New year, same old me

united-kingdomListen. I’m still processing 2017, and I think it’s deeply unfair of you to make me embark upon yet another year I’m not ready for with so little warning. I hear what some of you are screaming at your screens, it allegedly happens like this every twelve months. To those vocal few I say this: I’ve never seen any evidence of that, and I don’t think you have either. Time is a scam perpetrated by the clock companies to sell more clocks, we all know that. Unfortunately, despite this irrefutable fact, it’s something we’ve all got the deal with. So, normally at this point of the year, I’d review the goals I set myself last year and set some new ones for the year ahead – I’m going to be extremely lenient this year, because 2022 was a real doozy of a year, and because I’m feeling uncharacteristically kind towards myself. That’s a train that may never again stop at this station, so I need to jump aboard while I can.

IMG_0165In case you’ve forgotten, last year, the goals I set myself can be seen to the right, here. So… there are positives and negatives to be seen even at first glance. I’ll come on to my reading and film-watching challenges later, but let’s focus on my language-learning goals for now. I think it’s safe to say that Latgalian has quietly slipped off the radar, though as I was tidying the house for Christmas I found all of the hand-written notes I took during class, so I’ll go through those and digitise them, hopefully re-learning some of the things that have slipped out of my mind. Welsh, however, has been something of a success story – I’ve been sticking with it, just doing little bits here and there, but I’ve made more progress than I can remember making with a language for quite a long time. I’m prone to serial dabbling (he said, pointlessly), but this seems to be more than that – if I do happen to stray, it’s only temporary, and I always come back to the ol’ Cymraeg. I don’t want to jinx it, but that will definitely be staying on my goals for the coming year – as well as dusting off my poor, neglected Korean, which was a later addition and wasn’t in my goals for the start of the year.

Skärmavbild 2023-01-01 kl. 17.27.43Both of the challenges with a numerical value attached turned out to be something of a bust. I only read 11 books this year, and only watched 25 films. However, I dare say that’s more than I would have done for either if I wasn’t participating in the challenge, so I’m not a bit sorry that I did. I’ll be continuing both of these into the coming year, to see if I can get them this time around – though with one crucial difference. I’m making the transition from Goodreads to The StorygraphIMG_3363 (for a number of reasons), so we’ll see how that all works out – I’m particularly excited about the amount of graphs and data they offer (I’m a sucker for a Stats page!) so that’ll be interesting to look at in 2024. For me, anyway, I’ll do my best not to bore you all to tears with the exact number of pages I’ve managed to cram into my eyeholes over the coming 365 days. If you’d like to follow me in my reading challenge, you can find my profile and follow me here. I still think 15 isn’t a completely outrageous number, so that’ what I’m going to aim for again this year. Especially while still participating in the book club I helped to set up and run at work – in theory reading one book a month. Finding another three from somewhere shouldn’t be too difficult. Especially as I’m rediscovering my interest in Manga and graphic novels. Famous last words, though, eh?

Skärmavbild 2023-01-01 kl. 17.26.46As for films, well, the stats don’t lie. I’m a little disappointed with this one, as I genuinely did think I was doing a lot better than I evidently did. Especially as I managed four in December alone. So I think this year, I’m going to lower my target down to 30 – and try and get out to the cinema a little more often. Or indeed, at all. Still, I don’t think 25 films is such a terrible number for the year, especially while juggling a full time job, learning one or two new languages (to varying degrees of success), reading goals and trying to have some shadow of a social life, so I’m prepared to cut myself some slack on this one. Just this once.

As for Camp PolyNaNo and Polyglot NaNoWriMo (these are links to the relevant posts for those of you who haven’t got a single solitary clue what I’m on about)… well, I didn’t even run Camp PolyNaNo this year because I was just too busy around that time, and Polyglot NaNoWriMo fell off the rails after about ten days, I’m sorry to say. But if I want to look on the positive side, I ended up with 2,000 words of a short story (or perhaps even a novel), written entirely in Welsh that I may never have managed before. I’m not going to talk any more about it here, because actually, I really fell in love with what I’d managed to create – the world, the characters, everything; so I’ve put it into a little folder, and as soon as my post-NYE hangover subsides, I’m going to attack it with a red pen, and hopefully continue to build it from there. I actually think I might have something half-decent on my hands here, so… I don’t know, maybe watch this space?

And so, to sum up – I fell a little short of the mark for my goals for this year, but I’ve still done a lot that I can be proud of. For next year, I’m going to aim to read 15 books, watch 30 films, and continue on my path towards conversational Welsh and beyond, with a sprinkling of Korean on top. I’ll most likely do Polyglot NaNoWriMo again too, because let’s face it, I’m a sucker for a challenge. What about you, what are your goals for this year? Leave a comment, or if you’d prefer, you can always find me on Twitter (still!), Instagram and now on Mastodon! Thanks for all of your support over the last seven (!!) years, I’m hoping my eighth year of running this blog will be the best one yet. As always, thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next year. Happy new year, and blwyddyn newydd dda!

— J.

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