2018 is a month in. February has arrived and what does this year hold in store?
A year that began with hope and optimism, and to a large extent has carried that optimism still.
My New Year resolution was made with the best of intentions. And unlike so many broken resolutions of previous years, I have stuck this one out.
My intention is to ensure that by the time I reach my 50th birthday in July, I will be ‘Fit and Fifty’..not fat and fifty. So far so good. A vegan diet, a reduction in sugar and quitting snacking, together with cycling regularly has already resulted in losing 5kg or 11lbs.
Long may it continue and I plan to keep it up.
But how to approach the year. Do I plough into the job market and look to immerse myself in full time employment? I am currently trying to make an online teaching business a viable proposition. Which means a lot of time at home, a lot of time on the computer and the opportunity to explore other interests during what I am calling my
‘Year of Living Creatively’.
In summary I am persuing various artistic objectives and interests. The year may not see me rich in financial terms, but instead emotionally, creatively and mentally rewarded by fulfilling long held ambitions.
In no particular order my creative challenges are:
1. Have a poem published in a literary magazine or journal. My poetry portfolio has grown to around 250 poems and feature on instagram @ajfrobisherpoetry or my website http://www.frobipoetry.com
2. Research, plan and write a novel. I have already begun my book and am enjoying playing with the written word, crafting prose and dialogue, developing characters and storylines.
3. Attend an opera. I have long enjoyed the operatic genre, yet have never had the opportunity to do so. There is nothing more powerful and affecting than stirring, emotive music played and sung live. Which opera? I love Italian opera, particularly Verdi and Puccini. La Traviata, Aida, Turandot or Tosca…we will see.
4. Develop my online blog. Having been a vegetarian for 4 years and recently adopted a vegan diet, I am intrigued by how veganism has gone mainstream – Veganuary was embraced by 160,000 new vegans this year and a host of celebrities. I will combine my love of cooking with my love of cycling. I will be cycling to local cafes and restaurants to sample their vegetarian/vegan dishes. And to write up interviews and reviews. Plus a range of delicious home cooked vegan recipes to inspire and get you cooking.
5. Continue to raise money for charities close to my family’s hearts. Make A Wish and Acorns Children’s Hospice. One or two challenges possibly involving walking and maybe cycling.
6. Increase my breadth of knowledge through a wider reading selection. Read at least one book a month on a range of different subjects.
7. Learn another language. As a language teacher, I know the joy of learning a new language. And how hard it can be. Which language? There are three vying for my attention. Arabic, Italian or Spanish.
8. Develop my Spanish / Flamenco guitar skills. I have played guitar for around almost 40 years. I am competent, but limited in my playing. Flamenco is the most beautiful guitar style – a wide repertoire of styles, techniques, rhythms and sounds. To be adept in some more advanced techniques would be wonderful
9. To explore my voice. My voice is clear with a neutral English accent, correct diction and it would be interesting to see whether it could be employed in audio book readings or other platforms that require a good speaker.
10. Finally, to explore my singing voice. I am no Pavarotti, but for my 50th year I would love to see what a singing teacher makes of my own tenor singing voice…from the shower to Covent Garden? Maybe not, but it would be great to see how I sound and whether my voice had potential.
So, a year of living creatively. An opportunity to explore different artistic areas. Let’s see how far I can progress with each ambition.
But of course alongside these 10 dreams, the reality of making a living.
Back to the blog. Back to teaching English and hopefully enabling others to achieve their goals in improving their own English language skills.