for once brings out a smile –
sprouting Christmas tree
Resolutions vs. reality: 0-1.
One of my good intentions was not always showing up late everywhere I go. In fact, I was planning from now on to always be on time. Always. Today is the first day of 2015 I had to work. I showed up fifteen minutes late.
Not that anybody really cares, as long as the job is done, and it is done well. But still. For me, it feels like failure. The problem is not that I don’t care enough. Trust me, I do care. I hate it. Every single time I’m late, I beat myself up over it. So why is it so hard to fix it?
Here are a few reasons why I have been late recently:
– Unforeseen circumstances, like a traffic jam (usually the “unforeseen” part is arguable).
– I forgot I had to do something, like stop by a store or pack something and take it with me, until the last minute.
– Got distracted and lost track of time.
– Got too focused on something and lost track of time.
– Grossly underestimated how long it would take to do something.
– Absolutely had to do or finish something before leaving and didn’t make it on time.
So the problem is complex. Or maybe it ‘s not: I’m an idiot. I’m terrible at estimating how long things are going to take, I fail to plan ahead and keep forgetting or losing stuff. But I will fix this, if it’s the last thing I do. I will have to start by analyzing what is going wrong exactly and why. And then figure out how to fix that.
That’s probably going to take some time though. So to make sure I start being punctual right now, I came up with a quick fix. Wherever I need to go, I’m going to go there one hour early. Since I always fail to keep to the time I intended, that should mean I will arrive about half an hour early. That time I will use to do something constructive. Like studying my Russian course (exam coming up!) or pursuing every interest I might have at the time.
This should make me a better person in not one, not two, but three ways!
– Arrive on time.
– Learn Russian (or other stuff) very regularly.
– I’ll be far more relaxed.
I have decided to tackle my debilitating lack of concentration.
A couple of minutes ago, when I sat down to write this blog post, it happened again. I decided to hurriedly, quickly, just a minute, check whether I had any new e-mail (I did not, which was not very surprising, since I had checked it about fifteen seconds earlier). Then I had a really quick glance at my favourite news site, just to make sure nothing huge had happened since my last check (it had not). Then I made the most crucial mistake of all: I decided to have a very short glance at Facebook, to check if I was missing something. I was not. But someone did post a helluvalotta pictures about 2014. And that link featured some interesting articles about training the fat off your tummy. I checked my mail again (nothing). Checked Facebook again (meh). Googled a cute guy I saw on television (I’ll admit: I love my boyfriend but I google other people). Got back to writing my blog post. Decided to start with finding some pictures to go with it (try googeling lolcat+christmas+tree. See you back in two weeks). Checked Facebook again. Well, you get the picture. Continue reading
I made a new year’s resolution. It’s not a very original one, in fact, I bet you all have thought about it at least once: I want to get more done. And by getting more done, I want to become a better person: fitter, healthier, smarter, better educated, with a smaller ecological footprint… And I plan to do all of that by stressing less, not more. And I will not be spending much time on it either.
I am very much aware how this is sounding: like another classic New Year’s resolution doomed to fail. But I’m pretty sure this one is not doomed. I am a woman with a plan. A plan I have to admit I have stumbled upon by accident. But a plan nevertheless, and one that’s working for me. It has already been working for me for a couple of months now, and the New Year’s resolution thing is merely meant to expand the same principle to other things in my life.
The said principle is very simple: I intend to rake up some of the “lost time” in my life, and spend it doing more useful things. These are the ground rules:
1. No stress.
2. Have fun.
3. Spend as little extra time as possible on it.
4. Keep it positive. Continue reading
Write a scene, not a book. Although I am definitely trying to write a novel, this is the most important principle for me to keep in mind if I want to get any writing done.
If I sit down behind my computer, thinking about my book, or worse, my “oeuvre”, then all I can see is the giant amount of work that’s still in front of me. Of course every writer, aspiring or established, fantasizes about holding those two crispy covers, with 360 pages of indisputable genius in between. But for me, personally, that thought mostly cramps my style. As a result, I will find myself dawdling on Facebook or Twitter, streaming some television series, making yet another cup of coffee, or – well yes – blogging.
While if I manage to keep my mind focused on one thing, writing one good scene, just one, then that seems feasible. The “good” might be still up for discussion, but at least I’ll have a scene. And then another one. And…
And what’s most important, focusing on the scene at hand helps me to genuinely enjoy my writing. Firstly because the stakes don’t feel so (friggin’) high, but also because I can feel that fun little jolt of achievement after every scene, instead of once every two years or so.
And if you’ll excuse me now, I’ve got another scene in mind. But first, I think I’ll make myself a cup of tea…