Unfracking my life

Today, I am annoyed at my body at and autoimmune diseases that make things difficult.

I’ve had this series of posts sketched out to write, but the last few days have laid me low with increased pain and fatigue, making it difficult for me to be able to type and think coherently for any decent length of time.  For once, I’m allowing myself to rest a bit more than usual, rather than stuffing myself full of medication and pushing through it (which inevitably makes things worse).  In short, I am trying to be an adult and actually Look After Myself.

Even with that rest, I am trying to begin a great project: the Unfracking of my Life.  I’ve been a long-time reader of Lifehacker, and have a whole heap of articles and tips filed away for use in some nebulous undetermined future.  And this past week, Cat Valente, a writer and person who I greatly admire and am proud to call friend (albeit only online, thanks to this great damn planet in the way), started a new project at Tumblr, Girl Unlocked, taking a bunch of advice from another new-to-me tumblr, Unfuck Your Habitat, and a whole lot of gears just clicked together in my head.

On the surface of things, my life looks, for the most, pretty together.  The house gets cleaned, the laundry gets done, everyone gets fed etc.  But there’s a whole lot of things that I don’t tackle.  The random stacks of clutter (one of which is my desktop-holding desk, which is currently cluttered with a whole lot of Stuff).  There are a tonne of small household tasks that I endlessly put off.  I don’t really look after myself these days, as evidenced by the extra weight that I’m carrying.  And yes, I can reel off excuse after excuse, but you know what?  They’re just excuses.  Yes, I deal with fatigue and arthritis.  Yes, I have limits.  But I am still mobile, and I have a lot of freedom to organise my time.  And, shamefully, I waste a lot of useful time doing non-useful things (Facebook, I’m looking at you).

It’s time to unfrack things.

In an unrelated fashion, I’ve been trying to keep more on top of the things that I need to accomplish.  This year, I’ve already made a habit of writing myself a to-do list every day, and ticking off items as I complete them.  And lifehacker recently published an article on the don’t break the chain method of productivity.  This is a method that I’d come across before, but for some reason it just clicked with me now.  I already had a calender tacked up next to my writing area, and so I set myself some goals.

1.  I want to write something every day.  This could be fiction, or a blog post, but it had to be words on a page.  With this, I am actually letting go of word counts and just writing.  Some days it’ll only be a few sentences.  Others, I’ve found myself easily finishing 2,000 words.  It just has to be forward motion.

2.  Something needs to be done around the house every day.  Some days, like yesterday, this was bare minimum – dealing with laundry (which gets done daily, thanks to nappies and a kid who likes to mess up his clothes) and running over the floors with my handy-dandy rechargable sweeper thing to deal with the worst of kid crumbs.  On Monday, I vacuumed and mopped the heavy traffic areas, surface cleaned the bathrooms, did three loads of laundry, unfracked the bottom of our walk-in-wardrobe and probably other stuff that I can’t remember right now.  Again, it just has to be forward motion.

3.  This is the tough one for me (though it shouldn’t be) – doing some sort of spiritual work every day.  This is something that gets shoved aside all too easily for me, especially if I’m focusing on goals like word counts.  But my spirituality is something that is my lifeblood.  I am woefully behind where I’d like to be on my OBOD work, and I have a leaning tower of spiritual books that I haven’t read.  This one is seriously slow right now, since it’s a habit I’m establishing – some days it’s been as simple as taking a few moments to take notice of the phase of the moon.  It’ll come.

Three habits, three chains, and so far I haven’t broken them for over a week.  I plan on allocating myself “holidays” of a kind, especially for the writing, which will probably be 4 weeks off in a year, if I need them.  I’d really like to get more productive with writing and treat it as a career, but that will come.  One thing at a time.

Interestingly (or perhaps bleedingly obviously), I’ve actually been feeling much better in general mood-wise since I’ve started doing this.  And I’ve cut down on one of my medications without any kind of fall out mentally/emotionally.

The week that was, and links!

Someone is moving in

Totoro and soot sprite decals for the window. Because every home needs pieces of magic and wonder to make both kids and adults smile.

It hasn’t been the most productive week, to be honest.  I haven’t written as much as I would like, though I have managed to cross a few things off my to-do list in relation to housework and decluttering.  So that’s something.

Some links from the week:

Unfuck Your Habitat.

10 science policies we wish the government would implement.

Awesome firefly images.

The Fable Tribe have a new blog!

Learn 10 simple life hacks in 60 seconds.

How to fix common cooking mistakes.

Lessons learned from reading over 200 books.

Flowers grown from 30,000 year old fruit.

How to make your photos look like paintings.

10 things every author’s website should include.

Why we sometimes struggle to find the way forward.

 

The week that was

Australian Magpie

Australian magpie surveying his domain. Taken using my zoom lens; he was right on the top of a Norfolk Pine.

This week has been frustrating.

I’ve been sick and exhausted and worn out and unable to focus on much at all.  This has resulted in not much writing, not much reading.  Lots of wanting to do things, but being unable to do them.

When I don’t write, I tend to spiral into depression.  One of the things that I’ve been learning in therapy (which should be bleedingly obvious, really) is to take note of the other things that I do get done, especially when my concentration is shot and I can’t work on creative projects.

I’ve maintained the house, cooked meals, played with Liam a lot.  We got some new furniture this week – a new wall unit and new DVD shelving, and I’ve worked to fill them.  Which included polishing of some very tarnished silver.  I’ve exercised every day (doing minimal amounts some days when I was feeling awful).  So, I’m still accomplishing stuff, even if it isn’t what I’d really like to be doing.

The good news is that I’m starting to feel better, and I hope that I’m going to be able to get back into some writing work next week.  I have writer’s group tonight, too, which always kickstarts me creatively.  I don’t have the words to express how much I love my writer’s group.

I am also loving the new camera, and am so happy to have it.  I’ve been running around after the kidlet a lot messing about – he’s very used to having the camera shoved in his face by now.  I look forward to playing more with photography and expanding my skills.

Some links for a Friday

My front door with its attendant Green Man is featured on Domythic Bliss.

Cat Valente talks about writing while guest posting on Charlie Stross’ blog. (also parts three, two and one).

Love this desktop.

Lessons on living and dying.

Postpartum depression survivors share their stories of having more children. (The whole series of posts at Postpartum Progress have been amazing this week.)

9 essential skills kids should learn.

Ten writers on their process from rough to final.

Wondering where the week has gone to

First

The first photo taken with my new camera, a Canon EOS600D

It’s been a rough week about these parts.  I’ve been sick.  The kidlet has been sick.  Thankfully it’s only a mild cold, but it’s been enough to disrupt his sleep (and therefore mine) and generally make me feel off enough that accomplishing anything that requires a brain has been difficult.

The result is that I haven’t done much work on anything – writing, reading, website.  But I’ve actually had enough energy (thanks to prednisolone agitation) to get some things done around the house.  We got some new furniture delivered this week: a new wall unit/display cabinet for the lounge room and DVD storage shelves, which both got filled.  DVD organisation proper is still to come, though (see lack of brain).

I also got a new toy in the mail yesterday – a new camera!  I’ve been using and loving my Canon EOS400D for a few years, and have gotten enough interest in photography where an upgrade was worth it.  I toyed with the idea of going for a higher end model, but for what I need, the EOS600D is perfect.  Down the track, I may invest in some better glass, but having the ability to video on the DSLR as well as the flip out screen (which I love from my old Canon point and shoot) is awesome.  You can see the inaugural photo above, with the kidlet being suitable photogenic 😉