Taking it easy and progressing at the same time

Sometimes changing things up a little bit can be rejuvenating.  That has been the case for me for the last three weeks.  During the weeks or months of the holidays I went out quite a bit. I’m glad that I have friends to socialize with, but when you’re out three or so times a week it’s hard to get things done.  Maybe I had a delayed drive to do some resolution stuff, but I’ve followed through on making some changes on how I spend my spare time.

First I started to politely decline offers to go out. In the future I’ll see these people, they are all my friends, and I’m sure they understood that I need time by myself. With time available I finally got into a gym schedule that makes sense. For the past three weeks I’ve been going to the gym on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday nights. And I go on either Saturday or Sunday. This totals four workouts that I lift and run a week. It is a little more regular and more intense that the three times a week I tried to do in fall.

I wouldn’t call it cooking. But having cereal, easy to boil noodles, fruit, and other easy to make food at home has decreased my spending bills. So on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday when I get back from the gym I can eat simply and not have to go out again for takeout. I work late Monday and Thursday, and I’ve been eating cheaply at home on those nights too.

Over the past month I’ve read a little more, which I find is easier to do when I stay in. I can kind of make a routine, and I have my comfy chair in my room. Sometimes I do dork around on the computer, but not everything has to be productive, and there are worse things to do than watching videos on youtube or listening to Pandora.

Lastly, and the change I’m most proud of is that I wrote a short story this week. I signed up for another class at Gotham Writers. The first class was last Sunday. I decided to sign up to pass my story out at the next class to be critiqued the following week. So basically I had a deadline. For months now I’ve thought about this story. The teacher said the maximum length for a story was 15 pages double-spaced. My concept of a story was longer than that. I quickly figured out how to shorten it. On Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights I wrote it out by hand. On Thursday like a maniac I typed up the whole thing. It ended up being 13 pages and 4,000 words. Today I fixed the obvious typos, and on Sunday when I pass it out, I’ll say it’s a first draft, and ask for suggestions on how to revise. I learned from this that ideas I have for stories I just need to think it over a little bit and then start writing.

I feel I’m taking it easy in some ways but also improving quite a bit at writing, and my general health. And tomorrow I plan to skate (50 degrees in late January) and have a relaxed dinner with some friends.

2 thoughts on “Taking it easy and progressing at the same time

  1. Matt,
    Sounds like you’ve got a plan and it’s working — a 13-page short story written first in long hand — now that’s impressive. Enjoyed reading your post. You’ve got a nice, easygoing tone here that’s interesting to read and has just enough humor to keep me wanting to read more. Also your site looks clean and is easy on the eyes…your photos?

    Great blog!

  2. Thanks for reading! Looking forward to our monthly workshop.

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