Tuesday, 30 March 2010

My Ten Year Self-Improvement Challenges - End of Week 4

So, where are we now?

TYSIC highlights this week (Thursday 25th - Wednesday 31st March) include:
At the risk of being repetitive, the biggest highlight for me over the last week has been within my 'going to more live entertainment' challenge. Last Thursday I went to the Barbican to see 2 films as part of the Australian film festival. I got to meet a number of other very lovely Tim Minchin fans, saw 2 interesting (and very different) films, both of which I enjoyed, got to listen to Tim's interesting and funny introductions to both films AND also got to chat with Tim himself during the interval between the two films. I am a very happy (albeit lightly 'sad', middle-aged) fan-girl!

While at the Barbican I also had time to have a look at the current installation in the Curve - the amusing and quirky free-flying birds one, which I'd seen featured on the TV recently. The space (shared by humans and birda alike) has a flock of pretty little finches flitting around and hoppiong here and there, twanging electric guitars as they perch on them and peck at them. I really loved this exhibit - it made me laugh out loud several times as the birds squabbled or snuggled, gathered nesting material or took a bath in the cymbal. (I hasten to add that the birds seemed to be very well looked after and not in the least mistreated - they seemed, rather, to be having a very happy time).

As a result of the above, I hereby decree that going to art exhibitions shall henceforth be deemed part of my 'going to live entertainment TYSIC', although I may need to rename the challenge slightly - maybe just 'Go out more' Or I could perhaps expand it to read 'Go out more - see more stuff, especially live theatre/stand-up, plus art exhibitions. Oh, and meeting people, going out for meals, seeing old friends more often, etc' Concise eh?

Another highlight this week was sorting out aspects of my forthcoming visit to Belfast to see my parents PLUS sorting out a further visit in June for my father's 80th birthday. I had a lovely long phonecall with my mum one evening this week, plus a number of other short calls to and from her, sorting out this and that about the trips. All in all a nice big 'tick' for my TYSIC about enjoying time with my parents. Oh, and included in the plan for the forthcoming trip to see my parents is a theatre outing I've planned for all 6 of us (more live entertainment - hooray!). I rang and booked the tickets today.

Moving on to my challenge about productivity, combatting laziness and getting on with things rather than putting them off, I'm afraid I procrastinated on something important last week, and lived to rue it. I knew last Wednesday that I couldn't find my passport and that my driving licence was (and remains) mislaid somewhere in the house as well. I realised I would need photographic id for the flight to Belfast (despite it just being a domestic flight) and had decided I would need to ring and get an appointment at the passport office for a fast track passport replacement, but I didn't ring right away. In fact I didn't ring until Saturday and the earliest appointment I could then get was this coming Thursday. I can't help thinking that if I'd rung earlier I would have got an appointment earlier this week. It is now nip and tuck whether I will get the new passport in time for the trip to Belfast, and I'm really not sure WHAT I will do if I don't have any photo id by the date of the flight. But, without being ostrich-like, I am trying to be optimistic. I have explored various back-up plans, and I also rang the passport advice-line again today to see if I could go back next week to collect the passport in person rather than them posting it to me (which, if posted, would reach me just one day too late!) Seems this may well be an option - which would solve the problem. Fingers crossed!

In the meantime, I will continue exploring the nooks and crannies of my house in the vain hope that one or other of the missing documents will miraculously emerge from their hiding places. I have decided to use this as a way of motivating a thorough bout of spring-cleaning, to really set the house to rights and purge the many tucked away piles of paperwork and unsorted dross of various kinds. I aim to start as soon as term finishes this Thursday and spent good chunks of time on it evey day for a whole week.

My challenge to enhance my relationship with my husband hasn't been a great success this week. I spent far too long on Saturday planning a children's activity session I was due to run on Sunday, which meant we didn't go out together or even spend any quality time together, as I had originally intended. Sunday and the rest of the week have been no better, although we have now made a definite plan to enjoy some kind of special outing together this coming Saturday. Oh, and if I do make good progress with my spring-cleaning plans next week, I know that this will make my fastidiously tidy husband very much happier (I don't know how he copes with being married to as untidy and chaotic a person as me!)

My challenge concerning my relationship with my two sons hasn't gone too well this week. A particular low point was on Friday evening when I got very very cross, having been woken up in the wee small hours by my 17 year old's noisy friends. I vented my anger by shouting at him (within earshot of his friends - the big taboo) - when I should have dealt with the situation calmly. My older son also had a big (verbal) conflict with his dad on Saturday about several things, and I was caught in the middle since they were both being rather unreasonable and stubborn.

I feel that I ought to clarify that this challenge is not supposed to be about how my sons behave or act either in general, or towards me or my husband (I don't want to seem to be criticising them - they are both lovely young men in the making) Instead, the focus is supposed to be on me doing more to find practical and communication-orientated ways to improve my parenting towards them, always keeping in mind the long-range perspective of their future well-being and happiness. My God, it's a tricky one!

Well, barring anything major happening over the course of this afternoon or this evening, that's my progress report for TYSIC week 4. Signing off.

Let's get real

Ok, here's the rub. I'm a good little swot - always was, still am (even though I'm now 47 years 'young' and haven't had to hand in an essay or sit an exam for 20 or more years!)

I realised this when pondering my last two TYSIC progress report blogs (end of week 2, end of week 3). I tend to approach writing such progress reports like some kind of job application, to show how well I'm doing - 'look at me, aren't I clever'. Not very appealing.

Mind you, this approach does help me to look on the positive side and emphasis what I've achieved rather than what I've failed to do. The danger is that I find myself wanting to twist and shoe-horn anything I'm doing into the TYSIC categories. It probably goes without saying, but a great deal of what I do in any given week doesn't contribute towards any of my TYSICs, but that doesn't mean I should skew my priorities and stop doing the other stuff. Presumably this mismatch is because the areas of my life that are going ok don't need a challenge attached to them. I'm sure I'll need to review and update my Challenges as time goes on, but for now they feel like the right ones.

I am at risk of sounding swotty again, but I can't tell you how amazingly helpful this whole project has been to me. I have outlined some background to my problems with depression over recent years in a separate blog 'Erin's other bits'. The approach of spring is always a good time for me anyway, but this year I feel so much more motivated and on top of things, due to the TYSIC kick up the bum. It really has been transformative! The most postive thing (linked with my overarching TYSIC of 'Improving my emotional wellbeing' has been writing a mini diary every day (just for me - a dull series of bullet points listing every single little achievement/ ways I've spent my waking hours, including the most banal and boring things, like 'went & filled the car with diesel' I can now prove to myself that I do manage to do (some) stuff

Bullet points are functional but rather a boring way to structure a blog, I now realise. Now that the TYSIC part of markwatsonfans forum is up and running, I think that this blog may become more random and discursive - maybe it will even include mention of some other aspects of my life, interests and views without need of a shoehorn.

Monday, 22 March 2010

TYSIC - Week 3: The tale of the little lost puppy, the husband and the humdrum

Time to review things as I approach the end of week 3 of my own Mark Watson inspired 'Ten Year Self Improvement Challenge' (TYSIC).

1. Improvement in my emotional wellbeing.
Generally up this week, particularly yesterday when I saw an old friend for lunch, and today when I got quite a lot done and felt happy and pleased with myself as a result. I think the spring-like weather is helping to lift my mood and energy-level overall. On the other hand I experienced some odd hints of paranoia while among scouting colleagues 0ver the week-end, and also with colleagues at work. I don't feel that I fit in, and I'm not sure how to get on better with the other people.... Hmmmm.

2. Sons & their future happiness (my role in their lives & helping towards their happy futures)
(a) Mother/Sons relationship
Nothing much to report. Managed (twice) to avoid shouting match with 'grumpy-in-the-morning boy' when giving him a lift to the station for college (takes quite a bit of self-restraint on my part as very little sets him off!) Also managed not to remonstrate with older son who had left extended essay to very last minute. No point in saying anything, frustrating as it is.
(b) Positive approach to Girls in their lives
Spoke a bit more to younger son's girlfriend (easier just to chat about my own stuff rather than ask her things - don't want to seem to be grilling her)


3. & 4 (Combined) Staying open to opportunities & taking risks/ trying new things, AND to be more proactive generally.
Not sure if this fits under 3 or 4, so I'm combining the two together.

I'm feeling quite pleased with myself because I rescued a puppy who was roaming around out on the street with no collar. He came over to say hello to my dog and there was no sign of an owner. I then saw him nearly get knocked down by a passing car, so I decided I couldn't just leave him there (especially since our previous dog was killed in similar circumstances - and I wouldn't have been able to bear it if I'd walked away and then this puppy had been killed!) In the end - due to lack of collar - I picked him up and carried him back to my house, which fortunately wasn't too far (quite difficult and awkward though, because my own dog was pulling on her lead at the same time!) Once home, I swapped my dog's collar and lead onto the puppy and went out again to see if I could find which house he'd come from. Luckily, just as I was starting to knock on each door in the street, I heard someone calling and saw two boys (about 10 or 12 years old I'd guess) coming out from the side-street. I shouted across to ask if they were looking for their dog, and it turned out that the puppy was indeed theirs. I walked back to their house with them before removing the collar and lead. They were sheepish and very relieved. (I'm assuming the pup - whose name I never discovered - had managed to sneak out of the house somehow)

5.Enjoy time with my parents. No progress this week - I meant to ring my mum but haven't done so yet.

6.Go out to live entertainment more.
Well, I'm repeating myself a bit here, cos I've mentioned this before, but I am very excited to be going to see 2 Aussie films at the Barbican tomorrow, particularly as they are both due to be introduced by Tim Minchin - so although I've said that cinema doesn't count for this TYSIC, I'm thinking this is live and special enough to count!

Looking ahead, I haven't booked anything for April yet, nor while we'll be in Belfast (husband had been quite down on the idea of going to a play in Belfast, due to the poor choice on offer: need to give it further thought.)


7. Relationship with husband put a bit more effort in & nurture this
A bit of a mixed bag this week.

I was away all week-end helping to run a Beaver Scout Sleepover, so that's on the negative side in a sense, because it prevented us from doing anything together (sadly he doesn't share or participate in my scouting voluntary stuff, unlike my parents who are both involved in scouting together).

On the positive side, I knew it would please him if I did a couple of chores that he'd been nagging me about, so I made a deliberate start today by sorting out a locksmith to fix our back-door lock. We also had a really nice evening together yesterday when we decided to watch 'Invention of Lying' on Sky Box Office (this may not sound like much, but usually he watches tv programmes I'm not interested in while I'm on my laptop the whole evening, so it was much nicer to watch something together, even if the film was a bit of a parson's egg...)

Big Negative - earlier today I was asking my husband if he'd be interested in us going to Camp Bestival together this summer- he was initially quite positve about the idea, but eventually he discovered that Tim Minchin was appearing and he then got very cross and immediately vetoed the notion of going as he thinks I'm being too obsessive. Obviously it was initally because of Tim that I got the idea for going to this Festival, but I also thought it would be a fun thing to do overall (I'm not mad enough to spend £155 just to see Tim, believe me!)- ie go to a festival together for the very first time ever. Hey ho.


8. & 9. Be less lazy & more productive daily (establish a sustainable level, not frenetic, but more than now!!!) AND Stop Procrastinating
Thurs last week was quite good in this regard - At long last I tried to take the vacuum cleaner somewhere to get its cable fixed (dog chewed through it ages ago). I was unsuccessful (grrr), but at least I tried, and I've now left it in the boot of my car to be ready to try somewhere else in due course. That day I also went and got refilled ink cartridges for the printer - another thing I'd been meaning to do for ages.

Intensely busy Fri-Sun due to Beaver Scout sleep-over. Productive in a different way ofcourse(and fun - although intensely tiring) , but that is not exactly the kind of productivity I'm trying to improve upon for this challenge - My focus for TYSIC is more the humdrum stuff and tedious chores of life which I need to stop endlessly putting off. (I don't plan to stop doing those other more appealing things, but not use them as an excuse to keep putting off the chores. I DO have time to do the chores, I just need to motivate myself - hence this TYSIC and blog)

Although it may seem strange to focus on the need to do tedious, humdrum stuff, the problem is that when I don't keep up with such things, I continually feel them hanging over me, and I feel really bad about myself. When depressed, I can become overwhelmed by how much I'm shoving under the metaphorical carpet (it's a vicious cycle - depression making it harder to act, and failure to act in turn feeding the depression).

It's all very well to ignore a semi-blocked drain in favour of the more interesting and rewarding aspects of life - but it won't go away on its own, and will just get worse and worse (this is both a metaphor and a literal example!) But it's only now that I'm beginning to feel the black clouds of winter lifting that I can even contemplate such matters rationally, without self-loathing and overwhelming panic.

I was incredibly tired after the Sleepover, so not a surprise that Monday was pretty much a wash-out - but I needed to recover first. Tuesday was reasonably productive, however (and seeing my friend for lunch counts as a blow against procrastination as we'd been meaning to meet up for ages! But today was probably my best day this week for TYSIC 8&9, what with locksmith, chasing up delivery of car tax disc, cleaning & tidying, etc.

Mind you, my backlog of chaos-creation is revealing further problems -ones I didn't even know about and therefore hadn't even put on my Things to Do list. Today's major example: I spent ages hunting high and low for both my passport and my driving licence. I know they must both be in the house somewhere, but I can't find either anywhere, because the house is in a terrible mess with stashes o unsorted 'stuff' shoved into corners left right and cenre. I will need a form of photo i.d. for my (domestic) flight to Belfast in a few weeks time - so now I'm going to have to make a fast-track passport application (I will spend one more day hunting but I can't afford to wait much longer ).

Looking at the situation positively, my passport was due to run out in a few months anyway, so not such a bad thing to get it sorted now. (but I'll probably have to get a replacement driving licence too - sigh)
Oh goodness! What a long posting! I may need to do a summary version for Mark (the TYSIC bit of the markwatsonfans website looks like it will be fully functional quite soon)

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

End of Week 2

My TYSIC Progress report (at end of Week 2) – Have I made any progress THIS week?
(I didn't do anything 'above and beyond' so am not entering Mark's challenge as such)

1. Improvement in my emotional wellbeing. Progress? Yes, apart from the odd wobble. I've started to record each day's series of tiny achievements as a way of bolstering this (including all the humdrum things like 'went to work', 'walked the dog' ) and it has helped quite a bit. Mind you, they are very boring lists!

2. Sons & their future happiness (my role in their lives & helping towards their happy futures)
(a) Mother/Sons relationship: Progress: BIG Yes (Actual!!) Lovely lunch out with both sons & husband on Saturday (I described this in a bit more detail in a previous blog posting). I've also enjoyed several days of less grumpy interaction with my younger son, particularly on Monday when his girlfriend was round - he was polite and helpful to me in front of her.

1. Big Libel Gig - went with eldest son on Sunday evening (see 6 below) - we both really enjoyed the gig and had a great long chat all the way there and back again on the tube.

2. A very special poem Not something I did, rather something I received = My Mother's Day present from eldest son. It was a poem he'd written about my role in his life over the years, using the extended metaphor of 'Mrs Greenfingers' I feel very fortunate to have such a great relationship with my 19 year old - I'll certainly miss him next year when moves into student digs. (My 17 year old is also great, but he's in the middle of the 'rebel-without-a-cause' phase and all I can do is enjoy the odd glimpse from time to time, and just wait it out....)

(b) Positive approach to Girls in their lives: Progress: Yes (but tiny) – Spoke to younger son's girlfriend v briefly on Monday - offered her food cos we were about to eat our evening meal (she declined).

3. Staying open to opportunities & taking risks/ trying new things:
Progress: Planned well, I suppose offering to take part in the chain to transport the mp3 player to Anna may count?
Planned: Although I'm a bit nervous about it, I'm going to go to Barbican a bit earlier on 25th March so I can meet up with some other Angry Feeters (= name for Tim Minchin fans)

4. Be more proactive generally. What? You mean actually make something happen - yeah, right! Move along, move along - nothing to see here.

Oddly, my nearest relevant progress on this score was to decide NOT to do something! A job advert at my current workplace seemed like something I OUGHT to apply for. I am currently on a temporary contract of 18 hours per week, so in theory I don't know for sure that I will still have a job there next September. But although this advertised job was a permanent one, with a bit of extra money cos more hours per week, out of the 25 hours per week, all 7 of the extra hours would be doing stuff I don't particularly like. And to be honest I don't think I have enough experience for what they're wanting. SO, after considerable agonising, I've decided to risk the uncertainty and NOT apply!

5.Enjoy time with my parents. Progress:
YES (ACTUAL) Sent my mum an interflora growing basket of spring flowers for Mother's Day and she loved it (got it delivered on Saturday). We had a lovely long long chat on the phone on Saturday pm....and I sent her a card which arrived on Monday, and I emailed her today about our forthcoming trip in April.

PLANNING I am also trying to plan an outing to go to some live entertainment with my parents while in Belfast in April, (all 6 of us, sons included, despite husband's curled lip at the idea) - So I spent a few hours on the internet this afternoon researching possibilities for the dates in question.

I am also looking at whether I will be able to get back over to Belfast in June cos it's my Dad's 80th birthday then - but it's hard cos I can't take days off during termtime: would have to fly late Fri eve/early Sat a.m. and return Sunday eve (his actual birthday doesn't fall at the w/e, but my brother & family will be going up to Belfast for that week-end so best time to celebrate it)

6.Go out to live entertainment more. Progress:
Yes(ACTUAL)– The Big Libel Gig was absolutely great! Particularly loved Tim Minchin, Dara O'Briain and Marcus Brigstocke - plus (among the scientists) Ben Goldacre.

Yes PLANNING - Have been looking at listings for possible comedy gigs or plays to go to next month and beyond. This includes possible theatre outing with my parents (and sons and husband when in Belfast (10-13 April). Not sure if it will work out - cos options are a bit limited - we may end up just going out for a meal instead, but we will see. Towards end of April there's 'The Rover' on at Questor's Theatre in Ealing. I'm also thinking of maybe trying to get to a Dara O'Briain gig in April or May (within travelling distance) rather than waiting till his London gig in the autumn. Thanks to a tweet by Mark, I've also found a play on at end of June & in July that I definitely want to go to (= at Comedy Theatre: La Bete)

7. Relationship with husband – put a bit more effort in & nurture this
Progress: Errr.... Well he was really nice to me (made me breakfast in bed for Mother's Day, and I...errr.....let him watch all the rugby he wanted to watch at the w/e. (Note to self: must try harder next week)

8. Be less lazy & more productive daily (establish a sustainable level, not frenetic, but more than now!!!) Progress.
A bit: Have restarted a new 'Things to Do' list on Computer with short-term and longer-term items on it - and I've been trying to do a bit more...but it's still pretty pathetic to be honest (see Item 1 above -imminent end of winter & its associated blues will hopefully enable me to make more progress on such things)

9. STOP PROCRASTINATING – Progress: Only a teeny tiny bit (see 8 above) Unfortunately my time spent blogging and on forums could be viewed as part of my procrastination habit, and it is in danger of turning into an addiction - it eats up the hours in a frightening way! Need to work out what to do about this!

Monday, 15 March 2010

Live entertainment - and teenage sons

This is going to be an upbeat posting! I have had a really good week-end, with some progress on a number of aspects of my TYSIC without really having to try too hard - but it still counts, right?

On Saturday we had a family lunch together at a really nice restaurant, in honour of UK Mother's Day, albeit a day early - husband plus both sons plus me (I was particularly impressed that my 17 year old son managed to get up in time after his obligatory late, late Friday night: we pretty much left when we'd said we needed to leave in order to get to the restaurant in time!) The lunch turned out to be a very friendly and chatty family gathering, and with excellent food which didn't break the bank. Oh, and my 17 yr old son managed not to throw a hissy-fit when his starter salad turned out to have anchovies in it, which he hates: with only an occasional grimace, he managed to eat around them, despite some flavour impingement.

On Saturday late afternoon and evening I went out to see 2 films at a local cinema club on my own (but that doesn't really count towards TYSIC as I'm not counting cinema as live entertainment). The films were Howl's Castle and The Soloist - I really enjoyed both (wth a quick trip up the road for a bag of chips from the local chippy in beween - that's 'fries' if you're american: in UK we call what you call chips 'crisps'). I'm not going to review the films but they were both excellent and thought-provoking . I partly went to the screenings to support my friends who are running the club: it's early days and they're not quite breaking even yet, so every ticket sale helps. I've been to at least one film for each of their 3 monthly screenings so far.

Sunday morning I treated myself to a long lie-in and my lovely husband brought me breakfast in bed! My best present for Mother's Day, however, was a poem written for (and about) me by my 19 year old son - it was so touching that I shed a couple of tears.

Sunday evening was the Big Libel Gig up in London which I'd been looking forward to for weeks, particularly as it was my first ever chance to see Tim Minchin on stage (rather than on DVD).

So, re TYSIC about Live entertainment at least once a month = checked off for March! (now, what shall I book for April?)

I really enjoyed the show - at time I laughed so much I cried! My elder son came along with me because he really likes Tim Minchin too (another Mother's Day thing - his company, not the cost of the tickets, I hasten to add!) And even the journey there and back was a great part of the evening cos we were chatting away the whole time.

And there I will leave it for now.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Keeping track - the start of my TYSIC

Again, just for the sake of keeping it all together, am pasting in my original submission posted to Mark's blog, setting up my TYSIC . I was certainly reluctant to set myself targets to begin with - because I felt so sure it would just become a hostage to fortune - didn't want to fall short and feed a sense of inadequacy and failure.

But by the end of week one I felt I could take that original discursive posting and break it down into clearer bullet points in order to address them more directly. My remaining concern is trying to make progress on too many fronts at once! And I'm still a bit worried about setting myself up to fail..... (where's that Watson-esque optimism, eh?)

The resonance of the song lyric quoted below remains significant to me - planning an agenda of self-improvement is all very well, but real life will always throw curved balls our way.

Ten Year Self-Improvement Challenge - 1st March 2010
Have been pondering for a long time whether to join in or not. Feel a bit on the old side, for a start (am currently 47), and my first reaction to the challenge was a bit bleak – along the lines ‘just hope I’m still around/ still want to be around’: gave me pause for thought though!

I have HOPES for 10 years from now, but they’re not really within my control – so not suitable for this challenge – eg would love it if my sons (currently 17 & 19) were happily settled with loving partners by 2020 (a grandchild in or around 2020 would also be lovely but don’t want to get carried away!)

My favourite line from John Lennon’s song ‘Beautiful Boy’ (written for his then baby son Sean) has a sad tinge given his untimely death, but it is ‘Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans’ (not sure if this line originated with JL or if he got it from an earlier source)

This line reminds me not to get too hung up on my own agenda. Instead I’m keen to stay flexible, to remain open to opportunities as they arise – to be willing to try new things, take risks etc.For example, I changed my career last January (hadn’t expected that to happen!) – love what I do now.

So, although I don’t want to have a list of things to try to tick off by 2020, I do want to be a bit more proactive AND to take a positive approach to whatever crops up unexpectedly.

Like another earlier poster, I am growing aware of the limited time left to enjoy time with my lovely parents (currently approaching 80) – so I’ll definitely add that to my own personal challenge.

And one other tiny little concrete challenge – to start gong to live entertainment again: theatre, stand-up comedy etc. (to quantify this with an achievable target, let’s make it ‘once a month’) That one will be easier to monitor.

Catch-up info: Week 1 of TYSIC Progress report

This is the progress report I already posted as a comment on one of Mark's blogs (blog called Up with People, dated Thurs 11th March 2010)

1. This is my report on Week 1 (if I manage anything ‘above and beyond’ during this coming week to enter in the competition I will post again separately towards end of next week)
(By the way, sorry posting below is a bit long – I don’t currently have a blog to link to: may need to set one up)

My TYSIC Progress report (at end of Week 1) – Have I made any progress?

1. Improvement in my emotional wellbeing. Neutral week – not upward on imaginary graph BUT not downward either (keeping black dog days at bay & avoiding need for anti-depressants this year & beyond is part of the aim) Am therefore regarding it as a successful week. Working on rest of challenges below over next weeks/months/years will hopefully help with this challenge.

2. Sons & their future happiness (my role in their lives & helping towards their happy futures)
(a) Mother/Sons relationship: Progress: Yes (planned) Hoping to go out with both sons & husband for family lunch on Sat – although not yet confirmed with younger son; PLUS Comedy Gig booked – going with eldest son on Sunday evening (see 6 below); PLUS all 4 of us are going on trip together at Easter – to visit my parents (see 5 below).
(b) Positive approach to Girls in their lives: Progress: No – Failed to chat to younger son’s current girlfriend when she came round; But also Yes: some nice chats with elder son about relationships & female psychology.

3. Staying open to opportunities & taking risks/ trying new things:
Progress: Yes (planned) – Booked Australian Film Festival tickets for next week, despite nervousness about going on my own & coming home late on my own (haven’t been into central London on my own late at night for a v long time!)

4. Be more proactive generally. Not quite sure what I mean by this – ergo, nothing to report

5.Enjoy time with my parents.
Progress: Yes (planned) – Have Booked trip to see parents after Easter (whole family going over) Still to do: must also ring my mum soon – want to increase frequency of my phonecalls & haven’t done this yet

6.Go out to live entertainment more. Progress: Yes(planned) – booking made: going to gig with son on 14/3

7. NEW TYSIC – Relationship with husband – put a bit more effort in & nurture this
Progress: Yes (planned & actual) Husband now also being proactive – has suggested we go out for meals (etc) more frequently. Had enjoyable walks with dog together twice this week.

8. NEW TYSIC – Be less lazy & more productive daily (establish a sustainable level, not frenetic, but more than now!!!) – No progress. A few good days but still far too much laziness this week!

9. NEW TYSIC – STOP PROCRASTINATING – No progress Still far too much procrastinating this week!

Saturday, 13 March 2010


I'd forgotten I had this blog - may as well make use of it now, what with the Ten Year Self Improvement Challenge n' all!

No longer feeling the need to be quite so paranoid about keeping my identity secret I think - Erin = me = joneshs = Heather Jones. Originally the idea of anonymity was cos I'd planned to use this blog to say things which I wouldn't want anyone to know were by/about me, but now I'm just brazen and out there saying what the heck! Or maybe I'm assuming no-one who knows me will read this. Hmmm. Here's a test case - lots of my friends are christian and I'm supposed to be one too, but I'm actually pretty agnostic at the moment - just going through the motions. So I may get 'outed' as a closet hypocrite.

It's too late to make a real start on TYSIC blogging (I posted a major progress update as comment on Mark's blog on Thursday, but I may paste it in here at some point as a point of reference. )

But just before I go to bed - since this is of more interest to me as a diary and record of what I'm up to, rather than a crafted piece of writing designed to attract readers from the far reaches of the internet - key points about it being rather a good day today: lovely lunch out at a 'posh'-ish restaurant as an early Mother's Day thing - all 4 of us. And both sons were on good form and very chatty.

Another positive thing today - discovered that husband's annual bonus has already been paid in to bank - will make it possible to get some necessary work done on the house (boring but very necessary - gutters etc)

Also good aspect of today = seeing 2 good films: Howl's Castle and The Soloist.