Sunday, December 18, 2016

am i doing too much?

This past week was a blur. With so much I have to do, instead of chipping away at it, I spent too much time watching TV, napping and basically wandering around my house in a daze. I know that it’s mostly from stress, but I really am exhausted and ache from my head to my toes. Making it hard to get motivated. Somehow I will get things done – I only have eight more Christmas cards to address. Let’s see, already mailed 46 or 48 of them. I have the last batch of Christmas cookies baked. I have half of the cut-outs decorated, so am not going to worry about when I finish the rest of them. Almost all of the presents are purchased, now I just need to wrap them. Oh, and we did get the tree decorated yesterday.

Every year, I ask myself why we put ourselves through all of this. Part of it is my husband. When I try to convince him each year that we need to cut back, he proclaims, “Christmas is my holiday and you’re not going to take that away from me.” To which I want to say, “Have at ‘er. Just coz you want to go nuts, doesn’t mean I have to.” Instead, this one time a year, I am the supportive wife and let him have his way. 

So what about my goals?

1)        Finish writing my current novel, “The Big House”.  I only wrote one chapter, 1,379 words this week. A far cry from the average I need to finish my rough draft by the end of the year.
2)        Ready “Where the Sky Meets the Sand” for publication. I still haven’t received the first round of edits from my publisher. I emailed them on Wednesday, I think, and heard back that I should get those edits by the end of the week, which didn’t happen. I’m trying not to stress about it. I have enough other things to do anyway. Wouldn’t it be better to wait until the relaxed days following January 1 to start re-reading the manuscript? But I am anxious to get the book ready for publication. My publisher originally set a release date for some time in April. And I suppose, since I am going to be in Africa the first two weeks of April, we might as well wait to release it towards the end of the month. I still just want it back in my hands. It also makes me nervous that my publisher hasn’t kept up their end of the deal on this. I know it is minor, but is it a warning sign?
3)        Continue posting to my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles” three times a week.  It helps that I set myself up with the topics for all the posts for the month.   
4)        Finalize the next trip for my daughter’s nonprofit, Tumaini Volunteers.  As much as we need to do on this, we haven’t worked on it this week. Life has just gotten in the way. Weather hasn’t helped. This Friday, no matter what, my daughter and I are going to work on things. I’m also meeting with our treasurer as she has not been able to balance the November income and expense report. And somehow she thinks it’s my fault. I don’t know why she blames me, but I need to appease her.
5)        Get my body in shape. Seriously? Do I not realize what this month is all about? There couldn’t be more junk food in my house right now.

Have you achieved all of your goals this Round? This year? And are you just going to sit back and relax for the last two weeks of 2016?   
Last year's cut-outs. I took a picture of this year's, but haven't looked at it yet. 
These cookies look just as good. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

A Quick Recap

Rumor has it that the end of the year is looming. Did not see that coming. I have Christmas on my radar. But the end of the year? The deadline for a list of goals to be completed? Yikes. Let’s see where I am.

1)        Finish writing my current novel, “The Big House”.  Though I have had the idea for this book in my head for years, and actually the “big house” itself has been in my head since 1974, I only started writing it on August 14 of this year. That was four months ago. In that time, I have written 34,292 words. I’m shooting for 70,000 words total, which would put me at 48% finished. That also puts me at an average of 8,573 words per month. All of which means there is no way I will finish this in the next three weeks. I think I should shoot for 6,000 more words by the end of the year and finish the rough draft by the end of March.
2)        Ready “Where the Sky Meets the Sand” for publication. I was supposed to get the first draft of edits back from my editor on Friday. I did not hear from them, which greatly disappointed me, but I’m not going to freak out. If I don’t get an email by Monday night, I will send them a nudge inquiring as to where things are at. The next three and a half months are going to be nuts enough, if I want to achieve goal #1, as well as see this book released in April.
3)        Continue posting to my other blog,The Dino Chronicles three times a week.  The only goal I have continued to be faithful to and I anticipate that I will remain on track with it.  
4)        Finalize the next trip for my daughter’s nonprofit, Tumaini Volunteers. You think the above goals are enough? So, here I am planning on going back to Kenya the first two weeks of April. What am I thinking?  I am thinking that I miss Africa so much and I need to go back when I have the chance.
In the past week we have:
a.                          Met with two prospective volunteers and gotten their commitment to go with us in the spring. That makes our team me, my daughter and these two, which is a good size.
b.                          We had another craft show yesterday. Didn’t sell a lot of stuff, but talked to a lot of people and gave out our information. In general, when we tell new people about what we do in Africa, we get two reactions – 1] “but there will always be poor people in Africa, we should help the poor in this country first” or 2] “my church does something in Africa, so I donate to them”. Both reactions make me bristle, but I’m not going into it here. I’ve blogged about it enough.
So coming up, we have to:
a.      My daughter and I are meeting on Friday to get re-organized.
b.      I need to post some more items to Etsy, or even just to our Facebook page. Yesterday, as soon as we set up at the sale, we posted a picture to Facebook. We sold two items to people who couldn’t come to the sale but saw things they liked on the picture. I know that doing everything via the Web is the wave of the future – or the wave right now. I still like meeting people in person though (hard to believe since I am a massive introvert).
c.      Make our plane reservations by the first of the year!
5)        Get my body in shape. I’m still working out a few times a week, not as much as I would like, but I am just so busy. My weight is holding its own, so with all the Christmas snacks popping up all over, I’m not going to sweat it.

How about   you? Are you finding yourself so ridiculously busy this time of year that your goals go to the back burner? 
Anything on the table catch your eye? Send me a message and I'll get you more info. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

over my big scare

After last week’s scare, I only got back to writing on Friday. My son was able to resurrect my laptop and the first thing I did was back everything up. In two places.

Other than that, I don’t know where the week went. With Christmas barreling towards us, I don’t know how much I will work on my goals, but I’m still going to give it a shot. (Green highlight is a goal that is on track, yellow highlight was at least worked on, red letters is a total fail.)

1)        Finish writing my current novel, “The Big House”. I squeezed in 2,158 words. Which brings my word count up to 46% finished. No, I won’t finish it this month, but I’m still proud I made it this far.  
2)        Work on readying “Where the Sky Meets the Sand” for publication. I hope to hear from my editor this week. In the meantime, I did research some book festivals and started composing my application for one.
3)        Continue posting to my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles” three times a week.  On track, three posts last week.
4)        Work on my daughter’s nonprofit, Tumaini Volunteers.  Worked on a few things this week. I listed two items on our Etsy store and posted our information on the Facebook page of the craft show we are at next weekend. I also messaged four of the people who had expressed interest in traveling with us to Kenya in the spring to try to get a commitment out of them. Also spent what seems like a lot of time rehashing things with my daughter. I think she must be bipolar, as much as she waffles on things. Oh, well, we’ll get through. Right now, it still looks like I’ll be returning to Kenya with her in the Spring. Which means I need to come up with the money, in addition to everything else I need to do in the next few months. Oh, well.
6)        Get my body in shape. Not as much as I would like, but I think I exercised four mornings and two evenings. My weight is down a whole pound or so. Oh, boy.

This week, I am going Christmas shopping with Hubby on Monday. Tuesday night I have to help decorate the church for Christmas. And I work on Friday, my usual day off, to make up for being off Monday to go shopping. Saturday I will be at the craft show all day. It could be another unproductive week, but we’ll see what happens.

How have you been doing? Is the upcoming holiday season slowing you down? Or are you committed to achieve all your goals by year’s end?  
From another recent craft sale