Word Limit: 2015-2016

Lately I’ve been challenged to think about my dreams and goals for the future. New Years is a common time to stop and think about what your dreams and goals are and to look back and assess whether you made any progress the year prior and what will you do to make more progress again.

One of my main dreams is to write. I love it. It’s what makes me tick. However in 2015 I didn’t really do it, pretty much at all. I had an interesting transitional year where I went from a job and part time study to an actual grown up career. I gave my all to that transition and while I don’t regret it, I did mean that I had little margin for creative writing. I now had to write for my job which was awesome but meant that I didn’t really invest into my writing outside of business hours.

So when it came to News Years and I looked back on 2015 to see how much progress I had made on my dream to write, I sort of felt like I’d failed. How could I say that this was what I wanted to do and yet I’d spent no time doing it? I’d always written out of desire instead of habit and now that I had little margin I had no habit to fall back on.

I wasn’t disappointed with 2015 but I was a little disappointed with myself.

“You call yourself a writer and yet what have you written this year?”
“Can you still write? What if you’ve somehow lost it?”

These are the conversations I started to have with myself.

Conversations with yourself are pretty risky. They have so much potential both for good and for destruction. Without even realising it I was reinforcing a false idea that somehow who I am is determined by what I do.

Today I had to remind myself that I could write zero words or 1 million this year and that doesn’t change who I am; I am still a writer. Today I had to remind myself that just because it’s your dream that doesn’t mean it comes easy. Today I had to remind myself to make a start, even if it wasn’t my best piece of work.

Perhaps you need that reminder too. Maybe you need to have a good conversation with yourself and say that what you’ve done or haven’t done in 2015 doesn’t have to define you or 2016. Maybe you just need to make an uninspiring but critical habit that will push you on towards your dreams. Maybe you just need to make a start. Come on, let’s do it together.

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Hello 2015.

Dear 2015,

You don’t really know me, but my name is Steffany and I’ve actually been waiting to meet you for a long time. 20, even 10 years ago.. I wouldn’t have thought twice about 2015 but in recent years you’ve become quite important to me.

I don’t really know what you’re like 2015. I’ve stalked you online and in books I’ve read, but nothing seems to really be able to give me an accurate read on you.

Will you be fun? Will you be hard work? Will you be full of new exciting opportunities or will you actually be, a lot like 2014.

I hope you aren’t. I left 2014 for a reason.. It wasn’t all bad, but it just wasn’t right for me you know? The timing was all off and it just felt a lot like work.

2015, I wanted to tell you that while you may feel like just another year in the very long list of years, to me you are very important. I have worked hard to see you and to be honest, I’ve actually been a little nervous. You see 2015 is the very first year in which I won’t be a uni student. I can see that you still aren’t convinced. People finish uni all the time, what makes 2015 so special? Well for me.. 2015 is super significant. I’ve been at uni for the last 7 years and so to be without it, is very exciting. Daunting and exciting. I think you and I could be something special.

Am I putting a lot of pressure on you as a year? Maybe. Is it weird to say I kind of love you even though we just met? Maybe.

2015, you should know up front that’s just the kinda girl I am. But if you’re willing, let’s do this crazy weird thing called life together. I’m in 2015.. if you are?

Love,
Steffany.

New Year, New Who?

I don’t know about you but I find the start of a new year to be a little bit daunting.
For as long as I can remember I’ve been on annual leave over the Christmas and New Year break. I almost wish this wasn’t so as this extended holiday mode means I start the year off, pretty lazy. I blame the holidays but perhaps it’s actually because the whole new year concept is a little overwhelming. I was definitely asked more often this year the awful and frustrating question “What are your New Year’s Resolutions”?
It might actually surprise you, but I don’t think I like New Year’s Resolutions. I actually love the idea of self-improvement, goal making, planning, prioritising. I just find it weird that it just happens on January 1st. I find it weird that we all sit around at the one time and make promises to give up smoking or take more holidays, or.. lose weight.
Maybe I actually don’t dislike New Year’s Resolution. I just dislike the pressure. I normally do come up with goals for the New Year but I take my time and it ends up being a while before I decide what I really want. They end up being like Valentine’s Day Resolutions. I’m a big processor and it actually takes me more than 30 minutes to assess the whole year and then decide on how I want to improve upon it and then somehow define and condense that into 2 or 3 simple statements. By then it’s normally the end of January and I feel like the moment has passed. It’s simply too late to have a New Year’s Resolution.
For me, all the typical New Year’s Resolution type things kick in once I go back to work. I can’t suggest to the world how I want to improve my routine until I see it. Until I remember what it feels like to wake up every day and go to a job I don’t love or come home to chores I wish I didn’t need to do or try and walk the work stairs and struggle. That’s when I start thinking up things like: Learn to be content, be more organised, get fit!
And so today, I am back at work. Back to routine. Back to the everyday. So today, I am dreaming. Dreaming of what I want, what I wish for and how I am going to make that happen. I have never been very good at large overreaching summarising type New Year’s Resolution like the above statements. Mine are always specific, small and potentially achievable. They are usually based on a review of years gone by and a dream of years to come. I hope you find some inspiration from these goals and are challenged to continually and realistically challenge yourself this year. Even if you don’t get around to starting until February.

Respond to texts promptly.
Go for a walk 3 times a week.
Save $100 a week in order to Vacation Overseas!!
Finish every book I received as a present for Christmas 2013 – (just 4). Read 8 other books this year.
Start University assignments 2 weeks before they are due – finish strong!
Learn to make lemon flavoured desserts. YUM.
Spend more time working on Connect Group/with Connect girls.
Read the New Testament.
Have freshly painted nails!
Write more. Even if it stays in a notebook and no one ever reads it.

 

These are the specific goals that actually represent several ideals that I want to embody more this year. That of inexpensive living, being present and available with people, working hard and finishing strong, engaging my mind, my body and my spirit in a way that produces a better, well rounded Steffany.
I hope I see you here again and I hope the fear and pressure of New Years doesn’t stunt your ability to dream in 2014.

twentytwelve

Welcome to the new year!

I love New Years. I’m so big on reflection so New Years is the perfect time to sit and reflect upon the year that way and the year that will be. I love thinking about all the big things that happened, all the small things, the people that I met, the events, the moments, the hard times, the good times. I love to think about it all, remember the things I’m thankful for and all the good things I have to look forward to.

2011 in summary.

My best friend got engaged to my other best friend. What a day that was.

I went brunette!

My beautiful Laura got engaged to her man.

Davey and Mel got married and we had a family holiday in Tasmania.

I got a blunt fringe and learnt how to colour coordinate with my friends.

Countless engagement parties.

Dress up parties.

A year of these ladies in this house.

Milestone birthdays with friends.

Milestone birthdays with family.

Front row seats to my best friends wedding.

Birthday picnics for me.

This girls wedding!

Georgia is all grown up and graduated. Oh.. and stunning at her formal.

I got to be a part of this special girls most special day. What a treat.

I went on my very first but hopefully not my last cruise.

If I had to summarise this year I would use two words, weddings and Canada. The people in the picture above have all moved to Australia from Canada and have been such a huge part of why I had a great year. Some of them I have known years.. some.. only 2 months. But they are so critical to why I am so happy. Some of my best friends got married this year and I was a big part of their days.

2011 was a crazy amazing year.

2012 is clear, fresh and unwritten. I can’t wait to see what words I’ll use to describe it, what pictures I’ll have to share. If you can’t wait either, you should stayed tuned to this blog. I promise to make regular (ish) updates on what will be a rockin year.

Cheers, love and hugs. Cos turns out I’m more of a touch person than I realised.
.Steffany.

New Year, New You

Happy New Year.

I have now returned to work from 2 weeks of holidays (groan) and so the blogging will become much more frequent.

New Year, New You is the sermon series Northside Church is running at the moment, but it’s also an appropriate title for this post as I consider the past year, the new year and the new years resolutions I have made.

In 2009 — I will read 2 books a month, or 1 book a fortnight, or essentially 24 books this year. In 2007 I made a new years resolution to read a book a month, and I think I only read 2 books that year. Lately I’ve been averaging about 4 or so books a week, but I guess I was on holidays, so maybe 2 books a month is an appropriate goal.

In 2009 — I will take notes on every sermon I hear, and will regularly journal, online or otherwise.

In 2009 — I will seriously consider a career change.

In 2009 — I will become a better cook, perfecting at least 5 dishes.

I think that will do for now. I probably won’t let you know how I go with these, I’m pretty good at not keeping new years resolutions. I think that’s just how it all works.

The Very NEW Year


Happy New Year!

This year will bring in a lot of changes for me, which I am excited about.

Highlights from last year –

Anberlin Concert – Special Mention to AMinda for giving me her ticket. Maybe the best night of 07.
Hillsong Conference – Special thanks to Laura, Casey and JD for making it a splendid week.
Scatter Groups – I will never play taboo again without remembering that crazy night with my Scatter girls.
Tegan’s Qld Visit – Special mention goes out to Tegan.
My Birthday – Special mentions to Tegan for coming up for it – and to my lovely friends who bought me Phantom of the Opera tickets.
Car Crash – wasn’t really a highlight.. but it was in some ways.

Things I’m looking forward to this year –

Fusion
Phantom of the Opera – Woo!
Moving into my new house with my new housemates!
Starting uni and finally being able to join in on the uni stress conversations. Being able to say “no I can’t come out – I have to study”
Getting a new car – that uses much less fuel! Yay!

Things I’m not looking forward to this year –

Deciding on who take with me to Phantom of the Opera
Paying rent for my new house
Actually having to study
Not seeing my family very often

BUT..
I am looking forward to more things than I am dreading – so it’s going to be a good year.