Jun 142018

Well, since I decided to not only stay up for the webinar until 10.30 but then also to start reading a new book and have another beer I was not feeling all that rested in the morning. Even though I had set my alarm for 6.30 instead of 6. (Spoiler: I woke up at six anyway, ugh.)

That meant I was a little late with making breakfast but then the boy was very late for breakfast so it didn’t make much of a difference. When asked why he is getting up too late every morning he said that he was getting up and dressed at 7.15. Which is the time he should be downstairs to start eating breakfast.

He said he’d rather in his room a little longer instead of getting ready for school but I tried explaining that this was not about getting ready for school earlier but instead all about eating breakfast in peace and have a bit of respite before having to go out.

Because – as you all probably know – getting up late because you’re dreading the day just makes you dread it more and stresses you. If you get up and dressed early you have this wonderful time in the morning where you can enjoy your breakfast and tea (or coffee) and maybe read a little and talk with your family. When you get up later you still need to get ready but you will feel awful all the way through while deciding if you have still enough time to wolf down breakfast or if you have to leave without it.

No idea if he got it. We’ll see.

Because I had stayed up late I was having a slow, slow day which meant no writing after breakfast (I can self-sabotage with the best of them.) I did get out the door for my run on time:

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It was a little wet from all the pouring rain yesterday.

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This is me wearing a cap so that my glasses stay mostly dry.

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This was one of the spots where I had to wade through the puddles in order to get to the other side. My running shoes are not waterproof so I came home with my feet soaking wet. I didn’t really mind, though, funny enough that kind of weather is less annoying when you are out and about in it.

I helped making lunch which was just quick and plain and very German:

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And yes, we ate inside.

After lunch I had a one-hour slump before pulling myself together to do the dishes. I still had time to write but almost fell asleep when I tried.

My first student didn’t show (she often doesn’t come when it’s raining and she never calls to cancel which is irritating) and the second canceled. Then I had a big break that I used to start writing this post and avoid more writing.

Then two more students and no dinner. I was very firm with myself and managed not to binge-eat later, even.

I had planned to get ready for bed very early because I know myself and when I’m that tired I only have two options: 1) hang around and get nothing done while feeling awful until it is really, really late and start the same thing over the following day, or 2) get completely ready for bed around the time you’d start a toddler’s evening routine. (Brushing my teeth is also an excellent strategy against late-night binge-eating and deciding that I really want a beer after all.)

Then I wanted to sit in bed in my pajamas, read or write a little and if I fell asleep in the middle of something I am already in bed, no harm done.

Well, I’ll just leave a note to myself not to sit in the kitchen in the evening and spin where it smells like food everywhere…

So today I want to record the podcast and teach my students. And get back into my routine yet again.

Jun 132018

For the second time in a row I managed to actually write from 8 to 8.30. Only thing that I’m not happy with is that that resulted in very few words. There was a lot o reading what I wrote before and thinking to be done.

I had hoped to write more later in the day but that didn’t go as planned.

I went to the tea shop and to the nearer grocery store. I helped to make another wonderful lunch, Greek salad again, this time with lamb burgers:

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I did make a little music as well, and taught my students.

Then the day went a little off plan, the repaired balcony is still spewing water over the sides. We weren’t able to figure out why, though, and now we’re stumped.

And then I waited and waited and waited for the boy to come down for piano practice and dinner, and for my 9 o’clock webinar to start.

Went to bed too late.

This will be a low-energy-day, I bet.

There will be running and teaching and music and writing. And a whole lot of rain.

Jun 122018

It still was a good day.

For once I did want to keep sleeping when my alarm sounded. Not quite sure why.

I am trying something new again, I decided to measure my writing by how long I’m working and not by how many words I’m writing. And I also decided that setting my goals higher and higher wasn’t working at all.

So I decided to try aiming for one pomodoro of writing per day, better two. And in order to get that done I was diligent about my time in the morning, and the minute the boy was out the door I started meditating and then I started writing right away. For 25 minutes.

That made me feel much better.

I also did the math on spinning for the mystery knit-along I talked about yesterday, and then was very happy to find that I still had a hundred grams of the fiber I ordered in my stash. So I could start on the first skein of yarn immediately.

I also went for my run. It was too hot already at 10.30, I should run earlier. And that made me pretty slow. But still. I got out the door, and I ran. That is good. And – maybe most important of all – my hip doesn’t hurt! So my new way of running seems to work. Which is very, very good.

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Then I went to the health food store. I did forget that the boy comes home for lunch early on Mondays. Just like every Monday lately. I have now put an alarm in my phone to remind me.

Helped my husband make lunch. Sugar peas from our garden, that was really good. My husband was Thai-inspired, and used Thai curry from the health food store that turned out to not be hot at all. So next time we’ll put some chili in there:

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Then I did the dishes, read a little, did my singing warmup and started playing a Brahms waltz that I want to learn.

Then teaching, then a little more writing, then a little spinning and then to bed.

Rather good day.

Today I will go to the grocery store, and teach and repeat mostly what I did yesterday. I’m totally okay with that.

Jun 112018

At least I was not quite as tired as I thought I would be.

I decided to restart the sock I had started the day before because I didn’t like the way the yarn was pooling. I briefly knitted with 1.2 mm needles using 68 stitches instead of 60 stitches on 1.5 mm needles, and then decided that I actually wanted the 68 stitches on the bigger needles. Here is a picture of the sock before ripping back, I did have a nice, lazy and cozy morning with a good book:

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And I’m just realizing that you can’t seen the color at all in this picture. Sorry. Wrong light. The yarn is actually bright orange, red and fuchsia and the lighter bits there on the picture are the orange breaking up and being all over the place. My husband just shook his head. He thinks I’m foolish to rip back things so often.

I’m much happier now with the colors. I will probably go back to the smaller needles after the heels. And the pooling will change anyway when I’m increasing for the heel and then on the foot there will only be ribbing on the top of the foot, not the bottom, so that will change things up again.

I also realized that I have signed up for a mystery knit-along. Where I will knit a shawl out of 300 grams of fingering weight yarn. The whole thing will start in a week or so. And I don’t have yarn.

My options are:

  1. Buy fiber and spin yarn. All 1,200 meters of it. Ahem. That’s like spinning for a sweater, and I don’t have the fiber, unless I would want to make the shawl out of naturally colored Ronaldsay. (My spell checker says that Ronaldsay is not a word. Phooey.)
  2. Dye three skeins of the ten skeins of socks yarn that I have. That one is not quite shawl quality yarn, though, I bought sock yarn for robustness. Hmpf.
  3. Buy three skeins of yarn that coordinate. (I currently have only two skeins of sock yarn in my stash. One is in the process of being turned into the above-mentioned socks and then there is another one that doesn’t match.)

And the longer I take to decide the least likely it will be that I can spin the yarn for this. I might have to toss the stash but, as I said, I don’t think I have anything that qualifies.

(I just looked and the nearest store to me that sells the yarn suggested in the pattern is in Finland. And I actually held two skeins of this in my hands last Saturday. They were, apparently, 27 Euros each. Um, no.)

I am almost regretting committing to this. It’s not as if I didn’t have enough challenges in my life. All voluntarily, but still.

But then, not having the right yarn is not that dire an emergency. I will figure something out.

My plan was to either write like crazy yesterday and/or sort through all the piles in my bedroom.

In the end I washed all the wooly things. A whole load of wool things in the machine and four skeins of handspun in the sink. (And no, none of that yarn is suitable for the KAL.)

I also started looking at the piles and pulled out a sweater I knitted years ago that just needs blocking. And found a huge circular shawl that needs blocking. And about a dozen socks in need of mending.

My original plan had been to just buckle down and mend away, or at least do something but some how the day got away from me. That is happening a lot.

Still. I started the process of sorting through the piles. That is good. I am imagining how great I’ll feel when they will all be gone. Might take a little while, though.

I am also working on my mindset like crazy (why yes, I am reading self-help books again, sorry) and am formulating a plan for the writing. Which didn’t involve a lot of writing yet again but next week will be better. Of course it will.

Today there will be the running and the teaching and the writing and I have great hopes of playing the piano even. I stumbled upon a Brahms waltz (I’m reading Austin Kleon’s blog, like you should do too.) that I know in and out but I don’t think I ever played it. Which is a little freaky. Anyways, it looks pretty doable and like it might be a good piece for students to work on, so I decided to learn that. Starting today.

And then I will be trying to make this week better than the last one. Write at least twice the amount of words, make music every day, and floss every night. You know, the usual Monday resolutions.

But I just read that successful people are mostly people who don’t give up (the words tenacity and grit were frequently mentioned) so I thought I’d just continue trying. Until I either succeed or die. Whichever comes first.

Jun 102018

That went a little different than planned.

Woke up, didn’t write, had a leisurely morning. So much so that I went running an hour later than planned.

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My husband was nice enough to make me lunch at 11.45, though, and so I went to the spinning meeting only and hour later than planned.

Spinning meeting was really nice and had a big buffet. I met the woman who had asked me about my spinning wheel and wanted to try it, I met someone I had last seen in December, and someone completely new.

I still went home rather early. I didn’t really feel like spinning and decided I needed a little peace and quiet.

I had taken the bus because I afraid of thunderstorms but there weren’t any in the end.

When I came home much earlier than expected my husband said, „Oh, then you could come with me to my friend’s birthday party after all.”

I thought a little. Two people things in one day is usually a no-go. But the party would be near a lake and my husband never go anywhere together and I felt spontaneous so off we went. About two hours later.

I even started a new pair of socks so I would have something to do with my hands.

We took the train and walked from the train station to the lake, it was all rather idyllic. We met people that my husband has known for more than forty years, people who went to the same school than him and grew up around here.

There were these Thai balloons:

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We went home rather late but before midnight. Since I woke up at my usually time I didn’t get much sleep.

So today I won’t do a lot. I want to write a bit and I had this slightly crazy plan of tackling the piles on the dressers in the bedroom. I have been whining about those for years and just the other day I got this idea that I could just spend a day going through them, sorting, putting things away where they belong and this time actually deal with what’s in there.

There are knitting supplies I inherited and unfinished projects that go back years and a mending pile that might still contain the boy’s favorite t-shirt from kindergarten.

I had whined about those piles yet again on my podcast the last time and a very friendly podcast listener was giving me advice about how to deal with the stuff (she was also offering to put a zipper in one of my almost finished sweaters) and I might have had enough of hearing myself complain about this.

I hope. Not having piles and piles and piles there would be great.

On the other hand I am really, really tired today.

Jun 092018

I had set my alarm half an hour earlier because I thought I’d spend the first hour of my day writing.

Yeah, not so much.

I did manage some words after breakfast, though, which was a good start.

It was one of those slightly insane days where I put everything in my calendar:

9.30 to 11: clean house,

11 to 11.30 cross train,

11.30 to 12: take a shower, fold laundry

12 to 12,30: write,

12.30 to 13.00: make pizza,

13 to 13.30: have lunch,

13.30 to 13.45: do dishes,

13.45: be ready for student to be fifteen minutes early. (She was ten minutes early, so we started early and finished earlier as well. But I have to say that somebody who is fifteen to ten minutes early every time for the first lesson of the day which is supposed to start at 2, right after lunch, is a little irritating. I get it that parents tell their children to leave a little early so that they aren’t late but that means lunch on Fridays is rather hectic around here. The boy usually gets home around 1.30 and fifteen minutes later the student is ringing the bell. Meh. Second student was early as well.)

And, same as usual, I started later than I thought I would, and then I started researching something publishing related (I saw that webinar the night before and was starting to make something like a business plan for my writing which is a little funny.) and then my husband wanted to talk to me, and then I did clean but I wasn’t finished before my husband got back from running but fortunately he didn’t mind waiting a little until he could take a shower, and then I skipped the cross training and then I skipped the writing, and then I was just tired and exhausted, and then I did my toenails, and then a student didn’t show up and I didn’t make use of that time but just sat there doing nothing.

Pizza today was spectacular, if I say so myself (I made it) and I totally forgot to take a picture.

Teaching was nice but a bit much and then the boy and I started watching Star Trek early because there was a soccer match on at seven that my husband wanted to watch.

And I had high hopes of getting a little writing done before going to bed but then I baked a cake (that burned slightly, but shh, don’t tell anyone) and then I decided to get ready for bed.

So. I did a lot and I’m happy about that but then I really wanted to write more new words. Not enough, though, because otherwise I would have.

I’ll try again tomorrow.

Tomorrow will be pretty busy again because I need to go running early (Saturday is still my long run day.) and then take a shower and then get ready for spinning meeting on time, and have lunch around 11.30 because otherwise I won’t be on time. My weather app tells me that tomorrow will be another day of thunderstorms so I’ll probably take the bus. But we’ll see. Thunderstorms are a little hard to predict.

My husband will go to a birthday party. I was invited but doing the spinning meeting and that party on the same day wouldn’t be the best thing for me. So I’ll probably spend the evening with the boy.

I’m looking forward to that.

Jun 082018

So yesterday was one of those dangerous day, a day with a lot of free time.

Guess, how much writing I got done?

Well, no, it wasn’t nothing. It was 221 words.

Yeah, I didn’t find that surprising as well. I might have to make sure that I have busier days in the future.

I got up early and promptly spent an hour on the internet. I also wrote my blog post but mostly I read stuff. Then breakfast, then talking with my husband and feeling sorry for myself. We both have a lot of things going on, as usual, and he is meeting people right and left.

And in talking to him it was getting clearer and clearer that going out that night and going to spinning meeting on Saturday would be too much.

I looked up the people who had said they were coming to that author meet-up and found that all the women who were going were employed by a German ebook reader/publishing company. And the guys were looking as if I didn’t have anything in common with them.

And I told my husband, „And then I will go to this thing, and then I will get all upset and then I will rant about the whole thing for two days non-stop, and I will drink too much and shake my head at people who are doing business as if it were 2010, and I will get home way too late and feel horrible.”

And then I asked myself why I wanted to go.

Last time had been sort of nice. And I keep wanting to meet people who want to achieve the same kind of goals that I do. And people who are like me. But then I had this revelation. The chances of meeting someone like me at that meet-up were so slim that I’d better stay at home and work on my novel.

I’m trying to ask myself only one question at the moment (and failing but that’s another story), „Does this help me reach my big goal?”

If it isn’t I’m supposed not to do it.

So right before lunchtime I decided to just stay at home. And immediately I felt a lot happier.

I try leaving my comfort zone and networking with people but really, this has never worked before. Why am I thinking that it will work this time?

It is like when I was a teenager and I would go to every party possible, and every time I would think, „Maybe this time I will meet the one. Or make new friends. It might happen. I need to get out more. Nobody will ring at my door and ask me to be their friend or lover.”

Do you know how I met my husband?

I met him because my ex was playing with him. I went to see them perform one night because my vocal jazz quintet practice had been canceled. I opened the door for this guy with the guitar and there was an immediate attraction. Not because I was going to parties all the time.

No idea if that was an epiphany but maybe I will stop seeking connections in the wrong places, who knows.

There was lunch, of course, with the obligatory photo (you guys, you really should try my husband’s food some day, it is delicious):

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Pork cutlets today.

Then I procrastinated like crazy, felt sorry for myself some more, sang a bit, taught two whole students, procrastinated some more, thought about the novel and realized what the next scene should be. And procrastinated some more.

Then I watched yet another webinar, this one held by the fabulous Jessica Abel, and then I went to bed.

Today will be the usual Friday madness, pizza, cleaning, teaching all.the.students all afternoon, and then slump down in front of Netflix.

I’m hoping that I will be able to get out of the slump eventually. I might need to give myself a kick in the behind. Oh, if you need one yourself I can recommend this excellent TEDx talk that I found through Rachael Herron’s blog:

Jun 072018

Woke up early – a little too early – and read. Made breakfast, read some more, started writing a little. 80 words in my husband showed up for breakfast.

Went for my run. Running is more fun again. I seem to be over my slump. I’m blaming allergies, mostly, and now I’m taking a higher dose of anti-allergy meds.

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I took a shower, and sat down to write. Got 700 words. Helped make salad for lunch. Lunch was late enough that the boy ate with us:

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Then I did the dishes, didn’t have enough time to do my singing or piano-playing and then I taught quite a few students. Had a student rescheduled and waited for her at four but she showed up at five. Which was exactly what we had agreed on but I had put it in the wrong time-slot in my calendar.

When she showed up the thunderstorm was in full swing. Earlier it had started with rather dramatic thunder and lightning but then it became even worse. And the rain was coming down hard enough that there were puddles in the grass. And then it started hailing. I really feared for my skylight.

It was all over an hour later but my husband was devastated because the leaves of his red beets and zucchini were shredded. And then the slugs came out for their attack.

So while I was getting myself ready to write some more, for real this time, and make big progress, he needed someone to talk to and to commiserate. While I was basically shrugging my shoulders thinking, well, we need to wait until the next day to see how bad it really is, and that’s nature.

I am not my most perceptive in the evenings. Doing anything past seven pm is a struggle and making conversation is near impossible. Unfortunately both my husband and the boy are evening persons. When you ask them how they are first thing in the morning they don’t even know. But they want to have long and convoluted and philosophical conversations at night.

So no writing, instead talking with my husband about doom and gloom and climate change and then bed.

Today I will write all the words. I am only teaching two students because there were cancellations. After the last one I will dash off to the train station and visit an author meet-up by the „Selfpublisher Verband“. I am rather nervous but I have been to one of these before which makes the whole thing a little easier.

I am feeling bad because I still haven’t published anything but that can’t be helped. My goal was to at least have the current novel written until today but I really doubt that I will manage to write 10,000 to 15,000 words today. Not with all the other things I need to do.

Like printing new business cards again.

Jun 062018

One would think that writing is the worst thing in the world. (Well it is. If I haven’t written. If I have I usually feel rather giddy and sleep like a log.)

I woke up early, decided to start the day with writing and instead checked email and instagram. Yes, this is a stupid habit. I should break it.

Then I had breakfast, and read a little and went online some more and played some games on my iPad as one does after breakfast (shush, my dragons need to be fed). And then I go almost discombobulated because the boy was starting school 45 minutes later than usual which meant he came down for breakfast basically the minutes I had finished meditating and thought to myself that it would be a good thing to write now.

Just before he went out the door my husband showed up for his breakfast.

We talked and I knitted and then I did the dishes and the I waited for the wood delivery for an hour or so. Of course one can’t write when waiting for something. Clearly.

The wood came around 10.30 and then we spent an hour stacking wood. In the heat. Fun workout.

Then there was just enough time to go and get my ID that has been ready for a week. So there went another thirty minutes. Then I sat down and waited for my husband to start cooking so I could help.

Helped with making lunch, ate lunch:

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Sat with the boy while he was eating lunch a little later. Did the dishes, started folding laundry.

Waited for my first student because, clearly, twenty minutes aren’t worth it to start writing. Of course.

Taught students. Had an unexpected thirty minutes off but had to make a phone call first and then check email, and of course, twenty minutes aren’t really long enough to start writing. Also, I was waiting for my new sleep and fitness tracker.

Used my usual 15-minute break to print new grocery lists.

Taught some more.

Procrastinated some more.

Found that my tracker had been delivered, and went to find it.

Set the tracker up.

Started writing this post.

Packed my whole stuff together and moved myself back to the apartment.

Got ready for bed.

Decided that I was way too tired for writing, went to bed early.

So, not the most productive of days. I’m hoping to do better today.

Today there will be running and teaching quite a few students and definitely more writing than yesterday.

Jun 052018

I slept well after finally getting some writing done the day before and jumped out of bed, ready for the day.

The boy was grumpy, he didn’t want to go back to school at all.

I went running somewhat early because I also wanted to go grocery shopping as well. Today we will get a big delivery of wood for the stove for next winter, and so I won’t know how much time there will be in the morning. We need to stack the wood as well.

So I ran and took a few pictures:

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Why yes, it was rather hot.

Went to the health food store and rode my bike to the big supermarket. I seem to have almost cracked that one, I even found the capers.

I didn’t help much with lunch, I only had to grate parmesan. This is a family favorite meal, pasta e fagioli:

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Did the dishes, took a shower, die my singing warmup, taught a few students, and then wanted to write but didn’t.

Attended a webinar. Wrote some and managed to go to bed on time.

I’d say that was a good day.

Today there will be the wood delivery and about three more packages, teaching in the afternoon, and more writing – I hope.