Almost done

I don’t know why I’m so excited about almost finishing a book, except maybe for the fact that I have been an avid reader nearly all my life, and in the past couple of years I’ve only managed a few a year. As a kid and in my 20’s, I would go through 50 books in 6 months, easy. What’s been my problem lately?

Priorities, I suppose. I want to say, “I just don’t have time!” except that’s a lie. I think I have time for what I make time for. So I haven’t made time for reading. That’s really a shame, because there’s a buttload of things to learn from books, and I like to learn things.

Anyway, so I’m almost done with my book. I could have finished it this morning on the porch, but I felt like I was rushing through it. I really want to take in the end of the book (even though it’s a re-read) as well as I have the rest.

I have another plan. The last time I read this book, I picked a recommended book out of the list in the back of it and bought it. I’m going to do that this time, too. A real, actual paperback (or hardcover if that’s my only choice). I’m looking forward to it.

And in between when that gets ordered and when it arrives, I’m going to read (finally, for the first time) a couple of old books on finance. I think they’re old enough (written in 1910 and 1937) to be available for free on Amazon, which is how I came to have them. Otherwise, I may not have bothered. Or maybe I would have. I honestly don’t remember.

So I have reading plans again. And I’m almost done with the first book, which means I’m almost ready to do a write-up about it and post it here in the new Books I <3 section I’m going to pull together as soon as I have a book to put in it. And then I think I’m going to try to do a video on it, too, but maybe not. I haven’t decided with certainty yet.

Well, it’s almost time to start my day. I hope you’re having a great day!

And if you’re not having a great day, I hope you’re having an okay day.

And if you’re not having an okay day, I hope tomorrow is better.

Loves!

What things are falling by the wayside

Journaling

I’ve been half-assing my journaling since about the time I finished my last personal journal. It’s okay, of course, to not write 3-8 pages every day, of course, but there’s a lot of stuff going on and writing it down helps me process, and I haven’t been doing that. When I felt anxious this morning, I quickly went ahead and got at least one of them done (my Start Today journal), and felt better having done at least my gratitudes.

Filming

While I’ve been writing out scripts for videos, I haven’t been filming them. I’ve harped on this for practically ever day this week. I’ll stop now.

Keeping up with schoolwork

I don’t have schoolwork, but my kids have schoolwork, and just when I think they’re getting everything done without my helicopter ways, it turns out, not so much. Thankfully, the last day of new teaching in our school district is today, and the last day for makeup work is next Friday, so my work there is almost done.

Grocery Shopping

I am not saying I haven’t been getting groceries, just that I used to have a schedule, man, and the stay-at-home order has messed with that. I shouldn’t complain, because I can still buy groceries, and I am grateful for that. Well, anyway.

Reading

I haven’t been reading. I’m sad about this. After watching Starship Troopers last night, I declared I wanted to read the book. We have the book, and Elder Youth has read the book, so I feel like it’s time for me to read the book. But then this morning instead of waking early and doing that kind of thing, I slept, because…I slept because I was so focused on doing a thing a particular way, I forgot about all the other things that I could have been doing.

Aaaand that’s probably enough self-flagellation for now. There’s a bird who is trying to eat me alive, and it tickles.

Sunday, just keepin’ the streak alive!

I don’t want to be misleading – I’m actually writing this on Sunday. This whole “scheduling posts” thing is apparently something I’m getting used to.

WordPress just told me I’m on a 13 day streak – 14, as of Sunday, when this post will appear. And I have four more posts scheduled after that to finish off the A to Z posts.

So, what’s going on here lately?

Well, I believe I have successfully acquired a replacement for the dead laptop. I believe I mentioned it here, but if not, earlier this month (maybe back in March – time is weird lately) my beloved laptop went toes up and refused to restart. It’s been acting weird for ages, so I’d been backing things up as best I could in anticipation.

My laptop is used for three main things:

Banking

I used to keep all my bill-paying, register-keeping, budget-less financial affairs on paper, but thankfully over the last 20 years or so, I hauled everything onto the computer. I had this really great Excel spreadsheet at one point that was a check register on steroids, and I really wish that particular thing hadn’t died, but it did. Eventually, I made the switch to Quicken, and it’s not perfect, and I don’t completely understand it, but it’s working out.

I had started making weekly backups of my Quicken data once I realized things were going south, and thankfully, it made the jump over to my backup computer nearly seamlessly.

Same goes for my passwords. I make complicated passwords with the help of Keepass, which, thankfully, also made the merge to the backup computer rather well. Thank goodness for that bit of luck on both counts!

Publishing

I haven’t done it in a while, but my laptop is the home for all the programs I need to publish books. While I can write my heart out on my Chromebook, I need to format with Word, which does not exist here.

My issue is going to be finding the Microsoft Office CDs. I know they exist in my house somewhere, and I have a general idea where they might be, but I have a feeling I’m going to need to clean an awful lot before I can locate them.

I am very, very lucky that by some cosmic stroke of luck, I work in a position that requires they provide Adobe products for me to do my job. So I also will have occasional access the the software needed to format print publications, as the need arises.

Minecraft

I game. I’m a gamer. I’m not a full-time gamer, and I’m not very good at it, but I do love me some Minecraft, and my poor, old laptop had served me well in that regard. I also play a variety of games on Steam, and I just realized my progress on one of the idle clicker games will be completely reset. Darn it, I only had three more achievements before I’d earned all 100.

Well, at any rate. The new machine should perform a little better in regards to games, and publishing, for that matter.

What else is going on over here?

Moving

Well, last week I only made it out for one walk, and in May there’s a Summer movement challenge to walk 165 miles between May 1 and November 2, 2020. I was aware of this challenge last year, but I didn’t really make an effort to accomplish it. Then there was a mini-challenge in February to walk 30 miles, and I managed that one. In fact, that challenge was critically motivating. When you “win” these challenges by logging in your miles on the website, they send you a prize of some sort. I learned from friends that the more miles you log above and beyond the minimum goal set by the challenge, the better prize you win.

So I’m really looking forward to the 165-mile challenge this summer. I’ll be also trying to do a C25K program on my own, since the in-person one was cancelled. They offered a partial refund, and I took them up on it since I don’t know when I’ll be able to reschedule it. If I can start running, that will make it easier to get more miles on the challenge.

Reading

I’m reading a couple books, lately. First, I picked up a paperback copy of The Gaslighting of the Millennial Generation (affiliate link) by Caitlin Fisher (her blog). I consider myself a Xennial, as firmly planted between Gen X and Millennial as I am, so it doesn’t strictly apply to me, but I’m sure there are things to be learned from it.

The second book I tried to get in paperback, but it wasn’t shipping so I got the ebook for Unorthodox (affiliate link), by Deborah Feldman (her website). I saw the Netflix show of the same name that was based on her book, and I loved it.

I find it strange that while I am not religious, learning about religions is positively fascinating and captivating for me. I have gone through the same fascination with other religions and mythologies (which, I would argue, should probably still be considered religions because I’m certain the people living with those gods considered it a religion as we define it now – we only call them myths because we believe them to now be false, something I’m certain is going to happen with Catholic and Hebrew mythologies someday), including but not limited to the Amish, Greek, Roman, and Japanese mythologies (I wrote a research paper lining up the similarities in high school), Mennonites, Witnesses, and the Mormon church.

Writing?

So I’m reading more. And, fantastically, I actually want to write again! Now, here’s a thing: writing is an art that should be practiced, just like the piano, flute, painting, pottery, photography, etc. One gets better the more practice one gets. And I also believe that it’s a thing that should be done regardless of whether one feels “inspired to write.” It’s not something that should only be done when one is in the mood, but rather a routine that is done regularly.

This doesn’t mean that Life doesn’t sometime get in the way. This doesn’t mean that sometimes you simply do not have time, or the ability, to write. It does mean (for me) that “writer’s block” is an excuse I use not to write, not an actual thing keeping me from writing. I’m going to own that. I haven’t written since January because I didn’t want to, not because something (an emotion like depression, an event like working from home, an illness like shingles) made it so I couldn’t.

The flu, though – the flu absofuckinglutely kept me from writing. I slept and took meds and slept again. The shingles just made me itch. That does not mean that shingles wouldn’t keep someone else from writing – shingles can be just as debilitating as influenza for some people. It just wasn’t for me. It was annoying. And painful. And on my fucking neck. Anyway!

My point is, I haven’t been writing because I didn’t want to write, and now I want to write again, and I’m very grateful for that. And I do want to work hard on turning it into a habit that happens whether I’m “in the mood” or not, like I mentioned above. Wish me luck!

The End

That’s all I have for today. I’m looking forward to writing a short story to get up on Patreon, then up for sale. I’m looking forward to writing some to put here, in case folks would like to read things here. I’m looking forward to filming and tracking my 165-mile Challenge progress here and on YouTube.

Oh! Monday I’m going to try to move my channel to a Brand Account and change the name to “growing up walls,” like the blog. I like the blog name, I like that as a channel name, and I have the Instagram and Twitter accounts on hold for when I’m ready for that. I’m still a baby channel, so I think the impact will be minimal.

That’s really it now! Loves!