It’s been a heck of a month, so far, y’all.

I feel like this picture from the Paris Museum of Architecture sums up some days perfectly!

I mentioned here that I came back from Germany with a shiny new promotion. It’s the kind that gets announced publicly and I didn’t think it was a big deal because I thought I was doing the job already but, SPOILER ALERT, no, I was not, at least not fully. It’s funny to look at musings of past me talk of being busy, and talk about feeling the weight of responsibilities. Past me was adorable. 🙂

I know this too will pass. Once again for the fourth time in three and a half years I am adjusting to a new title and set of duties. I like that better than everything staying the same for too long and me getting bored and life feeling stagnant, and I’ll never say otherwise, but I’m really glad that this is the job I think I’ll keep for a while. That means I get to learn how to succeed here and also succeed at having a life too.

One huge non-work accomplishment? Y’know that silly little game called Bloodbowl I’ve been playing for four years, ten league seasons, and something like 1600 hours? Well, I finally won a championship!

This game has taught me a lot about patience and persistence, and how to recover when (not if) I fail. Weirdly enough, I found myself not really loving the Amazons, they are this weird mix of not agile, fast, or tough, but their skills make up for it when everything works. And thankfully this time it worked through the entire playoff season instead of my team imploding somewhere between the quarterfinals and the final game. This was the third time I made it to finals in the last year, and I’m thrilled to have checked that box. Now I get to play a really crappy team – as is tradition for the winner in the season after – and I get to just have fun with it for a while.

Speaking of this non-work life stuff, I’m here to give a quick check in on my year goals. I thought about waiting until the end of the month but that felt like “starting the diet on Monday”. Through these check ins I usually get inspired to be more productive or get back on track. So, let’s go.

#1 – Weigh 180.6 by the end of July

Well, to the letter, sure. I weighed in at 180.6 earlier this week. But, I know I mean trendweight, and no, that’s currently 182.4. My low point was mid-May (180.8) and I’ve gained about 1.5 lbs since then. I’ve deserve it, it’s not a surprise with travel, races, and spotty tracking of my metrics. The good news is I seem to be on a downward trend this last week, and I’m back to normal in terms of what I’m eating and doing a little better at expending calories.

  • Week of July 10th – +175 calories
  • Week of July 17th – not done with the day yet, but I anticipate being about the same here

This is better than last month.

One of my challenges is that I like to walk for extra snack calories (and because walks are awesome, it’s a win win), and it’s hot AF right now. Could I walk in feels like 115? Sure. I have before and I’ll do it again. Do I WANT to walk in this weather? Hells to the no. So, this week I started giving myself the choice of “walk or trainer” instead of “walk or just overeat a little” and so far I’ve been able to convince myself it’s a thing. It sounds like such a minor thing, but many days the 200 calories are the difference between being under or over and when this happens repeatedly, that’s where the inches start building into progress or regression.

I have 8 more days. I don’t think I’ll make 180.6 but I’m motivated to keep playing the game of inches.

I need to get back here

#2 Strength Over Stamina

While I don’t think I’m making too much progress here, I am definitely not regressing, and I’m perfectly happy with that considering life right now. The first two weeks of the month weren’t so great, but I’m back on track here now.

  • Weights 3x week – YEP. This is non-negotiable. I’m not really going up in weight anywhere but I am showing up and lifting the heavy things and that is enough.
  • Resume swimming, hit the lake once – No, and no. I’m going to try and fix both of those within the next week.
  • One brick per week – Techically I’m doing today’s tomorrow, but I’ll average once a week.
  • Three other bikes/runs each week – This week I’ve actually done FIVE (two runs, three bikes)
  • Prioritize recovery – I’ve done really well here. Boots and ice almost daily, stretching and rolling are back 3-ish times a week.

I just need to get swimming back in my life and I’ll really be on track here.

#3 (Not) Ignoring My Surroundings

I am happy to report I made some progress here.

  • Finish decluttering the vanity area
  • Clean out the right side drawers
  • Clear out the space under the vanity

All of these things are not perfect but really close and I hope to check these off this weekend. I haven’t gotten to the bathroom counter/under the sink yet but maybe that can happen too, and Joel hasn’t been motivated to clean the gutters beyond one mention last month so we’ll move on here.

Camping pics done, onto June Germany/London!

#4 Relaxing Hobbies

I’ve needed my relax time this month 🙂 so I’ve done well here!

  • Finish Camping Pics and decide on the next – YEP, and I decided to just knock out this last Germany/London trip next. My goal is to get out of the hole of photo-ception by finishing smaller projects before I get back to Paris. I could also stop traveling but we all know that’s not going to happen.
  • Catch up blogs: The Urban Woods of San Antonio, Paris, je t’aime (part 1)
  • WFH guitar breaks – I’m not perfect but I’m playing a few times a week again and getting my caluses back (OW)
  • Finish the set of geometric paintings – I’ve made progress but I’m a little further away from done than I thought.
  • Meditate 5x week – I have been REALLY good about this most mornings!

So, I’ve got some painting to do. Fun!

#5 Write Stuff

I forgot how much work editing is, in some cases, it feels like it took longer to EDIT some chapters than it did to write them. Probably not, but this first edit pass is not something that’s taking a few hours. I’ve put at least a work day into this over the last few weeks and I’m about 1/3 done. I am still hoping that I’ll have some closure and be ready to share it by mid-next month, but that will take some time and dedication to get there. My goals were:

  • Identify places where my characters are floating heads (build the world) – This is what’s taking most of my time and attention and it’s getting better. I need to remember that even though I can see the characters in my mind, not everyone else can.
  • Find where the story drags – I’m about to get to the middle part where I have to watch out for this. Just because it happened in the D&D campaign doesn’t mean it needs to happen exactly that way in the book.
  • Deliver on the promise/tone at the beginning of the story – This has taken some work as well. I start the story as a child, and then it gets a little dark. I have had to do a lot of editing in the first chapters to make sure I don’t make the promise of a heartwarming family friendly tale and then tell that to screw right off. The overwhelming theme is trust/lack thereof, and it took some work to set that from the get go.
  • Make sure the ending is sufficiently exciting – We shall see when I get there. I’ll try on this pass, but I think this may need to be pushed to the second edit pass or even just be something I ask my readers, I may be too close to it.

So, here’s where I need to focus the rest of the month to have the best July progress possible:

  • Keep up the habits of tracking, weighing, and extra activity (trainer) instead of walking.
  • Get back to swimming and get to the lake.
  • Finish the vanity and the bathroom counter/sink
  • Paint the canvases
  • Keep editing!

Seems doable to me. This is oddly enough the calm before the (travel) storm, so I need to take advantage of being home enough to make what progress I can when I can. The goals in the next few months will definitely be a little… different, and probably more focused on preventing regression than anything.