Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast - Or The Impossible List.

I recently came across the idea of the Impossible List. I like the idea and I want to expand on it a bit here, what I believe it to be about. I linked to College Info Geek's post about it because I like his video, but he has a link to the official page too.

I think it's about writing down ALL of your goals, from those which are easy to those which seem impossible. It's about seeing how your perspective shifts. It's adaptable, which I love. I like the way goals can be broken down into smaller, manageable steps and when they're achieved, they can be expanded to add newer, bigger ones. It's almost a gamification of life, which is quite nice.

Anyway, here's mine.

My Impossible List

Professional Goals

  • Go to and graduate from university 
  • Run a How To Talk workshop online
    • Pick small, private audience (July 2017)
    • Look through the book to establish topics
    • Start discussion thread (abandoned 2017)
    • Finish chapter 1
    • Evaluate helpfulness
  • Run a How To Talk workshop in person
  • Have 20 posts on my parenting blog
  • Teach a parenting course
  • Publish a book
  • Attend an ELT workshop or conference
  • Do a TYLEC
  • Do a DELTA
  • Get one week ahead in lesson planning
  • Have all my folders organised with sections
  • Have a collection of tried and tested lessons which work well
  • Get my transcription ratio down to 1:3

Skills Goals

  • Get my driving licence
    • Take driving lessons (Summer 2016)
    • Try a new driving school
  • Become fluent in German
    • I can communicate and hold basic, stilted conversation (2017)
    • Complete Duolingo tree
    • Complete online German course
    • Take a German course in person
  • Become fluent in a third language
    • Maybe Afrikaans or Dutch
  • Learn to read another script
  • Learn to swim underwater

Financial Goals

  • Make at least €1000 a month
    • €520ish (Jan 2017)
  • Finish paying off driving lessons
  • Get a month ahead in budgeting
  • Save €5000

Family Goals

  • Raise a family pet
  • Train a dog using positive methods
  • Have my husband adopt my son
    • Contact a solicitor
  • Complete a Love Languages for Kids challenge
  • Have two children close together
  • Read all the Harry Potter books with my son
    • Philosopher's Stone
    • Chamber of Secrets
  • Teach son to swim
  • Hold a family Achievement Goal Weekend

Creative Goals

  • Display my own photography
  • Play guitar at a party with friends
  • Be able to play 5 songs from memory
  • Learn to fingerpick
  • Learn how to play Spanish guitar
  • Make more than 10 blog posts in 2017
    • I made 8!
  • Make more than 15 blog posts in 2018

Lifestyle Goals

  • Complete The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
  • Develop my wardrobe/sense of style
  • Have a harmoniously decorated home
  • Live somewhere with outdoor space
    • Coming February 2018!
  • Live in a house
  • Own a house
  • Overcome fear of injections
  • Get my ears pierced
  • Donate blood
  • Travel to a country which requires extra vaccinations
  • Get to a point where I feel my ADHD is manageable
  • Help reduce male violence/domestic violence
  • Help reduce financial inequality
  • Visit America
  • See the Harry Potter Studio Tour
  • Meet J. K. Rowling

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

How to get up in the morning and not hate life

I am not a morning person. I don't think I will ever be. But I've recently changed my story about what getting up is or should mean and I think it's made it easier.

I used to think that most people (or morning people, if you like) just got up easily and sprung out of bed feeling refreshed and not wanting to sleep any more, and I spent a long time trying and waiting for that to happen to me. It never did, so I concluded that perhaps I was just shit at getting up or I wasn't a morning person or whatever that meant, and that was okay, but it did mean that for a long time my story about getting up was "Nobody has as hard a time as me and/or enjoys falling back to sleep as much as me, therefore I have it harder than everyone else and I should get a free pass."

It wasn't really a conscious thing, I don't think I was genuinely assuming that I was unique and special in hating mornings or loving to snooze, but by believing that it was particularly hard for me allowed me to keep making excuses and keep letting it be hard while also being annoyed at myself for finding such a simple and common task hard. I don't remember where I first came across the idea that getting up just actually is an awful sensation for most people, it could have been reddit, or it could have been College Info Geek, but anyway, I read somewhere that snoozing is counterproductive specifically because waking up from sleep is the hard part. Now, I'd read lots of times, as I'm sure you have, that snoozing is bad, but it never really seemed to make sense before until I read this. When you wake up from sleep you've done the hard part. Why would you then repeat that by snoozing and forcing yourself to go through that again? I do know why - it's because falling back to sleep is just so absolutely delicious and doesn't feel the same when you're meant to be doing it e.g. at night. So I now have the following morning routine:

Alarm goes off exactly 18 minutes before I need to be up. It starts very quietly, almost imperceptibly, and slowly gets louder. There's nothing alarming about it, no vibration, no sudden sound.

I'm allowed ONE free pass, one glorious moment where I can hit the default snooze (10 minutes) and slide back into that creamy, soft, warm sleep. I stand by that. It works for me. Snoozing isn't the enemy as long as you're in control.

Next alarm, snooze, more conscious, 5 minutes. This is where the hard part starts but I'm allowed a little fail on this one - I try to keep my eyes open and look at my phone. Sometimes something interesting enough will be happening in the world to engage me, but mostly sleep wins.

Lastly my final alarm goes off and - this is crucial - I cannot turn this one off without getting out of bed and carrying my phone to the bathroom (it's barcode deactivated - lots of free apps do this), and from there I do all that morning stuff - toilet and teeth and face and hands. I hate this. I cannot describe to you how horrible and arduous it seems. But by the time I've finished brushing my teeth something miraculous has happened, it turns out that I've done the hardest part and I don't have to do it again until the next day - as long as I don't let myself go back to bed. But it's done - almost without thinking, without really being awake enough to be aware. And so I can also pat myself on the back for getting through the hard part because I genuinely know that it is hard and that's not some kind of moral failing of mine. I'm managing self-reward now - are you reading this, me from 5, 10 years ago?  There was a time when I really felt that I was incapable of that, but now I realise that I just wasn't admitting to myself that it's okay to find things hard and that hard things really are worth rewarding.

I find these days that snoozing too many times on days I don't need to get up early is less fulfilling or enjoyable than it used to be, perhaps because that one controlled snooze I'm still not a morning person but it is manageable, and all it took was that changing of the story - from "It's too hard, I can't do it, I'm not the right kind of person" to "Yes, it's hard and it's okay that it's hard because I'm going to get over it like this."

I wonder how many other things in my life I need to change the story on.

Monday, 10 July 2017


It's been hot here this week. Husband has injured both feet by taking an ill advised jump and is grumpy about it. I don't know if I posted about cutting my finger? Anyway, I cut my little finger back in March badly enough to require surgery to fix it. I've sort of given up on the recovery because it always seems too hard and like I don't have enough time.

That is somewhat of a theme in my life at the moment.

I've just come back from teaching at the little village school in the hills. Only two more times, and I won't need to go there ever again. It's beautiful, but the kids are exhausting and I've given up even having a plan. I just try not to let them injure each other and if I can engage one or two of them in some learning then it's a win.

I worked out this week that we've successfully timed intercourse in five cycles since the last miscarriage which have not resulted in pregnancy, but I'm okay with that, I think. We have lowish odds anyway, say 10-15% rather than 20-25 so it is just likely that the dice haven't fallen in our favour.

Starting driving lessons again. If the husband can't drive the car, I might as well. Tomorrow he starts physio so it will be interesting to see how that goes.

This was a short update but I'm hoping to get them happening once a week or so.