Revisiting the Yearly Theme for 2021

After 2020 lingered on like the smell of a dead animal, it’s amazing how much 2021 seems to be sprinting by.  Part of it for me is definitely just a renewed focus on other stuff, as I’ve been busy and productive throughout this year in ways not related to my day job doing stuff like writing fiction, but it also really feels like things in general are going faster.  Both of my parents are fully vaccinated now, and I’m about halfway through my vaccination, with the second shot plus time to build up antibodies all done in about four weeks’ time.

Which, while I’m not expecting things to go “back to normal” once I and my immediate family are all fully vaccinated, it is going back to more normal than it has been.  I can start seeing family for, like, dinner again, that’s something I used to do at least once a week that I haven’t done in months.  I’ll be able to stop putting things off that I’ve wanted to do, but didn’t feel like it was worth the risk of exposure, like get my hair cut.  It feels like face masks are just a part of life now and it might be ages before that really changes (and honestly I’m fine with that, I plan on continuing to wear masks in public even if shops don’t require it, I’ve really enjoyed not getting sick in like 15 months), but a lot of the things that made being on quarantine time really suck can go away soon, or at least be reduced.  I know that some of my privilege is showing as I say that, but it’s the way things are for me, it feels like the light’s shining from the end of the tunnel.

Anyway, it being past the first quarter of the year (seriously, though, how?), I figured now would be a good time to reflect on my yearly theme for 2021 as the Year of Action.  The goal of the theme has been to try and push out from the passivity of being on quarantine time and work on getting things done.  This is something I’ve taken to heart in one specific way, but have maybe struggled with in other ways.  Over the course of the year so far, I finished writing a novel and am working on editing it.  Writing has been a major focus of mine at various times in my life and I’ve tried to keep it at a high priority, despite my own emotional problems occasionally making that infeasible.  Right now it’s going well, and I am actively working at keeping it that way.

Outside of writing, however, I’m afraid I’ve continued to struggle with passivity.  This isn’t terribly surprising to me, and I can’t say that I’m feeling terribly disappointed in myself either, as I haven’t, like, let my lack of initiative prevent me from getting things done.  Well, maybe dieting and exercising, that’s been heavily prevented by my lack of initiative, and is definitely something I need to work on, but I’ve kept on top of most things.  But, well, making progress and staying afloat are different things, and if I want the situation to look more like the former, I’m going to have to exert more effort.

Not to make excuses, but some things are prudently awaiting me being fully vaccinated before I can really toss myself fully into working on them, which means the big push is gonna come about a month from now.  With that approaching—as well as this diversion from my normal job for financial licensing ending at about the same time—I can start to make real plans again and work on taking actions that I’ve been putting off.  Hopefully I’ll have more to say at the midway mark for the year on that front.  In the meantime, still a bit of a waiting game.  I can manage that.  At this point, I think we’ve all become experts at waiting.

Anyway, let’s take a look at this week’s numbers.

Tuesday 3/30

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 5% of Memorias de Idhún: La Resistencia, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 4 episodes of Steven Universe, 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Wednesday 3/31

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 5% of Memorias de Idhún: La Resistencia, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 4 episodes of Steven Universe, 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Thursday 4/01

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 5% of Memorias de Idhún: La Resistencia, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 4 episodes of Steven Universe, 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Friday 4/02

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 5% of Memorias de Idhún: La Resistencia, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 4 episodes of Steven Universe, 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Saturday 4/03

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 10 episodes of Steven Universe, ~120 minutes

Sunday 4/04

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 10 episodes of Steven Universe, ~120 minutes

Monday 4/05

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 5% of Memorias de Idhún: La Resistencia, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 4 episodes of Steven Universe, 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes
  • Total Duolingo: 140 XP, 0 minutes
  • Total reading: 1/4 books read, 450 minutes
  • Total watching/listening: 5 YouTube episodes and 40 television episodes watched, 540 minutes
  • Total speaking: reading out loud, 150 minutes
  • Total Time: 16 hours 30 minutes

A pretty good week.  The numbers for things watched are gonna look nice and big thanks to Steven Universe episodes being broken down as individual shorts, rather than as ‘two shorts make up one episode’ the way that something like Amphibia is presented.  Speaking of, I liked Steven Universe off the bat as fun, but my opinion on it has grown quite a bit over the course of the second half of the first season.  I’m now halfway through season two or so, and I’m really looking forward to where this show goes.  It’s one of my favorites for this project, and that’s saying a lot.

After finishing up El Ascenso de la Sombra, I went into Memorias de Idhún: La Resistencia with a lot of excitement for something different, and so far it has definitely been that.  It’s nice reading something that’s overall shorter, too, because I can get through a lot more of the book in a fell swoop.  I’m already a quarter through.  The story itself is interesting, though it feels a lot like “generic young adult modern fantasy series,” which is both a positive and a negative.  I’m fine with that sort of story, but I’ve also read a lot of them, so they end up feeling kinda samey.  The style’s nice, though, and I’m enjoying the diversion.  At the moment, I’m leaning toward reading the other Idhún books before going back to La Rueda del Tiempo, but we’ll see how I feel further in.

Seeing as this week also capped off March officially, let’s take a look at the month’s numbers.

  • Total Duolingo: 620 XP, 0 minutes
  • Total Watching/Listening: 96 tv episodes, 1 movie, and 24 youtube videos watched, 2,310 minutes
  • Total Reading: 1/2 whole books read, 1,920 minutes
  • Total Writing: 800 words written, 70 minutes
  • Total Speaking: reading out loud, 540 minutes
  • Total Time: 71 hours 40 minutes

And here’s the breakdown for money spent.

  • Memorias de Idhún: La Resistencia, Fiction, ebook, Amazon, $9.78
  • Netflix Subscription Standard HD Plan, Television and Movie Streaming, $10.99 per month, $10.99
  • Disney+ Subscription, Television and Movie Streaming, $6.99 per month, $6.99
  • Amount Spent on Fiction Books: $9.78
  • Amount Spent on Services: $17.98
  • Total Spent: $27.76

A solid month overall.  After some worries over how the training would end up impacting my ability to focus on Spanish, it’s been nice to see that the worries were for nothing, with just the occasional weird day messing things up a little, but not really any more than a typical month.

As I mentioned in the main blog, writing went well again this month, with me getting down 36,507 words of fiction, which at first blush looks a smidge low, but that’s because I finished drafting the novel I’ve been working on in the last week or so of March and have switched over to editing, which results in me working on the writing for about the same amount per day as I have been, just not really adding many words.  Some days result in negative writing, even.  But that’s fine, this is really productive writing, and I am very happy with my results.  April will likely have “sort of low” writing numbers when all’s said and done, too, as I’m not done editing yet, but after that’s all finished, I’ll be moving onto the next project.  Can’t complain about writing, so I’m definitely not going to.

As April continues, I’m planning to more or less hunker down and get through it as best I can and not worry about anything else with it.  I’m about halfway through the work training, so more of the same going on there to focus on this month, but in addition to that, there’s just a lot going on as well.  I’ve got a dental appointment, my second vaccine shot, and a laser hair removal appointment to look forward to this month, so a lot of my time’s already planned.  The big, exciting thing I’m waiting for is in May, when I’m fully vaxxed, back out of training, and looking ahead toward the rest of the year.  Hopefully there aren’t any nasty surprises in store.

Anyway, that’ll do for this one, TTFN.

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