Last month, my focus was on starting to develop a routine. Despite the fact that I would grade myself a C+ or B- at best, I think I am getting the hang of accomplishing minor daily tasks without the cheat sheet I initially thought I needed to get up and go. My mornings are still quite messy, no doubt... but now I at least have the anchor of taking my medication and multivitamin then checking my blood sugar. I have been fairly
good at making Ben lunch, and I cook dinner from scratch 4 nights out of 5. Ben says that the fact that we no longer buy soda and that I am cooking most nights has cut $100 from our grocery bill, but I am left to wonder what happens to the $100. I won't press the issue with him for a little while, because I am acutely aware that he got me a keyboard and has recently pre-ordered two video games. It's just that I put a third of my last paycheck into our Japan fund, and used the rest to try to make a dent in my credit card debt. I'm probably going at it the wrong way, though... and I know that if I'm really having such an issue with the relative emptiness of our Japan savings account, I should just suck it up and get a second job.
And I've been looking
... it's just that my lack of cred glares straight back at me. And then I get angry at myself all over for not seeking guidance about returning to school sooner, so I wouldn't still be stuck in this semester-long limbo. On the other hand, I could possibly temporarily return to the torture that is retail.
Anyway... this month is a month for progress and fine-tuning. Last month, I accomplished a little
. Last year, I would perceive the little I'd accomplished as accomplishing little
as in little to nothing
. This thought would have sent me spiraling further into the pit of despair. I believe part of the reason I would have thought so is because I am a terrible procrastinator. Being such, my "accomplishments" happen in very brief, intense bursts of time. I'm not sure I allow myself to feel a task is worthwhile unless I'm in a bit of a panic over it- unless it is something massive and looming.
I've finally begun to break away from this line of thinking... and it started with the dishes.
I HATE DOING DISHES. Yes, I have a dishwasher, but it still doesn't cover the time I take to scrub off food particles stuck to the plates that don't immediately get rinsed and stowed in the machine, nor our non-dishwasher-safe pots and pans. The problem with our dishes piling quickly has definitely increased since we moved into a place with a smaller kitchen and shallower sink. Despite the fact that Ben is usually very conscientious about helping with household chores that I detest, I mysteriously continued to be the one who got stuck doing the monumental pile of dishes.
Ben said he let them pile in the sink because he would rather take care of them all at once. I completely understand this line of thinking. When there was a single spoon and bowl in the sink, there was no work there. He hardly saw it. It's like when I'm given a month to do a ten page research paper. I don't go to the library to check out the books on the first day, because it's such a simple step. Hardly any work at all.
Of course, I would get stuck doing the dishes... because Ben's "due date" is not the same as mine, so to speak, and I don't want to nag him.
But I hate
doing dishes, especially piles of them... so I changed my tack and started clearing them as soon as possible. The task is so much more bearable, and my profound hatred does not flare at the thought of doing them, as it once did. And Ben's more thoughtful about clearing them on my schedule as well.
It's such a little thing and such a big thing all at once.
So, I'm building on that. Last month, my more notable improvements were: doing the dishes before they get completely out of hand, routinely taking my medication at specific times, preparing to go to bed at a reasonable hour, following through on my weekly reading (I'm even a book ahead!), and taking a more optimistic approach towards social events and meeting other people. The last thing feels like a big one, to me. I've always had a thing about going to parties, even if they are parties thrown by people I like. I won't really go into it further except that I am proud of myself for not having to be goaded into having a good time, for once.
Also, I've only napped in the afternoon twice the entire month! Huge improvement from the almost daily 3 o'clock pass-out.
This month, in terms of long-term resolutions, I plan to:
-continue maintaining my good morning/bedtime medication preparations
-continue reading program (sort of... will explain later)
-stay up after getting up (instead of getting up at 6:30 or 7 and then falling asleep 'til 8... a resolution I failed to meet last month)
-regularly make the bed (doesn't have to be terribly neat, for now, just neater than the heap of sheets it usually is... an unofficial resolution, but something that kind of makes me happy)
-eat in 5 out of 7 nights a week, improving my meal-planning in general and increasing my cooking repertoire
-use my pedometer more and work towards 10,000 steps a day
-check my blood sugar more regularly than just in the mornings
My goals this month are to:
-participate in the RPM 2010 challenge and actually complete it!
-clear out my studio
-finish Lilu's cardboard furniture (and possibly make templates/tutorials available for the DIY/CG comms)
-decorate the music room/dining area wall ("If music be the food of love, play on...")
Unofficially, I want to give myself one uninterrupted diarist hour a day, every day
, and no more. Today is excepted because this is post is particularly planning focused and I haven't gotten distracted away from it. Last month, I would start by firing up OmmWriter. It would take hours to write a post because I let myself get distracted, and at the end of it, it sometimes didn't feel like a productive post... so I'm hoping to get rid of that unproductive feeling by shortening my time and increasing my focus.
Regarding RPM 2010 (the musical equivalent of NaNoWriMo), I'm pretty excited. I am taking a different approach towards writing music than I usually do. Instead of going at it one song at a time and magically hoping it fits, I'm doing a concept album. I'm aiming for 9 or 10 tracks, and doing it in the style of Tuesday's Folly meets Your Favorite Stranger, a la Each Caress Is An Assault
(even though it's listed as TF, I kind of put it in the middle of the two), or the last couple songs I posted (my cover of Heartbeats
and the original Surviving A Natural Disaster
). The working album title is Cheap Science Fiction
.. I'm on the fence about dropping the modifier. I guess time will tell. I'm also on the fence about including an electronic redux of Analogue
, since... well, I wrote it YEARS ago. I just feel like it would go so well.
At any rate, I'm going to go through the music theory workbook Mike gave me for Christmas so many years ago and count it towards my book-a-week. (I'd briefly skimmed it once, but now I'll read it with more purpose.) I'm not going to exactly follow the single book a week timeline I started with and instead will use the workbook throughout the whole month while also reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
and Stranger In A Strange Land
My fourth book this month is a reference book on the glycemic index... which is why I'm kind of forgoing the whole book-a-week thing. I imagine my music theory and GI books are things I will be returning to even after the month is over, but I will try to increase my focus on them this month.
Speaking of my weekly readings... I read Catcher in the Rye
last week. I picked it up from the library the day Salinger died and read it in two days. I noticed a lot of people who blogged about Salinger's passing either loved the book or hated it. And some commented they loved it when they were a teenager but not so much when they read it again as an adult.
Personally, I hated it. The two things I read in High School that really stuck with me were The Perks of Being a Wallflower
. I still enjoy both of them when I read them today. And these books share themes with Catcher in the Rye
. There's what it's like to be a teenager, though sweet, naive Charlie certainly was very different than spoiled, jaded cynic Holden Caulfield, and Holden was not nearly as disturbed as Alan Strang. There's also identity and authenticity: the dynamics and dual personas of Charlie, Mary Elizabeth, and Sam in Perks
, Holden's unreliability and redundantly obsessive hatred towards "the phonies" in Catcher
, and Dr. Martin Dysart's internal conflict about "the monster Normal" and "fixing" the boy who blinded six horses.
But I absolutely hated Catcher
. Charlie and Dysart... they were thoughtful. I liked their contemplative musings; I could relate. Charlie was painfully introverted but vibrantly hopeful. Dysart.. well, he seemed to be in a place in life where the sharp edge of his cynicism was acceptable and it somehow lent him a poignant vulnerability. Holden was a brat. Even if you could get into context past the lingo and relate to being young, uncertain, and surrounded by phonies, he lead you nowhere
. He didn't even try
. That was the most depressing book ever.
I think I've rambled on long enough. I guess another thing I should work on is ending my posts on a more positive note. ;P At this point, I should've been 3/4 of the way through my conference call training for work, but my call got pushed back until after 2.
Tonight, I've got to fashion our meal plans.
Tomorrow I'm looking forward (and dreading just the tiniest bit) my appointment with my diabetes counselor/nurse, then my first Robotics II class, then a fancy dinner at Fleming's
courtesy of Ben's work (unless I misunderstood and was only told so I wouldn't wait up). Wednesday I've got nothing official... Thursday I have a tentative plan to meet up with Tiana C. I've rarely looked forward to an empty Wednesday with such eagerness that I have now.