Luckily for me, I didn’t understand the 13/14 idea last year, so I only set myself 3 targets for 2014: 1. Listen, connect, feel. Life is not a dress rehearsal. 2. Treasure the moments. You never know when they might run out. 3. Write, write, write. Edit, edit, edit. Publish.
Target No.3. I spent less of the year writing than I would normally have done (see Targets No.1 and No.2 for the reason why). However, I did still manage to publish 3 books – two mini guides, one on reading for pleasure and another on writing for a living, and a fifth edition of Getting the Buggers to Behave. (I find it amazing to think that my book is still in print, fifteen years after I first wrote it.) I also wrote first drafts of two books for children, and more blog posts than I had imagined possible (more than was perhaps sensible too).
Targets No.1. and No.2. It seems appropriate to combine these two targets, because 2014 was what you might call a ‘reboot’ year. Carpe Diem, and all that. Every few years, our family takes a ‘leap’ of some kind: we do something that is risky and potentially life changing (such as moving to live in a new country, which we’ve done twice). In 2014 our ‘reboot’ involved taking our children out of school and going on the road with them – what some might call ‘home schooling’ but what we came to refer to as ‘road school’. This time last year, we were still in the planning stages – deciding which countries we would visit, raising the finances to pay for our journey, organising transport, that kind of thing. At that point, we were talking nervously about whether this could really happen. And then … enough talking about it … we leapt! During 2014 we spent half the year outside of the UK. We visited 13 different countries and had the most amazing adventures, ones I believe have changed the way our children think about the world in which they live, forever.
And so to my ‘things to do’ list for 2015. Once again, I’m going to break the rules, and only set myself two targets. (At my age, realism begins to seem like the most sensible strategy.)
1. Focus on family and friends. I’m at an age where the generation above me are starting to get old. Very old. This year we lost a loved one, and another loved one only just made it through. So, I’m setting myself a very clear intent to focus on and make time for family and friends next year, in a similar vein to last year’s ‘treasure the moments’.
2. Turn first drafts and ‘books in my head’ into published books. This time next year, I will have published more books than I have ever published in a single year. The two children’s books that I have in first draft will be completed and in print. The various new mini guides that are rattling around in my head will be drafted, edited and published. And, most importantly of all, the book that I have wanted to write all my life will become a reality. Road School will, somehow, describe what we did on the road and why we did it. I’m not quite sure yet what form it will take (the book is still fighting to find its form inside my head). But what I do know is it will be different, unusual, thought provoking and (if I can possibly manage it) extremely funny. And, this time next year, please hold me to that.