August 9, 2018

Sabbatical goals 11-15

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rhiannon Lassiter @ 11:38 am

Bath

Bath


The sabbatical is over. It ended at the end of July and I will explain in another post how that worked out. (TLDR: Mixed emotions but ultimately a good ending.) Meanwhile I have more goals to log.

11. Make clothes
12. Attend book world events
13. See more friends
14. Visit places I haven’t been
15. Reduce household expenses

This was a very mixed bag. I made progress towards all of these but some more than others.

11. Make clothes
The short answer is, I didn’t. I had been getting so much into sewing I thought this was going to be my next big thing but actually scaling up from dolls clothes to people clothes turned out to be more of a challenge than I’d anticipated. I’ve added knitting as a separate list item so I can’t really count socks.

I did sew things. But I stalled with this, maybe because I was having so much fun doing other things and almost certainly because the idea of making carefully crafted clothes while actively losing weight started to feel a bit futile. By the time I’d made an item it would have been rendered obsolete.

So this one is still on the back burner. However, I’m not going to feel guilty about not achieving every single goal on my list, especially the arts and craft ones. I learned a long time ago that it’s not possibly to achieve great results in every craft hobby I have. And so I tell myself I am fortunate that I have a lot of interests that I can pick up and put down again without requiring them all to be currently active.

12. Attend book world events
I did this. It’s difficult for me. For various reasons I haven’t had a book professionally published since 2008 which means that’s ten years I haven’t really been a person who earns an income from writing and that’s a difficult thing for a professional author to admit to. You start to question if you can even call yourself a writer. And book world events are hard because people inevitably ask about what you’re working on or have had published. They sometimes ask “have I heard of you?”. Argh, don’t do this, people, it’s horrendous. And book world events are usually focused around celebrating someone else’s success which is a damn sight easier to do when you are happy with your own position.

The result is that I did it. I went to things and talked to people and celebrated other people’s success and was genuinely happy for them. I am a better person for it. But I am still a work in progress here. I don’t think I’ll really be comfortable hanging out in the literary world unless I have a book of my own to talk about. Since I’ve now written almost two bloody good books here’s hoping my lovely new agent will place them. If not, well, that’s another post.

13. See more friends

In my first post I mentioned making new friends. But I’ve also been spending more time with the ones I already had. I got so busy with work that I didn’t make enough time for this. I have been on walks, to clothes swaps, to literary events, to lunch, to the park and playground, to the pool and the spa. I went to an engagement party, a 50th birthday party, on a writers retreat and to a Welsh castle. I hosted a gathering myself.

All was in the company of some very fine friends. Some I haven’t seen but I’ve spoken to or emailed. Others have been frequent fixtures. I appreciate everyone who has been with me on my journey and the fun times we’ve had. My life now feels full of friends.

14. Visit places I haven’t been

Yes! I did this. I went to Abingdon, Hampshire, Bath, Prasonisi beach in Rhodes, Poole, Abergavenny, and Stoke-on-Trent. I feel as though I may have been to some other places and forgotten them. This is not anything like as impressive as the list of far flung locations where my little sis spends her time but for me it represents expanded horizons and a willingness to leave the house.

15. Reduce household expenses

I have not made great progress on this. There’s a state of inertia that sets in when endeavouring to wrangle the companies that provide utilities. I have reduced my mobile phone bill and reduced groceries cost and wastage. I have also reduced some direct debits. Overall this is not a win. And it’s one I need to get a handle on. If you’ve successfully done this, how did you approach it?

Right, that’s enough reflection for now. Zumba calls me and I must follow the beat. Until another blog, gentle readers.

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