Or maybe I‘ll have to skip. Sorry, but I‘m on a trip to Salzburg for my husband‘s birthday. It is cold, gray and snowy but we have a great time. I‘ll tell you all about it soon.
week in review
That was another fast one. It started with a day off because of Epiphany and then went all through, busy and a little stressful at times.
The writing went very well at the beginning of the week, I was pretty disciplined for about 2 1/2 days and then I basically stopped writing for the rest of the week. Despite mustering all my willpower and intention. I’m blaming not enough sleep and overwhelm in other areas of my life.
I read a lot because that’s how I cope with the overwhelm and exhaustion. I’m still making my way through the „Knitting in the City“-series by Penny Reid. I’m on book 4.5 right now and can’t wait to get back to reading. The non-fiction I planned to work through this month has been sadly neglected.
Exercise went rather well, I went running/walking three times. I’m still finding two minutes of running without a break hard. Which is funny. There was a lot of sun on Monday:
And a train crossing on Wednesday:
And this is where I ended up on Saturday before turning around again:
I found running very hard but also satisfying. I think I’ll stay with the short running intervals for a while, I did 2 1/2 minutes on Saturday without realizing it and that felt way too hard, I know, it is slightly ridiculous but I’ll get there eventually.
I also started a new bodyweight training regimen. I started the Nerd Fitness 20-minute hotel workout. On Tuesday I did the warm-up and started the workout and had to stop after 8 1/2 minutes. I have to say that that was at 7.30 in the evening, so I’m okay with that. And I was rather sore the next day. On Thursday I got a little farther in with two sets of exercises. My husband was very confused when I showed up in his room looking for the dumbbells. „But you never use my weights,“ he said. I was nice and didn’t remind him that the 3-kilo weights are actually mine. But yes, I haven’t used them in years.
I also had plans to do yoga on Sunday but that didn’t happen because there was so much other stuff.
Lots of teaching again, one new student taught and another one I will see this week for the first time. I taught electrical guitar for the first time in years and found that I need to change my setup for this. The thing I dislike most about electrical guitar is all the equipment and all the variables.
Things are going fine but with all those workouts my knees are starting to act up again. Which means I need to incorporate stretching into my routines again. I can feel my calves tightening up. So that’s the next stop with the fitness routine, stretch after workouts.
I did not get enough sleep, all those romance novels and evening exhaustion meant that I often opted for sitting around eating and reading instead of going to bed. I’d like to be more disciplined about going to bed early again. Which means basically going straight from teaching to lights out on Mondays and Wednesdays and almost straight from one to the other on Tuesdays.
I already have a routine set up in my routines app, now I just need to follow it.
With the upcoming performance at the end of February I suddenly realized that I need to practice all the things. I originally planned to start during Christmas break but didn’t. And then it turned out that I needed to play keyboard on „Riders on the Storm“ as well as all kinds of percussion instruments on all the Santana songs we’re doing. Cue complete panic mode.
But. Two days ago I found sheet music for the Doors song. And then I started watching Youtube videos on how to play Guiro and Campana and all of that and now I’m feeling a little better. Especially since I learned yesterday that another keyboarder will play the song after all. I would just have been the backup if he couldn’t stay for the second evening. Phew.
I still will have to practice those songs every day but now it seems doable.
Apart from that I’m all about travel plans. We need to think about what we’ll be doing next weekend when we’re traveling to Salzburg for four days and I started planning our annual trip to my parents and the boy’s trip during Easter break.
I will practice and write and get enough sleep and buy all the train tickets and bookmark things to see in Salzburg. We have already made plans to meet an old friend of my husband and his wife for dinner on Sunday and know where we will eat on Monday. Come to think of it, we have already spoken about where to get döner kebab on Saturday for lunch but not about our time of departure from home. Since we’ll be taking regional trains we’ll be totally flexible, no reservations needed or anything. Thinking about the food first is totally our thing. Plans for sightseeing mostly involve the plan of ‚walking around some‘ so far.
So there might not be a week in review next week because I have no idea what kind of time I will have and how the wifi will be. You will get a new podcast episode on Friday for sure because that one is all set up already. This is what preparing the podcast looked like on Sunday morning:
Have a great week!
I’m still in that weird space where you don’t quite know which day of the week it is or what time. Not for much longer, though, regular teaching will resume tomorrow.
There was not a lot of writing over the holidays but at least there was some. I have not written every day but have almost reached the goals I’ve been setting for myself this week. I also keep reminding myself how happy the writing makes me when I do it. I think I’m about two thirds through the next novel, this one might not be overly long. At least I hope so.
I’ve been reading like crazy, found the „Knitting in the City“-series by Penny Reid and have been devouring her pretty long books. I’m currently a quarter in on book three but only bought book 1.5 this morning. Very enjoyable. Somehow I have not been reading as much non-fiction as I had planned. Funny how that goes.
There was running but nothing else. I have big plans of resuming bodyweight training at some point. I haven’t done any in weeks and have lost muscle for sure. After realizing that I can’t run for ten minutes without stopping I have now re-started Couch to 10K. Yeah! I’m up to 2 minutes of running followed by 3 minutes of walking and that gives me my normal ‚running‘ pace. Oops.
No teaching this week at all for a change. That was a rather nice break. I didn’t realize it at the time but I think there was only one year the whole year that I didn’t teach at least one student. I like teaching but sometimes it’s good to take a break.
Things are going well. My mother-in-law has had a nasty cold and the boy had a mild one but I have been blessedly cold-free. Yeah for running around outside all the time and washing my hands a lot.
I started another crochet blanket:
And then I sewed another t-shirt and just in time to wear it to my mother-in-law’s birthday party. Literally. I snipped the last thread ten minutes before heading out. I did take a picture for you, though, and documented my afternoon over on Instagram:
I get another day off today and then it’s back into the mines, including two new students. I haven’t planned my week yet but there will be running (and walking), errands and shopping and crochet and the cleaning of the house and I’ll finally start practicing for the thing we’ll be doing at the end of February.
I’m also plotting more sewing. Fun!
That week felt both so short that it barely happened and about as long as a month.
Monday was still filled with rehearsals for my husband with guests in the house. By then we were all rather exhausted and a little irritated. My mother-in-law had a sever cold and went to the doctor. The boy accompanied her and earlier that morning he and I went to get the special Christmas brats.
I was very determined to run the whole 5K and failed. Again.
Since my husband was so super-busy we decided to get Chinese for lunch. We don’t usually do that anymore because of all the packaging waste but none of us was in a state where we wanted to go to a restaurant with all the noise and commotion:
Christmas Eve was nice and low-key. At this point I hadn’t done any writing in days and that made me rather cranky but otherwise things were alright.
This is what happens when my husband decides not to cook for lunch because we’re doing the special Christmas dinner with his mother:
That was also the day I decided I need to learn brush lettering. Of course.
I had already wrapped all the presents in time, we started making Christmas dinner early enough and things went rather smoothly:
We did open a few presents, my mother sent a package with sweets and ornaments and my sister had books or CDs for all of us. I really love the book I got, „Folk Fashion“ and started reading it right away. Since I’m on a book-buying kick still, it will take me a while to get through, though.
Christmas Day was mostly for lounging about with a little running thrown in. Since my 13K run the week before was pretty much a 13K walk I decided to scale back and re-start the „Bridge to 10K“-program. That involved intervals of running for ten minutes and walking for one.
Well. Turns out I can’t run for ten minutes without pause. After more than ten years of ‚running’. That was a little demoralizing.
So I decided to go even further back and re-start „Couch to 10K“. No, giving up is not an option. Going only for walks isn’t one either. I’ll get there. Eventually.
There was homemade pizza for lunch:
In the afternoon I started thinking about the past year, what happened and what I got done. I couldn’t find any goals for 2019, I guess I didn’t set any because a year is too long anyways. I did write 186,000 words on novels which is pretty good and 53,000 words more than the year before. When I first looked back I totally forgot all the renovation stuff we did. So, all in all a productive year. Not quite as I had wanted it to be, though.
The following day I started reading yet another book about planning and such because I was frantically looking for a method that would work for me and I found „Business Planning for Professional Publishers“ by Leah Cutter. Seems that I finally found someone who is more like me. Huh.
So then I had ideas. Still haven’t finished my thinking about the upcoming year, though. I also found a word tracker I can use for my lofty goal to write 250,000 words in 2020. I am already intimidated by that. Still, now that I have a spreadsheet for it nothing can go wrong. Right?
Thursday mostly vanished into talking with people. A phone call with my mother. Long, convoluted conversations with my husband. Some conflict. (I was so happy about the planning and he thought I wanted him to plan and scheme as well and was angry because he was still in crisis mode after those rehearsals. The boy wanted help with writing thank-you notes.
We did another one of our special holiday meals, goose, red cabbage and dumplings. There was barely any cooking involved, we bought the dumpling dough already made, the cabbage came out of a can and the goos was already seasoned and only had to go into the oven. Weird. But pretty good:
Friday was the first day the shops were open after the holidays so I did all the grocery shopping. Things happened. I did not do the weekly cleaning. We decided we needed comfort food:
I didn’t write any new words that day but bought formatting software and stared at the novel for 50 minutes.
Saturday I re-started the „Couch to 10K“-program. Four minutes of walking followed by thirty seconds of running for a total of 41 minutes:
That was not enough running for me by the way. I’ll probably skip week one and two.
There was fish for lunch:
In the afternoon I finally got some rudimentary cleaning in and almost turned the lights out on time. Only the boy really wanted to talk about phonetics for 90 minutes. It was fascinating, only way too late.
And yesterday I didn’t write yet again but did spend quite a bit of time thinking about the novel. I decided to take a day off from everything. Spent an hour making spaetzle from scratch and my husband cooked the rest. Very, very good:
The boy and I watched ‚Discovery‘ every evening and loved it. He went climbing again on Friday. I’m finally getting more sleep. I finished spinning the yarn for my husband’s sweater, still need to ply the last bit:
I did read quite a few books mostly holiday themed. I don’t think I’ll get to 150 until tomorrow but that’s alright. 146 will be enough.
And tomorrow it will be the New Year! Fun!
Almost the end of the year. And the decade. The week was slightly exhausting again. I wasn’t the only one either, the students felt like wilting flowers as well.
The first few days I was elated because I actually did make my writing a priority and managed 1,400 words most days and 700 on Tuesday. But then I slacked off, didn’t write anything at all on Friday and Saturday and only very few words on Sunday. I’m not happy. Again.
I only did the bare minimum of running, only three days. 5K on Monday:
5K on Wednesday:
I got lucky because the train was already through when I reached that crossing. Sometimes you have to wait quite a bit.
And 13K on Saturday:
There was a lot of walking on all runs, especially the 13K one. But I did it anyway. On Saturday it was raining as well.
Lots of teaching again. The one tryout lesson was canceled. I’m getting used to the longer hours but it is pretty exhausting still.
Everything is fine. There were times when I had a bit of sniffle but it never morphed into anything serious. I didn’t get enough sleep again but the daily naps seem to help with energy levels.
The boy turned 17! Such a grown-up! We had our traditional cake for breakfast again:
And went out to the new Indian place for lunch:
In the evening the boy and I watched some ‘Star Trek: Discovery‘ and had ice cream and potato chips. That day was rather nice but it also threw me off my routine a bit. I have to say that Wednesday felt like it was Monday and I was just coming out the weekend.
Those celebrations on Tuesday also meant that I couldn’t run my usual errands that day and that made the rest of the week a little more hectic. And then we got notice that my husband’s old band mates would be in town and ready to rehearse for the upcoming concert on Friday. Which in turn threw off the rest of the week. Hence the not-writing.
They are rather nice and rehearsals are going well but instead of the cozy weekend with just the three of us we’ve been having comings and goings. I will be doing some percussion with them but I didn’t rehearse this time, adding a little cowbell and guiro to the whole thing won’t be a big deal. I hope.
The week was so filled with things that I barely managed to get the podcast ready and then I did publish it on time but forgot to tell the world about it. Even though it was right there in my notebook. Oops.
So. The upcoming week will be Christmas. Another day of rehearsals today, Christmas dinner with my mother-in-law on Christmas Eve, something extra special to eat on Christmas Day, My brother-in-law and his family coming over to my mother-in-law the day after, then a day of grocery shopping with all the other people in town, and another weekend.
I had plans to finally wrangle the teaching website into submission but that is looking unlikely. I still haven’t written the December newsletter. But I am hoping there will be some peace and quiet and time for things like sewing and website-wrangling.
The boy has to read „Faust“ for school and was slightly desperate because it is hard to understand and so we started reading it together, aloud. I always find that drama works better read aloud because that’s what it is written for. Last time I read that was in 1985. My German teacher refused to read it with us because that was what everybody did, and so I read it on my own, in protest. Of course.
I hope you all have peaceful and relaxing holidays. That you get some time for contemplation and for setting intentions for the upcoming year. I’d like to sit down and look back on the past year and get an inkling on what the next year will likely have in stock. It looks like the first quarter is already packed.
Well, nothing new then.
That was a really productive week. I like it. And I almost got enough sleep, even.
The writing went okay. Somehow I got my determination back and wrote almost every day. On Friday I even did my words in the evening. I focused mostly on doing two pomodoros per day and that usually results in the word count I’d like to achieve. Since I’m about halfway into the story – or maybe a little more – things are flowing better.
I finally transferred the edits to the Eva Mandel short story into the Scrivener document. Then I converted that to an ebook file and looked at it on my ebook reader. Which showed me that I really need to structure my paragraphs differently. Interesting experience.
I also finished one of my online writing workshops and made progress on another.
I’ve been reading quite a bit, even with everything else that was going on. Mostly Christmas stories from the WMG Holiday Spectacular and they keep being extraordinary. I’ve been diving into other holiday stories as well which is rather unusual for me. I’m reading „Christmas in the City“ and am enjoying it a lot. It’s still free, so if you enjoy steamy romance go and have a look. I got it because it has an Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen novella in it with two of my favorite characters ever.
I’ve also been downloading samples like crazy and starting and abandoning Christmas novels. I’m a bit restless in my reading at the moment. One that I really loved was „Christmas for Commitmentphobes“ by Rhoda Baxter. I read another one in that series last year and then went on to read the others as well.
I’ve been hopping from one non-fiction book to the other. I’m reading another book about time management for writers that leaves me unimpressed. Since I already bought it I will go through to the end but I’m skipping most of it at the moment. That doesn’t really mean the book is bad, it’s just that I’ve read so many books about time management that it doesn’t tell me anything new.
Something I found really helpful and useful was Mark Manson’s thing about self-discipline. It is a short ebook that you can get when you subscribe to his newsletter on his site, I think. I can’t find the link anymore. I found it rather illuminating.
No strength training again, that remains hard to schedule but I did run four times. Running feels easier at the moment and while I’m still walking a lot things are going well. Monday with a little snow left:
All of those runs were 5K. On Saturday I went out for 11K. The wind was strong enough that I was a little afraid to be blown off the bridge. On my way back there were long stretches were the headwind was so strong that even my husband resorted to walking:
Almost in the next town over:
Fortunately all the branches came down before we went out:
I’m starting to get used to teaching later and that much. I taught another potential new student and will meet her brother this week. While I still want to improve the teaching website it almost seems pointless. I was good and got all the lessons prep done in time. Well, apart from finding a new piece for a student I’ll see today but I’ll do that in the break between two students this afternoon.
Teaching is pretty interesting and challenging at the moment. I have all these singing students, every single one completely different. That week I taught musical, romantic choir music, classic rock and jazz. There were a lot of Christmas songs and „Lady Gaga“. Fun. I do get to sing a lot, play the guitar and piano.
I didn’t get quite enough sleep but napping continues to be a great idea. Seems I will continue doing it. Despite all the running my knees feel good. I think I am developing habits of movement that help prevent injury. There were a few days where I thought I was getting a cold but then I went out running again and things righted themselves.
My new monitor came on Monday. Installment was fast and easy and I really like it. The desk I’m using is not idea but having the bigger screen is helping. I think this will be excellent for revamping the website and the design stuff I want to learn. So getting that monitor was a good idea after all.
On Tuesday my husband and I went to a local furniture store and bought a new sofa for our living room. Basically, we went there on our bikes, waltzed in, looked at three couches and chose one. It took a few more minutes to decide which red fabric we wanted and to finalize the order. Now we only have to wait for eight more weeks.
Afterwards we went to a new to us Indian restaurant that was rather nice, did the grocery shopping together and went back home.
The boy had gone to Munich that day, eating burgers with a friend, getting a library card for the university library and the Bavarian state library and buying himself some climbing shoes. He went all out in socializing that week, going to the climbing gym with a friend on Friday and visiting another friend on Saturday and going to the local Christmas market.
On Saturday I finally pulled out the sewing machine and finished a t-shirt and on Sunday I recorded the podcast.
This will be the last week before Christmas break. I’m not quite sure how to handle the grocery shopping logistics. There will be one potential new student, all the teaching, hopefully more writing (I think I’m almost at the ‚all is lost‘-moment) and I want to publish the podcast on Friday. I have to wrap all the Christmas presents and put packages into the mail. But the most important thing will be the boy’s 17th birthday. There are plans to have cake for breakfast, have lunch at that new Indian place and spend the evening with ‚Star Trek: Discovery‘ on Netflix while eating junk food.
And then we will have two whole weeks off.