Read-write-make-move is a sort of daily goal thing going on. It started on New Year’s Day, 2013, when I decided that goals beat the pants off resolutions. It’s hard to fail at a goal because it doesn’t have any real stopping spot. If I don’t meet my daily goal today, I have tomorrow. Goals are gentle and forgiving, goals are reachable. Goals give me a reason to reward myself.
My daily goal does a few things for me. It keeps me on the upside of my lifelong battle with depression and anxiety. It’s a harbinger of my downslides, which I am not always able to recognize until I’ve slid all the way to that place where I have panic attacks at work and can’t get off the couch for a week or two. Doing them makes me feel good and I cannot do them when I don’t feel good, in other words.
Reading, well it’s a given. I read everything. I read real paper books and fake books on my Kindle. I read other people’s blogs, essays, news stories. I read signs and boxes and instructions and the small print. Reading is a thread through my whole life. It connects me to afternoons in my Mommom’s rumpus room and Nancy Drew, to the pine tree next to the armory in Georgetown and Madeleine L’Engle, to candy striping and the volunteer book cart, to memorizing my general orders in basic training. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t read, or a time when I wasn’t excited about books and the wonders they are holding, just waiting for me to discover.
Writing is a little more complicated. I have a dream of being a real writer. I want to be paid to write, and paid enough to live on. I know, it’s crazy to even think that, isn’t it? But it’s my dream. To that end, I have several books in progress and I try to do at least a chapter of new stuff or twenty pages of revisions every week. I also journal daily and write blog posts occasionally. Some days, the only writing I can do is my journaling. Some days, I have to write in my special, paper journal – the one where I can vent all the really bad stuff and then burn it up. Sometimes I think I have brain gas and I just have to get the words out of me to relieve the pressure.
Making is probably the most generalized of these goals, and it has no rules. I carry a small knitting or crochet project in my purse and work on it when things are slow at work but I still need to keep my eye on stuff (can’t do that if I’m reading). I always have one or two bigger projects going on, too, and I usually set a daily row or section goal for them. Right now, I have a dishcloth on my desk from my purse and Multnomah at home, waiting for its one (or more) daily rows. I’ve also bought the yarn to make a gift for a couple of crazy kids I know and that may be started in the next day or so. Making might also be gluing some plastic bits to earring posts or weaving plastic loops into bracelets or adding a crochet lace border onto some Walmart pillow cases. It all counts!
Moving is really the only daily goal that I cannot afford to skip. I have to exercise every day. No medication will ever be enough for me without a daily influx of endorphins. I can’t be happy without it. I can be okay without it but not happy. I want to get up an hour early every day and do a workout video, walk at lunchtime, walk or bike in the evening. I aim for a number of miles every week, thirty in the winter and sixty when it starts to warm up. If I am feeling particularly generous to myself, I will put an audiobook on my iPhone and go for a walk then tell myself I’m walking and reading at the same time.
This week, I took a walk in the rain. Delmarva forgot that it was springtime and gave us a gray and rainy Thursday. I went to work in a sleeveless dress and flipflops. It was so cold out that I didn’t bother changing out of my work clothes and into my exercise clothes. I just tied on my sneakers, put on my cardigan, grabbed my umbrella, and left. Twenty minutes later I was damp from the waist down and happy. Happy is good.
Since my last post, I:
- Built a new server
- Read The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, Bridge to Terabithia, Bright’s Passage, and Call Me Zelda
- Started Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake
- Made a dishcloth with the new pattern
- Made a dishcloth in the old pattern
- Knitted many rows of Multnomah
- Put more than 120 miles on my sneakers
- Graduated from physical therapy
- Met a mini weight loss goal and set the next one
- Ate lots of cake (everyone I work with was born in May!)
- Talked about the next chapter in the unnamed book, which should count towards something
- Cruised Narratively
- Made a big wish
- Walked away from something without fighting
- Discovered Knitting Pipeline
Before we talk again, I hope to:
- Get to the lace border of Multnomah
- Make five or so dishcloths (new pattern of course)
- Clean the craft room
- Take in my favorite dress, or at least move it out of rotation so I stop wearing something two sizes too big for me
- Do three Sun Salutations in a row without pain
- Start the new project for the two crazy kids
- Eat less cake
- Get my walking splits consistently under sixteen minutes (I can do this if I listen to music and not Knitting Pipeline, but I have so many old episodes to catch up on now that I’ve found it, I don’t want to stop!)
- Finish uploading my “read before I die” list into Goodreads
- Wag more