Week 26/2021: soften

Week of 28 June 2021

What did I want to do better this week?

I wanted to work on going to bed earlier, taking baby steps rather than trying to change everything all at once. So my new plan was to try and shut everything down by 9.45 on four days this week.

So, how did that go then?

I succeeded with five days and even the days I didn’t shut down by 9.45, I had done it by 10.00.

The next part of the plan for getting more sleep was to turn my alarms off for a couple of weeks and see what time my body wanted to wake up. The deal is I don’t have to wake up at 5.30 but whatever time I wake up is when I get up. Unless it’s ridiculously early. But if it’s a time close to the time I would have set my alarm for, then its time to get up and go for a walk.

The first night I did this, I woke up four or five times during the night, the last time at 4.00 when I lay there until I got up at 6.15. I’m not sure if my subconscious knew the alarm was off and wanted to keep checking whether it was the right time, Hint: no time starting with 12, 2, 3 or 4 is the correct time to be getting up.

This is an experiment in progress and I’ll see how it goes over the next few weeks.

21 for 2021 update

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. After making two new veg recipes last week, I decided to have a break from new recipes this week. I don’t have the energy at the moment so instead of trying to push myself, I’m going to listen to myself and take it easy.

Annoying undone things (thing 5)

I am now into week two of seasoning the frypan, one of the things that has been on the list for more than 12 months. It’s a multi-stage process involving three or four rounds of oven seasoning and then stovetop seasoning to build up the non stick surface. It occurred to me, after the pan got quite a lot darker after its first outing in the oven. I should have taken before and after photos.

I’m also still reading one of the books on the list. It’s slow going.

Kramstable’s videos (thing 8)

After I thought I’d completed the first video, on Friday night, Kramstable said to me, “the band tour isn’t in my video!” And indeed, it seems I missed one of the most significant things he did that year, playing bass clarinet in the Year 6 Band.

I’ll blame my super efficient file organisation system for that because I didn’t even login that folder for video clips to include. So I went back to the editing board for the video I thought I’d finished.

My mother’s story (thing 9)

This week my mum and I went through some more of her slides. The ones we looked at were mainly from trips she and my Dad had done including a great one of a Melbourne freeway being constructed.

The Compelling Frame course (thing 11)

In lesson 8, I was supposed to go through my photos from the past 12 months and find some images that showed depth and think about what techniques I used to achieve that depth. Being totally honest, I don’t think I’ve ever deliberately considered depth in my photographs before, so anything like that would be purely accidental.

I was supposed to spend 30 minutes on this but I got distracted on an image that I made last year and spent more time editing that than doing the exercise. Ooops! It did feel good to be making something just for fun though. I haven’t done that for a while now.

Red reflections of a car park next to a yellow bollard

On Sunday, I worked on lesson 9, which was about contrast. I wrote a post about how that went here.

Brainsparker (thing 17)

This week I completed Module 7, and we covered the “Disney” method, which breaks the creative process into three stages: dreamer (coming up with the ideas), realist (turning the ideas into an action plan) and critic (identifying weaknesses in the plan).

I loved the idea that you might have different spaces for each activity so that your brain recognises that when you’re in that space, you’re there to do a particular activity.

21 for 2021 summary

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

What else did I do this week?

A check in

I tried to get back into my afternoon walking habit, which was something I was doing regularly when I was working at home full-time, but it started to drop away once I went back to the office. I know it’s not really an excuse but I’m finding having different length days and being in different places at different times is not conducive to maintaining a habit like that, even on the five days I generally am at home in the afternoon.

It’s actually a terrible excuse. Five days should be enough to build a consistent habit and what I really want to do is to start building in the exercise program I got from the exercise physiologist earlier in the year (thing 1) into that time. But first things first. Build the space into my days.

What made me think this week?

Someone on instagram posed the question “what themes are coming up for you lately?”. The voice in my head immediately, without me even thinking about it, said “soften”, and I don’t think it was referring to laundry products. It made me think about ways I treat myself harshly and expect more of myself than I’m in a position to do.

And the scene that greeted me when I walked on the beach that afternoon really reinforced that message.

Pastel colours of a beach at sunset

Soften. Make space.

What I’m reading this week

  • Gut. The inside story of our body’s most under-rated organ by Giulia Enders
  • gulp! The seven day crash course to master fear and break through any challenge by Gabriella Goddard
  • Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit

Habit tracker

  • Days I did my morning planning routine at work (Goal = 5): 5
  • Days I did my post-work pack up routine (Goal = 5): I can’t remember.
  • Days I worked on my art (Goal = 2): 3
  • Days I read a book (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I did yoga stretches (Goal = 7): 0
  • Days I had a lunch break away from my desk (Goal = 5 work days): 5
  • Days I went for a walk or did other physical activity in the afternoon (Goal = 7): 4
  • Days I shut my computer down before 9.45 (Goal = 4): 5
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