Monday, 22 March 2010

TYSIC - Week 3: The tale of the little lost puppy, the husband and the humdrum

Time to review things as I approach the end of week 3 of my own Mark Watson inspired 'Ten Year Self Improvement Challenge' (TYSIC).

1. Improvement in my emotional wellbeing.
Generally up this week, particularly yesterday when I saw an old friend for lunch, and today when I got quite a lot done and felt happy and pleased with myself as a result. I think the spring-like weather is helping to lift my mood and energy-level overall. On the other hand I experienced some odd hints of paranoia while among scouting colleagues 0ver the week-end, and also with colleagues at work. I don't feel that I fit in, and I'm not sure how to get on better with the other people.... Hmmmm.

2. Sons & their future happiness (my role in their lives & helping towards their happy futures)
(a) Mother/Sons relationship
Nothing much to report. Managed (twice) to avoid shouting match with 'grumpy-in-the-morning boy' when giving him a lift to the station for college (takes quite a bit of self-restraint on my part as very little sets him off!) Also managed not to remonstrate with older son who had left extended essay to very last minute. No point in saying anything, frustrating as it is.
(b) Positive approach to Girls in their lives
Spoke a bit more to younger son's girlfriend (easier just to chat about my own stuff rather than ask her things - don't want to seem to be grilling her)


3. & 4 (Combined) Staying open to opportunities & taking risks/ trying new things, AND to be more proactive generally.
Not sure if this fits under 3 or 4, so I'm combining the two together.

I'm feeling quite pleased with myself because I rescued a puppy who was roaming around out on the street with no collar. He came over to say hello to my dog and there was no sign of an owner. I then saw him nearly get knocked down by a passing car, so I decided I couldn't just leave him there (especially since our previous dog was killed in similar circumstances - and I wouldn't have been able to bear it if I'd walked away and then this puppy had been killed!) In the end - due to lack of collar - I picked him up and carried him back to my house, which fortunately wasn't too far (quite difficult and awkward though, because my own dog was pulling on her lead at the same time!) Once home, I swapped my dog's collar and lead onto the puppy and went out again to see if I could find which house he'd come from. Luckily, just as I was starting to knock on each door in the street, I heard someone calling and saw two boys (about 10 or 12 years old I'd guess) coming out from the side-street. I shouted across to ask if they were looking for their dog, and it turned out that the puppy was indeed theirs. I walked back to their house with them before removing the collar and lead. They were sheepish and very relieved. (I'm assuming the pup - whose name I never discovered - had managed to sneak out of the house somehow)

5.Enjoy time with my parents. No progress this week - I meant to ring my mum but haven't done so yet.

6.Go out to live entertainment more.
Well, I'm repeating myself a bit here, cos I've mentioned this before, but I am very excited to be going to see 2 Aussie films at the Barbican tomorrow, particularly as they are both due to be introduced by Tim Minchin - so although I've said that cinema doesn't count for this TYSIC, I'm thinking this is live and special enough to count!

Looking ahead, I haven't booked anything for April yet, nor while we'll be in Belfast (husband had been quite down on the idea of going to a play in Belfast, due to the poor choice on offer: need to give it further thought.)


7. Relationship with husband put a bit more effort in & nurture this
A bit of a mixed bag this week.

I was away all week-end helping to run a Beaver Scout Sleepover, so that's on the negative side in a sense, because it prevented us from doing anything together (sadly he doesn't share or participate in my scouting voluntary stuff, unlike my parents who are both involved in scouting together).

On the positive side, I knew it would please him if I did a couple of chores that he'd been nagging me about, so I made a deliberate start today by sorting out a locksmith to fix our back-door lock. We also had a really nice evening together yesterday when we decided to watch 'Invention of Lying' on Sky Box Office (this may not sound like much, but usually he watches tv programmes I'm not interested in while I'm on my laptop the whole evening, so it was much nicer to watch something together, even if the film was a bit of a parson's egg...)

Big Negative - earlier today I was asking my husband if he'd be interested in us going to Camp Bestival together this summer- he was initially quite positve about the idea, but eventually he discovered that Tim Minchin was appearing and he then got very cross and immediately vetoed the notion of going as he thinks I'm being too obsessive. Obviously it was initally because of Tim that I got the idea for going to this Festival, but I also thought it would be a fun thing to do overall (I'm not mad enough to spend £155 just to see Tim, believe me!)- ie go to a festival together for the very first time ever. Hey ho.


8. & 9. Be less lazy & more productive daily (establish a sustainable level, not frenetic, but more than now!!!) AND Stop Procrastinating
Thurs last week was quite good in this regard - At long last I tried to take the vacuum cleaner somewhere to get its cable fixed (dog chewed through it ages ago). I was unsuccessful (grrr), but at least I tried, and I've now left it in the boot of my car to be ready to try somewhere else in due course. That day I also went and got refilled ink cartridges for the printer - another thing I'd been meaning to do for ages.

Intensely busy Fri-Sun due to Beaver Scout sleep-over. Productive in a different way ofcourse(and fun - although intensely tiring) , but that is not exactly the kind of productivity I'm trying to improve upon for this challenge - My focus for TYSIC is more the humdrum stuff and tedious chores of life which I need to stop endlessly putting off. (I don't plan to stop doing those other more appealing things, but not use them as an excuse to keep putting off the chores. I DO have time to do the chores, I just need to motivate myself - hence this TYSIC and blog)

Although it may seem strange to focus on the need to do tedious, humdrum stuff, the problem is that when I don't keep up with such things, I continually feel them hanging over me, and I feel really bad about myself. When depressed, I can become overwhelmed by how much I'm shoving under the metaphorical carpet (it's a vicious cycle - depression making it harder to act, and failure to act in turn feeding the depression).

It's all very well to ignore a semi-blocked drain in favour of the more interesting and rewarding aspects of life - but it won't go away on its own, and will just get worse and worse (this is both a metaphor and a literal example!) But it's only now that I'm beginning to feel the black clouds of winter lifting that I can even contemplate such matters rationally, without self-loathing and overwhelming panic.

I was incredibly tired after the Sleepover, so not a surprise that Monday was pretty much a wash-out - but I needed to recover first. Tuesday was reasonably productive, however (and seeing my friend for lunch counts as a blow against procrastination as we'd been meaning to meet up for ages! But today was probably my best day this week for TYSIC 8&9, what with locksmith, chasing up delivery of car tax disc, cleaning & tidying, etc.

Mind you, my backlog of chaos-creation is revealing further problems -ones I didn't even know about and therefore hadn't even put on my Things to Do list. Today's major example: I spent ages hunting high and low for both my passport and my driving licence. I know they must both be in the house somewhere, but I can't find either anywhere, because the house is in a terrible mess with stashes o unsorted 'stuff' shoved into corners left right and cenre. I will need a form of photo i.d. for my (domestic) flight to Belfast in a few weeks time - so now I'm going to have to make a fast-track passport application (I will spend one more day hunting but I can't afford to wait much longer ).

Looking at the situation positively, my passport was due to run out in a few months anyway, so not such a bad thing to get it sorted now. (but I'll probably have to get a replacement driving licence too - sigh)
Oh goodness! What a long posting! I may need to do a summary version for Mark (the TYSIC bit of the markwatsonfans website looks like it will be fully functional quite soon)

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