#23 New Year’s resolutions, sort of

In Down and Out on January 4, 2010 at 10:30 pm

It has occurred to me that I ought to be blogging about my New Year’s resolutions. However, not only does this feel a little self-indulgent, but the list is embarrassingly similar to last years’. There have been some readjustments for lowered expectations: ‘get a job’ is still on the list but relegated below more achievable goals such as ‘put up blind’, ‘read to kids every night’ and ‘fix bike’, but still ahead of the fanciful ‘learn to bake’. Otherwise my achievements over the past 12 months have been slight.

It’s not that I’m predisposed towards laziness, or that I took time out over the summer to wallow in self-pity (though perhaps a bit of that went on), but rather the paradox of the freelance/jobseeker predicament – instead of having extra time, you somehow have less. Whether its firing off emails to potential contacts, filling in lengthy job application forms, or researching your field on the look out for potential openings or juicy stories, it’s a full-time job with no defined boundaries, no wage packet and no pension plan. One that expands like that sticky yellow foam filler for lazy DIY to fill every crevice of your life then bulge out beyond it in unsightly growths you’ll never get round to sanding down. There is no ‘end of the working day’, no hard earned reward of a couple of hours in the pub or an evening of Baileys and Poirot on the sofa. It’s a 24/7 job. On top of which, as the non-bread winner, or crumb-winner, you must earn your keep by taking on sole responsibility for domestic chores (your wages in kind are the £40 a week you might otherwise have paid a cleaner, plus the ££s that would have gone to a childminder).

Here, if you will indulge me, are just a few of the tasks I confidently assigned myself in September when staring into the abyss of a long, jobless autumn: ebay unwanted items; put review copies of audiobooks on Amazon marketplace; attach the skirting in bathroom; attach cupboard door in daughter’s room; get skylight surround replastered; plant some things in tubs in garden; repaint front door; assemble Ikea toybox; put up Velux blind in office; put up roller bind in spare bedroom; create a website; print own Christmas cards; make iPhoto book for Mum’s 70th; take a course in starting your own business; visit Roger Hiorns’ ‘Seizure’ installation; take the empty paint cans to the dump; clear out under the stairs; assemble CD tower; get business cards printed; organise a mass yard sale for the whole street.

And although I can proudly tick off the skirting board (ok, there’s still a little bit missing, but it’s 90% there), I’m now also adding the books I’ve still not read and the unwatched TV programmes that are clogging up Sky+.

I’d better get on…

  1. Similar to my maternity leave list which will morph into my under-employed freelancer task list in one months time.

    Use Moo for those business cards as full control, good quality, small print runs for decent price. http://uk.moo.com/en/

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