all I can do not to scream and throw food at the wall.  So in other words, I totally failed on that goal.


The second part of my goal was to cook more out of some of my lesser used cook books, of which I have many.  In all honesty I added several more to my collection over the year, I just can’t help myself I love them.  As for the goal, I cooked at lot from Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals, all of which we thought were great.  Lots of my slow cooker dishes came out of the Women’s Weekly Slow Cooking book and one of Nigella’s books also got a bit of a work out.  I think that meets that goal pretty well.

3. Gardening
The idea was to try some new vegetables in the garden, leeks, onions and celery were named.  I did the onions and celery and tried the leeks but they died once I planted them out.  The celery did brilliantly, and onions less so, but I still have half a dozen in the garden.  As well I planted kale and parsnips for the first time, both of which did well.  I also wanted to try some new varieties of beans, tomatoes and potatoes.  I currently have three or four new varieties of each growing in the garden and all doing reasonably well, except for the cursed whitefly that I am battling.  I was going to follow the month by month guide in one of my gardening books, which I did for most months, though I did get a bit slack for a while.  In all I think I did fairly well with this goal.


4. Decluttering
I started really well in January, but about a month in I stopped and never started again.  The piles of magazines have been added to instead of reduced, the laundry is still a disaster zone (though had been periodically tidied in that time, it just that there is SO MUCH washing it never stays organised) and the cupboards have had more things shoved in them with the doors quickly closed behind them.  Mr Good and I did just (I mean yesterday) move the girls into the same room so we were forced to do some decluttering to fit all the furniture, clothes and toys into one room.  Plus that now gives us a spare room/study/sewing room.  In all definitely not a pass in this category.

5. Craftiness
I said I would knit something a bit more challenging than a scarf, learn to crochet and attempt some sewing.  So how did I do…. well I knitted a triangular shaped scarf, but it wasn’t really very challenging.  I also contributed to a knitted blanket for the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia which now just needs to be sewn together.  This was an easy project but it was fun to do with some friends and was a for a wonderful organisation.  I did learn to crochet and while I would have liked to have finished the granny squares blanket for Miss One, I’m not quite there yet.  I’ll get on to that one over the next few weeks (or months).  I have also just got some wool for blanket number two.  As for the sewing, I did get a sewing machine for Chirstmas (I’m very excited about that), but have yet to take it for a spin.  So perhaps not a total pass, but almost.

6. Miscellaneous (who has a miscellaneous category on the goals page?… me apparently)
First, get Miss One to sleep through at least some nights.  Yep, she does that sometimes.  I’m still up a couple of times a week and she is getting really difficult at the beginning of the night when going to sleep in the first place, but it’s better.  Enough so that we just achieved the next goal, putting the girls into the same room.  Two nights in and it’s been a bit of a rough ride with them keeping each other awake til way past their usual bed time and then both getting up early.  Hopefully the novelty will wear off soon and they’ll just go to sleep.

The last goal was to run 5km and enter a fun run.  Well I exceeded this goal and ran 10km in the Mother’s Day classic.  I took a break afterwards as I had trouble finding enough daylight hours where I could get out for a run and I have to say I’ve been slack at getting back into it, but with the school holidays now hopefully I’ll be back on track soon.

That’s it, my 2012 goals, some pass, some fails, some 50/50.  I’ll be thinking about what comes next for 2013 and let you know in a couple of days.  In the meantime have a wonderful New Year’s Eve and I’ll catch up with you all next year.

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9 Responses to A review of 2012

  1. Im impressed! Especially with a couple of kiddliwinks at home with you! I am in the throws of sorting goals for this year and experimenting with “catagories”, “themes” and plain lists to see what I think will be acheivable this year. I know I put things on the list that seem wonderful when I am thinking and dreaming of them but when the are bought into the real world, never stood a show! Good luck – Im looking forward to reading about your goals for 2013! – Kara x

    • Barbara Good says:

      I know what you mean about writing lists that look and sound wonderful and then end up being totally unrealistic or unachievable. I think that’s why I decided on some categories, things that are already part of my life that I wanted to do better or do move of, plus a couple of realistic to-do’s like the running. Good luck with your pondering. I’ll be back with my new goals in a few days, after a trip to my parents place for a couple of quiet days.

  2. Sarah says:

    That is a great effort. Don’t be so hard on yourself. I think you have done really well with your goals. And I love the “Miscellaneous” category for goals – life doesn’t always fit into neat little boxes.

    • Barbara Good says:

      Thanks Sarah, do you think I was being hard on myself, I sort of thought I was letting myself of easily. I do think I did better with the goals than I expected I would and was happy with my efforts. Oh and you’re so right some things just don’t fit into boxes in life. Perhaps my goals for 2013 should be written as a mind map… that’s what I’d get my students to do.

  3. Liz says:

    I think you’ve done brilliantly. Personally I read one book (pathetic i know). Completely failed to get Mr 3 to eat at the table (although I regard this as his failure not mine….) and still can’t run 5 km or crochet. Maybe if i set some goals……..

    • Barbara Good says:

      Aww, thanks Liz. I read more than I have for a couple of years this year, though I think I should count A Suitable Boy as 3 books…. in fact that’s what I did in my head to get me just that little bit closer to reaching my goal. I’m sure you’re right about the three year old eating at the table thing too, though I suspect Miss Three thinks of it as a success rather than a failure…. I just read you gardening and cooking goals too, great stuff! Looking forward to hearing your progress, and getting some new recipes too perhaps,,,

  4. Pingback: Top 5 – Things I will do better this year. | Suburban Tomato

  5. Leanne says:

    Oh I’m reading over your blog and now coming to the end of raising children I sighed… the time does go very quickly and they do grow up very fast. Sticker charts never worked for me. Nor did removing fav toys to the barn for a punishment… So I laughed at your dd. She is going to be a leader not a follower – good for her.
    Lovely to meet you I came from Liz’s blog.
    Love Leanne

  6. Barbara Good says:

    Hi Leanne, great to meet you to. Thanks for stopping by and especially for the leader comment. I’m going to hold that one in my heart every time I’m struggling at the end of a long day.

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