2017 Achievements and Goals Revisited

 

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We’re nearly a quarter of the way through 2017, so now seems as good a time as any to review the goals I set myself for this year. This is also a chance to share my 2017 Achievements so far with you all, and for you to let me know how you’re getting on with you own in the comments  below.

1. Finish My Master’s Degree

Back in January, I submitted my first essays for my Master’s degree. I’m not going to lie, it was terrifying. I barely scrapped through my Undergraduate degree, so have been going through some serious imposter syndrome since I got accepted onto the course.

All of this taken into consideration, imagine my surprise when I more than passed my first two modules. My university doesn’t do merit grades for Master’s degrees, but if they did I would be well on my way to getting one. I honestly couldn’t be happier! I’m holding onto my achievements so far as I head into the Easter break – the time to get my next two assessments done and dusted. A distinction isn’t completely out of the question if I score well on these, so I’m going to be throwing myself into the work to make it the best that it can be!

2. Fit in More Crafting

I’ve been a little up and down with this goal. Some weeks I’ve been doing loads (generally when I have something to procrastinate from),and others I haven’t gone near anything craft related. I’m slowly improving though, remembering to make time for myself. I’ve also been reminded that I always feel better when my downtime still seems productive. With this in mind, I’ve taken to adding craft projects to my to do list, so that I feel like I’m getting stuff done whilst still making time for myself to relax. I currently have a couple of projects on the go, which I hope to share with you all soon. I’ve also just finished a huge cross stitch project that I’ve been working on for over a year. I’m hoping to post about it soon – it just needs to get to it’s recipient first!

3. Develop My Career

I started the year by returning to a career I thought I had left behind me long ago. In hindsight, adding a full time job on top of full time studies probably wasn’t the wisest of choices. Regardless of this, it went really well, and I began to question why I had ever left it in the first place.

So, since then I have been seeking out stage management work again. It’s been a little difficult, as I’m restricted by my contact hours at university, but I’ve been making a couple of applications a month. I even have a job interview this week for a perfect sounding job that would combine my stage management experience with my growing applied theatre knowledge. So, fingers crossed for that.

In the meantime, I’ve been continuing with my work placements for university. On top of my pre-existing one from last term, I have a new placement each Wednesday. This one focuses on Marketing and Administration; Two areas I have very little experience in but which will be essential in my future involving an amount of freelance work. On top of my work placement, I’ve started doing some paid reception work with them, which should help make ends meet!

I’m still not sure where all this is leading me. I suspect though that I might be heading towards a series of odd jobs to make ends meet, interspersed with the work I want to do. When I work out what that is, exactly.

4. Make New Friends

I kind of hate myself for putting this on my list of goals for the year. It’s not that I don’t want friends – it wouldn’t be on my list if that was the case. It’s just so difficult! I hate having to put myself out there. Years of social anxiety and trust issues have built a massive wall I have to climb over whenever anything remotely friendship like comes my way.

That being said, I have been making baby steps in the right direction (mainly with help from my lovely ‘Mental Health Specialist Mentor,’ courtesy of the university.) I met up with an old work colleague. I’ve been pushing myself to join more conversations between classes at university. Most scarily of all (for me, at least) I went along to a London Craft Club meetup earlier in the month. The bonus of this is that there was very little pressure to socialise, as everyone was engaged in their own crafts. Plus, it helped me towards my second goal of making more time for my crafts. I haven’t managed to go back since then, but I’m hoping I will some time soon.

So basically, no huge leaps of progress towards any of my goals as of yet, but a couple of little achievements worth mentioning. I’ve listed them below, mainly for personal bragging reasons. It also helps boost my mood when I’m feeling rubbish to remember everything I’ve achieved. Don’t forget to add your own achievements and goals in the comments!

 

2017 Achievements

  1. I have received good marks for my Master’s degree assessments so far.
  2. I worked on a show as a Stage Manager for the first time in three years. The show got great reviews, and I received high praise for my part on the show.
  3. Pushing myself to the edges of my comfort zone, I went to a craft group meetup.
  4. I completed a super secret craft project that I’ve been working on for over a year. Hopefully you’ll hear more about this really soon!

Indoor Cats Vs. Outdoor Cats

It’s a topic that I find divides the public down the middle – which is better: Indoor cats, or outdoor cats?

Our Transition From Indoor Cats to Outdoor Cats

When I was younger, our cats were strictly in the latter camp. There was a cat flap in the kitchen letting them wander in and out as they pleased. In a house of four under five year olds, I imagine the peace and quiet was appreciated. Moet and Chandon ultimately died of old age, but they both had scrapes with the outdoors at different points.

When we got our most recent feline additions however, they were always strictly indoor cats. Anyone whose met Hector can confirm that he doesn’t have the common sense to cope with a busy road. Roxy had always been an indoor cat when I got her, and her reaction to an oncoming car would probably be to just flop. It seemed unfair to just let Archie out, and PJ was so fed up of the outside when she came to us that she hardly even joins the supervised trips to the garden. As a family, we’re firmly in camp ‘Indoor.’ It just seems to make sense for our situation. But I know many people in the ‘Outdoor’ camp, and can understand where they’re coming from.

I just don’t know if it’s worth the risk.

Harry & Hugo

We have – had – two lovely ginger kittens at my workplace. It ultimately wasn’t my decision to as to whether or not they were kept inside, and a few weeks of litter trays settled the debate – they were going out. To begin with, there were no problems – although the boys continued to come inside to do their business in the litter tray, much to everyone else’s disdain. Then they started to bring in dad mice and birds, which disgusted people more than the litter trays but hey, that’s just what cats do. Then, one of them didn’t come home one night. Then, only a couple of weeks ago, the second dashed out in front of a car and sadly didn’t make it.

It’s sad whenever you lose a family pet, but this death hit me especially hard. I had warned, over and over again, that it just wasn’t safe for cats to go out when there’s a main road right there. In my brief time as a van driver, I was moving dead cats out of the road every week. Surely it wasn’t worth it?

There are many arguments for letting your cat out but for me, the benefits don’t outweigh the risks. The risks aren’t just to your cat – it impacts the wildlife too. The Mammal Society estimates that cats in the UK kill up to 275 million items of prey each year. With the number of domestic cats rising, it’s likely that this number will too.

I encourage everyone to investigate the pros and cons themselves. I’d love to hear your thoughts regardless of which side of the fence you are on! Do your cats live a pampered life inside, or do they live on the wild side?