The Introvert Expat SAHM Diaries

Not This Year


When I was still climbing the career ladder I was a very goal oriented employee. I would reverse engineer the annual performance review by picking out in advance the areas I wanted to stand out in, and proceeded to take on the shiniest projects that would showcase my excellence in those areas.

I had this system so well down pat that when I became a housewife I experienced some sort of crisis. It felt like I was let loose all of a sudden and all that freedom was just confusing, I didn’t know what to do with it.

For maybe a year or two I had a notebook and pen and wrote down monthly goals such as “learn to cook 2 new recipes”, or “learn to knit beginner’s level”, or “lose X number of lbs”.

But there was no annual review to prepare for, no boss to wow, no gold stars to earn & show-off on my imaginary wall of fame that I slipped into nonchalance. I set vague goals that I forgot the following week. Or, I didn’t follow through, or I list so many that I overwhelm myself into catatonia all the while thinking that I have all the time in world to do them anyway.

Lately though I have become conscious of it and I do not like it. The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that I’m not even showing up for myself. I say I will do something but I don’t even honor my word.

So I went back to my notebook, looked at the goals I set for this year and decided to re-commit. It’s not yet too late, I can still hunker down and make a dash for the finish line.

My goals for this year were/are:

  1.  lose post-pregnancy weight – but I didn’t specify how much and how to do it (because, who cares except me, right?)
  2.  learn Indonesian – I bought an online course & some books that are now just gathering dust in some nondescript drawer
  3. start a separate blog dedicated to crafting – I did partially discuss this here, but I failed to clarify that I wanted a separate, topic specific blog because I want to do something with it later

I still wrote down a couple or 3 more but that’s just my sneaky brain trying to overwhelm me again and disperse my focus.

I am deciding to take deliberate action on these goals for the remaining 6 months so that at the end of 2018 I will have finished the things I set out to do. This matters because I don’t want to have to do them again next year, I want to create space for new goals in 2019.

And perhaps, even more importantly, I don’t want to excel at quitting, I want to excel at staying committed.


Photo by han song on Unsplash

20 thoughts on “Not This Year”

    1. Awww, thanks so much for the kind words Katie 😘😘 Yes, I do tend to be hard on myself and I don’t know if that’s a blessing or a curse 😅 But what I do know is that I love to set goals, and I feel really really good when I accomplish them. (Also this time around I’m like “am I not too old to still be wishy-washy like that?” 😁)


    1. Yeah, I feel you. Sometimes I think maybe I’m just the type who needs someone else holding a carrot & a stick to motivate me. Self-motivation & discipline is definitely not for wussies! 😳

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love seeing the things you make. I have so many goals this year that I started and it is so disappointing when I realize I put too much on my plate. It is fun making up those list though. Spending time with my family and taking time to enjoy life is the most important thing to me so those goals get pushed aside for memory making days.

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  2. I think I know exactly how you feel. I had been a Stamping’ Up! Demonstrator for 16 years when I decided enough was enough. I still am ash active demonstrator, but not actively doing classes, workshops and selling. It was my purpose. I knew what I had to do, when to do it and I was consistently creative. Since quitting, I am all over the place and my time is not well planned or used. I still haven’t found my “purpose” nor a “schedule” or routine. I stitch, knit, crochet, make cards and scrapbook, but I am not as productive as I think I should be. I don’t have any tips or helpful hints that I can offer you. I think you have set a great plan for yourself and I know that I am routing for you to be the success you want to be. We will find our place and figure out how to do it all :). We are just so hard on ourselves. You are amazing ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thank you so much for the kind words, Ginny 💟 This is exactly how I feel. Maybe it’s better time-management? I don’t know. Like I said, it’s not like I’m just sitting on my derriere the whole day, I just feel like I’m slacking off. I think I feel this way because I do have some goals, but I didn’t honor them and we’re now halfway through 2018. So maybe it’s focus 🤔 The good thing though is that I’m feeling the heat & I’m doubling down 😀 … Because I really want to move on to new things in 2019. Ginny, I love you for reading and commiserating and sharing your thoughts. You are a wonderful, creative person. Much love from Indonesia 💖💖💖


  3. I’ve been impressed with how you have finished projects. That is such a huge thing. I’m good at starting them. I’m good at finishing with a deadline. I’m terrible at completing something that I started eons ago!
    I’ll be excited to follow you as you finish more things- You are pretty awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thanks so much Kris, that means a lot to me 🙂 😘😘 I’m doing my Indonesian Language lessons now and it’s a bit of a struggle 😫 But since I’m giving myself the month of July only to get this done, so … 💪💪

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  4. I worked for IBM for 10 years prior to becoming a stay at home mum in a foreign country – I hear ya 🙂 I suffered a massive sense of loss of identity without my annual performance review and self-identity as an company person. Combined with immigration to the other side of the world, I was ripe for post natal depression, and I got it, twice. My girls are now 5 and 7 and I am well now. But life is not without its challenges 🙂 Now with both at school I am adjusting to a new lifestyle as a school mum with more headspace to reflect on not having working in many years, and where to from here! I run a lot, I crochet a lot, I read a lot. I’m hopeful 🙂 I wish you all the best 🧡🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG, Pam thank you so much for reaching out to me. You have been where I am now and that just blows my mind – especially since you also went from spreadsheets to crochet 😀 And, I have two girls too, how awesome is that? 😀 Where to from here indeed, that’s also what I’m currently pondering on. I’ve just followed your blog, here’s lookin’ at ya! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have been trying to reply since yesterday, but it’s school holidays – nuff said! Your post really resonated with me. Now my girls are that little bit older and the physical demands are less, I feel like I’m waking up…to find myself a stay at home country mum in a tiny village at the ends of the earth. It’s a bit confronting if I’m honest! I’m an older mum too, in my mid 40s now, which brings all sorts of other mad thoughts and confusions into the equation 🙂 Sorry this is disjointed, hope makes sense, interrupted 4x while writing arghh! Will be following your story… have a great day oh hey where in Indonesia? Year before motherhood travelled a lot se asia including overland and shoestring through Java from Jakarta down to Lombok

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      2. Aww, I wish we could have coffee 😃 I’m in my early 40’s, feeling too lazy (old?) to be a mum again but, there you have it 🤣 My 2nd is only 9 mos old. We’re in Batam, it’s actually nearer to Singapore than anywhere else noteworthy in Indonesia. Nothing to explore over here, unfortunately. But making the most of it by learning crochet, knitting & creating a home away from home instead 😉

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      3. Ahh love I hear ya! I was 36 with first and 38 when my second born. I am often to be found running to school bus having pulled clothes over pjs thinking omfg I am too old for this shit!!😂 I too am learning to ‘bloom where I’m planted’…huge learning curve though…have had to let go of a lot of judgement, of self and others, and adjust preconceived notions about so many things…plus I’m old enough to be my daughter’s teacher’s mum…ah me… mustn’t dwell…must just create gorgeous things, stay fit and healthy, not worry about premenopause and be grateful for health right 🙂🙂


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