Good morning friends! I hope you all are doing well. I wanted to post an update sooner than this, but here we are.
This past week was all about “skipping things in my routine and feeling shitty about it later.” I skipped orchestra practice on Monday and Tuesday night, then got lazy about going to yoga this morning. Staying at home feels good momentarily, but then I’ll later filled with regret about not getting out of the house and sticking with my routine. I’ve learned a lot about myself in the past several years, and one of them is that I thrive on routine. I haven’t figured out why yet. Maybe it just keeps me feeling more motivated. I know for sure that staying busy is one of my defense mechanisms from ♫ the darkness ♫ As I wrote in my planner, I’ll get back on it next week.
Work has been going pretty well. I’ve been doing more technical work and I find that much more engaging than my project management work. My team leader is great and has been working on getting me on more technical projects. I’ve also been doing more sediment work for the past year, and that has been really interesting and challenging (in a good way). I do need to catch up on some project management tasks this upcoming week. Ugh. I definitely struggled with motivation this week (see paragraph above), but I’ve been implementing use of a Pomodoro timer since the beginning of the new year. It’s helped A LOT and helps me retain focus (though it was more of a struggle this past week, admittedly). It also helps keep me mindful about checking social media throughout the day. The more I use social media = the more unhappy I feel, so I’ve been trying to use it less. I also realized I could get a lot done in five minute chunks! I focused on household chores during my little breaks for awhile, but recently I’ve been focusing on using my breaks to build a creative practice – so drawing or practicing scales.
Violin lessons have been going well. I still really, really suck. My thirteen-year-old self judges me hard because she was so much better than the player I am now. So you all know I am playing in two community orchestras…one orchestra has music that’s pretty challenging. We have a 20-page Tchaikovsky piece (front and back! FRONT AND BACK!) for a concert in May. While it’s been great playing with an orchestra again, I still really struggle with the more difficult passages, and my violin lessons were focused on learning those passages and not the basics. Recently we scaled back and started focusing on the basics again, and I feel SO MUCH BETTER about it. I’m working on simpler things like scales and etudes to build my skills. I’m learning this etude right now. By itself it’s easy, but then, THEN, there are 14 different bowings that you have to learn to play with the song (i.e. one bowing style for the whole song, so 14 variations total for one etude). THAT part is hard. I’m stuck on bowing number 1.
Can I say how much I love that I can find practice pieces to play along with on YouTube?
You wouldn’t tell by the paragraphs complaining about my struggle with motivation, but I have generally been feeling pretty good. I feel like we’ve passed the worst of winter (I hope) because we’ve been having warmer days (“warmer days” = 50 degree weather. This is my life now). The days have been sunnier and longer. I’ve been making some friends and it’s been good building a community, especially since WFH during the winter is isolating. I can’t say I’ve been super motivated on the craft front lately, so don’t have much to show for my progress- but it’s okay. Like a season, it will pass. I’ve been focusing on catching up on reading and just vegging at night.
Husband and I celebrated 11 years (!!!!!) together on New Year’s Day, which we spent doing a hike together. We’ve since done a couple of hikes with a friend, and it’s been a lot of fun!
Then at the end of January, I traveled to Mexico City for another Wild Terrains trip. I will admit that I didn’t think I’d make it, because my departure was on the same day a big winter storm rolled in. Luckily, I had the foresight to book a hotel close to the airport, so my drive in the snow was brief (but I still slid once or twice, so it was EXCITING). I felt very proud of myself when I parked in the airport lot, even though it only ended up being 10 minutes of driving. It’s the little things.
Mexico City was so cool. Even though I’d spent 25 years in Texas, I’d never made my way over to Mexico. The city is full of culture, greenery, and yummy food, and I really want to go back soon.
My days of solo travel are coming to an end, though. I was very lucky to be able to see so much of the world in the past couple of years, but this amount of travel isn’t sustainable for me in the long-term (no #sponsored trips). I got what I needed out of solo travel and I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to do so. I’ll always have the travel bug and when I think of how much there is to see still, I feel inspired and hopeful. I just don’t have to get it all done at once, and I now know I can confidently explore the largest cities in the world on my own.
It’s already 11 o’clock here, and I think I’ll feel better about skipping yoga if I get up off the couch and move my body. Hopefully I’ll talk to you all here soon. Have a great weekend!
Categories: ALL THE THINGS, Flying on the Wings of Your Dreams, I FEEL SO ALIVE, Life, Motivation, Music, Travel, Violin
So nice to hear an update from you! I laughed a little at your “warmer weather” – we had mid 40s yesterday and I was so happy to have “warmer weather”! I like your warmer better, though. As part of my yearly goal-setting at work, I talked with a project manager at my company to get a sense of what the job was like and if it was something I might want to think about for the future — I’m not sure it is! Sounds like a LOT of meetings and a lot of stress! Glad you’re getting work you enjoy more.
Jennifer, I am utterly amazed at how much you accomplish! Your comment about routine somehow reminded me of thinking at one time I thought I thrived on stress. Maybe it is the staying active that staves off depression. I sure don’t think it hurts considering my longevity LOL. Love you!
I thrive with routine too! But you have so much going on, sometimes a good couch day is also good for the soul. Loved the Mexico pics xo