Earlier this year I outlined five major goals for 2012:
- Income: earn enough to pay my fair share of the bills and stop panicking about payments
- Professional development: find / develop a sound professional niche
- Time management: get important things done in time and learn to manage work efficiently
- Marriage: contribute more and pay more attention
- The fun side: develop musically and in other life quality aspects
or maybe not (Calvin & Hobbes)
I said I would use the blog to follow up on the progress, and this is what has happened so far:
Goal #1: Income
Progress: so I now have a part time job. While it isn’t sufficient in the long term, it helps.
Goal #2: Professional development
My tactical plan for professional development focused on skills I imagined I could use as an online freelancer: software-, visual design- and web competencies. I imagined that online tutorials and quizzes were an approachable way to start but I didn’t do them because after all, it seemed like a waste of time; I am not so competitive in that area that I imagine it can lead me to actual work anytime soon, and I’m not genuinely interested.
The plan built on the only option that seemed viable based on career reflections using a personal SWOT analysis and Myer-Brigg’s Personality Type Indicator. Better ideas and a clearer sense of what I would like to do has since slowly been taking form, and I’m planning to write about my thoughts about them in the near future*.
Goal #3: Time management (organisation) and Goal #4: Marriage
Since I created the goals, I’ve rethought my situation and reframed the way I think about goal setting around the fact that my marriage is the gravity of my life; the one relationship that makes me feel like I have a home on this planet. It is the axis that all the goals evolve around, rather than just a point on the list. The key issues are:
1. We still struggle financiallybecause I don’t pull home a proper income due to underemployment, working part time in a relatively low paid job** which doesn’t require my expensive education (don’t get me wrong, I’m learning a lot and am happy to have the job).
2. We don’t have kids yet, and we’re nearing the fertility expiry date. Kids is my husband’s great wish, and I too think we can offer a good life to kids. We’re a good family (just ask the dogs). The kids just need to be produced and raised, and there’s a number of barriers on that path.
3. I’m a lousy housekeeper. Wives are supposed to be responsible for the lion’s share of the household chores according to the official Gender Roles, but I have never had a stable and efficient routine for doing household chores.
I quickly tire out when I have to multi-task and shift between a multitude of little tasks, forget things, don’t get started, don’t get finished, burn the food because I forget I’m cooking. I rarely do the grocery shopping because I find supermarkets overwhelming, confusing and too noisy, and shopping tends to cause shell-shock for hours, sometimes the rest of the day. I don’t refuse to shop, but my husband typically does it because he knows that I hate it.
(Let’s not even go into all the other typical wife-expectations such as being hostess-like and chatty about lady-topics… That is happily never going to happen.)
I’m working on improving my life organisation skills, and it is going better. I’ll publish a post about is shortly (not BS – it really is ready to publish).
Goal #5: the fun side / musical development
The ‘fun side’ goal aims to strengthen quality-of-life enhancing skills, so unlike the other goals it isn’t about changes that ought to happen.
The focus is musical development. I love music and sing in my Church’s band, where my husband plays the bass. I function as the lead singer because I have a fairly loud, accurate singing voice and always come to practice. However, I also have major shortcomings and would like to develop as a singer. I would also like to learn to play an instrument really well; preferably piano.
I have an electronic piano so I could find some video tutorials online and start any minute, but with music I actually really need motivation from others – instructions, corrections, inspiration, team spirit, personalised tips & techniques. So I would like to take music tuition: singing and piano lessons when I can afford it.
Coming next: creating a sense of order. About life organisation, mental capacity, time loss, housework and task management systems.
*After I think them.
**Well paid for this type of job, but low paid compared to a jobs someone with my formal qualifications tends to have this amount of years after leaving uni.