Please allow me to preface these goals with gratitude for all of the gifts in my life. I have an amazing, loving fiance, wonderful friends, and a great family. I have two awesome dogs that bring so much joy. I live in a comfortable home, have a good job, and life is generally stable and very, very good. However – I don’t believe you can be complacent and be a good person. I think you always have to try, and you always have to be learning and growing. I have plenty of things to work on within myself to be a better person, and there are also plenty of things in my life that I would like to improve. That said, on to the goals!
- Start a blog (done!)
- Learn blog stuff – (in progress)
- Join Treehouse and start learning some new marketable skills (February)
- Stick to chore schedule (ugh)
- Brush dog 1 more regularly to help with #4 (he’s basically 80% fur, 20% dog)
Goal 1 – I started! I’ve been writing posts! Yay!
Goal 2 – I am totally newb. All I’ve figured out so far is how to write and publish posts, add pictures, and change some colors. I’m going to seek out some tutorials and try to up my knowledge to achieve the functionality I’d like and maybe eventually gain some skills that are useful to others.
Goal 3 – I think it would be useful to learn some internet-based skills in our increasingly internet-based economy. More about this below.
Goal 4 – I hate when my house is dirty and cluttered. I am not a neat freak, but I like things picked up, a clear landscape is soothing for my mind. Plus, our home is only a two bedroom condo, so this goal is just to help me feel more relaxed while I’m home. I’m working on some strategies to make this easy and as green as possible. We make our own laundry detergent and surface cleaner currently, so that’s a start.
Goal 5 – Dog 1 is a pekingese, they have these double coats where the undercoat is really soft and the outer coat is course and has the color typical of the breed. He sheds like it is his JOB. I feel like my house is covered in his fur, and it’s gross and a never ending battle. I love him so much though that I deal with it. Regular brushing is supposed to help keep the shedding down, and that would make Goal 4 easier to keep up with. I think I need a different kind of brush, I have a Furminator but he really hates it – I think it pulls too much.
All of these goals are parts of achieving a mental/life freedom of sorts. My job is a good job, and I like the area I work in (regulatory side of human medical research). But sometimes I feel trapped. I’m not really satisfied with the way my office is run – it’s inefficient, it is structured and also somewhat cultured so as to increase, rather than to minimize, antagonism between our staff and the people we work with. This is unavoidable to some extent because we are the rule-enforcers, but there are lots of ways to make things easier for people to follow the rules. The reason for this problems is really that management is fragmented, the director is a softy who doesn’t like to upset people in or out of the office (and he’s also a short-timer, due to retire in under six months). This is also a lower-level position than my last one, but I took it because the pay was similar and I was moving cross-country and needed to take a job. I was lucky that this one was open right when I needed it. I have been promoted in the two years I’ve been here with a decent raise, but I’m still not at the responsibility level I was prior to coming here. My director says he wants to promote me to associate director before he leaves, so I’m hopeful, but I’m not taking that as a promise or guarantee.
With that explanation behind us, my skills are in a niche area in academic research. Lower and mid-level administration in academia doesn’t pay a ton, so unless I continue to move up, my earning potential is stagnant, and then there still remains the personnel issues with those running things that frustrate my ability to do a great job, are just frustrating themselves, and show not much likelihood of changing. So these goals are about building out something for myself, some skills with earning potential that don’t rely on my job. This would give me some mental freedom – I can go somewhere, do something else – I’m not just stuck doing this with no other options or way out. That’s also where the goal of achieving FI comes into play, but that’s longer term, and this is more something to manage my emotions and mental needs in the near term.
You might ask why I don’t go back to school and get an advanced degree or a degree in something else marketable. If I was (1) debt free and could (2) go to school for free, this might be an option. I have a household to support so I would need to work at least part time while doing this and minimizing bills would make that easier. But I really don’t want to go back to school and struggle to make ends meet while doing so. It’s not a necessity. I definitely do not want to incur any debt to go to school and get a degree when I already have a bachelor’s, I have a good job, and there’s plenty of things I can do with the degree I have and learning some new skills.
So, for now at least, I’m going to make the best of where I’m at and do some things in my own time to give me more of a sense of that freedom that I’m looking for.