Mum was saying she envied me my options at the moment because she is working full time and trying to do a PhD full time as well - that's quite a load, especially considering social engagements as well (and there are always social engagements!).
On the face of it, I'm a free agent right now. I'm not doing any courses. I'm not working. During term I only have one child at home between 8.45am and 3.45pm. I could be a lady of leisure.
Those of you who know me personally are probably guffawing your coffee all over your keyboards right now.
Yeah, sitting around twiddling my thumbs is not my style.
No fear, things are not as they appear to be!
I have a few goals I need to achieve by the end of this year - all of which take considerable effort.
I need to get a few things published; short stories and poems mostly, because my portfolio is almost nonexistent and spread out over nearly two decades. Getting published means writing - I have to write! I also need to know the market I'll be pitching my writing at, so I need to read!
Preparing to Apply to do a PhD
It turns out that it's not just a matter of filling in an application form (those days are certainly gone now). No, apparently I need to do some research even before I can apply and have some idea of what already exists with regard to research in my chosen area and how my research would differ and be appealing. I need to find two supervisors who would be willing to take me on before I apply, and I need to show that I have contacts in the areas I'll be researching. In other words, lots of preparation there.
Improve my health and fitness
I'll be forty at the end of this year and for a few years now I've been concerned about the foundation upon which my future health (in my middle age - eep!) will be based. Forty seems to be the age after which health issues start to surface all over the place. In particular, I'm thinking of diabetes (which many people in my family have developed in middle age), but there are other family specific issues that I won't go into here. At the moment my health and fitness isn't very good. I'm not completely unfit (I walked 6.3km today with the biggest and smallest child), but I could certainly be fitter. Dave has noted that I'm snoring lately (delightful, isn't it - but it's a clue about my physical state that I need to heed) and snoring means sleep apnoea and loss of oxygen to the brain etcetera. I've never really snored before, so I want to fix this little problem - and maybe I'll wake up more refreshed.
I've been told that I'm an all or nothing sort of person, and this may be true to some extent (though, I doubt I'm ever really a nothing person, I alway do something, I just don't do anything consistently).
In order to attempt to gain the most ground in the above mentioned areas for the next eight months, I've decided to approach it with little changes, rather than big sweeping changes. So for example...
Getting Published - each day I'll either do some reading of the publications by the publishers I want to submit to, or some brainstorming for a piece, or some writing, or some actually submitting. I'll do at least ONE of these things every day.
Preparing to do a PhD - each day I'll do some research, or some journaling, or I'll contact a person or organisation relevant to my research proposal, or fill in the application form. I'll do at least ONE of these things every day.
Improving my health and fitness - each day I'll make small, better choices with what I each (it doesn't have to be at every meal or snack, just generally every day) and I'll go for (at least) a half hour walk every day.
As you can see, my time is fairly well accounted for until the end of the year. No lady of leisure to be found here!