So Sunday is the day on which I am dedicating to self-evaluation. As you may know, at the moment I am going through a bout of depression, which comes and goes and affects me to the point where I freeze at the thought of doing anything even remotely helpful. I am trying to combat this by forcing myself to do things that I see as ‘putting myself out there for the world.’ This blog and Poem A Day For A Year is a prime example. As long as I can keep doing this, I know that I can move on to other things and build some momentum. It all sounds very silly I know but sometimes it i hard to cope with certain pressures and I am trying to find ways to work through. I think the anti-depressants may have finally started working too, which is nice.
Anyway, one thing I have tried to do over the years but have failed to do even this on occasion is to keep a life-chart: breaking my life down into segments with daily and weekly aims and goals to shoot for. The intention is if all these things can become habit, I will not need to keep track and I can lead a productive life. Again, it all sounds very silly but this is one way to try and break through the barriers in my brain. (I am also very aware that things could be a lot worse for me. I am not sitting here and saying ‘Oh, I have it harder than anyone else in the world. Woe is me!’ I know there are millions of people in worse off positions than I am, and I am incredibly lucky to have the support network that I do. I just need pushing and the only person that can do that is me.)
Anyway, the life-chart is an idea I saw in Demetri Martin’s beautiful stand-up show, ‘If I’. I thought it was a great idea and tried to employ it in my own life. This was quite a few year ago and I never got past doing it for a few weeks before forgetting or not giving it a proper chance.
With everything that has been going on here recently, I have started it up again, made myself a new plan and started really trying to grab life by the short ones. Here is this weeks self-evaluation.
As you can see, there are seven sections each with five targets. That’s a total of 35 points every week. Here is a little bit about my week for each one.
Health – I went to the gym twice this week. I always do running while I am there so as long as I go, that’s an easy couple of point. I could have gone three times this week but on Saturday I felt inexplicably exhausted and didn’t get out of bed til 1300. My cutting down on fags is woeful, which I suppose makes the running harder but I will try and give it a go next week. As for no snacks. Well, we got an entire harvest worth of chocolate for Christmas so it would be rude to just leave it all sitting there. Plus, the quicker it is gone, the less time I have to be tempted by it! (Score – 3/5)
Writing/Performance – As you know I have been doing this blog and with it, a poem every day so two marks there are easily obtained. I haven’t had any ideas for short stories lately, putting all my energy into my poetry but I have started working ideas out for a radio play and a children’s story so that may balance it out. I haven’t felt ready to submit any pieces yet so that hasn’t been done and I have not had opportunity to do a performance yet but I am hoping that will change ni the next week. (Score – 2/5)
Learning – I haven’t done any of my uni reading this week at all, I am now two weeks behind with the reading which I realy cannot afford but I am going to make a concerted effort to catch up next week. It shouldn’t be too hard. I can usually focus well when I put my mind to it. I went to the library for a while but my mind was on other things, but the intention was there hence the half-point. I haven’t picked my guitar up at all this week but I bought a capo so I’m going to start making use of it. I want to learn ‘The Ballard of Serenity’ (The Firefly theme song) so it will come in handy. I adore doing puzzles so that one wasn’t heard. (Score – 1 1/2 / 5)
Magazine/Event – We have made massive strides with the magazine recently, really getting involved with social media. We have seen a massive spike in followers on Twitter, I like to think this blog is getting it a little attention. The submission are starting to flow in nicely and the new issue is just around the corner. We are getting ready to host our next live event too which we are very excited for. We are planning two off-shoot magazines from Bunbury in the near future so things are moving forward nicely. We also have some very exciting news for issue eight but we are keeping that under-wraps until everything is confirmed. (4/5)
Management/Productivity – I do not really go many places at the moment so sticking to budget isn’t really too hard. I have been applying for job like a mother so that is taken care of easily enough. My sleeping patterns have been erratic at best this week. I’m putting that down to the meds finally kicking in properly and my body adjusting so the asleep before/after goals are knackered, as am I! The overall list has just disappeared completely so I will have to make another before I can crack on with that! (Score – 2/5)
Contribution – I think tonight will be date night with Keri which is always lovely but I didn’t want to give a mark for it yet because I am sat here typing like a lunatic. We haven’t really had chance to go out anywhere nice this week as I have had a bad week and Keri has been working a lot. We did have a few drinks last night and played some bingo but that is hardly the high life! I love going to see Mummy Moriarty so that mark is really a joy to get. I haven’t been anywhere to help a stranger really and seeing someone else’s P.O.V is quite easy really. (Score – 2/5)
Vision/Ethics – This is the most esoteric category. Rededicated self i basically fill this chart in. Visualise/Focus is just sitting and thinking about something, which I am always doing anyway. The others are just ways in which I can make myself a better person along with a more productive person. (Score – 4/5)
Total Score – 18 1/2 / 35 – 52%
Not a bad week. I’m just over half the person I want to be. I think that’s how it works. Next week will be a better week. After the great news we had today for Bunbury, I feel spurred on to really make a big push so we will see come net Sunday. If any of you have any thoughts on ways to keep progressing, please comment below. Here is a poem. Today’s prompt comes from something I learned at Do The Write Thing on Tuesday – that there used to be such a thing as a porridge drawer. This blew my mind.
He wakes to the sound of his own flatulence:
A gaping, crowing rasp that overwhelms
his nasal passages. He scratches the
ginger stubble on his neck and stretches,
a smaller, more condensed trumpet
heralds his rising. He stutters to
the bathroom to relieve himself from
the nightly build-up, golden rain splashing ceramic
and, periodically, his feet. He flushes,
seat left up and mumbles down stairs
into the kitchen. He takes a bowl and knife from
the sink and opens the middle drawer of
the old rosewood dresser on
the opposite side of the room. The porridge drawer.
He carves a slice from the thick brick of
colourless goop, slops it into his bowl and takes a seat
at the dining table, wood scraping on wood.
As he takes that first, salty bite,
he feels a small trickle run
between his toes.
And a bonus poem, inspired by a prompt from @FieryVerse on Twitter. They run regular poetry challenges in which we highly recommend you get involved. Here is the prompt for today’s challenge followed by the poem.
As the leaves surely
blow in through cracks, in time
they must surely bluster out,
leaving decaying memories.
A few days ago I mentioned that Fiona Nuttall from Do The Write Thing had written a poem about the ‘Je Suis Charlie’ movement that started in the wake of the atrocities in Paris at the Charlie Hebdo offices. I am really proud to be able to show you that poem now.
Weekend cartoon of Charlie Brown
Sat on a bench
Head in hands,
Caption: “Je suis Charlie”.
The pen mightier than the sword?
The pencil no match for a Kalashnikow.
Nor reason for generated, ambient hatred.
Protesting their lives lost in ‘care’,
False solidarity with the dispossessed of Islam.
Prison converts shooting
Shoppers; supposed to be Jews,
Rollmops, bagels, blood and brains.
Psychopathy masquerading as religion.
“I want you to suffer
I want to take some power back”.
But wrongs and rights
Are not an equation.
And if their God is as
Good as they purport,
Then God must be weeping
Like Charlie Brown.
The tree of knowledge plundered again.
The fruits of good and evil
Consumed by the blind,
And the indiscriminate.
‘They know not what they do’
In their search for martyrdom and loss.
Too late for forgiveness
Too short-lived for realisation.
It’s all politics, religion, race and class.
A stupid waste by division.
Je suis Charlie
Je suis ton Dieu
Et je suis triste
I am Charlie
I am your God
And I am sad.