Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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Looking back over last year

What do you meant, this ought to have been posted yesterday? I was busy yesterday (more about that in the next post.)

This is a slightly modified version of the "post the first sentence from the first post of each month" meme. Basically I've taken the first significant sentence, ignoring the ones that are just memes or writing progress posts.

All year G has been moaning about what an awful year it's been. It certainly hasn't been all bad, but it has been stressful. To start with, it's somehow been a baker's dozen of a year because

December 06: G returned safely from China. I stayed late at work on Friday and then drove up to Manchester airport to wait for his flight.

Yes, strictly this belongs in the previous year, but it set the tone for 2007, some good things, some bad things, but all of them stressful. G was completely wowed by China, but it left him hyper for the rest of the month and therefore not the easiest person to live with.

January 07: May you all have a good 2007 with lots of nice things happening and the absolute minimum of nasty stuff to deal with.

It's not just me, lots of people on my Friends List have had difficult years, though there have been good things, like selling novels and new apartments as well as the bad things like illness, poor health and bereavement. LiveJournal does form a good antidote to the news, which is all doom and gloom and "Oh, my God! How Awful!" Ordinary lives tend to plod or prance along mixing good with bad and the sublime with the ridiculous.

Of the things planned for 2007, the China trip never materialised, though the trip to America did. It was a summer holiday though, not an SF convention. Also the grandbaby and the wedding happened on schedule, both were wonderful events, but hell on my nerves!

February 07: Words written today: 765

Writing progress was patchy. Doing another round of novel_in_90 produced quite a lot of words -- I do find other people's enthusiasm to be infectious! Though the One About the War still remains unfinished. I sent Moving a Mountain out several times to agents and publishers, but no joy. I have just about run out of places in the UK that will take unagented novels and I am more and more convinced that it's just not right for the US market. However, I haven't given up on it and I have also sorted out what was wrong with the FE college novel. That needs a bit more brainstorming, but should now work this time. :)

March 07: This week's progress on the novel has been blighted by work deadlines and post stress ennui. Last week's grandbaby drama seems to have left me curiously flat and enervated.

I always think that I should be able to just sail through stressful events and births and marriages are stressful, even if they are also joyous. However much I try to avoid it, I slip into silly old woman mode and start worrying about everything that could possibly go wrong. But I should be kinder to myself. I do work full-time in a fairly demanding job, so shouldn't really expect to be able to keep up with intensive creative projects and cope with everything else. (This is one reason why I'm dropping the fiction writing tutoring. I need to keep my weekends free for house decluttering, writing and photography.) March also saw G at his most stressed due to the Estyn inspection at his college. Personally I feel that school and college inspectors should just walk in unannounced. This would prevent the farce that is the lead up to inspections as everyone runs around like demented chickens trying to pretend that they do stuff that they don't really do, like create beautiful and detailed lesson plans for every lesson.

April 07: Point reached on journey: In Middle Earth I've passed the point where the road forks and entered an oak wood.

This was the year I started walking through Middle Earth. I still haven't reached Rivendell, but I'm still going. It has proved a fun way to encourage me to get out and walk.

May 07: Just testing out the Flickr Blog This Photo option.

2007 was the year I got serious about photography again. There was a time, back in my youth, when I fancied being a professional photographer. In my teens saved up pocket money and combined Christmas and birthday money so I could buy my first serious camera. I didn't ever become a professional and years of too little money and too little time had reduced me to a snapper of family moments and pretty views. I went digital in late 2000 and actually thought I could take a decent photo, but the OU course T189 soon disabused me of that notion. Renewed enthusiasm, new camera and new Flickr account to keep the interest going once the course was over.

June 07: If one of the signs of growing old is entering one's second childhood, then I'm well on the way.

There's a serious side to the apparently trivial choice of radio programmes. I can create enough inner doom and gloom, I don't need constant additional doses of it. Besides, I wouldn't mind if the endless news and current affairs were actual news, but mostly it's a tiny bit of news and then endless speculation about what this might possibly mean and what could possibly lead from it. What point does this endless speculation serve? Instead of this endless wallowing in speculation, we could fill up the time with actual interesting news from other countries.

July 07: In an attempt to shed a few pounds before our son's wedding, I began my new exercise regime.

I really enjoy walking when I actually get out in the fresh air to do it. I just spend too many hours fiddling around on the computer. :( Must do better this year. I have a plan to add interest to my walks, but more of that anon...

August 07: I am back home! G and I flew into Manchester early this morning and we travelled by train to my Dad's house where we'd left the car.

The trip to America was a high point in the year. I really enjoyed spending a bit more time there. Following it almost immediately with a family wedding was perhaps not the best of planning, but we'd gone to the US so G could attend another course at the university in Boulder, so timing was non-negotiable.

September 07: After failing abysmally to meet my summer goals, I will try again for this new Autumn period.

I will never get better as a writer if I don't write. Reading about writing and thinking about writing are all very well, but won't actually get anything written.

October 07: Perhaps it's a sign of getting old, but over the last 10 years or so my unconscious has taken to keeping all the worry to itself.

Sometimes I think I think too much. Less reflecting, more getting stuff done would be far more productive!

November 07: The short version of the con report is... I went, I had fun in a low key and relaxing way, I came back.

I enjoyed Novacon and there were just about enough people there that I knew to make it worth going, but with hindsight, I shouldn't have gone. It came at a bad time of year at the end of a very stressful period. For various reasons, I think 2008 will be a con-free year. Easter is not a good time for me to be away and London will be busy and expensive. I would love to go to Wiscon again, but it's unlikely to happen in 2008. I won't have the excuse of having a novel to find an editor/publisher for and I'm not supposed to take time off at the Spring Bank Holiday, even though it's the half term and the schools are off.

December 07: I seem to have been rather quiet recently. This is simply due to general busyness at work and lack of anything interesting or insightful to say.

I keep thinking of wonderful LJ posts to write -- usually when I'm in no position to do anything about it, eg driving to work. Then when I get time on the computer, the ideas no longer seem so exciting and I just fiddle around, reading other people's insightful posts instead. I think it's another facet of growing old. When I was young, I had definite opinions about everything. Ignorance of the facts never stopped me expressing an opinion. Now I just feel I don't know anything about anything and am thus unqualified to offer even a tentative thought. Oh, well we shall see if I can be more inspired this year.

And so that was my 2007. Not a bad year, not really and in many ways a good year, but I'm hoping that 2008 will be a quieter and more consolidating sort of year and the G will be more relaxed. Having said that, the college where he works is being merged with another couple of colleges to make one large FE college. However, as the distances involved between campuses are pretty big -- each one is about half an hour's drive from the next -- it will be more a paper exercise than any physical merger, and perhaps this will result in more financial stability for the college and hence less stress passed down from management to the lecturers?

Only time will tell...
Tags: end of year reflection, yearly goals

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