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the “plan”

#330daysofbiking Day 154 ~ pool commute

Confession: I don’t always manage my time as well as I could.  And I’m guessing I’m probably not alone in this, but it often weighs on me.

Since I don’t have a “real job”, I am incredibly skilled at spending a very large chunk of my day riding around, playing with my camera, and being sucked into the black hole of Frankentime (NYT ~ “What time feels like when you realize that (much) of your life is spent working with and around a computer and the Internet.”) And while I sincerely cherish my cyber-pals (Twitter, ShutterCal, Flickr, bloggers) and know that the biking, swimming and physical activity is good for my mind and body, I still found myself feeling that I needed a plan.  A goal to introduce more diversity in my routine, more productivity, more creativity, more ….. ?

At this point, The Plan is pretty simple.  My goal is to spend at least one hour each day engaging in an activity in each of these “categories”:

  • Work — the daily household maintenance, and then some.  Of course it’s the stuff like laundry, housekeeping, and yardwork, but on the days when I’m not involved in the usual stuff, I want to try and tackle the odd jobs that I tend to avoid – like the cluttered drawer in the kitchen, the top shelf of the fridge, the disorganized cabinet in the laundry room.  Basically, the “yucky-but-necessary” category (and to prevent me from ever being a guest on Hoarders. Lol.)

the "work" part

  • Play — The fun stuff (where I currently spend a disproportionate amount of time, but hope to change – at least a little).  The biking, the swimming, the walking, the running, the paddling, and yes – the camera.  The physical activity part; my daily “recess”. 😉   I suppose there will be some kind of overlap when I get to make a grocery run on the Xtracycle (work and play?), but I’m not to too concerned about bending rules. (Did I actually say “rules”?!)

the "play" part (i.e., recess 😉 )

  • Think — Kind of like the “play” part, but for my brain.  I’ve recently read some conflicting reports over the benefits/lack of benefits of engaging in “mentally stimulating activities” as we age.  Regardless, I will always love to read books, to write in a journal, to play with crossword puzzles, play “brain” games with my family (even though I have officially resigned myself to never winning a game of Scrabble among this bunch).  It may or may not keep me sharper as the years go by, but it’s much more fulfilling entertainment than, say, watching television.  So it’s part of my plan. (Take that, Journal of Neurology…!)

the "thinking" part

  • Create — Even though I consider photography one of my biggest creative outlets, I have a special fascination with handcrafts – knitting, sewing, rug-making, etc.  I love artforms that require my hands (and more than just pushing the shutter button), and the women I consider my dearest friends and most amazing artists I know are those who I’ve met through fiber arts – and you know who you are, LP and ML!  In recent months, I’ve often put these projects on the “back burner” – and I have missed them, and need to make them at least a small part of each day.

the "create" part ~ recycling old wool into new rugs

  • Reflect — I’m not sure this is the appropriate tag, but it’s as close as I could come for now.  This is the time to just stop and appreciate.  To look around and acknowledge the the people in my life, the ones I love.  It might be a time to just listen.  It might be time to meditate.  It might be an act of service, an hour to volunteer.  It’s a little loosely defined at this point, but it’s as important – if not more so – than the rest.

the "reflect" part

So that’s my plan.  So far, I think it’s going to work pretty well.  Wish me luck!  🙂

Posted by savaconta on September 14, 2010
  1. 09/14/2010

    It takes a pretty amazing person to set up a plan like this, and an even more amazing one to select the items that you did. This really shows a lot about you and I can already tell that it is going to create an even more impressive “you” than you already are.

    You’re so cool.


    • 09/15/2010

      D, your comments always make me grin :D. Although I’m pretty confident I’m not exactly cool, at least maybe I can be a little more balanced and productive. Maybe. Lol. 😉

      • 09/16/2010

        I knew you were going to say something about not finding yourself cool……I know better.

        Once I get myself settled in Austin I’m going to apply your balancing techniques to my own life.


  2. 09/15/2010

    Wow, mind if I adopt a variation of this? What a smart concept! Though sometimes, with my teaching schedule, I cannot always fit an hour from each of these categories in each day, but I think if I at least spend some time with each (even if it’s a 15 min walk around the pond on my long work day and a longer ride on a day off to balance things out) my life would be a little bit richer. 🙂
    As always, you are awesome my friend, and a great inspiration!

    • 09/15/2010

      Mind?! Please, K – my awesome friend – I am counting on you to be my good example! I so admire all the things you already juggle and manage to accomplish, I doubt you need such a plan … but definitely – enjoy some “recess” whenever you can! 😉

  3. 09/15/2010

    hey while you’re working on the top shelf of your frig can you do something about mine…lol

    definitely a thought provoking post, just remember the following:

    1. No good plan goes unpunished. — anonymous Marine
    2. Man plan, god laughs. — anonymous
    3. Plan early, plan twice. — anonymous Marine
    4. Be prepared. — Boy Scouts

    Just kidding.

  4. 09/15/2010

    I saw a red moleskine in this post!

    • 09/16/2010

      Found it! (is this like Where’s Waldo?)

  5. 09/16/2010

    Cassi – I LOVE your plan! And I’ve so been needing a plan, especially now that we’ve transitioned back into the school year and I have a life somewhat like yours. I write but schedule my own time – which means that I don’t write much 😦 Or maybe I just don’t think I write enough.

    I’m hoping that, like Kerstin, I can also use your plan as a model for my new plan. Now to find a boss to keep me on task….Oh yes, I guess that’s me 🙂

  6. 09/19/2010
    Mary Lou Justason

    Cassi, the hook you have on your work is absolutely beautiful and I know that even if you can hook for ten minutes each day, you will create something wonderful.

  7. 09/20/2010

    Hey Cas…..I love the plan too. Plans are great. Like lists. You get to cross things off, and then add more. It feels good. I’m even more impressed that you found your hook and the wool. LP

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