Rewind/Fast Forward: September/October 2014


wpid-wp-1412085779709.jpegAs I’ve been doing this so far this year, I thought I’d look back at my previous month and ahead to my next month.

2014 Goals

So first here’s how I did in on my goals for September 2014: personal, blogging, reading, and social media – with thoughts on how I can improve on these for October.

Personal goals: Still not enough exercise, but did go on bike rides with my wife as I mentioned in previous Rewind/Fast Forward post. I also got outside a lot more than I did the previous month, as evidenced by the photos above, some from walks and bike rides on my own too.

Blog goals: Cut from 5 to 6 days a week to only 3 days a week most of the time. Thursday’s Thoughts, Flashback Friday, and The Sunday Salon.

Reading goals: Still no reading challenges and still reading what I want.

Social media goals: Limiting myself mostly to weekends on Facebook. Not so much with Twitter.

The highlights

Reading: A total of 4 books for the month; 47, for the year. Continuing to read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, which I wrote about here: “Scheduling ourselves so that down time is part of the equation.” About book blogging slumps and possible solutions.
Watching: Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Listening to: Syro by Aphex Twin. Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone by Lucinda Williams.
Photographing: #100happydays, which I reviewed on the surface and a little bit deeper.
Doing: A four-day Labor Day Weekend. 2 bike rides with wife and neighbors. New wing place.
Saying: A lot to start the month, mostly about roadwork, and then less toward the end of the month.

The view ahead

Reading? More 7 Habits. Watching? Parks and Rec, Season 6, on Netflix. Finishing M*A*S*H marathon. Listening? More machine music, of course. 🙂 Doing? Sister-in-law’s wedding. Saying? Less is more.

How about you? How was your month of September and what are you looking forward to in October? Read any good books, heard any good music, watched any good movies, taken any good photographs last  month? And/or what do you have on tap for October?

#100happydays in review: The “Deep Thoughts” Edition

On Sunday, I gave a surface review of #100happydays in which I participated on Instagram from June until this past Saturday. Today I thought I’d dig a little deeper.

Why did I begin this? Was it because I had a void in my life that I needed filled? No, I don’t think so. At first, I was resistant to it because I thought it was a silly meme, which in some ways it is, and it was a fad that would pass, which it will.

So what made me cave to the pressure, if not peer, at least in my own head? I think maybe it had something to do with turning 45, not that the age was a milestone but that I already had planned a special birthday weekend and, by extension, special birthday month. Why not extend it further?

I started with a photo of me with wings and ended with a photo of me with wings. In between, I attempted to chronicle more than just food or drink that made me happy, because I didn’t want to be viewed as someone always ruled by his appetites. However, often I still defaulted to a food or drink photo, perhaps because even if not all the time, much of the time I am ruled by my appetites.

At times, I was able to chronicle what really made, and makes, me happy. That includes spending time with my wife, my family, my cat, a good book, a good album, a good movie.

In the case of food, and maybe this is a rationalization to some degree, I not only thought of the food or drink but also sometimes of other things. Sometimes I thought of the hands, particularly my wife’s, that prepared it. Other times, I saw the food or drink as a symbol: for the end of the work day or week, for example.

I should add here that it isn’t that my part-time job as a library assistant is that bad or bad at all. It’s just that as an introvert, and with the way my work week progresses from shorter days to longer days, I look forward to those days, usually the weekend, that I am not around people.

It also didn’t hurt that I did this meme during the summer. In fact when I chose to do it, I consulted the calendar and noted that the bulk of the days would be before Labor Day. If this had been during the winter, I doubt I would have done it. As my wife noted when I mentioned this that I could have done it during the winter, but that it wouldn’t have been as easy.

I asked her if she thought it made me happier, she said that it did insofar as we planned to do things together and then had fun doing things. Otherwise, she said I was a miserable bastard. Okay, not really, but hey, now that this thing is over, I can go back to being one.

Or maybe, just maybe I always will be in a state of nirvana.

Of course, if I can stay in the middle of the two extremes, bastard and nirvana, I might be…well…happy.

Flashback Friday 2: One four-day weekend down, another one to go

Each Friday, I use St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Examen to ask for what am I most grateful this past week? I also sometimes ask: For what am I least grateful this past week?

What I’m most grateful for this past week:

  • A four-day weekend this past weekend, including reading on Sunday and going on a hike with my wife on Monday.
  • Returning to work and not finding lots of problems waiting for me. Not that as a library assistant I usually do but still…
  • Small thing in the larger scheme of things but still worth mentioning: Organizing my cell phone home screen calendar so don’t see work every day and can have other things to look forward to than just the routine.
  • Asking for, and getting, day off on Friday of Labor Day Weekend, especially on such short notice, to end month with another four-day weekend. Wife has off Friday but doesn’t know if has Monday off yet because doesn’t have September schedule yet. I didn’t realize…until earlier in week, but glad I have boss who allowed me the time off when she didn’t have to do so.

So what are you most grateful for this past week?