Monday’s Friend: Susan Parker

Today I am pleased to welcome Susan Parker to the blog, who is going to tell us all about her goals for the year. Take it away, Susan!

It is my birthday today. Around this sort of time of the year I’ve often lost track of my resolutions or things I’ve said I would do and I start to get nostalgic of what the previous year has given me.

It is certainly safe to say that the past twelve months have made the most challenging year of my life. There had been personal challenges, work challenges, educational challenges. There were so many points in the past year when I had felt entirely lost. Whilst other people were sending off 2012 with disappointment that it had to end, I was contemplating a better year ahead. This isn’t a sob story at all, in fact, I’m trying to address the issue of a change of perspective.

The state of one’s ideas, or ‘perspective’ is not something easily changed. There are some days when the thought of writing fills me with dread. Don’t get me wrong, I want to write, I have so many ideas, I want to get back into the routine, but I never feel like I can.

Tomorrow is going to pass no matter what, so is the next month, so is the next year. When you think of it that way, all the days that I (and possibly even you) are spent thinking about what to do become useless, we could be working during this time. We could be productive during this time.

It is not at New Years that I make my resolutions, it is now. I don’t want to look back at this year and wish I’d have done more. I am going to write, and study and learn and absorb as much knowledge and inspiration and happiness as I possibly can.

When I read Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray for the first time, this paragraph struck me instantly. Not only is it beautifully written, but Rebecca’s (the protagonist) strength shines through.

“But Rebecca was a young lady of too much resolution and energy of character to permit herself much useless and unseemly sorrow for the irrevocable past; so, having devoted only the proper portion of regret to it, she wisely turned her whole attention towards the future, which was now vastly more important to her. And she surveyed her position, and its hopes, doubts, and chances.”

I think it’s time we all look to the future. The past certainly cannot be changed, but what are my goals for the next year?

I want to finish my book and start editing it. I want to succeed at work, and I want to succeed in my studies. It may be a grand challenge (in fact there will be times when I get close to giving up) but to look back at a year full of success will be special to me.

When I say I write history a lot of responses are given. More often than not the generic response is “like textbooks?” No! Not like textbooks! A textbook is a study aid. Writing history is more than that. It’s presenting the past, it’s displaying your opinions on the past, it’s a way of seeing links between the past and our present. In fact, it was when I started writing and researching and getting thoroughly involved with ancient history that I finally felt happy and settled in myself and what I was doing. My perspective had changed.

It is a very lucky situation to be in when you realise what things make you happy, and when you realise what that may be – you need to go out and chase it. Hopefully I have been a somewhat motivational guest to this blog, perhaps my pep talk would have inspired some of you go pursue a hobby or banish procrastination.

At least, if it hasn’t helped anyone else – it’s certainly made me want to get back into writing and continue to work towards my goals!

Susan works full time in a school and is completing a degree in Classical Studies at the same time. She is currently working on a book about Ancient Egypt. To learn more about Susan, and her interest in writing and history check out her blog at:


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