I took August as a break from the proposal/acquittal cycle because so much of it was going to be spent travelling, and because I was having a bit of angst about how to actually get this whole methodology working – no matter how doable each proposal at the start of each month seemed, each acquittal was turning out a mess of self-immolation and excuses. Have I clicked to the secret of workable and regular goal lists while I was away? I have not, at least not that I’m conscious of. Am I going to have a stab at it anyway? I am. Will I try to modify my approach at all? Given that I subscribe to that saying that defines insanity as doing the same thing but expecting a different result, then yes, I am.
Two and a half weeks off, and preparing for same, was the occasion of a fair bit of deck-clearing at work and I’ve decided I like clear decks. I’ve now been back at work for a fortnight or so and have managed to keep a pretty good completion rate on my tasks. The handy part of having a job made up of lots of little jobs is that it becomes very apparent, via the job-queue display, when you’re getting behind. The first three parts of my target – keep the jobs from building up, find at least one way to be useful that’s a bit proactive and outside the usual what-gets-put-on-my-plate routine, and get my admin tasks done – I think I can hit just by keeping steady. The fourth is my flextime balance, which is rapidly bleeding out and badly needs staunching. So the big dayjob objective is to get my mornings under control and not have to be scrabbling at short lunches and late afternoons just to keep my hours even. That’ll be a nice challenge.
Personal stuff. I put on an uncomfortable, in all senses, amount of weight while I was away, and so back to the bootcamps and the dojo. On the fitness front, three goals: steady attendance at the lunchtime workouts, doing something active (a half-hour walk at the absolute least) on the days when I’m not doing any other sort of activity, and throttling the snacking. I’m doing okay on keeping my actual meals healthy, lots of ‘roo and vegies, but it’s the damned snacks that undo me. Challenge: let’s see if I can last, let’s say, until Sunday afternoon without hitting the charity-chocolate shelf at work or the junk food rack at the service station. That’ll be a first step. For jujutsu, I want to have made it to the end of my current syllabus with at least a basic acquaintance with each technique, so I can start consolidating my knowledge and actively pushing for grading fitness.
I want my waistline to get thinner and my budget to get fatter. I was in pretty good financial shape pre-trip and should be able to get back to it with a little discipline. September expenses to date have been some work on the car’s brakes and electrics (rats, believe it or not) and GenCon Oz in a couple of weekends’ time. Factoring in those, my goal is to have the day-to-day account balance a comfortable distance away from the overdraft line, and the credit card tally $750 lower than it is now. Given that insurance helped with the car, GenCon is now all paid for (except for what actually gets spent there, obviously, but I’m going for the company not the shopping) and there’ll be a bit of overtime coming up in the next few weeks I think this is comfortably doable.
Family and social stuff. I bought a bunch of postcards overseas, many of which came back with me, some even written on, none posted. Therefore I have letters to write now. I’ve got six letters to do and two gift memberships for Kiva to set up for family and friends. I’ll be seeing the parents soon, catching up with an old work friend on Sunday, and seeing an even older and much-neglected friend before the end of the month if all goes according to plan.
And, of course, the meaty stuff, the writing. The must-do for the month is the extra material for the Shira Calpurnia omnibus*, written, beta-read, redrafted and with BL, and inroads into the next BL project, about which more down the track. I’ll allow myself one other project as a gear-switching exercise; the need for it to be something that’s a nice mental contrast from the 40Kverse suggests a short story I’ve had in the drawer for a while with the working title of “Kicker”. First draft ready for critting by the end of the month. That’s a full writing load.
Well, that and the blog is definitely a full writing load. By the end of the month I want to have posted the rest of the Anticipation notes, in the optimistic belief that it won’t be deadly cold news by then, and I have two books to talk about, one just finished, one finishing. That’s what I’ve decided I will do; if I can do it I’ll put up some more.
Those are the promises to keep, Now for the miles to go before I sleep. Fortunately, Nocturnalists are good at that bit.