Week 19/2022: A fair to middling week

Week of 9 May 2022

A fair to middling week

Nothing went horribly wrong this week and nothing went amazingly right. It was a week among many. Kramstable and I went in the City to Casino on Sunday, which was a nice Sunday walk for me and run for him.

Heavy clouds over a sunset sky at the beach
Looking behind the sunset

What did I want to do this week?

  1. Finish TAFE assignment 2B and hand it in
  2. Start work on assignment 2C, which is due next Monday
  3. Review the Mindspot week 4 work
  4. Continue my review of the book Four Thousand Weeks and make notes; feed these lessons into my “deep work” handbook
  5. Take some more photos of the windows

Did I do it?

The TAFE assignment (thing 8) was due on Monday morning and I thought I had everything set up to get it in on time. I pretty much did, other than forgetting that my student login for Office 365 ended in .tas.edu.au rather then .tas.gov.au which is what I’m used to, and which someone pointed out to me a couple of hours later . . . .

Not to worry, I got it to my teacher another way, and I received unexpected positive feedback on it, which made me very happy. Now that I have that feedback I can complete the next assignment, which is due next Monday.

The course assessment is what you might call a rolling process. There are three major tasks, which are split into three parts, so you do one part each week, and the feedback from the previous part feeds into what you need to do in the next part. This week’s work is the last part of the first major task, and after that I have two more tasks, or six sub-tasks, to complete in order to finish the course.

I had a look through week 4’s material from Mindspot (thing 1) and identified some follow up work I’ll do next week. I’m still working through Four Thousand Weeks and I didn’t get a chance to take any more photos of the windows.

I probably need to explain that one.

The windows in my house are the original 1951 windows, which are the most wonderful steel framed windows that open out sideways like a door. They are fabulous and I love the style so much. Only the frames are very rusted, there’s a massive condensation problem and the glass is so fragile that just shutting the window firmly (ahem) can cause it to crack. There’s cracks in at least three of them and only one was my fault . . . Some of them you can’t actually close from the inside and they don’t do a lot for keeping the house warm in winter.

I was reluctant to change them, because 1950s love, but advice from an energy consultant was that we need better ventilation in the house and anything we do to improve that is going to be much less effective unless we have better windows.

The thought of losing these windows made me sad, but I had a conversation with an architect who is also passionate about 1950s houses and she said it’s all very well to want to keep the house in original condition (which is definitely isn’t inside) but you still need to be able to live safely and comfortably in it. A house is meant to serve you, not the other way around. And the design we’ve chosen is as close to the original as is possible to get, so hopefully it won’t look too out of place, even if it doesn’t look authentic 1950s.

So all I can do is to document, as best I can, the old windows before they get removed, which could be any week now.

What worked well this week?

Again, I’m not really doing anything different. Just consolidating things like shutting down on time and making a (fairly flexible) plan for the next day each afternoon at work.

What didn’t work so well?

I want to change this question to “what do I want to try next week?” because I don’t think I need to be doing something that isn’t working for me to want to try something different.

What I want to try is switching up the order I do things in the morning. At the moment, I get up, go for a walk, do a meditation session and then sit down with a coffee to write in my journal. This means I’m walking in the dark and I still feel half asleep when I do my meditation, which means I often actually drift off to sleep in that.

I wondered if having coffee before my meditation would affect that. I learned from Matthew Walker, author of the book Why We Sleep, that it takes caffeine about 12-14 minutes before it has an effect on your system and that people who say they get a ‘jolt’ from a coffee are getting the jolt from the hot beverage, not from the caffeine, which I suppose means I wouldn’t necessarily need to make my pre-meditation drink a coffee. But then again, there’s no reason why it couldn’t be.

So the plan is to have a hot beverage while I do my morning journalling, then do my meditation and finally go for a walk, and to do this BEFORE I engage with my phone and the world. (Easier said than done when the app I use for meditation is on my phone . . . But the idea is a good one.)

I got the idea from Christian Rivera, who spoke about starting your day by first focusing on your mental, physical and spiritual needs, then connecting with your nearest and dearest, and maybe clearing your physical space, before you work your way out to connecting with the world.

As soon as I saw this, I realised it was the opposite to the shutdown routine that Lisa Byrne had suggested (and I remember writing about a long time ago), where you create a bedtime routine that acts as a bridge from where you are at the end of the day to a place where your body and mind are ready to fall into a deeper level of rest. So, first you cut your connection to the world by shutting down your devices, then you do something to calm your body (like a bath or some stretching), followed by something to calm your mind (such as reading) and finally something to nurture your spirit before you go to sleep.

I like it and I’m going to try it.

22 for 2022 summary

  • Things completed to date: 5 (10, 11, 13, 18, 22)
  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things I worked on this week: 3: (1, 8, 12, 21)
  • Things in progress: 4 (1, 8, 12, 21)
  • Things not started: 13 (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20)

What do I want to do next week?

  1. Hand in assignment 2C
  2. Finish assignment 3A
  3. Do some more work on my “deep work” handbook
  4. Keep working on the blog post for the book Four Thousand Weeks
  5. Do the week 4 activities from the Mindspot program
  6. Take some more photos of the windows

Weekly summary

What did I learn this week?

I learned many things this week. Here’s something I definitely didn’t know: One plural form of octopus is octopodes, which is pronounced oc-TO-puh-dees (like the way you say Antipodes). This ending is rarely used and stems from the belief that, because octopus is originally a Greek word, it should have a Greek ending.

What was the best thing about this week?

The best thing this week was spending a morning doing stuff with Kramstable and hanging out with him and Lil Sis and Mr Tall on Saturday night.

What I’m reading this week

  • Why People Photograph by Robert Adams
  • Belonging to the Earth: Nature Spirituality in a Changing World by Julie Brett

Habit tracker

  • Days I went for a walk in the morning (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I did my morning planning routine at work (Goal = 5): 5
  • Days I did controlled breathing (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I did jaw stretches (Goal = 7): 0
  • Days I did my post-work pack up routine (Goal = 5): 4
  • Finish work by 5.30 (Goal = 5): 5
  • Days I worked on my art (Goal = 2): 2
  • Days I read a book (Goal = 7): 6
  • Days I went for a walk or did other physical activity in the afternoon (Goal = 5): 6
  • Days I shut my computer down before 9.30 (Goal = 6): 6
  • Weekly review at work: Yes
  • Weekly review at home: Yes
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