Floating

I have sort of let things get derailed, and these weekly updates will not be added to the list!

I had gotten a pretty steady routine together: exercising in my living room, doing yoga before bed, jogging in the park nearby. I had been whining for months that I need to do something with my body, because each time I levered myself up off the sofa, I creaked and cracked and felt far older than my years.

I first tried a yoga routine that I found on YouTube a few months ago, discovered that the floor was entirely too firm, and bought a yoga mat.

Reconnecting with my body felt amazing. Hearing the pops and cracks in my legs as I followed the instructions of a soothing voice every night before bed is a great way to disconnect and wind down. I added my exercise routine, mostly lunges and squats and push-ups, and relished the soreness I would feel the next day. I jogged and loved the air filling my lungs and the feeling of my thighs and calves and feet all working together.

Then my routines crumbled. Getting started became a monumental task I couldn’t accomplish. I would try to rationalize the benefits, reminding myself that it usually felt good, and I’d thank myself later. It’s so much easier to get stuck in my phone and let the hours slip away, though.

I am working to let go of the ensuing guilt at “failing” to get myself started. I have read articles on procrastination and laziness and I know there are reasons behind these things, there are explanations as to why we can’t just do the things we want to do. There are ways to overcome these roadblocks, the task can be broken into smaller steps, I can set a goal that’s easier to reach: get dressed for exercise!

I don’t know how many times I’ve talked about this in therapy. Putting this out here is helping remind me of what I’ve already learned, and that’s useful. I think I’ll whip out the yoga mat, change into something that’s easier to move in, and put on an upbeat playlist.

Another thing that I’ve discussed in therapy is a sort of counterintuitive cascade effect. It’s part of the smaller goals idea: if my goal is to get dressed for exercise, then it’s easy to follow that up with some actual exercise. Even if I quit before I finish, like the time I tried to jog when it was ridiculously hot, I still achieved my goal and that’s enough to silence the awful Voice of Guilt.

If I write this blog post, it’s easy to then do something else, and something else, until I don’t have the energy. Even if I do stop at this blog post, I’ll have met my goal, and I can be okay with that.

I’m totally getting changed, though. For lunges!

Momentum and mountains

One of my most common excuses for not doing writing is that I don’t have a decent place to write. Since September of last year, I have a home office, but it hasn’t felt like an inviting place: there have been boxes and recyclable bags left unpacked since the move, the bare walls make a horrible echo, and there’s been a spare monitor at my feet when I sit at my desk.

No more.

I’ve been tackling various parts of my home in the past few days, finally claiming these spaces instead of leaving projects unfinished. I alphabetised my DVD rack and pared down my collection to what fit on the shelves. I mounted a painting, a canvas, and a poster. I came into my home office and emptied boxes.

One of these boxes was filled with a stack of papers that I had basically packed that way, the mountain on top of the file cabinet. Tax documents for annual income, investment and loan statements, the instruction manual for my toaster oven. Luckily, I bought hanging folders and labels years ago, so I started sorting through the pile, making a new folder whenever it was necessary (FIVE just for writing!). In short order, the mountain had been ground down and sifted into separate containers, clearly identified, easy to find if need be.

I had started with a simple task, and let the momentum from that carry me until the office was nearly done! I did take a break to eat something—this the result of ONE cup of coffee—and instead of returning to the physical stuff, I updated my CV and came here. Still time well spent, imo.

These are all things that I could have done at any time during the past four months, though I expect my neighbours are grateful I don’t typically use the hammer after dark. It just seemed like so much, and the thought of even starting with one tiny thing felt impossible. I at least had to clear a space and take down a box and grab a marker… it becomes easy to make excuses, easier to maintain them, even in the face of guilt.

I gave myself the benefit of having started and completed other projects, like reorganising my DVDs. I also put on an energetic playlist and had caffeine singing in my veins. I may have a box, a pair of rollerblades, and some paper garbage to take care of; but that seems like nothing against the mountain of papers I’ve already conquered. I’ll get it done.

Goals for this week

I bought my goals notebook with only the best intentions. Then “the road to hell,” yada yada yada, and here we are. Goals remain an excellent motivator for me, and so I am redoubling my efforts on that front.

goals july 21

My goals for this week include finishing the second draft of Climbing Yggdrasil (as well as the blurb), making some serious headway on Destiny, and keeping this blog up-to-date with my latest goings-on. I put a sticky in my notebook so that I can write tally marks for those goals with low numbers as I complete individual tasks.

December so far

obsidian word count december

It’s a little disheartening to see how long it’s taken me to write another 10,000 words since the end of NaNoWriMo, but I just have to remind myself that I’m still doing far better than I was before November.