September to December in review

As 2017 comes to a close, it is time to reminisce, review and plan.

In September, I set out to do the wonderful things highlighted in bold.

A recount of what actually happened.

  • “add photos of me to this blog and make it more personal”
    • I added just a few personal photos.
    • Lessons:
      • Most of the time I don’t carry a proper camera and iPhone pictures aren’t that hot in my uninitiated hands.
      • I spend a lot of time in my office at home. It’s just not a very portraitogenic environment.
    • I think I started writing more personally. I also changed the name of the blog to my own name. This makes me very happy.
  • “instead of only making a list of what I plan to do the next day, start also writing a list of things I accomplished today”
    • I did this for a little while and gave up.
    •  Lessons:
      • It’s super useful when I felt like I’m not making progress despite all my efforts. It showed me just how much I am actually doing and helped me understand its relevance. However, on days when I feel like all is good anyway, it just felt like another chore.
      • A little trick occurred to me while doing this: I would write things in a numbered list and circle the number when it is something I did and I would put a square around the number when it is something that happened to me. This was probably the biggest source of insight.
  • “do a basic course in coding (xhtml? html5?) and see if I want to continue with it”
    • I did a super basic Khan Academy course in html. Frankly, I had done most of this in primary school. It didn’t particularly ignite a desire to learn more at this stage as I don’t have a purpose for it.
    • Buuut!… I found an easier way to change the features of my education website than going back to first principles of coding
    •  Lessons:
      • Learning for the sake of learning may be fun, but not necessarily when it comes to html!
      • A solution to the practical problem I didn’t even realise was stimulating me to do this in the first place can jump out from the good old academic approach, i.e. books are great nutrition for bookworms, “play to your strengths”, etc.
  • “sort out my car”
    • That’s a work in progress. I am relying on other people to help me with this as I am not very passionate about cars. It’s just a utility to me.
    • Lessons:
      • I got quite disheartened when I asked for help and didn’t get immediate results. After all, do I ask that often, ffs?! It made me feel like people abandoned me. This isn’t a closed chapter yet, but I suspect that I need to cut others more slack. There have been countless situations when I worked and worked and worked – but the results came in all at once, not in a stepwise manner in proportion to my work. This must happen to others too. See point about a list of things I accomplished today above.
  • “bring Mam to the theatre”
    • Complete fail on this front, however, I did a load of other things with my mom which I think sort of makes up for it.
    • Lessons:
      • Planning sucks sometimes.
  • “go on a short holiday”
    • Tick!
      • Proof: here is me with the river Volga in the background. This river would have been a big deal for my ancestors, I imagine.

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

  • “go to the gym at least 40 times”
    • Yeah right. I only managed 23 in September, October and November. This still means gym every 3-4 days. Oh well, should have been more realistic!
  • “read 3 books”
    • I shouldn’t have badmouthed Taleb, The Black Swan is really good past the nauseatingly familiar first 150 pages or so.
    • The Handmaid’s Tale was underwhelming
    • Boris Akunin’s Love for History and Photo as a Haiku were also rather underwhelming (published in Russian).


6 thoughts on “September to December in review”

  1. …Lists… Planning… Reviewing… this is totally me! Although you’ve gone into a lot more detail than I think I do; breaking things down into sub-points.

    I hear your point about over-planning and your earlier observation when employing the circling and squaring tactic; that’s a good one and I might try it. I’m curious to know what your ratio of circles to squares tends to be; squares make me smile but circles sure are rewarding. I think the planning (circling) is good for getting the fundamentals in place, but I tend to end up beating myself up when I don’t finish (or start) all what I plan… we have to remember then that the random squares will come along; squares that might not have occurred if at least some circles weren’t already in place. With previous New Year Resolutions I have included such things as “be more spontaneous” or “plan less”.

    As for your car, I too have asked for assistance from someone I do favours for, and wait weeks/months/years to get nothing. grr.


  2. Here’s three books. Pick (at least one): A Tale for the Time Being. The Girl with all the Gifts, The Hum and the Shiver, and a non-fiction The Shallows.

    I find lists are for projects, moving or travel. Life lists sound like instant guilt trips.

    Liked by 1 person

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