I was randomly scrolling through Facebook tonight after turning in my final exam with one minute left on the clock and discovered the quote on the right. Somehow, it just summarizes where I am at the moment rather perfectly: “Even when someone gets to looking like she should be so proud of herself, instead she’s like, ‘I could be another three pounds less; I could be a little taller and have bigger lips. Where does it end? You just have to say, ‘It’s pretty damn good. I am right here at the moment and I’m OK with it. I’ve got other things to think about.” I wasn’t even entirely sure who Melissa McCarthy was without looking her up on Google, but the attitude she represents with that quote should be plastered on all ROW80 participants’ heads: We’re slogging away through the grind of daily life, yet somehow still chipping away at our goals.
For me, this August has been much more expensive than I’d anticipated. After not having attended baby showers in … over a decade! … I had three to go to this month. And a wedding. And my husband’s birthday this weekend. I love spending money on those kinds of gifts. On the other hand, our toilet power flusher tank thingy busted a seal this month too (over $300 to repair), our car flashed a very worrisome exclamation in a triangle warning light (luckily just needed new oil and tire balancing, etc. … which was another $100), my hard drive crapped out and wasn’t content to just require a new one but also a trip to a computer specialist (over $400), and there are other outstanding bills and home repairs as well as the imminent likelihood of relocating my husband’s acupuncture practice that means our finances are … we’ll just say “in a bad place.”
Despite all those distractions, though, I’m thrilled I was able to complete this session’s coursework all on time AND add to my word count total. As of last night, I stand at 4,332 words of the final Red Slaves novel–1,325 words over the course of the week. It’s even exciting to read where I am as I catch up with my previous night’s efforts, so I feel like I’m on the right track with developing the final story arc into something that will wrap up both previous books’ arcs and take it out on a bang. I also walked 10.09 miles this week across five walks. So I managed all my goals, despite having the final due tonight.
I suspect a great deal of my success has to do with both setting public accountability for myself here, as well as the ten self-improvement techniques outlined at a blog post my husband forwarded me earlier today. While that blog frames them as “raising vibrations” (which is language I can appreciate for many reasons), bringing positivity and coherence to our lives in whatever form we can manage is worth reviewing. In particular, I’m really glad I’ve figured out how to negotiate with myself enough that my inclination to procrastinate is finally minimized enough that those wasted hours can be redirected more productively. I’m crossing my fingers that this new form of self-talk will keep me on track for regularly productive hours over the next few years.