morsla: (Default)
It may be only February, but I have the uncomfortable feeling that my year is already full. There's precious little room to breathe in the calendar, and the next six months will be particularly hard. If I get slack at returning emails, or cancel things without much notice, please bear with me - I'm going to have to do what I can to stay sane.

I have a few goals: not all about my PhD, but there are a few in there as well.

Family: Make sure every day contains some time spent with [ profile] aeliel when we aren't actively doing other things. Occupying the same room =/= spending time together. We're both busier than we ever have been, so that time is more precious than ever.

Kung Fu: Grade for 3rd Blue after Easter. I haven't quite learned all of the requisite Kul Dar form yet (it's a sequence of 126 movements, and requires more flexibility than I currently have due to jumps that transition into leg sweeps or kicks), but I think I can learn it in time. It's been over ten years since I last took a grading. Training regularly is good for keeping me healthy (and being physically exhausted enough to sleep), but it's good for mental discipline as well.

Thesis: Methodology draft this week. Update the social media overview next week. Finish coding the first half of my interview data during March. These things will help me to get it finished in time. It's a slow process, building up momentum to write these chapters.

Games: A surprisingly important sanity measure - these give me time to relax in the company of some excellent friends. Keep playing the weekly RPGs for as long as possible. Help [ profile] aeliel plan out a Call of Cthulhu game for Arcanacon next year - though most of the writing will be a post-thesis project. Play in some WM tournaments and leagues, when time allows, to stretch the tactical part of my brain.

Painting: Another important one - this time for being able to relax on my own. I can't keep doing the late nights now that I'm at work by 8am each day, but painting after midnight is an indulgence. I like painting when the world outside goes quiet. It lets me gather my thoughts, or set my mind adrift while my brush takes over.

That's the barest hint at what I'll be doing over the next few months, but if I can manage those I will be on the right track.
morsla: (alchemist)
We have finally finished moving out of North Melbourne, though it will be at least a few weeks before we make any real progress on unpacking in Somerville. Since spending a full day moving on Saturday, I've spent 6-10 hours every day cleaning, carrying boxes down stairs, loading and unloading the car. I'm now very, very tired.

Disgusted at the sheer volume of stuff I own, my new year's resolution is this:

By December 31st, 2009, I will find new homes for at least half of my possessions.

I've taken many boxes to the Red Cross donation bins over the last month, but haven't made a dent in the majority of things. Most of what I own is not essential. Too much of what I own has been retained out of habit or sentimentality. I'd like to break the former, and have no room left for the latter.

In order to make a start on things, here are a few categories:
  • Models: In order to buy any new figures, I will sell two that I already have. I'm already limiting myself to only spending money raised from painting; now I'll actively reduce the number of figures as well.

  • Roleplaying books: If a publisher won't sell PDF copies, I'm not interested in their products. I have bought my last paper RPG for the forseeable future.

  • Music: I already only buy digital copies, unless I'm at a concert. This won't change. Many old CDs can also be given away.

  • Paperbacks: Give away anything I won't re-read often. Join a library or three. I've bought my last novel for the year.

  • Clothes: Keep only what I'll wear often. Give away all the rest. Sentimental clothes only stay if they are still being worn. I've aleady sent all my old shoes and boots to the Op Shop.

  • Kitchen equipment: If one item can do the job of several, all the other items can go. I like cooking for people, but don't really need enough equipment to serve 20 people at once. The Op Shop will be getting a load of old cutlery, crockery, pots and pans once I unpack those boxes.

Unsurprisingly, this will be a year when I take Discardia far more seriously than I have in the past...

(PS: still using dialup this week - if anyone needs to contact me, call me instead as I won't be reading LJ or checking email often)


Feb. 28th, 2006 10:26 am
morsla: (Default)
For the first time in years, I've been able to sit down and do a specific job without trying to wander off and work on ten others. It's a nice feeling to start the studying year with. Of course, it took outside help (thankyou [ profile] aeliel) to shift my headspace somewhere that I could start getting things done.

I got snowed under with work during Honours, and then lost any chance that I had of getting back on top of things when I got sick at the end of the year. That was a while ago... late 2004, in fact. Unfortunately, I never really found my way back out from under the pile of work - after the thesis I went straight back to CSIRO, and after finishing work there were jobs I'd been neglecting to do at home.

Did I get everything finished in some kind of caffeine-fueled workathon? Hell no. In fact, much of it will never be finished. I think I've done the things that mattered, though. Last Friday I cut my ties to the things that should have been dropped months (or years) ago, on some advice from [ profile] aeliel.

Important: Things that are important to me.
Urgent: Things that I need to do by a particular time, for someone else.

Urgent and Important: At the moment, my new uni course fits in here. I can learn a set of skills that I know will be valuable to all the different directions that I'd like to take my life over the next few years. It's likely to dominate my time for the next few months, but (unlike Honours) it's something that I am doing because I know that it's what I want.

Important but not Urgent: The things that matter to me, which up until now I've found myself trying to fit in after everything else is done... or more commonly, not doing at all. They deserve to have a higher place on the list. Things in this group at the moment include spending more time with you lot... Learning to use my design and layout software more effectively. Setting up a website for my painting and sculpting (something to do in the mid-year break). Practicing my forms, and learning the rest of the Wudan tai chi.

Urgent but not Important: Things that need to be done, but don't matter to me personally. I do them when I can find the time, within the timeframe I'm allowed... but they aren't allowed to intrude on time or space that belongs to something higher up the list. Paying bills, running errands. Assignments that I don't see the relevance to (fortunately, I haven't seen any of these yet). Many of my paid jobs fall here. I'll get them done by the deadlines set, but I'm not interested in seeing them take over my life again.

Not Important, not Urgent either: I don't have time for these any more. Half-forgotten projects that I've tried to finish out of a sense of completeness. Jobs that have been passed on to me because their owners can't be bothered doing them. Half of the things on my "to paint" list have fallen into this group - they might become urgent mid-year, when I'll need to sell more figures to pay the bills. Until that time, they've been moved outof sight... there just isn't enough time to waste it worrying about things that I don't have the time to do.
morsla: (lookin)
I'm surrounded by doing. Hundreds of jobs orbit around me, some worked on, some ignored. Underneath it all I'm fighting for a little room to be. Inch by inch I'm hollowing out a new set of foundations, though I wish I hadn't started building during the storm. Large chunks of the past few weeks are still taking form - I have to grow into them, before I can understand the changes that are happening. That will take a while, though - for now, I'll just write about some of the blizzard that flies around me.

Any attempt to plan too far into the future is meaningless; too many variables scour away all that looked solid when I set out. For me, the Spike seems to be about two weeks... project any further than that and the best-laid plans will dissolve into static when reality hits them.

I have fuzzy goals now - once made, I let them lose definition to make sure they survive. I know what I want to do with them, and I know more-or-less how I'll do them. When they happen is no longer as important - relative dates (this task before that one) still hold, but setting milestones in absolute time has only made me feel worse about not finishing things on time.

Folio )

Event management )

Science communications )

In other news, I've been learning the first Wudan Tai Chi form since finishing the International 42. It's drastically different from Sun, Yang, Chen and Wu Tai Chi, and from virtually anything else I've ever learned - far more intricate and complex than the mantis styles, and on par with Liu He Ba Fa for the number of subtle components to each technique. It's eerily intuitive though - I think techniques from Wudan have been hidden in the last few years of warm-ups, so we've been drilling this style for a long time.

I'm working on my strength and balance at the moment, trying to cross the fine line beyond which it's easier to keep going than to stop. I've been leaping all over the place, and walking along every railing I come to :) With my knees bent (it stops me from using them for momentum) I can now do seven chin-ups - two weeks ago I had trouble doing four properly... 10-12 used to be standard though, so I have a long way to go yet.
morsla: (runes)
Clarification: I consider "fit" as being "fit enough to comfortably achieve things I want to regularly do."

Thanks for the helpful comments in my last entry. For the others... well, it is something I feel strongly about, and I know that I'm not physically capable of doing many things that I'd like to have back in my life. You only need to be as fit as your hobbies require, within some sort of minimum "required to remain alive" guidelines. Please just accept that I have unusual hobbies...

The plan... )

[ profile] kikilon: could I bribe you with dinner one night, if you can show me some more stretches? ;) Beyond some basic leg stretches, I've never really learned how to get at my recalcitrant muscle groups...

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