Monday, January 6, 2014

Practice. Process. Resolutions.

I can hear Roommate1 practice the piano downstairs. (It'd be near impossible to *not* hear her!) Initially I feel annoyed with the repetitions of phrases as she works through the music, but boy does she have stamina to keep at it! It isn't pretty (yet!) but she's doing what she needs to do to get the pieces together and that impresses me.

I keep wondering how she gets herself to set down and start practicing, especially when it starts like this. One of the hardest things for me to do is to **start** hard projects.

Once I'm in the middle of a project or task, I find it less challenging to keep at it. Once my running clothes are on and I'm out the door, I'm unlikely to give up. Once my

Maybe that's what I need to practice: starting.

Anne wrote recently about working towards a process, not towards a specific goal. She had greater success trying to walk 10,000 steps a day than with going one full pull-up.

This focus on process reminded me of what I like about running: the process. I don't train so that I can race. I race so that I can train. It's the process and while the goal is nice it's not the point. I like small, iterative tasks (hello, crochet!) because it's nice to see something done and is often mindless, two things I greatly appreciate in my line of work.

I haven't written any New Year's Resolutions for 2014.

Partly out of fear of failure.
Partly because I don't want to shift my focus from completing my dissertation.
Partly because I'm not sure what I want to work on.

My savings goals are automated and I've built an ongoing community around running, so those two will continue until I can re-evaluate post-grad school. Other things I want to do/begin are slated for my summer of intentional unemployment.

2013 seemed to be a lot about becoming aware of what I want and learning to ask for what I want. This also meant a lot of moving away from what I didn't want.

2014 could be about focus, or practice, or celebration, or hope. Stay tuned?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thanksgiving (366-370)

Here are some thing I'm thankful for today:

366. A new bus friend

367. Warm, generous friends who love me well and in ways unique to this crazy season of life

368. Cool, crisp, wind-less, sunny morning

369. Laughter. Oh, it feels good to laugh.

370. Ideas, inspiration, and options in my research. It isn't always good to have new breadth when trying to finish projects, but right now I'm thankful that this breadth is moving towards a necessary deeper understanding of my work.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Too distracted

The bane of my productivity is "checking things." You'd think the level of productivity I need to hit would make it impossible to do anything deleterious. Nope. Jorge Cham might talk about the Power of Procrastination, but it's not feeling very powerful in my life right now.

Boundaries:
No facebook
No feed reader
No NPR.org
No small tasks//"other productive"
No podcasts
No fiction

I hope that my narrowing down what I give attention to that I will
If this means that there are moments where I just breathe...and then go back to what I should be doing, that's okay. Not taking in so much content should be beneficial, too.

I am eliminating these distractions until mid-December. Three/four weeks. Almost sounds refreshing.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thanksgiving (361-365)

Here are some thing I'm thankful for today:

361. A new 10k PR (personal record) on Sunday

362. Good communication with the roommates. We do live in a home of grace.

363. A well planned and well executed 2 hours of multi-tasking: shower, laundry, food prep for the week, grocery shopping, gathering stuff for evening travel/event

364. No loss of life, property, or electricity in my life/community from yesterday's high winds

365. Great quality time with friends


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Thanksgiving (355-360)

Here are some things I'm thankful for today:

355. Good reading with breakfast.

356. Time and energy to clean my home - or at least the parts I'm responsible for

357. The enjoyment of running

358. Catching up with a friend while running an errand

359.  A glint of relational "ice" melting

360. A "catch up" email from my aunt - it's good to be connected


Friday, November 15, 2013

Thanksgiving (349-354)

Here are some things I'm thankful for today:

349. A construction project near my house, which had significantly changed the traffic pattern, finally opened up this morning.

350. Sleep. Good sleep.

351. A friend to do some of our driving on Sunday

352. Constructive input at work

353.  BOGO free holiday drinks at Starbucks

354. My research is now top of my Boss's list for feedback!




Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thanksgiving (345-348)

Here are some things I'm thankful for today:

345. A mid-week reset in my work schedule. The flexability to sleep in when I need it is nice, but morning hours for work time hold a lot of value for me.

346. Constructive collaboration with co-workers

347. My small group Bible Study who loves me and cares for me despite the 15-40 year age differences. Our bond is Christ, and it's a strong one.

348. Two roommates that I enjoy spending time with

348. Laura Vanderkamp's blog post this morning reminding me that a full life might not look like what I or anyone else thinks it will, but can be very satisfying.