19 for 2019; week 7 update

Week of 11 February 2019

Week 7 of 19 for 2019. This is going well! I should have made “update the blog at least once a week” a thing.

After a big week last week, things were a lot slower this week. I watched one of the videos for the photo course but haven’t done the assignment yet because I haven’t been at a location that is suitable (thing 1). I also got an ND filter (thing 7) so that is now one more thing completed.

I finished reading two books, both from my 2017 to-read list, Daring Greatly by Brené Brown and The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape. That’s now eight out of my 12 books finished (thing 5).

20190211 Daring Greatly

Read this book. Seriously. Do it.

I made four more photo collages for my 2018 photojournal and have 11 ready to print, so I’m up to week 30 now (thing 11). For my photo project (thing 16) I made a shortlist of about 50 photos, from which I need to choose my favourite 20. And I am continuing to use Lightroom and learn by doing (thing 19).

I entered the third book of 33 beers into the spreadsheet and have seven left to write up (thing 12).

This week’s baby step in taking better care of me (thing 6) so that I can do the things I want to do this year was to look at how I respond when something stressful happens and to try to take a pause before over-reacting and respond from a calmer place. The only situation that upset me this week I did not do that. Let’s just say I was very unhappy when my computer consistently refused to accept my new password, even though it met all the criteria, and then locked me out of my account. (Sorry, workmates within earshot of me.) I think I need someone to ring a little bell to remind me to put those deep breathing techniques into practice because these situations are exactly when I need them!

20190216 Sunrise Tarooona Beach 6 edit

Breathe!

I also forgave myself for smashing my electric oil burner a few weeks ago and found one of my old tealight powered ones so I can fill my room with lovely scents.

Completely 19 for 2019-unrelated, today was the 2019 Run The Bridge fun run and walk. I took part in the five km walk last year and Kramstable asked if he could do the five km run this year. He’d never been in a fun run before but he had been going out running over the holidays and I know kids from his class did it last year, so I saw no reason why he couldn’t. I signed up to do the walk with Lil Sis but, unfortunately, she got sick and couldn’t come so it was just me and Kramstable.

20190210 Run the Bridge

I’m doing it . . .  I did it

He took off at the start and I didn’t see him again. He texted me to say he’d finished. His time was 31:52, which is very respectable, about half-way through 1100 people in the race and faster than the average finish time for the whole field of 33 minutes. I am very proud of him.

20190217 RTB Barb & Mark 3 edit

On the bridge

I was about 1.5 km behind him when he finished, at my speedy walking pace. I had set myself a target of finishing in under 50 minutes, which I knew I would have been able to do in the past when I could walk six km in an hour but wasn’t so sure about now. My time ended up being 46:12, which I was very happy with. I was in the top 100 for the walk (91st), faster than the average time (53:07) and fourth out of the 46 women in my division (who says I’m not competitive?). To get near the winning time I’d have to be able to walk five km in 35 minutes. Somehow, I’m not seeing that ever happening at any time in my future. I’m a wanderer, not a power walker. However, I did have a look at the Female 70+ division and saw there were women there doing the five km in about the same time as I did, so that’s a life goal right there. To be able to walk 5 km in 45 minutes when I’m 70.

20190217 Tasman Bridge with no traffic edit

Something you don’t see very often . . . the bridge without any traffic

Keep on walking.

Status for week 7:

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

Week of 4 February 2019

20190210 Sunrise Taroona Beach 1 edit

Happy Sunday

This was a big week. Not only was it back to school week but it was Kramstable’s first week of high school. Yes, I am the parent of a high school student! Where has that time gone? It doesn’t seem like eight years ago I was fretting over him starting Kinder and preparing him (and me) for his first day in the education system.

And now, here we were starting a whole new chapter. Only in this chapter, he will be on his own. Where at primary school I had heaps of opportunities to be involved with Kramstable’s class, from parent help in his classroom in the early years, talking to his teachers in the mornings when I dropped him off (before he put a stop to me taking him in to school) and going on excursions to places I would never have otherwise had the chance to go to, high school is different. I don’t imagine there’s anything like that, no chance to be directly involved and to see what he’s doing at school. (Though I do believe there is an online classroom that his teacher is setting up so that we will be able to see what his class is doing so I’m looking forward to that.)

He didn’t want me to walk with him to school at all. That time has long gone. I convinced him to let me come with him on the first day so I could take a photo of him outside the school, and then I’d leave him alone for the rest of the year. The rest of his high school life. That was the deal.

I ended up getting better than that because his friends’ mother wanted to take a picture of the three of them on their first day at school because we’d missed getting a photo of them on their last day of primary school. He agreed, we got our photos on the school grounds, and then, with very little in the way of goodbye, they wandered off into the throng of students to find the teacher who was pointing the grade 7s in the right direction, with not even a glance behind them.

That was my first, and last, high school drop off. I actually felt okay about it. I think I got all the emotions I was feeling out when he finished primary school and once that was out of the way, starting high school was just the next step in a process I had already come to terms with.

I think Kramstable treating it as nothing more than another school day helped too. If he’d been nervous or worried I’m sure that would have rubbed off on me. But he was very cool about it all. I left the school, confident that he’d be fine.

As I was waiting for the bus to go to work, I scanned my facebook feed. It brought up this photo from 2011. Eight years ago.

20190206 Snail IG

Eight years ago

Eight years ago, the owner of this hand started kindergarten. Today, he started high school.

So it was a big week, which ended with me coming down with a very unpleasant head cold that put me out of action most of Saturday. As a result, I didn’t get a lot done to progress my 19 for 2019 list. But that’s okay. I have a year to do it and I know some weeks will be good and others won’t be. Life happens.

This week’s baby step in taking better care of me (thing 6) so that I can do the things I want to do this year is to continue to focus on staying hydrated and doing my deep breathing. I picked up one of these klean kanteen water bottles this week, which I really like because it has the sippy top rather than a lid. I’m finding I’m reaching for it more often to take a drink, whereas with the screw top, just having to unscrew the lid was an extra step that sometimes I couldn’t be bothered to take.

20190210 New water bottle edit

Bright orange makes me smile

In Atomic Habits, James Clear describes this as the Law of Least Effort, and he says that we naturally gravitate to the option that requires the least amount of work. He says to create a habit you need to make doing the right thing as easy as possible and reduce the friction associated with good behaviours. Taking off a bottle top is a tiny thing, but it’s still something else I have to do before I can drink my water. (Yes, I could probably just leave the lid off, or use a glass, but that’s not so practical for carrying the water around with me.)

I’ve also been reviewing my breakfast options to see what works best for me. A couple of the things I’ve tried this week have been the Chocolate Coco-nutty Granola from the I Quit Sugar for Life cookbook and avocado on toast. The avocado is definitely the winner out of those two; though the granola is yummy, it’s not overly filling.

I haven’t done anything on the photo course this week (thing 1) and haven’t put any more photos into my folio (thing 2). I ordered an ND filter (thing 7).

I finished reading the book The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyce, which Kramstable got for Christmas. He wanted to watch the movie on Friday so I read the book in advance so I’d know what I was getting into. I’ve now completed six out of the 12 books I wanted to read this year (thing 5).20190207 The Boy in the Striped Pajamas cover

I printed three photo collages for my 2018 photo journal and made two more weekly collages (thing 11). I entered another 33 beers in my beer book spreadsheet (thing 12) and I’m continuing to get more familiar with Lightroom as I use it (thing 19).

Status for week 6:

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

 

19 for 2019: update for week 4

19 for 2019: Week of 21 January 2019

My photo library collapsed last Sunday and this caused me a heap of chaos.

20190125 fire sunset edit edit

Friday sunset after a horrendous bushfire day in Tasmania. Puts things into perspective.

I was able to restore the library from a week-old backup and the photos were archived as well, so I didn’t lose them, which was an enormous relief.

The old software is obsolete and unsupported and I had only stuck with it because it worked for the way I structured my workflow. But it being so old, there will come an operating system upgrade that will no longer support that software and I won’t be able to use it. So I need an alternative. I’d been planning on keeping my old system in place and moving gradually over to Lightroom with just a few sets of photos so I could learn as I went. However, with the library collapse, I had a rethink of what I was going to do. I’ve decided that everything that I haven’t catalogued in the old system plus all my new photos will go into Lightroom. My learning curve has very quickly gotten steeper because I’m having to use it every day and do a lot more things than I thought I was going to have to at this time.

I guess it’s good in a way because it’s forcing me to use it and learn it right now. If I didn’t have to do that, chances are I would have put it off and stuck with the old system until the day I couldn’t use it anymore and would have had to make a move to a new system I had no idea how to use. So, thing 19 is well underway. I spent a lot of time getting familiar with Lightroom this week, and I discarded the folio I had set up earlier and made a new one that I think will be easier to manage (thing 12). I printed two photocollages from 2018 and one from this year and made the week 35 photocollage. 35 down, 17 weeks to go (thing 11).

I changed thing 6. I had a 12-week fitness program that I signed up to, started and never completed a couple of years ago and I wanted to attempt that again this year. But I’ve had a bit of time to think and decided it’s not the approach I want, need or am comfortable with right now so instead, I’m going to follow a year-long wellbeing program that introduces small, manageable, lifestyle changes each week that I will do my best to embed into my daily life. My aim is to work through the program and not do everything suggested, but to take one small change each week and really focus on implementing that.

This week it was to increase my water intake because it’s summer, it’s hot and I’m not drinking enough water. Strategy one is to fill my water bottle at night and put it right next to my walking shoes so I can have a drink before I go out for my walk without having to find my way to the kitchen and locate a glass. Like I said, small steps. Baby steps, even.

20190126 shoes & water bottle edit edit

Baby steps

My morning routine includes a walk, some quiet minutes meditating with Insight Timer (go check this out if you want a nice, free tool for establishing a meditation practice) and, as of last month, reading at least 20 pages. This is an idea I got from James Clear and it’s so simple I can’t believe I hadn’t figured it out for myself every time I glanced guiltily at my unread books piles (yes, piles plural).  I am currently onto book four for 2019 (thing 5). It is a fiction book

I completed the online writing course I was doing for work (thing 8). Now to start to use the tools in my own writing and try to improve it.

I went to the beach one morning to experiment with long exposure photographs before the sunrise made it too light. I completed that assignment for the photo course (thing 1) and started to do some research into ND filters (thing 7) so I can make these photos during the day, not just at 5.30 am.

20190123 assignment 7 15 edit

Long exposure, Wednesday morning

It’s been a frustrating week, but I think I’ve done a reasonable amount of groundwork to build on.

Status for week 4

  • Things completed: 2 (1 this week)
  • Things I progressed: 7
  • Things started but not progressed this week: 1
  • Things not started: 9

Things completed

  • Thing 9 (9 January)
  • Thing 8 (21 January)

19 for 2019

I’ve been mulling over my 19 for 2019 list that I posted about on Wednesday and I reckon I’ve settled on a doable list that includes a few easy wins (though some of them have been on the list since 2013 . . . so that may be debatable ), a couple of long-term projects and some things I would do if I just made the time to sit down and do them.

I tried to avoid putting things on there that are more like habits I want to adopt or improve, so that I have a list of things that, with a couple of exceptions, have a clear endpoint that I can cross off and say they’re done.

So, what is this list, you may wonder. Wonder no more.

19 for 2019

  1. Complete the 31-day photography course
  2. Make a folio of my best/favourite photos throughout the year
  3. Walk from Taroona to Moonah (just because it rhymes!)
  4. Book my skin check
  5. Read 12 books, at least six of which are fiction (I will keep my reading list updated)

    20181230 2019 reading list edit

    Some of the books I will probably read in 2019

  6. Do a 12-week fitness program
  7. Get an ND filter
  8. Complete the online writing course at work
  9. Take the coins to the bank
  10. Get my sewing machine fixed
  11. Complete my 2018 photojournal and stay up to date with the 2019 journal
  12. Make a spreadsheet to keep track of the beers in my 33 Books Co beer tasting journals and add in the beers I have tried from all of the books (I have completed ten of them)

    20181230 Beer journal edit

    Beer tasting journal number 11

  13. Go alcohol-free for a month (I can write up the beer journals in the month I’m not drinking beer. That seems fair.)
  14. Make one photo that I am really proud of and print it big, frame it and put it on the wall
  15. Explore a track on kunanyi
  16. Complete a photo project I started last year
  17. Get a manicure
  18. Put at least 50 things in the Bucket List notebook (This is a planner by Mi Goals for you to “dream, plan and document 100 things you want to do before you kick the bucket”. I know, make a list about making a list . . . I have had had this book for years and it’s sat on the shelf unopened. It’s either use it or get rid of it.)

    20181230 Bucket list book edit

    Use it or get rid of it

  19. Learn to use Lightroom

And that’s it. 19 things to absolutely, positively do in 2019.

The plan is for me to be able to look back at this list in 12 months time and have done everything on it. In her end of year wrap-up of 18 for 2018, Gretchen Rubin says that she was sure she accomplished much more in 2018 with the list than she otherwise would have. She says, “putting  items on the list, reviewing the list, talking it over with [my sister], seeing the list on the cork-board next to my desk, the desire to score a perfect 18 by December 31—all these mean I’m much more likely to get these things done.”

And, she says, it’s fun and she got a tremendous kick out of doing it.

So that’s my aim for this challenge. To have fun while getting things done.

Feel free to drop me a comment if you’re thinking of doing something similar this year. It would be fun to see what other people are doing along the same lines.

what to do with the photos

Last year I started a photo challenge on my Instagram account to post a black and white photo every day. It stemmed from a seven-day challenge on Facebook where the idea was to post a black and white image from your life with no people in the photo and no explanation.

I decided to keep doing it after the seven days was over and posted the images here on my blog.

20171210 Once was tree IG tweak

Once was tree

At the end of 2017, I knew I wanted to continue with the project but I wasn’t sure if this blog was the right place for it. As you can see from my description, stepping on the cracks is all about finding my way out of my comfort zone. Most of my posts on here are writing about the steps I’m taking and they don’t always have photos because often there isn’t a photo that’s relevant.

The black & white project is part of what I’m doing to explore the boundaries of my comfort zone, but the photos themselves aren’t related to the things I write about. They didn’t seem to belong on the blog. It felt like everything was mixed up and incoherent. A bit like my brain in January.

It finally occurred to me that it would make more sense to make a new blog devoted to the photo project—plus a couple of other projects that I’m working on—and to keep the writing here.

So in between going out and actually taking photos, stuffing around with processing apps and Photoshop, working, and doing school holiday stuff, that’s what I’ve been doing. And here it is straighlinesgirl images. Thank you to my sneak-peekers who gave me feedback and encouragement to go live.