Year in Review – 2015
Second year of doing this and I am glad I have done it again. Last year it inspired in me a bit of change. Thanks to Alexandra for bringing this to my attention.
1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
Kind of. I made a bit of a list of things to do before 40. Originally it was 14 then it became 40. I will probably achieve about 20 of them looking at it now. Still more than I have done in the past.
2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Well that has kind of been answered previously. Kind of answered and kind of kept to them.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes. Not very close but someone who had a big impact on me in 2014/2015. Cancer is shit.
5. What countries did you visit?
Netherlands, France, Wales…I need more travel in my life. Should be a lot more next year as I have a honeymoon, stag do, a 40th birthday and a family holiday to Menorca already booked.
6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
Job satisfaction, a greater sense of self worth, well behaved children and sleep.
7. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory?
Two dates. The 7th of December was my last day at HSBC after over 17 years. More importantly January 22/23rd (the timing was a bit vague due to it being very late in Amsterdam) as it was when I proposed.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Well the previous proposal was pretty big as was the leaving work although arguable that is not an achievement.
Running was my biggest achievement by far. In February my beloved and I both signed up for a 10k run that was to take place in September. The sign up happened when I was at the heaviest I have ever been (Over 19st). By May I had run 10 miles and lost over 3 stone. Lapsed a bit during the summer but managed to run 10k in just under an hour in September. I have signed up for the Sheffield Half Marathon in April 2016.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I had a secondment at first direct and I messed up organising something. Very annoying mistake as it went downhill from there.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
11. What was the best thing you bought?
I did buy a lot. I kitted out a cinema room in my converted garage. Nothing too grand just using some old kit and cheap bits. Highlight was a Hisense 55″ TV that is making watching films a joy.
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
The people of Paris.
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Like last year, gun owners in the US. Racists who seemed to have had a resurgence in 2015 (well more chance to show their hatred/fear/ignorance). The groups overlap quite significantly as well. That and the whole world is headed to hell, Syria, Russia, ISIS etc.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage payments once again. Can’t imagine having a different answer to this in the next 15 years.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Star Wars. The boys faces on Xmas morning. The thought of getting new and interesting employment.
16. What song/album will always remind you of 2014?
I really did not have enough music in my life this year. I do memorably remember listening to Young Fathers Old Rock and Roll a lot and at high volume. It is a tad aggressive though.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Unemployed but 2015 was a much happier year overall than 2014.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Being organised. Reading. Writing. 2016 for sure…maybe. Less thinking more doing.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
At my house with my parents which was the first time in a long time I have spent Xmas day with them. it was good. They looked after my children allowing me to focus more on wine and cheese. The best present.
21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
22. Did you fall in love in 2014?
Same answer as last year i.e. only deeper (still on for bonus points)
23. What was your favourite TV programme?
The Walking Dead continues to be excellent as does Game of Thrones. I was introduced to Nathan for You recently which has had me in stitches. Parks & Recreation finished strongly.
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
25. What was your favourite photo that you took?
I told my youngest son that Rabbits lived in the discarded mill stones that adorn the peak district (I think they are mill stones anyway) this is him looking for a rabbit.
26. What was the best book(s) you read?
Arthur C. Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama and Alfred Bester’s the Demolished Man. I only read a pitiful 10 books in 2015 when I had planned to read 25. I had a few months of commuting and that gave me the time to read. I struggle to ‘fit it in’ otherwise. Habit change required.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I did not listen to much new music this year it seems judging by my Spotify and Last.fm history. Clark and John Grant showing up most. Spent a lot of time choosing music for our wedding. Maybe I should class the greatest discovery as the man who will sing at our wedding who we stumbled upon in a pub in West Kirby drunk one night at Easter.
28. What did you want and get?
My marriage proposal accepted? Redundancy payoff? The previously mentioned 55″ TV?
29. What did you want and not get?
Happiness at HSBC. Sleep.
30. What were your favourite films of this year?
One of the things I wanted to do was get back into watching films. I used to love to but over the last decade or so I have watched fewer and fewer. To help me with this I set about making a list of 100 films I would like to watch this year, a kind of the best films before I turn 40 type thing. I took the AFI 100, the BFI 100 and the Oscar Winners and took out all the ones I had seen already then made a list of 100 films. I then made a geeky spreadsheet to track all the films I had to watch/watched. I included running time and year so I should have a good source of data to do something pretty with if I can be bothered. As of writing I have watched 75 of the 100 classics and another 35 films that were not on the list. 110 films this year is a great total and I have loved it. Without a doubt the ones I enjoyed the most were the Ealing Comedies. In fact pretty much anything with Alec Guinness in. The Lavender Hill Mob and Bridge on the River Kwai being particular highlights.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 39. Once again I cannot remember what I did. Birthdays seem to be pretty dull these days. my youngest son having his birthday next day does limit the scope of them some what.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not screwing up a secondment. My treadmill not breaking and being out of operation for over three months due to the incompetence of two companies. Not putting weight back on while the treadmill was out of order.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
I lost a lot of weight this year (I have put a bit back on over the last two months though) so I have some skinnier clothes. Still the same jeans and shirt combos though, just better fitting and easier to buy.
34. What kept you sane?
My sweetheart once again. Exercise. The occasional pint.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
erm…always rubbish at this. Also as I get married in about 8 weeks there is only one girl for me!
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Paris, twice. Election fuckwittery and awful polling. Millions of refugees terrifying us privileged Europeans and being treated like subhumans.
37. Who did you miss?
No one really.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
After 2014 spent living in a cave it seemed at the time, thankfully 2015 was much more sociable. Met lots of new people especially towards the end of the year after announcing my impending unemployment and lots of nice people were very helpful. Made me realise how much I like meeting new people/reconnecting with ones I don’t see often enough in real life.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
Play to my strengths and don’t worry about my weaknesses (too much). Never let someone else book meetings you are meant to be chairing. Make sure your holidays are in your calendar.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?
Don’t let fear of feeling fool you
What you see sets you apart
And there’s nothing here to bind you
Richard Hawley – Tonight The Street are Ours.
And that is that. Another year done. 2016 will be a year of immense change for me. I shall be wed, turn 40 and I will work for a different company for the first time in over 17 years (assuming I manage to get a job that is). It is going to be a very interesting year.