2015 in Review & 2016 Goals

OK, so I haven’t visited for a while.  I figured on just stopping the blog completely in 2014/2015 but I figured I needed somewhere to plan 2016 and this offered itself up as a location!

I didn’t really set myself goals in 2015 but let’s have a look and see how I did against 2014’s.

2015 in Review

1. Family & Friends: Make time for them and make this a priority

This year has been difficult on family and friends front.

Uncle Ken passed away early in the year.  It was devastating for all the cousins since for most of us, he was the last link with the parent (whether father or mother) we have lost, and for the older cousins an era with Nana and Granddad that they remember more than my sister and I.  The funeral was lovely – packed church, a great coffin hand-painted with a cricket scene and a nice wake at the cricket club to follow.  In many ways, he was already gone and had been when the tumour did its damage, and so it felt like a relief for him that he was in a better place; that he was no longer stuck in a home and the inactivity his physical condition imprisoned him with.  But I miss him.  I miss him a lot.

I managed to get to my sister’s for her birthday so that was a win.  My sister and her partner are facing some challenges and so towards the end of the year we’ve seen a great deal of my sister; Christmas and she’s due to spend the next weekend with us.

Dad continues to spend a great deal of time in Mauritius and I did fail to get there this last year due to a poorly kidney and then exhaustion.  I must make a concerted effort this year as seeing him in the UK alone means that we’ve hardly spent any time together, especially as I retreat to my room to prevent the cognitive drain of constant noise – he usually has either the TV or radio on.

On the friends front, I did badly but I think I’m doing better; my best friend and I get together fairly regular and we now include our other mutual Uni friend on at least one weekend.  I’ve established a good friendship with a friend at my old workplace which I think will lead to semi-regular lunches/cinema trips/etc. I’ve kept in contact with an old school friend and we both enjoy boozy lunches so…altogether not bad but really I could do with getting out more.

Balancing my life between work and play is something of an ongoing battle within me.  Unfortunately as work gets very busy and I spend time being conscientious and putting additional hours in, my energy levels just don’t have enough juice in them to accommodate spending time with friends and family.  Clearly I need to rebalance.

2. Write More: I’d like to complete the epic story I’m working on but beyond that simply write for fun!

Well, I completely failed here.  I’ve hardly written anything.  Which is kind of not true as I have written over 150,000 words here and there – there’s just not a great deal of completed work to show for it.

The epic fanfic remains that – unfinished although we are almost there.  I want to finish off a fanfic I started in 2014 and which is also almost there.  And, I want to return to finish my Aftershocks fanfic series.

Beyond that, I have the outline of two novels I want to write and self-publish and a non-fiction book on leadership.  I really need to ensure I create time for writing.

3. Financial stability

Short term: think about finding something else to bring in money

Well, I left my old place (let’s call them ABC).  Let’s just say that between the outdated HR policies, the lack of understanding around my disability and the pace of the business (there was never a moment to take a breath), I wasn’t sad to leave.  There were some great people there though and I hope they find continued success.

Short term wise I have found another job.  The new organisation is much more supportive on the disability front although the pace has been frenetic because of an ongoing project and deadlines as soon as I started.  I’m hoping things settle down in the New Year.  That said, I’m concerned that it won’t be a long term option as I’m not seeing the need for my role long term.

Long term: focus on what I really want to do and make it happen!

I’d like to get my Masters and Doctorate in psychology and go into academia.  It’s just configuring how I make that happen when I’m working full time and barely have enough energy for family, friends and writing as it is.

4. Think positive / health: Continue focusing on improving my physical and mental health

Health-wise I’ve had a very dodgy year.  Kidney problems, followed by nerve damage in my once-broken elbow, and then I managed to wrench my hip and knee aggravating inflammation there.

And I’ve been exhausted because I’ve been working too much and not taking the time I need to rejuvenate.

Plus I feel overweight and unattractive.

Sigh.

On the positive front, I’m not depressed.

2016 Goals

  1. Enjoy time with Family & Friends: Quality not quantity but making time to keep up the relationships in my life is important to me.
  2. Be creative: Spend time on my writing projects
  3. Think long term: Make a step towards my future and don’t just focus on paying the bills today
  4. Improve my health: Better diet, more exercise and keep on with the positive thinking
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New Year

So once again we’re at the start of a New Year, and once again I abandoned the blog to other things.  However here’s my yearly review…

2013 Goals in Review

1. Have fun: (i) cherish my friendships and family

This went much better at the beginning of the year when I wasn’t working!

Family was a huge part of last year from dealing with Uncle Ken’s brain tumour and recovery to dealing with my own situation.  But my sister has moved and we’ve had hardly any contact recently apart from Christmas.  She did ask us for New Year as after the move and everything they wanted to have it at theirs but I’m working either side, and just plain exhausted, plus Dad had plans to go to Windermere, so we suggested we catch up at the weekend instead.

Friendships have fallen by the wayside a little.  My best friend and I are very much still in touch but I’ve been so busy at work and so exhausted when I’m at home that I’ve had very little energy to make contact.  I need to change that and reconnect with people.

(ii) write what I want when I want

Writing is something else that I haven’t had a great deal of time for with beginning to work again.  I need to make more of a concerted effort to spend the time writing rather than escaping into reading.

2. Make money  (i) find work that pays consistently

I have a five day job as a project manager and have been working since the end of May.  On one hand, it’s too tiring, the company culture has a tendency to drive me nutty on occasion, and it’s reminded me of why I stopped being a project manager.  On the other, I work with really nice people and the job is one that I can do and it is meeting the goal.

(ii) pursue new avenues to raise revenue

I had ideas but no action here!

(iii) take additional step(s) to my future career goal

It would probably help me to really fix on what that future career goal is as I think the ambiguity or lack of passion about what I thought should be a future career goal is why I haven’t put much effort into doing this

3. Think positive

Apart from broken elbows and recovering from two lots of surgery to do with that, physically it hasn’t been bad but it hasn’t been good.  I have attempted to think more positively and I do think my mental health is much better than it was.

2014 Goals:

1. Family & Friends

Make time for them and make this a priority

2. Write More

I’d like to complete the epic story I’m working on but beyond that simply write for fun!

3. Financial stability

Short term: think about finding something else to bring in money

Long term: focus on what I really want to do and make it happen!

4. Think positive health

Continue focusing on improving my physical and mental health

Celebrating February 25th-28th

Cherish family continues to play a role in my life given my elbow continues to be broken (if mending while being technicoloured and looking like Frankenstein’s monster’s elbow).  Dad has been a huge support and I should probably tell him at some point that I do appreciate that he came home and has looked after me (even if I don’t appreciate the lectures on vitamins).  My sister has also been a boon although I think we’re both grateful that the cast removal on 26th meant she could stop showering me.

Ultimately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking positive about my health and my elbow.  I can use it a fair bit now in doing normal things – like typing – and it is getting stronger even if it needs to be protected, continues to ache and is very stiff and weak.  I was even prepared to head to London for a networking event but was thwarted by the rail network which decided to make travelling a nightmare (or maybe it was the Universe’s way of saying ‘we went to all this trouble so you only had a broken elbow and make sure it is fine; stop trying to mess it up by doing too much!’).

Which brings me neatly onto make money because it has been a frustrating week in that regard.  Mostly because of delays in talking to people but the conversations did happen and are positive…just not immediate.  I can’t actually see money happening until April…but focusing on the positive, there are at least opportunities!

Celebrating February 15th-24th

I decided to bundle these days together as they cover the Incident With My Elbow.

The incident occurred on the 15th at the hotel.  I had a lovely massage but when I went to pay there was a torrential rainstorm.  Thinking I should get back as /I had my sister’s keycard, I left the safety of the spa, got drenched and managed to slip on the wet slippery outside corridor.

It was a painful landing for my elbow which cracked off the concrete in a way that will never leave me.  I knew immediately that it was broken and it was.  Five hours later I was in surgery; twenty-eight hours later I was back at my Dad’s and my flight delayed until Thurs so Dad could travel home with me.  I wasn’t happy as I wanted to leave ASAP frankly.  But that said, I saw the benefit of having Dad home with me and I knew it was more about him feeling like he needed to be with me so I waited.

Cherish family indeed.

The following week saw me take visits from concerned relatives, be bathed by my favourite aunt like I was 8 months rather than 38 years old, and essentially let others take care of me.  My independent spirit was slightly irritated but it was all done kindly and with love so to refuse would be churlish.

I ended up flying alone as Dad could only get a flight on another airline.  It was fine – and that independent spirit kept me going.  I won’t deny it was a relief to see Dad at the end of the journey.  Still, being back home in my own space means that I want – need – to assert some independence over things like showering.  My sister has taken over from my aunt but I think I could now manage alone as the pain is much better.

Overall though I feel incredibly blessed.  The fall could have been so much worse – if I’d hit my head or my shoulder or gone down on my hip or my spine badly…I’m lucky it was only a broken elbow.  So a definite think positive on my health!

And my family have rushed to support me so as much as I cherish them, it’s nice to know they cherish me too.

Luckily, the break hasn’t delayed things too much on the make money front as I managed to make email contact from abroad and will have the delayed conversations this week.

The only thing really suffering is my write what I want which…I’m tired!  And achy!  But I am doing some writing and getting used to writing with only one hand!

Celebrating February 1st-14th

Holiday time!!  Which is mostly about cherish family.

It was gut wrenching leaving as Uncle Ken hadn’t been transferred back and wasn’t until Fri 8th.

On the other hand, it was good to get away and have time to simply be without having to be at a hospital.  We spent most of the first week at the beach which was nice.  Thurs did see us at an unexpected prayer meeting which was interesting to observe.

Of course, Saturday 9th was my Dad’s birthday and a good time was had by all at the bar/restaurant place he booked.

The second week was taken up with visiting family, shopping for presents and having a rainy day indoors before we headed to a hotel for a night away as a treat.  The hotel was beautiful, I booked a massage, and had a lovely meal with my sister and sister-in-law.  A good end to the holiday…except there was another day to go…

Celebrating January 24th-31st

So, catching up.

This week was once again all about cherish family, primarily because the situation continued with Uncle Ken and a drive to get him home to Durham, but also because there were preparations to go to Dad’s 70th in Mauritius in motion.

Additionally, I had an interview on the make money front.  It went well.  I think it would be a great place to work – really friendly people, nice vibe.  But I think I may be too qualified for them.  That said, I also made contact with the consulting firm I worked with last year and got a positive response so that may happen too.

The write what I want has taken a back seat though although I managed to post one story.

Celebrating January 20th-23rd

OK, so I’m leaving behind the daily missives for the last few days as it really does boil down to cherish my family as the situation with Uncle Ken is ongoing.

It’s grief – for losing who he was and his knowing love (because I think he knows he loves us but I don’t think he knows why).

It’s protectiveness – for taking care of who he is now when he can’t speak for himself anymore.

It’s trying to control the uncontrollable – where he’s going next, his treatments, his home.

And it’s loss – because he’ll go home and we’ll visit but it’s not going to be the same.

On the more positive make money celebration front, I have a job interview for something I didn’t even apply for.  And I have applied for a range of things so hopefully something will come of my applications even if the job interview doesn’t work out.