Tuesday, February 16, 2016

"Seven Things" Check-In: A Month and Change Later...

I'd been planning to do my check-in at a quarterly pace, but I think I really need to hold myself accountable... sooner rather than later. Measurable goals are great - when we measure them. I'm going to give myself a D on that right now, since "when I remember to" is not "regularly measuring and keeping track."

That said, though, here's what I have for grades so far:

1a. Spend Money/Time on Myself: A
I have added money in my budget (category: "self"), and I have been making time to see friends more often. The "shopping for myself" seems silly, but it does help me actually value my own sense of fun once in a while, and not just put myself on the back burner all the time. Plus, I like my new coat. Especially now that winter has decided to grace us with its presence.

1b. Just Say "No": A
January is a tough month, time-wise, for me. I'm just getting off the holiday merry-go-round, and I'm clinging HARD to time with my partner and needing to reconnect. Add in a trip between my partner and metamour that kind of twiddled with our schedules a bit, and it took far longer for me to get out of the "we have no time together" doldrums than usual.

However, I was also starting my list of "Seven Things" and was trying to spend more time on things I enjoyed - gaming, time with friends, etc., and the conflict between these two things, time-wise, had me conflicted emotionally as well.

I had an opportunity to go gaming with a new group from work. A group of people I don't know very well, but am looking forward to meeting at some point. This opportunity was going to be the week after my partner returned from his trip, on a Thursday. We would be spending Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday together. Tuesdays I spend with my kids as well. Wednesday was a band concert. This gaming night? You guessed it. Thursday.

After trying to figure out how to make it work, I finally just said no. There will be other opportunities (I hope), and it was too much in too short an amount of time.

You'd think that would have felt good, but it took a day or so to feel less conflicted about it. I'm curious to see if that will change over time.

2. Write/Create More: B
I did get the 1 blog post per month done (and not this meta stuff, either). Writing: A

As for the creating piece of this, I've decided to count my house projects as creativity. They're "making things" in one way or another, and I like getting them done. So far, I've gotten a table assembled in the cellar, a bathroom closet mostly completed (who rips shelves out of a bathroom closet when they move? WHO DOES THAT??), so I'm pretty happy with how that's going.

That said, I've probably only done about half of what I wanted to do, on average. I don't have an exact measurement, though, since I got distracted and stopped measuring this one. Sigh... Back on the stick. Grade: C

3.
I still need to pull back from the "fart around online" stuff, but I finished "More Than Two" on the last day of January, dammit. With hours (HOURS!) to spare. Working on "Ready Player One" at the moment, and I'm loving that book, so it shouldn't be too hard to make it through February with another A. The trick will be to see if I can complete "Ready Player One" in time to finish "The Martian" with the time I have left now that I've taken that e-book out as well.

Oh yeah, I found the e-book site for my library. This is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

4. Healthy Stuff In: D-
Let's just call this spade a spade. I stopped keeping track of my veggies. Period. When you're pressed for time, you either skip grocery shopping and go with what's in the house (not veggies... or certainly not fresh ones), or you "eat lazy". I tend to fall back into the "lazy eating" category as a default, and this has been no exception.

The drinking thing... meh. I've been drinking more tea, and I've limited my booze budget - instead of absorbing it in my "groceries" category, I spell it out separately and only buy x amount per month. That's been working out okay, despite some wine consumption at home alone. The budgeting thing is the only reason I'm not giving this entire goal an F.

5. Exercise More: INCOMPLETE
So... here's what happened with that.
I pulled together a training plan and started it; I noticed my stamina was building nicely, Spinning was easier, I was feeling pretty good, and was ready to register for that half-marathon... except for this really, really tight hip that isn't responding to any stretches at all.

Then the hip pain crept into my lower back and all hell broke loose. Again.

Now... doctor's orders: no running. PT. X-Ray on the hip (which came back normal). Possible visit to the orthopedist if the hip doesn't improve in a couple more weeks.

On a good note, the PT is certainly helping my back. The bummer is that I will need to find some other exercise in the meantime, and that half marathon in May is pretty much a no-go at this point, as I'll have to start training from square one when this is all over.

For the next check-in, I intend to have some sort of exercise plan in place. And hopefully some improvement on that hip. The goal will be rewickered with the new exercise plan in mind.

6. More Social Connections: A-
I think I'm going to tweak this one, as the "contact someone you don't normally contact" is going to change as time goes on and I actually contact more people regularly. Plus, I don't quite think I should penalize myself for not contacting people when they contact me first. That said, if I have a goal, I should actually measure it, so I'll dock myself a few points for that.

Maybe changing the goal to add, "if I haven't heard from anyone in the last 7 days" at the end will suffice. Reaching out is still a good thing, and a good goal.

That said, I've definitely been making more plans with friends, and working on making some new ones. Overall, a good result.

7. Go Back to Counseling: INCOMPLETE
See the aforementioned PT discussion... that's where my spare money is going now, as my HSA doesn't have all the funds in it for the year (since it's February) and I have to make up the money somewhere.

Once the immediate physical stuff stops being worse than the mental/emotional stuff, I'll re-shift priorities. I have definitely noticed a change in mood after I stopped running, but it's not as pervasive as it was at one point. There's definitely been some recurrence of the negative self-talk, but it's not all that common. Still keeping an eye on it, though.


Overall, not a horrible grade... not counting the incompletes, that's a B. I can live with a B.
Maybe a C+ if I factor in that initial D for not measuring my performance consistently, but I'm even okay with that.

Time to start keeping better track of things, though. And to work on those incompletes... not to mention that next blog post.