Weekly planning and review? Yeah.. not so much

So apparently planning doesn’t work for me anymore. I planned for some things and ended up doing something completely different. And it seems to work better, at least for now. Ignore the plan and let my wild spirit do whatever sounds good at the time. It does mean that some things are left out, and sometimes I procrastinate too much (and feel bad for wasting my time in front of the tv), but when inspiration appears then it is worth it. While trying to figure out what to do with the garden, we ended up buying new tiles for the kitchen. And now I really, really feel like painting the kitchen, so that’s where my mind is right now. And we’ve been doing those dinners once a week with friends or family (not mine, they are too far…) and it is a lot of fun. Enjoying life at its best!

Week 10 review, Week 11 planning

Where does time disappear to?? Oh, that’s right, writing a speech in a foreign language and learning it always takes a lot of time. Trying to figure out what to do with the garden and get all our ideas destroyed by other people consumes too much time too. I did manage to get my things done except for the Chinese children book that I am reading. I will finish it today though since it needs to go back to the library before midnight!

As for this coming week, I fear that it is going to be a bit too ambitious… Especially if the weather gets better. Also, we’ve decided that we would invite friends over for dinner every week (yay for enjoying life! I love to cook!). This is the third week that we are doing it. What else do I want to accomplish this week? Here’s the list.

– Finish that children’s book… should be done today
– Finally figure out what to do with the garden! Running out of time!!
– Practice Chinese brush paint for next art/craft project
– Business task: read through notes and detail ideas

Week 10 – Planning

Let’s get back on track, starting with a lighter load. This has been an interesting experiment, for the most part successful. After this past few weeks hiatus, though, I feel the need to ease myself back into it without too much pressure. Not that it put a lot of pressure on me, it’s just that some weeks were busier than others and having a todo list could make it hard to enjoy it. And the goal in life shouldn’t be to follow a list. It should be enjoyment.

But things need to get done in order to have the life I dream of. So let’s start with a few tasks. They are tasks that my procrastination has pushed to the point that they are becoming very important now. I have to write a speech for my Chinese class next Saturday. If I’m going to plant a garden, I have to do it now. (not that my seeds gave me many seedlings, this was kind of a fail, but there are still things I can do.) And this d*mn business isn’t going to start itself.

So here’s this week’s list:

– Write Chinese speech for class contest

– Finish planning garden (and buy/plant stuff)

– Really get started on the business: for now it mostly means planning work for the next 5 or 6 weeks.

– Email recipes to Ashley (I said I’d do it a week and a half ago)

– Finish reading Chinese children book (oh and my other books that need to go back to the library)

Starting now!

We forget that we are free

I have been reading Russell Brand’s Revolution. He is an interesting guy, and it is an entertaining read. A lot of the things he says make sense. Many changes are needed in our society. The best paragraph I read yesterday, though, as about people:

We are animals. We are free animals with a divine spark, we’re not in a farm or a zoo or a theme park, we’re free. We’ve forgotten that we’re free. There’s so much to do, so much on TV, that we’ve forgotten that we’re free.   ~ Russell Brand, Revolution

This is so true. Even when trying to push ourselves to follow our dreams or take a different path, we get so caught up in our daily lives that we forget that we are free. Yes we need money in order to buy food and shelter (although some people may disagree, for example food can be grown), we are the ones that make the decision to take a specific job or stay at that job. Nobody is forcing our hand. We are the ones who decide whether we get the job. We are the ones who decide we want to live someplace or not. Just look at the crazy people who decide to quit everything and move somewhere else. They made that decision. Most of the time they say they made the right decision. Some people stay in their job and love it. Some people stay because they feel like they don’t have a choice but it isn’t true. There is always choice. Choice with consequences, obviously, but in this world we are free to make them. Some people push us in one direction, like our parents who want us to be engineers or doctors, like marketing companies who want us to buy the biggest house and too much stuff, but in the end, we do make the decision of listening to them or deciding for ourselves.

I had all those goals at the beginning of the year, and moved toward accomplishing them. Then maybe I just was taking on too much at one time, and needed a break. My one week break has become a three week break. I did accomplish many things these past weeks though, it’s not like I was just sitting around doing nothing. Unless that is what I chose to do of course. The thing is, I am the one who chose all those goals. Maybe they are just right, maybe there are too many of them. I’ll get back on track and continue what I started. Either way, they were all my choice, because I am free. It is so easy to forget. I am free. We are all free.

Week 9 – Planning

As explained in my previous post (here), last week went kind of crazy. Even those two posts are written one day late. First I had other things to do, then I just forgot about it.

So I have decided that, while last week became a break on its own, this week I am not going to plan anything. This week is the break that I need. Then I will get back on track next Sunday. We will see what happens in the meantime.

Week 8 – Review

Well it was fun while it lasted. So far I had done a good job most weeks. But this week was something else entirely. It went completely differently than I had anticipated. I think it is simply that after weeks of actually doing everything I was supposed to do (totally subjective task list set by myself), I needed a break in the cadence. It feels like I achieved almost nothing last week, even though I did do more than what is checked in the list. I even worked on tax forms for several hours (but did not finish it, so the task is not complete). Mostly I just didn’t feel like doing anything. And I didn’t.

Maybe I could have pushed myself, but then what would be the point of a life where we just force ourselves to do specific things?

Here’s the actual list:

A Pregnancy test OK (negative again)
B Follow up CSG-CRDS
B File taxes Started
C Kitchen design (+ extra: one tiny papercut?)
E Chinese lesson 8 part 1 OK
F Read “Zero waste home” OK
G Buy or order seed potatoes

Aside from that, what did I do?

  • I went through the selection of jury duty, but was not selected. This is a strange process.
  • I spent a lot of time at home
  • I felt very lonely at times and very happy to be alone at others
  • We took a walk in the park, which looked great with the snow
  • I sorted my closet and got rid of half of my clothes
  • I cooked and baked a million things (okay, just four different things) on Saturday
  • Sometimes not following a list is nice.

The war on plastic: what have we bought?

In the past few weeks I tried to reduce the amount of plastic we bought. I used kind of a strange way to do it, allowing only 10 food items contained in plastic per week. Why ten? It just seemed like a good number to start with. 10 doesn’t seem like a whole lot. At the same time, 10 per week means 520 per year and that is a huge scary amount of useless wrappers and containers!

So how did we do? Here are the numbers for the five weeks we did it: 9, 9, 7, 8, 7.

Some things are easy to reduce. Produce doesn’t need to be wrapped in a plastic bag. So anything pre-packaged is forbidden. Anything else goes. I’m sure the cashiers hate me when the produce is dirty or wet. I do feel bad, but I’d feel worse if I used extra bags. Some stores (mostly whole foods) have bulk bins, where I was able to get all kinds of beans and seeds. Replacing junk food by pumpkin seeds is pretty cool (although there is always a point when the crave for “real” junk food comes back, yay for bulk bin corn to pop!) Bulk bin actually isn’t more expensive than buying the stuff in cans or bags. It requires a bit more work. And I finally tried something: I brought my own containers to the store instead of using their plastic bags for the bulk items. I’m going to need bigger container, but the bigger obstacle was to dare to do it. Now that I did it, twice, it will be a breeze to do it again. I also make a lot of bread and even started making bagels.

But we still bought a lot of things in plastic. Apparently we (well, mostly my husband, while I was out of town) still bought a lot of chips. And he drinks soda and kool-aid type drinks every day. The main culprit, though, was cheese. I never realized how much cheese we eat until I listed these items. Lots of cheese. Then, some meat and some fish. I suppose I could take my own containers and see if they cheese/meat/fish stations at the store would be okay filling them, but I’m not brave enough to do it just yet.