Continual Unwanted Contact

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If you find yourself continuing to message a former lover who doesn’t respond, you are harassing them. Blocking them right after you message them to complain they haven’t responded is childish. So childish that Peter Pan wouldn’t approve.

Mentioning you’ve watched them walk by at the mall or movie theatre and that you read their blog is creepy. It’s you hoping to stay connected to them in some small way because you haven’t figured out how to move on with your life.

Being the object of an obsessed person’s fantasies is something no one should have to put up with. This is something I have been dealing with for nearly a year now. I won’t continue to suffer in silence and I won’t continue to accept this behaviour.

For more information on stalking behaviours, which include, but are not limited to: showing up unexpectedly on someone’s doorstep, asking their friends for updates on their lives, and continually messaging them claiming they still have items of yours that you know damn well they don’t have, check out this link.

R~

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~

A Happy Side Effect – ROW80 2019 R4-20

Two years have passed since I put it together, but it’s finally on the wall!

Planning is helping me out in ways I never thought it could. Just by getting everything out of my head, it’s calming the overthinking that usually dominates my mind. I think this is because I’ve dealt with the items when I put them down on paper even if there is still work to do. It’s like my mind was continually nagging at me to listen to it and by writing it out, I have.

This week I got so much done.

  • My tree has been decorated. I even hand made bows out of ribbon for it.
  • My desktop has been reorganized.
  • The work phone is no longer having a connection problem.
  • After accidentally sleeping in, I fixed my alarm clock.
  • On the 5th, I watched Krampus: The Christmas Devil for Krampusnacht.
  • It’s been a long haul, but I finally got my Great Wave off Kanagawa picture up on the wall!
  • I put gas in my car.
  • I watched the first two seasons of Rick and Morty.
  • On Sparks, I upped my word count slightly and also figured out a problem with the novel.
  • The planning for 2020 is nearly complete.

HEALTH & FITNESS

I’ve been sucking here. I’m not sure what I need to do to get motivated in this area.

HOME

I’ve been cleaning a little here and there. Putting things away is getting easier. I’ve decided to work from home one day each week, so that will give me some time back since I won’t have to commute on that day. I’m looking forward to it.

PIANO

I’m excited about my practice log. Lately, I’ve just been toying around with seasonal songs. The ones I don’t know are good sight-reading exercises. The ones I do know are motivating.

READING

I’m still reading Stephen King’s Thinner. I’m so close to the end. I have a bad feeling about it. I hope he doesn’t end it the way it looks like it will go.

  • 2/3

WRITING

I’ve made a little more progress on Sparks. I got stuck though. The first chapter has improved a lot and I’m pleased with it to a point. There’s a spot where the tone changes and I can’t seem to get it to fit with the rest of the chapter, so I’m moving it to Chapter Two. When I let myself do that, it was like I realized that is obviously what I should do in that situation. I also wondered why the hell it took me so long to come to that realization.

Sparks

  • 74,347/80,000

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~

Exhausted – ROW80 2019 R4-18

Friday was a hectic day as I took on a new role at work. I’ve been preparing for it for awhile, but there were some scenarios I didn’t have notes for. Thankfully, Friday was also the evening of our company holiday party and the woman I’m covering maternity leave for was there. I got clarification on a few things and I feel much more confident at this point.

That all being said, Friday had a few other things going on. I had to take my summer tires out of my car as I was driving my guest to the party too. I was worried I would break a nail while doing that. The tires went fine in terms of my nails, but they kept falling off of my cart because they are lighter than my winter tires. When I finally got them all put away, I hurt my thumb on a cardboard box of all things. I didn’t break my nail, but perhaps bent it, which is the only thing I can see as there was no blood or anything but pain.

Eventually, I was ready for the party except I didn’t have earrings that would go with my necklace, which meant I had to go to the mall. On Black Friday. I parked far away, so that I could leave the mall easier, but it was quite fresh outside as I was wearing a skirt for the party. I ended up getting six pairs of earrings because it was a Buy 3 Get 3 deal, so I have a few more options now.

Then it was off to pick up my friend. Uh-oh, wrong part of the highway over there, so I got stuck in traffic for awhile. And because I forgot to have lunch, I was quite hangry by this point, so that’s probably why I got off at the wrong exit later on thinking I was on the road I really wanted to be on. Except none of the landmarks I know were there. And I saw the other end of a street that I didn’t know went as far as it did. All this kind of freaked me the fuck out.

I made it to my friend’s after nearly an hour of getting lost, so I was glad to have a little moment to catch my breath. The drive to the party was smooth. We ended up there early though because the traffic was gone by that point. We both had a good time.

Other than feeling a bit crappy from too much Red Bull on Friday, Saturday was productive.

Today has been fairly productive too. I didn’t make it to martial arts, but I’m actually trying not to drive too much because my front tires are being replaced on Monday. Instead, I’m continuing getting myself organized for the rest of the year and hopefully into the next one.

HEALTH & FITNESS

I’ve got myself a new schedule, which includes daily exercise, meditation, learning, and fun.

HOME

I made progress on getting my Wave picture on the wall. I had to open it back up to fix the gravity issue. It wasn’t without a blood sacrifice and it wasn’t the best time to remember I need to buy band-aids. I now have a box of colourful ones as Canadian Tire only had children’s band-aids.

This weekend I dusted off my old planner and started retaking control of my life, which feels pretty good. I’ve been wasting a lot of time lately and have some goals I’d like to push forward on. This was partly instigated by a friend inviting me to a minimalist bullet journal group on Facebook. I even ordered myself some stickers! I’m now using my older journal as a home projects journal. I had tried to do everything in one journal back in those days and found myself constantly recopying everything to move them forward. I spend so much time planning, there wasn’t much for doing! My ideal schedule is in Google Calendar. I have a small Mead journal for my daily todo stuff and at-a-glance month plans like outings. The little one is the only one I’m taking with me these days.

It’s amazing how taking a few moments to plan can help me get more done.

My desk has been cleaned up. I’m aiming to get a monitor soon to make working from home easier, but I think it will also be helpful with writing. I’ll need a little dongle for my Surface though.

PIANO

I am starting the chord-based way of learning piano. We’ll see how it goes. I spent less than what I was spending monthly on lessons to learn for many days to come.

  • Let It Be
  • Lean on Me
  • Jurassic Park

READING

I’m about three quarters of the way through Stephen King’s Thinner. I’ve had to up my reading goal several times this year to see how many books I can actually get through in a year where I’m not in school. Most of my reading is done during my commute, so it doesn’t even impact the rest of my time, yet I’ve gotten further than I ever thought I would.

  • 2/3

WRITING

I’ve moved Grim Ties off my to-do list for now as I want to just focus on Sparks. I’ve taken a little break this weekend and plan to get back at it next week.

Sparks

  • 74,016/80,000

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~

A Writing Post – ROW80 2019 R4-14/15

Oops. I forgot to post on Sunday… In my head, I hear Harry saying, “There’s no post on Sundays.” So it’s totally OK, right?

Anyway, work has been pretty heavy. There’s a milestone we reached on a project, but I will be largely leaving the bulk of the rest to the woman I’ve been training since August and someone who isn’t there yet as I’ll be taking over for a colleague for a year while she’s on maternity leave. I do know it will be nice to eventually be focusing on one role. I’ll get to trade some current headaches for different headaches and learn some new things. It’s been a bit stressful and draining trying to train for that while doing so much else, so I haven’t had as much energy as I’d like for writing and other things when I get home at the end of the day. And my mind has been overly wired while trying to remember all the things.

I had a major revelation about my own writing while reading Thinner by Stephen King. No, I’m not comparing my work to his in an unrealistic way. There were three things I noticed about my own. When reading my book, I noticed that it’s not immediately clear what genre it is. Uh-oh! That’s a pretty major issue. Item Two was that I’m way under-descriptive. That’s a place to get more words easily. Yes, one can describe too much, but I think an editor would rather have things to cut. And the third item is that he, like Danielle Steel, repeats things often. Not everything, of course, but anything that is important. He just finds a different way to say it. A character may repeatedly ruminate on their problem throughout the whole novel. I almost never repeat anything. Oh, I also noticed his opening was pretty awesome, so I reworked mine with all of the above in mind. Anyway, it feels like the book is coming together more now. It’s easier to see what needs to improve and have an idea of how to fix it. Hopefully I’ll have the energy for it soon.

Stephen King does this other funny thing where he pokes fun at himself in this book. “This isn’t a Stephen King novel. It’s real life!”

HEALTH & FITNESS

  1. Glider: 200 steps while I was just testing its new location. I also have a new plan to hop on it whenever I’m really frustrated.
  2. Martial Arts: I’m mainly going to practice at home until I get my snow tires on. I just feel better about minimizing my driving, especially on the highway, until then. But there is a seminar this weekend that I decided to go to.

HOME

I’m getting through my clutter. At least in my main area anyway. It’s not all gone, but I’m seeing less and less junk everywhere. I moved my coat rack to a spot that isn’t in my way. I cleaned off my TV stand. It’s getting easier in some places. I also cleared off my dining room table. This year it’s holding my little yule tree, which has several benefits that include keeping the tree out of the way while I continue decluttering. My glider also has a better place now. I’ve been moving all the remaining junk to one pile, so it’s easy to get to and parse through. I never thought I’d get here. I still have a lot more in my bedroom, but having the main areas nearly cleaned up is really helping my stress levels and making me feel like writing more.

My tires are in my car and an appointment is booked to change them. I should’ve done this sooner, but my original plan was December 1st before the snow jumped Ottawa in a back alley. I also put a proper lock on my storage unit.

I’m doing well on paying off my debt. My mortgage has been renewed. Everything seems to be getting better there.

  • Declutter: (Goal 15 mins/day) On average, I’m doing more than 15 minutes each day. I think I can call this a regular habit by now.
  • Paper: I’ve lost track, but I’ll be going through a ton of paper soon as I have mostly paper left to go through in my living room. I think my plan is to digitize the writing notes from the one file cabinet drawer, so the other important house related papers can go in the cabinet.

GRIM TIES (NANOWRIMO)

I have been doing a little here-and-there on this project.

  • 9,525/50,000

PIANO

I really don’t enjoy playing Downtown Abbey. I want to learn rock and metal and it’s so far from that. Maybe I should try it with my distortion pedal.

  • Let It Be
  • Downtown Abbey
  • Lean on Me

READING

I’ve finished David Christian’s Origin Story and I’m now working my way through Stephen King’s Thinner. I also read David Demchuk’s The Bone Mother, which was well worth it.

  • 2/3

SPARKS

I’ve been really motivated to work on this one.

  • 73,744/80,000

R~