I just thought I would write to let you know that the year 2016 has come. Pardon.. what? Am I the only one that feels 2015 came and went in the blink of an eye? Well it is here. Did you have any new years resolutions this year or have they already begun to unravel? We will call them anti-resolutions. When the sun sets on one year and you realise you never followed them to begin with. Auckland Horizon I already did not achieve one of the previous new years resolutions, because I did not write much. That does not mean then were not thousands of times I wanted to write, but just always felt like there was too much to write to begin, and never enough time to start. With a new career burgeoning in lightning speed it was a year of dining out, a year for travelling New Zealand, a year for tasting some of the best champagnes in my life, a year I tasted exceptional whiskies. I am not complaining! These are all first world problems. It was an amazing year, but I discovered that grown up jobs can certainly be all-encompassing. Muriwai Gannets With a demanding sales role, the social life is all day every day, my wine tasting and appointment calendar is like a constant wheel of time. By the end of the day, I can muster the energy to cook and the rest of the evening I fall into a Netflix -show stupor in order to zone out. Any creative juices or tasting experiences just slipped away like silver threads of memoirs, lost in a blur of real life and dreams. I am at my happiest hauling weeds out of the garden or growing something in the earth, anything, to feel grounded and lost in my own little world. I am not lazy, quite the opposite – but sometimes finding calm is immensely difficult. Hence one of my New Years Resolutions is to find that calm more often.   Kohimarama Beach I reflect on my last year, and admit that whilst I am really happy about all the learning and experiences that come with having such a challenging role. But I also look back to about 2013. My job was simple, and satisfying. I did yoga three times a week. I biked to work and ran in the weekends. I wrote here frequently but still found time to write speeches every month for Toastmasters? I saved a whole lot of money for our trip overseas. I cooked epic meals almost everyday. And photographed them? But my social life and career was lacking. Now I am in the opposite situation, where the last two things are great, and the previous things are falling behind. Now I have two questions for God. One: Why all the madness? Two: Is there any way to truly achieve balance in life?  Auckland City View So comes 2016. The year where we all attempt to wave off New Year resolutions, but somehow secret pledges to ourselves still flood in, like some endless cycle of unrealistic goals that will gloriously manifest themselves in the first few days of the New Year. I will exercise more. I will drink less. I will eat and be healthy, like by reading this article. I will watch less TV. I will find more time to learn Spanish and write my blog. I will be better with money. I will save. For the whole year. I will do any of these top ten New Years Resolutions (including become stress free? Now that’s unrealistic but I’ll give it my best shot). Kohimarama Beach Fast forward two weeks in. Exercise went out the window because “I lost my gym tag” (true story). Then I went for a run and sprained my ankle so I resorted to lying around on picnic blankets. I tried to not drink but just kept finding wonderful opportunities (and coincidentally wonderful wines) to drink with friends, also there was some great tequila from Mexico… I found out my cholesterol was high, and tried to eat healthily but then just really wanted fish and chips, covered in oil, salt, tartare. I tried to save heaps of money but then accidentally bought $200 heels that were quite similar to my other ones just because well, they looked pretty, and I justified it to myself that I needed them more than normal shoes, which I needed more. All of these things I vowed not to do, and then I did,  and well, it was so. damn. good. 
Muriwai Beach
Hence I present anti-resolutions: the only things I can realistically accomplish are those that make me feel good, those which allow me to indulge. If I promise not to do these things, then they immediately become more attractive. I basically need to anti-sell to myself. From this moment, I publicly declare not to have any resolutions. Except those that involve putting myself first. I will eat what I want, when I want it, and if I can eat more vegetables than meat, and at home more than out, then that would be a bonus. I will run or swim when I want, because it makes me feel good. I will drink good stuff, less frequently, because frankly anything average is not worth my 1.5 standard drinks. Finally, I will write or post here when I feel like it, and I will say whatever I want, like noone is reading. I will say yes to friends, but sometimes I will make one up and sit on the couch at home and eat chocolate. I accept that life is dynamic, people and places change, I change, and that one has to adapt, to suit one’s mood. 
Friends at Muriwai Beach
It is 2016 people! We are not trying to strive for this unattainable balance, but just do more of what makes us feel good. Cheers to that. Muriwai Beach xx
Photos from Auckland and surrounding areas, courtesy of our friend Yumi visiting from Mexico Jan 2016.