November 2020 Review

abstract art blur bright

Tldr – November was my birthday month and perhaps that disrupted my well-worn routines.

Having time off is essential, but missing even a few days of a habit increases the activation energy required for continuation.

Not a terrible month, but not a great one either.

Meditation

Perhaps the most significant area to suffer this month was with meditation, as I only completed 15 sessions.

I struggled to reinitiate the routine after my birthday weekend and the psychological effects were noticeable, with increased background overthinking.

Scheduling a set Zazen time remains elusive.

I’m not waking early enough to complete article writing and exercise, which pushes mindfulness sessions later in the day, where they seemingly fall through the cracks.

Writing

My daily morning writing ritual continues and I’m pleased to report that it’s been a constant.

Even if I only manage a few paragraphs, it’s vital to regularly grease this wheel of behaviour change.

This has resulted in 17 articles on the blog, as I don’t always manage to complete a full post in one sitting.

I’m still not checking my analytics to view changes in readership as, from previous experience, I feel like it would manifest in a results-based mindset and detract from the work of putting the writing process on autopilot.

I’ve planned an analytics review at the 3-month mark, at the beginning of 2021.

Exercise

With the festive period fast approaching, physical health often suffers.

I suppose a minor mercy of COVID is that the reduction in socialising has increased my exercise levels.

I’ve continued with my running, and the good news is that my foot pain seems to be gradually improving.

I say this tentatively, as it’s still present in each session, but not as acute.

My hypothesis is that I’ve ceased wearing the culpable footwear, but time will tell.

I’ve also tried to do more weights alongside cardiovascular exercise, including a short pre-run routine, which I then try to follow with high-yield stretches when I get home.

Work

Work has been increasingly busy as we approach Christmas.

Primarily, I’m working at a startup attempting to reduce social isolation in older adult populations, mostly through online talks.

It’s a wonderful endeavour to work on, especially at a time when all of us, especially those in later life, are feeling the pernicious effects of virus-induced loneliness.

I’m also excited because, after months of hunching over an old writing desk, squinting at a laptop screen, I’ve finally invested in an ergonomic work setup.

The external monitor has arrived, which is a joy on the old eyeballs. I’m still waiting on the new desk and chair so will report back when they arrive.

Reading

Nomad

My friend gifted me a copy of Nomad for my birthday after I devoured a similar book called Pilgrim.

It was a rip-roaring read, including spies, secret organisations and terrorist plots, set on an international stage.

Exile

I read the follow up to Nomad, and it was satisfactory, but nowhere near as good as the debut in the series.

There are a few more books follow-ups, so will consider trying another.

A Memory Called Empire

A sci-fi novel by Arkady Martine.

Was an interesting premise, but I did get slightly annoyed with the protagonist for some reason.

Touches on themes of empire expansionism, colonialism and race, weaving them deftly into an enjoyable storyline.

I’ll likely read the follow-up.

Station Eleven

Another sci-fi novel. Will report back next month.

Learning

This is a major life bucket I’m currently neglecting.

After writing on this site, doing paid client work, exercising and meditating (plus some downtime thrown in for good measure!), I frequently find I lack the bandwidth for directed study.

I have a half competed Udemy programming course gathering digital dust, but obviously, that necessitates more screen time, which is ample as it is.

Perhaps an analogue activity would be preferable.

I’ve been toying with the idea of woodwork for a while and even tried to register for a course before lockdown, so this could be an option.

Summary

Ok, enough rambling from me.

Overall not a bad month, all things considered.

While I’m frequently drawn to articles outlining the supposedly perfect routines of productivity gurus, I feel like a messy human in comparison, trying and often failing to make my life marginally better through positive habits.

Hopefully, you’ll join me on that journey.



Home » Blog » The Broth » November 2020 Review