For a while now I’ve been thinking about how I could improve my life if I just recorded events and made efforts to improve them. Someone once said “you can’t know where you’re going, if you don’t know where you’ve been“.
That quote sounds nice, but it’s mostly nonsense. But it did get me thinking that if I use this little old blog of mine as a measure of what’s happened, I could probably see where I’ve improved (or not). So here it is. The report of how my life went in 2021. It even has a scoring system! Five categories, each with a score range from 0-20 (do you need me to point out that 0 is bad, 20 amazing?).
Business / Career / Work:
As a self-employed person, life is never simple. At least not as simple as I remember it being when I was working for other people. Nobody ever really prepares you for how different life is when you’re not doing the 9-to-5 and receiving a set wage at the end of each month.
This is the real grind. Finding the customers yourself. Doing the labour yourself. Raising the invoices yourself. Chasing payments yourself. Calling in sick yourself…It never ends.
But strangely, many of us self-employed people enjoy it, because the end result is that you make something that’s yours, that you enjoy and that also makes money (sometimes).
This year has been extremely tough in the business / work category. Mainly because of one simple thing that has held back progress – A VAN. It’s been an absolute nightmare. That HAS to change in 2022. Either it gets sold or it gets fixed PROPERLY (are you listening FORD?!) The one thing a courier company needs is a working vehicle.
Score: 5 / 20
This has been mostly a good area for 2021. For me personally, I’ve been a better person and actually achieved things I didn’t expect to have been doing. Life doesn’t give you a heads-up of what’s to come and sometimes you just find yourself living differently without even knowing it, and without any time to prepare.
Everyone that matters made it through this year without any major issues, although there are things happening that will mean 2022 is going to be more challenging and I’ll need to continue to improve. All things considered, a fair score for this one.
Score: 15 / 20
I’ve already pointed out that I’m self-employed and that the business has had a really tough year. So it will be no surprise that finances are not great.
The year started in a strong position, but hasn’t finished quite as well. Luckily it’s nowhere near the worst years of my life financially though, and there is plenty on the horizon for 2022 to be optimistic about.
Score: 10 / 20
Health & Happiness:
Lots of people will tell you that finances are linked to happiness, but in my experience that’s far from reality.
To be fair, I’ve never been a millionaire and so it’s hard to measure how happy I’d be if I could just buy anything I wanted (or needed) at any time, but in my experience – the years I’ve been (relatively) wealthy, I’ve been less happy than I am now.
– I’ve got very few friends, but the ones I have are quality.
– I don’t have a relationship, but I’ve found myself happier alone than in bad relationships.
– I’ve got a very limited social life, but what I have is right for me.
– I’m not rich, but I have enough for to live the life I want right now.
And all that adds up to good mental health. And a healthy mind is a powerful way to be happy.
The score is only marked down slightly as I really do need to exercise more. Sitting driving a van for hours and then sitting emailing and fixing websites is not great. Move that fat arse, Stu!
Score: 14 / 20
Love & Relationships:
I’m a loner. And I’m happy to admit that. Not every person on this planet should be married or in a serious relationship. And far too many people are in relationships for the wrong reasons.
I’ve had relationships in the past:
– Most of them were okay, nothing special.
– One of them was pure hell.
– None have really been good enough to make me think that being in a full time relationship is right for me.
Dealing with someone else’s behaviour can pile tremendous pressure on your own mental health. It takes huge patience and effort to learn how to be with someone all the time – and if they’re not being entirely true to you, then it’s even harder.
The way I keep my health and happiness maintained is to know that love and relationships are best left to other people.
Score: 16 / 20
2021 Report Card Final Score: 60 / 100
Well it’s clear that there is massive room for improvement in 2022. But it’s also far from being the worst year of my life, and most of the areas that weren’t great can be changed fairly easily – and will be as soon as possible.