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Seeds Planted #8

5 Nov

Future oak trees“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

I still find this exercise difficult: I end every week wondering just what I did that might help me move forward.  It’s hard to remember that seeds are often tiny things; hopefully they’ll grow into something healthy (and impressive), but right now they are so small as to be almost negligible.  However, I do this exercise every week because I don’t want to underestimate the power of small things, or small actions.

  1. I used Facebook to start some great conversations about faith.  My brother is creating his own brand of spirituality and it’s inspiring; I have a lot to learn from him.  One of my cousins converted from Catholicism to Evangelical Christianity, and I’m enjoying learning about her beliefs and the way they’ve changed.
  2. I’m getting sick, so I’m exhausted.  Instead of pushing myself to do all those things I “should” be doing, as would be typical for me, I’m actually going to be early and taking care of myself.  (Hence the recent lack of blog posts.)  Going to bed earlier is such a small thing, but it’s evidence of a big shift in my priorities.
  3. I showed my roommate some appreciation.  She deserves it.
  4. Two weeks ago I started the practice of a “responsibility date” as a response to the “artist’s dates” advocated by The Artist’s Way.  It’s a way for me to accomplish those nagging tasks I neglect without turning it into a daily ordeal of procrastination and disappointment.  They are wonderful.

* * *

What tiny, insignificant things have a huge potential in your life?

Seeds Planted #7

29 Oct

Autumn in Spokane“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

The weekly reminder that I can and do make an effort to progress every week, no matter how frustrated I feel.

  1. I wrote three blog posts for my new skiing project.  (This one surprised me — I felt like I’d been procrastinating on that project, but instead I made some progress.)
  2. I’m still paying attention to my emotions.  It’s getting easier.
  3. I spent a little quality time with my roommate.  We just drove into Coeur d’Alene and had dinner, but it was nice.
  4. I feel like I’m starting to make a friend at work and that I’m becoming a little friendlier with everyone I work with in general.
  5. I found a theme for 2012.  That was completely unexpected; I wasn’t thinking about next year at all, but I think I’ll really enjoy my return to childhood.

I also saw some results from last week — I had a response to one of my job applications!  I expect to hear more details next week.

* * *

Honestly, it’s been a frustrating week.  Before I found the Stevenson quote I’d never considered measuring my progress with anything but results; I appreciate the reminder that my effort is worthwhile.

Seeds Planted #6

22 Oct

Fibonacci!“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Changes to my posting schedule made this a short week, but I still managed to plant a few seeds.

  1. I applied for a couple of jobs.  I’m just not satisfied with my current position, so I’m trying to trade up.
  2. I was diligent about being attentive to my emotions.
  3. I participated in a feminist blog carnival!  I didn’t expect it to be fun, but I enjoyed it.
  4. I had an idea for a new project that I’m excited about; skiing is my big passion, and this project is all about skiing.  I plan to be able to share it on December 1st, if not sooner.

I find it helpful to take a few minutes each week to remember what efforts I made.  It’s so easy for me to get caught up in the progress I think I should be making or the results I think I should have, that I forget that progress and results depend on an initial action.

* * *

What actions are you taking?  How are you making progress?

Seeds Planted #5

17 Oct

Fibonacci!

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Every week we plant seeds, small actions that may someday become mighty sunflowers.  These are the seeds I planted this week:

  1. A job interview.  It’s just a part-time weekend job for some extra cash, but I think it went well.
  2. I called a friend and asked for help.  I hate asking for help, but not only will he be able to do so, talking to him left me feeling very good.
  3. I started using StumbleUpon, which is both entertaining and useful.
  4. I remembered my stepdad’s birthday!  I always forget, but this year we had a nice chat.

I also did a little watering and weeding of previous seeds:

  1. I tweaked my posting schedule a bit.  By the way, I’m still looking for guest posts.
  2. I’m still using my breaks at work to make progress on my own projects.
  3. I’m sticking with The Artist’s Way and being diligent about my morning pages.
  4. I’m tweeting regularly.  I typically go in fits and starts, but I’ve been much better about it recently.

* * *

What seeds did you plant this week?  What projects did you tend to?  Remember, it’s all connected, so anything counts.

Seeds Planted: Creative Outlets

9 Oct

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

  1. I’m developing a schedule for the blog and getting a better sense of what I want to do with it.  I’m also staying on top of posting and sticking to that schedule; following through with those goals is making me very happy.
  2. I’m adjusting to my job and deciding on the best uses of my time.  As I’ve mentioned, I’m not satisfied with this job, but how much time do I want to spend looking for a new wage-slave position?  My time is better spent learning the skills I need for the career a I want and building a portfolio to show those skills.
  3. I’m working on my use of social media.  Right now it’s pretty haphazard, and I’d like to be more focused.  I’m using the blog as my platform for changing my own life and hopefully helping other people make their own changes, but I think there are a lot of assumptions that need to be challenged in the world at large, and that’s what I’m trying to do with the new Twitter account.
  4. I started using my breaks at work more productively.  I’m taking the opportunity to write and get things; so far it’s helped me identify my priorities and made it easier to focus.

What seeds did you plant this week?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments, or send me a link to your own blog.

Seeds Planted: New Job

2 Oct

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

  1. I started a new job this week!  It’s both a seed and a harvest — obviously getting a job is the result of earlier seeds, but now it’s time to plant some new seeds and sow some success.  This job is not a good long-term plan, but I do want to have a good experience while I’m there.
  2. I applied to a few different places this week.  I do have a new job, but I want a better one so I’m going to go find it.  Or create it.  I’m trying to remember that I have a wide variety of skills and capabilities, so there’s no need to limit myself to two very narrow fields.  Shitty pay vs. shitty hours is a false dichotomy; why would I settle for either?
  3. I started reading The Artist’s Way.  Obviously it’s a classic self-help book, but it’s also a book about rewriting your core story, specifically so you can see yourself as an artist.  Seeing myself as an artist isn’t important to me, but rewriting my core story?  Yes, please.  I’m enjoying the morning pages.  I’m using the wonderful 750 Words and my goal is to do my morning pages (or afternoon pages, as appropriate) every day this month.  I also chose an affirmation: “I am focused and well disciplined.”

Seeds Planted

25 Sep

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

  1. The most exciting seed I planted this week?  My interview!  I had an interview on Thursday, and while I thought it was going well, it ended very quickly and almost abruptly.  It seriously lasted no more than ten minutes, so I did not walk away feeling optimistic.  However, they called me back the next morning and I have a working interview tomorrow morning!  I’m very excited.
  2. I mentioned that I’m starting a new relationship, but I felt frustrated with it this week.  Well, no, I felt frustrated with him.  I typically address problems immediately and directly, which can frequently be interpreted as overly confrontational.  This time I let him bring it up…and he did!  We actually had a great conversation that left me feeling very good about both where we are and where we’re headed.  This relationship is pushing me to grow and I love it.
  3. I managed to ask my dad for help.
  4. There are plums in there!At the farmer’s market I learned that plums are incredible.  I realize this particular seed sounds a bit silly, but I’m still excited about it.  I used to be a very picky eater, so I always enjoy learning to like a new food, especially in such an unexpected way.  I was buying apples and the farmer offered me a plum; I took the first bite to be polite, but then I devoured it and bought a half dozen.  I originally thought about making a plum tart, but I keep eating them.
  5. I started working on my new core story by trying a new morning routine.  Even in the short time I’ve been trying it, I’ve learned a few things: I’m tend to sabotage myself by trying to make things perfect instead of just going ahead and doing them.  The goal is to take a walk — duration and distance don’t matter, walking itself is the important thing — but I’m still telling myself that my plan isn’t good enough.  That needs to stop.  And really, the big goal is to move my body in the morning, so I could easily substitute a few yoga poses if I have time constraints or just want a change.  I can be flexible, but that can be so difficult for me to recognize.

Seeds Planted

17 Sep

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

What seeds did I plant today?  I found myself focusing primarily on social goals and maintaining my relationships.

  1. I called my great-aunt to check on her.  My great-grandmother, her mom, died this week and she took it hard.  She seems to be doing better now than when I saw her on Saturday.
  2. I talked to my step-dad for over half an hour.  We rarely talk at all, but we both enjoyed spending time together when I was in Michigan this week.  My mom has a poverty mentality and they’re both just very stressed out right now.  He and I have never really been close, so it helps that I’m supporting him at this time.
  3. I briefly talked to my dad.  It was his grandmother that died, so I wanted to make sure he was okay and find out how the funeral went.  He has some good memories of his grandmother, but he seems to be okay.
  4. I went to the bar with Amy.  I rarely go out and I feel especially broke now, but it was nice to spend a little time together out of the house.
  5. I talked to Tiff about moving back to Reno.  We both loved it there and living together was amazingly easy.
  6. I exchanged a couple of texts with Justin.  That’s all it takes to remind me that he is wonderful and I am glad we are friends.
  7. I applied for a job and started a drastic overhaul of my résumé.
  8. I called a temp agency, but I’m not sure what to think.  I’ll finish my résumé and then take it in to a few different places on Monday.

Some days I don’t use my phone at all, but today I managed to really connect with people.  I’m not very good at that, so it was nice to find it so easy to do.

I found this exercise really helpful, so I’m going to try to make it a weekly feature.

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