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Newcastle 365: Week 17 and New Year Resolutions

I really enjoyed having a nice long break from school last month. I went on a super grand adventure, got a lot of work done on my book, read several books unrelated to school, read several papers about Glyphosate herbicide for homework, and finally watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

But I was definitely ready to go back to school, and I felt like a kindergartner when classes started up again last Monday. My schedule is a bit different than I am used to–instead of taking all of our classes at once, we take one module a time. I just finished a module on research skills in preparation for writing my dissertation this summer, and today, we started a Field Crops course. This term promises to be tonnes of fun, with modules on perennial crops, livestock management, greenhouses, and more. And soon, I will be going to Greece for two weeks! I can hardly wait!

I know I am in the right place in my life because the novelty of it all hasn’t worn off. School is an anticipated event instead of a chore, and I wake up excited every single day.

Each new year, I tell myself that I’m not going to set resolutions. And each new year, I refuse to listen to myself and set them anyways. Sometimes, I get really crazy and I set all sorts of ridiculous¬†goals that are doomed to fail right out of the starting gate. Last year, I picked a New Year Mantra instead, and just used the phrase “Start Living the Life You Imagined” as my guide for making decisions. Yeah, and look where that got me. (Haha!)

I did decide to go with some simple resolutions this year because I was bored and wanted to draw something. So I drew up my resolution list, but here are a few more details for the curious folk among you.


  • Spartan Races are like your typical 5k, 10k and half marathon, but they threw in 10-20 obstacles to try and kill you while you run. I’ve been working on turning myself into a runner, and it’s slow progress. Mostly, that’s because I get bored easily, so I’m hoping that giving myself a challenge and a deadline will help motivate me. I’m looking at doing a Sprint (5k) in July, so if you’re in the UK and you want to team up, let me know!
  • Drink More Water: I am perpetually dehydrated, so I made it a goal to drink enough water this year. I downloaded a nifty app called Water Your Body, and it gives me gentle reminders throughout the day to help me reach my goal. I am still failing miserably, but I’m getting better.
  • Wear This:¬†This, of course, referring to the cap, gown, and pretty blue hood that graduating MSc students get to wear. This is not so much a resolution as a guarantee. I WILL wear that outfit. I’ve already invested too much not to.
  • Read 10 Books Just For Fun:¬†Normally, my yearly reading goals are much higher, but with all the reading I’ll have to do for school, there won’t be much time for fiction. I’ll still squeeze in a few here and there, but I’m expecting that most of my fiction reading will happen at the end of the year, after my dissertation is finished.
  • Create Stuff: I¬†obviously do a lot of photography, and I think I’ve mentioned my writing a time or two. But I want to do a bit more drawing and painting this year, too, so my skills don’t get rusty. I won’t have time to do a lot of it, but I figured one creative project each month (besides my regular stuff) will be doable. We’ll see.
  • 5 New Passport Stamps:¬†I’m kind of cheating with this one because I already know that I’m going to get a stamp in Greece, and I’m planning a trip to Amsterdam with a friend, so that’s already 2.¬†I’m also hoping to go on a tour of Europe with one of my besties after I finish school, so theoretically, I’ll blow this one right out of the water. Sometimes I like to keep my goals conservative so I look really amazing when I destroy them.

Too bad that rarely works…

Okay, just one little¬†bit of housekeeping before I close up shop. I wasn’t getting notifications for a Facebook page that I liked, and finally learned why: apparently, you have to turn on notifications for pages.¬† Maybe you already knew this, but if you’re like me and you didn’t (see Mom, I don’t know everything about Facebook…), it’s super easy to fix. Just go to the page, and click on the little arrow on the like¬†button. A drop down menu should appear, like the one below.

Notifications for Blog

If there isn’t a check mark next to “Get Notifications,” you won’t get notifications. Go figure. So click it and you’re all set! Just don’t click “Unlike” because that would be all sorts of sad.

I refuse to be one of those naggy bloggers who are constantly begging you to like their page, so this will be the last time I mention it. I just wanted to make sure y’all knew so that you’ll see the updates.

Wow,¬†“Y’all”?!¬†Where did¬†that¬† come from? I haven’t sounded so southern since I moved here!

Whatever. I like it.

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Jess Friedman
Jess is a Canadian-American who’s always ready for the next adventure. She loves all things living, always has a million creative projects in progress, and polishes her nerd badge daily. She is passionate about helping families make and preserve treasured memories that strengthen bonds across generations. You can read more posts by Jess here.

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