It's based on the 12 astrological houses, each of which is identified with a zodiac sign, as they're supposed to cover most aspects of our lives. For anyone allergic to notions like astrology, this is just a structure to hang some reflections on - there's no actual astrology in it. I've given the sign names associated with each house below in case anyone else wants to try it.
1. Aries — My self
2. Taurus — My material world - things, money, the material environment
3. Gemini — My immediate living situation, day to day life and communications
4. Cancer — My family of origin, my roots
5. Leo — My creativity, relationships with children, and play
6. Virgo — My work and work colleagues. Also/or, my health
7. Libra — My close relationships and partnerships
8. Scorpio — My transformations, major changes, crises, endings
9. Sagittarius — My wider world views, travel, knowledge, and philosophy
10. Capricorn — My public face - professionally and/or socially
11. Aquarius — My friends, groups, communities and supports
12. Pisces — My difficulties, and secrets
As my astrological sign is Leo, I'm arbitrarily starting the list with the 5th House, and cycling through them from there.
The 12 Houses of 2014: (based on the 12 astrological 'houses' in a chart)
My creativity, relationships with children, and play
For me, this is almost entirely fan-related - no kids in my life. 2014 was a good year, I think, with writing stories and making art, and recording a little podfic, although my circumstances still make that difficult to manage so not as much podfic as I'd like. This stuff's the main thing that keeps me going; it's what keeps me sane and enjoying life overall, so appropriate to start with it, I guess. I'm especially proud of the complete Losers Tarot deck I made for the Losers Big Bang. First fully original tarot I've ever completed.
What I'm going to do in 2015 - more of the same, and try more actively to improve my writing and art skills.
My work and work colleagues. Also/or, my health
Work in 2014 was less positive. I like the job itself (admin, teaching, student support and troubleshooting), but I had to drop to half-time about 4 years ago, and the job's nearly a full-time workload. It means I can't do it properly, which is a crappy feeling - lots of last minute rushes and saves and apologies. Also, there's just NEVER a break - always a back-log of semi-urgent things hanging over me. I work as much as possible from home, so it's always there, with no boundaries between work tasks and personal life. It's partly my fault of course, for letting the system I work for use me in this way, and partly it's due to the economic downturn, which means that despite me telling the bosses they need to employ another half-timer to help me, they say there's no money.
What I'm going to do in 2015 - it's too early for me to retire and I'm kind of an éminence grise at work with a shitload of institutional memory and no damn succession plan. I've started muttering about that in meetings, and will have to get more strident about it in 2015. There's a couple of work-related things I do that are extras but very time-consuming. It'll be a loss to my students, but I'll have to drop doing them in 2015 to reduce the overload.
Health-wise I'm way healthier than I have any right to be, given the near-complete lack of sensible self-care across the past year and more. Ate too much even if what I ate was reasonably healthy, and I hate exercise, including flossing, so there was bugger all of that, this last year. Maybe denial works, plus it turns out that being physically isolated from others protects you from colds and flus.
What I'm going to do in 2015 - force myself to do some regular exercises despite general decrepitude, profound lack of fitness and lack of flexibility. I have a youtube programme I can use, just need to actually do it a few times each week. We'll see.
My close relationships and partnerships
No one like that, last year or for a number of years, nor do I miss it. That stuff's not my forte, but I am kind of wedded to my cat, Possum (see below, also the icon). He's my main man.
What I'm going to do in 2015 - continue enjoying my independence, and, I hope, Possum, even though he's getting a bit senior himself. He still shimmies up and down trees, though.
My transformations, major changes, crises, endings
Nothing like that in 2014. I can see it coming, so I guess there's been a certain amount of anticipatory grief, which I'm sure will prove to have been useless when I'm hit with the real thing. I don't think you can deal with that in advance, not really. 2014's been marked by the lack of any major changes really - oh, except in SGA fandom, I guess. The last McShep Match, and the last SGA Secret Santa. But they don't feel so final as there'll be other challenges and the fandom goes on, just changed. Still, a little practice in grieving, there.
What I'm going to do in 2015 - help to make sure other challenges replace the old SGA stand-bys. Continue exercising cheerful denial.
My wider world views, travel, knowledge, and philosophy
This stuff didn't change across 2014. A couple of trips to Melbourne at least got me out of the house and in brief contact with colleagues, and reinforced my hatred of airports and economy-class air travel. My guiding life-philosophy's still much the same (be as cheerful as possible, or at least, don't whine) and the world in 2014 continued to reinforce my world view (we're all fucked) and my tendency to avoid watching the news or read newspapers. When the apocalypse happens I rely on you guys to let me know, okay?
What I'm going to do in 2015 - continue being curmudgeonly about the world, while still supporting charities and, as ever, exercising denial.
My public face - professionally and/or socially
Obvs only generalities here, but as above, I guess across 2014 I've been an increasingly tattered elder in my profession and work. My social face has been largely here, in fandom, with three or four notable real-life exceptions.
What I'm going to do in 2015 - more of the same.
My friends, groups, communities and supports
Again, in 2014 a main community and support has been my on-line friends and fandoms, so thanks for that, and hugs to you all. There are another couple of groups of RL friends that stem from work, who I see regularly.
What I'm going to do in 2015 - no real change, but I'd like to see more of my RL friends, so I'll try to make that happen.
My difficulties, and secrets
Difficult but not secret. The main stressful thing is watching up close, as my Mum fails. She's got a number of medical problems and disabilities and she lives with me - I'm her caregiver. Reconnecting with her and looking after her since the Christchurch earthquake 4 years ago has been wonderful in many ways, after living in another city to my parents since I was 27. She's a sweetie, and can be quite funny, but in the last 3 months of 2014 there's been a marked decline in all her functions - movement, speech, orientation, etc. and it's very hard now, knowing how crappy her quality of life mostly is. All I can say is thank Christ for adult pull-up nappies - and fuck the environment.
What I'm going to do in 2015 - yeah, let's not go there. That's what denial's for.
Ha - lost in the middle of all this, appropriately enough! Nah, I get by, and I enjoy a lot of things.
What I'm going to do in 2015 - there's a lot I need to do to sort myself out, but it'll have to wait until my circumstances change so I have more space for myself. And then I'm sure I'll desperately need to do some "pulling myself together" stuff. Also, I'm going to finish reading Roz Chast's memoir Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? which is gruelling but deadly accurate and hilarious, when it comes to helping parents through the ends of their lives.
My material world - things, money, the material environment
Don't have a lot but we're very lucky to have enough. No changes there across 2014 except I've been even more random, often paying bills decidedly late, and still haven't done my last lot of taxes, sod it. I'm beginning a process to sell Mum and Dad's house in Christchurch, which is the sort of thing I hate and find horribly daunting. Also, it's in bloody Christchurch, and I can't leave Mum, so...yeah. Haven't got all that sorted yet.
I have way too many things. Here's a poem I wrote a few years ago before I discovered fandom and stuff like poetry largely went out the window. It still holds far too true. Things
What I'm going to do in 2015 - Travel down to ChCh overnight at some point and grab a few last things (things!) from the house, then get movers to pack it all up and store it. Will also have to deal with lawyers - luckily I have a great one with a shabby, threadbare office in my local suburb. He doesn't give much of a shit about making money, either.
My immediate living situation, day to day life and communications
My immediate environment is a big plus, kind of. My little 1946-era house is in the bush, surrounded by native trees, tree-ferns and hardier shade-loving garden plants that've survived with no help from me (clivias, acanthus, hydrangeas). Also lots of native birds - big fat wood pigeons, tuis, silvereyes, fantails and moreporks (owls). The house itself (wooden with a metal roof) is falling apart gradually, slowly slanting down the hill so the doors and windows on the most downhill part don't fit anymore. Probably needs a massive re-piling, but I can't cope with that. Needless to say the house is well-aerated - but it's summer now, and airconditioning's for wusses.
Day to day life is too sedentary and too much is spent on computers. My iPhone is pretty much grafted to my hand as I clear emails, do work stuff and read ebooks and fanfic on it all the time. I got a laptop in 2014, so as to be able to work closer to where Mum was sitting, as she was panicking with me in another room (my study - basically a room with the PC and a truckload of junk).
What I'm going to do in 2015 - Go on ignoring the decaying house and enjoying the bush and birds. Go on being totally reliant on technology for work and communications. Do something about the way my wifi modem keeps shutting off and needing rebooting (unplug/replug) several times daily which has been pissing me off big time in the last week.
My family of origin, my roots
No change to that in 2014 - not much left now except for Mum (I'm an only child). There's an aunt and uncle here in the same city, but we're not very close - don't have a lot in common. Some similarly distant relatives in Christchurch.
What I'm going to do in 2015 - I imagine at some point I'll see a lot of the relatives, and then we'll drift further apart after that. I've vaguely considered keeping Mum and Dad's house and going to live there, thus solving the problem of living in a house here which is decaying into the bush. But it'd mean losing a few good local friends, and I'd still have to sell a house (a more chaotic one), and I'm not ready to give up my job here yet. So no, don't think I'll do that.
Well, that wasn't very cheering, was it! But it is what it is, and at some point it'll change drastically and that'll be even harder, for a while, but with more room afterwards for other, hopefully positive changes.
I'm gonna post this at midnight Jan 31st, my time.
Happy New Year to you all!
*** PS - I discovered while doing this (lengthy!) post that every time you switch from rich text to html it all autosaves. I imagine everyone else already knew that but it's a revelation to me, and very useful. (but only on DW not LJ, sorry, LJ peeps)