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(Post on New Years Resolution 2013)

So, I’ve hit the half way mark in this years resolutions. It’s been both difficult and interesting to see what new years resolutions I unconsciously prioritized over others. Working full-time did make things difficult, especially coming home and feeling tired being the barrier to a lot of things.

1) Read more of the Qur’an: I didn’t read as much as I hoped to before Ramadan, but now that it is, I’ve been able to give more time to it and so far I’ve read lots (Alhumdulillah)

2) Read more books on Islamic practice and theology: I only just started reading one in Ramadan and its good. It makes me feel like a student again 🙂 It’s about Jesus and comparing him to the scriptures of the major religions (Christianity, Islam & Judaism)

3) Read 52 books by the end of 2013: So far, so good! At the moment I’m 3 books ahead and zooming through everything I read! I’ve read a mixture of English fiction and manga. So far, I haven’t included non-fiction yet but I’m thinking of including it. Why not? I still haven’t read Malcolm X’s biography and I want to read it as part of this challenge. You can visit my goodreads page via this blog (bar on the left side) to see what books I’m reading and have read.

4) Stay committed to the book club: funny story with this one…! Nusret is a full-time university student doing BA English Literature in her second year and she chose her half of the books by going through her reading list. But as a result, she ended up avoiding these books because she knew she had to read them for the book club and uni, which meant that we had to scrap the list but we didn’t make a new one. We’re just taking each month as it comes. Below is the original B.C list:

The Fault In Our Stars JG

1. The Hours by Michael Cunningham  2. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess 3. Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi  4. War of The Worlds by H.G.Wells 5. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H.Laurence 6. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte 7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky 8. Life of Pi by Yann Martel 9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 11. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides 12. Dear Nobody by Berlie Doherty.

Here is what we have actually read so far (click on the title to listen to our audio blog):

1. The Hours by Michael Cunningham  2. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess 3. The Twits by Roald Dahl 4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 5. Atonement by Ian McEwan

5) Read the books before watching the film adaptations: I have NOT given in and have stuck to reading the books before watching the films. The funny thing is that all the books I have read that have been adapted into film are the ones I still haven’t had time to watch! It’s either because after not liking the book I thought “I’d rather not waste time on watching that!” or that I’ve been busy with work. Also, I discovered that there are films I’ve watched that were based on books: Forrest Gump, The Hannibal Series, 3:10 to Yuma etc

6) Read completed mangas before watching the animes: Well, what can I say! Because I’ve been so busy reading English fiction, I’ve only been able to read the mangas I was already reading, leaving hardly any room for getting into mangas that have been recently made into anime. But recently since college broke up for the summer break, I’ve been ploughing through them ^_^

Pandora Hearts (Source: http://www.mangareader.net/350-58202-1/pandora-hearts/chapter-54.html)

7) Write more in my journal: Recently I’ve been writing less and less so for about 1.5 months I haven’t even looked at my journal. It’s probably gathering dust somewhere in my room. What I have been doing, instead of always thinking I have to write pages and pages, is making it like a scrap-book; sticking on pictures and annotating them. Saves time and makes it more fun!

© 2013 My journal

8) Finish my novella: I’m 95% of the way there. I just have to finish my last chapter but have already given it to a friend to edit.

9) Make time to learn Arabic  (العربية): This has not happened at all I’m afraid…so this is something I can only do this summer break. It’s difficult trying to learn or just not become rusty on something you have lost time to do.Working full-time doesn’t leave one with much free time.

10) Passing my practical driving test: I HAVE passed my driving test and it happened on April 4th at 9:08.

11) Remain healthy: I have lost weight! Very slowly, but it’s been happening. What my greatest sin is dessert. I’ve never been a McDees, chicken n chips kinda person. It was binging on cakes and chocolate that ruined me. The trick to any weight is simple eating less of the bad, more of the good & moving around more (and no, walking around the house doesn’t count!)

12) Discover and learn how to make foreign dishes (including dessert): So far I have only made and blogged about one foreign dish (Jap Chae). But now that Ramadan is here and it’s all about special food (and I have the rest of the summer holidays) I will try to make more and post them up.

2013 © Plated jap chae 1

2013 © My sewing machine13) Improve my sewing and make something for the home or myself: I am a beginner and that is my only excuse (and I think it’s a good one!). It’s taken me time to get used to the sewing machine so actually starting on making something hasn’t been easy. I have made many plans and have most of the materials I need to create…it’s just making time to practice/experiment enough to get the hang of it.

14) Staying in better contact with people I’ve lost touch with: So far I have done ok. I’m in contact with a long lost friend who is very dear to me but we hardly see each other. Relatives always call and I’ve tried to keep in touch via skype! Oh, how I love skype 😀

15) Watching/reading the news more: I have improved so much! I read the news at work online and through out the week I make sure I sit and watch the news.

16) Finish a piece of art work: Put it down to having to many things to accomplish, I haven’t touched a single canvas! I have all the equipment though, so again I’m hoping this summer I’m able to finish something

17) Saving money in general (Short term: holiday or Long term: ???): Saving money has been relatively ok. There are moths you spend more and some you spend less in. But in general I’ve saved as much as I hoped to. But I still gotta keep saving if I wanna go on holiday 😀

18) Making a piece of jewellery ====\^/====: I have made jewellery, but maybe not the kind everyone can wear: scarf pins!

This is just the beginning! I'm going to make much before before the year is out :D

This is just the beginning! I’m going to make lots more before the year is out 😀

Goals yet to be met: 5/18