I have been trying to write a New Year's post for almost a week now, and I keep abandoning it. I guess that just proves one of the points I keep trying to make in said abandoned posts, that January 1 just doesn't really feel like a new year to me - I've been on the academic schedule too long to think of anything other than the end of August/beginning of September as the beginning of the year. I'm sure I will get weaned off of this eventually, but not this past year, when I moved and started a new job in August, nor this coming year, when I will do the same in (probably) September.
I have two specific goals for the year, and neither have to do with work (although I do want to succeed in my current job and survive my new one. But those are far too ongoing and all-encompassing really to be resolutions in any way).
First, I want to KNIT A SWEATER THAT ACTUALLY FITS AND LOOKS DECENT. I keep starting sweaters and abandoning them once I realize the size is wrong, or the yarn doesn't fit the pattern, or the pattern is going to look horrible on me. I have one sweater about 1/2 done right now that looks really, really promising - I tried on the part I've managed to accomplish, and it fits! and looks like a sweater! and is comfortable! (It's also looking very very green - almost nuclearly green. But I'm ignoring that part).
The thing about knitting, for me, is that I enjoy the process, but I also really really want to possess whatever object it is I'm creating. I want to make STUFF for ME that I will use and enjoy. But I keep moving to warmer and warmer climes. I'm moving to a state that has had a streak of 39 days in a row above 100 degrees, and where the average lows in December and January are about 40 degrees Fahrenheit. There isn't a lot of point in making hats or cold-weather scarves or gloves and mittens or blankets and the like. So if we're talking stuff I would actually use, we're left with sweaters(non-wool sweaters, mostly - light cardis, short sleeves, but sweaters). Which kind of rules out quick/instant gratification knitting, and puts me in the land of long-term projects.
BUT THIS YEAR I WILL FINISH ONE DAMMIT.
My second goal is to GET A BIKE AND LEARN HOW TO USE IT PROPERLY. I'm less wound up about this one right now, since it's freezing and there's snow on the ground here right now and it gets dark by 5:30 pm. But where I live now is a cyclist's paradise, and where I'm moving to is even better, and ever since getting into spin, I have really envied all the cyclists I see on the trails by mountains where I live. So I would really love to do this at some point in the next year.
(Of course, it's probably been a solid decade since I've been on a bike that actually transports you somewhere, and I'm kinda terrified of crashing. So I think I'm going to be true to the total over-educated wimp I am and take a bike-handling class.)
So those are my goals - the fun ones, the ones I've chosen and am excited about. As I mentioned, I also want to succeed in my current job and survive the first few months of my new one (which kinda scares me, but that's good for you, right?). But those don't really feel like things I'm choosing to do - they just go with the territory. Does anyone really not want to succeed in their job? I'm sure even the people who don't care about their jobs would nonetheless prefer not to fail. (Unless you hate your job so much you want to do such a bad job that you get fired, but even that's a goal.)
This is preying on my mind a little right now because I'm behind at work and a little terrified I'm not going to get certain stuff done by the time it needs to get done. But I have to remind myself the work does always get done - I may have to stay late and run on little sleep for a while, but it gets done - when I was teaching, the semester always did, eventually, pass; here, the cases will pass, too. I guess what I really mean is that I dread the next couple of weeks. For which there's no one to blame besides myself! (Which doesn't actually make me feel any better, but is useful to remember.) (I'm behind in part because I engaged in a fairly intense job search in October and November, and I got in a very bad habit of letting that distract me. So time to focus again, which I've been doing successfully, but I still have to pay for my sins.)
It doesn't help that I spent almost two weeks at home with LDH over the holiday, and now I have to adjust to being here on my own again. It's nice here and all, but I find myself staying up till all hours of the night - even on work nights - which is my classic "LDH isn't here" thing to do, and I have to stop (I was kind of zombified for the short work week, even after sleeping tons over the holiday, because I refused to go to bed when I need to). And I've also spent too much money on clothes - I can't resist the post-holiday sales. Everything I've bought has been from 40-60% off full price, but, yeah, that excuse only goes so far. (I should add that I'm shopping online so none of this has arrived yet, and I have no intention of actually keeping everything, because most of it probably won't work on me anyway. But the amount of stuff winging its way towards me is still freaking me out a little. As if it's just magically happened without me playing a part...)
So, staying up late and spending money: two classic signs of anxiety and depression in my world. Which means it's time to get back to the gym (me and all the resolute hordes), as well as do other stuff that takes me out of my own head. I'm nearly done with training to volunteer at the humane society here, so I need to get that done so I can be scheduled for a regular shift and get some kitteh cuddle therapy. And I've signed up for a Spanish class that starts a week from Monday, which I'm excited about - both to learn the language, and to interact regularly with people I DON'T work with. (I really like everyone I work with, but apart from my hairdresser, and the guy who teaches my spin classes, they're about the only people I ever talk to.)
Here's my awful confession about Spanish, though: I am not really expecting to have to work very hard, since I've taken French, Italian, and Latin, and when I look at written Spanish I can pretty much parse the sentence structure - identify the verbs/nouns/adjectives, that kind of thing. And I can get an awful lot of the vocabulary, too.That said, I can't speak a damn thing besides English, nor can I understand word one of spoken Spanish. And this time round, I'm taking the language because I really really want to be able to speak it. So I also suspect at some point I'm going to hit a cinderblock wall and suffer a rude awakening about how much work it requires. But it will be good for me.
Anyway. Not sure how I really got to this point, as this isn't what I intended to talk about when I started this post. As you can see, the whole New Year's post thing clearly isn't working for me. But I will stop here, because otherwise it will be June before I manage to say anything about the New Year.
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As an aside, I wanted to thank you all so much for your sweet comments on my previous post about Middle Cat. They are all immensely appreciated.