Snapshot #50 | 10 Things for 8 May 2016

Personal

Currently…

1. finding… my perfect recipe for chocolate cake. Now I just need to find my perfect frosting recipe to go with it.
2. wondering… when it’s going to start to feel like spring, and not just the slow decline of winter.
3. giving… up on my Fitbit. In theory, I liked it. And I’m really impressed with the company’s customer service, but still: I’ve had three devices fail in less than eighteen months. It’s getting ridiculous.
4. making… my plans for NaNoWriMo.
5. drinking… an awful lot of coffee. Not a bad thing.
6. wishing… the light was better. 😦
7. looking… for new books to read. (I managed to finish two in one day, and everything I really want to read right now is on hold at the library.)
8. trying… not to let myself get too stressed out. I’ve got a rough few days coming up. The last few weeks have been an exercise in Not Thinking About It Until I Have To.
9. starting… to watch some French tv shows. In French. Mostly, I’m still confused, but I’m figuring out bits and pieces.
10. hoping… the next two weeks don’t turn into a disaster.

First Snow of the Year | Reghan Skerry

Looking Back: My Goals & Plans for 2015

Personal

As the year winds down and I start to make my plans for 2016, it seems like a good time to look back at the goals I set for this year. (I did a quick assessment back in September, which goes into more detail on the creative goals.)

In 2015, I wanted to…

Find a New Workout
Done. I still haven’t started running (for a few reasons, some of which are good, some of which are just excuses), but I have found a new indoor workout that works for me. (I’ve been using the Sworkit app, and it’s exactly the sort of thing I was hoping to find: customizable, randomizable, and not annoying.) I did struggle a little with keeping up the habit in the summer and into the fall, but I’m back on track now, and not bored, which is all I really care about.

Focus on Photography
The year didn’t start out as well as I’d hoped it would, and the two major projects I’d been thinking of never materialized. But I threw myself back into it as the summer progressed, and the trip to Montréal really helped. I’m feeling good about this.

Do Something With the Office
Here’s the thing: the room I’m calling the office is terrible. It’s the biggest bedroom in the apartment, and I feel guilty for not really using it for anything right now. But it doesn’t work as a bedroom (the closet is too big for my minimalist wardrobe, and has huge sliding doors that are too heavy to deal with all the time, and it really makes more sense to use it as storage for things like the vacuum and mop and other things that don’t belong in the basement). I’m still not entirely how to make it work as an office, either—there’s only one wall that isn’t taken up by closet doors or baseboard heaters (so, only one wall where the bookshelves can go), I’m struggling to figure out how to best use the natural light, and I don’t know where to put the modem, router, and backup drive. (Because the cable outlet is on the wall opposite the wall where the bookshelves can go.) But! I did hang a ceiling lamp (since none of the bedrooms have built-in lighting, which is dumb but seems to be common in buildings from the 1960s-1980s, and I’d been relying on an LED camping lantern in there). So that’s something. (It’s really not.)

Get My Digital Life in Order
I… forgot that this was one of my goals for the year. Which isn’t to say that I haven’t made progress—I have—but not as much as I might’ve if I’d actually, you know, thought about it.

Read a Novel. In French.
Um… no. It’s not that I haven’t been meaning to, it’s just that it’s more difficult than it should be to find the sort of book I’m looking for. I did finally decide what to read (Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan, which is on my list anyway, though I was originally planning to read a translation), but decided to put off ordering it until the new year. (Because it’s not actually in stock(!), and would have potentially delayed the rest of my order until after Christmas.) I’ll move this to next year’s list.

MAYBE Think About Writing That Thing
Well. I did think about it. And then I started writing something else. And then I decided that I’d been right the first time, and I’m really happier in general when I’m not writing fiction. Which is fine—that’s what I’d been wondering, and I like that it’s not pulling my attention away from other things anymore.

That said… ‘That Thing’ hasn’t really left me alone. I still feel like there’s something there, and I still keep feeling like I need to write it. I don’t know. I have to think about it some more. (ugh. I know.)


In general, I’m happy with how things went. I got distracted (by life and by other projects), and I didn’t manage to do as much as I’d hoped, but from where I am right now, at the end of 2015, I’m feeling good about things. I made progress where it mattered, and put myself in a position to make 2016 even better than I’d hoped 2015 would be.

It was a good year.

Snapshot #31 | 10 Things for 16 August 2015

Personal

Currently…

1. making… lists and charts and plans. Also ice cream.
2. looking… for a good (not too complicated) novel to read, in French. I’d prefer something written in French, rather than translated. (Though if the translation’s good, I’m open to anything.) Any suggestions? (Seriously—this is a bilingual country. It shouldn’t be this hard to find something.)
3. feeling… indecisive.
4. editing… my photos from a few weeks ago. Watch this space.
5. adjusting… my cold-brew coffee recipe.
6. getting… back to work. I was struggling a bit before I took a week off, but things are falling nicely back into place now.
7. thinking… about a couple new projects.
8. wishing… that certain scheduling difficulties would magically resolve themselves.
9. trying… something new with my hair. Not sure what I think, yet.
10. catching… up.

Sally Folk: “On dira aux autres” | Soundtrack

Inspiration + Obsessions

I wasn’t going to post a song this weekend. Nothing seemed right.

But then I was listening to the radio. And I heard a song. And it suddenly struck me that, for the very first time, I was listening to a song in French, and understanding nearly every word. Not just picking out a word or phrase here or there (which is what usually happens), but actually understanding the lyrics, without thinking about it.

Cool.

So, today, I’m listening to…

‘On dira aux autres’ by Sally Folk.

Looking Ahead: Goals & Plans for 2015

Personal, Photography, Writing

1 January 2015

The start of a new year is always weird for me. I love the idea of a fresh start, and I love the process of figuring out new goals. But I always manage to freak myself out about the whole thing, too. (I’ve already had this year’s panic attack, so at least that’s out of the way.)

After taking a year off from the whole major-goal-setting thing (sort of), I’m ready to get back to it.

I have plans for 2015.

And, in the interest of making myself accountable, I’m sharing them with you. These aren’t my only plans for the year (I’ve got a few others that aren’t significant enough to mention here), and most of the ones I am sharing cover a lot of ground (I have several specific, measurable goals for the photography and web-related stuff), but these are the ones that really matter.

In 2015, I will…

Find a New Workout
For someone who loathes most sports, and hates the concept of exercising, I’m actually pretty good about working out. To the point that I get a little anxious when I can’t stick to my schedule. (This is actually a chicken-and-egg thing, since one reason I work out in the first place is that it does wonders for my anxiety in general.) But the several months, I’ve been getting so bored with my current routine. I’ve thought about running, and I might try that (I’ve got a measured 5K route right outside my door), but I know that starting when the weather is so miserable is a mistake. I need to find something new and interesting ASAP.

Focus on Photography (Pun Not Intended, But Unavoidable)
With so much other stuff going on in 2014, I wasn’t able to give photography the attention I wanted to. But I have a very specific plan in place to get back on track in 2015. If you’re local to me (so, in the Canadian Maritime provinces), watch this space in the first six months of the year… I’m going to be making some announcements that might be relevant to your interests. If you’re not local to me… your announcements will be coming in the second half of the year.

Do Something With the Office
Ok, so. The entire apartment is still a work-in-progress. But the office is the only place where progress isn’t actually being made. Since the move, it’s become a catch-all, and it is not a place I can actually get any work done. This needs to change. I need to figure out what I want the office to feel like (that’s part of the problem—I have clear ideas for the rest of the apartment, but the office is a puzzle), and set about turning it into a place where I want to spend time.

Get my Digital Life in Order
I’m actually not unhappy with what I’ve been doing here on the blog. (And it’s the first year I’ve been able to say that, about any website, so… progress!) But while it’s a good start—there’s much more I want to do. I’m going to work on increasing post frequency, and I’m probably going to be looking at a bit of a redesign to better incorporate some of the changes I want to make. I also want to start paying attention to some of the social media accounts that I tend to neglect. (*cough*Twitter*cough*Instagram*cough*)

Read a Novel. In French.
For about a year and a half now, I’ve been actively trying to improve my French. And while I’m still a long way from being anything close to fluent, I’m a lot more comfortable with it than I was before (much more comfortable than I was when I was taking it in school). By the end of the year, I want to try to get through an entire novel. Probably a fairly short YA novel, and definitely with a dictionary at hand, but that’s the plan.

MAYBE Think About Writing That Thing
I haven’t written any fiction since early in 2014. And that’s a good thing—I was feeling overwhelmed, and obsessive, and perfectionism was kicking my ass. And I don’t want to go back to that. But, at the same time, there’s a story that keeps nudging me, waiting to be written. If I can figure out a way to work on it, and not drive myself crazy, I might try to do something with it. But it’s not a priority.