Sep 192018

I don’t quite know what happened there but there really was no time at all.

I woke up early and didn’t write again. But I did look at the short story that I’m working on, promptly despaired and closed it again. I started formatting the novel, just to see how it’s done and – lo and behold – this will be a lot of work. I should first read it again and iron out the mistakes, though.

I finished knitting a sock for my husband after breakfast and then he came along with a pretty new shirt that had caught on something in the greenhouse. I knew that I could mend it, but not invisibly. And then he said that would be great but he’d love it if it wouldn’t sit in a pile for the next three years.

So I mended it right away:

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Yes, that is the mended shirt. And the color isn’t quite right but my husband was happy with it. It does look less glaring from afar:

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Also, it’s in the back. And since I had the mending stuff all out I also mended my favorite running socks:

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I wanted to also sew a button to another shirt of my husband’s but I couldn’t find the button in the big pile of things on top of the fridge.

Then I started a new sock, as one does.

Then I went out to the bakery and the health food store and we decided to make salad Niçoise again because we loved it so much the last time, and then, right in the middle of frantic cooking we found that we were all out of mustard. So I went to the nearest supermarket to get more. It was totally worth it.

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After lunch I did the dishes and hung up some laundry and then the boy came home from school. There was a lot to discuss and he needed to get all his school supplies still.

I finished everything just in time to do a quick singing warm-up before my first two students. Some time in between I shot off an email to my doctor to renew the prescription for my thyroid medication.

More teaching. Afterwards the boy practiced piano and there was more talking about school supplies. And then my husband told us about a music video he had watched the day before and so we ended up sitting down in his studio watching music videos on youtube for some time. The poor boy was pretty hungry at that point but we all enjoyed it.

And then I wrote another email and such and was right in time for yet another webinar. The monthly Orna Ross one. I keep returning so I must be getting something out of them.

After that I only had time to brush my teeth, write in my journal and that was that.

And what have we learned from this?

If you want to get any writing done? Do it in the morning. Preferably first thing. Because then if anything unexpected happens you still will have written.

So today. I will of course write first thing, and then there will be running and only a few students. I had hoped for some sewing to happen yesterday after lunch, 90 minutes should have allowed for that but actually they didn’t.

But. Today will, of course, be much better.

I hope.

Sep 182018

And again I didn’t really write first thing in the morning, and – funny enough – that meant not a lot of writing got done throughout the day.

Instead I lounged in bed reading the internet for an hour before getting up. I’m not quite sure if that’s the best use of my time in the morning.

Breakfast, then meditation, started writing, got stuck after 23 words, decided to start a new document for the second novel in the current series and transfer character sheets and settings, and then my husband was up.

We went running pretty early, and the weather was really nice:

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It was just beautiful out there, hence the many pictures. I hope you don’t mind.

Running was fun but again rather slow. And my hip is bothering me again so I’m debating running not as far and only three times a week. I really don’t need the hip pain back. I thought that my change in gait and the stretches that I do made the pain go away but right now that’s not working. We’ll see.

Then my husband started cooking so early that I didn’t even get to help. Well, he usually cooks three different Indian things at once and this time it was only rice and dal:

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It was really delicious. Pro tip: if you have breakfast early and don’t snack between meals lunch tastes much better. Works every time. When I explained it to a friend I said that it’s like when your hiking in the mountains and you’re eating your lunch up on the peak. Food never tastes better. And she replied with; „Best boiled egg of my life!“ from the bottom of her heart.

Somewhere in there I had gotten an email about what was wrong with the file for the sign that I wanted to have printed and so, after doing the dishes, I set out to wrangle the print-monster again. And I was victorious. Soon there will be a sign on our fence announcing our services to the world. Especially that part of the world that is walking their elementary school children to school and back every day along our house.

Then I taught some students and wrote some emails, and somewhere in between I did some phone calls.

The boy had things to discuss (we’re still in the ‚sign this‘ and ‚I need money for that‘-phase of the new school year) and then he plays the piano and I took care of putting some frozen buns in the oven because we were out of bread, and then we did a little strength training, and then I found that my husband had done a load of laundry and that I had to hang it up and then I was rather done with the day.

So, while I did not practice all my instruments and only wrote 23 words I’m still pretty pleased with the day.

I wrote in my journal and made a list for today and contemplated my drawing exercise.

And then I went to bed rather early.

Today is Tuesday and Tuesday means that I’ll go to the health food store. Since we’re completely out of bread a visit to the bakery will be on the agenda as well. Quite a bit of teaching, some writing and music, and then the monthly Orna Ross webinar.

Who knows, maybe there will even be time for a little sewing…

Sep 172018

I woke up at six, lounged around in bed for an hour, had breakfast and lounged around some more.

I was cranky because I didn’t do anything the day before and was afraid this day would end up the same. When my husband showed up for his breakfast I whined at him for about two hours how I hate it that I always slip back into old, bad habits (and sometimes new, bad habits) even after doing well for two years or so.

And this is irritating for him as well. He gets all fired up for his weekend where he can devote time and energy to things he can’t get to during the week and there I am sitting like an unmoving blob on the kitchen bench, getting crankier and crankier. Also fatter and fatter.

Well, there isn’t much you can do when you’re in the grip of a binge eating attack, or when you just can’t make yourself do the thing that you really, really want to do, only not now.

So I thought back to the time when I managed to lose all that weight. And I realized that, while I had an epiphany that started the whole thing, what got me through the whole process was looking at what worked and what didn’t and then tweaking little things here and there.

I also started downloading books about self-sabotage and looking at coaching options, as one does.

So, together we came up with a plan. The big slump always happens in the afternoon, right after lunch. I tell myself that I get a nice half-hour break and the next thing I know it’s 5 pm and I’m still sitting there, feeling horrible.

I’m also thinking about energy and energy-management a lot and I’m actually not sure that I need all these breaks. I definitely don’t need a 3 1/2 hour break after lunch.

After that I felt so energized and motivated that I folded a load of laundry and put it away immediately. And then I helped to make lunch (tagliatelle bolognese, fried zucchini and salad (zucchini and salad from the yard):

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So today after lunch I did the dishes right away and then I took my computer and such and went to my studio. Where I sat down and did my singing warm-up and my piano exercises right away.

At that time my husband is taking a nap in the next room but he assured me that my music didn’t disturb him. I put the damper on the piano. I also happen to know that he really hates the piano exercises, so saying that he didn’t mind was rather sweet. It’s about the same as me saying that I don’t mind him playing drums right under my bed right before I turn out the lights at night…

After the music I started watching a lecture online while spinning that merino I’ve been procrastinating about for months now. The lecture wasn’t quite what I’m needing right now so then I pulled my sewing machine out of the closet. Another thing I’ve been procrastinating for, um, months now:

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Yes, the kitchen is really that gloomy in the afternoon. I mended a pair of leggings that I’m using as pajama bottoms and a dress. And then I finally started sewing the Kew dress. I really love the fabric and I adore the pattern but I’m afraid it won’t fit. For one it will be too small. Though maybe it won’t be. Because after two hours of sewing I got this:

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It might just work if I make the seam allowances narrower on the skirt. And maybe out the buttons right at the edge. And next time I will measure myself and the pattern before cutting out the pieces. Sure.

So that left me very pleased.

Then it was time for dinner and Star Trek (well, only Star Trek for me plus beer and crochet). The boy and I watched two excellent episodes. Then I went back to the kitchen, did the dishes and – very important – did not sit down and left the kitchen immediately. Because my husband has told me repeatedly that if he were sitting in the kitchen all evening he would be eating all the things too. Really, binge-eating is no fun even thought it always feels like it should while you’re doing it.

And sitting in bed at that time doesn’t really work either, I fall half asleep and then still have to get ready for bed later and have a crick in my neck. And go for a bit of cheese again.

So the new plan was to not sit down in the kitchen but go back to my studio to prepare this blog post, write a  little and write in my journal.

And that’s what I did.

I keep forgetting about the power of small tweaks. Now we just need to see if they will work again tonight.

Today is Monday which means running and all the usual and teaching quite a bit. Including the student who couldn’t figure out our new garden gate and went back home on Thursday. Poor thing. We have now started to leave the gate open with a brick to prevent anyone from closing it while we’re teaching. The old gate had a knob on the outside that could be turned but the new one only has a handle on the inside.

I am starting to feel a little hope for positive change.

Wish me luck.

Sep 162018

Well, not really because I didn’t really try to fight it.

I slept in until 6.30, lounged around in bed for an hour and then started doing all the dishes from the day before. Had breakfast, talked with my husband, did dishes again, cut my husband’s hair, reprimanded the boy for getting up at eleven, went running for a short (but not quick) 5k:

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Came back and helped to make lunch. Since we were starting late we decided to have just appetizers so there were fried zucchini blossoms filled with cream cheese (and a lot of other stuff, I mean we’re talking about my husband cooking) and some bresaola:

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Then my husband and I realized that we knew nothing about futurism or expressionism so we had to look it up on wikipedia and when we looked up again it was 3 pm.

I then sat down to read and eat all.the.chocolate (Literally. Of the two bars that I had bought at the beginning of the week there was half a bar left and now there is none. The boy has a separate stash of chocolate.) When I looked up again from my computer it was 5 pm and the lunch dishes were still sitting there on the counter. Oops.

Of course I had hoped to do something productive with the day but I have to say I rather enjoyed sitting around doing nothing. I’m just hoping to spend today a little differently.

I read some more until it was time for watching Star Trek with the boy, then hung up some laundry. My husband was kind enough to do the dishes.

Today I will do mostly nothing with a bit of fun and productivity thrown in. I want to make music and write and set up my bullet journal for the week.

I also want to try out if I have more energy when I do more. I usually find that that is the case, up to a certain point. A point that I almost never reach, by the way. But we’ll see.

Sep 152018

I woke up from the alarm and lounged around in bed for half an hour. I really want to get back to the habit of writing first thing in the day.

Made breakfast, talked with the boy, was disturbed by my husband while meditating.

Did the weekly cleaning and changed the sheets on my bed, made pizza and was a little frantic because the pizza dough was way too soft. I think I put in too much water the night before.

Took a shower.

Put some more flour into the pizza dough but it was still too soft and there were holes in it through and through.

The pizza turned out fine in the end, though:

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Very tasty.

Then I spent some time ordering the sign for our music business but got an error message. ::Clue sad face:: I will have to deal with that next week or so.

Because of the sign ordering screw-up I did not do the dishes, also there was a load of laundry to hang up. I got that done just in time to get ready for teaching.

Taught four students in a row and was fried. I need to get used to teaching again, it seems.

Then the boy practiced piano and made himself some sandwiches for dinner, and we watched some very good Star Trek.

Afterwards my husband and I opened some champagne (it did end up over half the kitchen but not by design) to celebrate the finishing of my novel and the finishing of his guitar recordings. I don’t know if any of you remember his music blog but there actually might be some new posts in the near future. (That blog consisted only of an error message for months but it is up and running again. I’ll put up a link as soon as there is something to see and hear there.)

And then I had to do the dishes and I had planned to start writing a new story. I almost let exhaustion win but then decided to start the story and do the dishes this morning. Not ideal but I wasn’t up for half an hour of dishwashing, ten minutes of writing seemed much more doable.

Today there will be the running, and the cutting of my husband’s hair, and the writing, and the music, and the pulling out the sewing machine first time in months.

Sep 142018

I actually slept until my alarm went off at six. I then walked around in a slight haze for the rest of the day. As one does after several nights of not enough sleep followed by one restful night. So my plan continues to turn the lights out before ten, better before 9.30.

I did not write first thing in the morning which made writing much harder that day,

I did go to the grocery store and then to the health food store again and we’re now all stocked up.

We made paella for lunch:

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Definitely not authentic paella, just our own approximation but very yummy.

In the afternoon I wasted two hours. I’m not quite sure where they went, them I sang a bit and taught some students. One student didn’t show up and later it turned out that he had not been able to figure out how to open our new garden gate. I had left it open before the first student came but he must have closed it behind him. Poor student. I’m hoping to re-schedule.

The sign advertising our music lessons is also taking shape, a friend offered to help us with it and so we now have something we are rather happy with. I’ll figure out how to attach it to our fence and then I’ll order the sign. Soon. (I want to know if the size I want works with our fence before spending the money on an actual physical thing.)

At the end of the day the boy got a short piano lesson and then we did some very short strength training.

I wrote some. I wrote „The End!“

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I regretted that I hadn’t put any champagne in the fridge in the morning and then decided to leave the champagne for today. A good start into the weekend.

I drew another picture and had a beer. I went to bed.

Today there will be the cutting of my husband’s hair, the cleaning, and a lot of teaching. I want to start writing a new story. Then Star Trek. And then the weekend.

Sep 132018

Woke up at 5.15 after not quite enough sleep. That’s what I get from doing the most important things of the day late which means that I am too tired to go to bed and end up not getting enough sleep. (Why yes, I tend to wake up earlier if I go to bed later, no idea why. I’ve never really gotten then hang of sleeping in anyway.)

I did force myself to write right away and produced about 600 words in 25 minutes. Interestingly, I’m usually quite a bit faster when I write in the evening. Even though I am definitely a morning person.

There was breakfast and getting the boy ready on time with the usual fuss of having to fill out forms and find money and envelopes for school. (We pay a materials fee once a year and there was money for the excursion in October.) I have to say that the fact that his new teacher has already planned the excursion for October leaves me rather impressed.

There are a few changes now that he is in tenth grade. With the excursion, for example, they are supposed to meet in Munich directly. No meeting at the school beforehand. He doesn’t need a signed permission slip for leaving the school grounds at lunchtime anymore, and some other things. Nice.

I did run yesterday, 6.4 very, very slow miles. I think it was the heat:

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The sun was directly ahead for this picture. It’s time that I get some sunglasses:

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When I came back my husband was busy trimming the front hedge and my mother-in-law was sweeping the sidewalk. So I jumped in to help. She is still not feeling a hundred percent and was wearing a 24-hour heart monitor.

I have to say that spending 45 minutes sweeping and picking up hedge trimmings after running is a little exhausting.

Since my husband was way more tired than me, he had trimmed the whole hedge in the back the day before and had reached a point where he could barely lift his arms, I offered to make lunch for a change. I made Salade Niçoise inspired by this recipe (in German). It was an instant hit. And we’re usually not a „salad as a main course“ family. But then all the potatoes and beans and fish and eggs do make is less salad-y.

My attempt was not as photogenic as the original:

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Then dishes and teaching and music. By dinnertime I was pretty spent and decided to not try and finish the novel that day. Instead I opted for an early bedtime. I did do my daily beginner drawing, though. The day before I had shown my koala attempt to my husband and while I found it horrible he deemed it ‚not bad‘.

By the way that is one of the most irritating things that adult beginner students do. They have a constant stream of self-talk that focuses on the ways their artistic thing is unlike professional master pieces and beat themselves up for it. As a teacher you can sit there telling them that, actually they are making wonderful progress and that you’re very happy with how they are doing, and that, sorry, but they are a beginner and this is what beginners sound like, but they never really believe you.

Seems I’m one of those irritating adult beginners. Which means I have two options, really, I can either stop to learn how to draw, or I can just be content with my beginner drawings as they are. Both options come with optional negative self-talk.

And no, I am too timid to show you my drawings. Some day. At the moment it is all about cubes with distorted shadows and balls and yesterday’s koala with fur was a big exception.

Today there will be the grocery shopping and all the usual stuff and if I manage to sit my butt in the chair for long enough I might end up with a finished story. Or it might need an epilogue. I don’t know yet.

Sep 122018

I totally forgot that it was 9/11 until someone mentioned it on ravelry. I did sit in silence for a minute then.

Yesterday was all in all a rather good day. I did write for ten minutes first thing in the morning and was reasonably on time for the boy’s first day at school. He was slightly disorganized, he will need some time to get back into his routine.

After breakfast things started spiraling out of control. First I got an email that had me thinking and debating a lot (nothing bad, just something that needs some thought), then the mother of one of my husband’s students called my MIL because our phone seemed to be offline. I zeroed in on the tech problem and found that the problem was with the phone company. We still had internet and we could call people but nobody could reach us and our voice mail was offline. Which is a rather bad thing, especially at the beginning of a school year when a lot of students need to reach us to move lessons around.

My original plan had been to run, take a shower, order a second pair of glasses and go to the health food store. Instead I went to the optician.

I had a long list, I wasn’t sure about the frames I had picked the last time and wanted to order ‚work glasses‘ for teaching and working on the computer and reading, and I also wanted to ask about contact lenses and clip-on sunglasses.

I was lucky and got my favorite optician who answered all my questions and will order the same frame again that I am wearing now, only in a slightly different color. It will be a little more expensive than the one I had originally picked but I like it much better. And it will be for the pair of glasses that I’m wearing the most.

There was still time to go to the health food store.

I helped to make lunch:

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It’s fish.

Then I did the dishes and prepared for teaching, taught all my usual students and mostly called it a day. I did write some more and drew my daily bad practice drawing as well.

Today there will be: running and music and writing and teaching. There are several things I could go to tonight but I’ll rather stay at home. I’d like to have more days like yesterday and the day before. Even if they sound boring when I retell them I have made significant progress on some things that are really important to me.

And that makes me feel very happy.

Sep 112018

Thank you all for reading this. I hope there are still a few of you left.

I started this exactly a year ago. On September 11th I decided to give daily blogging a try. My goal was always to do it for a whole year. And I did. I know that there is no Day 6 post but you have to believe me that there was and that the blogging software ate it.

So. Yesterday.

I woke up late at 6.30 and had a rather lazy morning. I did manage my ten minutes of writing first thing, so that was good. But I need to speed my morning routine up again starting today because school is on.

I finished knitting the Cria sweater and went for a 6.44k-run:

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And helped to make chili for lunch and forgot to take the picture before taking the first bite:

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And I wrote an email to our web hosting provider about my husband’s blog and worked on that blog for an hour but finally managed to get it up and going again, yeah!

And I taught four students and did some work on marketing for our music lessons and did a short round of strength training.

The boy and I watched some more Star Trek because it wasn’t exactly a school night for him.

Today will be his first day as a tenth grader and I will run errands and teach and write some more.

And I think I’ll keep on writing here daily for now. It suits me.

Sep 102018

I did change my routine for once and wrote for ten minutes first thing in the morning.

My plan was to write like crazy the whole day and finish the novel. Well, let’s say things did not go quite as planned.

I did set up a new bullet journal in the morning. I bought one of the official Leuchtturm bullet journal notebooks and it is nice and hefty but I’m a little unsure about it. Mostly because it’s turquoise. Today when I was carrying it around the house, together with my ebook reader in its orange cover and the iPad in its bright red cover, it didn’t really look like it belonged to me. Up to date I have had an orange journal, a red one and one in purple. I think I need to go back to my usual color scheme after this one. On the other hand I am using mostly turquoise and purple ink to write in it…

We had barbecue for lunch:

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I started the afternoon by playing two of the alternate endings for „The Room Three“ which means I’m now all through with it. The game is gorgeous and I found the puzzles to be just the right amount of difficult. Most of the time. I did use a walkthrough for some of them in the end because I couldn’t figure them out. If I had taken notes while playing I probably wouldn’t have needed the walkthrough.

I already bought the next game in the series. Unfortunately, it only runs on my phone which will mean playing on a teeny tiny screen. I better get my new reading glasses beforehand. (Note to self: order new reading glasses next week.)

Then I procrastinated some more, and some more, and some more, and then I wrote a bit. Total words were 660. I keep thinking if I just sat down and spent a day writing I would be done with this thing at last. And then I never actual write for more than twenty minutes.

Sorry for the whining.

The boy and I watched some Star Trek. I pulled the crochet blanket out again and worked on it. That was it.

Today I will probably start teaching again. Official first day of school is tomorrow but we told our students they could come in today. Which usually means that we’ll sit around and wait to see who will show up.

I want to run today and do my measly strength training and all the usual things. I do have a list. In a nice, new turquoise bullet journal.