Julie and the gargoyle trudged to the top of yet another hill. This time, however, they were rewarded with a stunning view: a shining field of white stretching to a walled city full of towers that sparkled in the sunlight. Beyond stood several bridges that must span a mighty river, hidden below the snow. Then, fields and forests that stretched to the horizon. They stood together in silence, admiring the scene. They were almost there.
Julie scanned the city's skyline and quickly found the green copper roof of the Parliament buildings, their slopes too steep to let the snow gather. One of these was the gargoyle's home, she knew. She pointed at the clock tower. "You see that? We'll be there in no time!"
The gargoyle did see it, and for the first time in the whole trip, smiled. It staggered a couple of steps forward, and before Julie figured out what it was doing, it was in the air, fluttering awkwardly toward the city. This didn't last for long. A sharp wind rushed in from the west, knocking the gargoyle to the right. Its wing was still delicate from its injury, and its long convalescence had left its muscles too weak to resist. It flipped head down, then disappeared into the snow with a grunt.
"Gargoyle!" cried Julie, as she rushed down the hill towards it. A bad plan, as it turns out, as the wind off the river had created large drifts of snow against the side of the hill. Now they were both stuck. She swore to herself, then called out to her companion. "I'm coming! But I'm going to need your help. If we're going to get you home, we're both gonna have to do a lot of digging!"
Happy New Year everybody!
1. Dig, dig, dig. Dig myself out from piles of procrastination. My efforts at KonMari-ing my possessions have laid bare the mountains of work that I have left myself from at least a decade of procrastination (I wish I were exaggerating). It is time to make these piles go down now. They are holding me back from where I want to be. I brought some paperwork to my grandmother's to do over the holiday. There is no internet at her house, and she spends most of her day in her chair watching game shows, so I could work on them and still be in the same room and social and away from distractions. I got a ton of stuff entered into reference lists and todos, articles read, and other things dealt with, and SO MANY papers recycled! I even got some long-overdue Epic Quest planning done! It felt really good. I want to keep that momentum up and work on clearing out my various procrastination piles this challenge. Each day, I want to spend at least 30 minutes working on ONE of:
- ONE paperwork folder (they are already sorted by category)
- clothing repair pile
- sticky notes
- "to try" board game/DVD/video game/music pile (items from KonMari-ing that I have never tried or have little memory of, and have enough promise that I want to try them out to see if they spark joy)
- maybe pile of books (see above note; the books often need a little research doing on them as they have no descriptions)
- any other similar piles that I have lying around by aren't coming to mind right now.
I am only working on one category per day, as I seem to work best if I focus like that, and because it will force me to work on more challenging and boring things. 5/7 per week is a pass for this one, because Wednesdays might not be possible.
2. Keep on track. Keep moving forward. Follow my time blocking routine. In particular, complete the morning routine every day. I tried this in the last week of my last challenge (just before I vanished), after I saw @Starpuck's picture of her weekly schedule. It has really been helping me to make time for the things I always tell myself I don't have time for (or more realistically, forget that I want to do when I do have free time), like starting side hustles and working on hobbies. A lot of my goals from previous challenges are built into this goal (ex. brushing teeth and prayers are both part of the morning routine, which is my particular focus), so I should be maintaining my current progress. For scoring, I am going to only enforce the morning routine for now, as I can always do that and it is nice and manageable. If it is too easy, evening routine will be next. 6/7 is a pass.
3. So much to do, so little time. Check my todo app at the beginning of each new time block. I have a todo app (Firetask). I love my Firetask. It lets me enter whatever I think of throughout the day so that I don't forget about it. It reminds me to do all of the things that I mean to do, whether daily or once a year. I can code things according to where they happen or what theme they are so that I can find relevant things to do easily. I can make projects and lay out all the steps and then only see the next step to be not overwhelmed. (If you have ever read Getting Things Done, it is designed for that system). There is just one problem. I am not checking it regularly! I want this to be a habit of mine. I recently read a book that talked about the Triangle of Productivity (todo list, calendar, email, and also a note-taking app), and it inspired me. While at my grandmother's, I entered everything I had on loose bits of paper from literally years of procrastination into my Firetask, set up a category system that worked with my time blocks, labelled all my repeating tasks, and just basically got it all set up just so. Now, I just have to remember to check it! I'm not entirely sure how to score this, so I'm going to go with 3 times per day, including for morning routine, is a pass. 6/7 days to pass. This might change, as I'm going to try linking it with goal #4...
4. Digging is thirsty work. Drink a bottle of water per day. It is very cold, and the winter is very dry, and I have been waking up with sore throats and a hoarse voice for weeks. I forget to eat and drink when I am at home, and I clearly need to drink more. When my phone dings for a new time block alert, I will drink some water. I pass for the day if the bottle gets emptied at least once during the day. 6/7 to pass.
5. Let's have a digging contest! Try out new things to spice up exercise. One of the things I realized last challenge was that my core could use some work. I tried out a bunch of exercises as an experiment, and got DOMs the next day. I hadn't gotten them for a couple of months at least. That is a sign to me that I need to shake things up a bit. Plus, my bodyweight workout feels more like work than fun, so I would like to change that if I can. My walk/run days have been challenging. I kept up with ZR5K up to December, but couldn't go past that. The winter gear I have to wear inhibits flexibility and adds weight, and I was getting tired too easily. The cold air hurts my lungs (and I think is also part of the getting tired easily). And my road is a dangerous place to run in winter (slick, almost ice-like hardpack snow, hidden potholes, and jagged shards of frozen snow and ice in the centre). So cardio is moving indoors. I am going to pick a roughly 30 minute podcast, and listen to it while walking up and down the basement stairs. This goal will have multiple parts. Each week, I pick one of the following to do. If I do it, pass. If I don't, fail.
1. Figure out how to hang my gymnastic rings. Hang them and fool around with them.
2. Find out what the categories of bodyweight exercises are and find at least 2 exercises for each category.
3. Make a shovelglove and do at least one workout with it.
4. Make a story with a workout built in.
5. Go outside and come up with 3 good exercise activities.
6. Stuck in the snow? Be kind to yourself. Have 20 storytime plans done by the end of the challenge. How is this being kind to myself? I was given storytime duties a few months ago. Toddlers are my least favourite segment of the library population to program for, and I have only done it a handful of times before this. I have very, very little planning time at work and a whole bunch of other new, time-consuming duties to worry about. My previous storytime booklists for older kids and babies are only partially useful. So I am starting essentially from scratch, struggling to get a new program laid out every week while working hard to stay on top of my other duties. I feel like I am always falling behind. It sucks, and makes me unhappy. And unfortunately, when I have time to plan and am facing work that is boring and I would rather not do (a different issue), I have been avoiding it, which is obviously not going to make the situation better. So. I want to relieve myself of some of my struggle by building program templates (just add books!). Then I can refine from there at leisure, and rid myself of considerable anxiety. 20 templates built by the end of the challenge is a pass.
I expect these challenges to be quite challenging, but I am optimistic! Let's go!