March – My Goals So Far


Two months have passed since I first set my goals for the year.

  • Pass the Restricted Driver’s Licence Test.
    This goal carries on from last year (and loosely seven or so years). I gave up after the first try and for that I’m more ashamed than failing in the first place. Time to get behind the wheel, loosen up and just do it.

So I did it! I passed my Restricted! Thanks to my instructor and to everyone who has helped or encouraged me along the way. The test went pretty smoothly I think. There was a moment at the end there when the instructor turned to me and said I needed to check the side streets more and be smoother at taking off with the clutch. I felt a pit in my stomach. I was ready to accept failure. And then as a casual aside, “I passed you”. So there it is, I now own my NZ Restricted Driver’s Licence — Manual edition.

  • Go on a date.
    Whatever the type — Classic, Blind, Online, Speed… But I have to try, even if it is the scariest thing on this damn list.

Think I’ll need to nab a love coach for this. I’m not at all sure how to go about, well, any of it. But I do know I need to get over my current crush. The sooner the better.

  • Remove all clutter.
    I started this last year but my progress dropped off a bit. Well, completely. To embrace living with less stuff, especially when most of it is just clutter, I want to make digital copies of things I can’t bear to part with, and force myself to chuck or donate the rest.

So I bought a camera. I took some snaps. I threw out some old junk, and I’ve been holding onto some pretty weird stuff; old baby teeth and cat fur from our first cat, deceased over ten years ago. I’ve still got a long way to go. And now my room is full of boxes of old school books I don’t know how to part with.

  • Buy a car.
    Once I have the licence things will get a lot easier (and more expensive) with a car. I won’t have to bike in drenched clothes and a heavy backpack just to get to the other side of town. Plus, the freedom. Oh the freedom. Between the hours of 5 and 10 of course.

Another goal crossed off the list. Thanks to my good friend Gregor who gave me a 1993 Ford Laser. For free! There’s still a few things I need to do; clean the windows, fix the radio. And there’s a problem with the driver’s side window.  But it handles very well and I’ve been hooning safely coasting up and down Upper Hutt and Stokes Valley. I will need to venture further south some day to make sure I don’t lose the confidence. I’ve never driven into Wellington so that’s a good a goal as any.

  • Write a novel.
    Encouraged by Stephen King’s book On Writing, I’m actually rather excited to spend my time creating a world over many, many, many pages. My first draft will likely take me a good few months, and I will learn first hand whether or not I have what it takes to write full-length fiction.

My writing in general has taken a bit of a backseat. I’ve found it hard to get back into that groove. I know when I set aside different writing activities, one every week day, I actually made good progress. I think I’ll revert to that system. Again it’s not a novel, but it’s writing. And the more I do the better I will… do.

  • Write a film screenplay.
    Towards the end of 2011 I found myself falling into screenwriting. Like the novel, but of course not like the novel at all, it will push my skills to the very limits. And here’s to it being something other than your standard Hollywood fluff.

I haven’t written a screenplay since I edited one for Oosh Multimedia’s upcoming short film. It may take a few more short stories, but I am aiming to write my own short film from scratch. Whether or not it actually gets made, that’s besides the point. Not a feature film screenplay just yet.

  • Publish a short stories collection.
    Hopefully with some more stories too by this stage, I will try my hand, and maybe even a foot, at digital publishing.

As mentioned above about the novel, writing short stories is going to be one of my daily writing activities. So here’s hoping when I get my groove back you’ll be seeing one short story a week. I’ll make sure to save some as exclusives for the collection.

  • Flat with a friend.
    Thanks to last year’s goal I’ve moved out of home and I’m now flatting. But it’s a little lonely and I could do with a good friend or two to play Rock Band & Battleship.

Next week I would’ve had a new flatmate but they pulled out, just as unexpectedly as they dropped in. My landlord tells me he’s got some more prospective clientele so we’ll see if anything eventuates there.

  • Finish the Oxfam Trailwalk.
    I’ve wanted to do this for years, and seeing as I’m now out of school and have an athletic bunch of friends to boot; this year, it’s time.

Three weeks to go. I’m freaking out… just a little. We’ve been on walks but I don’t think we’ve done anything near the magnitude of what we’re about to do. And our fundraising is quite a way off, but I do have a fundraiser in motion that will, with any luck, get us on top of things.

  • Go clubbing.
    Me? Dancing? Fuhgeddaboudit! But a certain liquid must be consumed to at least entertain the possibility.

Done and dusted. The first goal off my list. I went along to a dance fundraiser with Graeme and some workmates. I ate nibbles, wore a glow stick, and heck, even danced. It may haven taken a few vodka mother’s, but I swayed. I nodded. My limbs actually made movement.


  • Meditate daily.
    I’ve toyed with self improvement, zen, minimalism and all sorts. But I just can’t find the time to sit in the quiet, to relax and be one with the world. I want to make this a part of my daily routine, just like my exercise and writing.

This should’ve been the first thing on my list to get sorted. To melt my mind like butter and relax my muscles before tackling the worries of the day. But I’ve been putting it off and there’s really no excuse. Anyone, especially me, can spare a quick 15 minutes.

    This space is reserved because sometimes you just can’t plan your accomplishments. They end up finding you. And uh, I couldn’t think of a twelfth thing…

So the Switchfoot thing didn’t work out, they cancelled. And I’m writing this up in Auckland. But I think I found something worthy of the Chance card. And that is Donate Blood. Much like the Trailwalker I’ve wanted to do it for a long time but I’ve always chickened out, until last month. I convinced Graeme to come along with me, and like the trooper that he is, he did. His first time too.

It wasn’t without its hiccups. I was nervous. I managed to get through the whole process okay. The St. Johns staffer showed me a little bag of blood and I was surprised at how small it was. He then said it was the blood to be tested. And he reached down and pulled up a much bigger bag of blood. Blood that had just come out of me. I started to feel woozy. The room went fuzzy. My hands felt the most intense pins and needles of my life. The staffer warned me not to close my eyes. I told myself I was being stupid, that I could control this, it was just my body being silly. I was okay, but the anxious staff didn’t put my mind at ease. They wired up an oxygen tank and made wear a mask for a few minutes. After a period of time I began to feel better. The pins and needles disappeared and my hands stopped shaking. I was okay to go home.

So it’s going to be another big battle should I choose to do it again. But I know how important the blood is, and everyone who donates is a star in my books.  Oh and if you were wondering, I’m A Positive.

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