Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | November 2, 2011

ROW80 Check-in November 2, 2011

Sorry this is so short and sweet.  One of those days!
Health:  I haven’t weighed myself–that’s a once a week thing, but I have been exercising and avoiding sweets , even during Halloween.  My colleagues at work got all my leftover candy.

Family:  Last night was a 90-minute conference call with my siblings, discussing my parents. Although we didn’t have a lot of time to reconnect, we plan to continue the conference calls every few weeks.

Friends:  I haven’t contacted a friend yet this week, but it is on my radar.

Writing:  So far good on the articles, but a major reference work I need is in the storage facility at the University, sigh. I have to page several volumes, but I think I’ve given myself enough lead time.

Haven’t worked on the dissertation or the book reviews, but I am taking tomorrow afternoon off to write; and we have Friday off for Homecoming.  Gotta love the SEC.

Creative writing: I need to do the exercises from the Tarot class, as I was getting some great ideas for several stories/novellas that have been swirling about recently.

I’ve been thinking about the blog; several of you have been writing about the problems with social media, and I have found all of your posts very thought-provoking. I’m starting finally to see a pattern in what I know that intersects with what I write.

Day job:  I have been taking it easy this week, since there is a lot of stress from physical ailments in the family, as well as the 90-minute call last night.  It wasn’t a great childhood, so it took a while to get over recounting  it to a stranger.

For easy reference, these are my goals:

Health: Lose ½ pound to 1 pound a week
Exercise 45 minutes a day 5 days a week
Stop purchasing and eating empty calorie foods.

Family: Contact each of the kids every week.
Devote one weekend evening to time with my husband.
Friends: Contact one friend a week until contact is well established.
Continue to contact my closest friends at least once a week; unless that is unworkable for them, and adjust accordingly.
Writing:  1½ hours a day, 7 days a week, on the articles I have to publish.
½ hour a day, 7 days a week, on the dissertation.
½ hour a day, 7 days a week, on creative writing.
2 hours a week writing a book review until I am caught up. I have read 10 novels or novellas by RoW80 participants and will write those first; I have 6 written by other authors which will come next; I have 6 more by RoW80 participants that I need to read that will be next.
Day job: Disappear from the face of the earth on days off, vacations, and evenings. That means do not answer the phone, do not check work email, do not go to the office “just to finish up this one little thing.”
Work 40 hours a week.
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Responses

  1. I love that you’ve included family in your list of goals. Sounds like you’re facing some challenging times…but doing it well.

    All the best as you continue with this round of ROW.

    TTFN

    • Thanks, Stephanie! The webinar I attended hit me between the eyes by suggesting that I ensure time for the top five things in my life, and fit the rest around them. Common sense, but I guess it was a matter of taking things for granted, or reacting in a knee-jerk way to the most urgent things, which were often the day job. No more! I appreciate your coming by.

  2. Shoot, my first attempt at a reply got lost in the ether. 😦

    Anyway, what I originally said was that I loved your goal of “disappearing from the face of the earth on days off” — you go girl! *g*

    Good luck on the rest of your goals and have a great rest of the week!

    • Don”t you just hate that? I’m sorry that happened; it drives me (further) around the bend! I’m glad you like the “disappearing” act; there are just far too many academics who have the day job as the center of their universe. I read a great blog post about how academia hasn’t shaken off the clerical orders of the Middle Ages, and it is so true in so many ways. My late thesis advisor told me I had to marry the library like a nun marries Jesus. Um, no thanks! Have a wonderful week, Ruth. I’m glad you stopped by.

  3. Glad to see that you’re soldiering on, ROWsis, and yay for staying away from the Halloween candy! I’m glad you had time to talk with the siblings, even if there wasn’t the chance to reconnect; hopefully that will come in your future chats.

    Have a great rest of the week, my dear!

    • Thank you for the support, ROWsis! Yeah, I was shocked by how unappealing the candy was. I used to have a bad, bad sweet tooth–go figure! It was good to talk with the sibs, although to be honest, it isn’t easy to talk about my childhood. I think it will be easier to talk amongst ourselves when we are not dredging up an unhappy past..

      I hope you have a very lovely weekend, Lena! 🙂

  4. To aid in your disappearing act, you should purchase ninja-made smoke bombs. I’m sure they’re somewhere on Amazon (I mean, the manure was there). Then, on Friday at 5pm exactly, you can pull one from you Batman-esque utility belt, slam it on the ground, and say: “I’m out, losers.” *Poof*

    Of course, you may have to cut a trap door into the floor beneath your desk or something to complete the trick.

    Best of luck with all the goals, especially the family one. I think that’s a great goal to have.

    Feel free to put the review of my book on the back-burner. I can always write a rant and get one pity-buy each month. I’m not above that ;-). Plus, attention is always better when you have more books out (and I’m working so hard to get number two, but, egads, does it not want to end…)

    • Matt, that is an excellent idea. The trap door is a definite must! I adore the thought of disappearing right as someone comes to give me yet another “urgent” assignment!

      I tend to take my family for granted, which is a very bad thing. It worked all right with my sons when they were teenagers, shut themselves in their proto-mancaves and turned up their music really loud, but now they have grown into quite wonderful young men, and they are a lot of fun to talk with. My poor long-suffering husband has shouldered a lot of the domestic tasks and deserves a lot of credit for putting up with me 😀

      I owe many people reviews *hanging head in shame* so I appreciate the kindness of being able to back-burner yours, but I need to get it and many others done. Although you are right that that more good books, the better, there is something very much like baking a cake in writing–rush it, and it falls flat. A review of a good first book can whet the appetite for a second good book, no?

  5. I love that you include your family and friends in your goals. It sounds like you’ve made good progress! I can’t wait to see what tarot inspired writing you do 🙂 Good luck with the rest of the week.

    • Thank you for coming by, Raelyn! It was enlightening to think about centering my time around the most important parts of my life (common sense, really), but I had not done that, running off in all directions whenever called.

      I haven’t even scratched the surface with the tarot, but what little I have done has broken through some of the blank walls surrounding my characters: “what would she do at this point? Ah, that makes a good motivating factor!” That sort of thing. I’m looking forward to having more fun with it, very soon!

      Have a great weekend, Raelyn 🙂

      • I know what you mean about not even scratching the surface! I’ve been working with the tarot off and on for over a year now and it still amazes me every time 🙂

      • Thanks for all the material you added to the Tarot class, Raelyn. I read your comments and exercises; even though I haven’t had the time to do anything with them, I know they will be very helpful.

  6. Good check-in. The family happenings can crowd out so much. It’s hard, but needs to be done. We are still dealing with Gram’s recent decline. I still can’t believe it’s happening. And I feel so useless. It is bringing our family closer, but I am ashamed it took something like this to get us all talking again. We all buried ourselves in our own lives. I think that’s why I am hiding so much in my writing. It’s a nice escape, and I can give my characters happy endings 🙂 Keep up the good work, and hang in there. One day at a time.

    • Thank you for the encouragement, Wendy. I hope that your family continues to stay in touch, as I hope that mine can get past the difficulties we had as children. We all do live our own lives. I hear you on the happy endings. I’ve written some memoirs that help work through things, but are far too raw for public viewing. I may make them novels and create happy endings–I like that thought.

  7. Love your goals and how they involve all aspects of your life. And what a great week. I can’t believe you managed to stay away from halloween candy – woot woot – you are fab and did better than me. Super proud! And it sounds like you are making progress on all fronts so keep it up. Onward and upward…rock on!

    • Thanks so much for the encouragement, Natalie. I don’t know where my sweet tooth went, but hurrah! It’s gone! Funny you should say onward and upward. My favorite word as a kid (okay I was a nerdy kid) was from a poem by Longfellow–excelsior, which means onward and upward. Rock on works too!

  8. Friends and family, a vital part of any list. Love that you included it. Sugar is my weakness, but I’ve given it up, too. I try to go for a walk when I feel the need for a sugary snack. It’s been working. But, it’s easier with the beautiful fall days. I’ll need a new plan for winter.

    It’s Saturday and I’m just getting around to my lovely ROW80 Wednesday check ins. Guess I’ll be cheering people on again tomorrow.

    • Tia, thanks for coming by; it’s good to see you, and there are no time limits on visiting! I had a revelation about what was important in my life, and friends and family came up way above the day job–big surprise! Thanks for the hint about taking a walk when you want to snack–employing displacement and avoiding temptation, how clever!


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