My Plans for 2011 – How did I do?
Way back on 30th December 2010, I wrote a post on this blog about my plans for 2011. Not resolutions, but things I wanted to achieve. So how did I measure up against my goals?
My first plan was to do the Great North Run. When I wrote that post I hadn’t signed up, I hadn’t started training, I just knew that I wanted to do it. It got to around April and I realised that if I wanted to do it, I had to get on with things… I registered for a place with Bowel Cancer UK and in September I completed the race in 2 hours 30 minutes. I have to admit that I’ve hardly been running at all since then, but when running is good, it’s totally awesome. I didn’t expect to love it, but I do – being out in the fresh air, running up a hill in the forest – this is living. I feel that I’ve discovered a sport that can offer me endless challenges and inspiration, as long as I put the work in.
My second plan was to take lots of brilliant photographs. I’d intended to learn how to use the DSLR; I bought a book, but didn’t read it. Instead, I took lots and lots of photos on my iPhone. Plenty of them aren’t brilliant, but a few of them are, at least to me. I love the idea of capturing and editing an amazing image using only your phone, so that’s where I focussed my attention last year.
I said that I would have a job by now. Things haven’t turned out the way I expected at all. I’ve had a few interviews this year and every time I’ve narrowly lost out to a better candidate. Then Chris lost his job offer and things really came to a head – I upped my search and now I have a job in a bar. It’s just under new ownership and they have lots of exciting plans to turn it into a quality food venue, so although bar work isn’t my long-term career plan, it’s somewhere I’m really happy to be working for now.
I also threw my energies into starting my own Phoenix Trading business. I’d never have guessed a year ago that I’d have taken the plunge, but as I saw my friend doing so well with her Phoenix business, the idea took root and I’m so glad it did. I worked hard over the Christmas period doing lots of local events, making sales but more importantly, building up my customer base to give me a good start to the new year. In a lot of ways I find Phoenix more satisfying than my old jobs, as I know that every little success I have is down to me making the decision to get out there and make the effort to push the business forward.
I’ve a couple of job interviews lined up in the next couple of weeks so it could be all change again, but whatever happens I’m certain I’ll be sticking with Phoenix too.
I wanted us to have a family holiday. We ended up having two: three nights on the Northumberland coast in February and two nights in Leeds around August (where we spent a lovely day with Penny and Gemma and families at Yorkshire Sculpture Park). We all enjoyed ourselves and it was great to get away, but we didn’t manage the full week that I’d hoped for – one of the downsides of Chris’s old job was that he never felt able to take more than a couple of days off at a time. However our current situation resolves itself, hopefully the result will include a job where it’s possible to book a week’s annual leave and stick to it!
My last plan for 2011 was to learn more about being in the world. I’m not sure about that one – I didn’t touch any Heidegger. I didn’t spend any time doing ‘proper philosophy’. But I spent a lot of time with my family, learned a lot about what our priorities are, and took plenty of time to smell the flowers. I like to think I had an authentic year, pursuing truth and trying hard to value myself.
And, of course, the blog. This time last year I was deeply in love with my blog. Recently, not so much. My time and my head have been full of so many other things. But, as I said when I started my NaBloPoMo attempt, I’ve poured a lot of time and energy into this blog and I don’t want to see it go to waste. I have ideas for posts all the time. I’ve got so much out of blogging too. I’m still discovering new blogs and new ways of doing things. I’m not sure what 2012 will bring but I’m here, writing, right now.