Three Things Thursday: The New Year

three-things-thursday-widget-badgeI’ve had a lovely three weeks with my husband and his sister here in Iowa. That makes me smile, even though getting on the plane to head back to Michigan does not. Well, that’s not entirely true. I am looking forward to getting back and seeing my daughter and grandson and my parents. I am even looking forward to getting started with the new semester and meeting my new students. So even though it will be hard to leave David behind, I can smile about all the great memories from our time together.

On a related note, the second thing that makes me smile is that I got to play a part in helping the sorting and de-cluttering process here at his sister’s house. Yesterday was the day Salvation Army came to pick up the first load of stuff that she’s been wanting to get rid of. With all the furniture from the basement and the bags of clothes, and the stuffed animals, and boxes of video tapes, they pretty much filled the van. Whether or not she ultimately moves is immaterial; the place is now beginning to become more her own. After Salvation Army left, Dave and I wrestled the sofa from downstairs up to the living room. With the bulky furniture out, and the streamlined versions in, we got to surprise her when she came home from work. Well, she knew that Salvation Army was coming, and she had told us what she wanted to go and about wanting the sofa brought up, but while we were the ones making it happen step-by-step, she was able to come home and just see the results. I couldn’t wait! And the smile on her face was worth all the little aches and pains we felt this morning.

The third smile is that because of #2 above, we have shaved some time off of how long Dave will need to stay in Iowa. Dave will still need to have Salvation Army back one more time (I know it’s hard to believe with everything that went yesterday), but he aims to get that done next week. But with any luck, he’ll be home by mid-February or even sooner! And that’s definitely something to smile about!

This post is part of JusJoJan and Three Things Thursday.

jjj-2016

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/

February Follies (aka Fast-Forward Fridays)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe best laid plans of mice and men. Except I can’t blame mice or men in this case. I can’t even blame the clutter cats. They’re only mascots, after all. I can only blame myself. For this crazy challenge.

Design your own challenge, I said. Set up your own steps, I said. It’s only four weeks, I said. You can compete with yourself, I said. It will be fun, I said.

OK, enough ranting. 🙂  It’s really not that bad. And I still believe most of those things, except the one about four weeks. There are only two left.

The reality is I fell off the Fast-Forward-Friday express. On the left, you can see one example. Fabric sorting did not happen last week.  In fact, most of my decluttering challenge seemed to have died in the water this week. But have no fear. I have a plan. And I have something else — perseverance.

But one thing I have known since before starting this (rather ambitious) challenge is that no matter how well thought-out plans and ideas are, unexpected events always interrupt the “ideal” plan. But the one thing that I’ve put into practice in the last 18 months that’s helped more than anything is perseverance.

So just like any other plan or project, there were some glitches in this system. In this particular case, I wasn’t expecting two extra doctor appointments this week (with accompanying bus trips). Nor was I expecting to have to adjust what I can do physically. But, that’s life. Things don’t ever always go according to plan. On the good news side, I did make a lot of progress on work-related tasks.

Before I made a practice of perseverance, I would sort of let things go. I would call the challenge a good try, but it “just wasn’t meant to be,” at least not this month. But I’m determined not to give in to that cycle. I can persevere by doing one simple thing: pick up where I left off and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

As you can see in the list below, I have a lot of fancy footwork to do to catch-up, but rather than defeating myself with my attitude, I’m going to see just how much I can catch up. If I don’t make it all the way, I will still be much closer on celebration day (February 28) than I’d be if I gave up now.

So here is the 2nd Friday update (a little late):

List of Daily Tasks
  • (green – on-time completions for week 1;
  • purple – early completions;
  • blue – on-time completions for week 2;
  • red – missed items – scheduled for catch-up)

    Clutter Cats

    Clutter Cats

    • 2 – Middle shelf
    • 3 – Lower Shelf
    • 4 – First Metal Drawer
    • 5 – Second Metal Drawer
    • 6 – Three wood drawers (FRIDAY)
    • 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

By persevering, I can keep my spirits high and just continue on. Getting upset with myself for not keeping up is not productive. That frame of mind would only serve to give me a “reasonable excuse” to explain away my lack of progress. Perseverance helps me to continue on, even though the results may not be exactly what I hoped for. But who knows? Just as setbacks are often the result of when things don’t go according to plan, sometimes unexpected breakthroughs can also come. So I’m going for progress.

I’ve also made some really significant discoveries about myself, but that’s for another post. See you in a few days with another update. Anyone else?

92 days until 60!

 

The Clutter Cat’s Follow-up (Fast-Forward Friday Challenge)

When I gave you my Wednesday update on my clutter challenge for Fast-Forward Fridays, I was two days ahead. My progress looked like this:

 

Two Cats

The Clutter Cats

List of Daily Tasks (green – on-time completions; purple – early completions)

  • 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)
  • 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

Since I was two days ahead on Wednesday, I shared my choices for what I could do the next day.

  1. I can take a day or two off.
  2. I can do the next task on the list.
  3. I can choose something else and poke holes in other parts of of the list.

Did you guess?

I did. I figured I would do either #2 or #3. More likely #3 because the next thing on the list was the hanging clothes in my closet, and that seemed like a good thing to leave for Saturday. #2 gave me options for where to jump in on the list but still make some more progress. My racing the clock technique.

Funny thing is that I totally surprised myself. I ended up going with the one I least expected and ended up taking two days off. I would have sworn I would have played ahead. But ok, I had a couple of days off. And it was so easy to do. Almost too easy.  I was a tad worried about losing momentum and having a difficult time starting back up. Especially, since Saturday’s task was going through the clothes that are hanging in my closet — the largest task so far. Two things kept me on task:

1) I’ve announced to the world I’m doing this, and I’d rather force myself to keep going than admit that I’m quitting.  😉

2) With my recent weight loss (it’s actually taken 15 months so far, but it’s worth it), it really makes sense to go through my clothes. I need to figure out what I’m keeping, what I’m altering, what I’m giving away.

I guess you could say I had double motivation for Saturday’s task. I will probably go through again as the rest of the stuff gets sorted out, but it felt good to clear things out and get them ready for donation.

Today (Sunday), I tackled two of the shelves under the printer “cabinet.” It was easier to do by leaving the computer off while I did it. Then I just got ready and headed directly to the coffee shop to begin my day. I got a bit of a start on the third shelf, making tomorrow a little easier.

OK, so I’m not ahead like I thought I’d be, but I’m keeping up. And really, that was the point of the challenge. It was to get out from under the clutter and disorganization, and so far, I’m staying on schedule!

Good luck to anyone else who is tackling something special this February. Let me know how you’re doing, and I’ll be back with a new update next week.

 

99 days till 60! It’s coming fast!  😀

 

 

It’s not too late to join in. Choose ANY challenge, big or small, write steps on the days left in February, and give it a go. And feel free to post progress in the comments below or write a post and link it here. We can cheer reach other on.

Happy February!

 

 

February Fast-Forward Fridays (Update 1)

Two Cats

The Clutter Cats

On Saturday, January 31, I launched a half-baked free-form challenge for February, and dubbed it Fast-Forward Fridays. I immediately drew up my “free-form” plan involving my desire to eliminate clutter. But I could have chosen any number of things. A current research project. A quilting schedule. A reading list. The possibilities are endless, depending on what is calling out the loudest.

And because this challenge was thrown together so quickly, there is no official banner, so I had included this picture of cats that you see at the left. I am thinking that, in honor of my personal challenge plan for February, I’m going to rename them as The Clutter Cats. I doubt they’ll complain.

As soon as I post this, I’ll be answering some of the comments that have come in, but I was surprised at how many people thought this challenge was overwhelming. To my way of thinking, it was a way of taking a task that has been driving me insane and breaking it into little pieces that seemed much less threatening. For me, that meant sorting through one drawer or a couple of shelves wouldn’t be so bad on a given day if that’s all I had to do.

In terms of the time it takes to make the list, I literally did mine in about ten minutes. More like brainstorming–didn’t over-think it. Just picked a place visually, and started making the list. I started with (February) 1 and went to (February) 27 and just wrote one task on each day without trying to decide which day would be best for any given task.

So I wanted to update you on where I am and see what others are up to, even if it’s just vicariously participating by reading my updates. I’ve had one actual taker that I know of, but I don’t know if anyone else has jumped on this challenge, so we’ll find out. My experience has been interesting. I’ve had no trouble keeping up. As I suspected, if I took the ten or fifteen minutes to get started on the task, I usually finished and went a little further, starting the next day’s task. As of this morning, I am a couple days ahead, and the progress is visible and encouraging.

For me, it’s really become a game. How fast can I really do this? It’s possible that I may lose momentum and not finish, but I have to tell you: when I can SEE the changes each day, it’s a natural motivator to do more. It’s so much better than the frustration that was part of the problem before. So check it out. Here’s most of my list:

List of Daily Tasks (green – on-time completions; purple – early completions)

  • 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)
  • 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
  • ——–
  • 26 – catch-up; maintenance
  • 27 – FRIDAY
  • 28 – CELEBRATION

So I’m delighted with the progress so far. After all these weeks and months of being overwhelmed with where to even start when I look around, I now have made real progress. I can open my closet and the shelves are all neat. (I even have two empty drawers!)

As for tomorrow, I have choices.

  1. I can take a day or two off.
  2. I can do the next task on the list.
  3. I can choose something else and poke holes in other parts of of the list.

Stay tuned for my next update to find out which one I did.  🙂

It’s not too late to join in. Choose ANY challenge, big or small, write steps on the days left in February, and give it a go. And feel free to post progress in the comments below or write a post and link it here. We can cheer reach other on.

Happy February!

 

 

A Free-Form February Challenge: Fast-Forward Fridays

The Challenge That Almost Wasn’t

Two Cats

Two Cats

OK, it’s late! It’s already January 31, and I’m going to issue a challenge that begins tomorrow, February 1. Most people will think I’m crazy (and they may be correct), but I have decided I can’t wait anymore to start something that needs doing in my life. And since misery loves company I want some accountability for myself, while also helping others take care of things they need to do in their lives, I thought I’d just go ahead and do it.

Not too much thinking. Not too much planning. Just jump in and see what happens. Are you worried? Don’t be! I didn’t even have time to consider an appropriate banner for the challenge, so why not a picture of “Two Cats.” After all, cats make almost everything better for some people. And while you’re smiling at the cats, you can forget that this is a challenge. Instead, just take a deep breath and chart your course for February!

Before We Start

Have you ever been overwhelmed? By things to do? By things that invade your environment? By your own reaction to such things?

Yeah, I thought I might be the only one.

OK, I’m going to put myself out there. I’ve been on and off with my blog — not because I don’t want to do it, but because I haven’t been disciplined enough to get away from the things that are taking up my time. I’m not making excuses. And I’m not asking anyone to argue the point. (Besides, you would lose.) This is definitely something I’ve done to myself by my inability (read unwillingness) to limit the commitments I make.

janfricoffeeSo I have three and a half weeks before my normal teaching schedule starts up. My days are packed with things to catch-up on because of said over-commitment. The cool thing is I get a lot done. The uncool thing is, it never ends, and it seems like I can never catch up. Then I give in to the feeling of being overwhelmed by the mountain of deadlines and projects. And the spiral gets rather frustrating. Sure, there are factors  beyond my control, but I really do create a no-win situation for myself.

This is not news, at least not to me or anyone else who has known me for more than ten minutes. But I’m not going to bore you with the sad story. Ask about it in the comments if you really want to know.  😉

So in the aforementioned 21 days, I have more to do than most people would schedule for 21 weeks. (Again–I take total responsibility  for this state of affairs.) However, in the midst of goal setting and intention making for the rest of the year, I can no longer continue to be overwhelmed. I need to take some action.

Fast-Forward Friday Challenge

That’s where my personal challenge comes in. I figured if I could take something that really was bothering me and just commit to doing a little piece of it each day for the 28 days of February, I would accomplish more than the sum of the tasks.  What I mean is, if I can get over the feeling of being overwhelmed in one area — especially one I find especially troublesome, I will end up moving forward on other ones, mainly because of my improved frame of mind and a bit of happy momentum.

I also knew that I would trip myself up and say, “Oh geez, I just got the idea, and it’s late on the 30th of January, and February is just a day away, and I haven’t given this much thought, and I certainly should get more organized about it before inviting other people to tag along.” But as some of those same people who know about my overcommitment could tell you, I have a tendency to sometimes think and plan to the point, where I never move to the next step.

Spontaneity is good. After all, what I’m proposing for myself isn’t much of a risk. Carrying out this challenge without worrying about planning and organizing first isn’t going to make it any less effective. But much like my journey with weight loss, it begins by moving — not just thinking about it.

Details & Imaginary Rules (such as they are):

  1. You can sign up at any time during the month of February with any project that you want to make into your own personal 28-day challenge. It helps to choose something that you really want to change, but that has eluded you for whatever reason. (You can see mine when I post it in a little while and link it to this post. I’ll give you a clue. I have as much trouble with physical space sometimes as I do with my schedule.)
  2. Joining this challenge doesn’t need to displace any of the other organizational challenges you’re doing, like ROW 80 or Building Rome. The way I see it, those are ongoing. And we’re not making a long-term commitment here. It’s 28 days. I can do it. You can, too.
  3. Make a list of 1-28 for the days in February. Take your large task, and break it down into doable segments that can be accomplished in an hour or less. Don’t worry about doing it in a necessarily logical order, just make the list without worrying too much about it. Just put the tasks that will help you feel like you’re making regular progress. Make day 28 a celebration day!
  4. Post your February Free-Form Challenge plan and schedule. Feel free to link to the this post, so we can cheer each other on.

THAT is the free-form portion.

Now, the fast-forward Friday part:

  1. Each Friday in February, I’ll post my update of how I’ve done to that point in the week. You can join in as well by updating and then linking up to share your progress. You can also visit other participants and encourage their efforts.
  2. If you like the idea of a challenge within a challenge, you can make it a game, and see if you can work a day or two ahead here and there. (OK, I admit in a situation like this, I get caught up in seeing how far ahead I can get.) If you are ahead of the “game” on Friday, you can take the day off or use the day to get even further ahead. This kind of  “fast-forwarding” can pay off in one of two ways:

A) You finish all your tasks early and can take the rest of the month off from the challenge.

B) You can take the remaining days in the month and make yourself a new challenge with tasks for remaining days, and go at it again.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Our last reporting day would be on February 27, and hopefully, we will all have great progress to celebrate on Saturday.

During the month, I will post some ideas, tips, and links that can help with goal-setting, intentions, follow-through, and perseverance. Let me know if you’re after any specific information.

 

I’m interested in seeing who wants to join in. If you’re interested, check out my post with my plan for the month, and then jump in.

Send questions in the comments below.

Happy February!

 

107 days to 60

 

 

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/

600 Days to 60: An Update

Image courtesy of fotographic1980 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of fotographic1980 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Several months ago, I began keeping track of how many days it would be until by 60th birthday. I wanted a way to really pay attention to my life–my goals, my intentions, what I wanted in the big picture. I see 60 as a big milestone, and I wanted to use the time leading up to it to accomplish things that could be celebrated at my 60th birthday party. Yes, I’m planning a party.  🙂

 

It was back on September 25, 2013 that I posted my first mention of 600 Days to 60. Here are a few excerpts from that post.

Several months back, I discovered a blog, 400 Days to 40. Even though I found the blog rather late in her 400 days, it got me to thinking that I might like to try something similar for my next milestone. So I calculated (and recalculated) to find the magical day on which I would launch my new blog, 600 days to 60.

In the end, I decided not to launch a new blog. After several months of maintaining a pretty good schedule with Container Chronicles, I started posting less and less. By September, (when it was time to launch), there was no reason to start a new blog, but just incorporate the idea into my current blog. Back to the original post:

I’ve decided that I’m not looking at this 600 days to 60 as a count-down, but rather a count-up! I want to think of these next 600 days as a journey to find the best version of me there is to find. It will be a process of excavation and checking the foundation, and finding new ways to create and decorate. It will be a time of new keywords and of intentions that challenge and revitalize me. A time of decluttering, revisioning, and finding clarity. My intention is that this journey allows me to find what is important and discard the rest as I move forward toward a life full of vibrant possibility.

Well, parts of that have gone ok, but there is a long way to go. I want to refocus my attention on the original hopes I had for such a project. Over the next few days, I am going to review the posts that highlight the tracking I have done. And reconsider and restate the specific activities that I want to participate in during the remaining days until the celebration. 

The moment is now. 600 days to 60!

It may not be as poetic, but the moment again is NOW!

281 days to 60!

 

 

If We Were Having Coffee: The Clutter Challenge Edition

admin-ajax.phpIf we were having coffee, I would tell you that:

  1. It’s kind of late for coffee, but it doesn’t seem to affect my sleep, and I have a small scoop of vanilla ice cream in it. Maybe that negates the caffeine. 🙂
  2. I didn’t have a very productive day, but I did have a minor breakthrough in a project that’s been giving me trouble. Maybe tomorrow I can move forward on it.
  3. I went back to Curves yesterday, and was very close to resuming the same workout that I did when I left three months ago, so the walking I’ve been doing has really kept me in pretty good shape. My upper body is a little sore, but not as bad as I expected. YAY!
  4. I need to find things that I can look forward to again. I realize that part of the reason it’s hard to get going is that almost everything has the same level of appeal at this time. And that level is real close to zero. So, I need to turn up the excitement.
  5. I made another realization. The level of (non)excitement is probably highly related to the amount of clutter that I keep around me. I almost feel buried alive sometimes. It’s hard to get excited about doing something when there is no place to work comfortably and when the things I might need for something that IS exciting might be difficult to find.
  6. I am thinking about starting a de-cluttering challenge, because I know I’m not alone in this feeling of having too much stuff.
  7. I know that if I keep this de-cluttering project to myself, it will be too easy to let it slide. I also know if I find others to get involved with me, we will all be more successful. Win-win!
  8. Later this week, my daughter and I have plans to Skype. THAT and talking with Mr. Logan is something to look forward to.  🙂
  9. I now have Clue 3 for the Summer Mystery Quilt. That means there will be an update before the end of the month.
  10. I feel much better after having coffee with you, and I always love this time we have together. Even if I’m not feeling so sociable at the beginning, you always have a way of helping me see the possibilities.

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/