Diary: 1. A Plan For August

Diary: 1. A Plan For August
Photo by Marvin Meyer / Unsplash

This is the first time in... um, I think ever, that I've tried starting the month like this. Most of my life has been spent struggling over metaphorical mountains, setting ludicrous goals, then making a mess of the whole thing by the end. For example: see the whole of last month.

Today, I woke up feeling different. I can't put my finger on what it is, but something clicked in my brain. I decided, since I have a bunch of things to do this month, I'd make a plan. Not an "I'm going to do a huge impossible thing and be stressed and upset all month" plan, but a small, sensible plan.

For a given definition of "sensible", of course.


I've been trying to find a way to write online, a way that works for me.

I don't feel like the kind of person who can tell other people how to do things. I'm too messy for that. Too confused. Instead, I experiment, and see how it goes. This is another experiment.

I end up feeling ridiculous when I try to do how-to posts. Instead, I decided I'd just keep a diary, like I did in the old days when I figuring stuff out.

By "old days", I mean the early to mid-2000s, which I keep forgetting were not only five years ago.

This morning, since I felt slightly less messy and confused than normal, I decided to try to plan a little more. To step into my day consciously, the way we're always being told to by those experts who write Medium posts.

The Plan

This month, I have three major things to work on.

  1. PhD corrections (ugh)
  2. Amnar (yay!)
  3. Exercise/running (somewhere in between)

That doesn't feel like many things, but adulthood is packed with activities. Some of them are fun and restorative and ever-present (like reading books or watching long-form YouTube video essays). Others shape-shift, so sometimes I don't mind them, and other times, they pile up and start to act threatening if you don't get on with them (the washing up, the laundry).

Life has a habit of flinging unexpected activities into the mix. I think I'm going to have a quiet day, but then suddenly T suggests something else, and I'm whisked off into the middle of it.

I can really only control some of those things. My general approach to life has been to set everything going all at once, as if I happened to be in charge of several roller-coasters at once, and then I cling on to one, or another, or try to leap between them as they rattle up and down their swerving, unpredictable routes.

Does this metaphor even make sense? I'd like to try one that isn't about plates spinning in the air. But who leaps between roller-coasters ever, except possibly if they're Spiderman in a movie.

Back to the Plan. The Plan involves setting some Reasonable Expectations for this month, and then doing little bits and pieces to achieve those expectations by the end of the month. Instead of setting a Ludicrous Unwieldy Goal, like I did last month, this will be a set of much more manageable steps.

Or at least, I hope they will.


This month, I will do small activities for each of those activities.

  1. PhD: basic corrections from the Internal Examiner, and hopefully also from the External Examiner.
  2. Amnar: one prompt on World Anvil per week. Nothing wild or crazy.
  3. Exercise/running: nothing particularly challenging, but a little more than last month. I'm not going to try running 20 miles every day. I'm not that guy in Barrow running a marathon a day all year.

I will check back in every week to see how this is going. All I'm really doing is trying to figure out the best way to work for me, at this present time, as I currently am. All that can change in the blink of an eye, so everything must always be at least a little bit flexible.