ROW80 – Round 3 – Goals Post

This round, I’m mostly reducing in order to improve my focus. I will to stick to one writing project. It’s easier to stay immersed in the story’s world that way and to get into a routine. I’m putting my project management skills to work some by treating other activities like my declutter effort as a project.

WRITING

The Page & The Magician: 72,027/80,000* – I intend to focus on this novel and nothing else for awhile. I let myself get caught up in other things and didn’t get where I wanted with this one.

*Hey, my progress is a palindrome!

FINANCES

OSAP Loan: 3.17% – Since my car is pretty much paid off (there’s 1.5 payments left), I’ll be focusing on paying this loan off.

Savings: TBD – I’ll be putting in a plan shortly with my new financial adviser for retirement savings.

FITNESS

Gym: 0/3 – With my home in declutter mode, it has been hard to find space to workout, so I’m heading back to the gym soon. The gym is near home and will be very close to the train station if the L.R.T. ever gets completed. I plan to get a bike soon and it’s a reasonable biking distance for me on nice days. I lost my Fit Bit yesterday, but with Harry Potter: Wizards Unite out I’ll be walking plenty! It feels good to be getting back to a healthy routine. I’m aiming to go to the gym 3 times per week, but I won’t be keeping a count of attendance. Instead, I’ll be logging what I did in terms of the activities and the repetitions. That way I can track whether or not I’m improving.

Iaido: Of course, I’ll be continuing martial arts. I don’t know how often I’ll make Tuesday classes since they run late. The body needs time to calm down after working out to get proper rest. I will fit in practice at home on Tuesday, which can be done before dinner. Like the gym above, I intend to track how many repetitions I do of kihon (fundamentals).

HOME

Declutter: I’ll be continuing this effort. Other than chores, this is my main goal for my home. One of the wild things I’m doing? Changing out my closet doors for curtains. The doors don’t allow full access to the closets and it’s been frustrating me for way too long. This may be more complicated in the bedroom as I need something sound deadening, but I’m looking forward to being able to fully access both of my closets. I’ve already done the hall closet and it was so easy to clean up the area after that I couldn’t help but do it! The area feels bigger now too.

Decor: Eventually, I plan on changing my living room furniture as what I have hasn’t been working for me. I also want more pictures of loved ones above my desk. I even made a little project plan for this effort. It includes tasks for the declutter too.

Bathroom: This will be continued a little bit at a time. There’s no real rush, though I’d like to get to the point where I have space for my new vanity even if it isn’t hooked up because it’s in my tiny hall right now.

FRENCH

Read: 12/211 – I’m reading Charlie et la Chocolaterie for the summer.

Class: TBD – I intend to jump into more lessons at some point once I know what’s happening with my workload at work.

READING

Books: 4/8 – I’m halfway through my Goodreads Reading Challenge, so I’d like to move that forward. I’ve started reading Essentialism.

Screenplays: 0/3 – I want to read at least one screenplay per month. That’s not much, but it’s more than I have been doing.

MUSIC

Piano: 0/3 – Learn 3 songs by heart. This might change as I’m reaching out to a music place to ask about lessons.

R~

Advertisements

The End of Round Two

Round 2 of ROW80 for 2019 is done. I’ve made a lot of progress. I submitted a pilot to a contest. I also received a rejection for that pilot, but it’s part of the game. If I took every one of those too personally, I’d be a wreck of a human being. I haven’t completed my other writing goals yet, but I’m closer than I was before. I’ve also made a lot of progress at home and continue to do so. I completed Level 1 French with a 94. I also got back into my martial art through seminars and modifications. I’m not as far as I’d like to be with my music, but that can be more of a focus for Round Three. My car is close to being paid off and m overall debt is pretty low, so I’ve improved there too.

I have time to regroup and reassess my goals to figure out which of them make sense and which don’t. Mostly, I have time to get caught up around the house before I go back to work full-time in July. This time it’s a permanent gig rather than a contract. It’s been three years since I last had that kind of job stability and I’m really looking forward to it. Part of me won’t believe it until I’m there. Life has been a bit of a struggle since 2013, so I’ve gotten used to hardship being a feature in my everyday. It may take a bit to re-calibrate myself.

But I’ve learned many lessons since 2013. Before then, back when I was married, my husband handled all the financial stuff. We renovated together. Most of my friends were his friends because I had lost touch with my own. In 2013, I suddenly had to do everything on my own. I wasn’t very careful with my money. I think I took it for granted that I’d always have a good job. These days, I’m much more grateful about everything in my life.

I accepted a job offer today and I’m looking forward to a reset. I’m much more financially smart now and have gained much in life experience. This means I’ve achieved one of my major goals for this year!

For the next round of ROW80, I’m going to do things a little differently. Some things I will be working on in the background and not reporting on like chores and workouts. I actually do better at those activities when I’m not staring at them on my blog. Instead, I want to have more specific goals like targeting something such as my cutting or my posture for Iaido (eee-eye-doh). Not simply going to class, but improving a skill. The truth is that whether I am there or not, I should be practicing. Other than the mess of my declutter getting in the way, I’m fortunate in that I’m short enough that I can do full cuts without worrying I will hit the ceiling. I noticed at the dojo BBQ that my cuts need a lot of work, so it will be a focus for me for a bit.

I’m also going to focus more on one or two goals per category. I think that will be less stressful than seeing a large list of items not progressing.

I have a few things to get done around here before I go back to work like laundry, dishes, and some painting. I haven’t finished painting my dresser drawer fronts and it’s a good time to finish it.

I don’t know what will happen in the next quarter of 2019, but I’m looking forward to it!

R~

Where I’ve Been Lately

Sorry I dropped off the planet for a bit. Last week was packed. A friend was visiting, so I spent a lot of time with her. In between there were meetups, a work lunch for a departing colleague, cleaning Sensei’s garage, responding to a Letter of Intent, the condo Annual General Meeting, a manicure, sightseeing, video games at The Blurry Pixel, a walk through GlowFair, BBQs, and B-Movie night.

Sunday brought the Dojo BBQ where we practised Tameshigiri to test our cutting on straw mats. I seem to be getting worse each year, but it’s likely partly because I haven’t been going much over the winter. Also because of overthinking and trying too hard.

Today brought filling out security clearance application forms and fingerprinting. Hopefully that all works out okay.

With everything going on lately, writing has been taking a backseat. I’m worried I won’t get this short story done in time, but part of me feels like it doesn’t matter because writing shouldn’t be about getting things published and money. It should be about exploration, fun, learning, and more.

My pilot was rejected. I’m okay about it. Maybe I’ll turn it into a feature length film instead. I prefer writing those anyway.

Goals Update

WRITING

  • Horror Short Story: 1,473/7,000 words [Due: June 30]
  • Horror Script: Waiting for the next phase.
  • The Page & The Magician: 71,993/80,000 words
  • Puppy Chow Script: Revision not started.
  • The Blood Waitress Club: 24,092/80,000
  • The Mockumentary Script: 10/120 minutes
  • Artos Red Script: 2/120 minutes

HOME

  • Dishes: 95%
  • Laundry: 85%
  • Entrance: 80%
  • Recycling: 90%
  • Mirrors: 3/7

FRENCH

  • Read: Charlie et la chocolaterie

FINANCES

  • Car Loan: 99.97% paid off.
  • OSAP Debt: 3.16% paid off.
  • Mortgage: 14.81% paid off.

FITNESS

  • Iaido – 1/2 (Sun, Tue)
  • Workouts – 0/5 (Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat)

MUSIC

  • Learn piano*

*I intend to focus on this a lot this summer.

R~

Endings and Beginnings

My oral French exam wasn’t too bad. It was stressful because I felt put on the spot and I’m always nervous when speaking French. I also went first because I was there early. I’ll miss some people. Not the few who would turn up late and be disruptive, but there were some genuinely nice people in my class. Maybe I’ll see them in Level 2 in the fall. If I continue taking French there. I’m quite tired of their old version of Rosetta Stone with a mostly non-functioning speaking module, so if I have a better option, I may not.

With French complete, I’ve turned my attention to preparing to go back to work, cleaning, exercising, and writing. Mostly. I started auditing a course on research skills as I feel I need to improve these for my writing and for life in general.

I had started a specific 30-day exercise program, but I felt there were problems with it such as:

1) No rest between sets. There should always be some rest. How long depends on your goal. The following article has some guidelines.

https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/what-is-the-optimal-time-between-sets-for-muscle-growth.html

2) Overworking same muscle groups.

After killing my abs on day 2, they expected us to do more ab work on day 3. Core is important, but I felt like that will lead to injury. I was already more than the normal amount of sore afterwards as well.

3) Warm up and cooldown are rushed.

These things are important to prevent injury. Injury leads to not exercising.

If it works for others, great. I didn’t feel like it’s right for me. I also hurt my bicep doing one of the other exercises. Instead, I’ve set aside specific days for specific activities and have a log book to keep track of my progress. And my new plan is pretty simple:

  • warmup the appropriate muscle group
  • 3 sets of 3 activities for 1.5 minutes each.
  • rest in between each
  • stretch

The food ideas are good at least. And that’s important for results. The biggest thing I’m doing is watching my grain intake.

I am having one issue with walking though. Chafing. At some point, I’ll get something to deal with it. It seems Amazon has a number of options. https://www.elitedaily.com/women/ways-to-prevent-thigh-chafing-that-actually-work/2006498

I’m also dealing with blisters on my ankles.

Goals Update

WRITING

  • Horror Short Story: 1,232/7,000 words [Due: June 30]*
  • Horror Script: Waiting for the next phase.
  • The Page & The Magician: 71,993/80,000 words
  • Puppy Chow Script: Revision not started.
  • The Blood Waitress Club: 24,092/80,000
  • The Mockumentary Script: 10/120 minutes
  • Artos Red Script: 2/120 minutes

*I’ve now set a daily target of 250 words. I didn’t meet it the first couple days I did it, but I had French class, dishes, working out, laundry, and cooking all to do. Hopefully it’s reasonable going forward.

HOME

  • Dishes: 95%
  • Laundry: 85%
  • Entrance: 80%
  • Recycling: 90%
  • Mirrors: 3/7

FRENCH

  • Class: 30/30 hours*
  • Read: Charlie et la chocolaterie

*I have an A+ for my final mark. A month ago I was annoyed I couldn’t take the next level in the summer, but the weather has been so beautiful that I’m happy there isn’t a summer session!

FINANCES*

  • Car Loan: 99.97% paid off.
  • OSAP Debt: 3.16% paid off.
  • Mortgage: 14.81% paid off.

*I think interest is making this all not the most accurate, but it’s better than no measurement.

FITNESS

  • Iaido – 0/2 (Sun, Tue)*
  • Workouts – 0/5 (Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat)

*It’s hard to swing a sword with a sore bicep, so I went for a walk instead.

MUSIC

  • Learn piano
  • Get my trumpet embouchure back

R~

Making Room

Lately, I’ve been watching minimalist documentaries. I find them inspiring on my conquest to declutter. Cleaning is not my favourite thing. There are so many better uses of my time than that. I think owning less means less to maintain. It also means less useless stuff in the way of the stuff I love like my books, instruments, and movies.

I filled my backseat after finishing one documentary. I had way too many coats. I’ve also been hanging onto old costumes for years. Some I had worn a decade ago! I’m not even all that into cosplay these days. Costuming just stresses me out as it’s yet another thing on my endless to-do list. No more! I’ve decided to just keep a couple I really enjoy like my Kigurumi bear I use to make a female ewok. It’s fun and warm, which is perfect for Halloween as it’s usually f-ing cold here. As a side bonus, I get to use a weapon with it too.

I don’t know yet what I’m making room for exactly, but every time I get rid of things that were just taking up space, I feel better. And it’s not like I don’t also buy some things, but I’m focusing on owning specific things. Yes, I collect POP Funko, but mainly the strong female characters I adore, rather than every character from every movie or show I’m a fan of. And I’m getting specific items related to music like a modular trumpet mouthpiece because it’s something that makes me happy. I keep some books I find worth rereading and donate others.

I have a lot of paper I don’t want though. Some, like tax papers going back to 2009-2011, I can get rid of. Some are handwritten notes I need to digitize. Those will take a while. I’m chipping away at it a little at a time for now as I have other things to do like study for a French exam.

Goals Update

WRITING

  • Horror Short Story: 433/7,000 words [Due: June 30]*
  • Horror Script: Waiting for the next phase.
  • The Page & The Magician: 71,993/80,000 words
  • Puppy Chow Script: Revision not started.
  • The Blood Waitress Club: 24,092/80,000
  • The Mockumentary Script: 10/120 minutes
  • Artos Red Script: 2/120 minutes

*I’ll be hitting this hard in June.

HOME

  • Dishes: 95%
  • Laundry: 80%
  • Entrance: 80%
  • Recycling: 90%
  • Mirrors: 3/7

FRENCH

  • Online: 31/30 hours! [J’ai finis!]
  • Class: 24/30 hours*
  • Buy French K.I.S.S.

*Final written exam this Saturday!

FINANCES

  • Car Loan: 99.97% paid off.
  • OSAP Debt: 3.16% paid off.
  • Mortgage: 14.81% paid off.

FITNESS

  • Yoga – 1/3 (Wed, Fri, Sat)
  • Iaido – 2/2 (Sun, Tue)
  • Walking – 1/7 (Daily)
  • HIIT – 1/2 (Mon, Thu)

MUSIC

  • Learn piano (First major goal is Chopsticks)
  • Get my trumpet embouchure back* (First major goal is Birdland)

*This was on hold because I misplaced my mouthpiece. I got a modular one with 4 sizes to use.

R~

Seminar Recap

It was wonderful seeing my friends though I was kind of stuck in my head for part of the trip.

One thing that was really good is that I was more prepared for sore feet this year. Also, going with fewer, but larger bags turned out better as we ended up in the section without the elevator and having to lug things up four flights was not something anyone wanted to do more than needed.

I drank a little much the one night, so I can’t remember all of the conversations with Mansfield Sensei from the UK and he had a lot of wisdom to share. I’m sad about this. A lesson learned for the future.

I took a number of notes on katas that were small changes with large ripple effects in terms of my own understanding.

I’m reading The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin S. Sharma right now. It talks about how most people spend much of their days ruminating on the same things as the day before. And how being stuck in a loop won’t get you to where you want to go.

At the seminar, we were told to stop settling for limited iaido when we can have so much more. It was a moment when martial arts learning directly applied to life. In the martial arts context, too many are doing things too literally to the book whether or not it actually would work in a real situation.

It now has been wondering how often I am doing things in life just because it is the way others do it. How often am I settling for less without reason to?

Goals Update

WRITING

  • P.A.N. Pilot: Submitted!*
  • Horror Short Story: 433/7,000 words [Due: June 30]
  • Horror Script: Waiting for the next phase.
  • The Page & The Magician: 71,993/80,000 words
  • Puppy Chow Script: Revision not started.
  • The Blood Waitress Club: 24,092/80,000
  • The Mockumentary Script: 10/120 minutes
  • Artos Red Script: 2/120 minutes

*It feels fantastic to have finished something as it has been awhile!

HOME

  • Bathroom Door: 100%*
  • Dishes: 95%
  • Laundry: 80%
  • Entrance: 80%
  • Recycling: 90%
  • Mirrors: 3/7

*The door has been trimmed and hung. It isn’t hanging level and I need to make another alteration at some point, but I’m calling it done for now!

FRENCH

  • Online: 25/30 hours
  • Class: 24/30 hours*
  • Buy French K.I.S.S.

*I got 49/60 on the practice exam, which I hadn’t studied for!

FINANCES

  • Car Loan: 99.97% paid off.
  • OSAP Debt: 3.16% paid off.
  • Mortgage: 14.81% paid off.

FITNESS

  • Yoga – 0/3 (Wed, Fri, Sat)
  • Iaido – 1/2 (Sun, Tue)
  • Walking – 1/7 (Daily)
  • HIIT – 0/2 (Mon, Thu)

MUSIC

  • Piano: Chopsticks
  • Trumpet: ?

R~

May Long Weekend 2019

I fibbed. I had time to prepare the bulk of this post ahead of time, so I did.

It’s always difficult for me to pack for trips, but especially this particular one because we stay in dorms and need to bring extra things like blankets, pillows, towels, etc. And I can’t just eat whatever is provided for dinners, so there is an extra bag for me to carry. Also, we do an auction to help cover the cost of it, so more things to carry again.

One year, I packed most stuff into one big bag. There was some luggage tetris with that and I felt bad that we had to rejig everything to fit my bag in. It also happened that the elevator was unavailable, so I had to lug it up many stairs and it was a pain in the behind.

The following year, I went with several smaller bags instead, but that was a bigger headache and I had to have more help to bring my things in than the previous year. I really don’t like inconveniencing others. So much so that I stressed when asking a friend to help me move my stove, so I could get the flooring done. Despite knowing him for 20 years! And he moved the thing like it was made of styrofoam…

Anyway, all this to say that I initially started packing in smaller bags, but switched to the one larger bag for a large chunk of my stuff because it’s generally easier. Then it’s like I sort of combined both methods. I’ll have less to come home with.

And I almost forgot shampoo and conditioner. I ended up packing them in Tylenol bottles because I couldn’t find the bottles I know I had for that purpose. I also couldn’t find the in progress knitting project I wanted to continue, so I started a new one.

Goals Update

WRITING

  • P.A.N. Pilot: 16/44 mins [Due: May 31]
  • Horror Short Story: 360/7,000 words [Due: June 30]
  • Horror Script: Waiting for the next phase.
  • The Page & The Magician: 71,993/80,000 words
  • Puppy Chow Script: Revision not started.
  • The Blood Waitress Club: 24,092/80,000
  • The Mockumentary Script: 10/120 minutes
  • Artos Red Script: 2/120 minutes

I brought a couple of projects in case I feel inspired.

HOME

  • Bathroom Door: 90%
  • Dishes: 95%
  • Laundry: 80%
  • Entrance: 80%
  • Recycling: 90%
  • Mirrors: 3/7

FRENCH

  • Online: 21/30 hours*
  • Class: 21/30 hours
  • Buy French K.I.S.S.

*I caught up!

FINANCES

I will be taking a hit here soon in all likelihood as the government says I owe them money. Two steps forward and one step back. At least there’s still progress?

  • Car Loan: 99.97% paid off.*
  • OSAP Debt: 3.16% paid off.
  • Mortgage: 14.81% paid off.

*I think I’m down to 4 more payments. Maybe less. It’s hard to tell with interest. Perhaps 3.5 more.

FITNESS

  • Yoga – 1/3
  • Iaido – 1/2*
  • Walking – 3/7
  • HIIT – 0/2

*I’ll be doing a lot of this on the weekend. Hopefully, I don’t break myself.

R~