Progress Report: 28 years

 I had plenty of goals last birthday, which was so long ago that I can’t at all remember who I was back then. Not anywhere near as cool as I am now, definitely. My goals were not ambitious, and I still failed to achieve most of them.
The good thing is that many of them became irrelevant, and I was too busy doing much better things with my time. I’m going to list these things because I’m grateful to the universe for letting me happen them. When I list them it feels like being a child on birthday morning sitting with a great stack of shiny presents.
Things I didn’t expect would have happened a year ago, which happened nonetheless.
  • I have a home, a lovely home with a lovely housemate. I love living in Derby, there are so many amazing people here. I’m kind of living independently.
  • I’m Pippa Porcupine’s Damn Fine Natural Skincare Co.
  • There is a great deal of poetry. I love performing. Still get scared but it’s good kicks.
  • There is a great deal of love. ❤ to you all.
  • Summer was amazing and I’m spinning with the seasons. From Beltane til Solstice, to Lammas and beyond…
  • The pain is the pain of cracking eggshells, reaching roots, unfurling leaves. Growth.
  • Piracy is a viable option.
  • A hat and a cackle are all you need.

 

What did I want a year ago? Modest things to be going on with. I’m a work in progress.

Get Fit

  • I’m still a traffic hazard, but don’t let that stop me from biking everywhere.
  • I go to yoga most weeks, it’s only up the road. I’ve even started doing some stretches on waking, sun saluting into the waking world. More yoga needed though, I’m getting old and creaky.
  • I still still eat a lot of cheese. Cheese is important to me and I have no wish to forsake it. I wish to maintain and encourage my love of wholesome veg based meals. Nosh them probiotics as well.
  • Apparently I’d stopped smoking a year ago. Or at least I was vaping constantly, not sure if that’s an improvement. I smoke a bit now and have no goals to change that.
  • GOAL WAS RIDICULOUS, NEVER GONNA HAPPEN MATE: Drink once or twice a week, at most. HAAAAA I can’t believe I made this goal, what an idiot. I am slowly getting sensible though, if only because hangovers are worse now.

New goals:

  • Dance more.
  • Climb up things.
  • Learn to fight.

Writing

  • My poetry pamphlet, Thou Shalt Not Suffer, was published and I’ve nearly sold out again. Only 4 left, if you don’t have one yet you should get on it.
  • I’ve written and performed a whole bunch of new poems. Some of them are pretty good. People seem to like them.
  • Write more stuff. This year I want to do 2 new books at least.
  • Get back to blogging
  • Still a goal: Daily freewriting
  • More journalling. Otherwise I forget where I’ve been and that makes map-making confusing and narrative next to impossible.

New goals:

  • Sell yourself. Make a performance video. Get booked to perform at festivals and other places that are not here.

Social/Activism

  • City-Zen is in the pipeline.
  • Get back on the volunteering.

Mental Health

  • I GRADUATED FROM THERAPY! Got a certificate and everything. DBT helped me so much, gave me skills I use every day and a solid background in Mindfulness that is a foundation for life. I met some amazing friends there and am so thankful that I got this treatment. Protect NHS mental health services please.

New Goals:

  • Carry on growing and learning new skills to live by
  • Regular meditation practice will help
  • Earth

Other Stuff

  • Everything constantly needs tidying. This does not qualify as a life goal.
  • I still want to do some art.
  • I don’t want to learn how to knit, why did I think that was a sensible goal?
  • Why did I set a goal to learn to drive when I will never be able to afford a car?
  • I never learnt violin (my violin is busted) but I did pick up a bit of tin whistle! I enjoy it a lot. Can almost play 3 whole tunes!
  • Didn’t get round to this other other goal: Get better at poi.
  • Adventures will always be a goal

 

Looking back over previous birthdays, there has been a theme that I felt life was passing me by while I failed to achieve anything of note whatsoever. This is absolutely not the case this year. While I still sometimes weep into the darkness when confronted by the absolute insignificance of my life, I can also recognise that the past year was a significant one in so many ways. Now it’s time to start giving back and making best use of this life I’ve been regifted.

There are so many people whose love and kindness and all round excellence has got me here and if I just pay that love forward the world will be brightened. It’s the least I could do.

Thank you all.

Never thought I’d get this far but it’s fucking nice here.

Cheers.

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Progress Report: 28 years

2017

Has seen some blessed times, but now I’m sad and sulking for missing my first gig of the year because I’m ill and skint and just not up for doing things. 2016 exhausted me. Had a beautiful time last weekend seeing friends though, drawing on happy memories to drg through. That and plans of better times ahead.

So, here are my plans/goals/wishes for this year:

  • learn to drive
  • cycle regularly
  • more poetry
  • perform at some more places
  • get some performance videos done
  • perform at festivals
  • get my show on the road
  • write a new book of conceptual stuff
  • actualise some visual/video/multimedia creation
  • get some decent boots and walk
  • walk long ways
  • have adventures
  • get strong – lift weights, run, yoga, eat food that isn’t cheese
  • blog and diary and record everything
  • get some proficiency in tarot reading
  • meditation focus
  • graduate from DBT having learned all the skills and able to use them in life
  • carry on helping out at Derbyshire Refugee Soidarity
  • do more Belper stuff
  • get new glasses
  • go foraging
  • get my stupid painful tooth sorted out/stop moaning about the tooth
  • go to more amazing camps and festivals
  • visit many friends, especially the ones I haven’t visited in years
  • learn/revise Basic First Aid
  • learn a few tunes by heart on the tin whistle
  • learn to crochet
  • sell a load of stuff to declutter and fund all this
  • apply for a Masters (finance permitting)
  • don’t drink all the damn time
  • get some independent self sufficiency
  • get some community
  • Edited to add: Run the Tenby Half Marathon again! What am I even doing?! My family talk me into these ridiculous things.

I think  that’s enough to be going on with. I’ve made a start today by putting a couple of things on ebay, and I’ve been keeping organised with a Bullet Journal and to do lists. I know Bullet Journal sounds like an enraging gimmick, but I was doing the basic form for half of last year and found it really helpful,so I’m carrying on. Got no memory in general, so writing it down helps.

Keep your peepers open though folks, maybe some interesting things will happen this year…

2017

NaNoNoWriMo

I think I said something about doing National Novel Writing Month. Every year I say I’ll do it, but then… I don’t. You see, every other month of the year, I feel no burning desire to write a novel. Especially not under time pressure. I know, as a writer, novels are supposed to be The Thing. When people ask, “Have you written a book yet?” They generally mean a novel rather than say, a poetry collection or a natural history field guide.

Well, because I don’t currently want to write a novel, (or have the mental capacity to do so), I’m not going to. But I still want to get into the spirit of things, ride the wave of writerly energy that fills the ether at this time. Cheekily glom on to the hard work and motivation of others, like a vampire feeding on creativity.

So I’ve invented my own thing: NaNoNoWriMo: National Not-Novel Writing Month. Each day this month (including yesterday, because linear time is illusory), I will write Something. I will keep meticulous records. Whatever is written must 1. Exist 2. Either start or complete a thing 3. Not be a novel 4. Not be one Tweet. Because I do have some standards of conscientiousness. Those are the rules. They’re admittedly, and deliberately, vague. Because fuck the police, I do what I want, etc.

I’ll tell you at the end what happened. Did I become super-productive? Did I decide that Reddit shitposts are the new literary artform? Did I write a novel because I’m deeply contrary? Did I give up halfway through because I’m wildly inconsistent? Find out here on November 30th. I bet you can’t wait.

NaNoNoWriMo

Goal Report: 27 years

Tomorrow I turn 27. A dangerous age. But what have I achieved in this past year of my life? I had plenty of goals last birthday, and of course I had plenty of ideas at New Year. So, how did I do?

Get Fit

  • I still need to bike more. Still need to learn how to ride on the road without being a traffic hazard.
  • GOAL ACHIEVED: Tenby Half Marathon!
  • However, my physio now says, no more running until my wonky knee is fixed 😦
  • I was doing a Youtube yoga course, and it was good.  But, I drifted away after a couple of months. I should get back on this.
  • I still eat a lot of cheese. But also I cook some delicious healthy vegetable and fish based meals. Goal still in progress, I guess.
  • Goal achieved-ish: Quit smoking, again. I vape a bit. And am still known to steal cigs when drunk. But generally, I don’t smoke any tobacco.
  • GOAL WAS RIDICULOUS, NEVER GONNA HAPPEN MATE: Drink once or twice a week, at most.

Writing

  • My poetry pamphlet, Thou Shalt Not Suffer, is about to be published
  • I didn’t manage to do much else though. Polish and submit poems and short stories I already have? NOPE
  • Write more stuff. Kinda?
  • Keep blogging. Patchy. Very patchy.
  • Get some work experience/do some journalism/something something professional writer. Something something not gonna happen, something something too vague.
  • I did not do NaPoWriMo in April, because I only realised it was April a week into the month.
  • Still a goal: Daily freewriting
  • Journalling I do, sometimes. Something else to step up with.

Social/Activism

  • I started helping out with Derbyshire Refugee Solidarity. Sorting donations in the warehouse, lifting heavy things, and raising sponsorship with running.

Mental Health

  • Do the therapy and homework (without constant sarcasm). As if I thought I could live without sarcasm? What a fool I can be.
  • I do manage to go to therapy and do my homework (usually). It’s pretty good. I like group.

Other Stuff

  • Everything constantly needs tidying. This does not qualify as a life goal.
  • I still want to do some art.
  • And learn to knit. My bro gave me this. Reckon I can do it? knit-a-friend-kit-myles-monkey
  • NEW GOAL: Learn to drive. Watch out!
  • Other new goal: Learn violin. I got my old violin back. I’m sure the neighbours will be overjoyed
  • Other other goal: Get better at poi.
  • Adventures will always be a goal

 

OK, I’ve been semi-successful in some areas. I haven’t achieved absolutely nothing. I was deeply unimpressed with the whole birthday thing, because it underlines how my life is passing by while I waste time. But maybe I’ve done a few things, positive things which are better than nothing.

 

Goal Report: 27 years

How to use up 2016 and become better. (A goal setting post)

From bitter experience, I know that New Year’s Resolutions are destined to fail. A year is an unfathomably long time, and there is no possible way I can plan that far. However, this year is different in that a lot of it is already planned for me. I will be living in Derbyshire, and doing Dialectical Behavioural Therapy twice a week. Which is probably going to be exhausting and take up a lot of my power. It also means that I want to look after myself a bit better. I can’t very well fix my brain if I’m tired, sick, or hungover.

I last made a set of goals in September. Of those goals, all I’ve managed to do is the dentist one. I got 4 fillings but think I need to go back because the most recent filling hurts. The pain has actually kept me awake a couple of nights. Oh, I also got a bike, because Daddy bought it for me. I rode some, but I admit that my lack of fitness and lack of road confidence have led to me not doing as much as I ought to. Also it has rained for the last 6 weeks so I refuse to go outside.

Journal writing has been up and down. I was doing well until December, I think. I did submit something, and got published! Now to submit something else… I also managed to take a massive backwards step by starting smoking again. Maybe that’s why I now have a hacking chest cough.

So, here are some new goals for the first bit of 2016:

Get Fit

  • Bike more places. Maybe do a cycling course so I don’t die in traffic.
  • Train up for half marathon in July, 3-5 days/week.
  • 5k & 10k runs. Like the Parkrun.
  • Find a yoga class or similar.
  • Eat in a sustainable way with actual nutrients and not just cheese.
  • Quit smoking, again.
  • Drink once or twice a week, at most.

Writing

  • Complete editing and design cover for poetry pamphlet, by April.
  • Polish and submit poems and short stories I already have.
  • Write more stuff.
  • Keep blogging.
  • Get some work experience/do some journalism/something something professional writer.
  • Do NaPoWriMo in April.
  • Daily freewriting.
  • Journalling

Social/Activism

  • Get in touch with local groups and see what I can do.

Mental Health

  • Do the therapy and homework (without constant sarcasm).
  • Fill in mood diary sheet every day.
  • Go to hypnotherapy that the amazing Si is giving me for free!

Other Stuff

  • Tidy my room. It’s getting serious in here.
  • Paint some stuff.
  • Learn to crochet.
  • Plan some actual holidays and adventures to do during the breaks.

 

OK. That’s a ridiculous amount of goals. I’ll check back in 3 months and see what’s happening. Positive thinking says I will have made great progress in that time. Experience says “HAHAHAHAHAA!!! Get to fuck will you?!”

How to use up 2016 and become better. (A goal setting post)

Great Things That I Am Definitely Planning To Do

Get Fit

  • Buy a bike, use it to travel instead of bus/car
  • Train up for half marathon next July
  • By doing 5k then 10k runs
  • Stop eating sugar literally all the time seriously stop it you’re not five and your teeth are going to rot out of your skull.
  • Keep on not smoking

Writing

  • Enter all the free poetry competitions
  • Polish and submit to magazines poems and short stories I already have
  • Write more stuff?
  • Keep blogging
  • Get some work experience/do some journalism/something something professional writer.
  • Do NaNoWriMo in November, and NaPoWriMo in April. Actually finish.
  • Daily freewriting
  • Daily journal keeping. Or at least nearly daily.

Social/Activism

  • Volunteer with the Wildlife Trust to go ripping up invasive plants. I want to smash some evil plants.
  • Get in touch with local groups and see what I can do…

Other Stuff

  • Regain/improve German language skills. Shame to waste all my linguistic knowledge.
  • Get a really part time job, like 8 hours. And/or work experience. Gotta sample the world of work to see if it’s as good/awful as people say.
  • All the therapy next year. A proper course of DBT
  • Paint some stuff
  • Go to the dentist (This may take some time. It’s been a couple of years since I last went, and I wasn’t kidding about teeth rotting out of my skull.)

Check back in 6 months and see if I’ve done anything! (Note: don’t expect me to have done anything.)

Great Things That I Am Definitely Planning To Do