Category Archives: 19 for 2019

19 for 2019: week 26 update

Coming up to the middle of the year, I’ve completed nine of my 19 things I wanted to do this year. That’s pretty close to half, although the pedant in me says that half of 19 is nine-and-a-half, which is rounded up to ten, so I should have completed ten things to be on track at the half-way point.

The realist says that’s ridiculous and that many of the things are more than half-finished so if you added in all of those to the mix, then the grand total would be way more than ten.

The pedant says that’s stupid and that a thing is either done or it isn’t done and only nine things are done. There is no part-done . . . and so I let my brain carry on its pointless argument while I actually sit down and do things. Or write about them, which isn’t really achieving anything. Well, it is. I like writing and I’m trying to improve, so any writing I do is helping me do this. I hope.

By writing these posts relatively quickly and publishing them, it’s also helping to reinforce the message in my brain that “done is better than perfect”, a concept I struggle with. I touched on this in my Weekend Wisdom post this week, and I lived the experience on Tuesday morning.

Tell me more, I hear you say.

To set the scene, I’ve been feeling more and more like I’m getting my walking back on track (see what I did there?) since I got sick in May and stopped doing my morning walks. I think it must be three weeks now, maybe four, when I’ve been for a walk every morning even if, on a couple of days, it was just to the end of the street because it was all I could do that day (because I slept through the alarm and had no time. True story).

On Tuesday, the “do what you can do” got taken to another level. It was freezing cold. I went outside for my walk at 5.45 and I could see frost on the road. What I didn’t realise was it was also on my driveway, which, although short, is steep. I discovered the frost pretty quickly when my feet started to slip out from under me and I just stopped myself from falling.

20190625 The frost that bit me edit

The frost that bit me

At first, I thought if I could just get to the road I’d be okay, but after three slips I still hadn’t got anywhere near the bottom of the driveway and I was worried about falling over. I slipped down my front stairs a few months ago and hurt my back really badly and I didn’t want to go through that amount of pain again.

I decided that walking wasn’t worth the risk of injuring myself and I stopped trying and went back inside. My fitness will not dramatically drop off because I missed one day. My health is my top priority, and I decided that if going for a walk presented a risk to my health that outweighed any benefit, I wouldn’t walk.

I told myself that I had walked to the extent that it was possible to walk that morning. I had followed the routine. I’d got up, got dressed and gone outside to walk.  Just like the days when I only get to the end of the street and that’s okay if it’s all I can do that day, on Tuesday I got out of the house and onto the driveway and, in the circumstances, that’s all I could have done. It was my personal best that day. It was different from what my personal best would have been the day before and different from what it would be tomorrow. But it was okay for that day.

Was it a perfect morning walk? No. Did I do the best I could do in the circumstances? Yes. Was I happy with that? Yes.

I’ve told myself time after time that done is better than perfect and that “done” looks different every time. It’s an antidote to the other voice in my head that whispers “it has to be perfect or it’s not worth doing”. That’s the voice that usually wins, despite every argument I throw against it.

But lately, I’ve been noticing a shift. The “done is better” voice is getting stronger and drowning out the whispers of the perfectionist. I’m starting to feel like it’s okay to call something done if I’ve done the best I can with what I had in the circumstances I was in at the time.

It’s one thing to know something and another thing entirely to believe it and to live your life by it and I wonder why, having known this is true for many years, I didn’t accept it sooner. How different my life might have been if I had fully accepted this belief 10 or 20 years ago. But I didn’t, and there’s no point wondering. I’m learning to accept it now, and how I take it forward into the rest of my life is what matters, not what might have been, because I can’t change that.

I suppose it’s part of the journey of life that it takes time to incorporate new beliefs into your way of thinking and behaving. You can see the same phrase over and over again, read countless articles that say the same things from different angles and sit there nodding your head, thinking, “I have to start doing this”, but when it comes down to it, you carry on as you always have because you don’t really believe it.

Changing long-held beliefs is like trying to change any other habit you’ve had for a long time and struggled to break. It doesn’t happen overnight. You don’t just wake up one morning and say, “hey, I’m not going to beat myself up for not being perfect any more” and never do it again, just like you don’t wake up one morning and decide to quit smoking and never do it again. (Well, I suppose some people do, but they are not me. I struggle with replacing behaviours that don’t support me with ones that do, so it comes as no surprise that I also struggle with replacing beliefs that don’t serve me with ones that do.)

I hope Tuesday morning is a turning point for me in my quest to overcome perfection. I hope that it has started to prove to me that it’s okay when my best isn’t really very good because what matters is that I did it, even though it wasn’t perfect. And that tomorrow I will have a chance to do it better. (And I did go for a walk in the middle of the day after the frost had gone.)

20190625 Hinsby Beach 2 edit

Lunch time walk

And so, to the pedantic perfectionist, which is still arguing with the realist, it’s half-way through the year and I’ve completed nine of my 19 things. Nine! Yay! You need to remember this was a wish list to guide me through the year, not a rigid set of goals that I had to achieve no matter what. Nine things completed and eight more in progress is tracking pretty well at the half-way point. So thanks for your thoughts but I’ll let that one go.

This week I only progressed three things.

Wait, no. I progressed three things. Three is good. I had a lot of other things on. I progressed three things on my wish list. Great!

I didn’t do any work on the photo course or Lightroom (things 1 and 19).

I’m working on trying to re-establish my evening routine and get to bed at a reasonable hour (thing 6) but I’m struggling turning my computer off at night when I’m not being productive, I’m just mindlessly scrolling and surfing. It might be relaxing but it’s not giving me the kind of rest that I really need.

I think I need to approach this with the “personal best” mindset, which is that any night where I get more sleep than I normally do is better than beating myself up because I didn’t turn the computer off at my scheduled shut down time and be in bed with the light off at precisely 10.30. No one will die if I’m still brushing my teeth at 10.35. The aim is a gradual shift into building the habit, just like I gradually got walking back into my life.

I stuck November’s collages into my photojournalist (thing 11) and I spent some more time tinkering with the draft list to go into the bucket list journal (thing 18).

20190628 Argyle & Davey St 754am edit

My favourite @hobartstreetcorners photo from this week

Status for week 26

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed to date: 9 (3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15)
  • Things I progressed: 3 (6, 11, 18)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress:  5 (1, 2, 16, 17, 19)
  • Things not started: 2 (10, 14)

19 for 2019: week 25 update

Week of 17 June

A couple of conversations with people this week have reassured me that I’m not the only one who is feeling miserable and downcast during these short, dark, cold winter days and I’m not the only one who prefers to hibernate rather than be around crowds of people at Dark Mofo. Instead, I went to a simple Winter Solstice candle ceremony with my yoga teacher and a small group to welcome the returning light. I know we have a long way to go to get through winter, but this was a lovely way to pause, reflect and think about what I want to shine my own light on over the coming year.

I made a little progress on my 19 for 2019 list. I watched two videos for my photo class (thing 1) and then I hid myself away for an afternoon to work on some assignments in Lightroom (thing 19). I completed four over the weekend.

20190624 Week 25 1

My wellbeing work (thing 6) has been around getting an evening routine into place and going to bed earlier. I’ve been trying to do this for years and have never made it stick. I wrote about a previous attempt in 2016, where I looked at the bedtime routine structure that Lisa Byrne put together in her book Replenish.

Lisa describes the bedtime routine as “a bridge from where you are at the end of the day to a place where your body and mind are ready to fall into a deeper level of rest”. Its purpose is to “slowly disengage you from the world and bring you back inward to yourself to ready your self for deep restorative sleep”.

She outlines four basic steps. First you cut your connection to the world for the night, by finishing up the jobs you have to do and turning off your screens and devices. You should have a fixed time to do this.

Then you move a step inward and do something to calm your body – it might be having a bath or a shower, washing your face, doing some light stretches, something gentle like that. Another thing that many sleep experts suggest as you start your bedtime routine is to dim the lights around the house to make sure your melatonin (the sleep hormone) production isn’t disrupted by artificial light.

The next step inward is to calm and soothe your mind, so Lisa suggests things like inspirational reading, meditation, calm breathing or journalling can be good to get thoughts out of your head before you go to sleep.

The final level of transition is to nurture your spirit. Lisa says that she loves “including something before bed that aligns with [her] spirit and symbolises what [she wants] to bring more of into [her] life”, so she might do some gratitude journalling or prayer.

Lisa shows it as going a bit like this: World >> Body >> Mind >> Spirit (but she has a pretty diagram rather than words).

So I’ve been focusing on the time I turn off my screens and devices and the things I do in between that time and bedtime. I’ve been trying to get back to a more consistent bedtime of 10.30 and to get to this I worked out I need to turn everything off by 10.00. So my first strategy has been to move shut down time back by 10 minutes every night, which worked well earlier in the week but not so well towards the end of the week. Not to worry. Today is another day.

20190624 Week 25 3

Rather than design a multi-step routine that’s too complicated I decided to set up a few things that I’d do using Lisa’s basic structure as a guide. Some of them, like brushing my teeth, I already do but others are new, like doing some light stretches. I also decided that, since I managed to break my morning meditation habit a few weeks ago and have been unsuccessful in re-establishing it, I’d try and do that in the evenings as part of the “calm your mind” part of the evening routine. I keep forgetting! And finally, a new breathing technique I learned at a yoga workshop that is supposed to help you drop off to sleep easily.

I thought if I only do a few things, once I’ve built the habits up then I can start to add in other things, like reading or gratitude journalling if I need to. Or this might work just fine as it is and not need any more changes. At the moment it’s a work in progress and I will keep trying to stick with it every night.

I worked on the list for the bucket list journal (thing 18) some more and I stuck October’s photos into my 2018 photo journal (thing 11). I also got up and walked every morning this week, although on Wednesday either my alarm didn’t go off or I slept through it and my walk was basically to the end of the street and back (it counts because I actually went out and did it). I’m slowly starting to feel like I’m getting back to normal with my walks and am hoping that’s also a sign that my winter mood might be lifting.

20190625 Week 25 3

Status for week 25

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed to date: 9 (3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15)
  • Things I progressed: 5 (1, 6, 11, 18, 19)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress:  3 (2, 16, 17)
  • Things not started: 2 (10, 14)

19 for 2019: week 24 update

Week of 10 June

This week was much better than the last few weeks have been. I got up every day and went for a walk. I count that as a win.

I also completed another of my 19 things! Yes!

I had to go to the GP and this time I remembered to ask about getting a skin check (thing 4) and she agreed it was a good idea. I got a recommendation from her about a good doctor and I phoned them the next day to make an appointment. When they said they had an appointment available the next day, I decided to just do it and get it over with rather than drag it out to next week. So I did it, had a great conversation with the doctor about where he gets his very cool socks from and learned that I should be using sunscreen a lot more.

This is a thing that has been on my list for six years. I now have a standing task in my to-do list to make an appointment every year as is recommended for people with my Celtic Princess complexion living in this unforgiving sunny land. It’s either that or move back to the land of my ancestors.

I watched seven of the photo course videos (thing 1) and completed two assignments in Lightroom (thing 19) with photos I took last year near Lake Pedder. I’m working through the last few photo course videos, which are all around using different functions within Lightroom. I haven’t learned a lot that I hadn’t already figured out for myself but it’s good to see that what I’m already doing is pretty much on the right track and I have picked up a few extra tips and tricks along the way.

20190610 Assignment 24 1

A foggy day in South West Tasmania, July 2018

20190610 Assignment 25 1

The Needles, July 2018

20190610 Assignment 25 2

Serpentine Dam, July 2018

I watched this week’s wellbeing videos (thing 6) and completed some of the exercises from a couple of weeks ago, including looking at ways to better support myself while I’m in this winter slump.

I stuck a couple more collages in my 2018 photojournalist (thing 11), I did some work on my photo project (thing 16) and I googled some manicure places to work out where I want to go (thing 17).

I finished a list of 100 things to put in the bucket list book (thing 18). I want to sit with it a bit to make sure there’s nothing I really want to do that isn’t on the list, or anything that’s on there I don’t really want to do. I know I’m overthinking this, because there’s nothing to say I can’t change anything on the list and I don’t *have* to do everything this week (or ever). It’s just an inspiration list and I’m sure I’ll think of other things to go in there along the way (which means I’ll just need to get another book!)

Status for week 24

  • Things completed this week: 1
  • Things completed: 9 (3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15)
  • Things I progressed: 6 (1, 6, 11, 16, 17, 18, 19)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress:  1: (2)
  • Things not started: 4 (10, 14)

19 for 2019: week 23 update

Week of 3 June: Sunday 9 June 2019

My work has been incredibly busy the last month. I have been putting in long hours, not taking proper breaks and not taking very good care of myself. I haven’t been walking, I haven’t been drinking enough water, I haven’t been creating and I haven’t been going to bed on time. Some other stuff has been going on too that’s been emotionally draining. I’ve been feeling terrible.

As you might imagine, I’ve made very little progress on my 19 for 2019 things since my last update, which was about four weeks ago. I haven’t had the energy to do anything and when I have, I haven’t had the energy to write about it.

It’s a long weekend now, the immediate work deluge is over and I am exhausted. Saturday I spent doing very little. I didn’t even get out of my PJs, let alone go for a walk. I couldn’t even remember the last time I got up in the morning and went for a walk.

What I know is that not walking is not good for me. I could possibly excuse myself if I were getting extra sleep instead of walking but I’m not. I’m waking up at my walking hour and lying in bed trying to justify why I can’t get out of bed. I’m worrying about things that are worrying me and I’m overprocessing everything. It is not restful. I am doing myself no favours.

I realised this when my friend posted on Instagram a few days ago that walking for him is non-negotiable. He does it, rain, hail or shine because walking is his only exercise. It’s my only exercise too and I’m not doing it; therefore, I am not exercising. At all.

Exercise, so they say, is good for you and it is especially good for you when you are feeling as horrible as I am right now. So laying around in bed feeling sorry for myself has to stop when I can get up and go for for a walk in the sub-antarctic temperatures and have a real reason to feel sorry for myself because it’s so fucking cold. I can overthink all I like when I’m out walking and it won’t matter because I’ll be moving. I don’t care about steps, kilometres, any of that. I don’t care if I’m on Instagram or Facebook the whole time (sorry, Bored and Brilliant challenge). I care that I get out of bed and I walk.

This morning (Sunday), I let my alarm go off and I lay in bed thinking about getting up. I thought about every reason I had to get up and every excuse I had not to. I lay there for an hour with the excuses winning. I did not want to get out of bed. I finally told myself that I might as well get up and get it over with because I was going to do it anyway. I had committed to doing it last night. I was going to do it. I thought about what my friend had written and I told myself that I am no longer sick, I have no excuse.

It was painful, but I did it I got up, got dressed and went outside. I walked. I actually went for a walk. I know it doesn’t sound like a big achievement but it was so hard. I had only walked three or four mornings in the last month and it’s no longer a habit.

20190609 Week 23 2

Sunday sunrise

Now that I’ve done it once, I have to get back into making it something I just do, not something that I have to force myself to do. I suspect it will be a long, slow road back, but I have to do it. I have no excuse. If I don’t walk, I won’t move at all and that’s not a good thing for my physical health or my mental health.

None of that is in any way relevant to any of my 19 for 2019 things but I needed to write all that down, to acknowledge what’s been going on. Our lives ebb and flow through busy times and relaxed times, hard times and easier times. There are times we can work hard, play hard and then there are times we need to rest. And when the times we need to rest roll around we need to respond to that need and rest, because if we don’t, the wheels fall off the wagon and we start to lose our anchors and we end up in the place I’ve been for the last couple of weeks.

I don’t know if I’m fully okay now but I know that today I’ve done the one thing, out of all the things I could have done, that is going to be of most benefit to me right now. And tomorrow I will get up and do it again.

One day at a time.

And I did catch up on some of my things this week.

I watched a video for the photo course and completed an assignment (thing 1). I did some work on my photo project (thing 16) and then decided I needed to learn some more Lightroom skills before I actually do this work, so I’m focusing on that (thing 19). I think the rest of the photo course videos are Lightroom techniques, so I will be making progress in two things as I work through them. I stuck three collages in my photo journal (thing 11) and I did some planning for how to finish some of the outstanding tasks in my wellbeing program (thing 6). Yeah, I know, planning is not really progress, but I feel better having a plan.

20190609 Week 23 1

An assignment

Status for week 23

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed: 8 (3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15)
  • Things I progressed: 5 (1, 6, 11, 16, 19)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress:  2: (2, 18)
  • Things not started: 4 (4, 10, 14, 17)

 

19 for 2019: week 19 update

Week of 4 May

I don’t have a lot to update this week. I went to work, had a training course and went to a wedding (yay!).

I had a nice day walking around Launceston on Friday (more than 33,000 steps for the record) before I was struck down with a cold that has put me out of action since then (not yay!).

I took some nice photos though. 20190510 Launceston 00620190510 Launceston 013You can find more of the photos on my photoblog.

I watched the first half of the next assignment for the photo course (thing 1) and did a bit of work on one of the assignments in Lightroom (thing 19) but I haven’t finished it.

That’s about it!

Status for week 19

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed: 8 (3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15)
  • Things I progressed: 2 (1, 19)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress:  5: (2, 6, 11, 16, 18)
  • Things not started: 4 (4, 10, 14, 17)

19 for 2019: week 18 update

Week of 29 April

I went back to work this week. That always seems to take up an awful lot of my time for some reason!

I made some progress with 19 for 2019. I did some work on the photo course (thing 1); I watched two videos and completed one assignment. I have 12 assignments to complete. I’m waiting for something to arrive in the mail that will, I’m hoping, make at least one of those easier to photograph.

As the assignment I completed was a Lightroom assignment, I learned a couple of new things and had a few things explained that I was already doing but didn’t know why (thing 19).

I did a lot of reading for my wellbeing work (thing 6), which is probably not moving me a huge way forward but is still progress. I need to remind myself though that I need to actually take action on what I’m learning, not just collect underpants. (If you’re wondering what I’m going on about here, it’s a reference from the TV show South Park, which I wrote about in 2016.)

I stuck one collage into my 2018 photojournal and trimmed 11 more ready to stick in (thing 11). Small progress, but progress nonetheless.

And an update on thing 5, my reading challenge, which I’ve already finished. I finished another book this week and have now read 17 books this year, which is more than I read in the whole of 2018. This is almost entirely due to my habit of reading 20 (or so) pages every morning after my morning walk.

20190502 Time Travelling with a hamster edit

One of the best things about having a 12-year-old is they get cool books and let you read them

Status for week 18

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed: 8 (3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15)
  • Things I progressed: 4 (1, 6, 11, 19)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress: 3 (2, 16,18)
  • Things not started: 4 (4, 10, 14, 17)

19 for 2019: week 17 update

Week of 22 April

One of the things that’s on my 19 for 2019 list is to finish a photo project I’d been working on for a while (thing 16). It’s going to be fun, but it’s also intimidating, and I’ve been avoiding it.

I had a much easier photo project I wanted to do that I didn’t put on the list, which was to make a book of my 2018 black & white project.

This seemed too easy to put on the list because all it involved doing was uploading 365 photos into a template and then printing it. Easy, right?

Not so, my friends. I decided to use a format that had a cover page for each month with one photo and then a 3×3 grid layout for the rest of the month’s photos.

I’m sure you can see the problem. 3×3 equals nine photos per page, so three pages equals 27 photos. But there are 30 or 31 days in each month. February, it turns out, is the perfect month for this type of layout because there are 27 photos plus the cover photo (total photos: 28 days—thank goodness 2018 wasn’t a leap year) but for all the other months I needed four pages, which (4×9) equals 36 slots, for 29 or 30 photos.

So what I had to do was combine a couple of squares on each page to make some photos wider and some photos longer so that each month would fit neatly over four pages. I also wanted them to be in order because I’m picky like that, so it was a lot of work to figure out which ones to stretch (this didn’t work for a lot of the photos as they were square already and not suitable for cropping) and to keep the photos in the right date order.

Screen Shot 2019-04-25 at 6.55.02 pm edit

The joys of making a photobook

Yeah, let’s keep it real simple.

I started this project months ago and imagined I would come back at times when I had a few minutes with nothing to do and upload a month at a time and get it done over a few weeks. But, as with the photojournal (thing 11), it didn’t happen like that and the half-finished book sat there, threatening to be one of those dreaded projects I start but never complete.

I knew it was never going to get done like this and it was going to hover in my mind as something I had to finish, so I sat down for an afternoon and uploaded and sorted six months worth of photos and finished the damn book. Then (after a comprehensive review of whether the photos were lined up on every page, which may or may not have involved a ruler), I sent it to the company for printing on Monday.

Having never made a photobook before, I have no idea how this will turn out but whatever, I can tick another thing off my bonus list!

Completely irrelevant to 19 for 2019, and now I wish I’d put it on the list instead of the other photo project that I still haven’t made any more progress on. Maybe if I stopped writing about it and went and did it I might get something done.

Ahem.

I did a lot of work on the photography course (thing 1). I edited and uploaded some photos I’d taken previously for Assignments 14 and 17.

20190418 Aurora Australis 12 edit

Aurora Australis | 18 April 2019 | 5.21 pm

20190416 Twilight waterfront from Hunter St 08 edit

Hobart Waterfront Twilight | 16 April 2019 | 5.57 pm

20190416 Twilight waterfront from Franklin Wharf 03 edit

Hobart Waterfront Twilight | 16 April 2019 | 6.05 pm

20190317 Supreme Court 3 edit edit

Supreme Court of Tasmania

I practised with my new flash for Assignment 12 but wasn’t happy with any of the photos and my subject was very reluctant to cooperate any further. This one will have to wait.

I also spent a day at Mt Field National Park and have a lot of photos to sort through!

20190422-070 Lake Seal from the Tarn Shelf edit edit edit

Lake Seal | Mount Field National Park | 22 April 2019

I also started to re-examine my folio (thing 2) and, according to RescueTime, I spent 11 hours and 21 minutes in Lightroom over the week, so I must have learned something (thing 19). (I learned how to adjust the time on my photos, which is handy when you forget to change your camera time after daylight saving.) I spent a lot of Tuesday sorting out the catalogue again. I’m almost happy with it now. I attempted to merge some bracketed exposures but that really did not work out well.

I now have 50 things on my draft list for the Bucket List book (thing 18) and actually made a start on one of the projects I’m going to put in the book. Does that count as progress? I think it does.

Status for week 17

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed: 8 (3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15)
  • Things I progressed: 5 (1, 2, 6, 18, 19)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress:  2 (11, 16)
  • Things not started: 4 (4, 10, 14, 17)

19 for 2019: week 15 and 16 update

Week of 8 April

Most of what I did this week was around my photography. On Sunday, I spent several hours in town taking photos, some of which aligned (I hope) with some of the assignments for the course I’m doing (thing 1). I need to sort them and decide if any of them met the brief. (This one did.)

20190414 Waterfront from Mac 1 645 am 06 edit

Hobart Waterfront | Sunday 14 April 23019 | 6.45 am

I’m not sure that’s how you’re supposed to do these assignments. You’re supposed to go out with the instructions in mind and photograph those. I guess loosely, I did, because I had the theme in mind but not the exact instructions. (In the example above, the instruction was to pay attention to the foreground.)

I put some more photos in my portfolio collection in Lightroom (thing 2) but I really need to sort through it and keep on top of editing the ones I want to showcase.

For my health program, this week we were looking at proteins and I learned about sources of essential amino acids and combinations of plant-based proteins that can provide them all. I found some interesting looking recipes using beans and added them into my meal plan (thing 6).

I added a couple of things I want to put in my Bucket List journal (thing 18) but still haven’t written anything in the actual book.

Status for week 15

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed: 8 (3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15)
  • Things I progressed: 4 (1, 2, 6, 18)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress:  3 (11, 16, 19)
  • Things not started: 4 (4, 10, 14, 17)

Week of 15 April

Another photography week. Now that daylight saving has ended, it gets dark sooner and dusk happens earlier, so I took the chance to go walking after work a couple of days this week to take some photos in the later afternoon and dusk light for the photo course (thing 1). Like last week, I haven’t sorted the photos but I’ve done them!

20190418 Aurora Australis 11 edit edit.jpg

Aurora Australis | Thursday 18 April 2019 | 5.21 pm

I stuck four collages into my 2018 photo journal (thing 11). I’m more than halfway there now. I spent a day sorting out my Lightroom catalogue and working out what collections I need (thing 19). It’s learning by doing.

I learned a lot about healthy fats (thing 6) and I think this is part of my diet I’m actually doing okay on at the moment so I don’t really need to make any adjustments. Maybe eat more almonds. I’m sure I can handle that.

Status for week 16

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed: 8 (3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15)
  • Things I progressed: 4 (1, 6, 11, 19)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress:  3 (2, 16, 18)
  • Things not started: 4 (4, 10, 14, 17)

19 for 2019: week 14 update

Week of 1 April

After my massive week of achievements in week 13, I wasn’t anywhere near as productive in week 14 with my 19 for 2019 list. In fact, I can count the things I progressed on one hand. One finger, even.

Status for week 14

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed: 8 (3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15)
  • Things I progressed: 1 (6)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress:  6 (1, 2, 11, 16, 18, 19)
  • Things not started: 4 (4, 10, 14, 17)

Not to worry, I have the whole year to finish the 11 unfinished things and I can’t expect to do everything at once.

Besides, I’ve been busy with the Bored and Brilliant challenge. Well, I’m not sure if that’s actually an excuse. After all, the point of that challenge is to get me off my phone to give me more time to come up with creative ideas and get things done. I’ve not been on my phone as much as I had been before I started the challenge, but I’m not sure I’ve done anything super productive with the time.

It did make me think maybe I could add some bonus things to my 19 for 2019 list for significant things I do over the year. That would give me a nice picture at the end of the year of some of the big things I did.

So what did I do instead of my list?

Well, I wrote three blog posts about Bored and Brilliant, I went for a whole day without taking any photos and I deleted Instagram (and Tweetbot) off my phone.

20190403 No more social combo

Now you see it . . . now you don’t

I visited the Plants of Tasmania Nursery with my sister.

20190406 Plants of Tasmania Nursery edit

Plants of Tasmania Nursery at Ridgeway

I went to a local living festival in our area.

20190407 Lunch from Honey Child 2

Smoky Creole goodness from Honey Child’s Creole Corner

I went to a union stop-work meeting

20190403 Stop Work

Public sector unions stop-work meeting at City Hall

and I got my poor old teddy bear repaired.

20190402 Pandy back from the Dolls Hospital

He got his leg stitched up and some extra stuffing but I left his nose because that’s his ageing personality

Plenty of things to do!

19 for 2019: week 13 update

Week of 25 March

On Sunday I completed the month without alcohol challenge (thing 13). I went for a whole month without a drink. Yay me!

I’ve written a lot about doing this over the month and I’m not going to go over it all again other than to say I feel a whole lot more energetic, I get tired earlier and go to bed earlier, which was my goal for the month. I also lost somewhere between 3.5 and 4.5 kilos, depending on which day I weighed myself.

I was listening to the Happier podcast over the weekend, where Gretchen Rubin and Liz Craft were discussing, conveniently, giving up something for 30 days.  Liz mentioned that she had given up alcohol for 30 days. She said that she felt she was drinking a lot of wine mindlessly so she decided to eliminate it, and that if she decided to bring it back in, she would be more mindful and less habitual about it. She considered it a good way to break the habit and see how she felt without it.

Something Gretchen observed was that people give up something for a period (like 30 days) as a way to get into a new habit of not having that thing and that the 30-day “without” period helps them to rethink their patterns associated with the old habit. But she also found that sometimes people give up something and think they have created a habit whereas, in reality, they have just achieved a goal, that is, the month. And that if they want to keep going it’s harder, because having reached the goal they have to start again, which she suggests can be harder than the initial abstinence. To avert this, Gretchen says you need to think of the month as a milestone in a bigger change that you’re making, not as an end goal.

In the chapter on rewards in her book Better than Before, Gretchen discusses this topic and she observes that “the real test of a 30-day blast is what happens on day 31”. She recommends that if you do this type of thing with a view to kickstarting a new habit, you should decide in advance what you’re going to do to keep the habit going after you’ve reached the milestone.

Last time I gave up alcohol I hadn’t thought about this at all and day 31 was Friday and there may have been a very large can of a product I very much enjoy consuming waiting for me . . . and it ended at 30 days.

This time, day 31 was actually day 32 and it was Monday and I’d already decided that I’m going to reinstate the habit I’d been trying to bring in for many months of not drinking on a school night. Like Liz, I want to be more mindful about drinking and make a deliberate choice about when I am going to do it, and how much I will drink, not just sit down at night and fall into that deadly trap of drinking and Youtube.

I have some more to write on this over coming days but right now I know the first danger time will be the day I decide to have my first drink.

This week’s numbers:

Day 25 (Monday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 16,2447 | Bedtime: 9.55

Day 26 (Tuesday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 16,292 | Bedtime: 9.55

Day 27 (Wednesday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 17,474 | Bedtime: 9.30

Day 28 (Thursday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 22,208 | Bedtime: 10.00

Day 29 (Friday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 18,485 | Bedtime: 10.00

Day 30 (Saturday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 15,707 | Bedtime: 10.00

Day 31 (Sunday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 20,645 | Bedtime: 10.00

With that step count, I finished the Cancer Council’s March Charge fundraiser with a grand total of 373 km for the month (73 km over my target distance) and I raised $420.62. And I achieved my goal of going to bed before 10.30 every night. Now there’s one I really have to keep an eye on maintaining!

I didn’t make a lot of progress on other things, but here’s what I did in week 13.

Thing 6: Wellbeing: I made a cabbage salad to have for lunch (actually that was last week). It was really good. Will do again. I added quinoa to it this week.

Thing 12: 33 Beers: Complete. I finished Book 10 and added in the beers I have tried in book 11 for a total of 345 beers. The idea is if I’m out somewhere and want to know if I’ve tried a beer before I can look it up on my fancy Google spreadsheet and find out.

Thing 19: Lightroom: Still using it.

Status for week 13

  • Things completed this week: 2 (12, 13)
  • Things completed: 8 (3, 5, 7, 8. 9, 12, 13, 15)
  • Things I progressed: 2 (6, 19)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress: 5 (1, 2, 11, 16, 18)
  • Things not started: 4 (4, 10, 14, 17)