On Track: Daily Progress

Last Week (On Track Goes Off Track)

NOTEI update this post daily and it remains on the front page of the blog. 

This is today’s progress in my “On Track” program, a simple goal tracking system in which I post my progress hoping folks will hold me accountable for what I plan to do. For a description of the plan and my goals read What is On Track?

Last week really sucked. You can read more details about it here.

I did no writing, at all. I did manage to stay mostly on track with my exercise program, though by the end of the week my weight and strength had started to drop (I’m at [I think] a new low of 153 today, Monday 6/27/11) and I for the first time failed significantly to complete the last set of pushups in the workout the last day of the week (I came up 8 short). So this week, I’ve reset the schedule and am redoing last week’s regimen before moving on to Week 5.

There are a couple of social checkmarks during the week, but they represent me speaking to people as “friend therapy” about what I’m going through and my recent failures. And the terrible three red x’s in Anti-Social on Tuesday represent the worst of said failures, when I ruined a wonderful relationship in a fit of pique.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been giving thought to the spiritual, and last week just reinforced my need and focus in that direction. I’ve already been meditating and doing occasional tarot work (I’m inherently a skeptic, but every freaking time I work with divination tools the results are so consistent and dead on and often in a way I’m not expecting, it’s humbling). Last night I did a dual reading with Sacred Path/Medicine cards, two Native American themed decks that can work in tandem, and it gave me a lot to think about.

I’m also going to start exploring local pagan groups/events to see if I can find something that actually speaks to my “pagan with a lower-case p” way of looking at the world.

Depression and various flavors of grief are still draped on me as if with hooks in my skin, affecting my ability to move, but I’m back on track as of now.

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Progress Sat 6/18/11 (Click for full-sized)

Saturday June 18, 2011

Largely a crappy day. Low energy, low motivation. I got the big tasks done, barely, but wound up finishing the day without even doing my daily stretching.

Morning Weight: 156

Writing

Wrote 552 words on the novel (goal of 500-1000).

Health & Spirit

I went for a swim.

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Friday June 17, 2011 (with thoughts for the future…)

Progress Fri 6/17/11 (Click for full-sized)

Today was a draggy day, and was the first day since starting this plan that I actually gave in to my inertia and took a long nap. But I rallied afterward, wrote a lot, and managed to get myself out into the world of people, as described below.

On Tuesday, I wrote about how I was procrastinating within the goal framework I’ve set up, often putting things off till later in the day when I’m more tired, and often being content with doing less as long as I still manage the goal. Most notably, I often let myself stop after passing the 500 word mark in my writing, when the goal is a minimum of 500 words towards an actual goal of 1,000. (As you’ll see, I didn’t do that today).

I’ve been thinking more on the matter, and come to some conclusions. First, I’m essentially in rehabilitation, and I need to be kind to myself. I’m getting a lot done, much more than I have in ages, every day, so kicking myself because I’m not maximizing my potential right now is stupid.

That said, in this period of rehabilitation, I’m establishing the habits I need to keep living the life I want to live. So I need to be aware of what habits I’m establishing. For example, puttering away a good amount of the day and then finally sitting down to write isn’t good, even if I hit my word count. I’m at my most alert and energetic and creative early in the day, so I should be writing then. I need to focus on getting things done early every day, and get in the habit of doing that.

Also, I’m going to keep the minimum 500 words part of my daily writing goal for the moment, at least through the current writing project. It’s particularly apt now, when lots of summer stuff is going on, like my son being home all day next week, and some upcoming vacation.  But ultimately I think I’m going to just go to a 1,000 words a day goal, without the valve to take the pressure off. If the pressure’s off, it’s too easy to relax once I’m at 500, and that’s not the habit I want.

Morning Weight: 155.5

Writing

Wrote 1,014 words on the novel (goal of 500-1000)!

Health & Spirit

stretched and meditated in the early morning.

I did Week 3, Day 3 (Day 9 overall) of the 100 Pushups plan, doing a total of 88 reps in sets of 16/21/15/15/21. Because I tend to struggle on the last one or two reps of the final set, and because I have two days of recovery before the next session, late in the day I also elevated my feet on the stoop outside and did 20 extra pushups, making my actual total for the day 108.

Social

I earned a green checkmark in Social by getting my ass out of the Byrdcave and going into Decatur for the annual Beach Party, a big fest in which they fill a chunk of street on the square with sand for the kids to play in, have live music, and provide lots of food and drink vendors. I had some Guinness at our best local Irish pub, wandered the square, flirted a lot, and had a great evening overall.

But, I earned a demerit in the Anti-Social column by momentarily overreacting to something ridiculous and sending a text about it, making it an issue. In my defense, it was late and I had Guinness in my belly, and I recovered my equilibrium almost immediately, though not quick enough not to send the text. I’m doing worlds better than a few weeks ago, as far as managing my reactions and moods is concerned, but I am still in high gear emotionally and have my weaker moments.

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Thursday June 16, 2011

Progress Thur 6/16/11 (Click for full-sized)

Another day full of procrastination, though I pulled it together by the evening and had everything done. And largely a good day.

Morning Weight: 155.5

Writing

Wrote 524 words on the novel (goal of 500-1000).

Health & Spirit

I went for a 20 minute swim in the morning.  I stretched and meditated afterward.

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Wednesday June 15, 2011

Progress Wed 6/15/11 (Click for full-sized)

One of those days where part of me is saying, “Aw, go ahead and take the day off, you’ve earned it…”  To which I respond, “Fuck off.”

Things are going too well. I’m not gonna let myself blow it. This is my new life and I’m staying on track.

I’m thinking more about matters spiritual, and may be blogging about that soon.

UPDATE: In the evening I had a wonderful phone chat which gave me the smiles. So a green checkmark is on the chart, though it’s too late for it to be seen on the screenshot I’ve posted.

Morning Weight: 155.5

Writing

Wrote 785 words on the novel (goal of 500-1000).

Health & Spirit

Did my 100 Pushups routine, Week 3 Day 2, doing 80 reps in sets of 14/19/14/14/19.

Then I went for a great 20 minute swim in early afternoon. And yes, the pool was finally open again. I stretched and meditated afterward.

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Tuesday June 14, 2011

Progress Tues 6/14/11 (Click to see full-sized)

Still on track as far as almost all goals, every day, go. Only one I’ve slipped on a few times is the 10 minute meditation, because (as today) I didn’t get to it early enough.

Which is itself indicative of a weakness in my plan, or at least the way I’m approaching it. One of the strengths of my plan is that it’s do-able, every day, without me having to really stress myself. Historically, I’d set up goals and try to do a lot, and would start to flounder and then lose it. With the simple goals I’ve set, it’s fairly easy to fit them into my day and get them done, even if I procrastinate here and there.

Thing is, to some degree that also encourages procrastination. Lately I’ve been writing in the afternoon, and one day I didn’t sit down to write until after 7:30 pm. I’ve hit my goals, so that’s fine, but I think I can do better.

One effect of the built-in easiness is I can slack off. I set the goal of writing at least 500 words a day, with a goal of 1000. But lately I’ve been treating 500 as the goal, partially because I’ve been writing later in the day and have less time (and I’m more tired). So I think I need to try to get as much done before lunch as I can, and start refocusing on the more productive end of the goals I set, rather than allowing myself to fall into the habit of taking it too easy as a matter of course.

Then again, I am doing what I set out to do, even if it takes a bit longer. And that’s no small thing.

Morning Weight: 155

Writing

Wrote 563 words on the novel (goal of 500-1000).

Health & Spirit

Stretched first thing in the morning.

Tried to go for a morning swim too, but the pool was still closed. Some chemical they used cleaning it makes the water cloudy and you’re not supposed to open it till the cloudiness goes away. It has yet to go away. I’m feeling kinda creaky, not having swam any today or yesterday, though I’m not off track, since I only require at least 3 cardio sessions of some kind every week and have been doing much better than that. If it’s still closed tomorrow, weather allowing I’ll take a bike ride.

Waited too late in the day and couldn’t meditate without falling asleep.

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Monday June 13, 2011

Progress Mon 6/13/11 (Click to see full-sized)

A quick note about Sunday: the pool wound up being open late in the afternoon (someone forgot to unlock it in the morning), so I got in a good swim with my son. I also had a great talk on the phone that really made my day, so I added some checks to the “Social” row. It proved to be a greatly enjoyable day from start to finish.

I’m actually starting to feel happy, not just satisfied or hopeful or not-sad.

As for Monday, a fairly productive day with some pleasant contact with someone I care about. Hit my goals and did some other things that needed doing, like laundry and dishes and paying my electroshock bills.

Morning Weight: 155

Writing

Wrote 531 words on the novel (goal of 500-1000). But good words. ;)

Health & Spirit

Stretched first thing in the morning.

Did the 100 Pushups plan, Week 3 Day 1 (day 7 overall). Total of 72 reps in sets of 12/17/13/13/17. Not sure why the total went down from Friday, but I struggled to complete it, so the designers must know something I don’t. ;)

Tried to go for a morning swim too, but turns out the pool’s closed for cleaning on Mondays.

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Sunday June 11, 2011

Sunday is my day off, so not much to tell. Wanted to go swimming but our pool is inexplicably closed, which bites in 95 degree weather.

Morning Weight: 156.5

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Saturday June 11, 2011

Tim's Progress Sat 6/11/11 (Click to see full-sized)

An odd day. Was up till around two last night, earning my social checkmark, and woke up around 6:30, as I usually do. But was very tired. Posted this status on Facebook: “Groggy. Time to grind the caffeine fairies.” Then promptly fell back asleep on the couch (likely because I offended the caffeine fairies).

Still, managed to accomplish all my goals, though it wasn’t a very productive writing day.

Morning Weight: 156.5

Writing

Ehh writing day. I wrote 505 words on my current novel (daily goal of 500-1000). Not great, but it did bring me past 10k words written on this book since I started On Track two weeks ago.

Health & Spirit

First exercise activity I did today was the two week test for 100 Pushups, in which I just got down and knocked out as many consecutive pushups as I could and maintain good form. I got 25. When I tested before the program, I got 18, so clear progress.

Then I went for a 25 minute swim, which felt great and helped clear my head further from my grogginess. And I stretched at the pool afterward.

Meditated in late afternoon, after writing. Then, when my son joined me in the late afternoon, we went for another 30+ minute swim.

Social

Nothing to speak of.

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Friday June 10, 2011

Tim's Progress Fri 6/10/11 (Click to see full-sized)

Excellent day. Plenty of exercise, plenty of writing. Feeling healthy and positive, my mood’s definitely picking up from the past few days.

Morning Weight: 155.5

Writing

Great writing day. I wrote 1,200 words on my current novel (daily goal of 500-1000)! I’ve now done nearly nine thousand words since starting On Track.

Health & Spirit

Stretched this morning.

Also did my 100 Pushups plan, doing a total of 81 reps (sets of 16/17/14/14/20). Here’s a graph showing my progress in the two weeks I’ve been doing this:

Two weeks of pushups progress...

That’s very satisfying. :)

I also took a 20 minute swim after the pushups.

Never got around to meditating, as I put it off then wound up with a full evening and didn’t get to it. I think that makes it the first goal I’ve failed to accomplish in two+ weeks of focused activity. I can live with that, especially in a day where I did additional exercise and wrote 1,200 words.

Social

Nothing during the day, and though my energy is good, I was  feeling introverted and sorta lonely, actually. Then I got together for the whole evening with a good friend, went to the Decatur Diner for dinner, then wandered the town enjoying the beautiful night. So, check-mark.

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Thursday June 9, 2011

Tim's Progress Thur 6/9/11 (Click to see full-sized)

A good day. Energy is picking up, feeling positive. Got everything done without any difficulty, and even wrote a 1,000+ word blog post early in the morning.

Morning Weight: 155.5

Writing

I wrote 648 words on my current novel (daily goal of 500-1000).

Also, as noted above, I wrote a lengthy blog post, “I’m Back From The Dead, Wish You Were Here…” which is about my emotional progress of late.

Health & Spirit

Stretched and took a 20 minute swim this morning.

Meditated in late afternoon.

Social

Nothing major in the way of social activity, but did have some brief social contact that cheered me up quite a bit. So I gave myself a check mark for it.

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Tim's Progress Wed 6/8/11 (Click to see full-sized)

Wednesday June 8, 2011

Unusual day. Had other things on my mind, a few things I needed to attend to, and wasn’t terribly motivated. Still I had stretched, meditated, and done my pushups by lunch, and was certain throughout the day that I’d get everything done eventually before crashing for the night. And I did. Even fit in some extra exercise.

I’m feeling very good, very positive. Maybe even a tad happy. Hopefully more of that on the way…

Morning Weight: 155 lbs

Writing

This was the goal I was most likely to blow, it seemed, and I didn’t even sit down to write until after 7:30 pm. But I still managed to write 628 words (goal 500 – 1000 words per day), so booyah.

Health and Spirit

Stretched and meditated in the morning.

Then I did my 100 Pushups plan, doing a total of 71 reps (in sets of 14/16/12/12/17). This is working out nicely. I started last week at 44 and now I’m over 70. And I’m feeling it.

Before dinner, I went swimming for half an hour, which felt good and woke me up for the writing work still ahead.

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Tim's Progress Tues 6/7/11 (Click to see full-sized)

Tuesday June 7, 2011

A pretty good day, all in all. Didn’t soar, but I hit my goals.

Morning Weight: 154 lbs

Writing

I wrote 526 words on the current novel (daily goal is 500-1000).

Health & Spirit

In the morning, I stretched and did my 10 minute meditation.

Then, before lunch, I went swimming for 20 minutes.

Social

Not so much.

Tim

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Monday June 6, 2011

Screwy day. Dead battery (with a history, and questionable AAA service) and lots of waiting for AAA and trying to get them to honor their warranty finally. As a result, much of the day slipped past before I got to my main exercise or my writing.Morning Weight: 154.5 lbs

I’m 6′ tall and usually average 165-175 and haven’t weighed under 160 in 30+ years. I’ve lost 20+ lbs in under two months without trying to.

Writing

I wrote 570 words on the current novel (daily goal is 500-1000).

Health & Spirit

In the morning, I stretched. Meditated in the evening.

I did Day 4 of the 100 Pushups program, doing sets of 14/14/10/10/14 for a total of 62. Supposed to be 63, but I really had to cheat that last one to get it. But it was late afternoon, I’d been out in the 90+ degree heat a lot today, and hadn’t managed to get to lunch with all the AAA nonsense. Had I done it this morning, I might not have had the difficulty.

Social

Not so much.

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Sunday June 5, 2011

Regarding Sunday: Sundays are essentially my day off, because my son (who splits his week between me and his mom) is with me that day every week. I do take my weight (it was 153.5), stretch, and meditate. I have no set writing goal but can fit some in if I choose (I didn’t).I did go for a fun swim with my kid (not vigorous enough to earn a check on my progress chart). He and I went to see the new X-Men flick with his mom.

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Tim

Saturday 6/4/11

Motivation still draggy. Today felt like a Saturday, in other words a day off, but Saturday doesn’t mean that in my schedule. I need to do the things I planned to do and stay the course.I staved off the demon entropy (as detailed below), and wound up having the most productive writing day since starting this program. Fuck you, demon entropy, and the inertia horse you rode in on.I did some (very much) needed clean-up around the Byrdcave, too. All my energies have been focused on establishing and staying with this program and things got a bit hovelish around here.

Morning Weight: 154 lbs

I’m 6′ tall and usually average 165-175 and haven’t weighed under 160 in 30+ years. I’ve lost 20+ lbs in under two months without trying to.

Writing

I wrote 1,688 words on the current novel (daily goal is 500-1000)! Best day yet!

And as I post this, I intend to put up another blog post of some sort, because the outlaw moon is near eclipsed with On Track stuff right now and I don’t want it to just become the narrative wing of my goal tracking.

Health & Spirit

In the morning, I stretched. I then took a walk, stopping in a nearby neighborhood park to do my 10 minute meditation.

Around noon, my energy fled and my motivation hit a wall. I decided it was fine to take a short nap, as all I had to do to accomplish the day’s goals was the writing, and I had all the rest of the day (my son’s at his mom’s tonight). Then I said, screw that. I was giving in to inertia and entropy. So I took a 20 minute swim instead.

That woke me up and eliminated some stress, and I went on to do all that lovely writin’ described above. This, precisely, is why you shouldn’t give in to those lazy, unmotivated impulses. ;)

Social

Spent some time with my son and his mom this morning. Then, had a nice conversation with a Ph.d student at the cafe’ while I was there writing, and I comported myself like an actual social being.

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Tim

Friday 6/3/11:

Not as creaky and unmotivated as yesterday, but my focus wasn’t what it might have been. Still, I hit all goals, and I feel confident I’ll continue to do so.Morning Weight: 154 lbsI’m 6′ tall and usually average 165-175 and haven’t weighed under 160 in 30+ years. I’ve lost 20+ lbs in under two months without trying to.

This happened during a time of major emotional trauma and while I was undergoing electroconvulsive therapy, but I seem to be hovering around the lower weight, so maybe my metabolism (which has always been rather fast) has normalized at a higher pitch. Of course, I am suddenly more physically active, so that’s surely having an effect as well.

Writing

I wrote 583 words on the current novel (daily goal is 500-1000).

I also wrote most of my latest column for Inveterate Media Junkies, which is 1,157 words in its final form.

I’m posting this early, before I’ve done my writing prep this evening. But do it I shall.

Health & Spirit

I did day 3 of the 100 Pushups program, doing sets of11/15/9/9/13 for a total of 57. That means since Monday I went from struggling to do 44 to struggling to do 57.

In the morning, I stretched. In the late afternoon, I did my 10 minute meditation and damn near fell asleep. Seems it’s best to do that earlier in the day before I’ve worn myself out.

Facebook status:

Tim Byrd

I’m not actually supposed to snore when meditating, am I…?

After the lethargic meditating, I went to the pool for a 20 minute swim which both woke me up and further relaxed me.SocialDidn’t do anything particularly social, but I was sociable, talking briefly with a few people as I went about my day. That’s actually an improvement.

§

Tim

Thursday 6/2/11 (The First Creeeeaky Day)

Today was the roughest day since starting this plan yet. I woke up stiff and creaky with a crick in my neck, and just didn’t feel like doing anything. I’m all too familiar with this kind of day.

Am I depressed? Depression throws a switch in your brain that tells you you can’t do it, you won’t do it, and it doesn’t matter if you do it (biochemically this is pretty much literally true; synaptic pathways just stop working). It’s really fucking tough to push through. But if I’m depressed right now, it’s not very strong. I feel inertia and lack of motivation and sadness, but those are not depression. Those are things I can get past and stay on track. The feelings may not go away, but the satisfaction of beating them will remove some of their bite.

(NOTE: I’ve shifted the rows around a bit on the progress chart, trying to find an order that makes the best sense as I check things off during the day.)

Morning Weight: 154.5 lbs

Ate more yesterday, went up a pound.

I’m 6′ tall and usually average 165-175 and haven’t weighed under 160 in 30+ years. I’ve lost 20+ lbs in under two months without trying to.

Writing

I started fairly late in the afternoon because of my general lassitude, but headed for the cafe and managed to write 756 words, which is pretty damn good (daily goal is minimum 500, toward a goal of 1000).

I also finally started my second pulp column for Inveterate Media Junkies. While I’ve been love-sick, electroshocked Frankenstein they’ve been very patient and understanding.

Health & Spirit

In the morning, I stretched and did my 10 minute meditation.

I took a short swim before lunch.

Social

I went to an author’s lecture at the Decatur Library with a good friend, though we weren’t able to stay and mingle afterward so it was less social than anticipated. But then, as he was dropping me off at the Byrdcave, I ran into a new friend I met a while back and got to visit for a while, so between the contact with both friends I feel justified in checking the “Social” block for the day. ;)

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Tims Progress Wed 6/1/11 (Click to see full-sized)

Wednesday 6/1/11

Things are still progressing nicely. I’m advancing in each of my goals as planned, and the emotional weird-outs of last week are nowhere to be seen. Yesterday I wrote “I’m feeling good, actually…motivated, healthy, positive. I’m still feeling my emotions at a higher pitch, but I’m less anxious, less stressed, and more in control of my reactions than I was last week.” That still fully applies.

I’m actually feeling more able, more efficacious, more motivated, more inspired, more confident than I have in ages. The depression still pushes on me, but it’s weaker and I don’t feel overcome by it.

I can do this. I will do this.

Morning Weight: 153.5 lbs

Worrisome. The lowest yet. I think it’s time to work on upping my caloric intake.

I’m 6′ tall and usually average 165-175 and haven’t weighed under 160 in 30+ years. I’ve lost 20+ lbs in under two months without trying to.

Writing

I wrote 569 words (the goal being (500-1000 daily). I’m pleased with the results, starting to hit my stride and find fun turns of phrase.

I forgot to take into account my evening writing prep before posting this update, so it’s not checked on the chart. But I’ll do it soon and will add it to the live chart (it’ll be on the one I post tomorrow).

Health & Spirit

In the morning, I stretched and did my 10 minute meditation.

I also did day 2 of the 100 Pushups program. The goal is to work my way up to being able to do 100 consecutive pushups in six weeks. Today I did 51, broken into sets of 10/12/8/8/13. (On Monday I’d done one less than I was supposed to, but today I did one more).

In spite of my low weight, I feel good. Healthy. Vital. I’m actually sleek in a way I haven’t been for nearly 20 years, and I can feel my body responding quickly to the exercise. Also, someone who has known me a very long time told me I look better than I have in years. And I feel it.

Social

I hung out a few hours and had dinner with my son and his mom when I took him to her (it’s now her half of the week with him).

§

Tim

Tuesday 5/31/11

Things are going well so far, very well. I know I can’t count on them staying this way, but the system I’ve worked out does seem to make it easier for me to accomplish what I intend to. And I’m feeling good, actually…motivated, healthy, positive. I’m still feeling my emotions at a higher pitch, but I’m less anxious, less stressed, and more in control of my reactions than I was last week.

I’m not happy, yet, but I’m getting toward satisfied. Sadness still hangs over me like a shadow, but I’m moving forward anyway, which is a big improvement.

Morning Weight: 155 lbs

And it’s down again. I’m definitely not gaining right now, though I feel fine physically and it’s nice to not have even the small gut I had been packin’ around a few years. If I slowly put on muscle weight from my exercise over the next few months, all is good.

I usually average between 165 and 175 and haven’t weighed under 160 in 30+ years. I’ve lost 20 lbs the past month and a half without trying to.

Writing

Walked to the cafe’ with the kiddo to do my writing, and got 1,005 words (daily goal is 500-1000)!

I also transcribed an old journal entry to my blog.

Health & Spirit

By 7 am, I had stretched, meditated for 10 minutes, and taken a 20 minute bike ride. Oh, and taken a very fidgety Boone out to commune with the bushes.

Social

A good friend dropped by this morning and we chatted for a while.

§

Tim

Monday 5/30/11

I’ve been tracking goals a few days now, but today is the official full start of the plan.

It has gone well. I had all my official goals except the evening prep of tomorrow’s writing done, had walked the dog twice, and watched the latest Game of Thrones by 1 pm. Today’s Song of the Week is in honor of me starting the program.

Morning Weight: 155.5 lbs

I dropped back down from yesterday’s 156. Without intending to, I’ve lost 20 lbs the past month and a half. I usually average between 165 and 175 and haven’t weighed under 160 in 30+ years.

Writing

Started back on my current novel today, with the daily goal of writing at least 500 words with a goal of 1000. I did 560. I could have done more but as it’s the start of my plan, and a full day with my son, I figured I’d go easy.

As I was writing, sitting outside in the shade on a bright 90° Decatur summer day, a beautiful moth spiraled around me and settled on the wall nearby. I decided this was a good omen.

A messenger from the muse...

I also spent some time reading over the project I’m working on, just keeping my mind in its world and thinking about what I’ll be doing when I buckle down tomorrow.

HealthI stretched this morning.I also did day 1 of the 100 Pushups program. The goal is to work my way up to being able to do 100 consecutive pushups in six weeks. Today I did 44, broken into sets of 10/12/7/7/8. (I actually did 45 as I was supposed to, but had to cheat so much on the last I didn’t take credit for it).You can see the program at hundredpushups.com. I’m using their iPhone app (on my iPad), which guides you, tracks your progress, and has a rest timer built in for pauses between sets. It’s elegant and cool.

Social

Nothing particularly social today. But no damage done either, so I’m good with that.

Spirit

As noted yesterday, I think I need to start back on some spiritual practice. For me, that translates mostly into meditative exercises (rooted in years of martial arts training) and heathen practices courting synchronicity (like tarot and runes) and wildness (I’m very much a scientifically minded rationalist, but I’m a pagan at heart).

Today I started a daily 10 minutes meditating practice (I’ll write more about it in the future, but it’s the very one the characters in my book Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom start their meditations with). I’m going to work to get that up to half an hour a day. Considering the emotional meltdowns of late, I consider this as important as any of the goals.

I also did a tarot reading, using a spread that’s supposed to show the state of a certain relationship. It was uncannily precise as to the nature of the present situation, and the first and final card did a dead-on summary of my current emotional issues, which have damaged the relationship I had in mind.

The first card represents how I see myself. Its description:

Moodiness and passive aggression, easily triggered by obsessive territoriality. Behaving in an overemotional and clingy fashion.

You’d have to work hard to come up with a better description of my emotional state the past week (as you’ll be aware if you’ve been following the blog).The final card represents the challenge of the relationship:

Worldly authority and power. Social mastery and oratory. One who is intelligent, experienced, confident, and reasonable. The ability to fulfill plans and use mental control over the emotions.

So the challenge is me getting over my emotional damage, regaining self control, and taking mastery in my life.Which is what this is all about.

§

Tim

Sunday 5/29/11

Morning Weight: 156 lbs

I actually went up a pound, which may be a good sign since I’ve lost 20 lbs the past month and a half. I usually average between 165 and 175 and haven’t weighed under 160 in 30+ years.

Writing

I blogged alot (over 1500 words prior to this post), though that doesn’t really count toward daily goals. Once the plan kicks in officially tomorrow, I’ll write a minimum of 500 words a day, with a goal of 1000, on my next novel.

I also spent some time reading over the project I’m working on, just keeping my mind in its world and thinking about what I’ll be doing when I buckle down tomorrow.

Health

I stretched this morning, which was pretty much the goal for the day.

Social

If you’ve been following the blog lately, you may know I’ve been having some issues with emotions and self control since undergoing ECT (electroshock) to fight my depression. You’ll see three red x’s in the “Anti-Social” category on the chart because I had an awful day in this regard, and wound up putting someone I care a lot for through a good amount of unnecessary grief. I’m very concerned about this area, and need to focus in on making sure I handle myself and my emotions a hell of a lot better in the future. Feeling and acting this way doesn’t make me happy, and it makes me a force for stress in the lives of folks I don’t want to stress.

This, and similar events in the past couple of weeks, has convinced me I need to start thinking about meditative and spiritual practices. So expect to be hearing more on that sort of thing soon. I really need to get control of myself.

§

Tim

Saturday 5/28/11:

Morning Weight: 155 lbs
Still worrisome. Down .5 lb from yesterday, and I’ve lost 20 lbs the past month and a half. I usually average between 165 and 175 and haven’t weighed under 160 in 30+ years.

Writing
I blogged some, though that doesn’t really count toward daily goals. Once the plan kicks in officially on Monday, I’ll write a minimum of 500 words a day, with a goal of 1000, on my next novel.

I also spent some time reading over the project I’m working on, just keeping my mind in its world and thinking about what I’ll be doing when I write next (Monday, unless I fit some in tomorrow).

Health

I stretched this morning, and took a half hour bike ride around Decatur, enjoying the gorgeous summery day. My third ride of the week, this completed the goal of at least three 20-30 minute cardio sessions every week.

Social

I spent a good while hanging out with my ex-wife and son when I went to pick him up for the next few days this afternoon. And I talked a tiny bit with the lovely Kate on the phone.

Friday 5/27/11

Morning Weight: 155.5 lbs
(I’ve dropped approximately 20 pounds in the past month and a half without intending to, so I figured I should track that. I’m 6′ tall and usually weigh between 165 and 175; I haven’t dropped below 160 since I was in high school. And the downward trend seems to be continuing, as I woke up this morning at 155.)

Writing
I blogged quite a bit, though that won’t officially count toward daily goals once the plan kicks in officially on Monday. Then I’ll write a minimum of 500 words a day, with a goal of 1000, on my current big project, which is a novel.

Health

100 Pushups: 1 set of 20
Today I just dropped and did 20 pushups, warming up for starting the 100 Pushups six week program on Monday. Then I’ll follow their plan M/W/F.

On Thursday I went for a half hour bike ride around Decatur, my second such ride of the week. Just so you know. My new goal is to do at least three 20-30 minute cardio sessions of some sort every week.

Social

Friday wasn’t a banner day socially. I stayed in the Byrdcave most of the time (writing the blog post linked in the opening paragraph and researching ways to organize this stuff, mainly). I spoke to someone I care for a few minutes on the phone, but I sort of ruined that by making a big deal out of nothing (my recently amped-up emotions serving me well yet again). Inspired by that, I’m adding a negative category on Joe’s Goals; when I screw something up with someone else socially, or avoid contact I should have gone for, I’ll take a demerit in “Anti-social.” The more egregious the foul-up, the more x’s in the box.

Thursday night, though, one of my oldest friends came over and we split a bottle of wine and talked a long time.

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