My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My Lofty Aspirations.

A little while ago I found myself reading backwards through my blog like a diary - interesting to see what we've been up to and what we've achieved over the past few months since I started writing. And now it's that time of year when we typically feel the need to redirect ourselves, make sweeping resolutions about our waistlines and exercise regimes, how we are going to achieve straight A grades, become the CEO of the company etc, etc.

So here I am, thinking about this next year in the progression of my life. What do I want from it? What will it demand of me?

In 2002 I wrote a basic 10 - 15 year plan or list of goals:
  • Completed Herbalism studies.
  • Working as an Independent Midwife, perhaps homebirths only, along with some consultations as a herbalist.
    Be living in a house with 5-10 acres of land that I own jointly with M.
  • Have an earning rental property.
  • Have a large herbal and vege garden, an orchard and chooks.
  • Have a couple of children.

So eight years later, it's that time of year for an evaluation.

  • I have not completed my Herbalism studies! I started and almost finished the first year by correspondence and then had to cut it short when my first child arrived. It is still something I am interested in. Now that the children are a little older, perhaps it is something I could look into again?

  • I have worked for a few years as an Independent Midwife and worked out the best way to fit it into and around life. But for now I have given up (paid!) work completely.

  • We found the right bit of land and we are finally living on it!
  • We do have an earning rental property. Although I personally don't own it, I do benefit from the income. And it's fully renovated, which took a long time in coming.

  • As for the garden etc. I have started establishing one this last year and the chooks have been around for a while. I have my eyes on an orchard next.

  • And the kids....well, they arrived earlier than planned, but they say the best gifts are surprises!

So in 2007 I wrote another 10-15 year plan.

  • Two happy, healthy kids with no major social, educational, personal problems etc. (lofty aspirations!)

  • Living out on our land, house finished, garden giving us most fruit and veges, chooks, cows and ?pig, herbal garden.
  • Completed Herbalism studies.

  • Happy in whatever part-time employment I'm doing, ?midwifery.

  • Have enough time to quilt as I wish.

  • Freehold with savings and investment property.

Not too much has changed. Quilting made an appearance after I discovered the joy of creating! And I guess I'm refining the type of lifestyle I want to lead. Really, if I wrote another 10-15 year plan today, I wouldn't alter much from the 2007 one.

The nitty gritty then: what are my plans for this year? What specific goals do I want to achieve this year to help me live the life I want for my family and I?

ORCHARD. This is my big one for this year. I want to plan, prepare and plant an orchard. And it's the planning and preparing bit that I really want to do properly.

RABBITS. I've been interested in rabbits for meat for a little while. Then I found some more information on it and it has really motivated me to try and incorporate rabbits into my growing systems out here. By the end of the year, I want to be eating my own bunnies (apologies to all who find this idea a little hard but this is what sustainable agriculture is all about).

LAND AND HOUSE. We own our block of land as tenants-in-common with another woman. We always had the intention of formalising a subdivision into two titles and this year we want to have some concrete progress towards that goal. Also we will shortly be constructing another shed and a large veranda on the front of this shed, so to have that completed and functional this year will be great.

WATER SUPPLY. We are officially in a drought. In this area we haven't had any significant rain for about three months. One rainwater tank is not cutting the mustard. So this year we need to investigate our options and establish a more consistent water supply in case we have the same weather pattern next summer.

HAPPINESS. And then a not-so-concrete, but probably most important goal: To make our family situation what we envisaged it when I made the decision to give up work. That is to have the kids in a routine, have time together as a family and time to spend doing the things we enjoy, and for me to have the time to provide my family with wholesome, homegrown and homecooked food.

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