2016 sum up

Jan. 3rd, 2017 06:33 pm
emma_in_dream: (Henry Moore)
1.What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?
Experienced a massive, global lurch to the right.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Ate a few more fruit and vegetables.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, because I am in my 40s.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Several friends' relatives, lots of celebrities.

5. What countries did you visit?
Nowhere, but I continue to slowly save for a holiday abroad with the children in a few years time. Yes, yes!

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
Balance. Money. Calm.

7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The election of Trump on 9/11.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Continuing to have a job amidst my terrible work situation. Steering Ruby through another year without contact with gluten. Soldiering on while my mother was in hospital and my dad was in hospital and my kids were sick.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Remaining calm. Disciplining my children.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Headaches due to stress.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Mr Gold the gold fish, I guess. First step towards getting a bunny

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My friends.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Jesus, the lurch to the right. In the past I had thought that perhaps some people might disagree with me for, you know, reasons LIke they wanted to reduce Government or be hawkish overseas. But Trump ran on a platform of naked racism and sexism with nothing else. And that was enough to get him the win. So now I know that that's what people mean when they are conservatives - naked racism, sexism and hatred.

It has caused me to actually re-evaluate my understanding of human nature. I know there have been periods when people have randomly leapt to the right, usually under economic stress, but I haven't had to live through Brexit and Trump before.

14. Where did most of your money go?
The mortgage. Food.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Captain America was my escape from a tiresome reality.

16. What songs will always remind you of 2015?
Postmodern Jukebox.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Same.
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter (comfort eating).
c) richer or poorer? Same.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Time alone.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Ridiculous stressing over work. Being ordered to do ridiculous things at work, in defiance of all sense or reason.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent Christmas with my family, enjoying the girls’ excitement.

21. Did you fall in love in 2015?
No-one new.

22. How many one-night stands?
None.

23. What was your favourite TV program?
I finished rewatching Highlander and I've started rewatching Andromeda.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Trump.

25. What was the best book you read?
Something by EDEN Southwell.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Postmodern Jukebox.

27. What did you want and get?
Time to relax.

28. What did you want and not get?
I find being an introvert who is constantly surrounded by others very draining.

29. What was your favourite film of this year?
Sing! Zootopia.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
No celebrations as it came in the middle of virtually every member of my family being hospitalised.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Money.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
Hahahahahaahaha. Weeps.

33. What kept you sane?
Fanfiction. Hugs from my kids. Necessity.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I genuinely liked Hilary Clinton, and I despise the way she is being blamed for the lose. I don't think Sanders could have won. I think that if Clinton was a man she would have had it in the bag, and that people are blaming her for the fact that so many folks are unwilling to vote for a well informed, intelligent, prepared woman.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Brexit. Trump.

36. Who did you miss?
Friends I didn’t spend enough time with.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Well, there's a lot of churn at work. Laughs hysterically.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
We must get through the rough patches as easily as possible.
emma_in_dream: (Leia)
1.What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?
Negotiated pay conditions for the entire office in the midst of a massive restructure.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I have forgotten what they were. Other things arose.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My friend’s father died, which is a reminder of all our mortality.

5. What countries did you visit?
Nowhere, but I continue to slowly save for a holiday abroad with the children in a few years time.

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
Balance. Money. Calm. Not fighting with my children over food and manners.

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Perhaps the Climate Change march, with a real sense of global action.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Continuing to have a job amidst my terrible work situation. Steering Ruby through an entire year without contact with gluten. This was her first Christmas since she was six weeks old that she was not wracked with pain! Becoming the union rep at work. Completing a project to improve road safety at one remote community.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Remaining calm. Disciplining my children.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Headaches due to stress.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A brand new car that actually works.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Feminist bloggers.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Virtually all politicians and people with power.

14. Where did most of your money go?
The mortgage. Food.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Captain America was my escape from a tiresome reality.

16. What songs will always remind you of 2015?
Everything by Florence and the Machine.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Same.
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter (comfort eating).
c) richer or poorer? Same.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Time alone.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Ridiculous stressing over work.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent Christmas with my family, enjoying the girls’ excitement.

21. Did you fall in love in 2015?
No-one new.

22. How many one-night stands?
None.

23. What was your favourite TV program?
Dare Devil, Z Nation, Izombie, Sleepy Hollow, Agent Carter.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Still the same old politicians who prioritise short term point scoring over any meaningful changes to climate change or the economy.

25. What was the best book you read?
Probably *Miss Majoribanks* which is the missing link between Austen and Eliot.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Florence and the Machine.

27. What did you want and get?
Intermittent contentment.

28. What did you want and not get?
Time alone. Time with friends (without kids). I find being an introvert who is constantly surrounded by others very draining.

29. What was your favourite film of this year?
The Force Awakens. And Fury Road.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 44 and I had lunch with friends.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Enough money to not constantly be juggling debt.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
I bought three new dresses.

33. What kept you sane?
Fanfiction. Hugs from my kids. Necessity.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Bob Brown – were it not for the fact that he is gay and married and a generation older than me and we have never met, who knows what could be?

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
General lack of compassion.

36. Who did you miss?
Friends I didn’t spend enough time with.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
A lovely, bubbly woman at work.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
No one else is willing to step up to management. Actually, I already knew that.

39. Quote song lyrics that sum up your year:
It is impossible to focus properly on both the insane conditions at work and raising my children. This life is unsustainable yet must be continued.

Resolutions

Jan. 3rd, 2016 05:12 pm
emma_in_dream: (otp)
To read more poetry and to eat more fruit and vegetables.

Today, from the 1999 collection of Britain's favourite comic poems, a gem by that prolific lady Anonymous.

'Twas an evening in November,
As I very well remember,
I was strolling down the street in drunken pride,
But my knees were all aflutter,
So I landed in the gutter,
And a pig came up and lay down by my side.

Yes I lay there in the gutter
Thinking thoughts I could not utter,
When a colleen passing by did softly say,
"Ye can tell a man that boozes
By the company he chooses" -
At that the pig got up and walked away
emma_in_dream: (Yes)
1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?
Stencilling? And a lot of fanfic writing, much more than before.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I can't recall what they were. Whoops, used to measure progress regularly.

I can't make them for next year, because what happens depends on how Ruby adapts to kindy. If it does not exhaust her, I can have every second Thursday morning to myself and can do exercise and creative things. If it does, I will have to reshuffle my work to fit her kindy schedule and will have even less time to myself.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, and I feel so fortunate about this.

5. What countries did you visit?
No holidays, as always.

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
Energy, time, money.

7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Lots of sweet moments with the kids being kind and cute. Pearl learning to read, the clever possum.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
This was the first year in which no one has been really sick (or needing diagnosis) so we had much more time. The girls did gym and Pearl had swimming lessons and I did a lot more art.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Being impatient with the girls. Failure to discipline them, so they run amok.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No, that was the great thing about this year.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Had to spend vast sums on a hot water system I did not want to get and which does not work very well - this is the opposite of the best thing.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
The girls, who learned to play together nicely at least a third of the time.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The Federal Government who seem to be actually seeking out people to boot in the face.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage, bills.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
*Sleepy Hollow*, stencilling.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?
Let it Go. All year.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier.
ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter
iii. richer or poorer? Still poor.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Seeing friends, exercising.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Being depressed.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
With my folks and the kids. I like having a small family over Christmas, it makes it much more manageable.

21. What LJ users did you meet for the first time?
None but I continue to post.

22. Did you fall in love in 2014?
Yes, with my girls.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Sleepy Hollow.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Only Tony Abbott.

26. What was the best book you read?
Not very good but unintentionally funny - the Elsie Dinsmore books.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I like Bruce Springsteen unplugged? I guess everyone else discovered this in the 1980s.

28. What did you want and get?
The children being healthy.

29. What did you want and not get?
Better mental health. More energy. I feel beaten down.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I like Frozen. Saw Zarina the Pirate Fairy in the cinema and also the Hobbit movie.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 43 and I had lunch with some friends. It was one of the five times in 2014 I was not in the company of my children (excluding being at work and including having a pap smear).

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I had this terrible realisation that my kids are very naughty and undisciplined. I have spent all my energy on trying to make them not-sick and little on discipline. I just run out of energy for that. I had this terrible realisation that I am a bad mother.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
I continue to wear the same clothes because - money.

34. What kept you sane?
Reading, art, fanfic, tv, going to parks and letting my children run free range while I read. I used to judge women who do this, now I see that it is literally the only time you can be alone.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
??

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Pretty much every single thing the current government does.

37. Who did you miss?
My sister in England.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Some nice women at the kindy play group. Of course, the ones I like best have children whose ages don't quite synch with mine so the kids will be in different years. Boo!

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014?
You need time to recuperate from a long period of anxiety (ie. 2008 to 2013, the period in which I knew there was something wrong with the health of my kids and pursued answers).

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Let it Go.
emma_in_dream: (sense)
I aimed to have grace this year. I had none.

Once again, the year began with a fairly serious illness, followed by a new disease, followed by major life style changes.

We continue to go from one medical appointment to the next. I know my way around the paediatric hospital. In December I lran out of energy for medical appointments. I really resented the last two and had to drag myself into Ruby's pre-Christmas EEG.

I did not join Yuletide this year because I was in such a state of sodden exhaustion in October and November that I simply could not face one more thing.

I am very glad it is now the holidays, because I really need them.

My resolution for next year is for grace again. And for some ability to plan ahead with the children rather than just running with the easiest course because we are so busy with medical nonsense that we have no time for anything else.

Of course, all this is contingent on no one in the family developing another bloody disease. Good health for all of us, that is what I would like in 2014 because I am really sick of spending my life doing nothing but medical stuff.

Deep breath. Grace.
emma_in_dream: (kate bunce)
My New Year's Resolution is to handle my life with more grace and balance. Particularly, I want to be less anxious about the children's health and well-being.

I am well aware I am an anxious person with a tendency to see the worst case scenario and exactly how I am to achieve a state of balance is not yet clear to me.

I have tried getting to a counsellor but I have not found it helpful. What I am looking for is some practical strategy for not freaking out over the kids but what she told me is that I have to accept the consequences of my choices. Which I kinda feel I do every day.

What I need is some way to deal gracefully with living in a state of eternal uncertainty - the medical tests will never end, there will always be a possibility of something bad happening to the girls,* the endless deferral of what I would like to do with the girls in favour of medical stuff we have to do.


* Please do not remind me that something bad could happen to anyone at any time. Yes, my girls have the usual likelihood of being struck by lightning and on top of that elevated probabilities of tumours.
emma_in_dream: (david)
July seems like a good time to consider where I am at this year. I started the year with quite a few resolutions but then things kind of fell apart with the diagnosis of NF1. Things seem to be settling back into a routine so....


* read 19th century science fiction and fantasy by women - so far, so good.

* continue with the 50 books by authors of colour challenge - ongoing though my area of specialisation does seem to be picture books.

* make more home made gifts - no and will have to take a back burner til I have more time.

* to eat in a healthy way - some improvements here mostly due to doing more shopping at farmer's markets.

* participating in the Unplug Your Kids challenge - absolutely no. Must really try harder.

And on a day to day basis my resolutions were about the rhythm of our daily life. Every day we aim to:

* eat enough.

* sleep enough.

* do something active.

* go outside.

* do Ruby's physio.

* do Pearl's OT.

OK, very slack on the OT and Ruby no longer needs daily physio as she is effectively doing her own as she wanders around and around with her walker or on her tricycle.

We have definitely been doing the going outside thing. I kept track for a while and we went to the park every day bar one for six weeks. On that day it rained and we went to the indoor playground instead.

So, lesson to self, I need to try to relax a bit and see that we are actually living a life close to the one I want to live.
emma_in_dream: (Default)
I was going to write a great big post about my plans for 2012 but I am currently too tired and grumpy to manage. Ruby was up at 15 minute intervals from 8:00 til 1:00 last night. Nappy need changing? Changed. Bed need remaking? Done. Hungry? Fed. Thirsty? Given water. In pain? Gave her panadol. Why? Why? Why?

Anyway, my big plans are as follows.

We are not moving to a bigger house!

I investigated and decided that the time away from the kids involved in working 3 or 4 days a week (necessary for a loan) is not worth it. I would rather be with them, so I will keep working 2 days per week.

So, to achieve this I have been decluttering. I've taken about 4 loads of stuff to the charity bins, put some stuff up on Ebay, and binned quite a bit. I've got two boxes to go to the second hand book shop, one to go to the second hand shop at the university when it reopens, and one to be donated to the university library.

I still have the space under the stairs to go through. Feel quite pleased with the progress.

I am going to make major changes to the lounge. I've decided the desk will have to go (will put the computer on the table) and the TV and its cabinet will have to go as well. It was that or the couch.

Eventually I am going to swap around the rooms upstairs so Ruby and Pearl share the big room I am currently in (with Ruby). I will have to get a single bed, possibly lofted, to fit into the little room.

Also, I am going to see if I can get a loan to fix some things up around the house. (And they did really want to give me a bigger home loan so surely they'll agree to this.) The broken screen door can be fixed, the upstairs cold water tap reground, the drain replaced, the reticulation fixed.

Am feeling very positive about this.

I would rather live with less money and space and more time with the kids.
emma_in_dream: (shakespeare)
My resolutions for 2011 were to:

* run a challenge to read and discuss a nineteenth century novel each month - Done. Will certainly continue next year, perhaps refining my focus. I started on 19th century books, and moved on to 19th century books by women. I’m thinking maybe 19th century science fiction and fantasy by women.

* continue with the 50 books by authors of colour challenge and finish the Queerbooks challenge. Done and done.

* make more home made gifts - Huh, not really, but yes if I count the various paintings I gave to folks.

* to eat in a healthy way - No!!!!

* participating in the Unplug Your Kids challenge regularly. We did a few challenges and then she stopped posting. But luckily I have found a few other great sites with challenges - http://tinkerlab.com/ and http://www.kidscraftweekly.com/ and http://abh21.wordpress.com/

So not too shabby and I think I’ll continue next year.

However, my more important resolutions are as about the rhythm of our daily life. Every day we will aim to:

* eat enough.

* sleep enough.

* do something active.

* go outside.

* do Ruby's physio.

* do Pearl's OT.

That pretty much fills in every day from here til... well forever.
emma_in_dream: (Default)
My resolutions for 2010 were to:

* run a challenge to read and discuss a nineteenth century novel each month - Mostly done. I could not make my way through *Wives and Daughters* but otherwise I did it. Will certainly continue next year.

* continue with the 50 books by authors of colour challenge - I finished the challenge and started the Queerbooks challenge which I find noticeably easier. I can just read off my shelves, which is quite revealing as to my priorities and biases I think. I plan to go back to the 50 books by authors of colour challenge next year.

* make more home made gifts - I did indeed. Also, I have abandoned buying wrapping paper and I am either recycling old paper or making little bags to put things in.

* to eat in a healthy way - an improvement over 2009 in 2010. Will continue in 2010.

* participating in the Unplug Your Kids challenge regularly, though maybe not weekly. This is a challenge online:http://unplugyourkids.com/unplugged-project/

Completely failed to do even one but we will have another go this year. Might be easier now Pearl is older and I am not currently working.

And, as a bonus, in 2010 I managed to have a baby! Not to be repeated in 2011....
emma_in_dream: (Invented in Russia)
My resolutions for 2009 were to:

* run a challenge to read and discuss a nineteenth century novel each month - Mostly done. I skipped Dostoyevsky and I didn’t read all of *The Three Musketeers*, but I did fairly well. I’ll be running it again this year.

* continue with the 50 books by authors of colour challenge - Read 18 books for this challenge, with the concentration in Aboriginal children’s books. I will continue in 2010. I am nearly up to 50 and then I can start over again.

* make more home made gifts - The key word here is 'more'. I made 1 in 2008 and 5 in 2009. Will continue with this.

* to eat in a healthy way - hahahaha! Not so much. I need to make this more specific for 2010. So in 2010 I plan to eat five vegetables and two fruit each day.

I also want to set up another resolution for 2010. Margaret and I will participate in the Unplug Your Kids challenge regularly, though maybe not weekly. This is a challenge online:http://unplugyourkids.com/unplugged-project/

The idea is that you spend creative time with your child to do a project once a week and then you post about it. It is probably aimed at slightly older children than she is - some people do homeschooling projects to it - but I think she is getting old enough to participate a little.

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