End of the Round and 2020 Goals – ROW80 2019 R4-21

I can’t believe the year is up already! As usual, I found my motivation late. I’m going to keep going with my writing over the break as I’m trying to establish good habits and a schedule that works for me.

I’m also a little relieved that it is the final check in for 2019. It has been a hectic year and I could use a breather on a lot of things.

I’ve been preparing for this goals post for a couple of weeks now. I got some things done in 2019, but I don’t feel like I have enough to show for it in terms of my writing progress. Next year, I’m doing things a little differently to hopefully meet more of my targets. I have sections in my planner where I can log my progress. Many of my goals are actually habit tracking exercises.

FINANCES

2019: Target – I will get a new job after this contract finishes.

2019: Actual – I secured a full-time permanent job in the department I previously temped in. My car was paid off. One credit card was paid off. The other credit card is close to paid off. I have been making regular payments on my student loan. This is all a drastic improvement!

2020: I have created a savings plan and a payments tracker. I am creating a budget. I have to figure out what I’m doing with my investments as switching to a different financial planner didn’t work out.

FRENCH

2019: Target – I will learn all the most common words and phrases this year.

2019: Actual – I had to abandon this as life got too hectic with a new job and other pressures.

2020: Target – 15 minutes a day and 320 new words or phrases. Part of my savings will go to learning more French.

HEALTH & FITNESS

2019: Target – I will regularly practice and challenge Sandan.

2019: I hardly went to martial arts this year between life and a broken toe. I have a new doctor now and am getting back on track.

2020: I have created a Jodo & Iaido tracker as well as a workout log. I don’t typically go to martial arts on Tuesday nights because it has me out too late, which makes me tired for work all the rest of the week. That being said, I can still put time aside at home for self study to learn the names of the katas, footwork, theory, draws and notos, and things I haven’t thought of yet. I’ve done most kata, but I can’t remember the names or orders of many of the koryu for iaido. I barely know any kata for jodo. There’s a lot I can learn without even having a weapon in my hands. I can use a ruler or something to get a large amount of the rest down pat. I have an exercise schedule that I plan to get into. There is already space in my planner devoted for it. I am also on the hunt for a new dentist that direct bills.

HOME

2019: Target – I will finish decluttering and fix up my bathroom. I will work on developing more close friendships and make time for my relationship.

2019: Actual – I made huge strides in the declutter efforts and on some other home projects. While there is still quite a lot to do, I feel pretty good about where I’ve gotten. I had to end the relationship for my own happiness and health. I do feel like I have become closer with several of my friends though.

2020: I want to do more cooking this year, so I will be tracking how much I eat in vs out each week. This will likely save me money too. I will also be continuing the declutter and efforts to make my home nicer. Also built into my schedule is fun time like gaming. I joined a D&D group and also want to spend a little more time playing video games because they really help me unwind from the stresses of the week.

PIANO

2019: Target – Trumpet: I will get my embouchure back. (Oops!)

2019: Actual – I didn’t do much with trumpet, but got into piano instead. I took lessons for awhile until I found they really weren’t working for me. I really enjoy the piano though and decided to self study.

2020: Target – I have a log to track how regular my playing is. There is a section with room for 80 songs, which may be a bit ambitious, but some songs are small or rudimentary like Mary Had a Little Lamb. I’ll be studying the chord method, which is supposed to allow one to learn songs quickly. I’m continuing with the 3 days per week that I’ve already established.

READING

2019: Target – I will read 8 books or more.

2019: Actual – I have read 13 books.

2020: Target – 16 books.

SPIRITUALITY

2019: I never set out to figure this out in 2019, but it happened and I feel like it was important for catharthis in some areas of my life.

2020: I’m going to continue down the path through books, events, meeting other people, and see where it leads me.

WRITING

2019: Targets | The Blood Waitress Club – I will complete a first draft. | Puppy Chow – I will search for a producer. | Crisis – I will revise this and enter it into contests. | The Page & The Magician (a.k.a. Sparks) – I will query agents.

2019: Actual – I feel like I made progress, but not as much as I would have liked. I did go through a lot of learning with my book and changed the country it’s set in and its genre, which were pretty major changes that have set me on a path that I think has improved the story and the level of my writing though. Version 5 of the novel was at 67,417 words and Version 6 is at 74,512, so I think I can definitely say progress has been made.

2020: Target – Get one novel (Sparks) and one screenplay (The Mockumentary) submitted. Once I finish Sparks, I will next work on The Blood Waitress Club in terms of novels.

R~

Planning – ROW80 2019 R4-19

Having a schedule is helping a lot. Sure, I’m not always getting to everything on my list, but some is more than none.

I have planners on the mind a lot lately. One of my first planners was a Day-Timer. There were a lot of things I liked about it like the ring binder style, but I last used it for taking notes at a writing conference and stopped planning in it.

During school, I used a large Mead planner to keep track of assignments. It was good for what I needed then.

I then tried a Bullet Journal, but it was too time intensive to do spreads regularly and I felt like I was planning more than I was doing.

For a bit after that, I had a Travel Planner, but it didn’t really fit me either.

Lately, I’ve been surviving with a pocket Mead, but it hasn’t really fit either.

What I discovered is that I need a hybrid method. I’m currently waiting for an A5 Filofax to come. It has a ring binder style like my Day-Timer and some premade pages. I can also get refills that include dot sheets like a Bujo, lined sheets, blank sheets, and possibly even grid sheets.

I’m going to like being able to easily remove pages for archiving. I will still use travellers notebooks for writing purposes because I can carry several small and lightweight notebooks with me to be able to write notes for several projects in their own separate books. And I’m going to make my own. I have a super stapler specifically for things like this and lined paper. I got some cover paper and I’m good to go. I’m going to colour code writing projects!

Anyway, one thing I’m unsure of is planner methodology. I’ve heard of the Bullet Journal Method and the Getting Things Done (GTD) Method, but I don’t know what else is out there aside from advanced project management methods of planning. If you know of some others, please leave a comment!

HEALTH & FITNESS

I’ve got myself a new schedule, which includes daily exercise, meditation, learning, and fun. I haven’t been getting everything done, but I have been getting a lot more done than I was.

I swung my sword a bit on Tuesday. It felt good to pull it out even if I didn’t last long. With winter tires on my car now, I can get my butt back to the dojo 🙂

HOME

I cleaned up an area of my bedroom. I’m feeling pretty motivated right now, so I’ve been looking through outstanding projects. I have a small Harry Potter blanket that needs repair, for example. It’s stuffing didn’t stay in place, so it’s lumpy and weird. I’m hoping I can just open it on one end, straighten it out, close it, then add stitching to keep it in place in the future.

PIANO

I’ve been sucking here. Not totally. I DID make a practice log. I didn’t get far with it yet though.

  • Let It Be
  • Lean on Me
  • Jurassic Park

READING

I’m still reading Stephen King’s Thinner. It’s getting really intense. He’s so great at switching from prose to dialogue without disrupting the flow. And even switching from one character’s POV to another’s without making it confusing!

  • 2/3

WRITING

I’ve made some progress on Sparks, which has pushed me above 74,000! I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I think I’m going to be above my goal long before the end.

Sparks

  • 74,265/80,000

R~

Reducing – ROW80 2019 R4-17

I’ve been really focused on reducing things in my life lately that aren’t bringing me joy. One of those things is formal piano lessons. I gave up on the formal lessons for now. I just don’t have the time and it’s turned something I enjoyed into something less fun. My teacher was awesome, but I need less on my to do list. I’m going to keep playing regularly at home though. I just felt like someone else would benefit from the time with her more and I’m sure someone out there wants lessons as a Christmas gift. With that said, I’m going to focus on learning music I like and using some songs I don’t to stretch my skills. I need to get into playing with a metronome, but I think I’m going to put it at a slower speed just to get comfortable with it. I think the money I’m going to save on lessons, I’ll put towards a Soundbrenner Pulse.

Also, tickets to concerts. I thought I had missed a band I really like. Then it came up in my Facebook notifications and even though it’s not until August, I got myself a ticket.

Another area is extra martial arts. I think I’m past the point of trying new arts or “collecting kata” as my Grand Sensei might call it. Not that I’m disinterested in learning new things, but I don’t want to commit to those new things the way I do with my other two arts. I decided this one in part while I was at a seminar this weekend. There was nothing bad about it, but while a friend was describing one of the kata at dinner, I could see he was really passionate about it. I didn’t feel that way at all about it. In the end, I just missed the arts I do practice.

Though it has been a short time, I like having less formal bookings on my schedule. I feel a little less stressed and like I have more time for the things I enjoy. I also like not having to leave home as much.

HEALTH & FITNESS

I’m working on getting my medical records transfered to my new doctor.

I also want to get back to skating regularly. I briefly thought about joining a gym, but realized I really just need to get back to skating. Skating, Martial Arts, and some home activities like my glider and Rushfit are more than enough for me to get back into shape. And the money I save can go toward a trip.

HOME

I haven’t done much on the declutter recently, but will get back to it soon. I have written a little plan to deal with the paper portion. I think that is going to be a huge deal once I get going on it. I think I’ll start this Saturday.

PIANO

I’m thinking about trying out the chord-based way of learning piano. It’s supposed to be a quick way to learn. I found an online course that is inexpensive and the bonus is that I won’t have to drive anywhere in bad weather or schedule around it.

  • Let It Be
  • Lean on Me
  • Jurassic Park

READING

I’m about two thirds of the way through Stephen King’s Thinner. I’m really enjoying it and wondering how it’s going to end.

  • 2/3

WRITING: GRIM TIES

I haven’t done more on this project yet.

  • 9,525/50,000

WRITING: SPARKS

I’ve been scaling back to be able to do more on this one.

  • 73,744/80,000

R~

Dating Frustrations – ROW80 2019 R4-12

Not that I’ve been making it a huge focus lately with other things I’ve been doing, but I feel the need to rant about dating at this age.

In short, it mostly sucks.

The online profiles of men are mostly useless in determining a fit. The options seem to be between dudes who never exercise or dudes who spend all their free time biking and hiking. Do you all just copy each other’s profiles or something? Also, there’s a key point missing. That is whether or not you are expecting your potential partners to also be bikers and hikers or if this is just something you like to do yourself. Like I’m a martial artist and while it would be cool to find someone who practises the same martial art(s) as I do, it’s really not a mandatory thing for me. And it’s almost better that they are into different martial arts than I am, so we have things to teach each other.

It would be awesome if they had their own things and weren’t the jealous type that doesn’t like when I’m out with my martial arts buds. Because that shit is annoying.

Also, what is with the shirtless pics, the sunglasses pics, and laying on the bed pics? You’re not looking for a relationship with those, so put your status to casual or don’t know instead of relationship. There are women out there just looking for sex, so stop wasting everyone else’s time when it’s obvious that is what you’re looking for.

Of course, I would prefer to be with someone who likes to read books because I’m a writer, and that’s a huge part of who I am. I’d also prefer to be with someone who is closer to me in political and religious views because I don’t want daily fights about these external things that have huge impacts on lives around the globe. There are enough other things to fight about in a healthy relationship like whose turn it is to pick the movie. I’d also like the man to be into horror movies because I regularly enjoy watching them. I occasionally like sappy stuff like Grey’s Anatomy too, especially when work has been particularly demanding. They must like dogs. I love them and I’m allergic to cats. I also like video games and music.

Maybe I should just post that as my dating profile. Of course, the field probably can’t fit all that.

Back to the rant though. It seems most single men are over a decade older than me, mentally ill (and it’s unmanaged), abusive, or completely incompetent at being an adult without their parents. Or they can’t carry on a conversation, so that getting to know them is even possible. And if it’s none of that, sometimes I just don’t feel attracted to them, but I suppose that could partly be that I haven’t gotten to know them enough.

So I don’t know where to go from here. Have friends send me on blind dates? Find some speed dating event? Lurk at dog parks perhaps with a shelter dog that could use a walk?

Anyway, this has been a somewhat brief update on my dating life. Back to the regularly scheduled programming.

HEALTH & FITNESS

I’ve been working on getting rid of more clutter in the living room and my glider will eventually be in a different location as I still hope to eventually have a recliner as my main living room seating for myself. I’m taking the fitness challenge off for now until I actually start it. Maybe it’ll be a New Year’s resolution.

  1. Glider: I lost count of the steps, but I got about half an hour in on Monday. My glider doesn’t reset from 0, so if I don’t remember what they were when I started, I’m lost. Maybe I’ll just measure time from now on because it’s easier.
  2. Martial Arts: I haven’t made it out, but I don’t have snow tires on my car yet and winter descended on us like a curtain at the end of a show.

HOME

I have fixed my heat with guidance from two friends.

  • Declutter: 355/1,050 minutes (Goal 15 mins/day)
  • Paper: 151 pieces (1/day)

NANOWRIMO

I decided I’m just going to write. I don’t care about hitting any arbitrary word count goal. I just want to jump into the stories and enjoy the process.

  • 9,525/50,000

PIANO

I will revisit performing in the Spring when I know more than I do now. I just want to keep learning songs and having fun.

  • Let It Be
  • Downtown Abbey
  • Lean on Me

READING

As far as David Christian’s Origin Story goes, I’m still in the second last chapter.

  • 1/3

SPARKS

I did a little bit on this. I started a new chapter. I’m also trying to make the genre better defined.

  • 73,454/80,000

R~

Electrical Woes – ROW80 2019 R4-12

I’m looking forward to having tomorrow off. I don’t know that it will be all that spectacular though. Lately, it feels like I’m not making progress anywhere. Maybe some little things here and there. I dug out my old ereader and charged it, for example.

And I installed a programmable thermostat, but that has largely been a bad experience. Apparently, there was a problem with the ground wire that I didn’t see. This resulted in a popping noise and some black smoke. I guess it could be worse as it could’ve happened when I wasn’t home and caused a fire, so at least I caught it. The programmable thermostat may not be reusable. Actually, despite the manual saying it can be used with aluminum wiring, I’m doubting it at this point. Why? Because even before the short happened, it didn’t work right. It couldn’t tell the room was already way above the requested temperature and just kept heating!

This is all pretty bad timing wise as I don’t have my winter tires on yet and xmas is coming up quick.

Oh, and it’s on the same breaker as my stove because it’s electric baseboard heat. I taped the wires individually as my former electrician friend recommended, but I’ve still left the breaker off as I just feel better with it that way.

This is supposed to be one of the easy things to DIY, but I have all the wrong things going on to make it easy. It’s perhaps needless to say, but I’m pretty damned disheartened about it. I was looking forward to having one less thing to do in the mornings. With a programmable thermostat, one is supposed to be able to trust it to turn itself off.

No such luck.

HEALTH & FITNESS

Status quo for now.

  1. Glider: 0 steps
  2. OYO 10 Week Challenge: /70
  3. Martial Arts: 😦

HOME

I haven’t done much here in the past couple of days. I don’t know where to go next with the declutter. Perhaps I should get back to Diana K. White’s book for the answers or inspiration. With the electrical problem, I don’t think I can afford to do much with the bathroom right now, so I’m taking it off my list for now.

  • Declutter: 355/1,050 minutes (Goal 15 mins/day)
  • Paper: 151 pieces (1/day)

NANOWRIMO

I’m really hating NaNoWriMo right now. I think it’s the constant word count pressure. I feel like a failure if I’m not meeting them and then I just fall behind even more. And so the pressure builds continually. So I think I’m only going to update it here and not bother with the site for awhile and see if that helps take the pressure off.

9,147/50,000

PIANO

I decided I don’t want to do a recital yet. It’s too new to me and I don’t feel ready to be performing anything while I’m still trying to figure out how to read the bass clef. Maybe in the spring.

  • Let It Be
  • Downtown Abbey
  • Lean on Me

READING

As far as David Christian’s Origin Story goes, I’m still in the second last chapter.

  • 1/3

THE SPARK

I did a little bit on this. Today, I finished editing Chapter Eleven. I only went up by 14 words since the last update, but it’s more than nothing.

  • 73,260/80,000

R~

ROW80 2019 R4-10

Never ever bother with paper blinds. They lasted three days. It’s a good thing that my finances are in better shape than last year. I should’ve known better than to try them at all, but I thought they might last a couple of months at least. Nope. Ah well, I needed a hook to move my living room light to stop the glare from hitting my screens. I also got the shrink wrap for winterizing my windows since we had our first few snowflakes yesterday in Ottawa. Thankfully, they didn’t stick around, but it’s sooner than I hoped to see any.

I suppose I can make use of the paper blinds as a backing for various framed items as needed, so they aren’t a total waste. I plan on washing my window inside before putting the shrink wrap on it. I think I’ll be washing the outside too or I won’t be able to see out of it.

I will have to go back to the store at some point because I didn’t realize that I only got one curtain instead of two for my bedroom. The ones in my bedroom currently will replace the awful stained cotton ones that came with the condo when I bought it. I figured seven years of them is enough.

HEALTH & FITNESS

Well, I’m meeting another new doctor this week as the last one figured she didn’t have enough time to be my doctor since she’s only in the office twice a week. I did get blood tests done and have the bruise to prove it. I’ve put fitness goals on hold for now, but will get back at it really soon. It’s not great to exercise if my B12 levels are indeed low.

  1. Glider: 0 steps
  2. OYO 10 Week Challenge: /70
  3. Martial Arts: 😦

HOME

Other than the window coverings, I have taken all the stuff I had sitting around to donate. I also moved my bedroom around some, so my dresser is now near my closet and my instruments are actually accessible to me. In the living room, I have hung two small sets of blinds and one curtain. The other I’m still hemming.

  • Declutter: 355/1,050 minutes (Goal 15 mins/day)
  • Paper: 150 pieces (1/day)
  • Bathroom: Nothing.

NANOWRIMO

I’m not doing too bad here at all. My pacing is terrible, so I’m getting to the ending of my short stories about 7,000 words too soon, but there’s at least something to work with.

  • 7,450/50,000

PIANO

I’m going to go with Let It Be.

  • Let It Be
  • Downtown Abbey
  • Lean on Me

READING

As far as David Christian’s Origin Story goes, I’m still in the second last chapter. I’m almost at the point of what he sees may be in our future on this floating rock. I’d probably be done, but I stopped bringing it with me to work in fear I’d finish and have nothing to read on the way home…

  • 1/3

THE SPARK

I have not worked on this as I’ve been doing NaNo when I do have writing time.

  • 73,244/80,000

R~

ROW80 2019 R4-9

Happy Samhain!

I’m a little frustrated. I haven’t been making much progress lately. I work on things, but they don’t work out. I got paper blackout blinds to go behind my curtains, which are definitely doing a good job of blacking out the world behind. This will be good for movies and writing. Do you think I could cut them straight? Nope. They’re not terrible, but they are slightly overlapping, so hanging slightly wrong. It’s probably not noticeable from the street though. But I also knocked an open juice container, which was fun to clean up.

That’s not all. I finally got my puzzle into its frame. But it won’t stay in place with double-sided tape, so I have to reopen the frame and try with something else.

I also met with a new doctor, but she thinks someone else at the practice should take me on instead because she’s only there twice a week. At least I got her to do some blood tests for things like B12, but I meet a new doctor again next week. The place I’m going to now is neat. There is a lab, a walk-in clinic, and a pharmacy in the building, so it’s kind of a one-stop shop for patients. They also don’t have a pediatrician, so there weren’t any rambunctious kids around.

I did get a nice little rug for under my piano at least. I suppose it’s pretty hard to mess that up, so it has worked out nicely even if everything smells like a mix between Lysol and berry pomegranate in here. It’s a solid neutral grey because I’ll probably get a rug for the main part of my living room later and I didn’t want it to clash. It feels nice under my feet.

Oh, I guess my jars have mostly worked out. I took the labels off of a bunch of jars and now I just need to put them through my dishwasher to clean them before I put them to use for buttons. I’ve been meaning to get to those for a long time, but I got busy with other things. There are nine jars ready and a couple with more stubborn glue that I’m pondering what to do with because neither baby oil nor Goo Gone have worked.

FITNESS

OK, so I’ve been exercising less because I have been feeling off. I think my B12 is low again. That would be one of the many reasons I’m cutting out alcohol for now. Booze is known to deplete it. I’m also restarting the process to figure out what my autoimmune condition is because I don’t like being in pain. I want to be more active, but it hurts. While medicinal cannabis helps, it’s not conducive to driving or being clear-headed while working. So I’ve met with a new doctor and I’m hopeful that this time I’ll actually get help.

  1. Glider: ? steps
  2. OYO 10 Week Challenge: /70
  3. Martial Arts:

HOME

Along wih a full bin, I have some old luggage and a smaller box ready to go. I have one new curtain hemmed and hung. I have to hem the other and I’m thankful it didn’t get juiced.

  • Declutter: 295/1,050 minutes (Goal 15 mins/day)
  • Paper: 145 pieces (1/day)
  • Bathroom: Nothing.

NANOWRIMO

Two. More. Days.

I’m really excited that I’m doing NaNo this year. I was so busy just surviving last year, that I didn’t do much for it. This year it feels like just a natural part of my life.

PIANO

I can’t stop thinking about the idea of the recital. My teacher said I could do Let It Be if I wanted to instead of being stressed out about Downtown Abbey. I think it might be better to go with the safer one?

  • Let It Be
  • Downtown Abbey
  • Lean on Me

READING

As far as David Christian’s Origin Story goes, I’m still in the second last chapter. I’m almost at the point of what he sees may be in our future on this floating rock. I’d probably be done, but I stopped bringing it with me to work in fear I’d finish and have nothing to read on the way home…

  • 1/3

THE SPARK

I have not worked on this as I’ve been planning for NaNo when I do have writing time.

  • 73,244/80,000

R~