Well may you ask. I will be the first to admit this year really got away from me. I reckon I'll be processing why and how for a little l...

Well may you ask. I will be the first to admit this year really got away from me. I reckon I'll be processing why and how for a little longer but it's been a year of shifting priorities and goal posts. || mini clay houses from Istanbul

I reckon I noticed the shift about May, at the end of a really tough semester of study and significant changes in my work environment. The summer was over, cold weather was starting to set in and I was facing another six months of study I didn't like. I started asking myself why I was doing it and the truth was the reasons I'd had 18 months prior, when I enrolled in postgraduate study, were no longer as important to me.

I looked around me and found I'm not the only one looking up from 20 years of work and asking what the next 20 years might look like. I like working. I'm proud of work I've done. I am a rare breed that can say they've had a fortunate, challenging, creative and inspiring work history. I've had extraordinary diversity. I've worked on fantastic projects. I've also had my fair share of disappointments: mostly in people, as it turns out. And here I am, within weeks of finishing a Master of Business Administration and I am really spinning my wheels on the next steps.

I reckon it's going to take me a little longer to work out what that might look like. I know it will need to have a similar richness, depth and purpose as the past 20 years of my working life. While I am thinking and working stuff out, I'll be working on the gaps in this soul list.

1. Continue to read a book a month, totally unrelated to work or study. Smashing this one. I've broken a book drought thanks to my local library.
2. Divest of stuff. We’re looking to downsize and move to a smaller property. Stuff has got to go. Stuff has been heading out the door in carloads.
3. Find a professional mentor, or two. I’ll be looking to get traction on the MBA and a few other things I’ve added to my busy professional life this year. 
4. Put myself in front of the camera a little more. I am very much comfortable on the eyepiece side, not so much the lens side. I am trying. You can see the cringe-worthy results here
5. Set up and use Mum’s table loom. I’ve salvaged it from her garage, but I’ll be honest, the damn thing is intimidating. 
6. More country road trips. I hired a car on a recent trip up north and spent three days driving around the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Glorious freedom.
7. A camp in autumn. 
8. A camp in spring.
9. More walks in the bush. There have definitely been more of these. Such a salve for the soul.
10. More long rides, preferably with friends. 
11. Get back into the pool and swim laps after work.
12. Get back into the routine of going for a run before breakfast.
13. Book regular massages - not one every three years, or thereabouts.
14. More weekend curry cook-ups to have packed lunches ready for the working week. Not as much as I'd like but some good, easy vegetarian curries have joined the recipe repertoire. 
15. More having friends around for easy weekend lunches. Pot-luck will be my friend this year. We've done one pot-luck dinner this year and with summer around the corner, there'll be more barbecues too.
16. Make kombucha. I've made so much and only just stopped and abandoned by scoby. Another one will need to be sought out soon.
17. Make sourdough bread.
18. Make more wardrobe basics: simple tanks, tees, shorts, pants – that kinda thing. I've road-tested a couple of patterns and have fabric sitting waiting.
19. Grow more granny flowers. I’ve been reading old garden guides and have been persuaded by the language of colour, movement and scent. I’ve already thrown in a couple of dahlia rhizomes. Stattice, geraniums, nasturtiums, dahlias, clivias and hippeastrums are all flowering or about to flower.
20. Visit libraries more. The best reads I’ve had over summer I borrowed from the local library. So many new books that I've not paid a cent to read. I love libraries.
21. Phone friends more. It’s so much more immediate than writing a letter.
22. Try out all the new eateries popping up where I live on the Central Coast. This place has really changed since we moved here 16 years ago. So much more to choose from. So many good ones and so many more new ones. Welcome to Saddles, at Mount White, The Savoy, at Long Jetty, and Motel Mezza, at Wyong. 
23. Surprise grandkidlets with pick-ups from preschool and school. Who doesn’t love an afterschool trip to the pool, milkshake or ice-cream?
24. More after-work walks along the beach. Salt air and sand underfoot are incredibly salves to a rough work day. I am just starting to get back into this. 
25. Take my study outdoors. I get WiFi access out there. Why have I not been doing this more?
26. Make better use of the work commute so I don’t have to do so much study or other work when I get home. Smashing through the readings.
27. Write in my diary more regularly. Almost every week, and usually with a coffee in front of me.
28. Play music when I am at home. It’s always so quiet and I used to have music on all the time before the kids own music, television and general exuberant chatter drowned it out. A little bit more. It's been fun digging through old CDs but my player is ancient. What to invest in. I am a tech luddite when it comes to music.
29. Find time to stay in the city and catch up with friends. I jump in and out on work commutes and there’s been no time to properly meet and catch up with people. 
30. I would really like to go here. Maybe in September. 
31. Have the grandkidlets over for ‘movie’ and ‘camp’ sleepovers. Pile up mattresses in the loungeroom. Pop popcorn. Put a DVD on and snuggle in for the night, or a campfire with marshmallows and tent in the back yard.
32. Do another local food tour. We went to Auburn for a Middle Eastern tour last year. Korean this year, I think. 
33. Spend an average 5mins in the garden each day. Those with an eagle eye will notice I’ve dropped from 15mins a day, to 5mins.
34. Op shop out of my hood. There’s a wealth of great op shops north and south of me. Time to explore new treasure troves.
35. Hike to the top of Mount Kosciusko. I’ve never even been.
36. Plan some serious adventures for when the study slows down at the end of this year. It’s amazing how being curtailed makes you want it so much more. The planning is underway. It's going to be spectacular.
37. Press flowers.
38. Make paper.
39. Get the kayak, and myself, onto the water more often. I've been on the water twice, and a weekend of paddling has been planned for the first weekend of summer.
40. Grow lavender. I picked up a few sprigs at a produce swap recently and let them dry. The smell is amazing.
41. Comment on blogs more. Are you guilty of skim-reading too?
42. Print more family photos. Everything is stored on drives, in clouds and on the phone. Printing them and sharing them with the family makes me very happy.
43. Lose 10kg. Please don’t let this double again this year, but given the amount of eating out, eating in with friends, cooking and food tours on the list, I’ll be up against it.
44. Pass the second year of my MBA. It’s all-consuming, boring, but it’ll make me very happy to have finished it. Five more weeks to go.

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