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We’re looking after my parents’ dog, Morrie, at the moment. He’s quite old, not interested in making new friends, yet despite this, unbelievably patient with the puppy who does not take no for an answer. It took a good few days for Morrie to settle in. He kept looking like he thought Sasha had cooties. But yesterday, for some reason, he seemed to really settle in. He started patrolling the perimeter and sitting guard at the front door, in turns. This mesmerised Sasha who went from constantly antagonising Morrie to sitting in choice viewing spots and watching Morrie get hot under the collar. Now they are both tiring each other out and napping and not annoying us, more importantly.

Anyway, I just noticed that Morrie puts himself to bed and then doesn’t get up for anything. Puppies on the other hand, are always up for any old caper and will happily wake up and wander down the other end of the house with you, no matter the hour. On noticing this, I remarked to C: We should get another puppy when Sasha starts to get old.

C: I’m planning on doing that with you, too.

Me: *unimpressed look*

C: Yeah, isn’t the old one supposed to train the new one?

Me: You really want *me* training your next wife?

C: maybe I’ll pay someone.

So now I am sitting in bed, nursing a very painful spicy food incident and contemplating my holiday that was, as the prospect of hours to returning to the day job tomorrow approaches. Holidays are no way long enough and I really really wish I didn’t have to go to work yet. I only have 8 days left in this job to go. I of course got nowhere near what I had hoped to get done done. And I’m getting more and more scared about the longer commute that I have signed up for with my new job. I’m consoling myself on the first with the fact that the holidays have kickstarted my getting round to a bunch of things which I can continue to work on, in shorter spurts, as of tomorrow.

  • I got started on sorting out and clearing out the two spare rooms which have some of the last, and worst, of my unpacking. You know, all the stuff that you don’t know what it is or what’s with it so you don’t unpack it cause you’d have to sort it out.
  • I also sorted and tossed yet more of the postgrad stuff.
  • I homed a few more of my pictures on various walls.
  • I started some low effort gardening (mostly setting the habit of watering things)
  • I watched about 50 hours of The Vampire Diaries. Ahem
  • Also watched bits of Homeland, Psych, Primeval, The New Girl, Whitney, The Big Bang Theory, Private Practice
  • Sorted out my quilting – did about half of my xmas presents (the rest still to go), discovered I had one quilt top finished and located backing and wadding for the finishing of the project (that’s as far as that got), almost finished the third quarter of the monochrome quilt, made up almost 50 of the charm hexagons for my charm quilt (and discovered I have many many triangles precut for this project).
  • Read several books
  • Bought a ipad
  • Started my 2012 Last Short Story Reading
  • Participated in the Mega Boxing Day Podcast
  • Worked on three different Twelve Planets collections
  • Worked on a couple of unannounced TPP projects
  • Found a couple of comics that I’m dabbling in
  • Opened and started processing TPP’s novel manuscript submissions call

Ok, after that list, I guess I did ok with my holiday. I felt really like I had nothing left to give to the year and spent a lot just “pottering about the house” which is one of my favourite things to do when I’m on downtime. So I have to be happy with that. Even though a lot of things didn’t get progressed as far as I’d like.

But I did get a bit of insight into how I operate – know thine enemy – in terms of procrastination. I figure if I can figure out why I don’t do things I really want to, maybe I can figure out a way around my own obstacles. Or something. Don’t read that too closely, it’ll give you a headache. I often figure up tricks to get myself to do things I don’t want to. And whilst, the making myself do things I don’t want to do is more a thing of the past, making myself do things I want to do is kinda new and still shiny. Anyway, what I discovered is I often abandon or avoid things when they require going to find something out, or figuring out how to do something, or if left fallow too long, not knowing where I was up to or what I was doing.

So the whole sorting out my craft cupboard involved grouping like with like ie all parts of each project in one place and then taking stock to see where each was up to. And that alone was enough to get my enthusiasm back for about 6 projects at once. Often just identifying what the next step is (something C is often saying to me) was enough to help me move forward. It meant that instead of starting a bunch of new projects which had been my plan, I ended up happily working on older ones. I took this and applied it to other things, like sorting out scary packing boxes of doom, and emails that were waiting for answers, and TPP projects I’d stalled on, and found great success. It seems so simple but I think I need the reminder – when looking at something I’m avoiding, think up what just the next step is. Maybe that should be my thing for this year.

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  • By Helen on 4 January 2012 at 8:44 am

    Someone I know who worked in the moving trade said that he could always tell how many times someone had moved because at the end of the unpacking there was always one box left untouched following each move. When the movers came to pack up that/those boxes would still be sitting there never having been touched and it would accompany the owners to their next home. So you’ve done well to have even started on those boxes. For what it’s worth, he suggested that if you still had an unpacked box the contents of which were a mystery after a year you should toss it without even opening it because you never would. Don’t know if I could be that brave.

    Really you’ve achieved an enormous amount in a short time and you’ve worked out something important about yourself. A very productive holiday, I’d say.

  • By AlisaK on 4 January 2012 at 2:07 pm

    That’s so true. I have more than one of those unpacked boxes. In fact I can still see two in my living room! I have though unpacked some of the much older ones to see what I can throw out. So far, yeah, pretty much the whole box.

    It was a very productive holiday. Just wish I had longer …

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