Taking stock.

I stopped working three months ago. It’s been a surprisingly busy time, encompassing the holidays, an engagement, and assorted projects, but I’ve started to feel a bit aimless in the last week or two. I’m going back to work for a while starting tomorrow. With the wedding two weeks away, it feels like a good time to take stock.

What I’ve done:

  • Planned a pretty nice wedding weekend, if I do say so myself.
  • Started a blog and spent at least one day a week writing. Well, almost.
  • Found the kind of work I wanted: a five or six-month gig with lots of big writing projects and nice attorneys to work with.
  • Cooked for a lot of people for a weekend at a ski lodge—a lovely experience that I probably wouldn’t have taken on if I had been working full time.
  • Found once-a-week volunteer work that will allow me to explore a different type of legal work than I’ve done before, and help people at the same time.
  • Lots of yoga and running. Not surprising, because these things always work for me.
  • Read some books. I think I’ve been reading more than I used to, though it hasn’t been life-changing. Awakenings blew my mind the most. After reading The Year of Living Biblically I decided to re-read the Bible and it turned out to be fascinating, but I’m still in Genesis. I need to get the e-book version so I can read it in public.
  • Cooked tons of tasty food. But I don’t think I’m cooking more than when I was working. Then, I needed the pleasure of cooking more to feel like myself, but now I worry about it being a time-filler and I don’t cook every day, or even most days.
  • Wasted a lot of time on the internet. I think a little bit of mindless internet browsing is a fine treat, but there’s no question I’ve been overdoing it. Too much reading about television shows and weddings.
  • Learned how to put on makeup. I went to a MAC counter and acquired a whole new set of makeup and some instructions. I had never done this before; I was pretty clueless and using stuff I’d had since college. It might seem like a small thing but I’m enjoying it and I think it was long overdue.

What I haven’t done:

  • I haven’t spent any time listening to the German language CDs on my iPod. I planned, if I gained a good basis in the language, to reward myself with a month or so in Berlin taking language classes. But it hasn’t been a priority at all. If it’s going to happen, I’m going to need to figure out a way to fit it into my life and make it a habit.
  • I haven’t written any fiction. This is probably first on the priority list from here out. Like learning a language, I’m going to have to make an effort to fit it into my life and I haven’t yet.
  • I haven’t read quite as much as I thought I would. I thought I might have so much free time that I would just spend whole days reading whatever struck my fancy. This hasn’t happened more than 2 or 3 times. I don’t know whether I’ve been putting my time to better uses, or just filling it up.
  • I haven’t stuck to a daily yoga practice. I bought a book, Om Yoga, for a boost in terms of structure and ideas for a daily practice. The book is helpful, but the daily practice is not happening. I’ve been going to classes about twice a week and practicing at home maybe once a week.
  • I haven’t been vigorously trying to develop business. I’ve been doing the minimum. I think this is because I’ve had other priorities, and I’m okay with that, but I know it is also possible that I just don’t want to do it. I am going back to work just as it feels right, so no harm done yet (probably).

My assessment: I’m happy with where I am and how I’ve spent the last three months.

For the next month and a half, I imagine I’ll have to focus on the wedding, honeymoon, work, and volunteering, and there won’t be as much time to explore new things or start any new projects. But I want to be mindful and be prepared to set new goals in a couple of months when the wedding is over and I’ve settled into a work routine.


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