January wasn't too bad in terms of following through on my resolutions, or goals. Report card time:
1. Accomplish all the necessary stuff involved in selling this house and moving into the one we are buying. This is the sort of resolution that, although not easy in itself, HAS to be followed through on.
Report - masses of decluttering happened. A storage unit is almost entirely full of books, bookcases, craft materials and other stuff that we can live without for a while. The house has been on the market since before Christmas and quite a few people have been through it. We are settling on the new one, and moving in, on 15 April. All neighbourhood op shops have had their stock massively swelled by our offerings. A small amount of stuff has been thrown out if too disgusting/broken/etc to reuse or recycle. The house is cleaner than it has been for a long time. I think we have accomplished everything possible for one month.
2. Get a job. It really is time after 18 years to go back to earning some sort of income. This is a scary one. I have no idea how I and the rest of the family will cope - they have all got used to me being available whenever required. I did not have children or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome last time I worked. A very large part of me does not want to go back to work. But a small part of me craves the idea of doing something else.
Report - I have applied for seven jobs, having spent a long time rewriting my CV. The first two jobs, no interview or job. Job 3, no response. Job 4, have an interview on Tuesday - it is unfortunately the lowest paying of the lot but might provide useful experience. Jobs 5 and 6, no response yet and it was long enough ago to assume that I didn't get interviews. Job 7, hoping for an interview but if I don't hear in the next couple of days will have to assume nothing there either. One more possibility, waiting on a job description. I fear that the 18 years out of the workforce is proving to be a stumbling block and a half.
3. Complete a project a month. Even if it is just a plain sock (pair of socks!) Preferably try out some new techniques or whatever, but at least one project a month.
Report - I have finished my January Beading Journal Project piece. It will be photographed and blogged about separately. Very pleased with both it, and with finishing something!!
4. Stop spending money like water. With this in mind, this resolution is split into sections :
4.1 I will not buy any clothes or shoes unless ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. 'Necessary' means underwear if my current collection falls apart; if I end up in a job where I can't wear jeans, some other covering for my bottom half may be necessary beyond the one pair of black trousers and one black skirt I own; and I am going to a family wedding in March that MAY necessitate a new outfit. I can make myself anything I like out of my vast stash of fabrics and patterns, however, and if this is the case, purchase of required notions will be permitted. I would make an outfit for the wedding but that is likely to be around the time we move, and I am packing up my stash as we speak.
Report - mostly successful. No clothes purchased. Two pairs of cheap, gaudy summer sandals proved irresistible, however, so not total success. Two pairs of inexpensive, practical black shoes for work purposes were also purchased, legitimately.
4.2 I buy far too many DVDs. I will restrict myself to the equivalent of one full-price film (i.e. one new release or something like those 3 for $30 specials you see around) and one TV series. I need to be VERY STRICT about this.
Report - surprisingly successful within the strict wording of the agreement. I bought one TV Series - admittedly it was the entire PD James collection (not including the Martin Shaw adaptations) which was astronomically expensive, but it WAS only one boxed set. I tossed up between feature films but in the end spent the same amount of money as a brand new one on the TV series Testament of Youth which has just been released. It is one of my all-time favorites, to the point of obessession with Vera Brittain. So I consider that I did well, if not cheaply!
4.3 Likewise with books. One full-price book or the equivalent per month.
Report - hey, guess what, did not buy ONE BOOK AT ALL. I might consider rolling it over, but I think that I ought to consider the two naughty pairs of summer sandals and call it quits.
4.4 Craft materials - only to be purchased if necessary to make a specific project immediately after purchase. Otherwise all craft material shopping is to be done from the stash.
Report - ahem, one new Issy Miyake Vogue pattern slipped under the radar.
4.5 Exceptions to the rules will include craft shows, where I will take a fixed amount of cash and leave my credit cards at home. Nothing purchased under these circumstances will count towards the total!
Report - no craft shows, so I passed this one!
4.6 Items for any room in the new house, but especially the kitchen, will only be purchased if necessary, not just because they catch my eye. There will be some purchases, planned in advance.
Report - I am pretty certain that I followed this one to the letter. Oh, I did buy two coloured glass bottles to store water in the fridge, but they were $5 each and we didn't have any fridge water bottles. I do have a water jug but it takes up half the fridge, whereas these fit in the door. So I count these as reasonable purchases.
All in all I think I did OK! This month - well, I;m afraid that so far one more pair of cheap gaudy summer sandals came home with me. Clothes - it depends on whether I get a job this month and, if so, what the dress code is, but the only clothes purchased will be under those circumstances. I am on the lookout for a pair of winter boots as they start coming into the shops - in the winter I like to wear skirts with boots. I have two pairs that suit, but one is about to fall apart and is not fit for work wear, and the other pair are two winters old and may not last out another winter, so I want a back up pair. And because they have to fit my massive calves and still look attractive, I have to shop around. Otherwise, my winter shoes are more appropriate for work than my summer ones, so there shouldn't be any need for more.
I already know what TV series and feature film I will be buying this month, but I will draw out the anticipation.
Everything else, like house stuff, will be taken as it comes!