The 6-month check-in

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Oh hello dear blog, I missed you.

After coming back from London, I … dropped the 100 Day Project. I’ve been trying to feel bad about it, but according to Gretchen Rubin, I’m a Questioner, which means that if I’m not convinced of the usefulness of a thing, I don’t do it. So after churning out 60-odd blog posts that were getting worse and worse rather than better, my subconscious seems to have quietly made the decision that we can’t be arsed. The purpose of the project was to figure out a lifestyle and schedule that would allow me to write daily, and that … didn’t happen.

Anyway, the year 2019 is half over! How is your 2019 mission going?

This was today’s "‘Thinking about the past, present and future’ setup.

This was today’s "‘Thinking about the past, present and future’ setup.

I don’t usually do 6-month check-ins, but since my goals for this year were kind of a big deal, I thought I’d sit down and think about how things have been going with my 3 main goals for the year:

* GOAL 1: move somewhere where I picked the curtains

2019 for me started out in a North London flat share with (lovely) strangers, in a tiny room with quite frankly hideous curtains. 2019 currently sees me sharing a Berlin flat with my cousin (who is also lovely) in an even tinier room, viewing between 2 and 5 flats a week and learning all the little tricks and details you need to be aware of in order to get a place in this city. I don’t have my own curtains yet, but I like my cousin’s, and we get on well. And I’m looking. It’s basically all I’m doing. I would like a life, thank you, but not as much as I would like my own place first.

Status: well in progress

* GOAL 2: run a half-marathon without stopping

It seems that the wording of this goal is badly chosen. Because yes, I would feel proud if I achieved this exact goal, but personal pride was never much of a motivator for me and, well, see the Questioner thing above.

When I ran my first half-marathon two years ago, I had trained properly. It was my first, it was a hilly one and I wasn’t going to embarrass myself. So I trained hard, and I made it. After those 6 months of training I looked great, felt great (so capable and ready), and most of all, I didn’t actually care about how I looked, because I felt so great. That’s been my motivator for this goal. It’s not about a finishing time. It’s about fitness, and body image, and wellbeing.

Here’s where I am: We’ve been going through a heat wave, and along with my irregular hours due to flat viewings, my training isn’t where I’d like it to be. I weigh more than I ever did before, and most of my old clothes don’t fit.

I don’t think I actually look bad, but I can’t tell if this current situation is down to my body being itself, or if it’s down to not moving properly and eating badly for the past 6+ months. So what I want to do is to eat better, move regularly, and to be free of pain. That means regular running, regular yoga, and of course decent food. That’s the kind of lifestyle I need to support my half-marathon goal, but the lifestyle is the goal, with the half-marathon being the incentive to reach it.

So maybe a little adjustment is in order, to add something that’s always been implied, but never been said out loud: to get in good enough physical shape to run a half-marathon without stopping.

(I’ve picked the event, by the way. Maybe I should finally sign up for it and get moving.)

Status: in progress, needs adjustments

* GOAL 3: submit my writing to at least one publication and at least one competition

Oof, this one. This one upsets me; because in order to submit writing, one would have to produce writing. More than I’ve done over the past few months, at least.

I’ve been treating my flat-lessness as THE obstacle to the life I want, which makes it super convenient not to write, or do much of anything really. Because “I’m always tired” and I always have flat viewings, I’ve allowed my laziness to take over and not do anything besides work and flat viewings which, yes, are draining, but not so draining I can’t leave the house occasionally or do something besides watch Netflix. Because what’s happening is that after months of this, I can feel an undercurrent of restlessness in my daily life; a ball of creative energy that has no outlet. If you’ve ever taken a plate out of a microwave, realised it’s too hot to hold for long, and gone through the anguish of being unable to decide whether to put it down before you drop it or try and push through till you reach the plate’s destination – that’s how I’ve been feeling every day.

Status: needs major adjustments

So what else has happened in 2019 so far?

  • I left London and moved to Berlin!

  • started a new, very demanding job and I have not yet collapsed under the pressure (it’s also still kind of fun)

  • went on my first date with a German person in … 15 years

  • started going to life drawing classes, which is great fun

  • met my step-nephew (?) who is as cool as you can expect a baby to be I guess (which is very). I’m very grateful I get to see my family more now

  • organised a book club

  • learned to make a great vegan cheesecake

  • went back to visit London, and finally visited York

  • did a 1-month digital detox

  • met a whole bunch of nice people in Berlin

And what’s next?

  • finding my dream flat

  • getting ready for that half-marathon

  • daily meditation

  • scheduled writing days

  • taking day trips again, and

  • more art.