As usual, I started the year with all sorts of grand plans and they didn’t last. This should come as no surprise to anyone, least of all me. John Lennon was right, we can plan all we like, but life is going to happen anyway. And it has. I can be very persistent, though, so I’m back to give regular blogging another go. I’m not making any promises – especially to myself – but I want to see if I can do a weekly blog post.
I’ll start the ball rolling by going over my categories for the year:
Financial – This is not a fun topic at the moment. Mark is still at the same school, but has dropped his leadership responsibilities, resulting in a $20k drop in salary. It’s only happened in the last month, so I’m still massaging the budget to accommodate it.
We borrowed the money for our big trip, so our overall debt has increased. Our mortgage, the trip loan and our credit card comes to a total of $222,291.28 (the equivalent of three years of income). Debt reduction is our obvious priority for the rest of this year, at least.
On the face of it, the simple answer to the above is for me to return to work. It doesn’t feel simple, though. First, there are some non-financial costs to having me not at home and I’m not sure I’m ready to wear those. Secondly, after eight years at home, employers are not breaking down the door to employ me for 20 hours a week. And, finally, a stubborn part of me finds it impossible to accept that a family of four can’t live on a teacher’s wage.
Health and Wellbeing – My iron deficiency has been resolved by an endometrial ablation (much less icky than it seems), which is a Very Good Thing. Apart from that, though, taking care of myself has slipped down the priority list somewhat and needs to be addressed.
Education – I’ve completed the first trimester of my course. I did 3 subjects, but have managed to fail two of them. In one case I submitted the wrong assignment (mixed up two similar subject names) and in the other I’ve submitted all assignments, but one hasn’t been marked. I’ve emailed both lecturers and we’ll see what happens. If I have to repeat the subjects, it’s not a big deal, I can just submit the same (correct) assignments again, but it will be annoying. I’m enrolled in 3 more subjects this semester, so we’ll see how they go.
Creativity – This has slipped down the list too. I’m knitting – as always – but that’s it at the moment. There are lots of ideas floating around in my head for, which I hope to get to one day.
Giving – I’m still volunteering, although I am on my “annual leave” at the moment. I still enjoy it and will pick it up again in July. My plans for helping out at the children’s school have changed a bit (I think I was a little ambitious at the start of the year), but it’s happening. I’m involved in organising the annual Spring Fair (25th October, keep the date free!) and have been helping Leila’s class learn to knit, going on weekly nature walks with both kids’ classes and hanging out with the parent craft group on Fridays.
Decluttering/Minimalism – This has been chugging along without any startling progress until this month. I sold a few more books and have a growing collection of stuff in the back of the car, waiting to go to the op shop. I did a big clean out of Leila’s room several weeks ago, throwing out a couple of bags of odds and ends. She loves her tidier room and, thus far, has maintained it. I’m thinking of doing the same sort of thing room by room through the house. I’m feeling the urge to get quite brutal with the clearing out, so it could be interesting!
So there we have the state of play. It took a while after we got back from our Big Trip and Mark and the kids went back to work and school to get back into a routine. I’m not sure if I’ve managed it yet, but life does feel a bit more settled and manageable (on most days).