I mentioned the other day that this is the time of year when I usually review my life. The time between Christmas and New Year is ideal for considering what needs to be rebooted, what kept, and what left behind.
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There's a few different aspects to this one.
I don't know whether to change anything where Grace and Rachel are concerned. I suspect not. They're happy and thriving with their life as it is and I'm a realist. If I become more involved in their lives there's a realistic chance I'll make them worse and not better. This is unacceptable.
One of my projects in 2017 will be maintaining a stasis in 'divorced' life. The inverted commas are partly because as far as I know I'm still legally married even though the marriage is long-since kaput. Mostly the words are in inverted commas because I can't disagree with the Church's teaching on marriage's indissolubility as a sacrament. I can't see any grounds I would have for ignoring it. This means that I also simply can't remarry or repartner without committing adultery. I don't like this reality. It's not how I wanted my life to look. My job is simply to make peace with it.
I'll write more about this at some point, but one thing I am disappointed by is the Church's fairly crummy support for divorcees. There's a lot of words about 'support' but the only particularly concrete suggestion I've seen is using us for volunteer work for the church community as a replacement for loving one's spouse. Volunteering is laudable and desirable, of course, but it's hard not to feel that one is being directed to community service like some type of petty offender.
Regular readers will know that my own parents aren't young but remain fiercely independent. There's little for me to do but support them as best I'm able. In practical terms this means I'll be up here in the Goulburn Valley for the next year or so unless there's a remarkably strong reason for me to go elsewhere.
Australia is glutted with lawyers already and another couple of thousand will hit the market this year after completing their degrees in 2016. Essentially all will be younger and cleverer than me. I'll keep my practising certificate so I can continue volunteering at the legal service but there's no point planning a legal career. I had my chance for that when I worked at Hall & Wilcox and at Thomsons Lawyers. Most people only get one chance at a brilliant career. I had two. I choked each time and can't claim to have been hard done by.
What else do I do? Retraining is not an option. I can't afford to be retrained myself and no government support is available. I can't keep scraping by with catchpenny labouring work: it helps me maintain my self respect but not much more. As I see it the only resource I can call on is a knack for writing on pretty near any subject. So, this year my effort will be to write and publish as much as I'm able to. If any of it can be sold for actual money, so much the better.
I'm already doing three different lots of volunteering with SES, the Legal Service and the Red Cross (four if you count the blood bank). I don't think I can really take more on, so my task is to do what I'm doing better.
My two year term as SES Unit Controller will expire in late 2017. At some point I'll need to decide whether to seek reappointment. It's a terrific role, but it's also demanding and it's not fair on other people to 'hog' it either.
Health and Fitness
Notwithstanding the Christmas binge, I'm more or less on track to get my weight down to 75kgs. I still want to get my resting heart rate down a bit further however, which means I have every reason to kep running in 2017! I'd like to enter a few races this year, in addition to the Emergency Services Games half-marathon; I guess that'll depend on having spare money for race fees. At any rate, this part of my life is broadly on track.
What are your plans for the new year?