What an interesting month it's been! (Such a useful word, "Interesting.")I've had the opportunity to learn a lot about "over-goaling" this month and I'm actually spending a few days re-assessing. Far from being a sign of failure, I've learned this year that those times are crucial to success. I took on too many goals and put too much pressure on myself to excel at all of them all the time, and it's okay to acknowledge that and correct it. Forward motion is progress and sometimes that forward motion is pitching a fit and declaring that there's just no way that all of this can get done right now and, if fact, declaring Bill the Cat to be my spirit animal!! (Pant, pant, sigh, gasp.)
But where's that leave me?
Well, the "good books" and "good movies" challenges are back-burnered right now. With work on the Babylon 5 book heating up already, I found myself overwhelmed and teary at the prospect of doing those things to mark a title off an arbitrary list. I'll get to them, but right now isn't the season for that. I've seen plenty of movies and read plenty of books, but not the ones on "the list" and that's just dandy.
Zone cleaning is sort of in the same boat - it's not a struggle to keep up with my morning and evening routines, but much of anything beyond that is proving to be monumental. I keep the book with the zones out and I read my daily challenge each day and sometimes it gets done and sometimes something else gets done. You know what? The house is still standing and remains in better order than it used to be.
The budgeting challenge hits full-force this month. As I wrote over Labor Day weekend, we had car repair bills that turned into "we can't resurrect her this time," which meant a certain amount of yike! We're mobile again and just fine, but those were not expenses were were prepared for. It's going to be a tough end of the year on that score, no doubt about it, but it'll all work out and hey - we're doing all of this so that soon (on the cosmic scale, anyway), money won't be the issue that it is now. Delayed gratification. Can't say as I like it too much.
Now to report of the 5K challenge, which I've folded into the first-stage-of-wrapping-up "You Gonna Finish That?" Challenge. This was designed to make me hard-core accountable for a number of habits, including diet, exercise, and self-care. (Remember what I said about too many goals?) I used SparkPeople as my diet and exercise tracker which I liked since it had exercise videos and recipes that linked directly to the tracker. I don't like tracking, although I'll admit it's useful to see patterns (I eat too many carbs, for example. Mostly "good" carbs, like whole grains and the carbs found in fruit, but still - that was eye-opening). I made sacrifices in terms of sweets, made sure to drink at least two liters of water per day (yep, I know where every bathroom is throughout my college campus), aimed for hard exercise at least three times a week, and have tried to get more sleep.
Right at a month in, I can report that, while I still don't like tracking, knowing that I have to do it has made it easier to say "no" to some bad choices. While I'm trying to not give the scale too much authority (I still stink at that, by the way), I'm down four pounds. I've also logged 13 run/walk workouts this month for a total of 31-and-a-touch miles, with 22 of those miles being at a jobble or better. For someone who was staggering around a church parking lot seven months ago, that ain't too shabby! So I'm going to keep this challenge going another month and let's see what we see.
What I really want to add in now is more attention spent on taking better care of me - teaching is not a job that lends itself to being left at the office and researching and writing a book isn't exactly a side job, so my twin goals here are to (a) make the office more pleasant and (b) not be so hard on myself with deadlines that I set and that I know to be ridiculous. I had a small writing project that nearly drove me around the bend that I should have been able to handle with ease, but when added to the several other regular gigs I've got going on (which includes two blogs, a weekly movie show that involves watching and research before the cameras begin rolling, and a regular column over at the pop culture site BiffBamPop), I was perilously close to the non-whimsical version of "crazy." So I reached the conclusion that normal people would've gotten to a long time ago and I'm not taking on more work during this time. Let me keep working on spinning the plates I've already got up on sticks!