My highlights of 2013 and plans for 2014

By 18:33

Instead of setting New Year’s resolutions, I decided to reflect on the various things I’ve done this year and make some realistic plans on how to improve my own happiness over the next year. Here’s a few of my 2013’s highlights and plans for the next year.

To love and be loved
A culmination of things this year brought me so much closer to my boyfriend. It took a while for him to figure it out but it feels incredibly amazing to love someone wholeheartedly and to be overwhelmed by his loved in return tenfold. I spent the first half of the year playfully googling about weddings and whispering about rings. Surprisingly, my boyfriend spent the next half of the year talking wedding plans with our parents and looking at grown up houses :-).

I love our relationship’s growth over the year and all that talking and dreaming is slowly becoming a reality. We’re getting married next year!!! And although I have my reservations about weddings, I cannot wait until after the wedding when I’m actually married.

New work beginnings
I always say that a 9 – 5 job will never provide me with happiness. It’s the perks of working like getting a salary and all the things outside of work that make me happy. My move to a new job brought a salary increase, a workload increase, 6 months fully paid maternity benefits and travel opportunities. Although I’m in tears every time I find myself at OR Tambo for work, I get an opportunity to see countries I wouldn’t ordinarily visit on my own.

I love the benefits that my company has to offer and my boyfriend loves them more. He plans on having me stay put until I exhaust those maternity leave benefits. With wedding planning, I’ll be far too busy to even consider a career move next year.

Travelled to developing countries
I visited Thailand on holiday and through work I was able to see Mozambique, Tanzania and Zanzibar. All of these countries have their own beauties and natural wonders that one cannot truly appreciate without actually being there. And only once I had visited these lands, did I appreciate being born in South Africa. We have our own poverty like all these countries but we are so developed in terms of infrastructure, economy and international affairs.

I will still have to travel at least 4 times for work next year within Africa so I don’t have to look hard for these travel opportunities. Although I’m swamped with work, I will try to squeeze in as much of the local life there as I can.

Explored my backyard
When stealing some time for romantic getaways, my boyfriend and I are limited to holidaying in South Africa. This year I went to Hartbeespoort Dam and did all the touristy stuff that I missed out on the first time around. I went to Eastern Cape for the first time and fell in love with PE before exploring the Garden Route.

With saving up for a wedding, I can’t really afford little local getaways next year. I plan on being in Pietermaritzburg in April so I definitely want to explore that little town and if I have time between wedding planning, I’d love to show my boyfriend’s family around Durban.

Became a homeowner
My new job is taxing – I spent most of this year working solid from the morning until I needed to go home but the salary increase is rewarding. It’s because of this that I was finally able to buy my very first apartment. I know all about the financial advice about property and investment. And then there are the people who criticise moving jobs for money. All these people with their advice often don’t realise just how hard it is to save up for a deposit on a house. I’ve made many sacrifices for it but I’m glad that I have my own place which I intend to keep for a very long time.

I want a big house to move into after I get married but with the cost of a wedding, it looks like I’m not going to get my big house next year but I’m definitely going to be saving up whatever my wedding doesn’t steal from me.

As always my aim for the coming year is to be happy. People, circumstances and things change and we need to change along with it. That might mean changing my plans in order to achieve my ultimate goal for 2014 and the rest of my life: happiness. Wish me luck ;-).

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