In my 4th year women's studies class in university we discussed writing as a way to hash out what is in your brain or maybe to understand better something you've read. Since then Ive tried to write about anything that I seem to be struggling with and I think it helps me. I rarely plan what Im going to write in advance, except for maybe a topic, and whatever comes out is real. I try not to filter myself and that's why I stated flat out in one of my first posts that I will only write the full truth here. I don't like lies and I don't want to pretend to be something Im not. So I come here and I work out my thoughts and in the process I get to connect with all of you. You have all become very dear to me and I feel an obligation to continue to write my mundane thoughts about my mundane life. Guilt about this blog has become pretty normal lately and I think it is high time I change that.
So now that I am finding myself sitting at our new desktop computer on boxing day writing a post about my blog and what it means to me, I think it is fitting to finish with a list of my new years resolutions. After a whopper of a year (finishing school; loosing my car, house, boyfriend; having a baby with no father; moving three times; learning that The Ex is engaged again; Leah's passing and my parent's move across country) I am ready for some goals! I think that I am certainly in a better place emotionally that I was this time last year but everything else seems to be the same. Well, maybe not. I am living in a much better house than the hell-hole apartment that I was getting ready to move out of last year. So that's a plus. But I am still in a massive amount of debt, Im still alone, I've still got kids to raise and feed and clothe but now without really a job. I've grown on a personal level in ways that I never knew existed and I've been tried by hitting lows that I never thought I would experience. I think I've come out a better person for it, but with the year all said and done, I cant help but look at it as a year wasted.
So to 2009, I welcome you and everything you have to offer. To you I commit to achieving the following goals; albeit with much complaint, tears and/or alcoholic beverages:
- Are you ready for it? This is a big one......ok, I am going to write one MILLION words this year. After having a successful NaNoWriMo it got me to thinking about writing and how much I enjoy it. I really, really suck at it but that's not the point for me. I plan to be home with the kids for at least half of 2009 so why not get to those books that Ive always wanted to write. I know now after November that fiction is definitely not the right avenue for my work but I have a few other projects that I'd like to tackle. Im sure you're doubting my ability to write a million words this year because well, like that's A LOT. But I have it all planned out you see. The writing will not only include books like NaNo did! No, I will be writing all sorts of things and if I start something, get a few thousand words in and decide I don't like it anymore? That is totally cool; those words will count. My blog posts will also get tacked on there as well as anything that I write on my new blog (that I plan to start, see below). So there you have it, ONE MILLION words by January 1 2010.
- Cut my credit card debt in half. At the moment, I no longer use my cards but they sit at a balance of about 6300. Somehow this year I want to see that number much closer to 3000. I know that I wont be able to tackle my student loan debt this year and that is ok. Ive already changed a lot of bad habits and reversed my thinking so I know Im on the road to freedom from my debts, it's just a really, really long road. This Christmas, the kids are more than happy with their gifts and I don't feel any guilt about what I gave to anyone or about the people that I chose not to give to this year. I did it all this year without compromising my budget or going into anymore debt (actually that is a lie, I bought this computer back in August on credit and I'll be paying small monthly payments for three years). I think I am doing really good when it comes to my finances and 2009 will only help me to get further OUT of debt.
- Find a boyfriend. Ok, so this one is pretty much self-explanatory. I hate being alone and I think I am at my best when I am in a relationship. I joined an Internet dating site about two months ago and I've been talking with a lot of people. There are a few prospects but I'm taking it slow. The two men that I've met in person from the site so far have wanted a relationship but I couldn't commit to that. I have reached a point with men where I refuse to settle. I obviously know that I will probably have to bend what Im looking for a bit but there are just some things that I can not give up. So I plan to end the year with a wonderful man doing something fun while we bring in 2010 together. Having that to look forward to makes this lonely New Years a lot more bearable.
- Find a job. I have a degree so it shouldn't be that hard to find work. I don't really care at this point what I'm doing, the point is to just do something and start bringing in some money. I've continued to work very part time hours with a research project that Ive been assisting with for about two and a half years. I know that I will continue to be a part of this but its more of a freelance type thing and the pay Isn't even really something I'd call income because I have so few hours. After June or so though the project takes a turn and we will stop collecting data and start to process what it all means a little more. This means that there are lots of opportunities for writing projects and conferences to come out of it which is fine for a side thing but I cant rely on it in place of a real income.
- Start my second degree. I know this one sounds kind of stupid considering I'll probably just be getting into a new job and I've got the four kids and enough debt already but I really do think I can manage. I've looked into this degree program from a university in another province that offers it through a distance option. I can either take it full time in two years or part time in three because I already have a degree. I also don't need to take out any more student loan debt because the cost of the courses is manageable if I do the part time route and Im working. So yes, September 2009: start another degree.
- Find the joy that I used to experience from being a mother. I lost this years ago in the midst of my terrible relationship with The Ex and I want desperately to get it back. I think I am taking baby steps in that department but maybe another six months will be enough to really help?
- Finally reach my target weight of 140. I made it as low as 161 a few months ago but since Halloween I haven't been able to get even close to that number again. At the moment Im probably closer to 170 but Im a little afraid to look at the scale. Either way, 30 lbs in a year is not that big of a deal if I am serious about it. This also ties in with the next one...
- Stop f**king around and just join the damn Y already. Ive been there twice to get this process going but I never have all the right forms or whatever. I am seriously close to just forgetting about the subsidy and just paying the full dues anyway. But if I did that, then my goal up there of reducing my debt would be compromised. The difference by the way is $40/month which after a year would be $480 less debt to my name. Obviously the subsidy is the way to go here but I just have to get on that and get organised!
- Start another blog. I don't want to get into the details about what this one will be about or anything yet, but know that it is in the works ;)
- See a dentist. I honestly haven't been to a dentist in over a decade and my teeth are horrible. I never once had a cavity as a kid but I know that my mouth is full of them now. My wisdom teeth are also squishing the rest of my teeth together like something fierce and its to the point now that I don't open my mouth much. I know that this is going to be a big process and an even bigger expense so I haven't been in any rush but I do need to make it a priority.
- Network with other moms and be more social. At the moment I really only talk with (make a point to see) family members. Ive never really been one to keep friends and I know that this probably isn't good for me because I tend to go within myself and shut others out when I have a problem. Social interaction is healthy and I need to put in the effort to include it more in my life.
- Eat Better. Related directly to my weight is my consumption of pop(soda). If I stay away from it I tend to feel smaller and happy about my weight. Whenever I give in and start drinking it again, my clothes seem to get tighter and then I start to eat cookies or chocolate and we all know how that ends. I also have the issue of possible glaucoma when Im older and so taking the steps (ie reduce sugar intake) now can prevent that from happening. The last time I had my eyes checked (about a year ago; ugh, add that to the list) the cups were a 4 with 10 meaning blindness. I have no idea what any of that really means except that I would prefer not to go blind, ya know?
- Get organised. I know that I am happier, life runs smoother and I spend less money when I am organised and have a plan for things. If I take the time to plan my meals and my grocery list, I spend a good bit less at the grocery store. This Christmas I was able to buy lots of good presents because I started a long time ago and didn't succumb to the lure of the toy stores in December. My desk has also been a complete disaster since we moved in to this house so I think it is high time to organise all my papers and various junk. Over the last few years I've done really good with getting rid of things that I don't need around and de-cluttering our home so I plan to continue that and hopefully in a years time I wont be sitting here with a list of boxes/closets/drawers/rooms that need to be cleaned out or organised.
Ok, that is all that I can think of right now. There may be more and I may end up adding to the last over the next week but for now, this is where it stands. What about all of you, what are some of your goals for the coming year?