Groundhog Day 2016 Resolutions: April Check-In

Since my last post, a term of school has ended and another has started. I’m mostly recovered from “the Glutening” (which I just realized I never made a post about here, so y’all still probably don’t have any idea what I’m talking about), but I’ve managed to have a bunch of other problems, so my health is definitely still an issue.

I’m still using Dave Seah’s GHDR Tracker Form, and I made a customized points rubric for my own use, which made it a lot easier to determine how much I’m getting done. Previously I was eyeballing the somewhat abstract (for my own purposes) rubric that Dave made and haphazardly assigning points to things, with almost no standardization from day to day. I’m having a slight problem with maxing out some of the points levels some days, so I may have to sit down and think more about it. Anyway, here’s the points for March (I apologize for the wall of text):

2016-03-07 02.25.16 HDR 2016-03-14 00.17.28 HDR 2016-03-21 12.38.52 HDR 2016-03-28 01.05.06 HDR 2016-04-04 01.09.01 HDR

Tracking my effort in this way has revealed some interesting things to me. Mainly, some of the days I feel the worst about my ability to get things done are the days with the highest points. I think this is probably because self care and self love are one of my goal areas, so the days I feel least productive, I am taking care of my body or mental health, but my guilt about taking time off to do so means that physical downtime is often used to do things on my computer that I’ve been putting off, such as respond to emails or make graphics in Photoshop or make lesson plans, and so on.

For example, the week of the 21st, I came down with a sinus infection on Monday (somewhat conveniently, as it was the start of my woefully short spring break), and felt miserable on Tuesday, but also managed to do some graphics work and promotion for the poetry workshops I’m running this month, and finish applications for various components of study abroad; my points for the day came out to 63. The week of the 28th was the first week of classes, and the first week I used my custom rubric (though the sheet still shows the old one). On Wednesday of that week, I found an Islamophobic poster on campus that really rattled me. I pulled it down, and then had a panic attack. Despite knowing I should stay home, I went back to campus in the morning, because I didn’t want to miss Spanish (still my worst class), and proceeded to have possibly the worst panic attack I’ve ever had — I spent two hours squeezed into a corner in the Queer Resource Center’s back office, crying and obsessively watching the office door, until a friend brought me a tranquilizer, and I was able to function more normally; I have 80 points for that Thursday, some of which are for taking care of myself and some of which are for getting other homework done and sending emails and talking to school staff about the poster. I’m not sure exactly what this means about me — and it’s important to note that last week I was unusually productive, because it was the first week of classes, so I had a lot to be doing — but I’m going to keep tracking things and adjust my rubric as needed. If nothing else, tracking what I’m doing has helped me be more compassionate to myself in some ways, which is totally worth it.

 

Anyway, this month’s resolution review is below the cut:

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Groundhog Day 2016 Resolutions: March Check-In

Wow, I almost forgot to post a review for this month! But here it is: my first GHDR review post.

School has been a bit of a challenge, and my health is dodgy — I’m still recovering, clearly, and struggling with the after effects of the Gluten Incident, as I’ve been calling it. (Did I make a post about that here? I’ll do that; some of y’all probably don’t know what I’m even talking about…) My professors have been pretty great about it, but I’ve been feeling exhausted and depressed. Still, I’ve managed to get a lot done, even if I still need to do other things.

I’ve also been using Dave Seah’s GHDR Tracker Form, which has been pretty useful, and has helped me realize I am getting things done, even when I don’t feel like it. Here’s the ones I completed for February:

2016-02-22 17.33.47 HDR 2016-02-29 23.17.01 HDR

(This month’s resolution review below the cut:)

Continue reading “Groundhog Day 2016 Resolutions: March Check-In”

Groundhog Day Resolutions 2016

For a second year, I’m following Dave Seah and creating Groundhog Day Resolutions. Even though I posted late a lot last year, having the resolutions and the posting schedule as a guide helped me keep my priorities at the top of my mind, and trim away the things that didn’t serve me. (You can see all of 2015’s posts here.)

This year’s looking to be one of growth and exciting opportunities. Also, the terror of being an adult — if all goes according to plan, I’ll be graduating from PSU with my first bachelor’s degree, and I’ll have gone into a not insignificant amount of debt to do it. (Ah, capitalism…) Unless I can get grants and scholarships, grad school will require more loans and possibly also a job, which is scary to consider here in the middle of 17 credits.

I think I tend to forget how much I do, actually — I’ve been stressed out about working, and getting down on myself because I know other students work and go to school full time, so why can’t I? But when I actually think about it, a) I’m disabled, and that impacts how much I can take on, and b) I actually am working and going to school at the same time. Alas, it doesn’t pay much, but I’m taking 17 credits, running my small press, writing essays and articles occasionally, and dedicating several hours each week to Black Lives Matter Portland business. On top of that, I do a lot of emotional labor in terms of community support, and unpaid education around social justice issues and language.

So, here are my resolutions for the year:

  1. Build up my small press: I am moving this up from a subgoal to its own goal this year. I’m going to focus away from writing for publication, and instead work on my press. MGP has been  pushed to the side a bit with my health issues and busy class schedule, but I want to get it on solid ground. Things to work on in this area will include finishing the graphic business plan, finishing the traditional business plan, getting our books into more local shops, launching a campaign to get the books in shops outside the Portland area, intentionally marketing the press, reaching out to find more manuscripts, booking readings for our authors, and publishing 3-5 books over the course of the year.
  2. Consciously love and care for myself: This will probably be on every list forever, because it’s the first thing I tend to let go when I need it most. During times of stress, I will not eat well or often enough, I will skimp on sleep to meet deadlines, and I will sacrifice personal time scheduled self-care to the demands of work or school. However, I recently realized that I’m gluten intolerant, and that plus my allergies and diabetes means I need to be mindful about my food. So things to work on include creating meal plans, making large batches of food to cover multiple meals during the week, finding recipes and snack ideas that I can use to keep fed at school, and so on.
  3. Continue learning and expanding my skill set: If I stay on track, I should be graduating by the end of the year. I need to apply to the study abroad program, apply for study abroad scholarships, meet with an academic advisor, pick a graduate degree program, apply to grad school, finish the four remaining classes for my undergrad degree, and apply to graduate. I also want to keep practicing graphic design, develop my art skills, achieve fluency in Spanish, etc. I’ll try to pick an area of focus each month and update on that.

So, those are my 2016 Resolutions! Possible tools to help me work on this: the 100 Days of Productivity challenge, the Unstuck app (which I have on my iPad and don’t use enough), Dave Seah’s amazing productivity tools, the Pause app, and the studyblr community on Tumblr.

Resolution Review posts should go up on 3 March, 4 April, 5 May, 6 June, 7 July, 8 August, 9 September, 10 October, 11 November, and 12 December, and will show up under the GHDR 2016 tag.

Last year was definitely an improvement over 2014, but I’m excited for what 2016 will bring. I feel more prepared, and I definitely feel like I have more support, so I’ll see how it goes!

Groundhog Day 2015 Resolutions: December Check-In & Year-In-Review

Wow! Here we are, at year’s end (well, nearly). I think I may try this again next year, because it’s been a good reminder to focus in on fewer things, and to think regularly about how I can work on what I want to get done. I sprung for the 2016 Passion Planner as well, for looking at larger, over-arching goals, on a 1-5 year timeline. Between those two things, I think I can really ramp it up by next summer. I’m feeling hopeful about my future right now. (Touch wood.)

Finals were a hot mess: I stayed up two nights in a row working on my final for Science Fiction and Fantasy Costumes in Film. It was my first time sewing an entire garment from scratch, and I learned a lot and got rather thoroughly frustrated and worked myself into a frenzy, and came out the other end with a decently passable Hogwarts student robe, which I wore to school. I also made a delicious mac and cheese for the potluck and presentations session of my bell hooks class. (No pictures; my mac and cheese doesn’t usually stick around long enough, if I don’t get a shot of it right out of the oven.)

The last 2015 Groundhog Day Resolution Review is below the cut:

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Groundhog Day 2015 Resolutions: November Check-In

This post is so very late! This term has gone so fast, and as we head into finals (one more week) I’m trying not to get too frazzled. Thankfully my classes remain brilliant and engaging, my teachers continue to be a bunch of cool cats, and my study binder is still saving my butt in a pretty big way. (Bless the study binder, and whoever gave me the idea, because this thing is seriously the major reason I’m not failing right now. It’s magical.)

I’m finally moving forward on some things that I’d stalled on, and I’m really excited for everything happening between now and the next review. I can hardly wait to share it all with you!

(This month’s resolution review below the cut:)

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Groundhog Day 2015 Resolutions: October Check-In

I’m taking 16 credits this term, and the classes are all brilliant, but the workload’s a bit much already. Then, I spent several days helping a friend in crisis, and struggling to both make time to study and support my friend. On top of that, I got a cold last weekend! But I’m keeping on as best I can. I’m trying to stay up on my schoolwork, since I’m in Seattle for the Social Justice Fund dinner; I’m representing Black Lives Matter Portland, as we’re a recent grantee of the organization. Trying to take care of myself and manage my stress, which is the thing I seem to struggle the most with…

(This month’s Groundhog Day Resolution Review is below the cut.)

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Groundhog Day 2015 Resolutions: September Check-In

This month’s post is way late, because I’m struggling a lot with getting back into the swing of daily life post-conference.

I just spent five and a half days in Oakland, CA, for the NOLOSE conference, and to see friends in the area. NOLOSE is a radical fat queer conference, and they had their first ever BIPOC Day (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). Conferences can be hectic, and you can experience a lot of highs and lows in a short period of time, which I certainly did. I almost didn’t make it, bc of flight and housing costs, and then community pulled together to get me there, and it was so amazing.

But things are always a little hard after conferences — they’re a pretty magical place, but they are also often packed with stuff. I went down early to get settled in my homestay, and I stayed a couple days after so I could see folks I know in the area. I ended up meeting up with a friend at a birthday party, and being in a picture with Miss Major and a bunch of other awesome, radical queer and trans folks! And I had lunch with the ever amazing Lisa Hsia, who drew the picture we chose for the cover of After Ferguson, In Solidarity, and I got to see my friend Drew, and it was all lovely and wonderful.

I’m still trying to get back in the swing of things, and prepping for the start of a new term in a week. Wish me luck!

(This month’s Groundhog Day Resolution Review is below the cut.)

Continue reading “Groundhog Day 2015 Resolutions: September Check-In”

Groundhog Day 2015 Resolutions: June Check-In

Another month past, and another (slightly late) post. In my defense, it’s finals week at school, and I have a bunch of papers due. On the plus side, I’m hopefully sending one of the papers out for potential publication, and the pub I’m looking at pays pretty well, which would be great, because I need a bit more of a cushion to cover household costs over the summer. Fingers crossed!

This month’s Groundhog Day Resolutions recap is below the break:

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Groundhog Day 2015 Resolutions: May Check-In

Another month gone… Things have been hard, busy, and intense this past month. I’m really looking forward to the summer, in terms of not having to worry about classes. On the downside, I will be unemployed, and that’s an added worry, in terms of my stress level. Not sure how I’m gonna eat, let alone pay my rent over the summer, but I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

(Shameless plug: if you want to help reduce the chances I’ll be homeless/starve this summer, I’d love any form of support you can offer. Seriously.)

Anyway, onto the Groundhog Day Goals May check-in! Continue reading “Groundhog Day 2015 Resolutions: May Check-In”

Groundhog Day 2015 Resolutions: April Check-In

Another month gone, and I’m late again! I’ve been absent-minded and not using my planner as much, and I really have to get back in that habit, especially since I’ll be so busy this month. I read at the Festival Poetics in Corvallis yesterday, which was fun. Got a bit turned around on the way there, but it was a lovely day, my driver and I talked a lot, and the fields and hills outside the car were beautiful and full of grazing animals. It was gorgeous!

Anyway, on to the GHD Review…

My Goals:

  1. Make regular money from writing
  2. Schedule self-care and practice self-love
  3. Solidify my graduate degree path, and apply to grad school

Month in Review:

What worked?
1) Launched the first book! Also, got a Square card reader and made a Square sales site. Sales have been pretty modest so far, but folks who’ve read the book have been vocal about how much they enjoyed it. I ordered promo cards for the company, and those have been printed and are on the way. I am being paid for one of my reading gigs, and I have a couple more gigs lined up for the month, which means more opportunities to sell the book. And I started a small Facebook group for writing and workshopping poetry, since it’s National Poetry Writing Month. I’ve already written a couple poems through that, and I’m hoping to get one done for each day, to be revised in May and then sent out for prospective publication.
2) I spent too much money in Chicago last week, taking cabs. I got to see the city a bit, though, and had some amazing discussions with cab drivers and attended only half of the sessions, reserving time for naps and relaxation. I didn’t push myself to attend every workshop session, nor all the plenaries, I left some spaces that were too loud or scent-filled for me. Since getting back, I bought a face mask that filters out a lot of things that trigger my fibro, which I’m carrying around in my bag and deploying at need. I had a discussion with the higher-ups at work about making the office and lounge a scent-safer space. (Fingers crossed.) I also dropped my 4th class, so I’m back down to 12 credits, and I’ve been using my now-free Monday and Tuesday mornings to get things down at a more relaxed pace, with less stress.
3) I went and found the deadlines and such for application, and made notes about how and when to apply. I have plenty of time to do it, so this one’s gonna rest on the backburner for a while.

What didn’t?
1) I haven’t been pitching articles or essays at all, because I haven’t been writing them much. However, that one’s going on the backburner for the month, since it’s NaPoWriMo. Only launched one book, instead of two, and I need to send contracts out. Feeling a lot of shame around my disability, and second-guessing whether I should even try to put out this second book.
2) I’m still a bit crap at this one. Self-care, as vital as it is, is not my strong suit, but I’m trying. Things that were an issue: staying in too loud spaces sometimes; not setting boundaries around scent that need to be set; consuming too much food that triggers body issues (especially dairy and sugar); too many carbs, not enough protein, too high blood sugar for too long. Still working on it.
3) No issues.

Planning the Next Month:

What am I working on going forward?
1) Looking into fellowships and retreats for summer 2016, preferably ones with scholarships or stipends. Going to prioritise getting the second book out (which means contracts), and start work on the third. NaPoWriMo writing group needs some pre-scheduled dates to get folks participating; I already started on that this morning. Get better at selling myself and my books. A friend took a couple of books to get into Powell’s, hopefully, and I can start shopping books around to other book shops and maybe some libraries. I just need to bite the bullet and do the thing.
2) As always, re-committing to self care days. I’ve been taking them pretty haphazardly, and I need to pre-schedule them, but priority is getting my blood sugar down, and re-firming my boundaries around sleep time—it’s really noticeable how much more pain and stress I have on days where I get less sleep.
3) This one seems the least urgent, since apps aren’t due until this time next year, so this is going at a pretty slow pace, which is totally fine, and is in fact better for my self-care.

Biggest need right now is organisation, because everything feels urgent when I forget it until the last second or I double-book (already happened twice, and it’s only one week into term. Second biggest is leaning on community, so I’m gonna see if anyone wants to pitch in and help clean my place, since I can’t always stand up for very long. I’ve been letting chores go to conserve energy, but that’s not really sustainable.

 

See all of the Groundhog Day Resolutions posts here.

 

Groundhog Day 2015 Resolutions: March Check-In

Whoa! I’m a couple days late for my Groundhog Day Resolutions check-in, but only because I’m so busy. So, let me recap the goals here, and then I’ll get into where I’m at with each one.

Goals:

  1. Make regular money from writing
  2. Schedule self-care and practice self-love
  3. Solidify my graduate degree path, and apply to grad school

Month in Review:

What worked?
1) I am getting everything together to sell Mourning Glory Publishing‘s first book! It’s been proofed, and approved, and it’s all ready to go. I’m nearly done on another, with a third queued up, and so we’ll be basically launching with more than one book. Might be risky, but I think it’s a good range of stuff, and I’m excited to share these books with the world!
2)I have been letting my body call the shots, and while that’s been inconvenient sometimes, it’s also pretty clear that’s what needs to be happening. Also, eating way too many Girl Scout cookies, with no regrets.
3) I have decided that I’m going to try to go into PSU’s MA in Publishing after I graduate next year, because it seems most urgent to me, and I think it’ll be great experience for my own press.

What didn’t?
1) I wanted to set up an e-commerce portal through WordPress, but it looks like I can’t, since my site isn’t self-hosted. I’m looking at other options, and in the meanwhile, I’ll be using Etsy to sell books.
2) I haven’t been scheduling much self-care time. I still think this is needed, so I’ll work on it…
3) No issues.

Planning the Next Month:

What am I working on going forward?
1) Book promotion! I will be reading in the Unchaste Readers Series this month (March 17th), and I’ll be selling books there. I’ve got a modest list of folks to sell to, and of course I’ll be looking at other ways to promote our books going forward. I’m going to work on getting the books up on Etsy, so people can purchase them there.
2) I plan to pick 1-2 days in the next month to just focus on my self-care. This will probably wait until my last assignment is turned in on the 18th, but I’ll have 5 days to relax, and then I’ll be in Chicago for 6 days, and I’ll definitely have the chance to have me-time in there. I’m super excited for that!
3) I need to go in and figure out the application deadlines for the program, and plan accordingly. It’s probably a while yet, so I can look that up and make a plan for getting all the necessary work done with plenty of time.

I definitely have a lot to keep me busy, and it’s coming up on finals at school, so that self-care’s going to be important! But I’m mostly excited to be moving on some stuff I’ve been working on for a while now. (Especially since Mercury moved direct—retrograde was harsh.)

For updates on the books, be sure to follow Mourning Glory Publishing’s site. I’ll be sending a newsletter once the first book launches, and you can sign up for those here. Until next time, friends!

See all of the Groundhog Day Resolutions posts here.

Groundhog Day Resolutions 2015

In the tradition of Dave Seah’s Groundhog Day Resolutions, I have decided to do my own this year. I think having regular days to check in with my progress towards my goals, on a schedule that’s pretty easy to remember, will be better for keeping them in mind. Plus, it removes some of the urgency I feel. Without timelines and plans, I tend to feel like I have to do things now, but I also push projects back each day, telling myself I’ll work on them tomorrow, without really getting things done. (If you also have ADHD, you probably know how this feels.)

So, here are my resolutions for the year:

  1. Make regular money from writing: my first piece for pay went up this morning, and I’m stoked! But I want to be regularly contributing to more sites. I have a couple books in the works (more news very soon), and a regular contributor position at Black Girl Dangerous, but my university job ends in June, and if they hire me back, that won’t start until September. I’m saving money to bridge the summer gap, but it’s anxiety-inducing. If I can get things in order and start making a little money, I won’t have to stress out about this. Also, I plan to keep writing — I’d have to start some time. I set some goals about this in December, and I’m hoping to really get into them.
  2. Schedule self-care and practice self-love: I struggle with this one a lot (many of you know; it seems like I talk about it all the time), but I want to find a way to centre my health and body needs. I need to create a plan to see friends more for hang out/relaxing time. I need to set aside evenings/mornings/days with inflexible boundaries for sleeping in, spa time, whatever. I need to find what works for me, long-term. It’s a work in progress…
  3. Solidify my graduate degree path, and apply to grad school: I want to go to grad school, and I have some ideas about what to do, but I need to look up application requirements and deadlines, pick a school/program, and just go for it. Still trying to get my GPA up, which is complicated by poor health and lack of self-care, but I believe I can do it. So I just have to do it.

Those are the big ones, the ones that will take the most focus and work, but they’re really important to me, and I plan to prioritise them. So, I will be posting on 3 March, 4 April, 5 May, 6 June, 7 July, 8 August, 9 September, 10 October, 11 November, and 12 December about them. I will create work plans and assess time constraints, I will track submissions and find support; I will let go of what I must. I will focus on what I want and need, and what I can and should do for others, and I will practice saying no. I will know that I can, but that sometimes I just can’t. I will be afraid. I will be proud.

2015, you’re already better than 2014 — let’s see what we can create together.