Like the 2017 Mid-Year Review, shows aftermath of the hurricane, trees stripped and broken, buildings flattened.
Mauritius after the Hurricane; the Illustrated Australian News; June 1, 1892. Engraving by J. Macfarlane from a photo by A. Cantin via State Library Victoria

It’s taken me several attempts to get anywhere with the 2017 Mid-Year Review. I’ve put it off and made some false starts because I knew it would be difficult. I doubt that I have met any of my 2017 goals, and one way or another the entire first half of the year has been concerned with my mother’s ill health, trying to get information about her prognosis, her death and the casual, thoughtless brutality of the aftermath.

Like;

  • Previously courteous and helpful people stopped returning my calls and cut me dead. So to speak.
  • The funeral home threatening to cancel the funeral four hours before it was due to commence if I didn’t immediately pay the bill.
  • Trying to get my credit card limit increased to pay for the funeral.
  • When the nursing home said they packed Mum’s things, what they really meant was that they literally threw everything into boxes and left it in an unsecured area so that when the Public Trustees went to sort it out, all that was left was rubbish.

Not that Mum didn’t deserve my attention, but not like this.

It turns out that my 2017 has been more of the troublesome and turbulent kind than the new beginnings kind, though I suppose you can’t have a new beginning without an end of some sort. And a lot of them are dirty and messy and hurtful.

So as far as I am concerned, clarity can go f*ck itself – I’d rather have the blurred edges. Even if it’s my bitter tears blurring the edges.

But the review has to be done, and thanks to Kristine Kathryn Rusch, for making it easier with One Phone Call From Our Knees. As she says

We’ll all spend some time on that floor wondering how the hell we got there.

The key is not that we’ve fallen, not even how long we remain on our knees with our hands hiding our faces, but how many times we’re willing to get up. Once we get up again, then we go forward in the new reality, forging a new path.

And so I’ll try to finish the 2017 Mid-Year Review for real this time.

2017 Mid-Year Review

Beauty

I decided that for 2017, Beauty would still consist of Body, Presence, Home and Garden. Partly because I thought they were important, and partly because I knew many of you were encouraged to know that someone else shared your struggles.

Body

  1. Bloody-well get down to ≥ 59 kg (130 lbs). Maybe not by my next clinic appointment (6 February), but definitely by the May one (Discipline).
  2. Book all the appropriate 2017 dental, medical and mental appointments so they take place on schedule.
  3. Join a local yoga class and pay for the term up front (Discipline).

Didn’t lose weight (in fact put it on!!!), did book appointments, and obscenely enough, couldn’t get into a local yoga class.

Rating: 🙁

I’ve been thinking that I need a stronger motivating reason to take better care of my body. I mentioned the anaemia in February, but I didn’t mention that it reduces the sensitivity of both your skin and your thinking. Your haemoglobin levels have to be very low before you get a treatment that doesn’t get anywhere near replacing your normal body processes.

So I’ve done some research, and taken some advice and it seems that the dreaded exercise may be the most important trigger for haemoglobin production. As an aside, it turns out that when you are stressed, your body interprets that as famine and makes you eat more and store more energy (fat). Which makes sense given the last few months.

Anyway, it’s time for a HARD goal, and while it still needs a bit of finessing it’s “I enjoy exercising my lean, healthy 59 kg body several times a week.” Snort! as Katy says.

Presence

  1. Pick a hair style and commit to growing it in (Discipline).
  2. Book hair appointments for 2017 (schedule).
  3. Plan 2017 Winter and Summer wardrobes.

No, no, and maybe.

Rating: 🙁

I feel like I need a similar visionary approach, so “I have thick glossy hair that compliments my beautiful clothes.” There! I can almost feel it growing.

Home

  1. Develop a plan for decorating and upgrading through 2017.
  2. Execute the plan.
  3. Complete all tasks required by the plan (Discipline).

And no – no tangible progress.

Rating 🙁

How about “I live in a comfortable home that soothes my soul.” Hope it ends up soothing DB’s too…

Garden

  1. Develop a native plant landscaping plan for privacy 2017.
  2. Execute the plan.
  3. Complete all tasks required by the plan (Discipline).

We don’t have a plan as such.

Rating 😐

My 2016 garden goal was a “lush and abundant garden providing habitats, weather protection and a mystical threshold.” By the end of the year, I was happy with what we had achieved. We have caught sight of “our” fox several times, and while we should be more upset about having an introduced species near the National Park, we are both charmed by and excited to see it.

Perhaps we need to return to the 2016 goal.

As well as maintaining existing relationships, I wanted to cultivate a peer group of writers, local people to hang out with, and people to remind me that I was once and can be a professional again.

Friends

  1. Book 2017 lunches, coffees and dinners with local friends.
  2. Join Writers Victoria and attend meetings at least monthly (Discipline).
  3. Join a local chapter of Toastmasters and attend at least monthly (Discipline).

Friends has been a mixed bag – while I have tried to catch up with people I know, they haven’t always been able to make time for me. I have joined Writers Victoria, but haven’t gone to any events. Nor have I been to any Toastmasters meetings. Mainly because I baulk at the last hurdle and chicken out.

Rating 😐

These are all still important, but given I need a push out the door, “I love meeting new people, and as I am friendly and outgoing, I make friends easily.”

Creatures

  1. Book 2017 vet appointments for the dogs.
  2. Develop habitats for native creatures (shared with and reported through Garden.1).

Yeah, well, but…

Rating: 😐

Oddly enough, my 2016 goals are almost the same as these, and at the end of the year, I was “happy” with them. Maybe it’s tainted by everything else that’s happened this year or the melancholy knowledge that they are nearing the end of their lifespan – according to averages we only have a couple of years left with the pretty puppies. It seems more necessary to make the time matter.

And not that the possums, birds and other natives are “mine,” but “my creatures are happy and healthy and find my garden a haven.”

Contribution

  1. Develop a sharing program.
  2. Where possible purchase from small or local suppliers.

I have a sharing program and do prefer small or local suppliers. But having said that, what with everything else, contribution hasn’t been a priority for me and I need to get back on track.

Rating: 😐

I’m going back to 2016’s intention to give something back to the community and the planet, so “I share my knowledge, time, and money with those who need it.”

Pleasure

I was looking for the feeling of satisfaction, happiness and fun. My business related activities brought me this in 2016, but for 2017 I wanted it to be personal.

Adventure

  1. Plan and do one new thing each month.
  2. Plan an overseas vacation for 2018.

Yes, well. Best intentions and all that.

Rating: 😐

In some ways, the problem with adventure is that it feels like it has to be big when in reality it could be as simple as catching a bus to see where it goes or trying a new kind of food. And I think that they aren’t the kind of things that you can really plan – you just take a chance and turn a different corner. At least, that’s how the best adventure stories start. Thus we come to “I am brave and adventurous not afraid to try new things.”

Recharge

  1. Turn the computer off by 9 pm.
  2. Read a book each week (Discipline).

I do for the most part get the computer turned off by 9 pm. And when I don’t, I’m usually not working. I’ve fallen behind on the book reading, but I have been reading a lot of blogs and essays.

Rating: 🙂

But there remains the nagging feeling, that as I am not bringing a heap of money home, that I do not “deserve” to have down time. “I work hard and have the right to rest and recharge.”

Wisdom

Wisdom remained about becoming a more complex person by developing my mental capacities.

Growth

  1. Read a book each week (shared with and reported through Recharge.2).
  2. Visit a historically or culturally significant venue or event each month.

Similar to Recharge, I didn’t exactly reach my goals, but there was a lot going on, so I forgive myself for that. And there was still reading stuff.

Rating: 🙂

Seeing as I’ve made affirmation style goals for the others, “I learn and grow every day.”

Wealth

Wealth was about feeling prosperous and making the best use of my time, physical and mental strength – not just the money. Though these days there’s always the money.

Business and Development

With my first year in business, I still don’t know what this needs to cover, so my initial focus was professional development.

  1. Select and attend a business-related conference or event – real not virtual.
  2. Select and attend a marketing course (real or virtual).
  3. Consider buying advertising to market my products and services.

And I haven’t done any of that. It’s just another one of those things that have fallen by the wayside this year. I did find a virtual marketing course I wanted to attend, but missed the signup deadline. I’m not exactly sure whether to find something else this year or to signup immediately it opens next year.

Rating: 😐

I still think these are important goals, so I am going to leave as is and make it a priority to find something to attend.

Income

I’m still bothered by a lack of control of my income target, but there still needs to be something to motivate me to do stuff.

  1. Earn $1,000 a month.
  2. Re-develop CV and re-register with employment agencies.

Not making $1,000 a month, but as it turns out, my freelance editing business has picked up, and with higher rates, my payments are more appropriate for my skills and experience. I’m not plugging it at the moment because I want to get Holistic Personal Finance out as soon as possible. But after that, I will think more seriously about what to do about the freelancing.

I haven’t done anything about my CV or re-registering with agencies because I haven’t felt the need and because I don’t know how to describe myself in that context anymore.

Rating: 🙂

I’ll leave the goal the same, but reframe it as a positive affirmation “I am a successful author making at least $1,000 per month.”

Overall

I have been all over the place emotionally since I started writing this post at the beginning of the month. It’s only now that I am becoming aware of how difficult the first half of this year has been. Sometimes, being the strong one is not all that is cracked up to be.

Ready or not, life moves on. I’m becoming more comfortable with my mother’s remains sitting in my bookshelf (with the gardening books), and hoping that when the weather improves I can release her according to her wishes.

I am starting to feel more positive about the rest of the year, though I feel there may be more turbulence to come before it’s over. I think I need an adventure somewhere warm and exotic to help me prepare for what is to come.

I hope your 2017 mid-year review was less tempestuous than mine! Let me know in the comments below.


You can find more progress reports at the Project Worthwhile Life page.


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