Ch… Ch… Changes (also, Steak)

Ahoy Peoples!

Bribery can be useful. Example: If you read the first and last parts of this post, you’ll learn a way you might be able to get a free steak dinner out of me. (Apologies if this is overly verbose and clumsy, it took longer to write than I’d planned and I only got to spend as long editing as I did writing. Not a great ratio…)

(Also, apologies for the length. At least there’s a large part in the middle you can readily skip (and I even added section titles to make skipping easier)).

In which I talk about what’s going on with the Last Eulogy

I’ve been quiet for a little while, which will surprise none of you. Historically, I’ve been terrible at keeping up with the blog. If I say I’ll write in here weekly it almost certainly means I won’t be back for a year… Well, there’s been some good reasons for that these last couple of years and for once I’m actually somewhat confident of my ability to keep posting stuff here. But first, some info on the Last Eulogy – I’ve re-edited the first part and have about 3000 words of the second typed up. I’ve got maybe another thousand or 1500 to go for the second to be complete. I’ve put aside sufficient time this weekend to get that done. I’m not sure if I’ll post all 4500 words as one chunk or if I’ll break it up a bit. Any preferences? Do you prefer one longer piece or several shorter pieces a few days or a week apart? Comment below to let me know.

Here’s my first promise to you: The next instalment will be up by lunchtime this Sunday (Adelaide time). If it’s not, come lynch me.

In which I hint at steak some more

Now, I’m going to talk about why I’ve been silent the last few weeks. If you are a normal person and don’t find my egotistical, this-is-what’s-happening-inside-my-head posts interesting, then skip ahead to the more promises section below or put this browser tab to sleep and go look at lolcats, reddit, or any blog that’s better than mine (hint: that’s all that aren’t written by 12-year olds, Andrew Bolt, or young Earth creationists). You should definitely read the more promises section though. You might get a steak dinner out of it.

In which I talk about various things of little interest to people who aren’t me

Basically, I’ve been taking a long, hard look at all the things in my life that aren’t working for me and how to get to where I want to be. Your late twenties and early thirties is an interesting time. So, here’s a few of the things that I’ve changed in my life since Easter:

  • Daily Meditation – I thought it was a load of crock. Turns out that there are studies that say otherwise. So, I’ve been trying it and HOLY HELL, I’m starting to feel like it’s revolutionising my life.
  • Sleep Pattern – I get up at 0600 now. Well. I try to. I’ve not been particularly successful, though I’ve done better than I expected. It’s amazing not having to rush in the morning and having time to go for a run or take Abby for a longer walk than just around the block.
  • Planning – I now plan my entire day out a couple of days in advance. It’s not an immutable plan by any stretch. In fact, I deliberately write it in pencil to remind myself of that (well, except for things like ‘go to work’ and ‘lunch with a friend’ – they’re in pen). I’m not sure if it has actually improved my productivity, but it’s sure as hell made me feel more productive and like I’m actually accomplishing things instead of always feeling like I’m not doing anything.
  • Less Mindless Entertainment – I’m trying to watch less eps and play fewer games. Too often I do these things not because I really want to but because deciding what to do is too hard or it’s just easier than doing something I don’t want to do (like yardwork or exercise). Hell, even the projects I love don’t get done because of games and eps. I’ve set some ratios of other things to games/eps that I’ll be sticking by.
  • Projects – I’ve got too many of them. 5 in fact. 3 are now on indefinite hold. I will continue working on the Fractured Earth stories and on my toy VM. Once I finish one of them (or get to a point where I can leave it and I feel I want at least a few months break from it), I can start one of the others back up.
  • Exercise – I’ve started running again (even to the point of having a weekly hour-long run planned with a friend), I’m lengthening Abby’s walks, and I’m going to try to do a three or four-hour hike at least once every two or three weeks.

There are a few other changes I’ve made too, but I’m not going to talk about them here. Basically, sorting all this out and working out some of the finer details has taken a lot of time and energy and I’ve given myself a bit of a pass on other stuff – like working on the story. I’m hoping it was a bit of short-term pain for a lot of long-term gain. Time will tell I suppose.

In which I make some More Promises and give you the low down on the steak

So, promises. Basically, the section above (you skipped it right? Wise move) is all about changes I’ve made in myself and my routines and that I want to keep. Thus, I’m making a few public and measurable commitments to help me stick to my goals. deliberately chose goals that I know I can achieve because I want to build some momentum, though they all require a bit of commitment and planning on my behalf.

  • Running – Sometime in September I will run 15Km without slowing to a walk (barring environmental hazards or whatnot) and I will do so in under 100 minutes.
  • Writing – During May and June, I will publish at least 6 creative writing pieces on this blog. They’ll all be set in Fractured Earth. No piece will be less than 1200 words. The six pieces will be at least 10,000 words in total. None will be first-drafts (though they may not be final versions, they will have had some basic editing and proofreading).
  • Waking – I will get up no later than 0615 every day during May. I am allowed to fail at this up to four times. I failed today, so that’s three more times I can fail. To provide some (admittedly limited) proof that I’m awake, I’ll tweet a hello world sort of thing when I get up.

For all of these, I’m allowed off the hook if a sufficiently interfering personal emergency arises (e.g. I get sick, a loved one dies, aliens invade, Abby turns out to be a cat in disguise, or Tony Abbott declares himself King).

So, I imagine you want to know what the deal is with the steak dinner:

For each commitment I fail at, if I know you in real life (sorry random Internet people) and you’re one of the first two people to comment on my failure and you reference steak whilst doing so, then I’ll buy you a steak dinner (see T&C below).

If I succeed, then I’ll take everyone who was especially helpful to me in reaching that goal out for a steak dinner to celebrate. Partly because now I really want a steak dinner, partly as thanks, and partly because I want some reason for you all to help me and not to drive you all to sabotage me for the love of steak.

In which I list some T&Cs for the steak dinner

The dinner will be at a restaurant of my choice in the Adelaide CBD unless we both agree otherwise. (Assuming that there are no major negative changes in my financial position, then it’ll be somewhere relatively nice – probably around the 30 to 50 for the mains sort of mark)

The timing of the dinner is negotiable but unless we both agree otherwise will be before the end of 2014.

Steak is pretty awesome, but if for some crazy reason you can’t or won’t eat it we’ll work something else out.

Yes, I know the steak idea is corny and stupid.

In which I conclude

And now I want steak.

Also, I spent way longer on this post than planned. Getting up at 0600 tomorrow might be a struggle. That might put you all one step closer to a free steak dinner…

2 thoughts on “Ch… Ch… Changes (also, Steak)

  1. Your steak comments suddenly make waaay more sense. I hadn’t realised I’d missed reading one of your posts, so all mentions of steak came as a lovely surprise.

    I’d try to be especially helpful without the steak, but now that you’ve mentioned steak, I wannit! We should talk about the timing offline some time. 😉


  2. Well, I’d say you’re easily in the lead for most-helpful-friend on two of the three challenges – so you’ve got a pretty good chance…


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