Yearly Recap 2013

My very dear younger sister, saw this yearly recap online and thought it’ll be a great idea for me to do one. So like the good big sister I am, I agreed! This recap was found on Rage Against the Minivan, who got the idea from All and Sundry’s blog. I loved both their recaps and I hope that after reading mine, you also do your recap and share links to your post with me.


Here goes! My Yearly Recap for 2013

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

I edited a fantastic book that I cannot wait for you to read.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I set goals for different areas of my life and achieved some. Some I did not work hard at- because resolutions don’t amount to much without actions to back them up- so I didn’t achieve those. But I am committed to Continuous and Never Ending Improvement (CANI) so yes, I trudge on, learn from my mistakes and re-calibrate.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No! I hope to have news in that regard later this year. Wink.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully, no. I will not have news in this regard anytime soon- maybe for another 90 years… (LOL)

5. What countries did you visit?
I visited South Africa where I went to Johannesburg and Cape Town. I absolutely loved Cape Town. I think God was showing off when He created it. See my photos here. I also visited France and United Kingdom.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Hmmm, greater discipline?

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I really enjoyed attending the Success Summit in March 2013. It had an amazing an inspiring line up of speakers, though I loved them all, Peter Sage, Andy Harrington and Robin Banks, stood out for me.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Staying alive? Staying married? LOL! I can’t point to anyone particular thing, 2013 was a year where some of my major dreams came true, like visiting France, like climbing the Table Mountain, blogging seriously and changing career paths…

9. What was your biggest failure?
No failure. Only feedback. I got strong feedback regarding setting weight loss goals. You actually have to “work” the goals, you have to exercise and eat right to achieve those. So needless to say, in 2013, I did not achieve my goal of losing 5kg and keeping it off. Will I use this feedback in 2014 to create different results? I guess we’ll see that in my year end re-cap.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Thankfully no. Oh! I had malaria, which being in Nigeria, I sort of take for granted- even though this episode knocked me out so bad, I waxed lyrical about it here.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
-Books? I try to read a new book every 10 days and I read really good ones in 2013.
-My tickets to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa. Another childhood dream of mine.
-I really wanted to buy myself a Chanel 2.55 flap in caviar but still cannot comprehend the investment vis a vis my level of savings and investment. I think certain luxuries should only be indulged in after you have laid away substantial sums and invested others. It should be bought out of your excess… I also believe in saving up for luxuries but as a separate stream of savings, so if you save 20% of your income every month and you want to buy your “luxury item” in 6 to 12 months, you still keep saving your 20% but start another savings of say 5% of your income for that purpose. I use this principle to pay for my vacations and indulgences except trainings. For those, I schedule a self-development fund into my yearly budget- so I plan for say one training that involves travel and maybe one or two trainings online; in 2013, the Success Summit was my training with travel and my Creative Writing course at the University of Exeter was my online one.

Courtesy Wendy's Lookbook
Courtesy Wendy’s Lookbook

12. Where did most of your money go?
Self development- books, training and travel. My tithe is also scheduled, I don’t consider that portion of my income as mine- it automatically goes to church, so when I say save 20%, that’s 20% of 90%, same for 5%.

13. What did you get really excited about?
My trip to France! I was almost skipping once it was almost time. I’ve always wanted to go there and honestly, it didn’t disappoint, I saw France through rose tinted lenses. I spoke my little French to everyone I saw, including people who said they weren’t French, I smiled throughout, was in love again, ohhed and ahhed at the Eiffel Tower, ate macaroons at Laduree, walked along the Champs Élysées, I’m excited just writing about it. I hope to go again soon- maybe see the South of France this time and to visit my dear friend Akaji who moved from The Hague to Pau! Sigh! How lucky can one girl get?

14. What song will always remind you of 2013?
Sara Grooves- Generations will reap what I sow- played in my subconscious a lot in 2013. Robin Thicke’s “blurred lines” and “beneath our beautiful” Emilie Sande. “Royal” by Lourde will always remind me of 2013 because it was my better half’s ringtone and his phone rings incessantly.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? Happier! Thank God! Though I prefer joyful to happier…
– thinner or fatter? Hmmm, can’t answer! The truth hurts…
– richer or poorer? Let’s put it this way, I have created value. I have worked hard, been diligent and been blessed with health to work and I have been rewarded for it. I hope to do better, be more productive and create more value for the market place in 2014

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Spent more time being quiet- praying, studying, self-examination, which would also have translated into more creativity.

17. What do you wish you had done less of?

Sometimes I feel like I cared too much. Issues concerning Nigeria and what we need to change hurt me deeply. I felt in despair a lot of the time, like how much can I do? What can I change? Where will I start from? I actually felt a Nehemiah kind of anointing (I’ll explain that if you ask in the comments) and to be honest, it is something I am sure I want. To care, to care and not know how to fix it! Not know where to start. But that’s why I blog, I may not be able change all, but I can change me. And you can change you, and one person at a time, we can change our society.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

Quietly, with family.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
I am ashamed to say- I like brain numbing reality TV shows, Big Rich Atlanta was particularly entertaining. I also love The Apprentice, but on DSTV, I am not sure how recent the series I watched was.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
I liked ‘Lean In’ by Sheryl Sandberg, “how will you measure your life?” by Christensen (I’ll check that) and I really loved “My Vision” by the Sheik of Dubai.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?
I enjoy mainly classical music and ironically rap. I loved LeCrae’s album – Gravity.

22. What was your favorite film of the year?
This I can’t remember. I am not a big movie buff.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was at work. I actually treat my birthday as my personal new year, so I had my quiet time in the morning, reviewed my 33rd year and planned for my 34th! There, that answers the second part of the question.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Nothing. I love life, with its issues and all. And in try to max it out, live in the moment every-time.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

When I set my goals on my 33rd birthday, one of the things I said to myself was “in her 33rd year, she was beautiful”. That’s what my fashion was; beautiful, classic, simple and my accessories were worthy of me, LOL.

26. What kept you sane?
My family and prayer. And reminding myself of what was true/what mattered. Not getting carried away by the hype of a Lagos.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
To speak my truth, clearly and early. And that, what I want matters- to speak up for myself, it is not being nice when you are nice to everyone but yourself.

Thank you my dear sister! It was really fun to do. Now you go ahead and do yours! Thank you everyone for reading my blog. May 2014 be beautiful for you!


  1. Great job Haj and thanks for taking it on; knew it’d be beneficial for you and all of us your readers to reflect on the past year.
    Gleaned so much more insight about you and your experiences and as always I’ve been inspired. Particularly liked your response to the richer bit: you created value. Isn’t that what life is about ultimately? Not quantifying our wealth in terms of our bank balance but how much value we’ve added both to others and ourselves( sometimes this can be quantified monetarily but it really does transcend that so I appreciate your choice of words).

    • Oh! Dear sis! I am glad! I agree with you about creating value, in my mind, I think money is like a certificate that shows you have been useful. So when you go into a shop for example to say I want to buy cereal, groceries… The shop keeper says “show me evidence that you have been of service to humanity, so that I can release the goods to you”, so you show him your certificate- money, which he also then gets some of, because he served you by stocking the groceries that you have bought. I think looking at money like this enables us have a service mentality, a value creating mentality and allows you enjoy the money when you have it. Of course this only applies to honest labour and properly gotten wealth. Thanks for letting me share that thought. Should do a blog post on the subject.

  2. Great post. About buying luxury goods, I will say prioritize…try putting money to work for you like invest some in stocks and when it grows to the cost of the purchase you want to make, you buy. That way u still have ur principal. Have a great 2014

    • Thank you Belema, that sounds just right, not using your seed as it were to make a luxury purchase (if you must) but allowing your seed to grow and then using out of your surplus! Thank you so much for sound advice! I think these are things that must be shared, so that people starting out don’t sacrifice savings or investment to acquire luxury goods only to find themselves in want- there is a way to do these things and it entails saving and investing first and then rewarding yourself from your excess!

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