Oh, dear. This is not going to be pretty. But it is going to be necessary. I haven’t itemised it yet, but things are not looking good for the April acquittal. I suspect the biggest tick I’m going to take away from this month is going to be that the realisation that yes, indeed, having to own up in public to falling short of my own targets does indeed feel bad, and that therefore I need to get my shit together so that I don’t have to own up to this again next month. I may also learn some ancillary lessons about what I can and can’t reasonably expect from myself during a solidly busy month, and that’s cool, because part of the aim of these early proposal/acquittal pairs is to home in on reasonable, challenging expectations for myself. I think, however, that a lot of it is going to be the sort of post I’m going to want to get through quickly.
First point is my own physical person, which is a reasonably bright spot. I wanted to be able to say by the end of April that I had re-graded at least one level at jujutsu, and I have; I wanted to be able to say that I’d scaled the junk food back to the level of occasional treat rather than the much more common intake it was over the start of the year and while I haven’t kept quantitative records I’m confident about making that one a tick. There’s been rather more rich restaurant fare going under my belt in the last month than I’m used to, for various reasons, but since I’m now wearing that belt on its last hole, a couple in from when I bought it not that long ago (the outer holes haven’t had time to pick up more than the hints of grooves next to them) I think I’m still reasonably on track physically. My weight continues to be no damn help at all as a guide, staying rock-steady no matter how my body shape changes. Bah!
I also said that I wanted to have worked out a good balance that allowed me to continue both boot camp days and jujutsu nights, without physically wrecking me to the point of making my remaining free time borderline useless. I’m not ready to tag that as accomplished yet but progress is promising. I’ve made a week or two of full classes in both and in each of those weeks I’ve been going constantly and coming away able to function. It’s probably partly to do with my own fitness altering to accommodate the new demands, but also me getting a sense of where my own internal gears are and when to shift them. Progress is not complete because of a combination of work demands and a thick dose of illness over the last week or two have killed off my attendance at both and taken the second half of the month out of commission. I need to get well again and back onto a decent run at the fitness stuff to confirm that I’ve made the progress on this that I think I have. So, incomplete, but honourably so.
The day job. Heh. Not long after I recorded general self-satisfaction with this at the start of the month, it was quietly passed on to me that I actually had some pulling up of socks to do. Socks now up, expectations satisfied now as far as I can tell. Mornings sort of kind of intermittently better, but not so much that I can check this off. Got to roll that one over into May.
Building up the savings: pfeh. Failed the goal as proposed at the start of the month to be in the black by a couple of hundred, but in fact I will be sustainably in the black when the month closes, and much more stable than I was at the start of it. And the expenditure has been tied to private developments which are positive enough to make falling short of the full goal worthwhile. I’m happy with that.
Meeting up with friends and collaborators again. I’ve been in touch with both my collaborators and one has gone very well, with a bit of new life sparked into one project; the other I’ve still only communicated with by email. A proper catchup is in order next month.
Writing. This is the big red flashing FAIL. A fraction of the progress I wanted on the novel and none on the stories. I’ve managed plenty of thousand-word-plus days and evenings, enough to demonstrate to myself that that output is easily in my power, but I haven’t learned to sustain it. I’m still too slack about taking a night off as a reward for only baseline productivity the previous day, and too dewily optimistic about how I can crunch at the end of the month to make up the slack. April’s a good case in point, actually: the aforementioned illness, mainly a real nasty knuckleduster-punch of a tonsilitis infection, wiped me out on the long weekend I was meant to spend at a mini writers’ retreat during which I’d been confidently telling myself I’d easily catch up to my word targets. Any writing plan that narrows it all down to a single point of failure like that is something I need to cure myself of if I want to call myself “professional” without having to blush and mumble and look at my feet while I do it.
I know I can. I need to work out why I don’t.
The Thing. The Thing is going to stay as a fixture each month, a way of giving myself an out on the slightly prissy formality of running my life as a monthly goal proposal. The Thing for April, which I hadn’t had much clue about at the start of it, turned out to be something that happened to me rather than something I went out and did: an unexpected but happy personal development that I’m not going to go into too much detail about here. (It does account for why one or two other plans on the April proposal got knocked a little askew, though). No resting on laurels, though. I need to think of a Thing for May. By tomorrow.
So, by the sound of it the May Proposal is going to contain a couple of “steady as she goes”, a couple of “minor corrections”, and one great booming “get your shit together”. Can’t wait.