After the slowing down, home and family focus and general introspection that constituted my Christmas break, I did wonder if I’d ever get back up to speed for the start of the school spring term. But I did. And January is more than halfway through already. Scary.
In my final blog post for 2014 I stated that I no longer make new year resolutions. That’s not strictly true; they exist as aspirations rather than targets; they’re in my head (I feel for them, poor blighters) and they are probably what drive me, although my compulsive/all-or-nothing nature means that I fail miserably at maintaining any kind of balance in my work-free life (cue nods and much rolling of eyes from those who know me).
Josephine Corcoran’s early December blog post, Setting Yourself Goals, reminded me of a bucket list I made just after my 50th birthday:
I went as far as to purchase a Paperchase scrap book in which to map my achievements. I printed off some motivational web images, too:
Although I stuffed a few photographs and photocopies between its covers for a while, I then forgot about it – the scrap book, that is. The list lives on, though, and I have made progress towards, and, in one or two cases, achieved goals:
1) ‘Achieve job satisfaction’: I returned to teaching in 2008-2009 and became an accredited Reading Recover teacher and taught in 3 Leicester city schools. I now have a wider role (Reading Champion/reading interventions) and work three full days instead of five mornings. 2) ‘Become a published poet’: I had my first poems published in spring 2009. And there have been more. And my debut pamphlet last year. 3) ‘Win a poetry competition’: well, I was seriously chuffed to receive a Highly Commended in the Gregory O’Donoghue competition and a poem long-listed in the Desmond O’Grady competition, both in 2013. 4) ‘Create an easy-maintainance garden’: I must give credit, here, to the many hours of paid-for-by-the-hour labour involving weed-suppressing membrane, several tonnes of gravel and a serious plant cull. There’s more on the list, but I won’t bore you with the ups and downs of my yoyo dieting lifestyle(!) Interesting, too, that music doesn’t feature. And my dormant family history research? That may just have to wait until I retire…