30 for 30 – the end

The Wu family on tour – the highlight of our year, our trip to Japan

So, I’m now 31. My year of 30 goals is over. I loved having the list to remind me of a few of the things that were buzzing around my head as I turned 30. I had hoped to finish all the goals on the list, but time and money weren’t always in ready supply. I wonder if anyone actually ever finishes all their goals when they make these kinds of lists? Anyway, I’m happy with the goals I did accomplish.

I managed to complete 17 of my goals and left 13 undone. I think that’s quite good going. As I stated at the outset, most of my¬†goals are entirely frivolous. They pale in comparison to being kind, being hospitable, being godly, teaching my children, loving my husband, and trusting in Jesus every day. Oh, and keeping my floors clean ūüėČ But, as all those things are (hopefully) obvious, this list was just a bit of fun.

Here’s a recap!

completed goals

#1. Picnic at a park or beach. We had lots!

#2. Read a book. Yes!

#3. Blog more. I did blog more. I’d like to keep it going.

#4. Pray more. This only happened because I started getting up early every morning. Prayer is a good habit which has sadly never become ingrained in my life. I’d like it to, more and more.

#7. Make macarons.

#9. Swim in the sea.

#10. Exercise more. I signed up for a couch to 5K running course which lasted 8 weeks. 12 weeks after it started, I ran the Bristol 10K. Hoping to keep this up!

#11. Make someone a birthday cake. Matthew’s and Sophie’s.

#12. Go on a day trip to the seaside (Weston-super-Mare, anyone?). We did this! I actually took my children on a trip to the seaside at Weston-super-Mare, my home town! It was lots of fun.

#14. Buy new cushions for the lounge.

#18. Have a facial. Yes. Lovely.

#19. Do a 10K run. See #10 above.

#20. Take the children to the zoo. Many, many times.

#22. Invest in and use good face creams (I’m in my 30s now!). The time came when I had to present myself at the Clinique counter. My skin is thanking me.

#23. Go out for Japanese food.¬†Oh, this! This one was even better than I’d hoped or dreamed! We actually¬†went to Japan!

#26. Floss every day.¬†I feel a bit of a cheat saying I’ve done this one. In fact, I haven’t flossed 365 days this year. But I have flossed more this year than the rest of my life put together, I reckon.

#28. Go on a hot holiday.¬†Japan was hot. Not exactly what I’d intended when I wrote this (I was thinking white sands and a book in hand), but close enough!

Uncompleted Goals

Some of these were small but required time. Some were big and required money. I feel a bit sad that I didn’t do some of them (#8, 16, 25 should have been priorities) and I think some of them would have been very beneficial (I’m looking at you¬†#30) – but I can try to do some of¬†them next year!

#5. Do a jigsaw.

#6. Finish my jumper (that I started about four years ago!).

#8. Learn and perform a new piece.

#13. Sort photos into albums.

#15. Enter a baking competition (or run one?!).

#16. Host a dinner party.

#17. Do something different or dramatic with my hair.

#21. Sew a skirt or dress.

#24. Host Christmas.

#25. Start studying something.

#27. Do a hat making class/course.

#29. Spa day.

#30. Go on a weekend trip with Nick (Paris? Bruges? Bognor?).



Running a tight ship at home

One of my friends recently posted on a mummy group on Facebook a question about house spouse science. Specifically: she asked stay-at-home parents who run a tight ship financially and organisationally for ideas and tips and plans about how they do it. The reason behind wanting this was simple and, I think, excellent: to have mundane things in order so that lots of fun can happen in between, a life that has the boring stuff sorted with absolutely no thought so that you can have time to do the things you enjoy.

Helping your home to not look like this.

The range of responses was really interesting, from really strict to pretty lax…

  • A rough weekly plan with jobs that need to get done, but no set day or time for them;
  • Toddler schedules and activities fitting around that;
  • Book recommendations including ‘Organised Simplicity’;
  • Meal plans, especially to help with money planning;
  • Celebrating and congratulating ourselves on things we do well;
  • Shared Google or wall calendar;
  • Always having an online grocery shop order open, to which you can add when needed;
  • Following the KonMari method for organising and tidying;
  • Electronic to-do boards which allow dragging items from one day to the next if they don’t get done;
  • Having a cleaning schedule;
  • Using the slow cooker so meals are low-labour and everyone can eat when it suits them;
  • Getting a cleaner;
  • A spreadsheet with hours on rows and children on columns, with colour-coded activities (red for essentials like school runs, orange for should-do like swimming lessons, green for flexible like baby group), plus a blank column for random jobs like go to the post office;
  • Pre-sorting laundry into three hampers (darks, lights, whites) then washing the fullest basket each day;
  • Putting tasks like DIY tasks on the calendar as well as events;
  • Not having lots of ornaments to dust and care for;
  • Cleaning as you go and not letting things pile up;
  • Clean up during TV adverts;
  • ‘Don’t put it down, put it away’;
  • Free or cheap outings, picnics, libraries, museum, beach;
  • Paying¬†someone else to do your ironing;
  • Laundry corner, a box for clean laundry for each person, when full it gets put away;
  • A whiteboard for writing to do lists;
  • A post-it task wall;
  • Using a paper diary instead of or in addition to electronic calendar.

Now, some of these spoke to and inspired me, others didn’t. Some weren’t feasible (we can’t afford a cleaner or to pay someone to do our ironing). Some we already do (free outings, shared calendar, meal plans). But I found it amazing and wonderful how many different ways there are to achieve the same thing.

Coming up next: How I keep my ship ship-shape.