Out of all of the months this year, I do feel as though December has been the longest month. I don’t know why but I feel a little odd that it’s nearly over. I always used to love December because it usually meant travelling back to the UK to see my Grandparents and other family members, a break from the hot weather and chance to treat ourselves to our ‘home comforts’. These days, December is cold, grey and not such a favourite of mine.
So, how did it go for me?
Well, I turned 30 this year and I was really worried I’d be spending it in our flat in Manchester, but thankfully we were able to get across to Wales before the lockdown and my dad kindly drove us to Chester for a few hours. We had a great breakfast, tried to do some Christmas shopping and then came home for some presents and an awesome dinner with a bottle of wine – shout out to Dönnhoff, the legend of wine! My parents, Nat and Jonas really did make it a special day.
- Be a better teacher
I never give up trying, but I have definitely been a little nicer to myself this month and tried not to go ‘crazy’ with planning or worrying. My teaching schedule has been all over the place, people have cancelled, rescheduled, added more lessons or simply gone on holiday. It’s been so unpredictable and at first it really stressed me out. However, I quickly gave myself a little pep talk and realised there was nothing I could do to change anyone’s behaviour and I calmed down. I took each day as it came and focused on putting my energy into my private classes with students I knew would show up (or at least give me some notice).
I have used this month to reflect on what my students have learned, where they’ve improved and what we need to work on next. I have a pretty good idea for each of them, but reflecting on how far they’ve come has been amazing. My private students work really hard outside of their lessons, and although I am teaching them, I feel so proud that they can go away and also work on their own. It’s amazing. I can’t wait to see what they’ll do in 2021 (exams for four of them!)!
Another thing I’m excited about is that I held two trial lessons this month and both of them have signed up for lessons in January. They’re both C1 and wanting to prepare for Cambridge Advanced and I am really looking forward to pushing myself even further with these lessons. Having taught for Cambridge exams for 2 years now, I’m looking to really strengthen my teaching skills with C1/C2 level students and this will be the perfect opportunity (and lots more grammar revision for me!).
Here is a link to a Google Doc containing a few of my favourite lessons this year. No, they’re not entire lessons, just screenshots of parts I really enjoyed and things that went well. Feel free to let me know what you think!
- Continue being healthy
Well, it didn’t start off so well, but I have finally given myself (another) little pep talk and tried to dramatically cut out how much junk food I’m eating and have even lost a bit of weight. It’s Christmas, so I’ll enjoy myself but I am going to try and be sensible too. I wanted to start off 30 as a ‘fit and health’ young lady, but perhaps we’ll go with a 2021 start instead 😉
- Work on my languages
This month I have written two essays in Chinese for the first time in about 5 years. I’ve continued with my weekly lessons and I am remembering so much. I’m still struggling, but I am learning new words and phrases every single week and couldn’t be happier that I have invested my time into learning Chinese again.
I still haven’t decided which other language to go for in 2021 but I have another week to think about it – will you be studying a new language next year? Which one?
- Work consistently (and if possible, full time)
It hasn’t been full time per se, as people have been winding down for Christmas, but I have definitely been busy most days. I’ve taught, prepped, blogged and more and I could not be prouder of myself. Especially compared to this time last year.
- Reach 7,000 blog views
Well, what do you think? Have I done it?
I HAVE! This is something I really didn’t think was achievable and I know it isn’t much compared to ‘famous’ or established bloggers, but it’s a lot for me. This year, my blog received the most views and visitors ever since I started it in 2013 and I’m really bloody pleased about it. Thank you so much to everyone who has shared, liked or commented on my blog. I really do appreciate it!
- Calm down
Moving, teaching and Christmas all in one has made life a little stressful at times but I do think that December has made me realise more than ever what is actually important in life. It’s hard that I’m still learning at 30, but I suppose we never really stop learning about life anyway, do we? Since moving to Wales, I have finally been able to rest, relax and sleep and it’s been amazing. Seeing a sky full of stars at night and breathing the fresh country air really is fabulous.
Plus, it helps that Jonas is never stressed and completely calm about everything!
- Stop buying things I really don’t need (and save money!)
I told my family that presents would be limited this year, and in some ways they have been. However, this month I turned 30 and I wanted to treat myself. I didn’t end up getting the Fossil watch I wanted because they cancelled my order, so instead I treated myself to a lovely facial with Jess (she’s the best) and bought myself some new earrings. I didn’t ‘splash out’, but I did spend more than I usually would.
On the plus side, I have saved a little extra money and that is super exciting!
- Enjoy being me
I have been reflecting so much this year, especially this month when I turned 30. I am proud of what I’ve achieved and how I’ve spent my time this year. I think I can say that I’m enjoying where I am and where life seems to be heading. Fingers crossed I can be a little kinder to myself in 2021 though.
So, what’s next for me?
After this post, I’m shutting down the computer for a couple of days. There will be no blogging, lesson planning or scrolling through BBC for hours. I’m going to make a batch of mulled wine, put some Christmas music on and enjoy a few days with my family before they all go back to work.
Before NYE I’ll be writing a 2020 round up blog post, and shortly after that I’ll post about my new year’s resolutions. Keep your eyes peeled for those! But in the mean time:
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas, be safe, take care and thank you ever so much for following my journey this year x