One Week Later: Building Room (At the Coffee Shop)

Image courtesy of nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Last week, I rejoined the construction crew in Rome, and helped put the finishing touches on our very own coffee shop. You should stop by for a beverage of your choice. There is quite an extensive menu. It’s nice to take a break along with the other builders.

Speaking of which, it would be great to encourage some new and returning builders to join us. Bradley has put together this wonderful space to help us all build the part of Rome we most want in our lives. It’s a fun way to stay motivated, build community, and inspire each other with ideas and support. Spread the word!

So in terms of my goals for last week, I knew it was ambitious. I knew I would not complete everything, but the challenge was to throw it all out there and push myself to do more than I might have with a more “realistic” list. As you can see, this approach definitely had some benefit. Completed items are crossed out. Items in orange have been moved to this week.

For the week of February 9

Teaching

  • plan ppts for upcoming Japanese intensive English program
  • set up lessons for first four weeks for writing classes
  • sort papers for comments
  • pull document together for JJE project

Research Presentation

  • set up data collection file for last group
  • set up first round analysis
  • register for May conference

Job-Hunting

  • Finish CV
  • Write letter of intent
  • Send CVs for review

Editing

  • Finish G project
  • Finish current JR section
  • Start JL

Personal

  • Two blog posts
  • Go for appt on Friday
  • Catch up on Fast-Forward Fridays
  • Do some sewing for my play date

 

While several things did not get finished, many things did. With my helper, we got much further on the research data than I had hoped. In addition, my co-presenter needed some materials from me, and I was able to get that put together to send him. Since the main goal was to make a dent in this mountain, I am happy with the progress for the week.

That said, I am reminded that this outside accountability for one’s goals and intentions is really helpful. I like this weekly check-in. That’s also part of the reason why I encourage and invite people to join us above. It doesn’t have to be a big list. Maybe just something you’ve been putting off for a while. Break it down into a few steps, and put the first one on a list for next week. I’ll be there to cheer you on.  🙂

I’m crazily considering doing a long-range plan for the year and posting it in another ongoing challenge. I’ll report in about my experience if/when I take the plunge.

So, on to the new week! I am moving all my incompletes from last week to this week and adding a few more things. This is my last full week before the new semester begins, so there is lots of impetus to press on. See you in Rome!

 

For the week of February 16

Teaching

  • plan ppts for upcoming Japanese intensive English program
  • set up lessons for first four weeks for writing classes
  • write comments for JJE project
  • review thesis draft for TC
  • finish textbook answer key

Research Presentation

  • set up first round analysis
  • prepare ppt slides of first round of analysis
  • register for May conference

Job-Hunting

  • Write letter of intent
  • Send CV and letter for review
  • Prepare reference information
  • Submit main job app
  • Travel web-site

Editing

  • Finish G project
  • Start next section JR (20-26)
  • Write questions for JL
  • Meet with JL

Personal

  • Two more blog posts
  • Catch up on Fast-Forward Fridays
  • Do some sewing for my play date

Best of luck in whatever the week brings your way!

 

 

This ongoing challenge to keep people focused on weekly goals and projects provides both the method and the support to keep participants going. You can check it out here: Bradley Corbett at: http://greenembe.rs/2015/02/16/building-rome-week-7-for-2015/

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Building Rome: At the Coffee Shop

janfricoffeeI’ve been away from the Building Room project for several weeks months, but I’ve returned because: 1) I miss all my fellow builders and 2) I need a kick in the seat of my pants to get back on schedule. For some reason, when I post things here, I stand a better chance. So I’m back.

I did make sure that one item now stands in Rome: a coffee and tea shop. When I need a break from building, here it is. It’s a nice place with lots of lovely drink options. I invite anyone to stop by when the building gets to be a bit overwhelming.

Even though this post would typically start with how I did on last week’s goals, it seems kind of pointless to go back and talk about goals from August and September. So I’m just going to jump in with making a list of several things that have been stalling out on my to-do list. After all, some of them will obtain crisis status within a few weeks if I don’t get back on track.

Most of these are work related, either for my current job or upcoming work. But I’m including a couple of play and relaxation things as well. Take a deep breath, because the list will seem huge. And I realize that it may be too ambitious for the time I have. But I’m trying to give myself a jump start.

In other words, while I don’t really expect to get everything on this list done in a week, I’m thinking that I’ll get more done by upping the ante a bit. It becomes a game–a version of “Beat the Clock,” which seems to get me going sometimes. It’s my competitive nature.  Or my insanity, but I’m not taking a poll. My apologies to those of you who wanted to vote.

In addition, I have a student coming to help me with some of the research tasks. In addition, having her there will keep me more focused in general. Setting a good example and all that.  😉

Teaching

  • plan ppts for upcoming Japanese intensive English program
  • set up lessons for first four weeks for writing classes
  • sort papers for comments
  • pull document together for JJE project

Research Presentation

  • set up data collection file for last groups
  • set up first round analysis
  • register for May conference

Job-Hunting

  • Finish CV
  • Write letter of intent
  • Send CVs for review

Editing

  • Finish G project
  • Finish current JR section
  • Start JL

Personal

  • Two blog posts
  • Go for appt on Friday
  • Catch up on Fast-Forward Fridays
  • Do some sewing for my play date

Yeah, I told you it was big. Maybe next week’s list will be a little calmer. We won’t have a poll on that either, but if you’re curious about what happens, tune in next week.

 This ongoing challenge to keep people focused on weekly goals and projects provides both the method and the support to keep participants going. You can check it out here: Bradley Corbett at: http://greenembe.rs/2015/02/09/building-rome-week-6-for-2015/

 

97 days until 60!

February’s Fast Forward Fridays: My Plan

 

I will admit, there is little that derails me faster than physical clutter. Too much stuff (even if it’s organized) is still too much. I need white space, even though it took me a long time to realize that.

At the same time, when I take on too much (my biggest weakness), the “too-much” stuff seems to take on a life of its own. I get behind on putting things away, and the problem grows and grows until I’m in the situation in which I currently find myself. Hard to start anything because I feel like I’m being buried alive.

So for me, the 28 days of February are going to give me a running start at sorting, decluttering, and getting only necessary things organized. The rest are going bye-bye. This is an important step on my way to our return to the US in July. Going from our lovely apartment to 4-6 suitcases is going to be a challenge. Time to at least sort through my personal mess stuff so that I regain some white space AND have less to do when it comes time to pack.

Remember, the trick isn’t to be perfect in your list-making, but to just plan something for the next 28 days (even if you plan a few break days in, based on your personal preference).

Without further ado, here is my list for February.

  • 1 – Top shelf of closet
  • 2 – Middle shelf
  • 3 – Lower Shelf
  • 4 – First Metal Drawer
  • 5 – Second Metal Drawer
  • 6 – Three wood drawers (Fast Forward Friday – Check IN)
  • 7 – Hanging Clothes
  • 8 – Printer Cabinet (2 shelves)
  • 9 – Printer Cabinet (other 2 shelves)
  • 10 – 2 bookshelves
  • 11 – 2 bookshelves
  • 12 – 2 bookshelves
  • 13 – 2 bookshelves (FRIDAY)
  • 14 – Fabric ❤
  • 15 – Other quilting and craft supplies
  • 16 – black ottoman
  • 17 – sewing table
  • 18 – kitchen table
  • 19 – files
  • 20 – files (FRIDAY)
  • 21 – music shelves
  • 22 – bedside table
  • 23 – ironing board
  • 24 – living room surfaces
  • 25 – catch-up; maintenance
  • 26 – catch-up; maintenance
  • 27 – FRIDAY
  • 28 – CELEBRATION

See you on Friday for our first check-in!  Hope you can join us!

 

https://myriad234.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/a-free-form-february-challenge-fast-forward-fridays/

 

Returning to Rome

Photo credit: nuchylee at freedigitalphotos.net

Photo credit: nuchylee at freedigitalphotos.net

Apparently when I leave Rome, I make it worth my while. I haven’t posted the last two weeks, so let’s start with a report for August 18, which was the last time I was here. Two weeks ago, things were real quiet in Rome, so I held off. Then last week, I had decided to take a blog break. I may actually post about that elsewhere, but for now it’s time to get back on track.

In spite of the extra time, I didn’t get as much done as I had hoped. That might just be a good indicator that taking two weeks off from posting isn’t necessarily the best plan. Oh wait! I didn’t actually plan it that way. But you get the idea. On the other hand, with three weeks since I made this list, the report is bound to have lots of progress, right?

REPORT FOR WEEK OF AUGUST 18

(and including the weeks of August 25 and September 1)

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

  • editing project 1 (2 sections) (I actually finished the first run-through of editing on a major project!)
  • complete 2/3 of new editing project (that was a stupid way to set it up. I don’t know which fraction is done. Maybe 1/2.)
  • 2 sections of a work project (Sort of–I did more than two sections of a work project. Does it count if it’s not the same work project that I intended to do when I wrote this? If it showed up in my to-do pile, and I switched gears to meet a deadline?)  🙂
  • writing two sections of the mapped-out writing project  (I drafted one section and designed a worksheet)
  • make a basic plan for upcoming webpage (I have something REAL basic, but it’s a start)

2. Meet with J to plan collaborative project (done, and have actually completed a couple of the tasks)

3. Sew blocks for Clue 3 of Summer Mystery Quilt (done, I even sewed about a third of the blocks together to start the quilt top)

4. Continue visiting my fellow builders. (not really. The first week, there didn’t seem to be anyone building.  The second week, I was on a break.)

5. Write a post about decluttering; schedule launch.  (NO. and it’s really starting to annoy me. But it will be more of a priority soon!)

6. Plan out the next two weeks of the blog. (No, I decided I’m not doing any genuine planning until at least October. Just going with the flow for now.)

7. Catch up on 20 of my unanswered comments.  (Just no.)

8. Attend Friday dinner. (A lovely time was had by all.)

HABITS TO MAINTAIN:

  • CURVES – 3 times a week; walking 3 times a week. (one week Curves was only 2 times, but I did extra walking)

 

GOALS FOR WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 8

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

  • finish the paper editing project
  • start editing a thesis (if I hear back on it)
  • finalize syllabi and first week lesson plans (Classes start next week.)
  • complete writing Project A
  • submit proposal for upcoming webpage

2. Travel to Taipei to attend faculty meeting Wednesday.

3. Sew some more of the quilt top for the Summer Mystery Quilt

4. VISIT my fellow builders.

5. Write a post about decluttering; schedule launch. (PRIORITY)

6. Catch up on 10 of my unanswered comments. (Decide how important this is.)

7. Complete three 20-minute decluttering blocks.

HABITS TO MAINTAIN:

  • CURVES – 3 times a week; walking 3 times a week.

Good luck to my fellow builders. May this be a good week!

****************************

This post is part of the Building Rome Project:

http://greenembe.rs/2014/09/08/building-rome-week-37-embracing-pain/

When Life Gives You Lemons, Quilt!

Image courtesy of nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Did you misread that the first time? Did you think I said “Quit”?

It’s “Quilt!” And believe it or not, that’s not a typo.  🙂

I have to admit, sometimes it seems easier to quit than to do something more constructive with those lemons. But today, when things started going south, I took a different approach. Somehow after the lemons stopped hitting, I had an idea about how to handle it.

It was frustrating to see the day slipping away from me as I tried to process a series of things. I knew that I could not do a reasonable job on the writing projects I had. It was just too much. But I figured out that quilting — or more accurately, piecing — was just the thing to relax me and help me smile again. It also required less conscious brain power–which I am sadly in short supply of right now.

It was the right thing to choose. The rhythm of the sewing machine is soothing. I have the pinning and sewing process set up so I easily move from one seam to the next to finish one block, and then move to the next set of pieces to sew the two seams that turn it into a finished block.

mystery quilt fabricRemember these fabrics from the Summer Mystery Quilt? Clues 1 and 2 have been completed, and it is time to complete the sewing for Clue 3. This sewing project has been on my mind since the clue arrived on August 1. So let’s just do it.

And it also works for my Building Rome project this week. Normally, I wouldn’t do the “fun” parts of the list until after some of the other things are done, but I DID have enough brain power to figure out that if quilting got me back on track and helped get something done from my list, it was a total WIN.

I also rescheduled an appointment I had for tomorrow. I can use that time to catch up on what I intended to do today. Which is a good thing, because I notice I’m starting to recover and feel like myself again. The quilting is working its magic.

So I’m going to go back to it. I finished 4 quilt blocks, and I only have 12 to go.  And I had an experience that proved this was the right thing to tackle tonight. I was sewing a seam and getting reading to put it in the finished pile. It was the fourth one. And I was surprised, because I had only remembered doing two. Yup, the PERFECT activity for tonight.  Even if I don’t finish the 16 blocks tonight, I’ll have a great start, and I’ll be MUCH further along toward getting them done than if I had quit.

AND I’ll have a mystery quilt update to post in a day or so.  🙂

 

270 days to 60!

Roaming Around Rome

Park near our apartment

Park near our apartment

Well, it was one of those weeks when nothing (or at least little) went according to plan. And even though such occurrences aren’t a big surprise, the lack of progress on my list made me wonder if I even made a list. Normally, the fact that I made a list at least moves me in the right direction. Last week–not so much. To complicate things further, this week started out in a rather unusual way with extra outings and unplanned events–hence the “roaming” title.

In spite of the lack of green in my report below, I am not discouraged. Things got done. Experiences were had. Just  because they didn’t match the ones I planned doesn’t mean they aren’t good on their own. A plan is only a plan–not a contract. And it really does help to just go with the flow, make a new plan, and then see how the opportunities and the necessities mesh together. In other words, I’m trying to look at it as part of the process–not as a series of roadblocks, and certainly not as a reason to give up my goals.

REPORT FOR LAST WEEK

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

  • editing project 1 (2 sections)   DONE
  • evaluate new editing project and complete 2 sections (if taken) Only one section last week, still progress.
  • writing project (map out all sections and start to write SOMETHING) PLAN yes; WRITING no
  • Work on a basic plan for upcoming webpage.  hahahahahahahahahaha

2. Go to Curves three times during the week; walk three times.  DONE

3. Sew blocks for Clue 3 of Summer Mystery Quilt.  Nothing

4. Start piecing possible designs for quilted postcards.  sewed six pairs of scraps together, no pressing. That’s not exactly a design.  😉

5. Continue visiting my fellow builders.   I didn’t do very well this week.

6. Write a post about decluttering; schedule launch. Thinking about something isn’t the same as doing it, and in this case, I only gave it a couple passing thoughts. I started doubting the wisdom of the project. So that was not a good thing. If I’m going to think about it, I should at least be thinking positively about it. I know it’s worthwhile. Maybe I’m just overwhelmed.

7. Map out blog plan.  Started. I have the list. Now to come up with a reasonable schedule.

8. Catch up on my 20 unanswered comments. (Maybe if I choose a number instead of looking at it as catching up on all my comments, it will actually seem more doable.) NOPE. I kept up with new ones, but didn’t touch any of the backlog.

 

THIS WEEK’S COMMENTARY

Last week, Bradley offered Finding Neverland! as the theme, and challenged us to take a break from the hard work and find our inner child.  I’m proud to report that in addition to last week’s Zentangled kite, I will be reporting on my kite outing in a post this week.

My special “theme” this week is the way I refer to my goals in my weekly reports. I’m going to give each project a letter (Project A, Project B, etc.). It allows me to be a lot more specific for trackign myself without giving details that I probably should not be posting. I hope that makes sense. Once I have the letters, I may color code them–one color for work projects, one color for supplemental projects that help my future, a third color for things that I’m doing for me and my inner child.  Maybe I’ll even give my inner child her own color.  🙂 So there may be a new look to this report next week.

But for now, here are the goals for what’s left of the week of August 18. Note that I am putting my exercise in a “Habit” category for now. I’m doing this regularly, but I’ll post it to keep it as a priority. And I am eliminating one of the quilting items for this week.

 

GOALS FOR WEEK OF AUGUST 18

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

  • editing project 1 (2 sections)
  • complete 2/3 of new editing project
  • 2 sections of a work project
  • writing two sections of the mapped-out writing project
  • make a basic plan for upcoming webpage

2. Go to Curves three times during the week; walk three times.

2. Meet with J to plan collaborative project

3. Sew blocks for Clue 3 of Summer Mystery Quilt

4. Start piecing possible designs for quilted postcards.

4. Continue visiting my fellow builders.

5. Write a post about decluttering; schedule launch.

6. Plan out the next two weeks of the blog.

7. Catch up on 20 of my unanswered comments.

8. Attend Friday dinner.

HABITS TO MAINTAIN:

  • CURVES – 3 times a week; walking 3 times a week.

 

I actually feel like this might work this week! Best laid plans and all that!  🙂

Good luck to everyone on meeting your goals this week!

****************************

This post is part of the Building Rome Project:

http://greenembe.rs/2014/08/18/building-rome-week-34-breakfast-at-tiffanys/

Ten Things of Thankful: Tuesday Thoughts

TenThingsBannerI didn’t post a Ten Things of Thankful last week, but I did have a draft nearly completed. It was called the Ironic Edition, because there were many parts of my life that weren’t going that great, and yet I was still able to find things to be thankful for. Unfortunately, I forgot to save that draft, and when I went back to finish it, it was gone. And I moved on. In other words, I didn’t rewrite it at that time. I just posted something else that day. So here we go, with regular saving of drafts.  🙂

1. I am thankful for all my wonderful friends around the world, but today I’m especially thankful for the two young women in the photo below. Between the two of them, they have helped me in countless ways. They are both excellent translators, so when Dave and I get mail in Chinese or we see a posting in the apartment elevator, one of them always helps us out. They also translate take-out menus and the Chinese words in the photos Dave takes at the stores when he wants to know the details about something before he buys.

100_0642Dante (on the left) was part of the fabric play craziness last week. And yesterday, she showed us around some of her hometown (pictures and details in future post). Today, she sent me directions for my appointment (see #2) when I left my map at home. During the school year, she comes over one evening a week to help me with paperwork and odd jobs.

Rena (on the right) was my student the very first year I was in Taiwan, and she and I have been friends ever since. She has spent many working sessions with me at coffee shops. She visited the ceramics museum with me a few weeks back, and she’s my regular partner for The Shen Yun dance performance that I now attend each year (2015 will be our third time).

2. I am thankful for the wonderful health care in Taiwan, that the majority of the doctors here can speak English (as my Chinese is amazingly bad), and that the doctor I saw today made me feel like we were a team in managing my care. And I am thankful to my friend Jean for recommending him.  ❤

routemap2013123. I am thankful for the amazing transportation system here in Taiwan. I knew that it would be a challenge to get to this doctor, and it was: a bus to the train station, a train to Taipei, the MRT (subway) to the part of the city I needed, and then a 20 minute walk. But hey, with the walk each way, I got my exercise in. I am also thankful for how reasonable the transportation is. If I hadn’t taken the scenic route home–don’t ask–I would have paid less than $8.00 US for the round trip. (The map on the left is the for the MRT. They are still expanding this system, but it’s pretty impressive.)

4. I am thankful for my detour today. Even though it cost me a couple extra dollars (and a lot of time), I saw more of Taipei, learned more about how to get from one part of the city to another, and actually enjoyed the process of figuring out my alternate route home, piece by piece. As a bonus, I got extra exercise AND lunch at a restaurant I hadn’t tried before.

5. I am thankful that early on in my adventure (in #4 above), I decided that I didn’t need to worry about being productive today. I decided to view this day as a gift of time. I could take this day and just enjoy the adventure that was unfolding. I decided I only needed to get two things done today: this post and a little research. Which leads to #6.

6. I am thankful for the Internet and the amazing source of information that is available. After today’s appointment, I had a lot to think about, and being able to get reliable information was reassuring and informative.

kite7. I am thankful for the people who sponsor the challenges I’ve been participating in: Green Embers and the Building Room Challenge; Cee at Cee’s Photography for Share Your World; Indecisive Eejit and Mental Mama for the Cartoon Craziness Challenge; and all the people who pass around the If We Were Having Coffee meme.

8. I am grateful to the people who follow my blog, who read my blog, who comment on my blog, and who like my posts. This blogging experience continues to be a great help to me, and I appreciate everyone who interacts with me in some way.

9. I am grateful for the discoveries I’m making in the Cartoon Craziness Challenge about drawing and the need to practice. That it can be developed, and that it can be fun, and that it’s something I’ve kept on the back burner far too long. OK, I actually kept it totally away from the stove. But I’m glad I brought it back into the kitchen.

10. I am grateful the scraps of fun and hope that I am finding in my life, and for the people who join me and support me in the search.

And I am thankful for Lizzi at Considerings and the others who host Ten Things of Thankful.

 

Rome is Looking a Little Rosier

REPORT FOR LAST WEEK

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

  • editing project (2 sections) DONE
  • writing project (draft first unit; make plan for other units) (no real progress on this)
  • start a worksheet for new possibilities DONE
  • schedule the tasks from last weeks list to make a rough schedule for the coming year DONE

2. Go to Curves three times during the week. DONE

3. Maintain walking three times a week. DONE

4. Start piecing possible designs for quilted postcards. Done and did additional sewing as seen here.

5. Continue visiting my fellow builders. I wasn’t as good about this as I had intended.

6. Work on idea for decluttering challenge; continue posting daily; write a post about blogging Turns out that was a type. It was supposed to be a post about the decluttering idea. Regardless, it didn’t happen.

7. Catch up on my unanswered comments. I kept current with new things that came in, but didn’t make much dent on the backlog.

OTHER ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

  • Actually worked on the blog plan. Ready to put it on a calendar.
  • Made mini-lists of tasks for several of my major projects.

 

THIS WEEK’S COMMENTARY

Bradley has another great theme for this week: Finding Neverland!

This week take a break from your hard work and find your inner child. Find your way to Neverland! 😀

Wow, I feel like I’m finally ahead on something. Inspired by the Cartoon Craziness Challenge, I spent some time with my inner child over the weekend. I was so happy with my artwork, which followed closely on the amazing fabric play that is linked to on #4 in my weekly report above.

And I have an outing planned for next Monday, the 18th that involves flying a kite! OK, challenge accepted!

These two posts I refer to show something else. Building Rome is becoming less arduous on the day-to-day level. I don’t mind showing up. I don’t mind actually doing those blocks of time and staying focused for the duration. While the blocks have been helpful, they weren’t working as well as I had hoped for the last few weeks, but in the last few days, there is definitely a shift. My lethargy and lack of interest seem to be passing. I won’t start throwing confetti around yet, but as the title says, things are looking a little rosier for me around Rome.

GOALS FOR WEEK OF AUGUST 11

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

  • editing project 1 (2 sections)
  • evaluate new editing project and complete 2 sections (if taken)
  • writing project (map out all sections and start to write SOMETHING)
  • Work on a basic plan for upcoming webpage.

2. Go to Curves three times during the week; walk three times.

3. Sew blocks for Clue 3 of Summer Mystery Quilt

4. Start piecing possible designs for quilted postcards.

5. Continue visiting my fellow builders.

6. Write a post about decluttering; schedule launch.

7. Map out blog plan.

8. Catch up on my 20 unanswered comments. (Maybe if I choose a number instead of looking at it as catching up on all my comments, it will actually seem more doable.)

Good luck to everyone on meeting your goals this week!

****************************

This post is part of the Building Rome Project. http://greenembe.rs/2014/08/11/building-rome-week-33-finding-neverland/

Where Did I Put That Map of Rome?

Image courtesy of 89studio / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of 89studio / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Building 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.

As I mentioned last week, I’ve come up with a general format for these reports: (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. Preparing these posts really gets me focused for the time ahead.

Check out my idea in the COMMENTARY section for a challenge to clear out clutter, and let me know if you might be interested.

REPORT FOR THE PAST WEEKEND

1. Complete 18 12 one-hour blocks. The tasks for those blocks include: (12 one-hour blocks was much more workable)

  • editing project (3 sections) – 2 sections completed
  • writing project (finalize template, begin introductory material) template nearly complete
  • complete a project spreadsheet (PRIORITY) — list completed, incorporate with scheduling for yearly list below (next week)
  • write an abstract draft and other preliminary materials for new research project – exceeded — not only drafted, but revised and submitted
  • 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 — the basic list is completed, scheduling for this week

2. Maintain walking three times this week (in spite of the heat). (I kicked butt here again. I’m leaving it on the list for next week though because I’m adding Curves back to my goals, and want to maintain the walking along with the additional exercise.)

3. Start piecing possible designs for quilted postcards.  — gathered scraps from the scrap bag, pressed them to begin possible sewing

4. Visit more of my fellow builders and comment on their posts.  I felt like this was totally on track this week.  🙂

5. Make a plan for my blog. have done a lot of thinking about this. I’ll be posting about it soon to get feedback from others

6. Catch up on my unanswered comments. –significant progress

ADDITIONAL ITEMS COMPLETED:

  • mended a suit coat for a friend
  • continued posting on blog every day
  • started back to Curves

 

THIS WEEK’S COMMENTARY

Bradley has another great theme for this week: This Week’s Theme: Flying Your Colors!

How’s this for a challenge:  Find something this week that will show the world just how awesome you really are, no matter how freaky you think it is! 😀

So, this week I’ve been thinking a lot about stalling out. Yes, I got things done, and I got quite a few things done, but I’m not always getting the most important things done. I’m not even getting the things that are most fun done. I’m getting the things that require the least emotional investment. There are exceptions, but that’s the observation I’ve made.

But the other part of the observation has to do with clutter. I have too much crap in my life, and it weighs me down in ways I have been denying for too long. So I’m thinking my awesome thing might be to start my own challenge (in a week or two–so I have time to think about it and organize) for a challenge to lighten our loads. If anyone else is out there thinking it’s time to sort through all the stuff in your life, let me know, and I’ll see what I can come up with. The more the merrier.  🙂

 

GOALS FOR THE WEEK of August 4

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

  • editing project (2 sections)
  • writing project (draft first unit; make plan for other units)
  • start a worksheet for new possibilities
  • schedule the tasks from last weeks list to make a rough schedule for the coming year

2. Go to Curves three times during the week.

3. Maintain walking three times a week.

4. Start piecing possible designs for quilted postcards.

5. Continue visiting my fellow builders.

6. Work on idea for decluttering challenge; continue posting daily; write a post about blogging idea.

7. Catch up on my unanswered comments.

 

Good luck to everyone on meeting your goals this week!

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This post is part of the Building Rome Project. http://greenembe.rs/2014/08/04/building-rome-week-32-fly-the-flag-of-freak/

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.

REPORT FOR THE PAST WEEKEND

 

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.

THIS WEEK’S COMMENTARY

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.

 

GOALS FOR THE WEEK of July 28)

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!

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This post is part of the Building Rome Project. http://greenembe.rs/2014/07/28/building-rome-week-31-setbacks-are-not-roadblocks/