My future

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There is something about holidays, that inspire me to reflect, dream and think about where I have been, where I am, and where I am going. In particular about some of my personal life goals and aims.

I sat down today, and thanks to having listed my goals at '43 Things', reminding myself of them has been easy.

43 Things is a great site for putting up goals you have about anything, writing your progress, and cheering on others with similar goals, or goals that you find interesting, and for others to be inspired by you.

So I've completed a weight loss goal, and added a new goal today, you can see mine here.

I've also put them here with some notes, revealing far more about me than you probably want/need to know. What are yours, and why not put them up on 43 things?

1. Get a PhD I'm 1.5 years into a 6 year part time programme. I think I'm on track, and find it hard to imagine it ever ending, I'm so in the midst of intense reading and writing.

It's the fuel for the rest of my life, and keep me stimulated and growing. As hard as it is finding the time in the early hours of the morning, it is a privelege to be able to pursue this. I love learning, and I love teaching, and this is huge reach into the future for me.

2. Learn a foreign language I went to a state high school where only two people in my year finished with a decent qualification in a foreign language. It's a British malaise to underacheive at language.

The teaching methods I faced were the learning of grammar and declensions by wrote, which was so stifling and uninspiring. It's been great to see my kids enter into more conversational and interactive language methods, and encourage their pursuit and enjoyment of languages.

I left school thinking I was useless at language. I have since found I have a love and some proficiency in languages. Being here in France I have enjoyed practicing French, and the longing for more time and interactions with language has grown.

3. Get a black belt in a martial art I practiced Karate as a teenager, then took it up again in my early twenties for a few years. I achieved a brown belt, one under 'black'. For a while one of my brothers and I trained together, that seems a life time ago.

I still have a hankering to go back, and get that elusive black belt. It's not very cool for my kids to warn their school bullies that 'be careful, my dad has a brown belt in karate'. And it might help me shift that extra 21 lb. in weight goal below :-)

4. Write a book This is one of those goals that so many people have and share. I'm writing two chapters for a book this autum, and start work on another book next year that is co-authored.

I want to write a few books, in the area of christian identity/formation and ecclesiology that draw on my church planting experience and research/teaching.

5. Buy and use a telescope I was so into astronomy as a kid, and knew my parents would never buy me a telescope, so I read books on how to build them, and hoped to do that one day.

Now my aspirations at this stage of my life are to buy and use a modest telescope.

6. Lose a further 21 lb. in weight It has taken me 17 months of jogging/running, but I have completed a goal to lose 42 lbs in weight. Now I've just put up my next goal, to lose a further 21 lbs, and be a weight I was happy with when I was super fit, and playing rugby in my early twenties.

7. Join an orchestra & get grade 8 on violin When I was much younger my local education authority identified me as having some musical gifting and paid for violin lessons for me, and even rented a violin for my use.

That kind of support in education for any kids, no matter how disadvantged their background, just doesn't exist in the UK any more.

I got to grade 7 aged 13, at high school, was considering doing a performance/teaching diploma, and a career playing the violin. But then my working class prejudices set in, and I struggled with the social environment of the kids in the national youth orchestra I played in, and I let this side of my life slip away.

I still have dreams about playing, the violin, and this part of my life (literally as a recurring dream), I miss so much it's palpable. It's something that to go back to, would require lots of lessons, and practice, and time, at least to get back to the level I used to be able to play at.

But I've put it up as a goal, with every intention of returning to it, in a few years time, again like most of my life, post PhD.

So my intention here is to get the final Grade 8, and play in a local orchestra.