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Pondering my life

I’m pretty happy right now.

I have a sweet handsome wonderful husband, good friends, everything I need to live, some nice things I don’t need, a rewarding job, a good job prospect, online communities I enjoy, stuff like that. I’ve also managed to start doing some good things for myself, like giving up caffeine, and now dieting. Further, I’m working towards being able to have children by going to the doctor and undergoing hormone therapy.

However, there are still places in which I feel deficient.

While writing a comment on Sam’s blog this morning, I pretty much laid out my biggest weakness in writing: structure/plot. This has always been the stumbling block whenever I’ve tried to create anything longer than a post for the AMRN. Short stories, novels…they both suffer from a lack of organization and substance. My characters are great, and their development is not really an issue. But I need to figure out what it is that causes them to develop.

I’m okay at web design. I know enough to get by. But I’m not a web geek by any means. I feel that I would like to learn enough to be able to do all sorts of cool things–and be cross-platform compatible while doing them.

Geek stuff in general, I’d like to know more about. I’d like to be able to dynamically update and export my favorites lists so they would display on my website. (I don’t even know if that’s possible.) Really, I’d like my website to be the Definitive Repository of Me, easy to update, comprehensive. It’s far from that point; I would really need my own custom code to do everything I want. CMSes are great, but kind of cumbersome when you know enough about code to be able to imagine how it could be done better. I feel the same way about the AMRN. There is so much I would like to see done with the site, not the least of which a database that can be referenced both from the boards and from the main page. But I just don’t know enough.

I watch a lot of anime these days, and listen to anime music, but I have pretty much halted my study of the Japanese language. I miss it. I want to become as fluent as possible for a non-native speaker learning the language in adulthood, and I know that I am very far from that point. (And while we’re dreaming, I’d also like to learn more languages. Mandarin and Cantonese, Korean, French–I’ve pretty much forgotten everything, Spanish, German. More. I’m interested in what makes languages tick.)

While my diet is successful so far, and I’m feeling better about my health, I haven’t been exercising properly at all. I really need to do this. If I am able to conceive, I want to be healthy when I do it. I want to be a mom who is active, not one who sits on the sidelines because she’s too tired or too inflexible or too big or whatever.

I haven’t been doing FlyLady “properly”. I manage, for the most part, to keep my sink clean, and I pick up after myself, but I don’t have routines in place for keeping things tidy, and my apartment is covered in a layer of dust.

I’m also not very good about getting lunches and dinners ready every day. This is something I really want to improve on, so that we can save money on eating out, and so we can both eat healthier.

There are plenty of other things I’d like to do as well, and don’t.

The commonality here is simply time management. To get better at things, I have to actually do them. Practice makes perfect–or at least, the best you can be. I don’t practice anything at all.

When I decide to try something out, I tend to go overboard in the beginning because I’m excited about changing myself. After awhile, be it days, weeks, or months, I burn out, and go back to my normal life. This obviously isn’t the way to change myself.

What I need to do is start building habits into my daily routine. Habits like practicing writing, tidying up, studying Japanese, working out. And I need to build in some time for organizing this–what FlyLady calls “Desk Day”. I can’t do anything if I don’t have a plan for it. For instance, “study Japanese” is extraordinarily vague. Study what? I need to think about what is all involved in the study of a language, and work out what sorts of things I can do each day to practice and reinforce my knowledge. But creating a year-long (or whatever) lesson plan can’t happen all in one day–or I’d burn out again. So I need to make a date with myself to “plan how to study Japanese”.

I don’t want to look back at this part of my life someday, like I now look back at my high school and college days, and think, “I had so much time then. Why didn’t I use it for anything?” I want to learn and better myself. But I need to make a plan.

The best idea is to add routines gradually. My current evening routine is:

  1. Clean up dinner dishes
  2. Start dishwasher
  3. Brush teeth and change into nightclothes
  4. Set out clothes for next day

My current morning routine is:

  1. Get up
  2. Weigh myself and put weight into DietPower
  3. Take vitamins and hormones
  4. Take shower
  5. Put on clothes
  6. Eat breakfast
  7. Sit around online until it’s time for work

I don’t have an after-work routine, and, as you can see, the dishwasher just gets unloaded whenever I feel like it :> I also don’t have a specific time of day to do laundry. (I’m doing it all right now–yuck.) I’d rather have a time of day to do laundry, and just do a load every day it was necessary. In other words…break the job down into more manageable chunks.

The dishwasher, laundry, and exercise are big priorities right now. If I have a time that I’m supposed to do things, I think I would be more likely to do them; rather than just thinking “Yeah, I really should exercise sometime”, I’d be thinking, “Oops, it’s time to exercise!”

So! I’m going to work on following these routines next week:

Morning

  1. Get up
  2. Weigh myself and put weight into DietPower
  3. Take vitamins and hormones
  4. Take shower
  5. Put on clothes
  6. Eat breakfast
  7. Unload dishwasher
  8. Set out Sean’s lunch bag

After Work

  1. Do a load of laundry
  2. Walk around apartment complex for 30 minutes
  3. Plan and start dinner

After Dinner

  1. Clean up dishes
  2. Make Sean’s lunch for tomorrow
  3. Load and start dishwasher
  4. Shine sink
  5. Brush teeth and change into nightclothes
  6. Lay out clothes for tomorrow

That’s all I’ll ask of myself. Tuesday will be a little different since I have a job interview instead of work, but I’ll treat the interview as though it were my job and adjust accordingly. This will get me used to taking care of the dishes and laundry and start me on some simple exercise. Hopefully it’ll work out well.

Once I’m used to this routine, I’ll start adding in the rest of the stuff, like menu planning, grocery shopping, cleaning and the big stuff: practicing my writing, web design, and Japanese.

I want to improve myself, and I don’t want to just burn out again. Hopefully I’m starting small enough.