Saturday, 9 May 2015

That's Enter'train'ment

I recently had a much needed weekend break in London to coincide with the London Marathon. I travelled down by train with two of my daughters and for our entertainment (or as I preferred to call it  - enter'train'ment) my eldest daughter, Liberty,  had sourced some goal setting life audit activity sheets from pinterest. Daughter Ivy was having none of it, protesting that her life was fine the way it was and settled down with a book. Liberty and I got stuck in.

We had to list five priorities and set three goals to achieve each of them.

My first priority was: to run the Market Drayton 10K without coming last. As I explained in a previous post, coming last is actually a real possibility! I set my goals which included running the three miles home from the school drop off at least once a week.

I have been without a car for some time. My faithful old Galaxy was definitely starting to get a bit cranky and when an unfortunate trip home from Sussex ended up taking 7 hours rather than the usual 3 to 4  because of the traffic, bit cranky was elevated to somewhere between more than a lot cranky and totally had it. My sister kindly stepped in to transport my kids to and from school each day and on one morning a week (for all of two weeks) I had her drop me off at the school in my lycra and trainers so I could run home. I ran a bit. I walked a bit. I made it home both times without resorting to hitching a lift from a friendly road user. It wasn't too bad but it wasn't too good either. It certainly wasn't enough to give me the confidence to run the six miles of the race I'd signed up to do.

It is too late to worry about it (and the other two running goals I set myself and failed to find the time for) now. The race is tomorrow! I am running it with my husband so my revised strategy to achieve my goal of 'not coming last' is to trip my husband up just before the finish line so at least I can beat him!

My second priority was to start blogging again. Woohoo! Chalk up one victory to me!

My next two priorities were to do with the fact that I will be moving soon - starting a new life in new county. I gave some thought to the people I want to spend some time with here before I go and the sorting out of my belongings so that I only take with me the things I really want or need. So priority number three was all about PARTIES!! and if only the weather would cheer up I would get my big gazebo put up in the garden and launch myself into party planning mode. I have plenty of good party ideas that will actually help with the sorting out part of my plan. More to follow on that (when the sun comes out!) Priority four could not just be a general 'sort things out'. I was already doing that anyway. It had to focus more on the areas I'd been avoiding because I knew they would be difficult. I set my goals and the hardest one of all was to sort out my photographs.

I bought my first SLR camera when I was at University. Over the years I have amassed an insane amount of photographs. Often, when I had my films processed, I would order two copies of each print because it was significantly cheaper than paying for reprints. When I had my children, I would photograph them endlessly. So many similar photos. So many bad photos. So many double copies. Just... so many photos. I have never been any good at organising them. Add to that all the school photography.... and you always buy the biggest pack because it is 'better value for money'.... and again... so many photos.

I have the luxury of a lot of cupboard space in my current house. For the last ten years, my jumbled mess of photographs has caused nobody any trouble behind a closed door, added to whenever it was the school photo time of year. But I could not move it as it was to our new home. It had to be tackled.

It took me two days to sort through them systematically, discarding the over exposed, the under exposed, the blurry ones, the doubles.... and putting the rest into roughly chronological order. I faced memory after memory... most good, some bad. It was emotionally draining.

I am really pleased with the result... a coherent collection of photographs that invites you to dip in and enjoy.

The final part of the process was probably the hardest. What to do with all the discarded images? After a lot of thought, I shredded them. I shredded my own children. It felt very wrong. I have to say that the shredder did transform the photos into a tactile, glistening heap of shreddings. Quite lovely.

Onto my final priority. Back in December, I set myself a New Year Challenge to learn twelve pole dancing moves - one a month for twelve months - in order to put together a routine and finally get the best use of the pole that my husband bought for me years ago. I started off quite well learning to do a reasonable Fireman Spin by watching instructional videos on the internet. Then I had a change of heart. To fit in with my life I needed to fast track my progress. I started having lessons.

Ivy has been coming with me and I am so glad that I got her to come along. She is really loving it and doing really well. We have now both achieved a Level 1 pass and I have already got more than 12 moves to use in my routine (as well as an impressive selection of bruises). My priority isn't really about calling myself a 'pole dancer' but using pole dancing to improve my strength, posture and flexibility and most of all have some fun. I am certainly doing that.

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