Tuesday, 30 December 2014

My New Years Resolutions

New Years is of course a massive cliche and I've been through enough disappointing New Year's Eves and broken resolutions to know better than thinking a new year will bring about life changing events and I'm pretty sure if I see another 'New Year, New Me' status, my eyes will roll out of my skull but it is a good opportunity to rethink some things and bring about some small changes that can make a big difference. So here are mine:

1. Write More

Writing is part of my job and I have blogged more frequently this year, but I really want to make a conscious effort to write even more and produce a more polished blog as well as revisit creative writing. I bought myself 642 Things to Write About and have not filled in nearly enough of it, so in 2015 I want to get that book finished and keep honing my skill.

2. Get Back on the Health and Fitness Track

This year I made really good progress on losing weight and getting fit, but in the latter half of the year I went off kilter and didn't get back into a routine. I want to get that routine back, get into better shape and lose weight. There is no way I want to go back to what I was and now is as good a time as any with Christmas out the way. This does mean the gym is going to be pure hell.

3. Go to New York

This is already in the planning stages and saving but I want to go New York in May for my 25th birthday. So lets get those flights booked, money saved up and get me to my favourite city in the world in about 5 months time. This is going to require strict saving - time to be good. At least this time I'll be able to drink and explore a bit more of that famous New York nightlife.

4. Read More

I really want to get more reading done in 2015, despite getting though a few this year, there are still so many books I want to read and I'd like to avoid the distractions of social media and TV and get through books quicker next year!

5. Spend Less

With a trip to New York planned, I need to stop shopping and making my money disappear and actually save money to spend when I'm out there and survive the months without using my overdraft or finding I've not left enough over for rent and bills. Time to get financially responsible!

6. Get a Social Life or Get Busy

I spend too many weekends and evenings on the sofa doing nothing, so I really need to get a bit more busy and social to stop me feeling frustrated and hopefully make new friends and plans. It really would be nice to go into work on Mondays and have a better reply to 'What did you do this weekend' than 'Absolutely nothing'.

7. Be Charitable

I did the Moonwalk this year, which was challenging but felt like such an achievement by the end. I also organised two bake sales at work. For 2015, I want to keep the charity up and challenge myself once again and do more. You really can't take life for granted.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

A Year in Review

With only three days left of 2014 and with Christmas over and thoughts of the new year ahead - we start thinking about the year that has passed and what to expect from the new one. There's nothing quite like a new year to pull you out of your slump of passing days and become just how aware time is moving.

2015 will see me turn 25, an age that sees me on this world for a quarter of a century and closer to 30 than I would like to be. 25 was always a year I tried to envision myself at, imagining I'd be well established in a career, living in a nice place and with plenty of money and a boyfriend. LOL.

In reality, I'm writing this in my freezing studio apartment, alone and preparing leftovers for dinner. It's funny how life works out but if you learn anything in your mid twenties it's that your teenage views of life in your twenties were severely misjudged - especially for my generation.

This past year seems to have sped past, but then they always do. I'd like to think this year has been slightly more positive and productive than the year before. For one thing, it didn't involve major surgery and I did walk 13.5 miles for a good cause. I also got to visit Barcelona for my 24th birthday, a gorgeous city which involved even more walking and a fabulous cocktail bar.

For my 25th, I'm looking at going to New York - mainly because I've wanted to go again, it's a good time to go and if it's one thing that's going to make me forget turning 25 - it's the bright lights and big city of New York - my one true love.

But first, the start of the year sees one of my best friends having a baby and I can't wait - it's been amazing watching her grow over these months and I can't quite fathom her with a baby, that is part her, that she grew for nine months. Reproduction is weird. Especially when it's your best friend and feels like it could almost be you. It's going to be an interesting time and reminds me all too much that we're growing up from the 16 and 17 year olds that met 8 years ago at college, used to get drunk on the train and go to underage gigs.

I've learnt not to try and plan or guess your year ahead. The thing that often scares me about a new year is that you don't know where you'll be by the end of it. So bring on 2015, bring on babies, bring on New York and bring on the unknown.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Why I'm Pro-Choice

This week a video went viral of a pregnant passer-by challenging anti-abortion protestors outside a London clinic. This woman has been praised by many and has drawn attention and donations to the charity she works for which helps vulnerable young people.

What Abort 67 were doing was disgusting - standing outside an abortion clinic, brandishing cameras and displaying graphic abortion pictures. They say they are defending the rights of an unborn child, but what about the rights of a vulnerable mother? Doesn't she get a choice?

Abortion has be legal in the UK since the Abortion Act 1967, yet it still remains a subject of massive controversy and taboo. A split issue that some will strongly support and some will strongly oppose.

But the fact is, abortion is the mother's choice and it is up to nobody else to judge. I feel proud to live in a country where we give women this choice. Ireland doesn't and if politicians get their way in the US - it may not be legal there much longer.

Having abortion legalised is so so important, before it was legal many women put themselves in danger going through with illegal abortions and if it was criminalised - it would only push the practise underground.

I don't for a second believe that going through with an abortion is an easy choice, therefore it is infuriating to see protestors such as these vilifying and terrorising women who have made this choice. They have their own reasons for making this choice and it is not right to film, preach or intimidate them.

The mother may have been raped or abused, have mental health issues or just not want or be ready for a baby. It is their choice  and is not for other people to decide what they do with their own body.

If these people were standing on the street promoting terrorism or racism, they would be escorted off the street by the police so why is this allowed? Women need to be protected and feel they have safety to seek help if they need it.

Whatever you own beliefs about abortion, it is not up to you to push your own views on other people and the choice lies solely with the mother. That's why I'm pro-choice and that's why I admire the woman that spoke out immensely - she shut up those protestors and bought attention to this issue. I know I would speak out if I saw pro-life protestors intimidating women.