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Thursday, August 9, 2012

2012 Resolutions Update!

The subject line alone is hopefully making you laugh already.

We're now into the 8th month of 2012, and many (if not, all) resolutions have long been forgotten by people all around the globe. Since I'm back to writing again, I thought it'd be a hoot to see what my goals were at the start of this glorious year, and if I had kept up with any of them. I also wanted to see if there were any resolutions that had slipped my mind completely. The results are quite fascinating. Let's revisit them, shall we?

1. Put laundry away as soon as it comes out of the dryer.

I still have good days and bad days with this one, but I have to say that overall, I have gotten better and the items get mostly put away as soon as I bring them up from the laundry room. Mostly.
(Yes, that was a tip o' the hat to "Aliens" ... thanks for noticing)

2. Whittle down my CD collection and put more on the computer and my MP3 player.

This is one resolution that I have been on top of, which pleases me! I gave away 40 cds this past weekend actually, so it feels good to know that this is something that has become a rather nice habit. And as a side note: I still have the MuchDance 2000 CD in my collection. Just sayin'.

3. Recommend one documentary a month and attempt to write about what it means to me personally, instead of a critical review of it.

I haven't even attempted this yet. Maybe after my August Playwriting Month is over and done with, September can be my Movie Review Month. Something to think about .....

4. Do 15 minutes of tidying everyday - minimum.

Once again, there are good and bad days with this one, but even though the bad days exist, at least I'm still making an effort in trying to not become overwhelmed.

5. Do Morning Pages every day. See comment with #6
6. Revisit "The Artist's Way" and "The Right to Write" by Julia Cameron.

I was faithful to the Morning Pages for about a month but found that I enjoyed typing posts on here instead. We see where this got me, eh? I was doing well with "The Artist's Way" but when it came to writing about past issues and how I dealt with them, it was harder and harder for me to stick with it. When I turned 40, I made a decision to cut toxic people out of my life. It was extremely hard and uncomfortable for some individuals, but the end result has been worth it ... and *then* some. Unfortunately, there are a few family members that I cannot do this with, so I am stuck between a rock and a hard place in that regard. I'll definitely go back to writing about these personal issues again, but will do it in baby steps.

7. Start reading more books from my bookcases as opposed to always going to the library, and give away 20 this year as well.

This would be the one on the list that I have truly excelled at. In addition to the cds I gave away this weekend, 20 books joined them. I can fit all of my books onto my 2 bookcases now. Huzzah! I have to say that I forgot about the potential project that my friend and I had chatted about, so I think I'll rekindle that conversation. It's never too late to start anything!!

8. Be more cognizant of surroundings, people and situations.

Another one that has become just a normal reaction for me. Unless it's a huge work event that's understaffed or kind of overwhelming event, I tend to not freak out - inside *or* out.

9. Get back into musical instruments.

This resolution has also fallen by the wayside. I did pick up the flute again, but found that I couldn't play it! With the help of a lovely music teacher (who was recommended by a friend of mine), I discovered that I need to relearn how to play it altogether. I've had asthma my entire life but it has become a lot more manageable in my adult life. Sadly, the way I played it as a child and teenager was completely different from the way I'll need to play it now. Breathing easier, but also having had a bruised lung from one of my PFL fights has shifted the way I blow the air through the instrument, so it's like learning from scratch all over again. I *will* prevail though because it means so much to me!

10. French and Spanish!

Haven't really followed through with this one either. Let's see if I can pick some of it up again before the end of the year.

11. Reread the Big Book and start going to AA meetings again

I can honestly say that reading the Big Book and keep a spending record have become regular habits for me. That's pretty good! However, the real big one in those resolutions is the "going to meetings" part. I haven't been reguarly to meetings for ages. I thought I'd found a good one just down the street from my house, but it never made me feel like I was at home - which is how I felt at my old home group. I'm going to see if I can make my schedule work so that I can start going back to it.

12. Keep a spending record again.

Funny how I was never good at keeping on top of this until *after* I paid off all my debt! I was diligent for months but July ended up being all over the map due to the fact that I had a film festival to run. Basically, money didn't really have any meaning for the weeks in the middle of that month. I'm now back on track and have been back to writing my spending every day for the month of August. It's incredible to see exactly where you money disappears to when you write it down.

13. Teach myself to bake, and bake one new thing a month.
Maybe I can learn a few new things before the end of the year so that I'll have tried at least a few new recipes. Still making the same old loaves, but since I'm feeling more confident there, I think I'm ready to kick it up a notch to say ... cookies. Time will tell.

14. Get back into PFL shape.

Oh boy! Well ... I lost 22 lbs last year and felt fantastic, but since I've started working in movie theatres again, I've put 10 lbs back on and haven't been exercising at all. When I started my spending plan again at the start of this month, I decided to do at least 15 minutes of exercise each ay and write it on the same page. Building up slowly has been great, and I already feel better. Not feeling exhausted after I climb the stairs in the subway is fabulous! If I keep it short and sweet, I can maintain it better and slowly build it to more when I'm good and ready.

15. Finish all latchhooks in my bin and give them as presents or hang them up on the wall.

I love that this was the very last resolution on my list as it's the one that has been the most special to me and made this year wonderful. I finished the Elvis latch hook that had been in my possession for 3 decades!!! Granny bought it some time in the early 70s and it was the first one I tackled this year. I was so surprised that even though it was huge, it only took me a month to complete. I decided to give it to my dear friend PJ as she is a really big Elvis fan, and she helped me tackle my debt last year. I then did something even more ambitious .... I custom-made two rugs for other friends of mine. This has not only rekindled my love of something positive from my childhood (and one of the rare things I can remember), but also stirred a new passion inside of me. I'm now planning 3 more custom-made rugs and will start them in a couple of weeks. I'm going to set up an Etsy page and see if there's any way I can have this as a side business - wouldn't that be great? Here's hoping that pans out, but regardless of the outcome, I'm still going to enjoy every minute of the activity.
And if any of you are interested, I have a Facebook page set up for my custom-made latch hook business: Playing Hooky Rugs

So .... overall, I'm doing alright with what I had set out as goals for myself. Looking back, I'm not feeling that I failed in any of the resolutions that have fallen by the wayside. In fact, it's just the opposite: I look at it as getting back on that horse when I'm feeling ready for it. I know that it'll be sooner rather than later, so once again .... all is good.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Coincidence???

I was up late tonight watching a screener that had a huge impact on me, and now find myself awake again at 3:30am. Did I have coffee too late this evening? Am I riled up by the movie I watched? Is there an unseen powerful force at work here that made me wake up?

I have no idea which one it happens to be, but sitting here at the computer in the *real* middle of the night, I thought I'd scroll through links that I have bookmarked over the past couple of years. My post from a few hours ago talks about setting and accomplishing goals in 15-minute spurts at a time, and in that post I mention that I couldn't remember where I had read about this concept in the first place.

Guess what I found in that bookmark list?

The article that started it all: Jerry Seinfeld's Productivity Secret

It's incredibly interesting to reread this piece, and see which parts I took to use and which ones I haven't tried yet. I think I'll keep doing what I've become comfortable with for now until I feel the need to throw something new in, or kick it up a notch.

Maybe I should think about including "sleep" in the 15 minute category tonight ....

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The VERY Effective 15-minute Exercise

I cannot for the life of me remember where I first read about tackling cleaning chores around the house in 15-minute chunks, but it helped me more than I could ever imagine. And that in turn helped me set up Depletapalooza last year (my ├╝ber-ambitious self-coined cleaning project), which you can read about in earlier posts here on the blog.

Why am I bringing this up, you may ask?

Well ... on the subway ride home last night after work, a radical thought popped into my head: what if I took the 15-minute exercise and applied it to writing?

By jove, that just might work!!!!

There's a one-woman show that has been stirring inside of me since it first formed in my noggin 2 summers ago at Tracy Erin Smith's workshop. The few people I've told about it in detail have expressed excitement at the thought of seeing me perform it one day. That alone should have helped spur me on to get it down on paper, right?

(insert riotous cackling here)

Just the thought of writing it all out has been daunting enough, so I have yet to write a single word.

Til today, that is.

I haven't thought of a snappy title/catchphrase for it (yet), but I am making August the 15-minute-a-day Playwriting Month. Huzzah! My 15 minutes have already been taken care of today, so the pressure to write more is nowhere to be found. If I *do* happen to feel like writing more on any given day, I will certainly do so, but to make this new project as freeing as possible, I didn't want to set any unrealistic expectations.

Just a portion of my subway ride to work and Bob's Your Uncle!



PS - This is what my egg timer looks like. "Gotta set the chicken!"