Plan A Failed; Next Up, Plan B

image owl red eyes copyright Massimo Mancini

Oh, Life, you wonderful pain in the ass.

Apparently my battle cry was heard, loud and clear, because several opportunities plopped right smack dab in the middle of my neat-and-pretty plan. (See, what I did there? Opportunities Not obstacles, not roadblocks – just a chance to learn and grow and prove my grit!) The most time intensive being that my website was hacked. Like seriously, within 24 hours of publishing that post, my site was under attack.

Yep, for the first time in over a decade of website ownership, my tiny corner of the web was invaded by those sneaky bastards. It was such a stealthy attack, and I was (am) stubborn enough (read: cheap) not to pay for a cleaning service, I took the site down to its bones – deleting everything from the server including my database – then reinstalled everything from scratch. (This was after 20+ hours of troubleshooting in an effort to avoid the blank slate solution). That did the trick, though. Zero (successful) intrusions since the beginning of April.

Needless to say, my shiny 2018 plan was thrown off course a bit. But only a minor detour which required some tweaks to my calendar for March – December 2018. Here’s a quick glimpse of what I plan to accomplish by May 31st:

  1. No eating out. Mainly for my nutrition, but also because my inner cheapskate hates seeing the total spent on eating out each month. My biggest opportunity here is not giving in to the “I just put in a full day at the computer and my brain is fried; I don’t want to figure out what to make for dinner and then make it. Let’s just go grab something out” mindset. Because really, I don’t enjoy the food available for takeaway. I much prefer a homecooked meal. Boy does that instant gratification make an argument for itself in the moment.
  2. Go outside. Walk; ride my bicycle; sit on the patio. At least once a day, every day, weather permitting. I L-O-V-E the outdoors, yet I find myself going days without feeling the sun on my skin. You’d think after working from home all day I’d be racing for the door. Nope, not the case. But I’m gonna put a stop to this, for my physical and emotional well-being.
  3. Resist the boob tube. I was doing so good with this until 2015. (The beginning of the dark times; a tale for another time.) But over the last few years, I’ve allowed myself to backslide into THE biggest time suck / productivity killer ever. No more. I track my viewing time every day and, so far, I’m happy to report I’ve cut TV time down by 45%. My goal is to watch no more than 1 hour per weekday and no more than 4 hours total on the weekends (to allow time for movies which average 80 minutes each). Ultimately, I’d love to eliminate all TV from my life and only watch movies on the weekends. That’s a ways off, though. LOL
  4. Prioritize self-care. If nothing else, 2015-2017 taught me the power of taking care of oneself. There are some traumas at play here, which is why I tend to put my self-care last, yet I want to do better. Not just for me, but for my daughter — she needs to see me practice what I promo. So far this year, this has been the biggest challenge for me. May 2018 is the month I break this old (destructive) habit.
  5. Continue to declutter. Physical clutter. Digital clutter. And yes, mental clutter counts too. My ultimate goal is tiny living. 2018 is the year I will FINALLY get through all the physical stuff. This month, I’ll complete my bedroom (started January 2018), movie collection (started February 2018), my computer, my desk, and the hall closet. When I stopped thinking, “I’ll hold onto this until I sell it on Craiglist,” and started answering, “Maybe you could sell that, but is it worth the time and space? Is it worth losing momentum on your declutter projects?” – I felt lighter, more motivated, and I’ve made more progress than ever before.

I’d ask you to wish me luck but I don’t need luck. All I need is to stay focused and embrace every opportunity that Life throws at me.

Now, that we’re in the second month of the second quarter of 2018 – how’s your year going? What will you complete this month?

Photo credit: Massimo Mancini

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