Because I’m now my own boss, I have to monitor my own progress. This can be a disaster. Sometimes I think I’m doing much better than I actually am, while other times I think I have failed miserably at life. So, in trying to determine whether 2016 was a success or a flop, I did what any smart self-employed* person would do: I made a list of my original goals and did a realistic assessment of how I performed and where I need to improve. Here goes:
(1) Get into shape
Ah yes, this old chestnut. I joined Aura Leisure Centre in Tullamore in November 2015 and for a while went twice a week, once a week, once a month… I’m doing my physio twice a week/when I remember but I recently purchased a treadmill which I use at least four times a week. Or I was, until I came down with this horrible virus thing that is doing its best to wipe out the Irish population. I admit the last time I used it was two weeks ago. DON’T LOOK AT ME!
Verdict: Fail, I know, fail. But I’m trying. God loves a trier, right?
(2) Write a novel
I saw how award winning novelist Louise O’Neill wrote two novels in as many years and thought hey, we were in the same class once upon a time, so logically that should mean… Nothing. It means nothing. I will not be publishing two novels in two years, or possibly ever, for that matter. This novel is my baby, so much so that I hate telling people about it for fear that they’ll say it’s unpublishable. I also have to write the middle of it which I’ve been procrastinating by writing shitty little blogs like these.
Verdict: Well, I’ve worked on the same project for eighteen months, and I haven’t deleted it – that counts for something, right?
(3) Give up chocolate
Yeah, this hasn’t happened. I will be the embodiment of Death by Chocolate. I have zero self-control. In order to be successful at this in 2017, I must somehow get rid of the four remaining boxes of chocolates lying around the house first. Once these are gone, I’ll have a fighting chance. It’s only logical.
(4) Update this blog regularly:
Firstly, I ask you to discount the first six months of the year. I was blogging elsewhere, on a far less accessible website (all hail WordPress). July and September were not great, admittedly, but considering I’ve been working on a novel as well, I don’t think it’s been too shabby… right?
Verdict: Pass (Yay! Go me)
(5) Find a new job:
(Job as in paying job) No I haven’t done this yet. Bad Sarah. But I have done a job interview skills course and a CV preparation course so, you know… Hopefully in another twelve months… (Of course part of the problem is that I should be trying harder. I know, I know, my husband is so lucky to have me)
(6) Do a Creative Writing Course:
Yes, I did this, and got a Distinction Diploma in Creative Writing. That’s something I suppose….
(7) Start driving:
No this hasn’t happened yet, but I’ve passed my theory test, so it’s probably advisable to stay off the road in 2017.
(8) Learn how to cook a meal for the freezer that doesn’t involve mince:
Yup, I’ve done this. Beef stew! (With beef pieces, not mince). And……… shepherd’s pie (oops, that involves mince). I know, my culinary skills are just fantastic.
(9) Cut down on social media:
Aw, but then how would I share my literary genius with you all? I did close my Facebook account for like half an hour. In my defence I permanently deleted my page a few weeks ago, (or so they claimed) but when I signed back in I was back online, no questions asked. I think it’s time to admit that social media owns us.
(10)Be the best goddamn armchair activist I can be:
I’ve passed this with flying colours I think. When I was researching the progress of the disability movement in 2016, I had to look no further than my own Facebook page. It looks like my old job (which included raising awareness of disability issues on social media) is going to take longer to leave me than previously thought. The difference between sharing stuff on my own page and work’s page is that I don’t hold back in giving my tuppence on what I read. I suspect people are bored of me but I don’t care. I’m committed to the perusal of equality for people with disabilities. No more, no less. We’ve also made progress in ensuring that the recommendations as outlined in our Access Review (that is, the Laois/Offaly Leader Forum’s Access Review) has been implemented. I’ve also committed to helping the National Independent Living Movement in any way I can.
Overall verdict: Not a bad auld year. Must try harder** in 2017. Happy new year!
*desperate, approval-seeking writer
**way, way harder