In one month I will turn 32. I feel younger than when I was turning 30, probably because of how much more I am willing to admit I don’t know. I spent the past year trying to learn a lot. I set my bar low, so I anticipated exceeding me “expectations”, but I still believe I accomplished a lot in the past year.

For one, my son started school as well. It has been amazing having some alone time where I’m not constantly being pestered for a drink or TV or to read a book. I love my kids, but the biggest thing people don’t tell you about raising them is how you NEVER get a break from the job.

Now that most days I have no kids in the home between 9 and 2, I get a lot more done. I started meeting up with a friend once a week to exchange languages. I help her with English and she helps me with my Japanese. That in turn has lead to me feeling more confident in my everyday life over here, and volunteering to help out at kindergarten.

I did a lot of sewing this year, making bags, clothes, and accessories for the kids mostly. It’s been nice seeing my stash decrease a bit and my daughter wearing things I made for her. In addition to sewing, I finally learned to crochet, a craft I thought I would simply never “get” as a lefty. Turns out I just needed to try learning a different way. Youtube helped in ways that 1-1 help from mom, books, and DVDs never could. I’ve already made a few hats, scarves, coasters, and a headband!

I also got a bread machine about a year ago and can’t believe how much I have used it. It’s been working at least once a week, more often 2 or 3 times, and I have been baking so many different kinds of bread for us. It’s all in Japanese so it’s technically kanji practice?

This year I’d like to move from domestic skills to working on my technical side. I remember making websites on Angelfire and Geocities as a teen and want to update my HTML and CSS knowledge. I’m already working on Javascript too. Free Code Camp has been a great resource for me. I’m going to try to blog more often, write, and hopefully take this blog from wordpress editor to self-designed.

I guess I’m kind of lucky to have a December birthday, it really does feel like I get a built-in New Years resolution. I have to say, trying to learn so many new things can be a bit tiring, but it also gives me a real sense of accomplishment. Even when I do a bad job, or if something takes me a long time to understand, finally nailing it feels awesome. I first tried to crochet back in highschool. I made a number of attempts, bought so many books, and now I can finally crochet things myself after years of trying and failing. It just to goes to show me that sometimes stepping back and giving something time, approaching things in a new manner, but mostly, not giving up, can mean the difference between success and failure.

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