Tuesday, 12 June 2007

You're IT (Flea-bag)

Mary has tagged me for a meme; she got tagged by Katie and Katie got tagged by Brian and now it's been passed to me, Kim and Kanani. For this moment blogland has been turned into a virtual playground. Thankfully as it's virtual no running is necessary. But I am reminded of being screamed at: 'RUN or you'll spoil the game!!!' Yikes.

This particular game involves coming up with fifteen personal goals and at first I couldn't think of a single one. THINK or you'll spoil the game.


I discussed it with my son: 'blah blah blah could be one'

'That's not really personal though, is it?'

'Isn't it? No I suppose not.'

So I've had to define personal. What would I like to achieve in my lifetime? This is what I've come up with – the order isn't entirely particular, by the way...

1 Get my dissertation finished. This probably involves removing myself from blogland for a time and concentrating on 'academic style.' But not necessarily...

2 Learn how to be the sort who can have more than one thing going on at a time without loosing concentration.

3 Become more organised. I've been working on this one for quite some time and still haven't managed it. Mainly, I think, because I am so naturally disorganised that I only work on it sporadically. Not that I can't be pretty organised in certain situations: in the kitchen, for example, I can cook several things at once and keep things tidy. I'm also fairly organised in the garden: I don't have an outside tap, so no hose, and most of my plants grow in containers. When the weather is warm and dry I have a lot of watering to do so I have several pitchers and a watering can that I fill up in the early afternoon in order to give the water time to warm up before the evening watering splurge. Then at around six I get to it.

I just need to extend this level of organisation to the rest of my life.

4 Get out more. I keep thinking I'd like to engage more fully with the rest of the world but somehow can't be bothered to leave the house.

5 Act: I have ideas, notions, imaginings but most of them stay in my head. It would be nice to be able to act on a few more of them or, rather, one or two of the more adventurous ones. Getting up and making custard because I have a notion to eat some isn't really good enough. Finishing my novel: that's the sort of thing I mean. But even just submitting something I've already written to... what/where/who?

6 Find out the things I need to know. For example, where does a budding writer send her stuff?

7 Keep in, proper, touch with friends. I don't have very many it shouldn't be that hard to phone them and actually go and see them occasionally.

8 Stop regretting past mistakes. Accept they've been made, that they contribute to the person I am, and move on.

9 Stop worrying about what other people think of me. Apparently my mother-in-law believes that I have her son to thank for everything: 'She didn't know anything when we first met her; she hadn't even read Jane Austen!'
This really pissed me off when I first heard it but she may be right: I came from a poor immigrant family; went to a rubbish school and lived in a very working class, impoverished, part of town. My parents were well educated but my father died when I was thirteen and my mother had to work as a cleaner to raise the four of us. Meeting Stevie introduced me to middle-class angst and the arts. It is possible that I would have married a brickie from Chatham and had four kids and never read a book if I hadn't met my husband.

The point is no one knows and it doesn't matter anyway. What my mother-in-law thinks is nothing to do with me. I can't affect it and it makes no difference to my life. Yet, truth be told, it still bothers me.

10 Get a haircut.

11 Realise that if I eat prunes I'm going to have to spend a lot of time in the bathroom.

12 Get a dentist. If, for no other reason than (mental) ease of smiling.

13 Commas: learn how to use them so as not to incur the wrath of those who know, or get a good editor.

14 Deal with those internal conflicts: put on a jumper rather than the heating if the environment is really a concern. Either get a job or stop whining about not being able to afford an Arne Jacobson Egg Chair. Realise that a woman of my age can't expect to wear shorts and have her wrinkly knees go unnoticed. And, that I can't expect to get a good grade if I don't put in the effort; making an effort isn't 'trying too hard' it's practical...

15 Learn to play the guitar.

16 Realise when to stop.

There you are then, fifteen (+1) personal goals for a lifetime. Now I tag Carole, EG and Sam PBC. Run girls, run!


Carole said...

I love your hair in the picture and dentists are from the devil, but still if you must, I will let you have your own personal goals, I just wanted to warn you...

And thanks for the tag...you are so very special...grr. Now I have to think.

8 & 9 are excellent goals. Tough, but excellent.

Eryl Shields said...

Thanks Carole. My hair has gone wild since that photo was taken; I probably ought to post a new one but I don't want to scare people off!

I have excellent evidence that your 'thinking muscle' is very well toned so I'm looking forward to your list of personal goals.

Kim Ayres said...

Number 4 - let's get together and discuss Narrative Theories

Mary Witzl said...

Well done, Eryl, and you didn't even procrastinate! I am glad that I tagged you.

Carole is right about goals 8 and 9; they are really good ones.

Like you, I am organized in the kitchen, but disorganized just about everywhere else. Many people assume that I am disorganized in the kitchen, but that is only because of the state that other kitchen users in this household leave it in...

As for where a budding writer sends her work, come and talk to me. I have already sent much work out and had it rejected -- and accepted in some rare cases -- and thus I have walked this weary path. And am still walking it, for that matter.

Some day we must have a chat about in-laws! I am sure that you have learned a lot from your husband and his family, but likewise I'll bet he has learned a lot from you.

Eryl Shields said...

Kim ~ You do realise that you will be doing most of the talking?

Mary ~ Don't talk to me about other kitchen users!
As for sending out work I will pick your brains on that one of these days. I'm still procrastinating about whether I do actually want to share anything with anyone else yet though.

In-laws are an odd breed I get on really well with mine which is why that comment rather miffed me. Stevie is convinced he has learned far more from me than I have from him. But it's true I didn't read Austen until I was about nineteen.

Kim Ayres said...

That's OK - just look at me as though you're listening, nod your head every now and then and mutter things like uh-huh, mmm and yeah and I'll talk for hours. You can go for a wander in your own head and I'll ignore your glazed expression...

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I'm so rubbish at this. I'll have a think though and see if there isn't any ambition in this sorry self of mine. I must want to accomplish something, right? I know I do, I just can't think. I'm worried I'm growing a goiter.

Right now all I can think of is raising the girls to be decent, kind human beings in a fucked up world.

Eryl Shields said...

Kim ~ I can do that.

Sam ~ As far as I'm concerned lack of ambition shows strenght of character. All those poor people who torture themselves trying to get to the top. And what do they gain when they succeed? Bugger all coupled with the stress of trying to stay there.

Kanani said...

I love your goals!
Yes, getting a haircut for me is the worst thing.
I dread the prospect of sitting in that chair for a couple of hours, and making chit chat.
I also (quite frankly) hate what they charge. The very best guy (Diego) charged me $150. Gorgeous stuff, but I can't do that. So I got to John, who charges $50. Still high, but oh... bother... what are we going to do?

Eryl Shields said...

$150! Good lord. One of the things that stops me from getting a regular haircut is the fact that I live sixty miles from the nearest city and I'm just not organised enough to book an appointment and get myself up there. That and the fact that I haven't found a hairdresser who I like enough to go to regularly. What usually ends up happening is that one day I wake up and think I can't go on looking like this any longer so I get in my car and go to either Glasgow or Edinburgh and wander around all the salons until someone can do me right there and then.

Kim Ayres said...

I've got some clippers...