This morning I mulched the vegetable garden again. That means I lugged four 5-gallon orange paint buckets out the gate, across the concrete path, over the foot-thick live oak limb, under the fig tree, over the stone wall (duck to avoid the branch in the eye), through the rocky gullies where the rain runs down to the creek, past the deer scat, over the limestone shaped like fingermarks dragged through wet clay, around the cactus, and past the twelve-foot spiderweb (which I did not walk into) built by the green and gray spider big as a Cadbury Creme Egg. Finally, I arrived at our waist-high pile of ground-up cedar trees.
After filling the buckets, I carried them back and heaped the cedar bits around the squash and tomatoes and blackberries and mulberries.
On my last trip, muscles taut, gut sucked in, Huck Finn straw hat damp with sweat, a neighbor driving to her retail job number two stopped her car and ran toward me. Continue reading →
On Monday I didn’t read. Instead, I carried around a clipboard and wrote longhand a bit at a time. On Tuesday and Wednesday I wrote like “work” and read during the in-between times of my job and meals.
The verdict? Two days with reading and with writing done during a specific period: about 250 words a day. One day without reading and with writing fit in here and there without any special effort: 650 words. That couldn’t be clearer. Continue reading →
Yesterday @DeidreKnight of The Knight Agency, literary agent and romance writer, held a Q&A session for Austin RWA. She was inspirational—at least I found her so. She approaches the business of running her agency in a way that’s both very creative and very directed. That’s what’s so inspirational.
Creative as well as directed… that’s what we all want to be, isn’t it?
So my question to myself this Sunday is whether I can be more creative and more directed. That’s why this time I’m assessing my goals in a different way. How do the goals affect each other? Am I letting my priorities have priority? Seems like I’m doing okay… but am I still approaching what I want to do in a self-defeating way? Continue reading →
Yes, these last couple of days have been about a tooth. Nothing like visiting the dentist for a regular checkup and being told you need a crown. Immediately. So I got one. That was yesterday.
Not that this was unexpected. And my dentist is excellent. But having even an excellent dentist hammering away in your jaw for an hour could ruin your day, or your next couple of days. And that adrenaline rush that comes with the local anesthesia? I crash every time.
Lucky for me my goals were set up a couple of weeks ago. They’re just about habits by now, and I sure needed my new habits. No stressing about what to do next—I just look at the list. Continue reading →
The strangest realization is that having and accomplishing my goals is making me happy.
I don’t have to stress anymore about what I should be doing and what I’m not doing. All that’s figured out. There’s no more beating myself up because of dithering. I have a list of what to do, it’s pointing in pretty much the right direction and, more or less, it’s getting done. What a relief.
On to specifics:
1) Health: Just because I get sleepy around 10 doesn’t mean that’s when I go to sleep! So, no, I’m back to not getting as much rest as I need. But at least I’m on a more healthy schedule. For example, I started typing this at 8:50 p.m., not 12:50 a.m. In other news, the deer ate the top off the new jujube tree though it was protected by a tomato cage, so I wound some chicken wire around it. The tomatoes and jalapenos got planted, and I’m still hitting the elliptical a reasonable amount.Continue reading →
1) My eyes now start to close as 10 p.m. approaches. Stayed awake in bed until 11:30 last night, though, playing with the new electronic toy. Made me remember reading LITTLE WOMEN by moonlight when I was little, while the rest of my family slept. Gorgeous weather and I’m not getting out as much as I’d like, but my office windows open onto our huge live oak so it almost counts as being outside. Still keeping up the garden and doing a few minutes on the elliptical, just not yesterday. Seems like I can do every other day. [Real goal: Health: sleep (lights out at 10:30 p.m.), move (get up from desk every hour, spend at least 20 minutes outside morning or evening, gardening, walking or looking at forest).
2) Worked about 24 hours in the last two days to make the monthly issue deadline while fitting in other work odds and ends. Surprisingly, that left little to do toward it this morning, though I thought I’d be jammed. Happy! Now to get a head start on the Continue reading →
Just a quick flyover since I’m already going to be late for bed.
These last few days haven’t been bad!
My new iPod Touch was delivered and I found an app that can be set to chime every hour. I used it on Friday and it did help me become more aware of time passing! Now I can also easily record what I eat.
On to my goals:
1) Going to sleep at a reasonable time is becoming more natural. I stayed up past 11:30 only once. I was testing whether a glass of wine with dinner would keep me awake. Looks like it does, since I couldn’t get to sleep after drinking only two ounces! Yesterday I did some heavy gardening and this morning I sat on the back stoop to write, so I have been getting outside more. I’ve also started to use Continue reading →
Adjustment and discovery as I begin to work my goals.
Since one of my underlying goals is to become more aware of time but wearing a watch is too galling when I type all day, I spent some time (too much!) looking on line for a device that would chime softly every hour without constant resetting. Ended up ordering an iPod Touch because some apps look like they may help with goals and time management. If not, back it goes.
1) Sleep started off with a major fail. I went to bed at 10:30 on day 1. Spent an hour staring into the dark, got up, read until 2:30 and was up at 5:30. But last night I slept 9 hours. This must be evened out. Got outside for 15 minutes this morning to check and water garden, which should really be listed as a “fun” goal. It’s snake boot time! And there was an 8-inch centipede in the kitchen this morning, which my husband kindly took care of. Continue reading →
My initial 17 fantasy goals are now realigned into what I believe can get done during the next 80 days. The original fantasy goals are in italics behind the achievable goals.
1) Health: sleep (lights out at 10:30 p.m.), move (get up from desk every hour, spend at least 20 minutes outside morning or evening, gardening, walking or looking at forest). [17) Take better care of my health—for instance, get up from my desk, spend time outside, go to bed before midnight (fail!).]
2) Work only 8 a.m.-5 p.m., 1 hour for lunch, no evening or weekend work. [1) Maintain the quality of my science editing and other job obligations while meeting my deadlines and not stressing out.]
The extensive list of goals that I posted after midnight this morning has got me thinking.
If all these goals have been on my mind for a long time, what has kept me from finishing them?
I woke up with two answers.
1) Though I can usually tell time without a clock to within a few minutes, I have no sense of how quickly time passes. When I’m engrossed in doing something, whether it’s editing for work or digging a hole in the garden, I’m there in the moment, and the moment extends indefinitely. That’s why I sometimes don’t push away from my job until seven at night, and why I can sit on our back stone wall for an hour, just watching the forest.
2) I have no sense of becoming tired. It’s as though the more tired I get, the more focused I become on the task, so my focus becomes tighter and tighter, Continue reading →
It’s time to separate out my fantasy goals from the goals I can really accomplish.
Not counting spending time with my husband, keeping my new blackberry, fig and mulberry plantings from being overrun by weeds, plotting about finances, and generally keeping up with daily life activities, here’s what I want get done—in my fantasy life:
1) Maintain the quality of my science editing and other job obligations while meeting my deadlines and not stressing out.
2) Clean up and format three short story anthologies, create covers and publish them to Amazon and Smashwords.