March 18th, 2005

You might think my getting around to my February Progress Report by mid-March is late, but my former boss can tell you I’ve always been bad about monthly reports, and a couple of weeks late is actually pretty prompt for me. Not that I’m not going to try and get these things done in the first week of the month from now on, I’m just saying.

To review, my resolutions are here and how I did in January is recorded here. I’m going to break this down into categories from now on, in an attempt to be more concise and not have to re-explain every month. The categories will be : writing, blogging, reviewing more of what I read, losing weight, walking Sergei, exercising, learning a new craft or hobby, simplifying my life, submitting for publication, listening for the voice of God.

Ten different resolutions! What was I thinking?

  • Writing – I’m still working on the novel YWGYSL. I gave “Loyal Companion” a reworking, but I’m still not pleased with it. I looked at “Egghead Kingdom” and started making cuts, but didn’t finish. There were a couple of poems written (terrible, as usual). As an experiment, I wrote part of “Loyal Companion” from a different point of view, hoping to clarify some things that way. I’m going to have another go at that story at some point. Other writings include three-quarters of an essay on a religious topic, but I’m not happy with it, and I’m letting it sit for a bit before I go back to it. February had 21 writing days, though Sophia was off for three of them, so that makes 18. My word count total for the month should have been 18,000 words, but alas, was only a pathetic, measly, pitiful 13,157. That’s very close to what I wrote in January, but in February this is a shortfall of only 4843 words, which is better than the over six thousand words I was short in January. I’m still hoping to do better this month.
  • Blogging – I surpassed myself here. February is a victory month in the blogging arena. I blogged at least three times every week (except the first week) and towards the end of the month I blogged five or six times a week. Strangely, I’m still massively behind in the things I’d like to blog about. I find that I almost always have more to blog about than time (or energy) with which to blog. I wonder if maybe some of these topics that I think I ought to blog on might be better suited to different incarnations, instead. Maybe essays. I don’t know. It’s also possible that this resolution may be left by the wayside due to my new internet time strictures. On the other hand, since I mostly blog in ecto and not in a browser window, I may decide blogging doesn’t count against internet vs. reading time allotments. I’m not sure yet.
  • Reviewing – This went well, especially given the feedback that I got from my reviews. Two notes from authors. Very cool. I again reviewed three books, but unlike January, they were all anthologies, which take quite a bit more work to review, in my opinion. I like reading (and reviewing) anthologies, and hope to keep at it. As an impetus to read more overall, which this is obliquely meant to be, it’s working well. If I do three books a month, I will have reviewed 36 books this year. That would rock.
  • Losing Weight – Good news here at last. I lost somewhere between 2 and 3 pounds in February. It’s hard to say which because my weight fluctuates kind of wildly. I think this is a fairly common thing for women. I have to weigh myself every day in order to see which way I’m trending. If I just hop on the scale once a week I’ll never get a good picture of what my actual weight is and whether it’s going up or down. I’m still a long way off the goal, but I have all year to do it, and am a lot less panicked now that I’m actually moving down along the scale instead of remaining more or less static (as was the case in January).
  • Walking Sergei – I didn’t do so well here. Most weeks I didn’t walk him more than once. He still got exercised, because for several days each week Sophia and I played outside in the yard and a neighboring dog came over and romped with Sergei. However, the purpose of walking him is twofold : one part is to get him a work out, but the other part is to get me one. Going to have to do better on this.
  • Exercising – I did my mini-yoga routine at least twice a week, but on no week did I do it the three times I intended to. I find I’m often skipping it on Wednesdays (after writing group) for the extra 10 minutes I can get of sleep. Two times may have to do it, and will seem less pathetic when I get a regular yoga session once a week as well as the two minis and do better about walking Sergei.
  • Learning a New Craft – A big nothing here, though I am messing around with planting an herb garden, which is a new thing for me. I’m usually a plant killer.
  • Simplifying my Life – I’m unsatisfied in this regard. I’m consistently unable to get our grocery bills where I want them to be. Expenses keep cropping up where I don’t expect them. Worse than that, I find myself often in the mindset of postponing purchases, and longing for the time when we won’t have such a financial squeeze so that I can buy some things. Stupid things : jeans for Kurt, a new lunch box for Sophia, a couple of books. Nothing is getting bought right now unless it is absolutely necessary (and sometimes not even then). That’s not living simply. I want to do without for the sake of having things be less complicated and being less consumption oriented, not just as a stopgap until our house sells. If there was some choice in the matter, where I could prioritize or elect which things I’m giving up and which things I’m going to go ahead and indulge in that might help, but as it is the answer to every potential purchase is no. I need to have a better mindset about this. I want to arrive at a point where I have less attachment to things and less desire for things. Huh. That sounded a little Buddhist, didn’t it?
  • Submitting for Publication – Nothing here either. I guess the bottom of this list gets less attention than the top. There’s only so much one person can do, right?
  • Listening for the Voice of God – I’m listening. Was that You saying all that Buddhist stuff about not wanting material things? Just wondering. Seriously, though, I’m doing some things in this category but I’m not comfortable discussing them yet. That in itself is a whole can of worms. How I got so private about my religious positions and my spirituality when I come from a family of proselytizing evangelicals is a bit of a mystery.

It’s worth it to look back over everything I told myself I wanted to do this year once a month or so, just to remind myself of things I mean to do and remain focused on what I want to get accomplished. I bet I get around to walking Sergei tomorrow after realizing how little he got walked last month.

As a completely unrelated to anything else in this post aside : happy birthday to my brother, who had a birthday earlier this week and who apparently reads my blog. Hi! Also, I owe plenty of you folks who read faithfully email (and some who don’t as well). You’ll have noticed by now, perhaps, that I’m really not very good at email. I find that I want to give people thoughtful and lengthy emails but rarely have the energy or words left to do so. Please forgive me, and trust it doesn’t mean I don’t love you and don’t relish the mail you send me. Thanks. Good night.

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