New Years

Jan. 4th, 2012 08:57 am
[personal profile] unforth
Woah. Is it New Years already? Jesus fucking Christ, where has the last year gone? I haven't even done a public post to LJ since, er, May, I think. (I started a post in August but never finished, so it never got made public. In short, life has been VERY busy. There's been travel (Origins, Gencon, Bull Run, Greece, Turkey, Con on the Cob, Akron, Cleveland, San Francisco and more!) There's been bad things (like my grandfather dying in August). There's been good things (like my finally finding a boyfriend, almost 12 weeks now...). And there's been all kinds of other stuff in between, but mostly it's just been BUSY. And now here it is, New Years, and it's so busy that I didn't even review my 2011 goals until just now, and I still have only the foggiest idea of what my goals for 2012 will even be. But here goes...

1. 20 hours a week for work.
Seeing this set as a goal now actually makes me laugh. I've averaged over 29 hours a week for the entire year in 2011. Which is why I haven't really had time for anything else, since what that REALLY means is that I work a fuck-ton whenever I'm not traveling.

2. At least $25 a month to charity.
I'm pretty sure I've more or less done this, though my paper trail isn't as good as I thought it was.
February: $6.25 to Kiva
March: $100 direct to Red Cross; $75 in Credit Card points also to Red Cross, for Japan relief
April: another approx. $100 to Red Cross (raised through a fundraiser I set up)
April: $15 to Heifer International
April: $5 to Kiva
May: $45 to Red Cross
June $100 to the Met
July: $20 to National Parks Service
August: $50 to Visiting Nurse Service of New York
October: $20 to Stand Up to Cancer
December: $30 to the Bowery Mission
December: $5 to Wikimedia
I know I also joined the Bronx Zoo and the NYBG, both are about $100, so they must be on a credit card or something (and I'm not anal enough to track them down just now...)...I also donated baby hats to a hospital, two boxes of handmade dolls to two different institutions, and blanket squares to yet another charity.
All in all, when you look at it, even if I might not have literally met the $25 per month, I feel that I met this goal - and I intend to keep doing so.

3. My first craft show. Nuff said. And while I'm at it, just sustain my crafting efforts.

Sigh. This and the next goal are the ones that make me sad. I tried. I really did. And I'm definitely still crafting, but I'm not there yet, not even close. I'm gonna keep pushing this coming year, though.

4. I WILL be starting the Civil War novel tomorrow, 750 words a day.

I did start the Civil War novel. I got about 45k words in, and then stalled. When I took some time off, I realized that I needed to rethink how I was writing it. So I stopped, and started over, and got maybe 10k words, and then stalled. I started a newer WIP in October, and have about 9k words of it - it's a Civil War Urban Paranormal whosy-whatsits mashup, which is fun to write. But over all I feel like a dismal failure on this and the crafting goal.

5. Practice the drums.

This went well until the summer, then fell off a cliff. Going in to the fall, I was definitely at the point where something was going to have to give if I added anything to my life. Then I met John, and that something else was added, and now I'm going on hiatus - I've decided not to keep taking lessons in the spring. I really think it's for the best. I've learned enough to play when I feel like playing, and that's a good enough thing for now.

6. Make some life decisions.

I've more or less done this. I made some efforts on OkCupid in the winter, but found I didn't really have the time, so I decided not to worry about the boy. I pondered job options, and am now heavily leaning towards going back to school to earn a PhD in history, with the thought of then going in to academia, writing, or teaching. And I've been going out with a fella for almost three months, and while there are NO decisions there yet, it's certainly a life thing - but failing that, if I'm still single, I AM gonna have a kid sometime in 2013, I'd say.

7. Keep better in touch with people.

Mixed bag. I've been in better touch with moonartemis this year, but not buzzermccain at all, and I totally failed at calling my grandfather more often - the more sad because he then passed away with me feelin' all guilty. Still, all in all, I have been better about returning phone calls and the like, and just callin' folks just because.

8. More time for the Jonie-dog.

Mixed success. Most weeks I get her out to the dog park at least once, and I've been taking her on 20 min walks more or less daily, so she's been doin' pretty well.

9. Occasionally read in Japanese.

In the spring, I bought Rosetta Stone, studied a bunch, then stopped, and now there's nothin' to show since then. I really want to work on this, though.

10. Get in to either a local board game group or table top RPG.

I got some board gaming in, with a friend I made in my building. However, in the past 6 months I've done terribly keeping this relationship up. I've already got plans to see her next week, though, and I'm gonna try to make it better.


HAHAHAHAHA still epic fail on this one, two years running now. Maybe it's just not in my make up.

In no particular order...

1. Retrench financially. I want to save money, instead of spend it all. This means keeping a budget more carefully, considering what I purchase and why, and cutting out some of the bigger, more expensive extras.

2. Write more. Fer reals.

3. Craft business. Want to do more on this again. Don't want it to slip through the cracks. But I also don't want to reduce the other current aspects of my online persona. I've really decided that work, crafts and writing are my three non-negotiables - as I look at my life now and try to get my stress/personal issues under control, they are what I want to keep.

4. Maybe kinda sorta be easier on myself, like I mean it. Really thinking about strategies for this.

5. Charity. $25, once a month, keep it up.

6. Drums, Japanese. When I get the chance, with as little pressure as I can manage.

7. Jonie. Keep on giving her time.

8. Work. Relax, and stop caring so much. Really important.

9. Go green. By this, I mean specifically: use my new vermicomposter; reduce my food purchasing and cooking; use greener cooking methods; reduce the waste - especially plastic waste - that I produce; and concentrate on buying fresh, local, in-season produce and meat and such.

That's it. I'm actually having a really awful few days (I started this post four days ago, and am adding this sentence today) that has invalidated most of the happy I had at the beginning of the post, but I'm not gonna edit it. Let it stand as is as a tribute to some of the happiest I've been, no matter how low I feel right now. Those are my goals for today. (edited to add: okay, I did go back and add a little more detail)

Date: 2012-01-05 05:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Honey, I'm sorry you are some awful days. *big hug* I hope things start to make you smile soon.

Date: 2012-01-05 05:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks, hun. :) *hug* I'm hoping they will. I had some good money news today that at least gives me something good to think about when I get too down. Sigh.

Date: 2012-01-07 04:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I had been thinking of you recently as I remembered how you went to library school and found out it wasn't exactly for you. It was quite striking to read your goals and see you talking about a PhD in history. That's funny 'cause I've also now been thinking that this library degree wasn't right for me and just in the past week I've really started thinking that I should go for a PhD. (My problem is that I don't have the bachelor's or master's in what I want to study, which would be international relations. But I know a LOT about it from independent reading.... But I digress.) And then I also was thinking that I wish I knew more history. Lately I have been kind of obsessed with reading history. Civil War stuff is on my list (also made me think of you!) but right now I'm obsessed with the Russian Revolution. It occurs to me that I might be somewhat peculiar, but...well, it's interesting!

So anyway. I would love to hear more about your thoughts on possibly pursuing a PhD and all that life choice stuff that surrounds it (especially with your thoughts of having a kid whether there's a boy or not in 2013; I also came to a conclusion about families this year, which is more that I'm just probably not meant to have one, because what makes me REALLY REALLY HAPPY is when I'm thinking about world affairs, so I should just go for that, and not worry about the rest...but yeah, so many things to consider in life!) So if you feel like sharing on LJ I'll certainly read that, or if you ever want to chat, drop me a line!

As for being down, I hope something happens to pick your spirits back up again. It really does sound like we are in rather similar places. I've just been terribly down lately, something close to feeling broken (2011 was a string of really epic disappointments for me) but just yesterday I had something happen that really picked me up. I'm going to write an LJ post about it today probably; the short version is I got to go to dinner at a diplomat's (i.e. my boss) and talk about the Soviet Union and Israel/Palestine (also a current obsession) and get told by older people that almost-30 is still ridiculously young and of COURSE I have time to get a PhD.

So I'm wishing for you to get a deus ex machina-type pick-me-up like that somewhere too!
Edited Date: 2012-01-07 04:15 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-01-09 02:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks! It's fascinating to read your comment, cause it reminds me of all the stuff I wrote in this post that reflected hopes and dreams I had a week and a half ago that have literally completely changed. Like, I kinda can't believe it. But perhaps what I've got now instead will answer your question better, I don't know.

My shattering, broken event is that the guy I mentioned who I was dating broke up with me. I was and am quite in love with him, and he cares about me, too, but I got so wrapped up in looking ahead that I totally neglected looking at now.

My first truly broken heart has really had me looking long and hard at the state that my life is in. I just turned 29, and I'm miserable, but I've realized I've been miserable for a long time, that I was happy with John and it was a hugely sharp contrast to wht was before, and what has come after.

I've basically realized that I'm very empty inside. Like, hollow - I have very little confidence, a terrible self-image, and I consistently can't believe that I'm anywhere near being good or useful. I've realized, by keeping a diary in the past week, that I've routinely gotten in to the habit of calling myself an idiot in my own head, whenever I make a silly mistake or whatever. It's ridiculous, and I wonder how it got this bad without my noticing.

I also realized that the main way I botched up the relationship was that I tried to make him be the answer to all of my happiness - put another way, I tried to use him to fill that emptiness, when what I really need to do is figure out how to fill it myself, how to have confidence in myself and believe in myself. Building from that realization, came the discovery that really, I've been trying to do the same thing with all kinds of things over the years. I tried to stuff that emptiness with my supposed desire for a child, I tried to stuff it with food (which only made me feel worse of course), and I tried to stuff it with my thoughts for a future career.

In short...everything has turned completely upside down since I wrote this post. Enough of it held true that I decided to post it anyway, and also because it was mostly already written, and I couldn't bear to re-read it in those first few days but I wanted to get it up without too much delay post New Years. Right now, I'm concentrating on Self-Validation and building my confidence, and I'm focusing on simple - or possible even not simple, like leaving my job - ways that I can change my life and bring it in to line with something that I'll find satisfying and will make me happy. And I don't yet even know what that will look like. I may have to try a few things to figure it out. And that's okay, too.

You're definitely not too old to go back to school if you want to, and don't let the background thing worry you. I was thinking about going for geology, which I have no degrees in but some background, and when I looked in to it it was clear that a program that appreciated ME would be prepared to help me meet the pre-requisites.

Hope this helps at all. I'm having a down day (there have been better and worse in the past week, but I'm definitely starting sad) so I hope it's mostly coherent and too much of a downer.

I'm sorry you had such a rough 2011. I've hardly used LJ the whole year. :(

Date: 2012-01-09 04:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Good luck on your goals! I have only 2 goals this year. Lose weight, and pass the CPA exam. Wow, you want to have a kid by 2013? You're going to end up having a kid before me and I'm an old bag :-P

Date: 2012-01-09 02:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Those sound like awesome goals.

My views on the baby thing have actually completely changed in the past week. John broke up with me last Tuesday, mostly because of the baby thing (I was putting too much pressure on him across the board, really) and its caused a lot of hard self-examination. I can say with confidence that until I figure out a lot of stuff and have developed some actual, honest-to-god self-esteem and confidence, there is no child in my future.

Date: 2012-01-09 05:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm sorry to hear about you and John... As for having a baby, yeah, it's probably better to wait until you feel you're truly ready. That's why I'm waiting even though my gynecologist warned me that it'll be more difficult for me to get pregnant naturally the longer I wait.

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