Thursday, 31 December 2015

End of 2015

I only managed to blog twice in 2015 which was a bit of a shame really as I achieved quite a few good things which would have merited writing about.  I never wrote up the day that I managed to swim under the hour for the first time only a fortnight after my two way Windermere, and I didn't write anything about my 3 half marathons, including what proved to be quite a spectacular PB at the first one in Bournemouth.  Oh well.

Anyway, if nothing else, it's time for the annual end of the year round up post that I have been doing for several years now in different blogs.  You can see what I wrote in 2014 here.

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
Swam a double length of Lake Windermere; swam under the hour for 3.8k for the first time; got a job not working in libraries; went to a yoga class (and indeed Body Pump, Body Attack and Body Balance classes although these were only attended a couple of  times); slept in a VW camper van on Tristam campsite in Polzeath; started taking trazodone; had a course of CBT; had my hair dyed.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Last year's resolutions were:
1. A two way Winderemere swim - achieved this!
2. Plank a day in January - didn't achieve this, maybe give this another go in 2016?
3. One sugar free day a week for at least 6 months - did and didn't achieve this.  There were a reasonable number of sugar free days but not
4. Raise £2246 for Mind - yep!  And more!  I think the total for this year was £3105 by the time I had held another crafternoon too.
5. Engage with CBT and get discharged. Mixed success here - tried to engage with CBT, proved to be wrong therapy at wrong time, got discharged from the AMHT anyway.

So, goals/plans for 2016.
1. Complete a marathon (umm, might actually have entered more than one and the Atlantic Coast Challenge)
2. Plank a day in January
3. Keep up with yoga
4. Try to do a sugar free day a week
5. Read more books than I read in 2015 (I'm up to 222 as 2015 closes)

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No - we're obviously through the peak that was 2013!

 4. Did anyone close to you die?
No.  But I was sad that David Willcocks did.

5. What countries did you visit?
Spain (Tenerife).

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
I feel like I have finally achieved the better mood that I was hoping for at the end of 2013 and 2014, I'm still hoping for a little more zen.

7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
5th July - two way Windermere swim
17th August - was very unwell
17th November - started new job

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Completing a two way Windermere swim in July in 10h46 minutes - well under my target time of 11 hours despite not great weather conditions.

9. What was your biggest failure?
At times, being in control of my depression rather than it being in control of me.  Plus the many job applications that I submitted which didn't even get me an interview.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I was pretty lucky with regards to not getting injured despite the huge training load in the first 6 months of 2015.  I did get some tendonitis in my right elbow which still hasn't really gone away.  Otherwise just a few niggles.  Thanks to my amazing sports massage lady for making sure that niggles didn't get worse.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Without doubt, my reindeer dressing gown.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Last year I said my GP, and I think that she can have the credit again.  After being discharged from the AMHT at the end of June, I became very unwell in mid-August.  There was talk of sending me back to the AMHT but she ended up managing the situation in primary care and I felt a lot more cared for than I had been under the AMHT.  Sadly she left the practice in November to move to Australia in the New Year.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
The Tory government towards the NHS.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Food and swimming related things (costumes, pool memberships, cost of 2WW swim)

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My new job!

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?
Ooh, this is hard, not sure there is anything especially stand out this time around

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer?
probably a bit richer in that a bit more of the mortgage is paid off.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Trailing around various NHS establishments.  This totally applies again, although it looks like 2016 there will be less trailing around now that I am on 2 month scripts and 3 month follow ups!

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my husband.  My parents on Christmas Eve, over to the inlaws on Christmas Day for a bit.  Home alone with myself on Boxing Day.  Same again in 2015, seems to work well as an arrangement although I would love to have Christmas at home together

21. Did you fall in love in 2015?
Carried on being in love.

22. How many one-night stands?
Absolutely none.

23. What was your favourite TV program?
Enjoyed Bake Off again; otherwise watched random things on iplayer.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

25. What was the best book you read?
Things that got 5* on Goodreads were: Skeleton in the Cupboard by Tanya Byron, Miss Carter's War by Sheila Hancock, The Biscuit Girls by Hunter Davies, I let you go by Clare Mackintosk, Irrelevant Experience by Spatch Logan, Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan, The Mistake I made by Paula Daly, One by Sarah Crossan, Five Farthings by Monica Redlick, Tricurious by Laura Fountain and Katie King.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I loved the Sunshine from Leith film and spent most of May and June listening to the soundtrack.

27. What did you want and not get?
I think I was pretty lucky and got most of what I wanted in the end. 

28. What did you want and get?
A new job! Discharge from the CBT.  Happier wedding anniversary memories (I was very unwell on our wedding anniversary last year).  Bit better from depression!

29. What was your favourite film of this year?
We loved The Lady in the Van.  "Would you like a cup of coffee" "Don't go to all that trouble, I'll just have half a cup".
At home, I loved Sunshine on Leith which I'd not seen before.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 31 and it was also Good Friday.  I had a nice swim in the morning at Ferry Pool with Helen, then Becci came around and brought me cake and a cushion shaped like a biscuit, then I lay in bed for a bit before we went out for a Starbucks and to see the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2 at the cinema.  It was a bit of a miss (the film), but it represented an achievement for me to get out on a day off rather than just lie in bed.

31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I would say not having had 9 months of depression but I don't think the respite from the depression would have been so much more satisfying without it.  I should have liked to complete my first length of Windermere in the two way in under 5 hours however!

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

33. What kept you sane? 
Swimming and running and finding a new job, plus my GP and in the earliest part of the year, G-the-care-coordinator.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
The future of the NHS.

35. Whom did you miss?
As ever, missed my beautiful friend Emily.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Met Helen properly in 2015. 

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015:
"Not to take good mental health for granted, nor to expect everyone to understand mental health issues.  You'd think I might have learnt these lessons previously, but it turns out that I hadn't.  Hopefully they will stay with me a bit longer this time."

- wrote the above in 2012 and I still think they are a valuable lesson.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
I get knocked down, I get up again, you're never gonna keep me down...
Must have quoted that in a previous year but I do like those words!

Or how about a bit of Elton John - I'm still standing, after all this time...!
39. So in as few words as possible, how would you sum up your year?