The art of progress...

If you turn it sideways it kinda looks like the Chicago skyline…

Traditionally July is my favorite month.

I decided this sometime around age five and my reasons are not profound: it is the month of my birthday and it is the only month of the year during which there was No School. This second reason feels doubly ironic since I am now preparing to go back to school and am quite looking forward to it: but then again this time I get to study exactly what interests me instead of having to spend a lot of time on fractions and Social Studies.

Since I spent much of yesterday recovering from a marathon weekend of running, county fairs, heat, dehydration, social fatigue and rich food I thought I’d take today to regroup and see how my goals are coming along. Can you believe the year is half over? Yikes! I can’t! In an attempt to stay accountable to my goals I thought I’d better put my progress out where someone else can see it so I won’t be tempted to… you know… fudge the numbers.

Here’s how my progress is coming along:

To run (the equivalent of) three miles every day.

Where I am:

So far this year I have run 341 miles, give or take, over the course of 181 days (through the end of June). That averages to about 1.88 miles each day through the end of June. Technically this is falling short of my goal, but I am definitely making progress each month: in January I was averaging 1.77 miles per day and in June I averaged 2.33 miles per day. Partly this is because I’m doing some longer runs and am making up for days when I rest. 

Things I should change:

I’ve discovered how much of a difference that Pilates, Intervals, and other cross training workouts make towards my ability to do distance and have started incorporating them into my workouts. However I still only credit Pilates as the equivalent of running one mile and I only credit Intervals based on the distance that I go rather than how intense I make each sprint. I’m going to begin counting these cross-training workouts as the equivalent of a three mile run: they are valuable enough in the long run (pun intended) to be worth it. 

– To write a blog every day.

Where I am:

This one I’ve been pretty good about: I’ve missed about twelve all year and mostly because I was on the road at the time. 

Things I should change:

I need to be better about writing blogs on my phone when traveling or else I should write several posts in advance for emergency use. I also want to become more deliberate and thoughtful about what I’m writing instead of just whatever crosses my mind. 

– To floss my teeth every day.

Where I am:

So far so good! 

– To do an hour of artwork every day.

Where I am:

Ha! Yes this one hasn’t happened quite like I’d hoped. I did GREAT in January and then barely anything since then. 

Things I should change:

First I need to clear away all the stuff that is blocking my access to my art supply closet because it makes it hard to want to do anything if it is going to mean twenty minutes of excavating before I can get to a pencil. I also need to inventory my art supplies and just see what I have and what I need to top-up/ replace. Lastly I am going to start carrying around a sketchbook again: it may not be brilliant art, but hopefully having it on hand will give me more excuses to doodle. 

– To practice the bass for an hour every day.

Where I am:

Back in the habit again: in June I managed to start putting in some good practice time again. Making flashcards for scales seemed to help.

Things I should change:

I should make flashcards for chords now that I’ve gotten scales figured out. It might also be a good time to start thinking about taking some lessons with other human beings so that I can get out of my Nobody Must Hear Me Practice shell. 

– To read more books.

Where I am:

I’ve been averaging about five books each month (though June was technically only three thanks to some non-fiction). I got myself a library card and I have a list of recommendations I hope to follow up on. 

Things I should change: 

Non-fiction: I need to get better at reading it so that it doesn’t slow me down so much. I’m going to try to always check out at least two non fiction books each time I go to the library. Also I have started ordering books for my classes in the fall and I hope to read them over the summer so I can be familiar with the material by the time classes start. 

– To remember to send birthday cards to people in time for their birthdays.

Where I am:

Alas- shamefully behind on this one.

Things I should change:

I need a better system of notating when birthdays are coming up: right now they are in a Google calendar and I only occasionally get the notifications in time. I also need about ten days of lead time to be sure the card makes it through the postal system from where I live. I like the people who work at the local post office, but I am frustrated by how often cards arrive late even if I mail them a week in advance. 

– To keep track of how many hours I dedicate towards filmmaking. 

Still going strong on this one: I will be interested to see how my hours change once I begin classes in the fall. Hopefully it will be easier to stay on target to work on film “full time” (at least eight hours a day). We shall see. 

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on July 2, 2013.

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