Week 52/2022: It’s not the end

Week 52/2022: Week of 26 December 2022

It’s not the end

I’m one of those lucky people for whom the end of the year is an enforced shutdown. My favourite thing to do during this week is to not do anything and not go anywhere. And that is precisely what I did.

I had a vague idea that I might do an end of year review over this week. Something like Susannah Conway’s Unravel Your Year workbook, which Susannah generously makes available for free every year.

It’s a nice way to round out the year, with a look back at how the previous 12 months were. Some of the questions include “what lit you up” each month and “what challenged you”. Fair to say there were a lot of things in that section, which was dominated by another year of the pandemic and mounting evidence that this is far more than a mild respiratory virus. That’s overshadowed the entire year for me, along with challenges at work and issues with a particular family member.

But along with the challenges, I found more things than I expected that were wonderful. Simple things like my photo walks, reading books that inspired me, and connecting with an old friend, as well as big things like doing the literacy tutoring course at TAFE and finishing one of my photo projects.

I worked on that review over a few days this week. It will go on into next week too, as I start to get an idea of the things I need to do to keep me going in the direction I feel like I’m heading in right now.

During the week, I signed up for a creative writing course with Shaun Levin on the Domestika platform. Not because I really wanted to do another course. Maybe it was a distraction from grappling with some of the more challenging questions in the yearly review.

One of the books Shaun recommends is Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones, which I had bought a couple of weeks ago but not started reading. The course motivated me to read it and—wow—I love it!

A hand holding the book Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg
Writing Down the Bones

If ever there’s been a book that’s told me something I needed to hear this was it.

The course, combined with the book, has encouraged me to change up my morning ritual to include time for writing by hand, with a pencil on actual paper.

A green notebook on an outside table with four pencils on top of it. There is a coffee cup on the table
Trying out some pencils

And I have a few more things to work on as well, including revamping my neglected writing blog.

The rest of the week involved walking and photographing the agapanthus.

A purple agapanthus flower bursting out from the bud against a green leafy background
Early morning agapanthus #1

It was a good week.

22 for 2022 update

This is the final week of 2022 and, therefore, of 22 for 2022.

I finished nine things on the list.

  • 8. Complete the TAFE literacy tutoring course
  • 10. Read Cal Newport’s Deep Work and make a summary of key takeaways and actions
  • 11. Review the Priority Samurai course material and identify actions
  • 13. Sort out my Todoist and get rid of all the outdated tasks
  • 17. Complete the 30-day writing bootcamp
  • 18. Complete the Australian Writers’ Centre Content Writing course
  • 19. Complete the Australian Writers’ Centre Profile Writing course
  • 20. Complete the Australian Writers’ Centre Romance Writing course
  • 22. Complete the Cosmic Calibration course and give feedback

I worked on seven more but didn’t get them to the point where I’d say they were done.

  • 1. Complete the MindSpot Wellbeing program
  • 2. See a nutritionist
  • 3. Learn about food waste and make a menu plan that minimises waste
  • 5. Sort out my kombucha supplies and start brewing it regularly
  • 6. Grow something in the veggie bed I cleared out in 2021
  • 12. Building on things 10 and 11, make a handbook for deep work, managing distractions and prioritising rest
  • 21. Read the books in the 2022 Dymocks Reading Challenge (As you can see from my 2022 reading list, I read 52 books this year, including 16 of the 20 suggestions from the reading challenge—or 21 out of the complete list of 26.)

I abandoned four things.

  • 4. Talk to my GP about a health issue I’m concerned about (I’ll do this in 2023.)
  • 7. Get a strength training program (I’m waiting for my shoulder to be able to handle this.)
  • 9. Manage a small project at work using the project management tools I learned on the course in January (This is not going to happen in my current position.)
  • 15. Create a system for managing new information at work (I want to do this but it feels very overwhelming.)

And I didn’t get to two others, so I guess I abandoned them too.

  • 14. Get a Strengthsfinder assessment (I still want to do this. I think it would be interesting.)
  • 16. Complete the 30-day voice course (Something I’m procrastinating on.)

So much for my idea at the start of the year to add timeframes to the things to make sure I got them done.

But I also did things that weren’t on the list, and I had a lot of other stuff going on, so it all balances out in the end.

I have a new idea for 2023. Stay tuned!

22 for 2022 summary

  • Things completed in 2022: 9 (8, 10, 11, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22)
  • Things I made some progress on: 7 (1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 12, 21)
  • Things I didn’t do: 6 (4, 7, 9, 14, 15, 16)

What do I want to do next week?

My shoulder exercises. Write a blog post on the book Stolen Focus. Plan my 23 for 2023. Work on the creative writing course.

Weekly summary

What was the best thing about this week?

Building a writing practice and photographing agapanthus.

An agapanthus flower bursting out of the bud on two sides
Morning agapanthus #2

Oh, and having a week off was pretty good too.

What did I learn this week?

I learned about the matchgirls’ strike in London in 1888, which resulted in the Matchmakers Union being formed. Matchmakers as in makers of matches used to light fires, obviously. Not the other sort of matchmakers . . .

What did I notice this week?

Lots of different birds while I was out walking.

A gull facing away from the camera on the beach in early morning light
A gull hanging out on the beach

What I’m reading this week

  • This All Come Back Now: An anthology of First Nations speculative fiction edited by Mykaela Saunders
  • Loop Holes by Susan McCreery
  • Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

Habit tracker

  • Morning ritual (Goal = 7): 7
  • Move (preferably before 3 pm) (Goal = 7): 7
  • Morning writing (Goal = 7): 6
  • Listened to writing podcasts (Goal = 2): 0
  • Shut my computer down before 9.15 (Goal = 6): 4
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