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~

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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~

Changes

A day late again. I had it ready, but forgot to post it. Lots of things are happening like I’m going back to work soon!

My calendar is one of those inspirational quote types. For the month of June it says, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau

On Tuesday, I bought myself a new desk. I struggled with this because it meant getting rid of my old one, which I spent a long time painting Mount Fuji on. Or I thought it did. I thought about it longer and realized I could get rid of the legs and keep the top for a puzzle board. I love doing jigsaw puzzles.

So, I headed out to IKEA. There was a lot of traffic before noon. It’s construction season now. You wouldn’t even know there was a tornado this weekend if you were judging by how packed the highway was. Yes, I thankfully missed out on a tornado and so did my home since I was away at another martial arts seminar.

IKEA was pretty quick. I had forgot my purse in my car and had to go back for it. Fun fact: My first time in IKEA ever, I had a panic attack. I had to go back and get the shopping list. This was about a decade ago and we were part way through the tour and I couldn’t find the exit. I sank down to my haunches and took some deep breaths then asked people how to get out.

It was really hard to get the desk onto my cart because it weighs 78 lbs. That’s more than half my own weight. Anyway, I thankfully got help to put it in my car. At home, I made 7 trips into my house because I had to carefully cut open the box in the car and take what I could in on each trip.

It took me about five hours to put it together. About an hour on the hinges alone because IKEA, as usual, has a habit of not ensuring things like that you have the right part of the hinge facing upward in order for the other half of it to be able to snap on. I had to get creative to fix that because there was no room even for a stubby screwdriver AND I couldn’t find my ratchet set.

I realized the biggest problem with my old desk was that it had no storage. It was also quite small. This new one feels like I can write all the things with. It has handy drawers for the project books I keep. I also got a little storage cart to go underneath it. It is helping me sort through the papers I have to digitize or file. Now I can get organized without my living room looking like a disaster. And I’ll eventually be able to get rid of an ugly plastic storage cart.

The legs for my old desk will eventually be put to new use. I will be making changes to my sewing area in my bedroom. Since those legs can attach to anything, I can make a new table that will work better for me than what I have now.

I wish I had thought of this all sooner, but at least I’m figuring it out and moving forward, right? It needs some tweaking, but I feel like it’s a drastic improvement.

Before
After. Still work to do, but much better. My lights keep falling down and I’m going to put more family and friend pictures on that wall instead.

Goals Update

WRITING

  • Horror Short Story: 804/7,000 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

*Technically, the minimum is around 3,000 words, so as long as I get something between 3k and 7k I will be able to submit it.

HOME

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

*This is going to be a focus with me going back to work soon.

FRENCH

  • Class: 27/30 hours*
  • Read: Charlie et la chocolaterie
  • Buy: French K.I.S.S.**

*Final oral exam on Saturday!
**I’m going to put this on hold for now.

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 – 2/2 (Sun, Tue)*
  • Walking – 2/7 (Daily)**
  • HIIT – Betty Rocker’s 30-Day Challenge has replaced this.

*I have done many hours of iaido on Sunday.
**I skipped a day because of all the martial arts.

MUSIC

  • Learn piano*
  • Get my trumpet embouchure back

*I’m going through my adult learning book. I decided I will pick a few pieces I really like to memorize since that’s an important skill with piano. I think my first one will be Mozart’s A Little Night Music. These are probably simplified versions of the real pieces, but I think it’s good to do anyway.

R~

Resilience

I’m late on this post, but I was away at a women’s martial arts weekend. It was an excellent weekend filled with catching up, targeted training, and inspirational speeches. I learned a lot and it even knocked something critical loose for The Blood Waitress Club.

The keynote speaker spoke about everyone having a Bank of Resilience. She said this bank is one you put deposits into by doing things when you don’t feel like it such as going to practice. This allows you to increase your ability to handle adversity. Each obstacle you get past prepares you to handle hardship. In other words, when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

I liked that message because I know it to be true for myself. Each situation I have faced has helped me get through others. But it’s also true that it allows you to reach new heights. Another speaker from Team Canada Karate mentioned that we need to stop telling our girls to be careful when they accomplish the same thing as a boy like playing hard at soccer and getting bruises. I think it’s not only girls who are living in fear these days though. I’ve met many people who forsake their dreams out of fear. Fear of failure, of success, of change. I think that’s what it comes down to. Change for many generations meant death, so it is ingrained in us to be wary, but often it will bring us closer to our dreams coming true or prepare us to handle the obstacles that remain in the way of reaching them.

After that comes a life we couldn’t even imagine we could have. So many settle for less than they are worth and I think that is sad. There is nothing wrong with abandoning a dream because it no longer fits you though.

I got some news today and it sounds like my next chapter is starting soon. More to come on that in the weeks ahead 😉

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~