Week 38/2021: a bird’s life

Week of 20 September 2021

What did I want to do better this week?

Be more mindful and observant, and start to develop my capacity to explore.

So, how did that go?

I suppose like any new habit, paying more attention will take time to ingrain itself. But I think I’m starting to notice things I might have missed before. A building where a boarded up door has been replaced, a little bird landing on a roof with some foliage in its beak, a sound that I couldn’t place but heard strongly on Saturday and not at all on Sunday.

A green Rosella in a flowering bush of purple flowers
And a green Rosella in my garden

21 for 2021 update

Vegetable of the week (thing 2)

Thing 2 is to choose a different vegetable every week from Alice Zaslavsky’s book In Praise of Veg and make a recipe from the book using that vegetable.

This week, my progress was to buy some of the unusual ingredients so I can make the remaining recipes. Is that really progress if I didn’t actually cook any of them?

The Change Journal (thing 4)

I tried to work on the email chapter of the Change Journal again this week but I couldn’t make myself stick to it. It’s a struggle. I find that when I have something I can really get involved in and focus on for a long period, I have no trouble avoiding email but when I’m flitting around between projects I tend to end up back in email moving things around. It’s not a good use of my time.

Kramstable’s videos (thing 8)

I’m still working on this. One to two hours a week is about what I can manage. I’ll get there eventually.

My mother’s story (thing 9)

My mother was unwell this week so I didn’t get a chance to talk much about her story.

I did the first three nights of the Life Writing course, which has been fantastic and is going to really help me with my own writing. I’ve never done a workshop style class like this online before but I’m used to taking self-paced online classes. This one is different because it’s live and I get to interact with Patti Miller, the teacher, and the other eleven participants in the group. And there’s homework, which you have to read out in class.

It’s been wonderful getting to do this and to hear stories from other people, who are all so different, with different life experiences and different writing styles. Some of them are so good, I feel a little intimidated being there. I have to keep reminding myself that this is all about learning, and about developing my own style, which will be different from other people’s.

Brainsparker (thing 17)

There were no new classes this week and won’t be until the end of October so this one is on the backburner for the next month.

21 for 2021 summary

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed to date: 4 (1, 11, 18, 20)
  • Things I progressed: 4 (4, 8, 9, 17)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress: 8 (2, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14, 16)
  • Things not started: 5 (3, 12, 15, 19, 21)

What else did I do this week?

When did I listen and what did I learn this week?

Lil Sis and I went on a bird walk and talk at Hobart’s Waterworks reserve on Saturday. It was a beautiful day, cold but the wind and rain from the past few days had gone.

snow-topped kunanyi as seen from the sports fields of the University of Tasmania Sandy Bay campus
Spring in Hobart: from the ground

The winter weather had left kunanyi covered in snow.

A close-up photo of kunanyi covered in snow and low cloud
Spring in Hobart: getting up close from exactly the same place on the ground

It was a casual walk with bird gurus Don and Denis, who told some fantastic tales about birds. I don’t remember much of what they said but I am looking at (and listening to) birds with a new appreciation now.

Two Little Pied Cormorants stretching their wings on a rock facing blue water of the river
Cormorants that I did not see on the bird walk

What was the best thing about this week?

The Life Writing course. I feel really inspired to keep writing and learning this craft

What do I want to do better next week?

It’s time for the next step of Project More Sleep. It’s time to drop my packup time back to 9.30. With a 9.45 shut down time, I’ve been trying to be in bed by 10.15, do some reading and hopefully be asleep close to 10.30.

What I’m reading this week

  • Mindfulness-Integrated CBT for Well-Being and Personal Growth by Bruno A. Cayoun
  • The Joy of High Places by Patti Miller
  • The Most Beautiful Walk in the World by John Baxter
  • Effortless by Greg McKeown

    The cover of The Joy of High Places by Patti Miller
    The Joy of High Places by Patti Miller

Habit tracker

  • Days I went for a walk in the morning (Goal = 5): 7
  • Days I did my morning planning routine at work (Goal = 5): 2
  • Days I did my post-work pack up routine (Goal = 5): 0
  • Days I worked on my art (Goal = 2): 4
  • Days I read a book (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I did yoga stretches (Goal = 7): 0
  • Days I had a lunch break away from my desk (Goal = 5 work days): 5
  • Days I went for a walk or did other physical activity in the afternoon (Goal = 5): 5
  • Days I shut my computer down before 9.45 (Goal = 6): 7
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