Monthly Review: November

This is my second monthly review, and I'm hooked. I've thought this coming review frequently, but I thought about that as I was conducting my month. This proactive review is in line with Viktor Frankl's admonition to "live every day as if it were your second chance to live it." This simple piece of advice, and another one, are packaged for free and available in the Storyline Productivity Schedule (it's free, and worth reading).

November Review

  • My marriage Kristi and I are growing, and as any relationship does, go through ups and downs. The trend is up, and as I have thought and prayed about our relationship, we have both been able to identify a few specifics that we want to work on and improve. We can (usually) converse easily about the health of our relationship, and work together to love each other better. This month we have both gotten to spend time with our respective families, and we have enjoyed ourselves. There had sometimes been friction with each others families, so this is a big win.
  • Significant relationships I write this from my parents house in TN, where more of my family has assembled then has been together in at least three years. I called each of my grand parents once last month, which is one time more than I'd called them in months. Positive progress.
  • Side projects I've been so excited about two side projects I've sometimes been unable to fall asleep at night. One is still under wraps, but the other is one I need help with (from all you climbers). I'm writing an e-book about dealing with fear while lead climbing. Last month I said I had to have my edits done by this coming month, and so it's done. I want to get out and get more feedback, then release it to the world.

    This side project has quickly morphed into a complicated beast, but I've allowed the total complexity to hinder progress in the small but important ways, like... you know... writing the book. I'm done with the first draft. This is a big deal.

  • My job At work we had some of our busiest days of the hear, and in some important ways, at least one day was an almost total failure. It wasn't my fault at all, but it's frustrating. I've found that working in short bursts with a little break is good (when I'm in the office, a sprint up and down the ten flights of stairs is a life changer). I've struggled with hopelessness there, so... I'm still wrestling with that in my head.
  • Physical goals My current project is handstands. I can hold myself in the handstand position against a door for about 90 seconds, and I can "hold" a freestanding handstand for, at best, five seconds. But that's five seconds longer than last month. I started with this blog, and have branched out from there. I've never spent more than five minutes a day practicing. You should give it a shot too.

    I've encountered another interesting issue - I fear the opinions of others when practicing this kind of stuff. Seriously. Even practicing at home around my wife, I feel like I had to prove I wasn't insane. She stopped me and said "Josh. You can practice what every you want. You're not in trouble."

    Practicing outside is even harder. I've also noticed I don't want to do sprint training in a field by myself, because it will look weird. It's strange, having all this fear, but it's nice recognizing it. Onward!

  • Finances Still an important factor to us. Kristi and I had fun conversation when it turned out our credit card was not automatically synching with our money tracking tool, so all of our non-debit spending was not being accounted for. We've fixed that, but we're still nailing these details down.
  • Debt reduction (student loans, car loan) Debt reduction ration of 1.0. Sufficient, but far from ideal.
  • My monthly reviews On my second monthly review, I've felt that this is extremely good for me. I don't like waiting for a full month, though, so I may toy with a bi-monthly review. Every two weeks. Or maybe a bi-monthly review on some select topics (side projects, finances, and habits being the top candidates). Either way, this reflectivity is extremely helpful. I'd encourage y'all out there to try it. Blogging can be free (I pay $18/yr for the domain, and that's my only cost. So... we'll call it $1.50/mo. Pretty cheap) but can encourage a lot of good things.
  • Habits I've struggled to get up early, because I'm struggling to go to bed early. My evening routine is not a routine at all, and I think this is part of the problem. I also lose control of my early-rising habit when traveling. I think it'll help me to lay my clothes out in the morning, and have a clear reason for why I am trying to get up early. That will help get me out of bed. (This all ties back to the PM routine.)

    Sometimes I get up at 5:30, feeling great. Sometimes I can't get out of bed before 8:00. Not consistent at all.

    For my entire adult life, I've been convinced I don't have dreams, because I never have been aware of any. Then I read Tim Ferris's article on lucid dreaming, and I decided to give it a shot. I'm still in the "write down what you can remember when you wake up" phase, but I'm now aware that I dream, and have vague memories of them.

    I've picked up kettlebell swings again. I feel like I'm not challenging myself physically, so I'm back at them. I need more weight - I want to get to 100lb swings, but only have 60lbs of weight to work with. I'll check out local gyms for discarded plates to see if I can get any more weight.

  • Significant events Nothing life changing happened in the last few weeks, but there have been lots of little shaping experiences. Serendipitous conversations with important people, or feeling on-the-spot when I didn't have time to prepare. Opportunities to surprise my wife, or be kind to a stranger. These incidents are the stuff of life, and I don't want them to pass me by.

This concludes my monthly review. Stay tuned for updates on side projects. If you climb, I will need your help!