What was that I said last January?

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I really love January. It’s a time for refreshment in every way. Our campus closes over Christmas and the New Year, so it’s a good time to simply stay away (although people who are keen/desperate to keep working can still get in if they really need to).

After a very enjoyable couple of weeks hosting family members at our place and a couple of local B&Bs, and a week interstate preparing and participating in a Planning Day for the Committee of Management of which I’m now president, this week marks my first ‘normal’ week for 2015. And I’m loving it.

I’m acutely aware that I’ve only updated this blog twice in the past year, and one of those posts was 51-and-a-half weeks go so it only barely counts. A quick review of that post reveals that I am all good intentions and very little substance. Tsk. I’m quite disgusted with myself. January is dangerous, I said. I always overcommit, I said. I have a brain and self-awareness and I’m going to use them, I said. Did I? It appears not.

But, you now, today being the first day of the rest of our lives, etc, etc, here I am again. And this time things are going to be different.

So I say. But, as the wise and often-quoted Anonymous has said (more or less), you can’t keep doing the same things and expecting a different outcome. In other words, if I post the same reflection that I did on 20 January 2014, which I don’t know how to link to yet (note to self: add this to ‘Goals’), and don’t do anything differently, all the self-awareness in the world will only result in me being cast once again in the parallel roles of ‘lead character’ and ‘onlooker’.

The good news is that a couple of very significant things have, in fact, changed, and this is directly linked to the very reflection I posted nearly a year ago. Sometimes change happens slowly. The forward movement may be virtually imperceptible, but it’s happening. My forward movement didn’t become very noticeable until November and then a few things happened all in a rush. To cut a longish story short, I’ve resigned from my part-time paid work, and am now studying full-time and planning to do a little undergraduate tutoring to contribute to the family coffers (I really hate to be dependent). This means…yay!…I qualify for my own workspace on campus. I ‘took possession’ yesterday and I cannot begin to express the joy of having a wall where I can put up an annual planner and a whiteboard (they have to share the same bit of leaning-space, but no matter), a shelf that fits all my folders and books, and three drawers of filing cabinet space (two lockable). And the room is locked, and I have a key, and the people who share the room are very quiet workers. I’m so happyyyyyyyy!!!!!!

And the most important bit of all this is not what I can see, but what I can do. I can focus. I can work. I can lock stuff up and come back to it in the morning, and not carry it with me (physically or metaphorically).

But my January challenge remains. Can I avoid the segue from January’s energy to mid-February’s overcommitment? Well, I’ve already consciously NOT followed up three things I’d like to get involved in this year: a role on another committee, a voluntary role in a program that provides ‘gig-buddies’ to people with disabilities so they can go to mainstream events, and a voluntary role with the Sydney Heritage Fleet. The latter is a bit self-serving; as much as I want to contribute, I want to learn from people who know about this stuff so I can work on my own wooden boat. All of these things can be picked up later if it seems I have time after all.

Watch this space. If I stay on track, there will be another post in February. And one in March. And so on. Now I’m off to tick ‘blog post’ off my January to-do list. I’m so happyhappyhappyhappy.

About postgradpanda

I'm a full-time PhD student, researching the perspectives of parents who are caring for a child with high-level physical care needs, on their relationships with diverse service systems and on their identity within or outside those systems. In December 2014 I left my social work position with a genetic support group but remain associated with the group as President of the Committee of Management. In other hours I write poetry and short stories, go sailing, and am learning to play my double bass.

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