September Project Updates!

writing

Monthly Project Updates are a series I began when starting my blog.  It’s mostly a way for me to hold myself accountable for finishing the many things I start, but I hope it also makes for an entertaining read!  My ultimate goal would be to have a group of bloggers share comments or link to posts about their own monthly progress and successes–the more the merrier!

Click here for the six goals I’ve set for myself–which have somewhat shifted since I began writing this blog.

Goals Big and Small:

1.  Downsizing

Letting go of my old, worn-out, and useless possessions has been one of my biggest challenges, but six months later I have a new approach and have made more progress than I ever believed possible!  I’ve written about the cleaning and sorting process here and here.

2.  Plan the wedding

Multiple people have told me they missed the excitement of planning for their wedding after their big day had come and gone.  I honestly can’t imagine feeling that way!  So many things have gone wrong along the way that I haven’t even had time to write about them!  If someone invented a “chill pill,” I could probably use about ten of them right now… that said, I’ve recently embraced my crafty side in trying to create some DIY décor.  None of this is Pintrest worthy, but I’ve adopted the Elizabeth Gilbert mantra of “Done is better than good.”

On a slightly different note, does anyone have ideas for what to put in the small jars?  I was thinking of tealight or led candles or small sprays of baby’s breath flowers…any other ideas?

3.  Music

It’s been a rocky year for me with music.  Back in the day, playing music was something I couldn’t get enough of–something that opened the floodgates of creativity and set my soul free.  However, ever since I became an “adult,” it’s seemed like a burden, or an extra job that I never quite had enough time for.  I would go through cycles of inspiration, followed quickly by frustration and just giving up.  I never found my way back to that place of open connectedness.

However, I think I’ve found the key to the problem.    At a certain point in my life, I became very goal-oriented.   While this is a positive quality in many parts of life, it’s a killer of creativity.  Any time you’re attached to an external outcome, you lose the ability to listen to the subtler messages your art is trying to tell you.  All these years, I’ve been more focused on the outcomes of practicing music than the music itself.

I may never be a career musician, never hear my songs played on the radio, and probably, never even be the mom chosen as the accompanist for the elementary school musical.  And that’s okay.  Music, like any other art form or creative outlet, shouldn’t be a means to an end, but an end in itself.  If I’m willing to let go of any expectations–mine and others’–of what it means to be a musician beyond college, and simply play for the sheer joy of banging on some keys and hearing a cool sound come out.

I’m not sure if I’ll keep posting about music here, since I don’t really have a defined “project,” but we’ll see.  I might keep it on just to track how I keep music in my life when I move to Singapore and no longer have access to a piano!

4.  Career

If I were teaching this year, this is the week I’d be meeting my new students and beginning the routines of school.  I’m so glad I’m not!  This immense feeling of relief, more than anything else, is helping me realize that I made the right decision in quitting my job.

I’ve been researching other careers, spending afternoons in libraries or at my computer.  I still have no idea what I will do next, but the possibilities are exciting!

5.  Friendship

Friends (and, of course, M) have been the only thing keeping me sane through the ups and downs of the past few months.  I’ve been able to see most of my close friends this month, thanks to an amazing “bachelorette” party organized by my maid of honor.  I’m the kind of person who maintains several separate friend groups, so many of my friends had not met each other before the party.  I was nervous about how everyone would get along, but everyone connected well and we had a wonderful time!

This got me thinking about how adult friendships are different from the friendships we have in high school.  Since we don’t see each other every day, it takes much more effort to keep in touch.  In addition, people move so frequently that it’s rare to have a stable group of friends.  I want to try harder to bring people together, and rebuild that sense of community I had in high school!

6. Writing

I’ve started a writing project that may or may not turn into a book!  I’m still in the rough beginning stages, but I’m determined to finish and see what it turns into.

I used to write a lot when I was in high school, and to some extent when I was in college.  I was always brimming with ideas for fiction, but I never finished anything–not even a short story–unless it was required for a class.  I’m not sure whether this current thing I’m writing will be any good, but I’m determined to do something I’ve never done before and finish it!

What projects are you working on this month?  What big and small goals keep you inspired?

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12 thoughts on “September Project Updates!

  1. Whoops, I just wrote a comment but not sure if it posted. Sorry if you get two!

    For candles in the jars – don’t use tea lights. They burn out too quickly and your event / catering staff doesn’t want to deal with changing them out. I’d get bigger votive candles that will burn for the duration of your event. The LED candles are also a good option, but not sure how much they cost, and then you have to figure out what to do with them after the wedding.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your advice–I hadn’t even thought about the candles burning out, but that would be a huge pain! I think I’m leaning toward the LED option, but we’ll see… (I’m so indecisive about pulling the trigger on decisions like this!)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t imagine “missing” the excitement of wedding planning? Yikes. Maybe if I hadn’t lived in Europe planning a wedding taking place in California…even still. I found it stressful more than anything!

    I think candles, maybe the size above tea lights? That would look beautiful. As would baby’s breath! Those jars will look lovely either way.

    You have a lot of projects going on! It’s exciting. I think working music back into your life will be an amazing escape. It’s obviously something that makes your heart sing, for lack of better words 🙂

    Also– I couldn’t agree more about adult friendships! My closest friends are still the friendships I made in college even though we all live scattered across the states and europe. It’s really tough making adult friends! College and High School has a way of making your friendships “walk through the fire” of things and you become so close! It’s hard to find that elsewhere.

    Also, also– I have completely missed that you are moving to Singapore!? My grandma is from there and my mom was born there! You’ll have to keep your new adventures documented! I have been there once and hope to go back someday. Amaaaaaaaaazing food!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lex, I can’t imagine planning a wedding long-distance! That must have been rough! (Btw, thanks for the feedback on the décor–I’m glad you like the jars! 🙂 )

      I always feel like I’m juggling a bunch of projects, and usually some fall through the cracks… these updates have been fun for me because it helps me realize where my energy has been and what I should focus on more.

      I love that you’re still close to so many of your high school and college friends! I’ve always been terrible at keeping in touch with people, and struggle to stay close with anyone who isn’t geographically close… and I hate that it happens! (Maybe my next friendship project should be contacting more of my far-flung friends! Haha)

      Wow–it’s so cool that you have Singaporean heritage! Maybe you can recommend some places to visit! I’ll definitely document my adventures… hopefully I’ll get better at taking pictures! I’ve heard amazing things about Singaporean food, especially “chicken rice.” I can’t wait to try it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Keeping in touch with friends comes with the territory! I was raised in the Army, and so you make a habit of keeping in contact with people since you move every 2-3 years.

        Chicken Rice is SO delicious! There is actually a place in Portland that makes amazing Chicken Rice, so that’s been fun to have around. Be sure to get Afternoon Tea or High Tea at Raffles Hotel. It’s very english, but VERY Singapore!

        Like

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