Belated October 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!

Before I start on this month’s updates, I need to take a deep breath and think about all the changes that have occurred in the past few weeks–and the ones yet to come!  My next project update will be written from Singapore–and I’m sure my goals will be in flux over the course of the next few months!  In some ways, this is a pivot point.  Priorities are shifting, and my goals going forward may be different from the six goals I had when I started this blog!

Goals Big and Small:

1.  Downsizing

Only one week left to get rid of clutter in the apartment before the temporary move to Singapore!  I’m fantasizing about coming home to an organized, pristine home, and realizing I still have a long way to go!

2.  Plan the wedding

DONE!!!  After a whirlwind of planning, contacting vendors, and sobbing inwardly as the budget nearly doubled, we pulled it off!  Here are some lessons I learned the hard way:

  • Everything takes three times as long and costs twice as much as you expect.  Plan accordingly–stay under-budget whenever you can, be prepared to abandon a few lofty ideas for cheaper alternatives…and give yourself plenty of extra time for any DIY projects!
  • The best advice I got (and failed to follow) was ask for help!  I had tons of friends who were more than willing to help during the planning process, but I was too uptight and paranoid to delegate anything.  If I’d taken time to include more people in the planning process, I probably would have been much less stressed!
  • Don’t be afraid of breaking traditions!  Our wedding was untraditional, but all of our guests loved how much it reflected our personalities.  If anyone was offended that we didn’t have a registry, a wedding cake, or a garter toss, no one mentioned it to us!
  • If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, have a flood plan.  Seriously.  Because even if there’s been a severe drought all summer, you could still get three inches of rain on your wedding day… and unless you have a magical mother-in-law who can conjure up a last-minute venue four hours before the wedding and an army of friends willing to move all your decorations, desserts, and flowers to this new venue, you’re going to have a lot of soggy guests!  (Spoiler alert: I think my mother-in-law moonlights as a fairy god mother…)
  • Keep your priorities straight!  Things will go wrong.  You’re the one who decides whether to interpret it as a catastrophe, or one of those ironic twists that makes life fun and memorable.  As long as you and your intended, say your vows, and end the day with a signed marriage license, your main concern should be enjoying the company of the family and friends who came out to celebrate!

3.  Music

Lately my music sessions have been confined to singing in the shower or the car… I’m definitely looking forward to having more time to practice music in Singapore!  (I probably won’t have access to a piano, but it will be a good chance to reconnect with my dusty guitar!)

4.  Career

I’ve now, officially, been unemployed longer than at any point in my life since I was sixteen.  I’m torn between using my forced four-month vacation as an opportunity for growth and exploration, and just diving in and trying to find paying work as soon as possible.  There’s nothing definitive I can say here, except that I will never, ever add “wedding coordinator” to my list of dream jobs!

5.  Friendship

Nothing separates the true friends from the flakes like a crisis!  When our planned wedding venue flooded, I was overwhelmed by the number of friends who went out of their way to keep our wedding on-track by moving car-loads of decorations and equipment and helping with set-up!

My new challenge will be trying to make friends in Singapore while keeping in touch with friends back home!

6. Writing

I’ve been a bit delinquent in updating this blog, but I’m hoping to write more regularly in the coming months!  I have several half-written posts, and ideas for regular features I’d like to add.

Progress has been slow on my book… I have a love/hate relationship with the project.  The story, which seemed so clear in my head, is seems to lack direction on the page.  While this particular piece of fiction might never actually be good, I feel like I’m learning a lot about the writing process in trying to make it the best book it can be.

That said, any of you writers who have tips about how to keep the action in a book moving forward, please let me know!

Changes:

Over the next few months, I’m going to shift the focus of my projects.  In up-coming posts, I will write about:

  • Enjoying Singapore on a budget and making the most of being a stay-at-home ex-pat wife
  • Writing–finishing my book, blogging consistently, and trying to write every day
  • Living creatively–finding a balance between creative pursuits and a lucrative career

What projects are you working on this month?  What lessons have you learned from a major project you completed?

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16 thoughts on “Belated October Project Updates!

  1. Beautiful, just beautiful!

    This month was a month of small projects too numerous to list all of them (besides it’s a rather boring list) minus my current projects of moving boulders from the center of the yard to the edge and building a rock retaining wall, I think I’m on track!

    I’m excited for you and all your upcoming endeavors!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like you’re very busy! I hope you’ll post pictures of the landscaping projects when you’re finished!

      And thanks–I’m sure I’ll have several adventures and misadventures to share in the months ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on everything! You have such a positive spirit. It’ll certainly get you through some of the rough patches. I loved Singapore while I was there. There was so much to do! Just think, this additional free time may just be what you needed in life. We never see it coming do we?? Wishing you all the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 🙂 I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Singapore, and I’m really excited to explore the country myself! True, life is unpredictable–we just have to take it as it comes and make the best of it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow…what a wonderful writer/communicator you are…I love the freshness of your style…clean, uncluttered, charming…and, how busy. And, congratulations on your wedding/marriage 😉 And, Singapore! What an adventurer you are…I am really looking forward to reading more about your adventures…and, look forward to the day I can read your book 🙂 Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats to you and M on the completion of your “public” nuptials! I have enjoyed reading through your stories about the highs and lows of the whole process, and the other episodes of daily life that keep boredom and predictability at bay.

    Your inclusion of the monthly update format with six subject areas in your blog posting pattern is very effective for giving your readers a familiar structure and a sense of continuity and connection with your ongoing story. It’s a great idea. I’m going to try to incorporate something similar in my own blog to generate the same coherence you are achieving with yours.

    Good luck in your travels to and around Singapore. I look forward to reading about your explorations and discoveries there, both in the world around you and in your personal and professional challenges. Your writing is a pleasure to read and your sharing is generous and brave.
    “It is a direction, not a destination.” Thank you for all that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you’ve been enjoying my blog! I also appreciate the feedback about the project updates–I don’t always get a lot of reader feedback so it’s very helpful. I can’t wait to check out the projects you document on your blog!

      Like

  5. My beloved Mother always said: “Never Bite Off More Than You Can Chew.” I have made great strides over the years lessening the burden of having too many projects. Instead, I’m happy to accomplish those things that I’m skilled at. This doesn’t mean that I don’t need help from other people. It just means that I’m my own primary worker bee. As Maya Angelou said: “I have my own back!” When I agree to give a presentation, I have to prepare it myself. I completed one such just the other evening; Sunday evening to be exact. A lady I know asked me to present to her group. She asked me to do at least one presentation, but offered two. I decided to go the extra mile, and do both. Each landed right after a busy Friday and Saturday. When scheduling future projects, it’s always best to work with your calendar. You may still agree to do more, just make sure you do it with a sense of awareness. If you don’t like challenges, be careful what you bit off. In this first instance, what worked best was to comb through my memory stores for the information I already knew. I then posted this info in a new file in my brain for ready access. I got specific details from the lady, asking pertinent questions about her group, and where they were on their journey. This gave me a starting place. I looked over the products, the network marking platform, Facebook pages, and my own notes from our rather lengthy conversation. I wrote out a new bio and saved it so that I now have it for similar presentations in the future. I did everything I could to make this evening conference call something to look forward to. Did it go exactly as I was told it would? Nope. But I stayed focused. I prefer interactive presentations, so I asked callers to partner with me as much as they would. It was slow go at first, but surprise…the hour flew by. This is not the only presentation I accomplished this month. There are many which include reminiscing with people who have dementia. Each takes preparation, some take holding your breath, others go along smoothly, and all are blessed from beginning to end. This is how I get through them. I look for the blessings in preparing, and in delivering. I also work closely with the participants that really make it a worthwhile experience. I know that I accomplish nothing in isolation. And so it is!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing! It sounds like you turned a challenge into an amazing opportunity. I’m always impressed by your dedication and positive energy! Thank you, also, for your advice–I think I often fall into that category of people who bite off more than they can chew…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Addie…it’s great you recognize this. Imagine taking smaller bites, and longer chews. At least you’d be giving yourself more reasonable time frames to savor and enjoy. I suspect you will soon also decide on more palatable servings. Highest and Best!

        Liked by 1 person

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