At the moment the pressure of debt is driving me a bit mad and, as these things often go, making me want to spend, spend, spend. It occurred to me today that if I have a goal in mind (other than the admittedly very nice but nonetheless somehow kind of intangible seeming goal of being debt free) perhaps it might make it easier for me to wrap my head around still needing to pay off my loan for another nearly two years. I was thinking six months or a year off work would be nice. So, for my 38th birthday (goodness gracious, I'm getting rather old!) I am aiming for having no debt and enough money saved to pay rent (or storage) for six months or a year and for me to go off and travel the world. Two years to clear loan and a little bit more than a year to save after that. In that time I will also work on losing weight and getting fit. Apart from all the other really good reasons for doing that, smaller clothes take up less space and if I'm going to be living out of a rucksack that is going to be very important. Of course I've told my sister I will try to save enough to go and visit her in New Zealand next year so will have to see if I manage that. I think if I had actually saved enough to go to New Zealand next year I'd be tempted to just keep it towards a much longer trip in a couple of years. But on the other hand sometimes you've just got to go for it and do things. Who knows if she'd even still be living there then.
I also feel hopelessly inadequate for the kind of life I want to be leading and am really feeling the pressure of not knowing how to do stuff. I'm learning all the time and have done so many things in the last few years that I wouldn't even have dreamed about doing beforehand that I know it can be done but I just feel like time is slipping by and I'm not really going where I want to be. So, if I had a long time to travel I would mostly do so by WWOOFing, I think. That way I could also get a bit more first-hand knowledge of lots of things I might not otherwise get to experience.
Mostly, a lot of the time, I just think I need a boyfriend. This boyfriend would of course be wonderfully talented and able to teach me lots of the things I want to do but wouldn't, obviously, ever make me feel like he was better than me just 'cos he could actually do all that stuff already and better than me.
Sigh. I wrote most of that about a week ago and most of it still applies although following the harvest thanks celebration I attended at the weekend I have allowed myself to feel proud of what I have achieved this summer (even if a good part of what I achieved was simply mistakes to learn from - I try to look on it from the point of view that I'd never have learned anything if I hadn't made mistakes). I know I still have so much to learn but although it is going more slowly than I feel like it should, it's going at about the level I can handle and that's okay.
I need to be very careful with money for the next couple of months though and really, really need to get my arse in gear and do my tax return. Which should take care of the credit card bill which has crept up on me again. I am also due to get a bonus in work in a couple of months time and have already decided that that money will go towards buying a proper cooker rather than into a savings account with a view to clearing my loan faster. I have a fixed rate loan so would be penalised for making extra payments off it and although I do want to start working on building up savings so that by the time I have the last six months of it to pay off, I will have enough to cover those payments already in savings, I also need to balance that desire with the other things which I need. And after having been hampered to a certain extent in this year's preserving efforts by the lack of a proper cooker, it has moved up the priorities list somewhat.
On a positive note, after a good start to weight watchers, I had a few weeks where I stayed the same and then was up and then didn't make it to class at all but I went back again yesterday and I was a bit more down than I had put up so overall I'm now 4.3 kilos (that's almost 9.5 lbs) down since 13 August. I've worn my jeans twice now (although they are uncomfortable after eating a big meal and the real test will be how well they fit after washing!) and need to put elastic into my work trousers because they are falling down and I only have one pair in the next size down and need something to keep me going until I get past that. If I need to I will buy a new pair of trousers but I'd rather try and wait another few weeks and be able to use something I already have. I've been enjoying making some soups this past week too, which I've been having for dinner when the evenings are a bit cooler but am still able to eat plenty of fresh tomatoes for lunch as well. It's a good food time of year.