What I learned this year

As this is my last column of 2010, I choose to reflect upon the past year and what I learned. Many of us do this as the end of December approaches, which helps us decide what New Year’s resolutions we’ll make (and try to keep) come January. I still haven’t figured out mine yet, but I’m sure that on the eve of 2011 I’ll have some ambitious plans for myself. Actually, that could be my first resolution – write down everything so I don’t forget it.

In 2009 I lost a lot of weight – 65lbs to be precise; so this year I made every effort to keep it off. I realized that so long as I watched my calories and made it to the gym a number of days per week, the scales would remain kind. Part of my motivation is that I want to keep wearing all the clothes I purchased. The other part is the guy who works out next to me on the treadmills. He always seems to be looking over when I plug in my age and weight for an accurate calorie count and I’m not giving him the satisfaction of seeing the numbers creep up. I also realized that I appear to be the only person on the island not attending hot yoga, which is probably why painting my toenails plays merry hell with my inflexible spine.

After a late night out, it is never, ever a good idea to buy items online. I seriously need to look at this as a resolution; like the rules for the Gremlins. “Hide all computers before midnight” or something similar. I have enough mismatched crockery and saucepans to start my own catering company and a state-of-the-art projector for the theatre I’m apparently opening to rival Camana Bay’s. It worries me that a popcorn popper may show up on the web someday soon.

I’ve learned that if a car tyre requires a top-up of air every three days, the odds are good it has a leak. Super glue will not permanently repair a broken door handle. A unicycle is much more difficult to master than you would think. Ching-chings are not scared of anything.

For a long time I have wanted to cook a steak really well in the kitchen. I’ve managed on the BBQ a few times, but I don’t always want to fire her up just for a couple of Ribeyes. Copper Falls is one of my favourite restaurants, but sometimes I’m not in the mood to dress up and go out. This year I finally achieved my goal. I bought a great quality cast iron pan from Bon Vivant (thanks for the advice Cynthia!), two large steaks and Googled Alton Brown. Even when the smoke alarm went bananas, eyes were watering and every door and window had to be flung open, I remained steadfast. The steak was cooked to perfection and my dining guinea pig raved about it. In 2011 – Potatoes!!

Prince William and I are never going to be. Lucky Bamboo isn’t so lucky if there are cats residing in the same house. I would dye my hair green rather than give up my iPad.

Even though this year has not been without its trials, it is wonderful to see how charitable organizations, sponsors and the public still step up to the plate to assist the less fortunate. I’ve learned that no matter what the island or the world is going through, there are amazing people that will donate their time and money, working tirelessly to make life better for others. I’m either attending or hosting a number of these events, particularly near the end of the year, and I’m here to tell you that the sense of community and giving is still very much alive in the Cayman Islands. May it continue into the years ahead.

In 2010 I changed my karaoke setup from using CDs to an external hard drive of songs and boy, did it make all the difference. No more skipping in the middle of “Sweet Caroline” or lyrics so distorted on the screen that the singer would desperately try to recall them from memory as I sat there looking helpless and sympathetic. What used to be several trips carrying a machine, heavy cases of CDs and a tube TV is now reduced to a laptop, some folders and a thin, light computer monitor. It is truly amazing how technological advances make life so much easier for all of us. Now if they could just invent some sort of headpiece or equally convenient small instrument that would work like my disco ball I’d be laughing. Laughing I tell you.

I need to stop buying scented candles until I use the 793 examples I already have in the house. I’d like a law preventing people from taking mobile phones into the cinema. When I open my own unoplex, soloplex…whatever it’s called (see paragraph 3) that will be the first rule. No matter how nicely you pack up and preserve Christmas lights, only half of each strand will work the next year. How many women does it take to change a lot of teeny light bulbs? If the answer is One, I’d like to meet this infinitely patient female. Needless to say I threw away a lot of stuff this December. Those twinkling demons nearly broke my spirit.

It has been a very busy year for me, but I’ve still found time for family and friends which must always be a priority. A couple of friends had parents with health scares in 2010 and it reinforced to me the importance of staying in contact with people close to us. From day-to-day, month-to-month and year-to-year we don’t know what may be waiting around the corner so we must never take anyone in our lives for granted.

Hard to believe another year is nearly gone. I look in the mirror and it constantly astounds me how I don’t seem to age. How do I do it?? Many thanks to all of you who stop me and say that you like my column (d’ya hear that Editor?) – who doesn’t love a compliment? Here’s to new and exciting adventures for all of us in 2011. You know where you’ll be reading about mine…

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