During the glow of new year optimism I managed to finally wash everything in my clothes hamper. Those pesky whites, the lace skirts…even the dress with the sequins that legitimately needs to be hand washed (not my makeshift hand washing consisting of individual bra bags on the gentle cycle). I then ironed everything and put it away. …Well, I attempted to – except I ran out of coat hangers. Some tops, dresses and skirts were already sharing!  I had a problem and it was time to do something. Care to share?Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)
Eeeek, and like that we’re more than a week into 2018. And today every treadmill, elliptical, bike and stairclimber were occupied in the gym at 5.30pm; the new year’s resolution game is evidently strong. But y’all know this girl doesn’t make resolutions. Goals. This girl sets goals. This girl kicks goals. Well most times. If we’ve spoken of late, you’ll know it’s gonna be a big year. But big or small, I keep moving forward. Care to share?Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)
It may be 4 days into 2018, but I’m hoping I’m still in the window to reflect on the year that was…before I launch too far into 2018. Last year I did an original ‘16 in 2016‘ and because I’m super lazy again, and this is largely for my own benefit, I’m going to do, wait for it, 17 reflections on 2017 – in no specific order. 1. Exploring Australia + New Zealand If there was any doubt where my cash went this year, the 26 flights might have something to do with it. I managed, 22 within Australia + 4 to/from New Zealand. Scrolling through Insta was fun to relive the adventures and I am constantly amazed at the diversity of the land bestowed to us. Despite having a country the size of all of Europe, Australians do a terrible job of exploring our own backyard. And that I did in 2017. (…and because my sister moved across the ditch, it got a couple of visits too.) Quick calculation of nights away = 52 January: Surfers Paradise (3), Melbourne (2) February: Sydney (3) March: Sydney (2) April: Sydney (5) May: Noosa (2) June: Rockhampton/Yeppoon (1), Mackay (2) July: Forster (4), Sydney (1), Queenstown (5) August: Sydney (5) September: October: Outback Queensland (3), Auckland (3), Sydney (1) November: December: Sydney (10) 2. Half Marathon A 2017 goal, I ticked this bad boy off in May up in Noosa. A minute shy of my sub-2 goal, alas. Never a runner, I would never thought running 21km would be achievable, let alone enjoyable. 3. Injury Unfortunately much of this year was juggling shin splints that progressed to stress fractures and continue to haunt me. It wasn’t until I couldn’t run that I realised how much I enjoyed it…and needed it to run out + process life. I accrued a nice physio bill…but, Mr Turnbull, still remain cost neutral without private health insurance. 4. Swimming + Cycling I swam laps of a pool for the first time in a decade, and the only time outside of my largely participatory efforts at school swimming carnivals. I’ve got a long way to go, but it’s strangely relaxing…amongst the overwhelming feeling of drowning from exhaustion mid-lap. I bought Laura’s bike and learnt to ride a road bike. After running, you can get so far on a bike over the same time! 5. Loss + loneliness I said goodbye to my last grandparent in April – my grandpa who was weeks shy of his 90th. I said goodbye to friends + family who moved away. I had a number of periods of sheer loneliness that took me by surprise. 6. New home After a few months of anxiety, I moved out and made a place of my own – possibly the best decision I made last year. I love my little apartment – it’ll be sad to say goodbye! 7. Insecurity Big girl pants were necessary on a number of occasions as I negotiated contract extensions and overcome a significant moment of job insecurity. 8. Tears Despite popular opinion, I can report the tear ducts are still functioning. The stone-hearted girl broke out in tears a number of times fare-welling Grandpa and, a first, late one night reading ‘Still Alice’. 9. Reading fail Aiming to read 17 books was an epic fail. I shamefully managed to complete very few… Big little lies, Liane Morriety Still Alice, Lisa Genova Dreams of my father, Barack Obama The Rosie Effect, Graeme Simpson The Girl from Aleppo, Nujeen Mustafa In progress: Mere Christianity, CS Lewis Screwtape Letters, CS Lewis Option B, Sheryl Sandberg Prayer, Tim Keller 1984, George Orwell Buyology, Martin Lindstrom Nudge, Richard Thaler + Cass Sunsteen Thrive, Ariana Huffington 10. Netflix + Movies This list is way too long to list and directly contributed to the above reading failure…although I’m glad 3 Australian movies made it on my list this year. 11. Buying local and less Although challenging to track, I aspired to shop from local stores and markets wear possible. There were pockets were i slipped back to my online ways, particularly in the lead to Christmas. But by the very nature of avoiding chain stores, I bought much less…particularly clothing (except Marcs) 12. Leaving church “I’m thinking about leaving church.” I had way too many of conversations that started with this line last year, from the valid to the hurtful. Leaving church isn’t easy for anyone – the person leaving nor the people left behind. Unfortunately I found myself exhausted for various periods challenging and/or encouraging friends I’m at church with and others at various others through the process. (Don’t get me wrong, there are very valid reasons to leave churches, but also some lazy reasons too). 13. Gym Yes, this anti-gym evangelist i-hate-commercialised-exercise joined a gym. It was was time to build strength after completing my half marathon in hope of a ripped back and toned arms… yet to be seen. (As are any pull-ups.) 14. Mel + animals. A gallery. Cute animals, it’ll win every time…or just a photo of someone so completely terrified that it’s hilarious. Instagram was proof.    15. Answered prayer Ask me and I’ll happily share. From healing to housemates, jobs to joy. 16. 17. New adventures Although a mic-drop was contemplated back in September when the paperwork came through, I’m looking forward to new adventures in 2018. Care to share?Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)
Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ. And with the rising of the sun streaming through the curtains came a new year – a new year of the Lord’s unfailing love and mercy. A year of blessings and no doubt pain. A year of adventure and memory making. A year of patience but also one of yearning for a time to come.  Care to share?Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)
We all have love hate relationships with new year resolutions. We love making resolutions because new years mark new beginnings. They provide the opportunity to start afresh. Stop doing something; start doing another. We hate them because we’ve all been there before and we know they don’t last. We finish holidays, we go back to our routines and our old habits quickly start again. goal |gəʊl| noun 2 the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result Alas, rather than make resolutions, I’m going to set four goals for 2015. I want to look back on 2015 and know that I’ve achieved something. I want to be outcome focussed. After challenging my manager to make her resolutions measurable, here are my SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time specific) goals for 2015: 1. Read one book per month I like reading but like many things we like doing, I don’t read enough. I read about 6 books this year. I have another 6 I never finished – a growing pile on my bedside table. 2. Complete my Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award I started my Duke of Edinburgh’s Award 24 March 2005. I received my Bronze and Silver Awards in successive years and continued on to my Gold Award when I turned 16 in 2007. And, well, I never finished. The Award programme needs to be completed by a participant’s 25th birthday and so I’m running out of time. I have two components outstanding: Learn a skill for 12 months, showing regular commitment Select one physical activity and train regularly for a minimum of 40 hours spread over at least 12 weeks. I hope to complete the first component half way through 2015 with the first anniversary of MelaniePennington.com.au. The second I’m now also working towards with my previous goal of losing 5kgs and an ability to run 5km at less than 6min/km now complete. Yay! When the weather begins to cool I’ll restart lunchtime and post-work runs and clock those 40 hours of running! 3. Finish 2015 in a different role to the one I started I enjoy my workplace, my team and the work that I do, but I’m young, energetic and keen to progress my career. In the interests of sensitivity, I’ll keep the specific cards related to this goal close to my chest. Ask my offline and I’ll be happy to share. 4. Keep a daily prayer schedule I suck at prayer. I’ve read books on it. I’ve prayed about praying more. I’ve repented about praying infrequently. Unfortunately this one this is probably my least thought through goals in 2015, but I do intend to work out a schedule that will work for me very shortly. But I do want 2015 to be characterised by this: Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. // Colossians 4:2   Finally, help me out would you? Ask me how i’m going, how God’s answered my prayers, what book i’ve read recently etc. I’ll happily do the same for you. Happy new year friends! Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. // 1 Peter 1:3       Care to share?Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)