Monday, 4 August 2008

Progress checkpoint #2

It occurred to me the other day that my list of goals stated in January had two sets that included time limits and I just crossed another deadline so it's time for a review.

My two targets for March were both missed but not by too much. Now it's obvious that both of my targets for July have also been missed: I haven't found a new job (even though I left the old one!) and I haven't participated in a mountain-bike race. Naturally, I am job-hunting and I would much rather be working than be unemployed but as far as the bike-racing goes I couldn't care less. I've been riding the bike more often over the last few weeks, I've been to places I've never seen before and I've revisited places I hadn't seen for a couple of years. I've also done a PB on my 'usual' circuit: I thought it was 19 miles but it's actually 18.5 miles, even so, the 63 minutes I took to get around it last Tuesday still counts as a best time and it does look as though I may well beat the hour at some point this year.

As for the rest: as I have photographs on a commercial website and in the Autumn a couple of travel articles will be published on the internet I think that particular goal will be in the bag. I also have another article, based on my lap-dancing blog entry from July, which has been sent to a couple of magazines. Who knows what'll happen there but we'll see.

I'm about to make a start on revising my French so that I can get from Toulouse airport to Carcassonne without any hassle when I go to Mum's at Christmas, which means I ought to meet that goal too by the end of the year.

My Taiji practice is still up and down but that's the nature of the beast. I think this weekend's camp and next months 8-day workshop will be a big help and at the very least provide the motivation to maintain a good level of practice over the summer break rather than letting things slide as usual. In Patrick Kelly's book (Infinite Dao) he mentions a turning point in the training where the desire to train comes from within the body, so rather than having to make yourself go through with your personal practice, it's something the body tells you it needs, rather like feeling hungry or sleepy. If I keep going I should reach that point some time in the next few months to a year and that will be a very welcome experience indeed.

As to the energy levels, they're still up and down but getting better. I think the more regular cycling is helping, as is the fact I'm not in a job I can't stand. Let's hope whatever new job I get isn't quite so vampyric!

As a side note, I had been toying with the idea of taking the MA in Western Esotericism offered by the Uni - I don't have a regular social life so I do now have the time to complete the degree while working full time. However, as Lee quite rightly pointed out the other week, I can start that next year or the year after so there's no rush. I'm getting a little dubious about doing it at all because I don't know if studying the esoteric arts as an academic discipline will really suit me - I think practicing the arts would be better and as Taiji in its 'proper' form is an esoteric art I may just keep reading around the subject and seeing where the training takes me. Also, as I'll be a published writer in the autumn I may well get some freelance work coming in so it's more prudent for me to keep practicing the writing and photography so that the machine is oiled and ready to change up a gear if necessary.

Anyway, the basic aims for the rest of the year are to find a new job, keep working on the Taiji and fitness, do a few months of work on the French, by the end of the year make a start on revising the Japanese so that I'm up to scratch for next summer's planned trip to Japan, and hopefully get some writing and photography out there and actually get paid for it.


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