1. Hawaii was AMAZING. I have never had such a fun, relaxing and stress free 10 days in my entire life. And I miss it. Not only the place, with its incredible scenery, amazing beaches, wonderful ocean and laid back atmosphere; but also the fact that I did not take ONE work related phone call while I was away. I didn’t return a call, heck I didn’t even listen to my voicemails! This was the first time in (7) years that I took a vacation and didn’t call in for a tele-conference, or return calls, or have to email the office. Being mostly unconnected from work, and even my life in general, was incredibly freeing, and I really, really needed it. I even went places without taking my cell phone! I mean, I haven’t done that in…well since I got my first cell phone! Being almost entirely unplugged from technology was scary at first, but I quickly got used to it. Don’t get me wrong, I missed talking to friends and family, and I missed blogging and reading other people’s blogs; but I did NOT miss being unconnected from work. I think I need more vacations like that.
As you can imagine, coming back to work after all that time away has been beyond difficult. I find my mind wandering way too often to the days I spent laying on the beach in the sun, or swimming in the ocean, or having my afternoon happy hour of pina coladas, mojitos and whatever else sounded good at the time. Those were the days. And it doesn’t help that my job is just as I left it—emotionally draining and just a whole lot of ‘blech’.
If this trip has confirmed anything I already knew before, it is that I so need a job change…But that is what I am doing all this for right? I mean, the going back to school to finish my Master’s degree; the working less at the job I hate; and taking on more classes to teach (which I love). I’m doing all of that to get to my ultimate goal of getting out of the current job I have. So I just have to suck it up and deal with it a bit longer. The writing I have been doing since I started this ROW80 adventure has been helping me a great deal to handle the stress from work too. It helps me relax and forget about it, for at least a little while, and gives me time to focus on what I enjoy doing. After all, we all need, and deserve, a little down time!
So, all that being said, I have made my list of goals for the next round of ROW80. The goals for this round are similar to the ones from the last round. The difference is that I have a lot more at the start. After finishing the previous round, I decided to combine the goals I had started with in Round 3 with the ones I ended up adding and revising throughout. Ultimately, this round is going to be about organization. I need to get organized in all aspects of my life—my full time job, the part time teaching I do, homework, and with my writing. So by setting up these goals the way I did, I can work the time I need to put into those parts of my life (i.e work and school)) around my writing goals. My calendar is going to be a rainbow of colors; I can just see it now. Bring on the highlighters! Maybe blue for writing, red for full time job, yellow for teaching…the possibilities are endless!
So, without further adieu, here are my ROW80 goals:
- Write a minimum of one hour every day. I am being more specific here this Round, and focusing on writing at least an hour on a WIP (last round it was just ‘write an hour an day’). This writing can be anything from new stuff, to revising, to editing, to outlining, but this goal should keep the WIP(s) I am working on moving forward.
- Blog at least once a week (whether that is an ROW80 update or in addition to the updates). I find sometimes that doing both updates doesn’t work with the schedule that I have. So by making this a goal, I will be held accountable to keeping up with the blogging and the updates. Two birds, one stone!
- Post comments on a minimum of (3) blogs every week. I really need to step this up. Now that I have my Toshiba tablet, I can take that to work with me and read my entire blog roll (which has gotten quite large!) and post responses on down time. (and since a lot of my time at work is ‘waiting’, I can use that time for something constructive!) It is way easier than trying to type comments from my phone.
- Finish my outline for the NaNoWriMo story by October 31. This goal being connected to #1 in that the outline will count towards that one hour a day goal.
- Read a minimum of one book a month. This shouldn't be hard, since I have book club with a group of friends once a month, but putting it out here as a ROW80 goal should at least hold me accountable.
- And I’m continuing my “move” goal that I added late in the last round. I am going to get back into my pre-Hawaii routine of doing something physical 5 days a week. Previously my goal had been 6 days, but I found that I really need to give my muscles more than just one day off a week. Especially since most of my workouts are strength training, yoga, Pilates and such. Maybe on the off days, I will just take a walk around the block or something to stay moving, but nothing too strenuous.
This round I have a few other goals in mind, but these are more “mini-goals” and not necessarily related to the timeline of ROW80. They are more things I want to accomplish by the end of this year. They are: setting up a twitter account and figuring out how to embed it into my blog; revamping the blog; learning how to embed youtube videos into my blog (I like to share things I find amusing and/or heartwarming!); and oh yeah, most important, putting up my first short story for publication via Smashwords. The story has been edited (*keeping fingers crossed that nothing has been missed!*) and put into the proper Smashwords format. So yeah…just waiting on that cover. I’ve emailed a few people about who out there in the interwebs is dependable, reliable and just plain great at making them, since I have no artistic talent whatsoever in that arena, and am awaiting replies!
So now I’m off to work, and to get some homework done. And to read some blogs. My calendar is going to be quite full this round, but I don’t mind one bit! Good luck to all and see you at the next update!