26 December 2016

Asking myself questions as I approach the new year, in hopes of setting relevant, and achievable personal priorities and goals:

What do I need to prioritize in the new year to be healthy, mentally and physically?

Personal recharge time.

Why is this important? I've discovered I really need it to remain rested and free(r) from anxieties.

What have I done well in the last 6-12 months on this priority? (positive reflection)

I have been feeling increasingly free/able to say "I'm going riding" and just go, no guilt about what is or is not getting done while I'm out.

I have also been putting things on a calendar for everyone in the house to see. I haven't had to be the only one tracking appointments, bills to pay, or other obligations. I deal with something when it comes up, rather than advance-worrying.

I have been doing "chunking" in chores and errands, planning to accomplish multiple things in the same trip/time span.

I have ended associations that felt stress-filled to me rather than relaxing: the writing group at the library, the Temple membership, the membership in GCLS.

I took tea bags and a mug to work and, while it hasn't been frequent, I have gone to the teacher lounge on quiet planning periods and taken some time for myself.

I have subscribed to podcasts I like, and unsubscribed from podcasts I found I was skipping or marking "played" a lot without listening.

I set a goal of finishing as many unfinished fanfic stories as possible before the new year starts, and made several updates. In the next year, I expect not to be writing new fanfic at all. I may have to spend a little time finishing a couple (I'm really close on most though.)

How can I achieve this?

When I feel a need to step back, do so politely, but without apology.

Not worry about the amount of time I'm "taking" and, instead, frame it as "giving" time to myself.

Set a to-do list that is reasonable

Include on that list time for myself.

Things to do during "me time." Try not to rest/sleep. Instead choose one...

Exercise. I'm really enjoying bicycle riding: 4-6 miles can be done regularly. Time: ~45 min (6 miles)

Tea, music, coloring. Keep these handy. Even at work. (set timer: 10 min)

Writing. Tell myself it does not have to become bigger. It can be a word picture or an emotion painting. (set timer: 20 min)

Reading. Short stories? Can I commit to a "pace" of one short story every two weeks?

For writing time (~20 min):

Start or finish with handwriting time. 10 minutes

Balance with type-writing time.

For reading time (~20 min):

Try to stay away from "fanfic" and established universes. Read authors that create their own "space"

Follow reading with reflection: what was good? bad? unique? trope-y? characters? setting? conflict? themes?

Well, that was a lot of reflection. My writing timer just went off. I kinda interrupted myself for a few minutes when I overheard, and then joined in, on a group of teachers and apparently PTA-types (moms) who were discussing middle grade education. I'm rather proud of myself for how I politely inquired and joined in for a bit. It was "deep" small talk and yet neighborly/friendly.

~ Dar