Looking back at 2014

Even though there’s still almost two weeks to go, the holiday season is getting closer quickly and I’d like to take the opportunity to look myself in the eye and do my end-of-year review based on my plans as presented in this post. Here we go!

Achieve A2 level certification in Italian (item #3)
I’m glad to be able to start off on a positive note! I did this exam in May and even though it took the officials a lot of time to come up with a result (the exam needs to be sent to Italy to be judged), in the end it was all worth the wait as I passed the exam with flying colours. I started my next year of classes this September, so I’ll keep on studying the beautiful Italian language for the foreseeable future.

Volunteer abroad for a month (#35)
I didn’t get to do this, unfortunately, for two reasons. First, I heard from my now previous employer that all volunteering projects were delayed until 2015 due to financial reasons. Understandable, but it was disappointing nonetheless as I had been looking forward to going for a long time, and I had already decided on a specific project as well.. Second, I decided to quit my job later on in the year (more on that later on in this post), which more or less removed the possibility of me volunteering at least for the next couple of years. This has been quite possibly the biggest disapppointment for me this year, but the item remains on the list!

Visit another continent (#43)
I didn’t get to do this either due to the reason stated above. We went on a couple of trips this year (including a nice two week holiday in France), but nothing outside of Europe.

Compile my ultimate mix CD (#64)
I completed this item, and as I expected, it was a great journey back to years past. Selecting and stitching together the tracks proved to be a great pastime for quite some time. If you’re interested, you can read more on the track selection and listen to the mix here.

Help our first child through his first year (#20)
Also done. Even though the first couple of months of fatherhood proved to be very challenging (serious lack of sleep and a son who was crying a lot and not sleeping well), it’s been wonderful. He’s without a doubt one of the best things that ever happened to me.

Run at least four more half marathons (#33)
Failed. Big time. I didn’t manage to run a single half marathon this year, which can be contributed mainly to my lack of sleep and me needing to adjust to being a father. I didn’t even run regularly at all, which is something that I’d like to improve on the next year. I started working towards another challenge (running a sub 6 minute mile), but that quest stagnated as well. For 2015, the plans have changed, but I’ll discuss that in another post.

Build a side business (#9)
Probably the biggest achievement of the year. It all happened quite quickly, too. I was invited to come and talk to a firm that provided me with an opportunity to go freelance while they provided the security I wasn’t willing to give up, and I’m very glad I made the decision to join them. The feeling of total control over my career and the projects I’m taking on, and the ability to say ‘no’ to projects I don’t want to do has proven priceless in these two months already. I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings in the career department.

No alcohol for a year (#68)
Failed. Well, not so much failed as ‘decided to quit quitting’. I managed to go without for three months and learned a lot. One of the things I learned is that I like the occasional drink too much to completely abstain from alcohol, which is a valuable lesson to me. I’ve been drinking less on the whole, which is a good thing too. And the drinks I had, I fully enjoyed.

Add five items to my bucket list
Done! Even more, I added no less than 17 new items to my list!

Other completed items
Apart from the items mentioned above, I managed to complete a couple more this year:

Conclusion
Overall, it has been a pretty good year. I’m disappointed that I didn’t complete some of the items I planned to do this year, especially when it comes to sports and working out. On the other hand, some things went much better than expected. That’s life for you, I guess.. I’m looking back on a year that’s been pretty eventful and can’t wait to see what 2015 will bring!

2014 - a year in review

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