July 2019 Goals : The Year of 1% Better

books, catholicism, goals, reading, running, year of 1% better

If you’re new here, I declared 2019 the Year of 1% Better. Here’s a list of all previous goal posts.

January: Goals | Outcomes

February: Goals | Outcomes

March: Goals | Outcomes

April : Goals | Outcomes

May : Goals  | Outcomes

June : Goals | Outcomes 

I wanted to write this up yesterday, but Henry was not too keen on the idea of taking naps during the day. Nor was he too keen on sleeping this morning, but I guess that is to be expected from a one month old! So quickly — before he wakes up now, I’ll share my goals for July.

This month feels chaotic. We move next week Friday, so even though I’ve been working on class prep, I also have been packing and organizing. I donated a large amount of clothing and books. We do not want to bring a lot of furniture down, so we have someone taking our dining room table and couches so we can begin again. Even still, I have a few things I would like to work on for this month.

Begin to run again. I plan on easing into this. I’ve been consistent with my walks, but I’d like to slowly start adding some running to those walks. I started on Tuesday — I walked four minutes, ran a minute. I felt ok. It felt very clear to me that it had been a long time since I’ve run, but I also did not experience any pain during or after. It was just uncomfortable. Slowly, I plan on adding on to the minutes, but for now for three of my weekly walks I would like to add some running time. 

Read a chapter of a book non-work related daily. A lot of my reading lately has been in preparation for the fall, mainly American history. But I want to make sure I get in some fun reading too. Ideally, this year I would like to read one novel and one nonfiction every month, but that might be a little much for me to start on. For now – just a chapter a day. I’m currently reading Isabella: Warrior Queen right now. I don’t know much about the Spanish monarchs, but this has proved to be very interesting.

Daily Angelus. I’m pretty good at morning prayers (well, at least when Henry is napping). I have some coffee and that is usually the first part of the day. The rest of the day is usually iffy. I’ve tried to incorporate more throughout the day (like a daily rosary), but I can never keep up with it. Here’s to starting small — this month I’d like to say an Angelus later in the day either around noon or later in the afternoon.

Once again — just some small things. I think preparing for teach has provided me with a great deal of my goals and to-do’s for now. I’m really excited about teaching this fall, so that is fine. But as usual — I do want to make sure I have a few things to work on.

What are your goals for this month?

 

 

A Review of The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction by Justin Whitmeal Earley

books, catholicism

Contains Amazon affiliate links. 

thecommonrule

It is probably Earley’s misfortune that I read The Common Rule at the same time I have been reading Francis de Sales’ Introduction to the Devout Life. The latter makes the former seem incredibly shallow. I will try to be fair, because I do think if you are the type of person who does have a chaotic, out-of-control life, maybe Earley’s book can provide a beginning place for you — milk before meat for beginners and all that.

After an anxious breakdown Earley creates a rule of life to bring peace for himself and his family. While eating dinner with friends, he vows to practice this rule, determining that limits are the key to freedom. He writes, “I had lived my whole life thinking that all limits ruin freedom, when all along it’s been the opposite: the right limits create freedom.”

It is a Christian book and most of Earley’s advice revolves around ways Christianity and the Bible can help us with bringing order to life. He divides the rules into eight daily and weekly habits — a daily example being kneeling at prayer, weekly one hour of conversation with a friend. The appendix contains how to ascribe some of these rules to different walks of life — for parents, addicts, artists. I thought this was a good idea — one size does not fit everyone.

None of his rules are objectionable. Most — like scripture before phone in the mornings, curating tv to four hours a week — are very good ideas. Also — they are measurable for someone who just wants to try something, anything to make life feel better and more manageable. Sometimes I think advice can seem so vague, but the actionable nature of Earley’s rule I think could be really helpful.

Here is what I had a problem with and I say this tentatively: I am not too keen on the self-helpification of Christianity.

Take habit no. 3 – one hour with phone off (which is small potatoes to any Cal Newport reader). Earley writes about the importance of presence in life — we learn this with the creation and salvation stories. Turning off the phone gives us more time with children, but it also has another important benefit — you can get more done at work! And get into the state of flow! Of course — this is true. But I don’t exactly know what this has to do with living a Christian life. I didn’t realize the point of Christ was to help me be more productive, but ok.

I’m being snarky and perhaps even nit-picky. Still — Jesus is not your self-help guru. I love self-help books. I love books on productivity, I’m not sure the point of living in accordance with the Gospel is to become more productive.

I do not not recommend this book, but after reading it I suggest picking up something else, like a secular book on the same subject (7 Habits, being my favorite) or if living a better Christian life is what you want, pick up Introduction to the Devout Life. It is a good starting point, maybe, but even at that it is lackluster.

A Review of The Wealthy Teacher by Danny Kofke

books

Something Bruno has been saying a lot lately is, “Boomer is not an age, but a state of mind.” A boomer is defined someone who considers measures of success, how things are going in politics by the stock market, their 401k, the gdp, etc. Frequently, he’ll say something along the lines of “boomers gonna boom” when discussing anyone who tends to fall under this category.

I joked last night that I was probably the “boomer” in our marriage. I’m the one who regularly listens to Dave Ramsey, keeps up the excel spreadsheet that charts our progress in paying our student loans, and reads all the personal finance books and websites. Bruno said he didn’t think so, because I don’t think those things are an end in themselves or the ultimate sign of the health of a society.

Anyway – I finished reading another personal finance book the other week. This one specifically written for teachers: The Wealthy Teacher: Lessons for Prospering on a School Teacher’s Salary by Danny Kofke. I thought it was just ok. I like common sense books about budgeting and money — things are fairly obvious, but I like having guidelines written down. This book is good for that, but you could probably find them anywhere else. It also contains its on “baby step” process makes a few divergences, but for the most part is essentially Dave Ramsey for teachers.

For example, he writes, “In most marriages, there is usually someone who is more of a free spirit and the other one is more of the nerd; in my case, I am the nerd.” This is straight out of Total Money Makeover, but Kofke never cites or provides his source. I think this really irked the scholar in me. Provide your citations and sources — this is basically plagiarism, dude! You’re a teacher. Do better.

One thing I thought was helpful from this book that I’m not sure the Ramsey-lit offers is the chapter on retirement. Once again we get into boomer territory. I think it is funny that we still have books that suggest that retirement is an option in the same way as it used to be, or even that it may even be desirable (especially for those of us who are not physical laborers). I don’t envision a retired future for myself playing golf, traveling, whatever. I like the idea of continuing to be productive until the inevitable happens. Most people have zero idea how to spend leisure time even when they work 40-50 hours a week. Do you know happens after retirement? You wait around and then you die.

But I digress. All the above does not mean I do not think you should be responsible and save for the future. Like I said, I’m totally guilty of being the “boomer” in our marriage. The retirement chapter is helpful if you are thinking about where to put your money, especially since most teachers will not have 401ks. It did give me plenty to think about for our plans.

Still — I’m not sure I would recommend this book. I mean it is ok. If you’ve never read a personal finance book ever, it is fine. If you are afraid being a teacher is going to lead you to a life of poverty and just want to be assured everything is going to ok, I think it has its uses in that realm too. But for the most part, it seems like ideas taken from other personal finances gurus and put together for money-interested teachers.

Thoughts on Laura Vanderkam’s 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think

books, goals, motherhood, pregnancy, running

Contains Amazon affiliate links. 


I re-read Laura Vanderkam’s 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think this week. I read it a few years ago, liked it, and of course, never implemented anything from the book. I never kept a time log, but I did like her approach to time management. Sometimes I just like to read these books for the inspiration and motivation.

This time around I think it was better for me. I’m not keeping a time log because I know life is about to be drastically different in the next few weeks or so, but because it was a good reminder that I can still have personal goals and ambition post-baby. Women do it all the time – she has the time logs (ha!) to prove it.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as I move toward the end of my 36th week of pregnancy. As someone put it, “Baby can come any day now.” Yet – I frequently have people tell me all I can say good-bye to sleep, eating, working-out, reading, any sort of leisure time at all, and lastly my sanity. I’m sure that I am about to achieve a real shock to my system, but are these things true?

I appreciate Vanderkam’s answer to that question: no. I’ll admit, I’m very excited to be a mother, but not at the expense of giving up my entire self. One of my big post-baby goals is to train for a trail 50k. I suspect training for that will not happen until 2020, but I’m thinking about it, planning for it. Is this naive because I have no idea how motherhood will take up my time? Is this a completely selfish goal? Or, with a lot of planning, self-disciplining, and my new Bob stroller is this goal doable? I think the answer is yes to the latter. I hope it is.

Anyway — these are questions I’m thinking about right now. I suspect I will return to Vanderkam’s book again as I recover post-pregnancy and begin the new job. I hope to pick up I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time and have been scanning through her blog archives all week, happy to have hope that having a family and personal goals (or even work) goals do not have to be separate or even contradictory. As Jennifer Fulwiler puts it, it really can be One Beautiful Dream.

April Reads 2019

books, catholicism, Harry Potter

Contains Amazon affiliate links. 

I did plenty of reading this month, trying to get my hour a day in. It often turned into a lot more than an hour though with all the post-dissertation free time. I’m still making my way through the Harry Potter series (I’d like to be done prior to the baby’s arrival) and through CathLit2019. I read a lot more nonfiction and had a nice return to some historical reading set in the Amazons.

One Beautiful Dream by Jennifer Fulwiler

I loved One Beautiful Dream. It was definitely one of my favorites for this month and I know I will be returning to it again. You can read my review of this book here.

Jesus of Nazareth by Benedict XVI

 

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

 

One of my April goals was inspired by this book. Sometimes Writing Down the Bones got a little too woo-woo for me, but I think it did have some great practical suggestions.

The Art of Frugal Hedonism by Annie Raser-Rowland and Adam Grubb

I thought this book was kind of underwhelming. You can read my review of it here.

Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier

I have a review of Lanier’s book to be published elsewhere hopefully soon. I’ll share a link to it is up, but for now all you need to know is I am not a cat person.

River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candace Millard

I liked River of Doubt. It combined some of my favorite things history, politics, and the Amazon rain forest. You can read my review of this book here.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling 

Goblet of Fire…the one where it all gets a little real, all too real.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Another re-read. There is a reason why Seven Habits is an absolute classic.

What did you read in April? Any big reads planned for May?

A Review of River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey

books, reading

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

I’ll admit I feel a little scatterbrained at the moment. This is why they say you should not check your email until after noon! I received some good news – an academic journal accepted one of my dissertation chapters for publication. As this will be my first ever peer review publication (after only two rejections and one revise and resubmit), I am very, very happy – and distracted – but mostly happy. I worked on my revise and resubmit edits after completing my dissertation and I was burnt out on Rousseau while working on them. I actually have not returned to a single word of Rousseau since I resubmitted. I think the break has been good and I’m going to continue on with it, even if I do miss my citizen of Geneva a bit.

Anyway – I recently finished reading The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard.  I may be taking a break from Rousseau, but I always seem to end up back in the state of nature. As might be suggested from the title, this book on TR reflects not on his presidential or political career, but on his journey on the Rio da Duvida —  the River of Doubt – which later became known as the Rio Roosevelt. She suggests that this is a response to his defeat as the Progressive Party candidate in 1912 as leader of the Bull Moose Party, but moreover a continuation of the “strenuous life” he had been living ever since he decided as a youth to “make his body” in response to his asthma.

What I know of TR has more to do with his political thought and less to do with his biographic life, but he has been a president who has always intrigued me. Frankly, it is hard to imagine a modern president today (whether a Clinton, Bush, Obama, or Trump) taking a life-threatening journey in uncharted Amazon territory to travel down a seemingly unknowable river. Politics aside, I cannot help but be impressed by TR’s rejection of the comfortable life post-presidency. Millard portrays this side of Roosevelt well. She describes him as not a man without fear, but as a man fear cannot control.

But it is not just TR that Millard portrays with interest. Each of the men portrayed are different characters – from TR’s son Kermit to the Brazilian native protector Rondon. But what is really interesting is the role of the Amazon itself. I don’t love it when nature is personified, but in this case (having spent so much time with Rousseau) it was a nice contrast to the idea of beneficent nature. TR describes this idea as: “The very pathetic myth of ‘beneficent nature,’ could not deceive even the least wise being if he once saw for himself the iron cruelty of life in the tropics.” If the book is a battle for preservation, from the explorers, the natives, the rainforest itself has its own stake in the prize – and it provides many obstacles from candiru, snakes, malaria, insects, piranha to the dearth of anything to eat. In the Amazon, nature is the opposite of generous.

One of the things I also appreciated about the book is that Millard seems set on presenting the story as it happened. Though she does psychologize TR a bit, she does not really create historical villains out of anybody. Rondon – the Brazilian explorer —  is clearly the most humane, insofar as he has his policy of peace never shooting at native Amazons, even out of self-preservation, and later, his creation of the Indian Protection Bureau in Brazil. But in this way, he is the most tragic. His work to create telegraph lines through the Amazon rainforest resulted in the continued destruction of Amazon natives. But Millard never takes the time to attack any of these men for their “backwards” ideas and I appreciated that. I just wanted to know the story, not a confession of their historical sins.

Overall, the book is a quick and easy read. It does not have a lot about TR’s political leanings (although you should know South America and TR are not best buds), but I think it does give several interesting glimpses into his character. I’m not a Progressive, but as I said above, I can’t help but admire TR. He is so different than what we have today. It is hard to imagine us having a president today with such a wide breadth of knowledge, interests, and daring. If ever there was a man willing to be in the arena, he was it, even when that arena was the Amazon rain forest and not in civilization.

A Review of The Art of Frugal Hedonism

books, reading

Contains Amazon affiliate links. 

Annie Raser-Rowland and Adam Grubb’s book The Art of Frugal Hedonism: A Guide to Spending Less While Enjoying Everything More is not so much a book of “why” frugal hedonism is best, but one that describes “how” to go about it. It is a quick-read with fifty-one short chapters providing tips for how to incorporate frugal hedonism in your own life. Some chapters are only about a page long. The book is meant to “be [a] primer for a life less dependent on the comforts of consumption, and more focused on extracting maximum pleasure from the most essential parts of being human.”

The Australian writers describe an early taste of simple things that prevented them from ever being too consumption-focused. Both describe early childhoods of that feature parents moving up in lives and how much they missed the original simplicity they were born into. I get it – this is all fine. But I think sometimes Raser-Rowland and Grubb miss the mark as to why someone may “want to move up” in the first place: i.e. security (at times they seem to take for granted that it is only a keeping of the Jones’ mentality – more, more, more). Granted, that is not the main point of their book, but there is a big difference in living the “simple life” because you have to (and what that might even look like) versus because you want to.

Most of their advice is fine but repetitive. They themselves even acknowledge that they tend to repeat the idea of eating a packed lunch instead of ordering take-out. Most of their suggestions are fairly common. For example – they recommend not buying drinks out at restaurants, take care of the things you already own, have an open relationship with recipes, and figure out what you really enjoy spending money on. Other habits such as “relish” were a little too twee for me. It kind of feels like it has been done before, though not with Raser-Rowland and Grubb’s hipster whimsy. Most of the chapters could have used more description, instead of just a quickly expressed idea.

That said, there were a few interesting ideas in the book. For example, suggestion no. 11 “beware fake frugal” is one to keep in mind. They describe fake frugal as “cheap to buy, but at the expense of someone or something else.” Examples they provide are kitchen products you constantly replace (like can openers) or buying white bread instead of the better, healthier wheat bread just because it is cheaper. This is something I always have to remind myself – one-time last year, Bruno and I decided we were spending too much money on groceries, so decided to change out some of our lunches for ramen. I still think ramen is delicious, but it really is not an actual lunch. Lesson learned.

One thing I did appreciate about the book is that Raser-Rowland and Grubb provide plenty of charts and numbers. I never thought I would be the type to appreciate charts and numbers, but it is interesting to see how consumptive habits have changed over the years. In the 1950s 75% of food was made in-home, now it is something like 50% (I was actually surprised that it was still half – I expected it to be lower). Their numbers relate specifically to Australia, but I can’t imagine that it is much different here in the states. When it comes to the history and data around buying habits and happiness, these two know their stuff.

I did really struggle with the style of writing. I suspect this has less to do with the book itself then who I think it might be written for. I made a comment that this is a book with all your usual tips, but with hipster whimsy and that just is not appealing to me. It is a personal preference, but I am not sure that advising me to “relish” or “not be a snooty bum-bum” are things that I find particularly helpful, or cute. I suspect it is a taste thing, but it is not helped by the fact that for the most part there is not much substance there.

I think this book is fine for neophytes on living frugally (that is this concept is completely new to them — although, I’m not sure how many people that would actually be), but for everyone else looking to enjoy life while save some money it will be nothing they’ve never read or heard before. And if you are really frugally-minded, there is nothing in here that you would not be able to find for free on the internet.

 

A Review of Jennifer Fulwiler’s One Beautiful Dream

books, pregnancy

Contains Amazon affiliate links.

I’m not necessarily a mom yet, so mom-guilt is not something I have (yet) experienced. I grew up in a house where my mom worked. She was an engineer and my siblings and I went to daycare and a local babysitter. But as I have made preparations for the future — Bruno and I accepting teaching jobs, getting childcare for the new baby (yes, we’re doing daycare), and just thinking about what life will be like (I won’t say planning, because I know how that goes) – I have noticed the quickness with which people are willing to make frankly judgmental general comments and how it often can lead to, at least in myself, a lot of self-doubt.

Most books about working and motherhood seem to go either all in one direction (how to be the big bad career woman while being a mom) or completely in the other (careers are bad, you must stay at home to be a good mom). But what about the person in the middle? The person who wants to work (in this case, for me, be a teacher) but has no desire to be at a Sheryl Sandberg-level in anything (I wouldn’t have time to mom, let alone run, read, write, make sourdough bread — my own version of a “beautiful dream” — you get the picture). Jennifer Fulwiler’s book One Beautiful Dream: The Rollicking Tale of Family Chaos, Personal Passions, and Saying Yes to Them Both came at the right time for me.

Fulwiler writes about the period of time when she started writing again and wrote her first book Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It (I have yet to read it, but after this book it is definitely on the list). During these time she juggled writing and childcare and the guilt that comes with both putting off your goals and the fear that you are putting effort into your personal goals at the expense of your children. Though she determines you can have both, I don’t think she means you can have both in the way that the infamous Anne-Marie Slaughter article declares is impossible.

I think this book is a great antidote to the idea that you can only have one or the other — motherhood or personal passion, or even the way “having it all” is encouraged today. It does this through common sense. When feeling guilt about not spending all her time with her growing family, Fulwiler writes, “Now I suddenly realized that mothers throughout history never did this; they never had time. Children’s primary sources of entertainment were outdoor play and other kids, not their mothers.” Reflecting back on my own family, this seems true. My paternal grandmother had fifteen children on a dairy farm. I highly doubt her day was spent catering to my aunts and uncles. She had a lot of work to do — cows don’t milk themselves, you know. Granted, milking cows is not the same as following a personal passion (well, unless you are my father) — but I suspect the time given to running a farm is requires more time away from your kids than that of the latter.

The image Fulwiler presents is a sort of happy chaos. There is no separation of family and writing. It goes better when they are all together. Towards the end of the book, when Fulwiler is finishing her manuscript, she describes a great scene where she is driving around with her kids. She parks to write while they keep the baby entertained. When the baby gets fussy, they drive around again and repeat the process. It turns out to be one of the best chapters. I’ll admit my German love of order opposes everything about this (this love of order will certainly get a shock to the system in two months), I think it recognizes an important truth. When you get rid of the standard of perfectionism, what you love can work together.

There’s a very simple line in the book that did stick with me. She writes, “I walked back to my car with no answers, only a strong that somehow, it would all work out.” We tend to tell each other it will work out all the time to the point of cliche, but also, for the most part, tends to be true. Fulwiler presents no solutions, no plans, no seeking of perfection, just an assurance that pursuing motherhood and pursuing personal passions can work out. This future mother who has an abundance of personal passions hopes she is right.

February/March Reads 2019

books, reading

I wish I could say I followed up my dissertatin with serious tomes and plenty of reading, but not so much. I have been burnt out, so it has actually been hard to focus on books at all. I had quite a few start-and-stops and I hardly ever quit a book I have started. All book links are to Amazon, where I make a small commission.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

ChamberofSecrets.jpg

I make a point to re-read Harry Potter during the Thanksgiving to New Year season, but I was trying to finish up dissertation work, so Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets did not get finished until post-defense. Ah, it is probably my favorite of the earlier ones. That joke Ron makes after extensively cleaning the trophy for service to the school about it probably being for the person who killed Moaning Myrtle? Priceless.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

PrisonerofAzkaban.jpg

I have the hard copies of all the Harry Potter books except for Prisoner of Azkaban. I keep meaning to buy it hard-copy, but also keep forgetting.

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

I wrote a review of this book a few weeks ago. I still highly recommend.

The Power of Meaning by Emily Esfahani Smith


I thought The Power of Meaning: Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed with Happiness was just ok. I think the premise is fantastic. We are all hustling for happiness, but what if being happy is not really the point? What if purpose is? That is an idea, a truth really, I can get behind. But everything was else was just sort of ok.

The Grace of Enough by Haley Stewart

In some ways The Grace of Enough: Pursuing Less and Living More in a Throwaway Culture is related to the previous book, but I think it is so much better because it is a look at an individual’s pursuit of purpose in a culture that is constantly screaming more. Moreover, where Esfahani emphasized that purpose can be found in secular life, I think I related to (needed) the Catholic message of this book. I loved it so much, I am reading it again right now. This book was also my #CathoLit2019 read created by the author, Haley Stewart of Carrots for Michaelmas.

Current Reads :

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (of course)

Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration by Benedict XVI

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg

One Beautiful Dream: The Rollicking Tale of Family Chaos, Personal Passions, and Saying Yes to Them Both by Jennifer Fulwiler

The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis — a quick note on this one. Bruno and I have been reading a chapter or two together out loud in the evenings. We had always wanted to do this, but would be a bit too lofty in our ambitions and pick a big dense classic, but this book seems to work perfectly well for some evening reading after a long day.

What are some of your February and March readings? Anything you particularly liked? Disliked? What are you reading now? I’m always looking for new books to add to my kindle.

March 2019 Goals : The Year of 1% Better

goals, graduate school, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, pregnancy, reading, year of 1% better

We are already almost at the end of March (hello, spring!) and I have yet to post my 1% goals for the month. I have also failed to say how the goals for February went. All you need to know is that everything went by the way-side, but I did submit and successfully defend my dissertation. Still a huge win.

If you’re new here, I declared 2019 the year of 1% better. You can see January goals here and outcomes here and February goals here.

I’ll admit that I began this month kind of unfocused and burnt out. What is the saying they used to say about March weather? It comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb (where does this actually happen?). I came into March like a slug, a very tired slug. I’m not exactly at “let’s get after it” levels yet. In fact, by the afternoon I am so worn out that I find myself catatonicly sitting on the couch, wishing for ice-cream, trying not to scroll through social media (still a 1% goal).

Part of this I suspect is the post-dissertation “what do I do with myself?” feeling. The other part is pregnancy. I’ve been sleeping terribly. I’m trying to take this time to relax, but as I told Bruno, “I don’t know how!” I also told him, after a few days of traveling, that “the best vacation one can give oneself is a consistent routine.” I am trying to give myself the latter as best I can.

So what am I trying to accomplish for March?

Down-sizing. Baby is actually not the only big change to happen this summer. I’ll share more when it is all official, but we are starting to downsize to prepare to move. I joke that I’m going full Marie Kondo, except I assure you I am not thanking my clothes as I put them into trash bags to give to my sisters as hand-me-downs. The two big areas I’m focusing on this month are my closet as I can’t wear most of my clothes right now anyways and several boxes of class notes. Taking advantage of my mental burn-out, I’m spending some quality time at the scanner so I can send boxes of paper to the recycling bin. I suspect the paper overload will take me all the way up to the big day, but it is nice to see the amount dwindle now.

Finish a revise and resubmit for an academic journal article. This is the one goal I can already tell you I am struggling. At this point, it is a monkey on my back I just want to get off. I’m very happy (and grateful) to have received a very positive and helpful revise and resubmit, but I need a Rousseau break. If I can be done with this, no Rousseau for April. Those are the rules. Also, I still very much love Rousseau.

Relax. I’m trying to take some more time for reading. If I want to take a nap in the afternoon, I do not try to push through. Usually I’ve been calling it a day at around noon before I go to CrossFit. Whatever I have gotten done at that point is good enough. Little steps are fine right now. I am lucky that at this point, I can take the time to just do nothing if I need to. I’m not sure how to enjoy doing nothing, but that is a problem for another time.

And that is it! There are a few repeats from previous months. I’m still working through my #CathLit2019 books and trying to avoid social media during the week. Both need a bit of revitalization, so hopefully if I came into March like a slug, I can refocus and leave like a lion? Or pick some sort of fierce, but relaxed animal.

What are your goals for March? How have they been going?