An Alternate Route to the Construction Site (Building Rome)

Sm Steve n Menu at DebbiesBuilding Rome is a mini-challenge hosted by Bradley at Green Embers. Participants set weekly goals, then report in the next week, and cheer each other on along the way. You might want to join in the fun.

I’ve come up with a general format for these: (1) Report my progress for the previous week; (2) Provide commentary that explains shifts in progress and understanding and future goals–with the hope it doesn’t bore you to tears; and 3) the goals for the upcoming week. Then, me being me, I added a final note at the end.  It seems to work. Preparing these posts really gets me focused for the time ahead.



1. Complete 18 one-hour blocks. The tasks for those blocks include:  Only completed about 6 blocks during the week.

  • editing project (3 sections) — COMPLETED
  • writing project (finalize template, begin introductory material) MINOR PROGRESS (need more)
  • complete a project spreadsheet (PRIORITY) NO
  • preparing for fall classes — type notes for two lessons NO
  • Writing 201 — read post, choose piece for revision, and spend at least 2 hours on said revision  NO

2. Maintain walking three times this week (in spite of the heat).  DID THIS FIVE TIMES

3. Start piecing possible designs for quilted postcards. NO

4. Visit more of my fellow builders and comment on their posts. I visited everyone. I left some comments.

5. Make a plan for my blog. I gave some serious thought to this and have a general idea. Will pursue it more this week. However, extra points for posting every day last week!

6. Catch up on my unanswered comments. Made some progress. Need more.


I love Bradley’s theme for this week: SETBACKS ARE NOT ROADBLOCKS! Truer words were never spoken. It’s so easy to use setbacks as an excuse to stop moving forward. As some of you know, I didn’t have a great week, and it shows in my unfinished business above. But I am gradually becoming more and more like my normal self, and I expect this week to be better. In addition, I’m still pleased with the fact that I still made some progress in many areas. Plus, I did something that wasn’t on the list. I read a book! I can’t tell you the last time I read a book just for the enjoyment of reading. So that’s a bonus. I think it’s something we should remember in our reports–that sometimes things we didn’t think of when we were planning come up. If we take care of those things, or if we accomplish something that wasn’t on the list, it’s still an accomplishment. So it’s good to report the extras too.  🙂 

For example, I had three! unexpected social events this week. In other words, none of them were planned when I set my plan for the week. They were real opportunities — and with my current moods, it really made sense to embrace the opportunities rather than stay holed up at home trying to meet goals for the sake of goals, while ignoring relationships. So on Friday, I went to the ceramic museum with two friends. On Saturday, we attended a good-bye dinner for my colleague, Steve. (That’s Steve in the thumbnail above.) That evening, another colleague came to spend the night, and we spent Sunday morning together, before she headed back to Taipei. Those three events may have done more to help my spirits start returning to a normal level than any amount of work I might have gotten done.

My last bit of news has to do with a couple of meetings today that have the potential to change my life dramatically. This is particularly significant in light of the fact that I’m planning to return to the US in a year or so. The meetings have helped me think of alternative ways of meeting my objectives. I have a new perspective on a couple of things, and I have someone who wants to collaborate with me on a new research project. Doing something with a collaborator is going to be an added impetus to get it done.

So there are some adjustments to my to-do list for this week. Some things that didn’t happen last week will indeed carry through, but I’m going to step back a bit and do some longer range planning so that my goals in future weeks are more in line with this new perspective.



1. Complete 18 12 one-hour blocks. The tasks for those blocks include:

  • editing project (3 sections)
  • writing project (finalize template, begin introductory material)
  • complete a project spreadsheet (PRIORITY)
  • write an abstract draft and other preliminary materials for new research project
  • make a rough schedule for the coming year — determine which projects are really the priority in order to set appropriate course for return to US

2. Maintain walking three times this week (in spite of the heat).

3. Start piecing possible designs for quilted postcards.

4. Visit more of my fellow builders and comment on their posts.

5. Make a plan for my blog.

6. Catch up on my unanswered comments.

As I made the new list, I realized not that much really changes. I cut down the number of one-hour blocks, and make them more focused to leave other time for the other things that I want to pursue (quilting, blogging, and decluttering). It turns out the non-work items (#2-6) really don’t change much at all. I’m just focusing the “work” time differently. It will be interesting to see what next week’s goals look like after I spend some time this week looking at the big picture.

Good luck to everyone on meeting your goals this week!


This post is part of the Building Rome Project.

11 comments on “An Alternate Route to the Construction Site (Building Rome)

    • Yeah, I like it, too. I kind of wonder at myself as to why it took so
      long for me to join in, but I think I needed to really get a format
      that felt comfortable. Once I got that, it’s been smooth sailing. Now I
      can’t imagine NOT doing it. 🙂

  1. I think it is great that you were able to get five walks in and read a book! Rock on!

    I like that you also reduced the hour block projects for the week. I think I told you I am looking to try some of that planning, I just haven’t had time to sit and map it out.

    Looking forward to seeing what your big blog plans are, not that it isn’t already great 🙂

  2. Well I came to say what NotAPunkRocker already said! 😆

    Seriously, though. Really like how you are adapting to what is happening and where you are at. Really cool and can’t wait to see what you do going forward. 😀

    • Thanks, Willow. I’d like to be a little more epic about getting around to more of my friends’ posts. I’m still struggling a bit with the stupid depression beast, but as long as I keep moving forward, I think that can keep me going. 🙂

      • Dear Deborah I do empathize with the struggle against depression. No matter how normal or good your life appears if that dog is stalking you it brings you right down. I shall pray for us both and all those suffering similarly. Chin up Deborah we can make it . xxx

      • Thanks, Willow! The struggle is always worth it when there are people
        who are there to cheer us on, even when they don’t feel all that
        cheerful themselves. The good thing about this stupid beast is that it
        does come and go. When one is in its depths, it’s sometimes hard to
        remember that, but I think I’m getting better at remembering that even
        the roughest spots will pass in time and with support. Wishing you all
        the best in your struggles as well. Thanks for being there! 🙂

  3. I like the structure and format of this: report, commentary, and goals for next week. It makes it easier for me to read and understand, anyways.

    I realize that I have not been participating in Building Rome very directly lately, but I hope to see you soon. I have slacked a bit here because some of the things I do with Lizzi’s (Considerings) Ten Things of Thankful blog hop does coincide a little bit with the goals I do, more particularly since I did a similar goal at 43Things.

    If you are not in the States now, where are you at right now? Cheers, and kudos especially to your dedication in supporting fellow BR builders.

  4. Pingback: BR 31 – It’s a coming! | Green Embers

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