Jan 112018

Apparently yesterday was the day I didn’t get anything done at all.

Okay, I’m exaggerating. I did get some things done.

Since I didn’t sleep well I felt low on energy, and that went all through the day. Went for my run and walked most of the way, helped with lunch-making, took ages to start the dishes, did only practice a little before my first student, did not clean anything, did practice but only because a student canceled and I had more time than expected, and in the evening I felt so tired and blah that not only I did not sew, I also didn’t write for the first time this month.

Of course that means I „failed“ the „write 500 new words of fiction every day“-challenge but I have decided that I don’t really mind. This is not about challenges, this is about fitting writing into my everyday life.

But writing earlier in the day would be a great idea because I’m usually pretty spent after dinner.

I still have no idea how to fit everything into my life that I want to fit. I’m already contemplating canceling spinning meeting on Saturday yet again. Or to not bake something for it.

At least I slept for 8 1/2 hours last night, and slept well. And today there will be running, practice, the recording of the podcast, and probably not much more because recording the podcast is pretty draining. It is 45 to 60 minutes of solo performance after all, even if it’s pretty low-key.

I actually have no idea when I will be able to listen to the recording and to write the shownotes. Since I’ll be away all Saturday I won’t be able to fall back on doing it Saturday afternoon. And my Friday is packed already as well.

Just the thought of having to be all productive every second makes me tired.

So I better don’t think about it. What gets done gets done, and if something falls by the wayside – so be it.

Jan 102018

Busy is nothing compared to my days at the moment it seems. I’m making up for two weeks hanging around reading.

I did have an excellent plan for yesterday and that went out the window basically from the start. The boy had the two first periods off so he and my husband had breakfast at the same time which threw me. Of course.

I had planned to go grocery shopping, and check out the new supermarket, and I did but only after helping my husband with some research for about an hour. Which meant I was late with the grocery shopping which meant I could not help with making lunch which meant that everything got really hectic around lunchtime.

Then the boy had problems getting the front cover of his computer case off, so I helped with that, then did the dishes and got ready for teaching, and then only had time to practice singing and ukulele real quick.

Then teaching. In between my husband asked me to look over the concert invitations he had written, and to help him put a photo in. Then the boy had trouble getting his wifi chip to work. More teaching. I actually managed to practice the piano and sing through the last song for the concert before teaching my last student.

Then I made the boy practice piano, we did a very short strength training session, and then I helped him find a different wifi chip for his computer. And made dinner. And then helped the boy some more. My husband was nice enough to do the dishes which was great. But then he had trouble printing invitations because the printer was acting up.

Which meant that I only got to write a quick 500 words before falling into bed.

I feel like I didn’t catch a breath all day.

I had had hopes of getting to the sewing machine in the evening but no dice.

So. Today’s a new day.

There will be running, and teaching, and practice, and writing, and maybe even a little sewing tonight. I did look at the pattern last night, and have finally understood what to do next, and it seems less complicated than I thought, so that’s good. And I started to read through the first novel in the trilogy again because I need to look at it and I need to pull the song lyrics out because I don’t want to violate copyright.

I still haven’t had time to sit down and start my epic to do-list. I am seeing more and more things that need to go on it, though.

So business as usual, I’d say.

Jan 092018

So that was a full day.

My husband and I talked for pretty long right after breakfast, and then we both went running, and then we had to hurry to get lunch ready in time because the boy is coming home earlier on Mondays (and has to get back to school on time). Then I got ready for teaching, and sang.

That idea that the quiet I seek won’t come from sitting around alone but instead from getting a grip on everything I want and need to do kept popping up in my head. While running I had this thought that I needed to use something like Trello or Asana, and so I set up a Trello board between students in the afternoon.

But about an hour in I found that that was just not working, and so I started researching ways to integrate an epic to do-list with the bullet journal. That one looks more promising but then I ran out of time.

I also played all the instruments. My husband put a different guitar in my room. The one I usually use has nylon strings and those are a little too soft for when I’m accompanying myself, and while my very favorite guitar is also his very favorite guitar, and he plays it a lot more often we decided to put the one that we both don’t like all that much in my studio instead of an electrical one that I don’t have a use for.

And I think I might have decided on a song to play for the birthday concert. Which means practicing like crazy because I can’t really play it yet but I’m looking forward to it. (And I just realized that I should learn it by heart because I’m planning on wearing my contacts which means I can’t read anything at all. Oops. And I will have to practice at least once while wearing the clothes I’m planning to wear to make sure that nothing interferes with ukulele playing. Yesterday the ukulele kept slipping off my sweater and the wide sleeves got caught while playing.

The boy has started installing software on his new computer so things are looking good.

I only wrote 662 words just before going to bed, and I actually forgot about three other things that I had on my list of things to do for yesterday but I guess that’s alright.

Today I will go grocery shopping. I’ll be trying a different supermarket because the one I usually go to will be closing down in less than two weeks, and so there are a lot of things missing there already. The building is supposed to be torn down and rebuilt.

The other supermarket is farther away and I will probably use the bike to get there.

Then I will practice and continue my productivity research, and teach and do strength training. I hope. The boy and I have been skipping that a lot lately.

I don’t think I will sew today, don’t see that there’s time, but if my new ukulele strings arrive (as they should) I might restring a ukulele or two.

And no, I don’t have any idea why gettings things done is so much easier when I’m teaching either.

Jan 082018

I don’t really know why yesterday went off the rails but off the rails it went.

I did write 1,151 words so that’s good.

My husband has started planning the house concert for his birthday in two weeks, and I was somewhat involved with that. Not enough, though, or so he tells me. He still has to send out invitations but we did talk about the music, and the food. („We can do some easy finger food and dips, that we can prepare two days in advance!“ „No we can’t because there are no plates and silverware in the room we’re using, and we won’t have time for cooking two days before. Or one day before. Or on the day.“)

It was decided that I will play one of the songs I already know on my own, and will learn how to play „Norwegian Wood“ on my ukulele. The good thing is that the problem I’m having with my ukulele sound might be due to the strings I’m using, and so I will try out new strings. I already ordered them. Ha.

The boy managed to build his computer up to the point where he can start installing the OS and the drivers. Which meant I got to help him on and off yesterday as well. At least he has solved the problem with the overheating processor.

It seems that a lot of the family happiness hinges on me being available for everybody else, and I spent the evening thinking about why I always feel like I never get to spend any time alone when in fact I have several hours on my own every single day. And then I remembered that when I went to London alone for a few days I still didn’t feel that I needed to see people.

So now I’m dreaming of a two week writing retreat. Of course.

I am having high hopes for this week, school and teaching is starting again so my days will have more structure and routine to them. Still, they will be rather full.

I feel like I didn’t write enough over Christmas break – which is true – but then my resolve to write at least 500 words a day is going strong, and I did 782 words on average last week. Every single day. Plus the blogging which is something between 300 and 700 words a day on top of that.

Still. I am feeling the need for a huge whiteboard and stacks of post-its and some ginormous master plan but I might have to make do with my bullet journal. There are a ton of things that are falling through the cracks each day, and that is not a good feeling.

Well, at least I did research ukuelel strings yesterday and recipes for salty baked things that you can eat with your fingers for next Saturday’s spinning meeting. That’s at least something.

Jan 072018

Did more walking than running yesterday because I was so sore from the strength training the day before. Actually I still am.

I spent most of the afternoon waiting for the rehearsal for the song we’ll be playing at my husband’s birthday concert in two weeks which meant I did get a lot of reading done but not much more. I also helped the boy a little when he had problems with building his computer. My husband’s friend also told him a thing or two so now we’re hoping that everything will work properly going forward.

At least I did write about 800 words. Of course I had wanted to write a lot more but let’s just not talk about that.

I’m guessing that today will be more or less the same, last day of Christmas break, and I decided not to plan for anything special, I’ll just sit here reading, and maybe write my 500 words and that will be it.

I’m all about realistic plans. Bonus points for doing strength training even though my legs hurt so much that I’m avoiding moving from sitting to standing and back. But today would be mostly arms anyway. We’ll see.

Jan 062018

I’m not quite sure I should be giving my days grades so much. In the end they are all pretty good, I’d say even the ones wehre I feel I have wasted time or where there was conflict.

So yesterday we started pretty late because of the birthday dinner the night before, and that influenced the whole day of course.

We had wonderful pasta e fagiole for lunch, and I sang and played the piano and I wrote 700 words. I also read for hours, and in the evening I spun while watching „Dollhouse“.

For once I did not skip strength trainng. It was legs and core day and I’m not quite sure I will be able to run today. I know that going out of my comfort zone is the only way to become stronger but well, it really is out of my comfort zone and I’m sore.

I have decided to skip cleaning for this week. Today I want to go for a run, and write, and make music, and not much else. I can mae plans to do all.the.things but I have a feeling that I’ll end up not doing the anyway, so I won’t.

I’m rather happy that this is the last weekend of Christmas break. It’s nice to have two weeks off but now I think I’m ready to go back to teaching and my regular routine again.

I like routine. I might have mentioned that.

Jan 052018

Yeah, I did not manage to get anything done yesterday after lunch. I knew beforehand and my attempts at not falling into my usually trap did not work out. It didn’t help that my husband was somewhat freaked about that family thing in the evening.

I did write my 500 words, and I went running, and got ready in time for the birthday dinner but that was about it.

The dinner went much better than we had thought it would, naturally. That often happens when you’re dreading something. The food was great, I spent most of the evening talking with the boy and a nephew and his girlfriend, and it was all real nice.

I went to bed past midnight but managed to sleep until eight so that’s good. It did throw off my whole morning but there’s nothing I can do about that. And I’m feeling a little bad because of eating food that we didn’t cook ourselves. It is really easy to forget about the fructose-intolerance when not eating out. Not that the food at the restaurant wasn’t delicious, because it was.

Today I hope to just have a quiet day with all my routine stuff. It is almost noon so I have no idea if I will manage the Friday cleaning. My husband is out running at the moment which would be a perfect time to vacuum.

I am still contemplating finishing the first draft of the novel-in-progress until next week. That would mean writing for a little more than an hour each day starting today. No idea if I want to do that or not.

Other than that I would love to have lofty goals for the day but the way I’m feeling right now I think I’ll probably spend most of the afternoon sitting around reading yet again, so no use in making grandiose declarations.

Regular days are just the best.

Jan 042018

All in all a pretty good day, can’t complain. I felt happy right from the start even though I only slept for something like 5 1/2 hours. But didn’t feel all tired. Weird.

Because the days before had been all sloth I pulled myself together and that felt really good.

Did not run because the weather was pretty sick. There was a storm and pelting rain. I briefly considered walking in the streets but even that felt too dangerous. Not even my husband went out in that. So I did the strength training I skipped the day before. And it was fun. Kind of. I’m sore all over.

I’ve been using the „Bodyweight“ app for my strength training, I also own the two books. And for a long time I’ve been doing the same program over and over, and nothing was changing. So I decided to up my game, and to start the ten week-program in the app. On the easiest setting. Well, I had to scale back some of the exercises because I couldn’t do them, and today I’m sore all over, so I count that as a win. And am looking forward to doing day 2 this afternoon. I also hope to go for a run in the morning.

I also thought some more about limiting beliefs and I think I found one. I always keep forgetting that one, and it is:

If I live up to my potential nobody will like my anymore.

As I said I keep forgetting about that one. And I think that is why I never mind making my goals public and then failing at them. Because I think it will make everybody else feel better. There are one or two people in my life who have made it clear that they like me better when I’m not too successful, by the way, that’s a very old story. But I’ll try to not believe that for the rest of my life.

„Oh, I could have done all the things that would have made me happy but then no one would have wanted to hang out with me. They like me better when I’m slightly unhappy (not too much, though).“ is not what I want to say looking back on my life.

Of course, now that I know, all my self-sabotaging will vanish without a trace. Yep. Sure.

I also wrote 700 words yesterday, not really what I wanted but enough to make my 500 words per day goal for January. And right now writing every day is a little more important than finishing this first draft fast.

And then, and that’s the really great thing, I actually pulled out the sewing machine. I mean, yes, I put it on the kitchen table and then sat next to it for two hours reading (Sarina Bowen is really, really good.) but then I started sewing the muslin for the Dottie Angel frock. And I’m even doing the ridiculously fussy seam treatments. The whole thing is finished inside and out. With bias tape over some seams and French seams in other places. I’m not quite sure that’s necessary but I will learn how to do this. And screw up the muslin. Let’s just say that top-stitching is not my forte.

And then I helped the boy with his paper a little, and for now it’s done – only one day late – and watched some „Dollhouse“ while spinning, and went to bed at a reasonable time.

I call that a win.

Today the plan calls for running, and practice, and writing, and hopefully strength training again (different muscle groups), and in the evening we’ll celebrate my mother-in-law’a 82nd birthday. I’ve been looking forward to the food in that restaurant for weeks now. Mind you, it’s just the Asian restaurant we always go to but I’ll be eating some extra-delicious shrimp that I only ever order on January 4th.

So a full day ahead. If I can avoid the „paralysis because I have to dress up and be somewhere in the evening“-trap after lunch I might be good.

Jan 032018

The day started pretty well, we were early with everything and I went grocery shopping and bought new pencils for the drawing exercises. Not that I started those but I like thinking I will.

My husband wanted to make lasagna for lunch, and we did, and it took ages, as it always does, which meant we only had lunch at 2 and had shared a whole bottle of wine until the end of the meal. Cooking was great, though. my husband has decided that since he really loves cooking he will stop stressing out about it, and just enjoy it as much as he can. He usually reaches complete panic mode somewhere in the middle which is no fun, so this is better. I hope it works.

Then I did the dishes right away which was great, and sat down with tea and a new book and some gummy bears.

And then the afternoon got away from me. Same as just about every day in the past ten days. I procrastinated about writing, and about practice, and did not sew, and got really, really cranky in the course of the aftenroon, and basically sat around reading ravelry and blogs until it was time for dinner, and then watched a webinar about „Setting Creative Intentions for 2018“.

That was the first ever live webinar I attended, and there were technical difficulties, and at least I had my knitting with me, made nice progres on a sock heel while listening to stuff that I already knew. What I did not know was that this was supposed to be a year-long course with monthly webinars, and so we got fed the information in very small bites.

There is a reason why I prefer to get my information by reading because then I can influence the speed. If there’s a paragraph with stuff I already know I can skip it even.

I love learning new and better ways of doing stuff but I just might have consumed enough goal-setting and self-help that I can skip on the beginner’s classes.

I’m reading „Your Best Year Ever“ right now, and while this is a very good book and I had been looking forward to reading it I am stumped in a similar way. I read about „self-limiting beliefs“ yesterday and now I’m wondering if I have any.

I’ve been coming to the conclusion that that’s all about feelings and drama, and I don’t need it. I have these moments when I feel like the worst writer ever, and that I can never write anything, and likewise I have other moments where I feel invincible. And it’s both completely superfluous. And doesn’t matter. I’ll just push forward at whatever pace I can until I finish this book. And the others. And the next. And eventually I’ll publish stuff as well.

I’m finding it rather hard to judge myself. I’m both lazy and industrious, I’m both good and bad with people, I’m both athletic and a couch potato, and none of this matters really.

I just look at what I want to do with my life, and then I try to find ways to integrate that into my daily routine, and then I do it. I mean, yes, I will procrastinate and wail and eat all the chocolate in the house to procrastinate the thing I want to do most  – like yesterday – but that doesn’t mean that I have the slightest doubt I can do it.

I think I have an inbuilt optimistic streak that doesn’t really care for the circumstances. And I think I’ve always been that way. And I’ve decided that giving up is just not an option.

Still, I need to change something about my current afternoon routine. Sitting around feeling bad because I don’t do anything is just no fun.

Well, I’ll give it another try today. There will be running, and writing, and music (yes, for real today!), and maybe even the sewing. And I will probably have to help the boy with his paper that would have been due last night, ahem. He did write an email to his teacher and apologized but still.

Oh, and while I was not happy with the amount of music and writing yesterday I did have a short practice session with my husband who is preparing for a house concert in three weeks, and I did write my 500 words. So at least something.

Jan 022018

Yesterday was a medium productive day. I’m starting to think that I need to adjust my writing goals because I never reach them. So I decided to write 500 words a day every day in January. I can write more but I don’t have to. Since that takes me about fifteen minutes it should be doable. But then I always say that. We’ll see.

Last night I decided that I wanted sleep more than writing and turned the lights off at nine. I slept like a log until my alarm went off at 6.30. It was glorious.

Today there will be a lot of grocery shopping (I even went out for milk before breakfast), and some strength training (it’ll be interesting to see what will prevent us from doing that today), and a bit of writing, and practice and such, and maybe a little sewing as well. But then I’ve been saying that for weeks now and there hasn’t been any. Funny, how the sewing machine never unpacks itself.

I’d think that if I only had a dedicated place for sewing, things would be much better but I know that’s not true. You know how people always tell you to do things like put on your workout clothes first thing in the morning to make it easier to exercise? Every single time I do that I end up not exercising. My husband and I have found the same to be true when teaching. Every single time you prepare for a lesson in some special way and set everything up just so the student will cancel.

One explanation for the workout clothes thing might be that my unconscious thinks that wearing the clothes was already enough. Like when you visualize an achievement like how you will be feeling after finishing your novel your mind will go all, „Oh, good, we’ve done that already.“ Which is why you should visualize how you do something, and how you deal with obstacles and unexpected things.

As you can tell I’m all about planning and thinking and goal-setting these days.

All while feeling like I’d rather crawl back into bed. This fatigue is driving me a bit nuts I have to say.

Thirteen days until the next doctor’s appointment.