80 Days and Counting

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November 22nd, 2016.

That’s a day I’ll keep in mind for awhile.  For most people, it’s just a day like any other.  It’s not a holiday or someone’s birthday or anniversary.  It’s just another day really.

Only it’s not for me – It’s the day I quit smoking.

Well, sort of.

Some might say that I’ve just swapped once vice for a new one, as I’m now using a Vape e-cigarette instead of actually smoking.  But to me, it’s just a stepping stone to actually becoming smoke-free in the future after about 25 years of it.  I hope.

It hasn’t been a walk in the park, to say the least.  I really loved the act of smoking (though not necessarily the smell of them).  That first drag off of a badly needed cigarette was absolutely bliss, almost orgasmic.  And the cravings for the act of smoking itself has been almost frenzied at times.

But I’m getting there, one day at a time.

For some reason, after the weekend previous to the above date, something in me snapped.  Just the thought of having a cigarette made me cringe with disgust.  For the first time in my life.

smoking12This change was two-fold as far as I could tell.

Firstly, like most people, it easily had to do with money.  Since April, I’d mostly been smoking duty-free cigarettes I’d purchased from abroad or friends had picked them up for me on their travels.

Basically, the thought of going back to paying UK prices for cigarettes made me cringe.  And with recent/new regulations, it meant things were just going to get more expensive.

But mostly I think it had to do with a (naked) house party I’d attended that weekend.

At one point during the party, I was chatting with a few guys near the garden door as I faffed with the host’s bathrobe (garden was overlooked, and it was easier than finding my clothes upstairs).  And perhaps it was just my imagination, but there seemed to be a sense of pity from them about the lengths I was going to have a cigarette.

I suddenly felt desperate and slightly pathetic about it all.  And I suddenly wondered why the hell I was still doing this to myself after two and a half decades… and just thinking about that length of time really pulled me up short.  It was quite jarring to suddenly realise I had been smoking for more than half my life.

Fucking hell…

So that Monday morning, I only had 1 cigarette left in my pack which I smoked on my way to work.  And I had absolutely no desire to buy another .. though I did bum a couple smokes off of a colleague that day to get me through.

Instead I’d decided I’d give vaping a try for a bit, and went to the local vape shop near my flat to see what options there were.  I’d heard of many people who’d turned to vaping and seemed to be doing quite well.  The model I’d decided on was out of stock, so had to come back the next evening.

So I bought my last 10 pack of cigarettes on my way home, purposely choosing a brand I didn’t normally smoke or enjoy.

vape-penAnd so far, after just over 80 days of not smoking, I’m still going strong and have only had 2 cigarettes since – one Christmas Eve, and one on a night out with colleagues when we were quite drunk.

And interestingly, neither cigarette made me want to buy a pack or start smoking again.  That alone is a good sign.

But there has been a down side as well… I’ve been gaining weight like crazy since quitting. And as a bigger guy already, it was something I didn’t need.

I had hoped by switching to the vape that the weight gain could have been prevented, and that perhaps I would start getting a bit more active.  But unfortunately, the on-and-off-again foot/ankle/knee issues I’ve been having since coming back from Canada in October haven’t helped at all.

In fact, it’s made me quite lazy.

So now here I am, more than 80 days later, and I’m having to work on my health issues alongside my pseudo non-smoking habits (I don’t really use the vape that much some days).  I don’t necessarily eat that badly most days, but it’s more about the quantities and the lack of exercise.

And I definitely had a shock upon weighing myself last week… I’ve topped out at almost 21 stone (that’s around 300 lbs or 130 kg… fuck 😦 ).

So… now I’ve started to watch my caloric intake and make myself walk a bit every day, even part way to work/home a few times a week.  And I’ve signed up for the free ‘gym & swim’ card at my local council’s leisure centre that will allow me to use the facilities in the afternoons on the weekends and any time on Fridays.

Hopefully with these little changes, things can improve somewhat.  I’m sure a part of my recent lack of feeling social has a lot to do with this, and each have impacted the other.

Oh and hopefully I can lose a few pounds before my next holiday in Gran Canaria.. I’m fairly comfortable in just my skin and all, but not when I’m feeling like a beached-whale. 😉

Close up of bare chested man holding scissors and squeezing stomach

Close up of bare chested man holding scissors and squeezing stomach

 

Getting Over Fear of Making Big Life Changes

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As much as some try to say they enjoy it, change can be difficult and stressful regardless of what the change is or how big a change it is.

And sometimes despite the benefits to our lives, we can get bogged down in how tough change can be.  We’ll worry ourselves to death whether we’re making the right decisions or how we’ll even get through the changes ahead.

Getting past our fears and move forward with whatever changes that are on the horizon can be difficult.  And all too often we’ll doubt ourselves even when we know it’s a change for the best.

Hopefully the following tips will help you move forward and make that positive change in your life you truly need.

Nobody has all the answers

Before making any important decision, it’s always a good rule of thumb to collect as much information about the impending change as you can.  And doing a bit of research into it can sometimes help make that decision even easier, one way or the other.

But can you sometimes go too far with the research?  Of course you can.  All too often we get paralysed with fear because we think we couldn’t possibly have enough information to make a proper decision.  But the truth is we need to stop waiting for the crystal ball to appear with how everything will turn out, and just make that (informed) leap of faith.

Trust your instincts

I can do itAll too often we’ll make excuses for ourselves why not to make the important changes in our lives, but underneath it all we’re just not putting enough faith in our own ability to make the decision.  Who hasn’t hemmed and hawed over making some decision, only to put it off instead of going ahead with what we know we should be doing?

It’s all about the fear of the unknown and being afraid to see where the future will lead us.  It’s also about getting too comfortable in our current situation, so much so that we’d rather keep the status quo instead of leaping ahead.  No matter what is on the horizon, we need to trust our ability to handle anything the future will throw at us.

Stay positive

We always worry too much about the worst case scenarios when making a big decision, and sometimes that will cause us to put off doing what is necessary.  It’s always good planning to figure out what the worst that could happen, but at the same time, we need to look at what the positives could be.  And if it’s the right decision, then the positives will always outweigh the negatives.

Enjoy the process

don't be afraidAll too often we get way too wrapped up in the end results, that if we try to reach for that big life goal that we’ll never make it to the finish line.  But you know what’s even more profound and enjoyable?  The journey towards that goal itself. You chose that goal, so enjoy the process of getting to it.

Life is full of twists and turns, and what may be your end goal today, may not be tomorrow based on how your journey there unravels.  Life changes, and so should your goals.  And if you don’t reach your initial goal, that’s ok because you’re allowed to change to a new one as you go along.  It doesn’t mean you’re being flaky or indecisive, but instead means you’re weighing your options as you go along.

Life is an opportunity

Don’t let yourself sit on the fence about making a big life changing decision, or allow yourself to get stuck in a rut.  Or even when it comes to making a little decision really.  big or small, each choice you make in life opens an opportunity to something new.

And you just never know where that opportunity may lead you.  It may even make you change your initial goals, and allow life to take you to somewhere even better than you thought it would.  There are always choices in life, so go ahead and see where they lead you.

Make the effort

Whenever we get stuck in a rut, it’s usually because we haven’t made the effort to exorcise the change we need to move forward in life.  It could be we get settled into an easy job instead of going for one that could possibly propel our career to places we never thought it could.  If you don’t ask for what you want in life, then you’ll never get it.

It’s also too easy to make excuses why we haven’t gotten where we need to be in life, so why not put them aside and just go for it already.  If you don’t even try then you’ll never get what you want in life.  And don’t let your own laziness stop you from even trying in the first place.

Build up to the big stuff

Let’s be honest – you can’t really go for the huge tasks if you haven’t mastered the little ones first.  Sometimes you need to build up to where you want to be in life, and start from the ground up.  If it’s regarding a career change, then see what you can do to improve your skills so you meet the qualifications of the new job.  Or if it’s a more physical goal, like running a marathon, then start off with small runs and training first, and allow yourself to build up your stamina.

It’s not about completely changing your world around you at the drop of a hat, but instead doing it progressively over time.  In the end, only you can truly affect the positive changes you need to get to your end goal.

This post was inspired by: 7 Ways To Get Over Fear and Make Big Life Changes

the first step is the hardest

Change Is Good

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Sometimes all we need is one little – or big – thing to change in our life for our attitudes or general over-all outlook to change.  Hopefully for the better and not for the worst.

Well as I wrote in a previous post (click HERE to read), I’d given my notice at my dreary room in middle-of-nowhere Woolwich.  I’ve been looking on and off to move for well over six months now, but was having such a hard time finding anything I liked or could afford.

Or both.

Again, as I mentioned in the aforementioned post, I’d found a new place and I couldn’t have been happier.

And now that I’ve moved in this past weekend, my outlook regarding my housing situation is most definitely on the cheery side.  A more than welcome change from the gloominess I’d been feeling back in Woolwich.

I was so excited to move to my new place that I started moving in weekend before last, and then finished things off this past weekend after painting my bedroom, something I’ve never been able to do in the past.

Did it all go without a hitch?  Well, for the most part I’d say yes.

My original idea was to paint most of the room a light grey/platinum with a feature wall in an aqua-blue type colour, but figured that might be too dark for a bedroom.  Even if the room itself is quite spacious.

20151024_194850But unfortunately that didn’t happen.  And I ended up painting the room a colour called ‘stardust’, which looked more grey with a hint of lavender in it on the can and in the shop… But once I got it one the walls, it turned out a bit more pinkish/light lavender than grey in certain lights.

But I’m not complaining, as it allowed me to put my own stamp on a my new place, and now have clean walls to decorate in whatever way I want.  Something I’m looking forward to.

As well, I think by parcelling my move over two weekends it allowed me to organise things better and reduce some of the stress that comes from moving.  I had a different friend helping me each day with the move and painting, and was able to unpack quite easily once I get everything into the new place.

And now it’s time to settle into the new place and get to know the new flatmate.  So far over the past couple days, I think I’ve spent more time hanging out and chatting to him than I did in the last year at the last place.

It definitely makes a difference when living with someone who’s interested in having an actual flatmate around, and not just renting out the spare room.

20150924_191630I’m cooking more and actually eating at the dinner table instead of in my bedroom.  I’m not hiding out in my room watching Netflix every night.. In fact, tonight was the first time I’d turned on my laptop since I moved!

So fingers crossed this new living situation continues to succeed as much as it seems to have been over the past few days.. and not have to move again anytime soon. 🙂

Now the next big thing to look forward to is my week’s holiday in Gran Canaria in a couple weeks.. all by myself.  And I can’t wait.

An Update of Sorts

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Where do I start…

It’s been well over a month since I last posted anything to my blog, and it hasn’t been due to a lack of things to write about.  Life gets busy sometimes, and sometimes there just isn’t any time to catch up on things.

But maybe that’s just a bunch of bull.. there’s been plenty of time to write on my blog, and plenty of opportunities to log on.  But for some reason, I just haven’t done it.

It’s not like I’ve been super busy with work or an amazing social life, because I haven’t been really.  More than anything I’ve just fallen into a rut where all I seem to want to do when I get home from work is relax, watch Netflix, and sleep.

I haven’t been going out that much really.  In fact I’ve continued my regular habit of spending my weekends at home, doing pretty much nothing.

Lazy on sofaSo there’s obviously lots of time for me to write and blog, and there have been times I’ve had some great ideas for posts or stories I’d like to write.

But .. nothing.

For whatever reason I’ve just found it hard to sit down at the laptop and open up a fresh post, and put my thoughts to paper so to speak.

It’s not like I’ve stopped enjoying the writing process or the act itself, but I haven’t.  If anything I’ve found myself itching to get back to it regularly.

I suppose a big factor in everything has to be environment.. in my current flat, I just don’t feel energised to be creative, or even have the energy to get off my ass and do what I want to do.

This probably has as much to do with how I feel about where I live as well as the environment itself.  For whatever reason, my bedroom feels almost claustrophobic and dark, as if I was living in a basement instead of on the 2nd floor.

It also hasn’t helped that I’ve gotten into the habit of using my desk as a dumping point for post, dishes and whatnot, leaving hardly any room for my laptop let alone sitting at the desk and writing.

Einstein quoteBut luckily change is on the horizon… finally.

Not only have I done a massive clean up to reduce the clutter in my room (wasn’t messy per se, just needed a good clear out), but I’ve also given my notice to move.

That’s right, after almost a year living in this gloomy, dreary place, I’ve finally found a new place to live.. and will be moving by the end of October.

The sooner the better.

Not only is it closer to work (about 25 minutes by bus including a 10 minute walk to the bus stop), but it’s also more central and closer to my friends.  So hopefully this will give me more of a push to get off my ass and live life more.

But I think the main reason I’m excited to move to this new place is my new flatmate.  He seems really nice, friendly, and interested in having someone to share the flat with him, not just rent a room.

moving-in-packing-organizingAlso helps that he’s not the landlord, but just another tenant in the flat.

Oh, and he’s Italian. And gay. And yes, he’s cute.. but I won’t be looking to cross that boundary.  LOL

I suppose this impending change has just gotten me excited about things a bit more again.  And living in a flat where it doesn’t feel like I’m inconveniencing the other person.

Change is good, and I can’t wait for it to get here. 🙂

I Need a Change..

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I’m not sure why, but lately I’m finding life a bit difficult.  And I keep questioning where I am in life, and whether it’s time for a change.  But the problem is, I’m not sure what that change should be – work, home, city or something I’m not even seeing.

Over the past few months, I’ve seen a few rooms to rent, some in decent areas and some in areas I couldn’t imagine living in.  I get daily email notifications of new ads, but not many really get me excited to bother seeing them.

Or when I do see something I like, there’s always something that stops me from messaging the advertiser and setting up a viewing. Usually it’s the location, the cost, or it’s the people already living there.  Or all three.

I don’t know if I’m just being picky, but I don’t want to spend any more than I already am in rent, and the last thing I want to do is move into a place sharing with 4 or 5 people, most of whom seem to be in their mid-20’s. I just want somewhere decent that I can call home and be comfortable having people over to occasionally.

The other thing that feels like needs changing really soon is my job.  Or at least the amount of money I’m making.

I don’t particularly hate my job, but I do wish there was more support and a much better salary.  Generally we’re expected to work harder and harder with no additional remuneration.

young-man-with-sleepy-headIn fact, I’m currently in the middle of a two week period where my supervisor is on holidays, and I’m left to cover the entire department by myself (there’s just the two of us).  Everyday last week I was so tired that once I got home the only thing I wanted to do was go to sleep.. forgoing cooking or cleaning up for a bit of extra time in bed.

And that’s not good.  I shouldn’t be so exhausted after work that I’m not taking care of myself or actually living a life of some sort.  And when it came to this weekend (a 3-day weekend thanks to a bank holiday on Monday), all I wanted to do was stay in bed even if I couldn’t.

It could just be that I really need a nice relaxing holiday, away from London and work.  Somewhere sunny, where I can lay beside a pool or on a beach and just relax.  And recharge. Not that I can afford that..

Or is it time for a much bigger change?

This week coming is my 7 year anniversary of moving to London and I’m sort of wondering if this is the fabled ‘7 year itch’ coming along.

However I have no clue where’d I’d move to if I did leave London.  I have no plans of moving back to Canada, mostly because I think of the UK as home now.

My best mate P has said many times that I should move up to Scotland, and I do admit I’m quite tempted.  If I did, we could hang out more often than the couple times a year we see each other.

LondonBut again I worry about the job prospects and how I could possibly afford such a move.  My current job’s salary doesn’t leave me much room to save up for something like that, and despite trying to be careful, I’m finding myself using my credit card way too much.

I just don’t know what to do at the moment.. I’m feeling a bit stuck, and for whatever reason, afraid to make a leap of faith like I did when I first moved to London 7 years ago.  That took a lot of guts (and money lol), and I think I need to find that adventurous spirit again.

I suppose only time will tell what will happen next..

How To Get Your Mojo Back | LinkedIn

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Layout 1When most people think of someone losing their ‘mojo’, they generally think of that scene from Austin Powers when he’s lost his sex drive.

More generally, losing your mojo means you’ve lost your self-confidence and belief in your own abilities, and not just when it comes to sex.  That you’ve lost your ability to bounce back from a debilitating trauma and negative attitude.

Like when you’ve lost a job and you’re left feeling adrift or with no idea of what to do next.

Yep, that’s been me for most of the past 2 years.  The longer my unemployment went on, the less confident I was in my own abilities.  And I couldn’t stop the negative thoughts creeping into my head – that maybe I wasn’t that good at my job, or that maybe my past successes were just a fluke.

And despite friends trying to bolster my confidence by reminding me of all the great things I’d done, all I could muster was something non-committal.  Because in my head, all I could think was ‘I suck’.  Even though I didn’t.

Basically when you’re in this situation and your mojo seems to be playing the most annoying game of hide-and-seek ever, you need to take it as a sign from the universe that it’s time for a change.  That maybe you need to go in a different direction, and soften your usual rushed go-go-go approach to life.

Here are a few helpful tips gleaned from an article on LinkedIn a friend posted on Facebook (click the link at the bottom for the full article).

Write it out

As evident by this very blog, I like to write out what I’m feeling and thinking instead of letting it bounce around my poor head.  By journalling your thoughts, it allows you to look deeper into yourself, find ideas your conscious mind might not have normally thought of, and allows you to guide your own reinvention.

Change it up a bit

If-you-do-not-change-directionSometimes you just need a break from what you’ve been doing or trying to do and take things in a different direction.  A lot of people tend to get a survivor job while looking for more gainful employment, and this allows them to do something completely different. It can help you stay focused mentally, as well as keep an income coming in.

In fact some people continue to work a second, part-time job once or twice a week just as a way to shift their attention.

Get Out of Your Head

This is advice I need to take – stop trying to ‘solve’ everything like a logic puzzle, because you’re not a puzzle.  Instead you need to look at this as a time for reinvention, like the physical transformation when a caterpillar turns into a butterfly.

So the best advice for this is to do something fun and possibly artistic (like working on that damn novel I started a few months ago).  Go dancing.  Enjoy the sunshine.  The more you care and respect your body by letting your brain have downtime from the normal job hunt, the faster your mojo could return.

You’ve come a long way, baby!

We’ve all gone through rough times and came out of them flying like the wind.  You need to remember where you’ve been and how you’ve gotten to where you are, as it’ll paint a picture of your path and remind you of how far you’ve come.

Whenever I start to think life is crap, I try remembering how I got here in the first place.  And by here, I mean London.  I was living in Montreal, bored with life, and I decided one day to do something about it.. and spent the next year planning, organising and saving to move to London.  It wasn’t easy, but I put all the naysayers behind me and achieved something I never thought was possible before.

It reminds me that anything is possible if I want it hard enough and actively move towards it.

impossible1Move your booty

Get off your ass and step away from the computer!!  Or at least that’s what I tell myself when I’ve spent untold hours every day sitting at the laptop looking through job ads.  So I’ve been making myself leave the house and going for a walk, or forcing myself to go to the gym (I’ve been quite lazy about that lately..).

You can’t force your mojo back by sheer brain power itself, so you need to let your body take over and take care of you.

Helping others

A great way to boost your own mojo is to help someone else in need, be it through volunteer work, listening to your mate’s boyfriend troubles, or helping a fellow job seeker with some advice.  By helping someone else, you’re boosting your own sense of self as you’ll realise you have more wisdom and knowledge than you ever thought before.

Be aware of what’s around you.

When looking to reinvent yourself, you need to remember it doesn’t happen in a linear process.  Instead you need to keep an eye and ear out for the little messages around you.  It could be something overheard on the bus, something you notice sitting in the coffee shop, or even something that pops up in a dream.  Whatever it is, it could lead you to your next adventure, so listen up and enjoy the ride.

Un-define yourself from your past

I felt lost and confused when I first went through my redundancy, as I’d defined so much of my life based on my job.  Those feeling caused me to become unsure about myself and who I was as a person.  What I needed was to remember that a job is just a job, and it isn’t the whole of my existence.  And it most definitely didn’t define me as a person.

You need to remember that bigger adventures are always on the horizon, and that you are fine and amazing.  You need to give up on that perceived fixed identity and be ready for the possibilities.  You don’t need some high-paying, powerful job with a fancy business card to be amazing, because you’re already there.

Be yourself and let life take you where it’s supposed to.  Trust me, you’ll enjoy the ride all the better.  You just need to give it time for your mojo to come back to you.

dilbert_cartoon_powerlessnessClick here to read the original article – How To Get Your Mojo Back | LinkedIn.

Time for Change

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Yep that’s right.. you’ve probably already noticed the change I’ve made on the blog – I’ve changed the theme for the first time in almost 6 years.

No more will people (understandably) complain how hard it is to read white text on a black background, especially with such a small (nonadjustable) font size… Or at least I hope they won’t complain.  LOL

Anyway, it’s a time for change for me, and hopefully this is just the first of many positive ones.  Fingers crossed.

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Welcome to the White House

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Some might be wondering why a Gay Canadian living in the UK would feel the need to comment on the new President of the United States.  And feat_624x351_inaug_prelaunchwhy I would feel it would even remotely affect me.

Because it affects us all, no matter where we live, who we are, and how we live our lives.

Welcome to the White House.

That’s right, that’s the real link to the White House website, and as the site states, ‘Change has come to America‘.  And this change has been long over due, and not just for our American cousins.

As for me, I’ve always been somewhat outspoken about my general dislike towards the American people.  This was never because of any one thing, just an overall distaste towards their holier-than-thou, bible-thumping, we-rule-the-world attitude.

And their complete and utter ignorance of Canada.

You ask most Americans NOT living in a border state what the capital of Canada was (hell, some probably can’t even tell you WHERE Canada is…), and they will get it wrong the majority of the time.  But at the same time, whenever they go traveling (especially around Europe), they pretend to be us because they know they’ll be treated nicer.  Canadians definitely have the better reputation around the world…

Now, to be honest, I don’t know how Barack Obama being the new President will help this ignorance, but one can only hope there’ll be some kind of change in the US education system.  Hope .. Pray … Beg … Whatever.  LOL

For me, the reason Mr Obama’s election excites me is because he is the first minority President in the history of the US, despite their centuries of ignorance, racism, and prejudice.  And as a fellow minority (yes, being Gay is considered being a minority), this makes me believe that anything is possible in the world and gives my soul a much needed confidence boost.

Not to mention that he has very openly come out in favor of gay marriage in the US, something I don’t beleive many other politicians there would be willing to do.  (See Gay Rights Watch for more info on how he stands on this and other important Gay Rights issues)

In the end though, what I think he’ll do most of all is help restore and revitalize the tarnished image of Americans after the disaster that was the Bush administration. What a mess that was….

Damn, guess that means no more ‘talking monkey’ jokes … oh well.

Welcome to the White House, Mr Obama.  May your stay have the intended affect that all of us are hoping for.

Happy New Year

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Well, here we are again at the cusp of a brand new year, and I’m sure most of us are trying to decide what we’d like to change about our lives this upcoming year.  Resolutions, if you will.

Come on, admit it.  You’ve made a list of some sort, even if it’s only in your head.  Or maybe it’s nothing so formal, and it’s more of a wish list.  Either way, you’re saying you want to change something in your life.

Good!  Change is always a good thing, whether you realize you need it or not.

As most people in my life already know, my big change for 2008 was planning and moving to London, which I did this past September.  Right now, I think it was the best choice I could have made in my life.  Life, for the most part, is good for me these days… but it could always be better.

Which is where the ‘resolutions’ come in.  I was chatting with a friend online the other day, and without realizing it, I made my 2009 resolutions in the middle of our conversation.  This is what I came up with, but in no particular order:

  • Find a new job that isn’t all the way in the west end of the city, and that isn’t in a call center.  My job isn’t completely horrible, but I’m just tired of the whole call center thing, and I didn’t come over to London to keep doing what I was doing in Montreal.  What I’d really like to do is somehow get a job in publishing or at a magazine of some sort, where I might get an opportunity to actually do something with my writing, or at least work my way up to doing that.
  • Find a new place to live that isn’t with so many people (I currently live with 5 other people!).  The people I live with are great and all, but they aren’t the cleanest people in the world.  I can’t stand cooking in a dirty kitchen, and I’m not about to start cleaning up after them all the time.  I’m used to living alone or with one other person, and living alone isn’t really a financial possibility in London.
  • Lose some weight.  I’ve gained a bit since I arrived in London, and I know a big part of that is due to the not cooking thing.  Instead of cooking, I tend to get take-away, usually either from the Chinese place around the corner, or the chicken shop a bit farther around the corner.  I also need to get some regular exercise, something more than just walking from the house to the train station, or the occasional night out dancing.
  • Make some new friends, especially ones that actually live in London.    I’ve met a few interesting people so far, but none that I could call up at a moment’s notice to go do something.  I guess what I’m saying is I need a new best friend of some sort.
  • Find a boyfriend.  Not the easiest thing to do, obviously, but I do want to find someone to settle down with.  Sure, the single life is fun and all, but sometimes you just want someone to cuddle up with in front of the telly.  I’m not necessarily talking about some big relationship, but at least someone to spent time with.
  • Travel more.  I came over to London so I could be able to see Europe like I’ve always wanted to.  The only place I’ve been to so far has been Edinburgh, which was amazing, but I need to go see some more places.  Even if they’re just some quickie weekend trips, at least I’ll be able to say I’ve been there.  Of course, on the other hand, I’m not 100% sure I want to go traveling around Europe by myself.
  • Quit smoking.  I say this every year (just like the losing some weight thing), but it’s not something I ever really try to do.  The good thing is I’ve cut back on my smoking big time since I moved to London, but this is mainly due to living in a non-smoking house (the others smoke too, but the house rule is no smoking in the house).
  • And finally, write more, particularly on here.  I set up this blog especially so I wouldn’t have any excuse for not having a medium to showcase my writing.  I’ve written a few things here and there, but nothing really new.

Now, I don’t expect any of those things to happen as soon as the clock strikes midnight tonight, but they are things I want to work on over the course of the next 12 months.  What I should do is what I did when I decided to move to London: write a checklist and set myself timeframes for some of the ‘resolutions’.

Nobody’s life is perfect, regardless of how things may appear to the outside world.  We all have things we want to improve about ourselves, and it’s all just a matter of taking things in hand and chosing to make a change.  You can only truly affect change on your own life, and nobody can make you change if you don’t really want to.  You have to be open to what may come next, and not be afraid of trying.

So let’s get out there and affect change on our own lives.  You’ll only have yourself to thank.

Happy New Year to all of you.  May the new year not only bring you love, happiness and health, but also bring you the courage and confidence to make a difference in your own life.