May 1: Low Key

I want a lot out of this month but I am trying to teach myself to add things slowly instead of trying to do everything all at once.

After all, I know that successful changes, new practices, come from starting small and building up.

BUT

I also know that jumping right into a bunch of new practices all at once feels good. I feel engaged and energetic and accomplished…until I run out of steam.

And despite the fact that I run out of steam EVERY SINGLE TIME, my brain still wants to chase that excited feeling of doing ALL OF THE THINGS.

Without the benefits of medication and experience, I would be planning to do more art, more writing, more exercise, more Taekwon-do, more house organizing, more everything all at once, starting right now, maybe half an hour of each, on top of what I already do each day.

It would be fun today but by the end of the week, I would be out of steam.

So, instead, I am layering all of those things into my life during May.

I will ‘touch’ each habit each day but only really focus on one at a time.

Let’s see how it goes.

?a view of a backyard patio with bare trees in the background
My patio and trees are on the same plan that I am – the basics in place but we’ll add new things a little at a time and let them grow. Image description: The view from one corner of my patio. A lawn chair is directly across from me and beyond that there are trees that don’t have any leaves on them next to my red shed.

February 23. Hmm!

How do I start posting again after being away for so long?

Just write any old thing and get myself started.

Today, I am writing – working on my a couple of blog posts, a short story, and a section of my novel.

I’m distracted by thoughts of how to organize my plans to prepare for my 4th degree black belt test that I hope to do this year.

I’m drinking a lot of tea.

I want to get back into the habit of writing here and in a few more places. The only way to do that is to start.

Luckily, this blog is about building a brand or attracting customers, it’s just about writing for its own sake.

A cartoon GIF of a pencil writing on a coil-ringed notepad.?
A cartoon GIF of a pencil writing on a coil-ringed notepad.

So, I’ll start here and figure it out as I go.

TKD “Homeschool”

Last night was my final Taekwon-do class for the summer. Even though I’ll miss my TKD friends, I’m looking forward to the break from formal classes.I

But I don’t want a break from TKD itself.

Instead, I want to use my summer to improve my fitness in a few key areas and to work on my foundational movements.

I’m calling this TKD homeschool because rather than a vague plan to ‘practice over the summer’ or even ‘do a pattern a day’, I am putting together a kind of cumulative curriculum for myself.

The point is not just to maintain the skills I have but to make some measurable improvements in a few key areas.

I’m not getting too caught up in reaching specific targets, my goals are about inching forward a little bit at a time.

I want to go back to class in September with firm knowledge that I progressed over the summer – even if that progress is very small.

After all, I know my efforts matter, even if the results are minuscule. And my experience with TKD has shown me that literally any effort at all makes a difference.

Calling my practice ‘TKD Homeschool’ and making a specific plan puts me in charge.

And in charge is where I like to be.

A smiling woman in a white Taekwondo uniform. She is standing in front of a sign advertising her dojang.
This is me, on the day of my last belt test. This time next year, I’m testing for my 4th degree black belt. This summer’s work will help me get there. Image description: A smiling photo of me in my dobok with a green bandana in my hair. I’m standing in front of a sign that says ‘Downey’s Taekwon-do.’

Best Laid Plans

So, on February 27, I broke my wrist at Taekwondo.

I was practicing sparring and in the process of evading a strike, my foot sort of stuck to the floor and I fell.* My wrist hit the floor and the rest is history.The author's right arm encased in a black brace. She is doing a 'thumbs up'. The background is an orange wall and a white windowsill.

It’s not a bad break, as breaks go. It’s a straight line and no piece of the bone cracked off. I had a temporary cast for almost a week and now I will be in a brace until at least April 16.

I’m lucky that I work from home and that my children are teenagers, so the volume of potential hassle has been reduced. I mean, I can’t drive, I can’t lift anything with that arm and my ability to do TKD is virtually zero** but I can type fairly quickly and I can draw (with reduced accuracy/precision).

I had to alter a lot of plans though – plans for projects, plans for exercise, ideas for reorganizing parts of my house. Frustrating, to say the least.

I didn’t want to spend this time thinking about all the stuff I *couldn’t do, though, so I decided to consider the next few weeks as an experiment.  And I don’t mean that in a chirpy ‘Let’s think POSITIVE!’ way.

You see, one of the main challenges I face when trying to get things done is the sheer array of choices in front of me.  Say, for fitness, my mind reels from idea to idea, wondering what is the ‘best’ way to get where I want to end up. So, now that some choices are out of the question, I can focus a little more easily. I can look for the things I *can* do instead of bemoaning the things that I cannot.

So, I am experimenting. What kind of exercises *can* I do? What kind of writing/drawing is easiest? What household tasks are still possible?

Let’s see how this goes. 🙂

 

*This may be a VERY martial artist type thing to say but I am glad that it came from me falling instead of my opponent’s strike. I wouldn’t want to turn someone off sparring because someone got hurt.

**I’m not supposed to turn my wrist, I can’t put any weight on it, and I am not supposed to do anything that might make me lose my balance. That cuts out a lot of TKD practice.