Monthly Project Updates are a series I began to hold myself accountable for finishing the many projects I start–and to document the ups and downs I encounter along the way.
Hello! I’ve been MIA for awhile… life has been busy. (Mostly good busy!) Weekends have been full of barbecues, brunches, and house hunting. Weeks have been filled with… well, work. However, I got a raise at work after my 90-day review, which was very appreciated!
I feel like I’ve neglected this blog and all of the blogs that I follow this month. There is so much I want to write, so many details of this past month that I want to fill in, but I am soooo brain-dead from a long and chaotic day at work! So, without further ado, I am going to plow on ahead!
Here’s how I did on my July goals:
1. Cleaning and Downsizing
You guys! I was so, sooo good about this… for a week. In a moment of insight, I realized that the biggest clutter centers in the apartment are 1) the pile of work clothes I shed when I get home from work, 2) the pile of dishes and cookware that languish in the sink, and 3) unopened mail, in multiple piles throughout the house. Okay, yes, all of that is gross, but my point is, it’s all very *fixable* once the problem is isolated. Last week, I bought a mail organizer, and made a point of hanging up my work clothes and tackling the dishes every day right when I got home from work—and suddenly I was living in a clean apartment. It was amazing! But then this week I got lazy, so… there are languishing dishes.
2. Nurture my Marriage
I mentioned before that July marked the one-year anniversary of my marriage to M, but what I didn’t mention that it was also another kind of anniversary—the three-year anniversary of “questions.” Three years ago, M and I went to a bookstore on a date and ended up buying a book
called “Our Q&A a Day,” a three-year journal with daily questions that are sometimes fun, sometimes serious, and sometimes thought-provoking. Since we finished the book, we decided to try a new one, so we went to a different book store (mistake number 1!)
and ended up ordering a similar (we thought) book since they didn’t have one in stock. Enter “All About Us.” Consider this a public service announcement: in spite of it’s friendly-seeming title, this book is more about probing for cracks in your relationship than it is about bringing two people together! Some of the questions are clear segues into uncomfortable conversations or arguments (“Did you ever give your partner a gift that you also gave to an ex?”) while others are so badly worded that they’re almost incomprehensible (“Was there a time when you would have liked to have had a baby but circumstances did not allow it?”) and one question with ambiguous wording that I chose to misinterpret because I thought it was absolutely hilarious (“Would you be happy with your partner living in a box?”). Anyway, answering questions daily has been a fun way to unwind and connect at the end of the day.
I know I already said this but… I got a raise! In the whirlwind of things that have happened since I started my job, things have only become more dramatic within the past few weeks. A co-worker quit without notice, and everyone has been scrambling to cover her workload. I suddenly found myself thrown into a role I wasn’t entirely prepared for, and learning as many new things as I could as quickly as I could just to try to keep things running smoothly—and just in time, because a combination of holidays, illnesses and sudden absences we had a day that only four people out of the 20-person company were in the office! Still, things are going well, I really like my co-workers, and… hopefully things will calm down when we find someone to fill the role of the person who quit!
4. Live According to My Values
- Attend a town meeting or political event, or contact a government representative about an important issue (Not done…)
- Volunteer for a cause I care about, or donate money to support an important cause (I just set up an automatic monthly donation… let’s face it, I have more money than time these days!)
- Take on a new green initiative. (For July: I switched to all electronic bank statements—a double-win because of how bad I am at dealing with mail! Yeah, I know I said I would start biking on errands, but I haven’t gotten my bike fixed yet!)
- Spend time learning about a social, political, or environmental issue (I’ve been spending my commute listening to the audiobook The Price of Inequality by Joseph Stiglitz and the podcast “Make America Relate Again”)
5. Make Time for Friends (and Family)
This has been a fairly good month for being social—and my new commitment to composting means that I have to visit my parents at least every other week if I want to dump it!
6. Keep Writing!
Well… while I haven’t done much fun writing this month (as indicated by my absence from this blog) I’ve done a bit of paid writing for work. I’ve been writing and editing customer-facing articles and promotional materials for my company. It’s not my favorite kind of writing, but it’s nice to hear that my writing is appreciated. Still, I am going to make a much bigger effort to update this blog regularly next month—and to do more writing for pleasure rather than work!
That’s it for me–how was your month? What projects are you working on, or starting, this month?