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Long Weeks and Little Things

The last week has felt like a long time. It was Friday morning when I looked at someone and said. “Monday was only four days ago. When I saw that car accident. Geez, it’s been a week.”

And the week didn’t get any shorter. It’s still seven days, full of this or that going wrong.

I do have a desk space now though. So that’s a plus. And I feel all the creative juices flowing.

That may be the desk. It may also be that I finally finished hanging things so I don’t wake up so cold in the morning because my window is an energy leak without curtains. Or the three donuts I’ve had today and contemplating another.

No comment.

The thing that I’m really excited about is that I can finally get back into my full morning routine again.

With the move and different spaces, it’s been difficult to go from thing to thing and just keep the groove going while I get my morning into place so that the rest of the day moves along.

I’ve felt the difference in things when I haven’t done this step or that one because I forgot or this thing was in a different spot so I didn’t find it for this thing of that one. I don’t like this feeling so I’m really excited about getting the good habits back and shoving a few new ones in there for good measure.

Hopefully, this will help me feel like I’m floundering less in this new space where I really don’t know people or things and feel like I’m this side of lost on roads where I recognize the names but not the turns and buildings just yet.

It’s the little things adding up

You would think that I’d be okay with just working off the floor for a few days while I figure out the desk situation but no, my mind was like, nah, ‘this don’t work for me’ and shut down the creativity button that didn’t have to do with a solution to the desk.

This coming week I’m tracking my time again. Being attentive to it so that I can get an accurate read on what I already do well and what I think I want to improve on. This is less about me breaking bad habits so much as not leaving room for them to grow. I intend to go at this with the full weight of my skill in problem solving and tenacity. Which both, well, I think moving twice because I could should be proof enough that they work out well.

Granted, I’m reading Marie Forleo’s book, Everything is Figureoutable and getting a different experience than I was thinking I was going to get. I picked it up because I needed a cheerleader reminder that what I was doing was breaking the pattern and that I would figure this problem out.

That I would make friends and funds and figure out what was coming next in my life.

But some of it, well, it triggered a few memories I’d forgotten about.

Like when I met my AcDec coach for the first time, when I was thirteen and being a good rebel teenager and not doing what my mom wanted. The last three years trying to do Math/Science team had been a disorganized over competitive mess that I wanted no part of.

My mother, however, knew better. She knew that without Academic Decathlon, I would be bored. And a bored ‘too smart for her own good’ kid was dangerous.

Remember, I was not allowed to watch MacGyver until I was twelve, and I’m still not sure that was a real ‘let’. I just did it at that point. Mainly because she kept it from me, knowing exactly who her daughter was.

Good move, Mom. I can still remember the pure guilt face she had on, when I walked in on her and my baby brother watching it. Mainly, because it’s the one I see in the mirror.

Back to first story, so she went and talked to the head coach who was in the room for one of those pre-high school meet and greet things in the spring they did. I was very not wanting to be there.

He knew my type. He also knew things I didn’t tell my mother about why I didn’t want AcDec in my life. I’d had enough of disorganized idiots being too competitive for the level of organization and participation. And that the turkeys I didn’t want to deal with were also planning on being in the program.

Was I a little snarky when they quit during the summer before freshman year? You bet.

I was an angry, no idea what to do with my hormones, emotions, or feelings kind of teenager.

But did I learn a million things in that program that I spent four years in during high school.

Yes. (Insert swear words) yes.

I learned how I learn.

That has been the most useful tool I have ever accumulated. To know that I am a kinesthetic learner so early on in my own training has made any job I’ve undertaken a series of sink or swim and they are usually confused when I learn to swim a lot faster than they were predicting.

Not me, though. I’ve got that down to an art form. My new position at work, yeah, that’s exactly as I expected.

A year to learn this position? Honey you’re underestimating me.

But there is another piece to the puzzle I’ve had.

I learned the speed at which I obtain something if it’s going to stick. So last year, when I tried the whole only three things on my daily to-do list.

That was a disaster. I need choices in my to-do’s. It makes me feel like I picked the thing that I put on my own list, rather than having my list decide it for me. Because the list I made last night or this morning and I’m a different person now. Or something else imploded and that’s now a priority.

Also I like leaving vague instructions in my tasks. Like

–write 1500 words
–scan 10 pgs.

Because this gives me the choice about what I’m going to write, but then again that’s a part of a goal for the year to just have a straight word count. Not that I haven’t been tracking what I write for things for the blog over my fiction.

Next year, I’ll break it down and track it better, but this year was about getting a baseline. A starting point for what I got done. So yeah, I don’t think that I’m going to reach the whole goal of getting 366,000 words written this year. I’m sitting at just under 200K. I could try, but I don’t know that’s what I want to devote my whole time out of work on.

I might, but I make no promises until January 1st.

The ‘Magical’ Goal Deadline of January 1st

I know some people are super against waiting till January 1st to make goals. They think the whole new year, new XXX process is bunk.

And it is, and or it isn’t.

It depends on if you take the next two months building what your markers are going to be for the new year are, or if you pretend that you won’t have these goals next year.

So if you tell me you’re going to write a 1000 words a day = 365,000 words for the year, but you don’t spend the next two months of time writing at all during the day, figuring out how long it takes, how much you can really write before your mind turns to mush, to what genre you need to write to pour out words, or if you’re going to do it as an overall goal and chunk it out on weekends or days off.

Because I can tell you I can generate 700-1200 words in 30 minutes depending on how I feel about a particular topic when I sit down to write it. And whether or not I’m in hyperfocus. Yes, I put that junk to work.

I know that when I churn out dialogue the words don’t always add up like I think they should but then again, I still don’t default to putting in descriptors.

I know that when my fingers are cold I get more typos so I spend more time fixing words than writing them.

I know which program I want to write in if I’m doing dialogue and which I want to work in for a blog post.

I also used to know how much I could hand write in 30 minutes but it’s been years since I actually timed that.

So when I make a goal that I want to write 1000 words a day, I’m committing around 30 minutes of my time a day to create. Which is a double whammy goal of making me a happier person.

I’m much nicer when I’ve made something in the last 24 hours. It’s how I survived working in call centers.

Five minutes looks like nothing but it’s more than something

I have built my morning routine to cover more than an hour each day. It’s not something that I just started doing one day. It started with a sentence in a journal that I gave a whole page to a day so that I would have the space I needed to document what I was doing each day.

I’d read somewhere that it helped with depression, especially when you felt like you got nothing done during the day and they were all running together. The write a sentence a day thing died pretty quickly but got replaced by bullet journaling.

You know where you write down your to-do’s and cross them off when you did them.

I really liked crossing things off. I also added things as I did them to increase that feeling.

Now that I’ve read a bunch of material on the topic, it makes absolute sense.

It was an add at a time. But the point I found was that any significant change I’ve made in my life has started with five minutes.

Actually it started with two.

FLYLady’s two minute rule. If it can be done in two minutes, do it now. Don’t put it off because then you’re going to worry about it and then it will take more than two minutes.

So with that thought, I’m going to give you your homework for the week.

If you run into a task you can do in two minutes, do it. Make a list if you like, feel accomplished because those things are no longer on your list. Isn’t it nice?

As always, may you find a little more joy today than you had before, even if it’s only me,

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