Apr. 22nd, 2008

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Howdy folks - I'm hailing from work, where I've spent most of the day toying with feathers and metal shine in Photoshop. My brain and fingers need a break now so here comes an unnecessary journal entry, one that is more an open letter to myself than any kind of worthwhile update.

I haven't been updating much because there's nothing much to say - everything is going brilliantly. Sad truth of the matter is that I update this thing way more when I'm unhappy. It helps me find direction. At times when I'm rolling smoothly along an even, straight road free of potholes, I don't need that added help with direction, so I don't need this journal.

(I always read my Friends List though. I'm way too involved in most of your lives to stop now.)

Life's a bit of a juggling act at the best of times though, and the quiet times are the best ones to improve the areas where there's still room for improvement.

Anyway, the below is how I improve. Usually I do this in my head, but I'm a-gonna write it out today. It's a bit OCD, but for me, slicing life up into easily-managed chunks and creating plans for how to deal with each aspect really helps make it all seem more manageable.

- Social: 10/10! I'm happy with the amount of time I'm spending with the people I care about.
Action: Keep it rolling. :)

- Home Maintenence: 4/10. When 'Social' works well, 'Home' often suffers. Sometimes I put off tidying my room past the point of personal comfort (my room-tidiness standards skyrocketed when I was single and had loads of free time), and clutter in my personal space gets under my skin like pins and needles. The rest of the house is untidy too, but I don't anticipate being able to do much about it until Chris and Jess move out in a month, at which point we'll have lots more space downstairs and I can start looking at some storage solutions.
Action: Needs focus in 1 month.

- Weight: 5/10. This has always been a big one for me, as I put on weight really easily so I need to CONSTANTLY monitor myself in this area. The commute to my new job only requires 30 minutes to an hour of walking per day, not enough to meet my body's energy-use requirements for weight loss. So I'm hovering at a reasonable weight at the moment... but it's certainly not my best and I don't feel that I look as good as I could. I still fit my clothes which means it's not out of control; however, many of my smaller clothes are tight, which is how I know when it's time to clamp down on my eating habits and exercise. At my smallest I was 5 kilos lighter than this.
Action: Focus tightly on weight-loss for the next month to knock off a couple of kilos, then split attention between this and sorting out the house. Cut out coffee. Snack less. Walk more, even if it means getting up an hour earlier.

- Health: 7/10. As above, I could be getting more excercise - I'd be happiest with a minimum of an hour and a half every weekday. I also need to scrape together the funds to get a dental checkup, as I'm ridiculously overdue. I need to sort out the birth control issue (the Pill causes mood swings and breakthrough bleeding, most other methods cause bleeding, and I don't feel entirely safe just relying on condoms). I need to pamper my skin and hair once in a while. I need to get back some flexibility, sitting at a desk all day has left me a little stiff. Finally, I would like to organise a once-weekly massage for my poor shoulders. Fortunately most of this is small-details stuff; my general health is good.
Action: Organise those massages within the next two months, once finances allow. Once debts are completely paid, save up for a dental checkup. Speak to a doctor, again, about birth control options.

- Work: 9/10. Couldn't be better. Well, actually, it could be: At the end of my three-month trial I need to negotiate a permenant wage, and eventually I'd like to do what my co-artist Johnny did and negotiate a four-day working week.
Action: Continue to make a good impression through remainder of three-month trial.

- Finance: 5/10. I give myself that 5 because, thank goodness, I'm not living above my means. Starting last pay, when I finally caught up, each payday I spend what I need to live and still have ample funds left over. Top priority now is to pay off debts, then pour all the extra into paying off the mortgage on the block of land. Once I own it outright I will use it as equity to get a loan to build on it (and subsequently rent out the house, using the rental income to pay down the loan and expenses), and/or use it as equity to get a loan to buy property elsewhere. Eventually I want to own my own home somewhere in the Brisbane area, but that's too far ahead to be included here.
Action: Pay off debts. Burn credit card and exist without it. Pay off land ASAP.

- Mental / Emotional Health: 9/10. I never needed to include this up until last year, when I did an amazing impression of Humpty Dumpty. That was The Depression We Had To Have, and comparing myself now to how I was BEFORE the depression (when I thought I was happy, most of the time) the difference is amazing. I feel grounded and deeply content. I feel calm, centered and reasonable. I feel as though I can take on any problem - practical, interpersonal, emotional - deal with it reasonably and come out with a solution, feeling great. And so far I've been doing just that. I guess I didn't need a qualified psychologist to tell me I'm fine, but that moment was a nice confirmation of what I already knew.
Action: Continue along the same lines.

- Creativity: 7/10. Writing the book is fantastic but it's proceeding very slowly, as it gets slotted in around work, friend-time, Joe-time and other practicalities. I've taken to carrying a stack of 6x4 index cards around with me and it's great. Coming along slowly but steadily. I anticipate running into time issues when I start working on the draft.
Action: Complete index-card layout; begin draft by end of May.

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Tania Walker

August 2008

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