Week 23/2021: memories

21 for 2021 update

The Change Journal (thing 4)

This week I completed the 66th day of the final habit in the habits chapter (chapter 7) of the Change Journal so I’ve now completed seven chapters.

Vegetable of the week (thing 2)

Thing 2 is to choose a different vegetable every week from the book In Praise of Veg and make a recipe from the book using that vegetable.  This week I chose potato (I mean, how hard can that be?) and wrote about my adventures making gnocchi here.

A packet of Deb dehydrated potato on top of the gnocci recipe
Deb. Just in case you missed my last post. I actually used this in a dish.

(Spoiler: It didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped.)

Kramstable’s videos (thing 8)

The video I’ve been working on all year is done! That’s the first of the two I hope to get completed this year.

These are videos that I used to do every year as Christmas gifts for Kramstable’s family, most of whom are interstate and don’t see him very often, to give them a short overview of what he’d been up to the past year. I got a bit behind after 2016 and never really caught up, so this thing is about getting these videos up to date.

The one I’ve just finished was for 2017-18 and it took me almost six months to complete. So I’m thinking somewhere between an hour and two hours a week, with a couple of weeks I missed when we were away or I was being lazy, it was probably at least 40 hours work.

I have 2018-19 and 2019-20 to catch up on, as well as wanting to get 2020-21 done for this year, which is going to be the next one I’ll work on. I should have enough time to finish it before Christmas and get back on track.

My mother’s story (thing 9)

I went to see my mum on Thursday and found out some more of her story.

I’ve decided to transfer my work on this project into Scrivener, which is a writing app designed for long-form projects such as novels and non-fiction books. I’ve had Scrivener sitting round for a while but not really learned how to use it, so I found a short course that can show me the basics, and am finding it a lot easier to navigate now. It’s a really powerful tool and I know I have a lot more to learn but there’s no rush now I’ve started using it.

I also decided to write my blog posts in there, which gives me a better way of organising and planning posts (not that I need a complex organisational structure when I’m only blogging once or twice a week). I’ve seen other bloggers make it work for them really well so I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes.

The Compelling Frame course (thing 11)

I watched the video for lesson 7 earlier in the week but didn’t get time to do the exercises.

Brainsparker ( thing 17)

This week was the start of Module 7 and I worked through the first workout about brainstorming. Fun fact: Brainstorming was invented by advertising executive Alex Osborn (possibly in 1942 during the war, possibly in the 1930s, possibly in the 1950s) and as originally conceived meant to use the brain to storm “in commando fashion, each stormer audaciously attacking the same objective.”

Here’s a post Gabriella wrote about it. The workout primarily focused on ways to brainstorm in a group, which is what most people probably think of when they hear the term “brainstorming”, but also looked at how to do it by yourself, which is great for people who aren’t fond of group work (hi!!!!) or in preparation for going into a group session.

21 for 2021 summary

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed to date: 3 (1, 18, 20)
  • Things I progressed: 6 (2, 4, 8, 9, 11, 17)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress: 8 (5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14, 16)
  • Things not started: 5 (3, 12, 15, 19, 21)

What else happened this week?

I had a lot of work that kept me very busy. My internet at home died, and the download of the new operating system on my computer at work went horribly wrong. There were some challenging times.

A blue screen with a Windows 10 update that has progressed 14%
It was still going the next morning

What was the best thing about this week?

On Saturday, I went to a show at the Moonah Arts Centre by couture artist Sonia Heap. Called On memory, it was a sound and light performance of clothing that Sonia designed and crafted. Sonia undertook this project as she was trying to understand how to cope and to support someone she loved struggle with dementia. She observes that this condition is the top cause of death for women in Australia and the second highest cause of death for men, yet we fear it so much that we hide it away and we don’t talk about it.

A floral display in an arts centre foyer
“The thief cannot take everything, and we are still there, in the flood waters, the flowers of others’ memories sustain us, bring solace, even as our memory frays”

Having recently completed the seven-week MOOC about understanding dementia through the Wicking Centre, which is now taking enrolments for the July intake, I feel I know more about dementia now and can relate to why it is so important that we not hide from it. The performance was beautiful, moving, captivating, and Sonia’s work, exquisite. A wonderful vehicle to showcase her love and to try to open up conversations about what is a sensitive and distressing subject for many people.

A beautifully poignant afternoon that will stay in my memory for a long time.

What didn’t go so well / What do I want to do better next week?

I got an email from Thanh from Asian Efficiency during the week that talked about what he did when he found things were getting too much for him to handle. His advice was “to focus on the small simple wins and the basics: sleep right, eat right and exercise regularly”. It reminded me how much out of balance I’m feeling right now and that I’m not doing those basics. But even thinking about those three things feels like too much too take on at the moment. The lack of sun is getting to me and there’s a whole bunch of things going on that are starting to creep up and overwhelm me.

My 10.30 bedtime has crept up to 10.45 and even 11.00 some nights. Shutting down at 10.15 isn’t giving me enough chill time to go to bed at 10.30 and I’m waking up feeling worse than I did when I went to bed.
I’m still walking every morning but that’s all the exercise I’m doing and I know I’m not eating well.

So, stripping it right back to basics, I need to focus on sleep. Just that.

What I’m reading this week

  • Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
  • gulp! The seven day crash course to master fear and break through any challenge by Gabriella Goddard
  • What would Barbra Do?: How Musicals Changed My Life by Emma Brockes
  • Spacemaker: How to Unplug, Unwind & Think Clearly in the Digital Age by Daniel Sih
  • Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray by Anita Heiss
Barb is holding the book Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray by Anita Heiss
Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray (River of Dreams)


Habit tracker

  • Days I did my morning planning routine at work (Goal = 4): 4
  • Days I did my post-work pack up routine (Goal = 4): 3
  • Days I worked on my art (Goal = 2): 3
  • Days I read a book (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I did yoga stretches (Goal = 7): 5
  • Days I had a lunch break away from my desk (Goal = 4 work days): 4
  • Days I went for a walk or did other physical activity in the afternoon (Goal = 7): 4
  • Days I shut my computer down before 10.15 (Goal = 7): 5
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