057 // Small but Measurable

I took today for myself and when I did I promised not to waste it. I did all the things I wanted to do until each little goal was met, and then I did no more.

I did one day’s worth of Spanish lessons and didn’t concern myself with being top of the leaderboard. I watched one day’s worth of videos for Social Norms, Social Change I and I didn’t try to complete the whole week at once. I read exactly 50 pages of One Hundred Years of Solitude so there would be time left for writing, and worked on a draft of my next “Currently” post without the pressure of trying to make it perfect right away.

I’m practicing chipping away at things. I’m doing less of each thing per day so that I can accomplish more in the long term. I’m not rushing, or pressuring myself, or feeling guilty and because of that, there is no reason to be afraid, to be overwhelmed, or to procrastinate.

Today wasn’t perfect but I learned that it helps to use a timer and to schedule my time on social media. It helps to set a clear goal for each task and to decide before you begin exactly when you will stop. It helps to turn on some music and to have a plan for when you get distracted, stuck, or tired.

I feel good tonight, and proud. I wanted to keep the momentum going so, I turned off the TV early and made time for a short walk, a long shower, and one more chapter before bed.

I look forward to some small but measurable progress tomorrow.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

Advertisements

056 // Spreading Things Out

I’ve been thinking about what I wrote yesterday, about trying to do too much on Sundays because I don’t know what Sundays are for. I realized that Sundays are not the only days I overload this way. I do the same on Mondays and Fridays too.

The core of the problem is procrastination. I schedule too much work for the future so I can do nothing now, and then when that future arrives I’m astonished to find that several day’s worth of work will not fit into one. So, I fail, and I give up. I get nothing done and I still keep doing it again and again.

This week I’d like to try spreading things out more. I’m going to chip away at the big goals by doing a little every day, and for the weekends, perhaps spending half of each day resting and the other half working each day would suit me better?


Excerpt from a Slowly app letter I wrote today:

“I get what you are saying about everything being predetermined. I feel the same, as if as all my thoughts or actions originate from somewhere inside of my mind just out of reach of my conscious. The thought comforts me rather than anxiety though and I have no desire to fight it.”

“I read somewhere that our free will is limited by our ignorance of the choices available to us. The best way to maximize choice and control over your life is to gain knowledge. Knowledge of the world, of history, of people, and of yourself. Just something to think about, or something you’ve made me think about, anyway.”


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

055 // I Never Get Sundays Right

My problem with Sundays is I expect too much from them. I do nothing on Saturday, that’s my “rest day”, and then I expect to wake up early, write three blog posts, clean my whole house, exercise, cook a big dinner, spend quality time with my girlfriend, watch all my shows, and then go to bed early. I rarely do even half of that, and even less is done well. Today was no exception.

I suppose I’m just not sure what Sunday’s should be for. Are they for rest? Are they for fun? Are they for working and planning? I keep trying to do it all and I never get it right so maybe it’s time I do Sundays another way?


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

If We Were Having Coffee // We Will be Married

Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday and welcome. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.

I’m up early this morning but not for any particular reason. There’s not much I have to do today, just a few things I want to do to keep from feeling guilty for wasting the whole weekend. 

I spent almost all of yesterday on the couch. Today I’m refusing to even enter my living room and I’m forbidding the use of social media until I’ve cleaned a few rooms, typed up a few posts, made a few phone calls, and made progress on our wedding planning “to-do next” list. 

But first, coffee! Pull up a chair and, please, help yourself to a cup. There is plenty of sunshine streaming in through the windows but don’t be deceived. It’s freezing out there and if you look out, you can still see the 8 inches of snow we received Friday night into Saturday still clinging to the trees and rooftops. It’s the perfect day for a big cup of piping hot dark roast, don’t you think?

Come, let’s talk about last week.

“If you want to improve your understanding, drink coffee.” 

― Sydney Smith

If we were having coffee, I would apologize for missing last week’s chat. Last weekend my mother, my youngest sister, my girlfriend, and I drove down to Texas to surprise our other sister for her 30th birthday.

The drive is 15 hours long, and I had hoped to chat with you along the way, but for most of that time, I was either sleeping or without cellphone service at all. By the time we were back in town and I could post it was far too late to.

All in all, the drive was pretty awful, and we all agreed to never to do it again. Our time in Texas, however, was wonderful and I wish it could’ve lasted much longer. It felt good to be there for my sister and to celebrate such important milestones with her.

My sister comes up here to see us fairly regularly, but this is the first time I was able to go to her and see her home and how beautiful Houston is. I was surprised to find so many trees and so much green in the middle of winter.

The warmth and humidity were surprising salves for my soul. I’ve heard the summers there are sweltering and unpleasant, but I can see myself going down there at this time every year for a break from the frigid and depressing Colorado winter.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that after our trip I got one more day of rest before I had to return to work. President’s day meant the week was a short one but short weeks only mean concentrated workloads. The extra work and shortened timeline were stressful enough but things have been particularly chaotic following significant staff changes.

The constant schedule changes and last-minute needs of coworkers are sending my anxiety levels sky high! But, I’m good at what I do and I pride myself on doing it with enthusiasm. I got through my work, the exhaustion, through irritation, through frustration, and through disappointment. No, I didn’t just get through it, I killed it!

I’ve been promised a break next week and I’m looking forward to catching up on everything I had to push aside this week, which, it turns out, was quite a lot.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we have finally settled on a wedding venue and a date. We found a place in the heart of the city that had just the right look and isn’t far from one of my dream outdoor ceremony sites. Best of all if the weather won’t cooperate on our special day we have the option of moving our vows indoors. Now we just have to plan the rest of…everything else.

When we went to secure our date at the venue, we brought our mothers with us to have one final look before we made it official. They loved the place, but they were eager to know what our plans were for food, decor, DJs, rehearsals, seating plans and a lot of other things we’d barely thought about. We’re overwhelmed, but there is excitement bubbling below the anxiety too, somewhere. 

We are getting married, and even if we mess it all up and every single thing goes wrong between then and now it won’t matter because we will finally be married!


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that despite these long days it seems like 2019 is moving along rather quickly. Soon we’ll be making our way through the third month and approaching the 25% complete mark. I don’t know about you but my goals are nowhere near 25% complete! 

I don’t know about you but I am having a hard time focusing on those big, long-term dreams. I’m procrastinating. I feel lost. I am full of doubt and my mind is all over the place. I’m losing a lot of time to social media, to the news cycle, to the short term and ultimately useless satisfaction of daily internet drama.  

One of my favorite bloggers, Patrick Rhone, has started a new podcast, or rather, a “microcast” called Rhonecast. The first two episodes are up and the first is a small piece of advice that made a big difference to my week wherever I applied it.

Rhone advises us If It Sucks You In, Delete It. He doesn’t advise that you assess the way you use an app, or limit the time you spend on an app, he simply says to delete it. He goes even further to say, don’t just delete it, replace it too.

Now, I’ll be honest, I didn’t delete those time-sucking apps off of my phone completely, but I did make them harder to see. I turned off my notifications and took them off of the home screen. Now I have to go to the app drawer and scroll down to find them.

And where the folder for these time-sucking apps was, I made a new folder. I put a note taking app in there. I put Duolingo and Coursera in there. I downloaded a new app called Slowly and put that in there so instead of mindlessly scrolling through endless content, I read letters from faraway pen pals and write them long letters back.

These small moves have helped a ton already! I have given myself much more useful, productive, and fulfilling things to do when I’m bored now. And when even these apps won’t entertain, I’m more likely to just put my phone down and pick up a book or pull out my journal than to look to social media. And when I do feel the need to open Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, it’s for a reason and not just to pass the time. 

If you’re struggling like me I encourage you to give the delete and replace strategy a try.


If we were having coffee, I would tell you that as much as I am enjoying our chat, it time for me to go. There are only a few short hours left until the weekend is over and so much more I want to do before the workweek begins.

I hope that you had a good week. I hope that you found time for you this weekend and that this coming week will be better than the last.

Until next time. 


Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

054 // A Whole Lot of Unproductivity

I woke with grand plans this morning but lost the battle to myself and the couch early on. In my defense sleep has eluded me all week. I’ve been overworked and filled with worry. I’m still off my medication and my body is responding in strange ways including a persist and headache and joints that ache in turn. In my defense I was defenseless.

So, today I rested and I ate, and tomorrow I’ll get up and try again.

Wish me the best of luck would you?


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

053 // Human Lies

It hurts when the people we care about lie to us. Trust is broken and a small part of the world we thought we’d figured out is given over to the unknown and chaotic around us. Things we never thought possible become very real fears, again.

But a lie doesn’t have to be the end of the world. People lie because they are hurting. They lie because they are ashamed. I should know, I used to lie all the time. That’s how I know that people lie when something in their lives or their hearts becomes severely and painfully broken. Sometimes that pain is a bigger issue than the lie itself.

And sometimes, if the lie is not very big and if the truth comes to light from the one who spun the untruth first, if we trust in what we know of their heart we can put our hurt aside to find the path past the unpleasantness through honesty, sympathy, patience, and understanding.

Lying is a human thing, and not necessarily evil. The lies we (all) tell exist on levels and some are less severe, quite understandable, and worthier of forgiveness than others.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

052 // Troubling Signs

I’ve been feeling good lately, physically at least. The longer I am off my old infusion medication the better I feel too. I’ve lost weight. I’m happier, more motivated, and enjoying the random bursts of enthusiasm I have for people again. I feel good, but there are troubling signs too. I’m afraid without the infusions to control my ulcerative colitis plus all the stress I’ve been dealing with, a flare is imminent.

It figures that when my symptoms are under control the rest of my body would feel like crap, and when I get my gut under control, then the rest of my feels cruddy. Sigh.


Tonight we secured the wedding venue and our date, and we settled on wedding invitations too. Three decisions down, about a thousand more to go. I am finally feeling more excited, but I’m also feeling a lot more anxious and doubtful. I can’t shake the fear that we are now locked into something over our heads and financially foolish. I can’t help doubting we can pull it off or that any of this will be worth it or as wonderful as we dream.

I just try to remember that at the end of all this I will be married and that, more than any of those thousand little decisions I’ll have to make until then, is what matters most.


These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren