Goals // Week 17: The Earlier the Better

This week is the last before the state wide stay-at-home order here is Colorado is set to expire. I’ll still be staying inside for a few weeks more at least but the city will be coming back to life and I’m sure that life will find a way inside these walls, or maybe I’ll find a way out, just a little, if it’s safe. If I am safe.

Beyond that I want to make a renewed effort to focus myself and do more real writing: pieces that delve deep and reveal something about me, about us, about the world. I want to focus on real goals and spend less time passively watching and waiting. I want to spend more time being brave, being reflective, and doing what I know is right and good.

So, this week I will:

Wake up earlier. 7:00 AM is ok for weekends but Monday through Friday need to be work days again and the writing needs to start by 6:00 whether it’s blog posts, journal entries, a course assignment, a poem, an essay, or an idea for a larger project I just have to begin and the earlier the better.

Update: I set a new alarm for 6:00 AM but I had set it to vibrate only since I am a light sleeper and my wife is not. I didn’t want to wake her before her own alarm at 7:00. Most mornings I heard it and most of those mornings I was able to get out of bed. One thing I have learned is that the hardest part is getting up. After that, it’s easy to stay up…mostly.

Finish one week each of courses The Science of Well-Being and Memoir and Personal Essay: Managing Your Relationship with the Reader. I’m already behind in Memoir and Personal Essay because it got hard, and I started stalling but even though this goal is small, finishing these courses is one thing I’d like to be able to say I completed before the summer starts and I have to return to work.

Update: The Science of Well-Being is easy enough, I just wish I had access to a printer so I could fill out the handout and track my happiness and emotions as I work through the videos and readings. Memoir and Personal Essay is giving me a harder time since the first writing assignment prompt contained parameters I didn’t feel I could meet but then I decided to stop prying to be perfect and just try to be productive.

Clean my side of the “creativity room”. I write best from my desk but when the area gets too cluttered or disorganized, I migrate to the kitchen table, or the couch, or, worst of all, the bed. I can’t write or work in any of those alternate places without suffering severe distraction. The answer is to set aside one hour this week to

Update: My side is such a mess that I don’t even know where to begin, so I didn’t Most of it is post-it notes and loose leaf paper I’ve written a variety of notes on from writing ideas, to shopping lists, to to-do items, reminders, wish lists, and projects. Some pages contain a little of everything and most are so out of context I can’t even remember what past me is trying to say. My goal is to decipher, type, and organize as many of these notes as I can, but the task is daunting. Maybe next week…

Eat, sleep, move, and hydrate. I’ve been, as my wife puts it, forgetting I am hungry. I’ve been going to bed too late and waking up too late. I’ve been house-bound and sedentary. I can’t even remember when the last time I drank a full glass of water was. I’d like to start doing better. I need to start doing better.

Update: I ate, I slept, and I hydrated, but I did not move nearly as much as I needed to. A lot of the reason was laziness, but some of it is persistent joint pain that is making me feel old, invalid, and depressed. This week I’m going to buy a new compression sleeve to support my knee, one that is more comfortable than the one I have and can be worn when I work out or go for a walk. The added support should ease the pain and raise my spirits so I can be more active.

 Watch less mindless TV and more educational videos instead, or listen to more podcasts or music, or read a book. Do anything to keep time from slipping away so quickly. The point is not just to be mindful of how I spend my time, but to be mindful while I’m spending it. Bonus: Spend less time sitting and more time on my feet.

Update: I watch less TV but I still watched more than I’d like. Still, everything counts, and better is better than nothing at all. It helps that my wife is also trying to watch less and that I have binge-watched pretty much all the shows I am interested in any way. Now I just have a few I keep up with and only one episode each of those a week to watch.

Finish reading Borne by Jeff VanderMeer. It’s an easy read and I’m already over halfway there but finding the time, or taking the time I should say, to read has been hard these past few days. All I have to do is trade some Facebook time for reading time and I’ll be on to the next read in no time. Bonus: Read some Essential Essays about Feminism.

Update: This book is beginning to bore me and when I get bored with a book, I start avoiding it. The problem is, of course, that the book takes longer to finish. The fastest way out is through and if I am not going to be the kind of reader who quits books when I don’t like then I have to be the kind of reader that reads consistently and quickly. Get the book over with, then you won’t be bored anymore.

This week I will not do only what is easy and only when it’s easy. The hard thing is always the thing I know deep down I should be doing. Sometimes I read so I don’t have to clean. Sometimes I clean so I don’t have to write. Sometimes I write so I don’t have to work out. I do the things I want but never when I want to and this week I will not give up so much control to my fear and cravings. I will not use one goal to procrastinate on another.


Photo by Aldric RIVAT on Unsplash