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Thursday, August 2, 2012

My 12 for 12 August Habit

Yes. It's August and time to add another good habit to my life. Admittedly, I gave a little thought to calling a halt to all this habit forming effort. 7 changes in a year is a LOT of changes - even when they are small, even when some of them aren't really changes but merely expansions of present behavior. Like last month's Charles Schwab List ... which, btw, I followed perfectly and it's a durn good thing, because wooeee. July ran me ragged. July was so durn hot we actually drove down to the home improvement store and looked at air conditioners. Didn't buy - but at least investigated them. And our summer reading program at the library kept us busier than that set of proverbial jumper cables. The kids read 5319 books in 6 weeks plus 2 days. And tonight we host the  Movie Night for the students who made library ads in the animated movie class. And Interesting Things developed in local government. And of course it was our quarterly board meeting month. And we had company and we were guests.

In short - I think I have a string of accomplishments behind me, as per my wish when I wrote about the CSList month, but I'm too busy to look back - onnacounta - there are More Things lining up in August to keep my nose to the grindstone. It is just possible that life will open up come the end of the month or in early September (Birthday Month, you know) but .... well ... I'll just say - thank goodness I'm using that good tool to keep focused at werk.

So - what is my August pick? This month I choose:

8. Draw 20 minutes a day. I will never get any better if I don't practice every day

As busy as I've been all summer, I just haven't felt very creative or artistic. Yes I know - there is creativity in problem solving, creativity in making a work environment where other people can blossom, creativity in organizing (and yes, creating) a beautiful room (I promise - photos soon) out of a cluttered hot mess. But in the traditional, hands on sense of creating, I just haven't been there. I even took a precious day off 2 weeks ago and met up with a girlfriend with the intention of painting au plein air, but it didn't happen - we just used the time to catch up on each other's lives.  But we did come up with the idea of doing a 20 minute sketch every day in August and emailing it to each other. It helps to make a promise to someone else when I try to effect a change and yet, I'm still shy enough about my own skills and talents to go slow with something like drawing and painting. Also - doing artwork play is very difficult for me. I can easily spend an entire weekend scrubbing out dirty kitchens ... but playing with art takes more initial thrust than getting the Saturn Moon Launch up. We need not go into all the reasons why I have such a hard time letting myself do the perfectly innocent things I want to do - suffice it to say that I have to make a duty out of play before I can actually play. At least I do make it a duty - or part of a list - or a public commitment ... and once I get over the initial fear of getting caught out not werkwerkwerking, I sometimes get pretty good at this play stuff. 

LOL - which is a statement that only emphasizes my Fear Of Play. 

 "But what about your knitting?"  you ask. "That's the only reason I look at this this blog."

Eh. My knitting mojo is a frustrated captive of math. Temperatures are too high, time is too scarce, projects are all at tricky places. Some day it will get cool again and I will knit again. That's about all I can promise.

Of course, my August habit is added to the list of Other Habits I've tried to incorporate into my life so how have I done with the previous ones? After all - a habit is supposed to be something you do regularly. Here's a recap of the 12 for 12 to date:

JAN Tracking my food   Yup. pretty much 100% - with the result that I am now 3 pounds away from my weight goal. Give myself an A+ for this. It's a true habit.

FEB Daily Prayer    well, not as good as I would wish - I'd say more like Every 4th Day prayer - and often only when I'm having a bad time. The point of prayer is to put me in a state where I don't think these bad times are so very bad. I'd give myself a C+ and say it's not yet a habit.

MAR Drink enough water Well - I do that very well, but maybe not perfectly. I keep a glass on my desk and of course a bottle with my gym bag - so here I think I've earned an A-. This is a habit.

APR Exercise  I've done really well here too. I'm not a fanatic about exercise and I can certainly spend a day on the couch with a ripping good mystery (Barbara Cleverly's The Palace Tiger) but I do exercise 3-5 days a week and I've kept at it all year. I'd give myself a solid A for this because ... It's a habit. 

MAY Compliment someone every day  Uh Oh. I have not done so well with this.  This is difficult to do because I tend to think that we are all supposed to be trying to do a stellar job all the time. I am not a perfectionist - but I can't conceive why anyone would not try to do his best, all the time. Why try to do something at all if one is not interested in reaching one's own personal best? Not an arbitrary Best or Perfect Job - but one's own best given the circumstances of time, place, environment. Eh. Well. That's the Virgo in me, I know. But I have made some efforts (obviously not my own personal best, right? except ... given circumstances of time, place ... LOL!)  

Okay - okay - I know. I'm unreasonable and skirting close to hypocritical. I will say that whenever I do compliment someone I am made aware of the habit I am trying to inculcate and that is the only thing that keeps me from saying I've failed at this. I'll give myself a D for this habit, try harder to incorporate it into my life and state .. "Nope. Not even close to a habit yet."

JUNE Select a big life goal and  take one step towards it every day.   Well, heck. That one is so easy to view from all angles that just getting out of bed is a step towards a big life goal of living. I know, I was supposed to big a Big Deal thing ... like the Noroway Fjord trip .. which, btw, I suggested to BD and was quite dissapointed to find that he wasn't even interested. Ah well. He did order in The Vikings from Netflix . That may be all the fjord I ever see - but then - he did suggest a ferry trip around Canada's Maritime Islands. I can do that.

And the weight loss thing - well, that's a BLG and I have to take a step towards that every day. At least I am aware that if there are things I want to do in life, I have to plan for them. Especially if they are Big Things that I want to Go My Way. 

Still and all - If I'm honest I have to give myself a C on this and say it's not yet a habit.

JULY The Charles Schwab List - my goodness. I wouldn't have gotten through the month without that. In fact I've been using it all year but this month I really felt the importance of doing it Every Day. I even used the old ratty notebook I've been using all year, though I did buy a new one. Another thing I'd like to do - maybe another BLG even - is to use up what I have before I go buy a new one. Shampoo, bubble bath, notebooks. There's just too much 3/4 empty clutter in my life because I love to shop and I hate to come to closure. 

I've actually left that notebook on my desk, though, in constant view, to remind me to Make A List. And I have. I do. I'd give myself an A for this and call it a habit.

And if I want to make drawing a habit .. and get better at it ... I had best wind things up here and go get my sketch pad. 

Ta. Have a great day. Make it a habit.  

1 comment:

  1. Stay the course, Bess! :-) If Ben Franklin could do it, so can you!