Tag Archives: 2011

7 Lessons from 2011

3 Jan

Can you smell it? That sweet scent wafting in the summer breeze? Yes folks, 2012 is here! The year we have all been looking forward to. Almost everyone I’ve spoken to these past few weeks has said, ‘Boy, 2011 sucked!’ Mmm hmm. I heard dat! Aside from the horrible natural disasters that caused so much despair, it seems many of us felt last year was one big cauldron of crap. Made up of bad decisions, ‘meh’ moments and a general bah humbug-ness towards life.

As I stumbled and bumbled through the year, there were a few lessons I learned. There were probably way more than seven, but hey, it makes for a catchy title 😉

1. I am the queen of my own happiness

I played the blame game a lot last year. Instead of taking charge of my own happiness, I honestly believed it was other people who were making me miserable. It was their fault I was stagnant/grouchy/insecure. It was a shite game. I lost every time. Why? Because in the end, I was playing it by myself. No one can make us feel anything. Only we can do that.

This year, I vow to take responsibility for my happiness and own my feelings.

2. Shaking my booty = less booty

Well, maybe not shaking it. But moving it up and down a wooden seat while hauling a massive oar through the water sure did trim and tone my body! For so many years, I’ve been hung up on eating this, not scoffing that (but, of course, ending up scoffing it!) and endlessly obsessed with what was going in my mouth. Then I re-discovered rowing. Yes, those 4.40am wake up calls turned me into one cranky cow. No, I didn’t really enjoy the competitiveness of club rowing. But boy oh boy, my butt looked bloody amazing!

This year, I vow to be less care less about what’s on my fork, and more about how I move.

3. No meditation and no reflection time, makes Kat something something.

Go crazy? (Simpsons fans will know the rest). In 2010 I discovered meditation and yoga. It widened my mind, opened my spirit and allowed me to dream. Last year, I stopped. And the result was a meandering mess as I tried to figure out what I was doing with my life and why nothing seemed to be ‘clicking’. Last night, I dimmed the room and played a meditation track. Then I indulged in 80 minutes of sweaty, invigorating yoga. For the first time in a long time, I gave myself over to the practice. It was serene. It was special. It was right.

This year, I vow to meditate daily and invest time in nourishing my soul and cleansing my mind.

4. Compound interest is (wait for it) awesome!

As a neat and organised Virgo, I’ve always had a small obsession with building a healthy savings account. When I launched my business in 2009, I drained my savings and ended up with a nice little credit card bill (yay!). When I returned to full-time work in 2010, I spent much of the year paying off my business debts and a very generous loan from a family member. In 2011, I went full throttle. I consulted the wonderful Cindy Dahiya – a financial adviser who, with her husband Desh, actually provides independent and individual advice that makes sense to us non-accounting types. Yep, they do exist!

I set up a bundle of individual accounts with Ubank (check them out – their online tools and account flexibility will get anyone addicted to saving!). Each week, I diverted 40% of my pay into the accounts – a ‘pretty fund’ (for the oh-so-important clothes, make-up and hair expenses), as well as stashes for holidays and gifts. A further 10% of my pay was automatically deposited in an emergency account. I also set up one of the government’s First Home Saver accounts.

I’m thrilled to say I went from owing thousands in 2010, to saving just as much in 2011 (some was taken out for The Lad’s and my trip to America).

This year, I vow to keep saving (and avoiding daily deal sites!)

4. Americans are kind and interesting people

When The Lad and I were planning our trip to the US, the favourable exchange rate was really the only reason I wanted to go. I had an image in my mind of the typical American and the country’s culture. It wasn’t pretty. Then we arrived in America – diverse, beautiful, surprising America – and all my pre-judgements went out the hotel window. I now hope to live there one day. What a magnificent country it is!

This year, I vow to go into every situation with an open mind. 

5. I really don’t want to finish my counselling diploma

Ugh. It’s been hanging over my head for years now. And I just can’t, for the life of me, finish  the darn thing! I know I don’t want to be a counsellor any time soon (that’s not to say I won’t in later life) and I can’t find the motivation to finish it for the sake of ‘learning something new’. I’m yet to give up on it completely (another Virgo trait – we hate to fail), but I’m struggling with it. Big time.

This year, I won’t put pressure on myself to finish the diploma. If I do, great. If not, I haven’t failed. I’ve just moved on.

6. I’m not ready to give up sugar

I attempted to follow natural health guru Sarah Wilson’s quit sugar plan several times last year. Each time, the sugar-free stint ended when I found myself gobbling Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and loving every lick and gulp. I’m just not ready to go there yet.

This year, I’ll eat well and nourish my body with healthy foods. But I won’t deny myself those little pleasures. For surely, peanut butter mixed with chocolate is a delectable concoction sent from God.

7. Fear will get you nowhere

Do you know those people who throw themselves into wild situations? Whose Facebook statuses read like a Bear Grylls’ episode? I’ve always envied my friends who can just take off and explore and give something a shot. Hang the consequences. In 2011, I sat on my hands. And it didn’t get me very far.

This year, I vow to take charge. If I want to try something, I’ll leap into it. I’ll give it my all. I’ll jump (though not from an airplane. That is still n.e.v.e.r going to happen).

5 things 2011 taught us

16 Dec

Oh, what a year! Social upheaval, natural devastation and far too much Kardashian koverage marked 2011.

With Christmas being a time for reflection and contemplation, I thought I’d pop open the bubbly (please, grab a glass!) and look back at 5 things 2011 taught us…

#1 – Mother Nature can be a bitch

Apparently, this year’s torrent of natural disasters made 2011 the costliest on record. And that was just by July! Floods, fires and cyclones battered our young country. New Zealand lost 100 people to a 6.3-magnitude earthquake. More than 15,000 lives were lost (and 7000 people missing) when a quake and tsunami ravaged Japan. The world wept. And continued to weep. I said a silent prayer for those who lost their lives and their loved ones. I prayed that prayer far too many times in 2011.

#2 – The world is Kardashian krazy

The KKK (sorry, I mean the Kardashian klan koverage) reached ridiculous heights this year. Twitter turned into a frantic finch cage (you know, those tiny little birds that dash about) the moment a Kardashian ate a salad, got out of a car, or said ‘Like, yeaaaah, like, you knowwww’. Kim’s quickie 72-day marriage caused a stir. Kourtney and that aggro pastel-wearing dude dominated magazine covers. Khloe apparently got ‘fatter’. And then ‘thinner’. And then ‘fat’ again. Then it turned out she was preggers. But then she wasn’t. Ugh. Over it!

#3 – On that note…the world loves butts (and it cannot lie)

The royal wedding of that hot dude Prince William to that thin lass Catherine was overshadowed by the apparently pert posterior of the princess’s sis. A Facebook page – Pippa Middleton’s Arse – was set up in the derriere’s honour. That picture of Pippa in a figure-hudding frock at the wedding turned the world butt-crazy. Second only to its obsession with Kim Kardashian’s kaboose. Which, according to gossip magazines, grows or shrinks according to her stress levels. Or the camera angle.

#4 – If you want to be a famous singer, be a bad one

Yes, Rebecca Black, I’m looking at you! Her cringe-worthy Friday Friday video, featuring lame lyrics and a heavy amount of auto-tune, amassed 167 million YouTube views. And more than 3 million ‘dislikes’. So kids, the lesson here is: if you want to make it in this world, don’t worry about being talented. Instead, focus on what you’re not good at and flog it! (By the way, I do feel kinda sorry for the kid).

#5 – Nothing in life is certain – so just live it!

Did anyone else feel that this year was a struggle – individually and globally? I felt like we were all being tested, stretched, challenged and reminded of just how precious life is. The ravaging natural disasters had us fearing the end of the world. Then the wars and social plights had me thinking it’s in fact us who will bring about the end of our world, not Mother Nature.

I don’t know about you, but I’m wrapping up the year relieved and a little uncertain about what 2012 holds. The only thing I can be certain of is the little ripples I will make.

I pledge to be more peaceful, helpful, loving and kind. I promise to try harder not to judge others, to trust and to be more open. It might not make any difference in the big scheme of things, but perhaps if each of us strives to live and love better next year, that little ripple will flutter out to where it’s needed most.

I wish you a safe and peaceful Christmas and an optimistic New Year.

Cheers!

Xoxo Kat

What are your most memorable moments from 2011? What are you looking forward to in 2012? Share by commenting below 🙂

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