Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Such a long time since I updated this blog and so much has happened!

Since I last posted, we have moved house to be closer to Husband’s new job. After a 4 months of staying at my mum’s four nights a week and coming home at the weekend, I started a new job at the start of December. Only thing is it is part time (20 hours a week) and temporary until the end of July 2015. It is more a sideways move than anything else, but a foot in the door, and I am still looking to see what other opportunities lie ahead. After initially feeling a bit weird about not working full time, I have got over myself and rationalised that it is a career sacrifice that had to be made in order to have something resembling a home life. Meantime I intend to a) really enjoy that naughty schoolgirl feeling I have every Wednesday at 2pm when I log off for the week and b) make the best use of the other two days to job hunt and pursue whatever opportunities come my way.

It’s weird being at home during the working week. I find that the best way to use my time is to make a list of things to do and cross them off. I also like to have a morning and afternoon tea break, and a lunch break. The rest of the time I try and make sure I am doing something productive, be it housework, studying or job application related activity. Ah, yes, studying. I am coming to the end of my Level 3 Certificate in Information, Advice and Guidance, and really look forward completing this qualification. I do find myself really looking forward to Husband’s return from work, though. Maybe I should just give it all up and move to a town called Stepford – as if!!

So then – goals for January 2014. Trying to be SMART… and I will update these at least once a month.

1. Register for the local Park Run (I have already done this – a real workout for my typing fingers, let me tell you). Complete my first Park Run before the end of January.

2. Go to a local Toastmasters meeting (there is one on the 14th January) to see if it is something that I would like to pursue. I think it could be good in terms of increasing my confidence at work/job interviews and also getting to know more folks in my new area.

3. Send a Happy New Year message to my various business contacts, updating them with my new contact details and current ventures – to be completed before 8th January.

4. Complete the application for a job I am interested in (closing date is 15th January). I want to get a first draft done by 8th of Jan though so I can run it by one of my trusted advisers and revise accordingly.

5. Establish a habit of using the Weight Watchers tracker every day to log my food intake and exercise. I have invested £30 in a 3 month membership online with the longer term objective of losing 2 stone by the end of March. I did consider joining a real life group and there is a meeting on a Saturday morning in our village later on should I need additional help with this goal, but I’m going to try a DIY approach in the first instance. Husband is doing the London Marathon again and wants to try and shift some weight too, so this should help 🙂

6. Spend a couple of hours going through my professional discussion questions ahead of my SKYPE tutorial with my assessor on 15th January. Not really a goal, but I have put it on here so I can follow it up next month – keeping the accountability theme going.

7. Social – Husband’s running club have their annual festive meal this month – I will be attending as a “plus one”. I set myself the target of initiating conversations with two new people. This might sound a bit pathetic, but I am an introvert who doesn’t like big social scenes!

8. Last one – I enjoy singing and I have tracked down a couple of choirs I might like to join. I will attend a taster session before the end of January.


Know there’s no success like failure, and failure’s no sucess at all.

Yep, it’s true. I’ve failed. I mess up all the time. Phone rings, and it’s a smug colleague in another department who has picked up one of my many oversights or shortcomings, with not a little glee in her voice. I look back at the career I worked so hard to achieve which lays in ruins many years behind me, something which haunted me for years and I convinced myself I was “finished”. Boy, did I beat myself up about that for years. Now I laugh at myself, I was 27 for goodness sake, only just starting out.

That was when I allowed my successes (yes there have been some!) and my failures determine who I was as a person, my worth with some kind of cosmic scorekeeper. It’s not about what car I drive or how many friends I have. It’s not about my job title or the number on my pay cheque. Although recognition is very nice to have, when I turn out the light at night, it’s only how I feel about myself that matters.

I’m not going to say that there’s something wonderful about failure, about how we learn by our mistakes and all that. There’s nothing particularly noble about screwing up. The growth bit is when you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again. OK, this time you failed, but you’re not a failure.

Give that thing a go, and if you fail, so what? Didn’t finish is better than didn’t start.