Friday, January 1, 2016

Goal posts for 2016

... in which our plucky heroine takes an annual look at the distance a year makes...

Last year at this time I wrote: With the changes I worked on this year [2014], the initial small steps were obvious, and could be done in a kaizen fashion. More thought is needed. Action is needed. ... Still cogitating on how best to quantify moving-forward-change in 2015... 
I continue forward at what often feels like a snails pace, reminding self that "incremental progress is still progress" and remembering that four years ago I was waiting for the surgery that would give me a chance to continue being alive...

As far as the eightfold spokes of my life, some progress was made in a few parts, and none at all in others. Last year I wrote: "last year [2014] saw only one of the eight spokes feeling solid, this year there are three in improved condition".

#1 career - I did almost no teaching in 2015. I did complete a major project, the Dragon'sMist coronets. Overall, my economic life took a turn for the worse, as my knee injury took months to recover from, and now precludes my ever returning to housecleaning for pay. In 2016 I will seek more teaching opportunities, and will refurbish my neglected website. In addition, I will remain open-minded about economic opportunities.

#2 health - in 2015 I injured my knee badly in June, which took a long time to recover from. I had useful physical therapy, and acupuncture treatments, and started using the local pool to help in my recovery. I found the water exercise to be surprisingly enjoyable, as well as effective in strengthening and regaining mobility. I lost my pedometer, and recently bought a new one. In 2016 I will eat more vegetables, drink water instead of always milk, continue tracking walking, and continue water exercise.

#3 personal development/education - in 2015 I did make a duct tape body double, which while not suited for a dress form, made apparent how my body is irregular in contour. I made two new pieces of art that were included in an art show at the Azure Fine Arts Gallery in Corvallis in April In 2016 I will complete at least one 6PAC and SWAP 2016, including trying new techniques, and developing a bodice/blouse sloper, and seek out assistance with bodice fitting if needed. I will complete at least one of the online classes I have signed up for. I will explore some way to learn something new in metalwork/enamel. In addition I will prepare at least three or four new artworks for a future show.

#4 family/friends - in 2015, as in 2014, and pretty much always this is the part of my life where I could say: keep on with doing well... In 2016 I will do my best to continue being a good friend and family member.

#5 household/environment - in 2015 the "discard things" column of my SMART goals challenge reached 74 items, and I began working with an online decluttering coach. I also did significant work with the help of Blue Cedar House on various house improvements including installing laminate flooring instead of carpet in both bedrooms. The two new chickens acquired this year provide eggs and amusement and fertilizer. In 2016 I will continue the process and the coaching, and begin to organise my supplies, tools and materials, as well as household goods. My goal is to reach the end of decluttering this year, and transition to maintenance and organisation.

#6 romance/personal relationships In 2015 I still wanted a local companion, still had no clue what small steps to take, where to begin, and felt more hopeless than ever... In 2016 I have no idea what I can do to make any changes in this. 
#7 finances - In 2015 my income dropped as my knee injury made movement difficult and painful. I had to stop cleaning house for a living, which had sustained me economically for more than thirty years. In 2016 I will do the math to figure out what a liveable income would be, which will help me set new goals.

#8 fun/recreation - in 2015 I attended some SCA events, hosted a few gatherings here at Acorn Cottage, saw Steeleye Span in concert, and enjoyed a two week visit from my parents this autumn. In 2016 I will continue to be active socially and also re-start Crafternoon gatherings once a month.

I would say that overall the eight spoke status report shows a slight but definitely positive trend. "Household/environment" showed the most improvement, with the help of my beloved Blue Cedar House pals. "Fun/recreation" had a few out of town trips that were truly a joy, which sort of counterbalanced the not-allowed-to-go-camping all summer. In the aspect of "family/friends" my connections remain solid, and there was even surprise visit from my beloved parents. I'm going to say that "personal development/education" actually showed a little bit of activity, definitely more than the previous year. So where 2014 saw only one of the eight spokes feeling solid, this year there are three in improved condition and one beginning to heal. About the other spokes: career, health, finances, romance/personal relationships...these are aspects of my life that I'd like to pay attention to, but have much less of a no clue as to what handles to grasp and move to change things.  I shall have to call that progress, even if not as much progress as this impatient girl would like.

The ceremonial meal for New Years Day: blackeyed peas in the crock pot with a half a ham hock, and for sides, roasted carrot "coins", Sister Gigi's golden corn pancakes (cooked up as silver dollar size rounds), and the obligate cooked greens... Mmmm tasty sympathetic magical food


  1. Encouraging progress. Have you considered work outside of the home in an office or shop? Good for finances and meeting people.

    1. The economy here is really really difficult for job-seekers, even those with lots of current experience; I have younger friends with advanced degrees that have been looking for work for over a year. I've not worked in an office or shop for nigh on thirty years, and my strength and stamina are nowhere near what they were in my youth,and my only credentials are a BA in Art, Metalwork and Aesthetics.

  2. Your list is daunting, but your progress is impressive! Good luck with continued improvement to your knee. See you in the SWAP. jenmiller

    1. I find that keeping records and quantifying what I actually do, has a wonderful ability to contradict my feeling discouraged at how slow progress feels