Friday, April 1, 2016

Resolutions Checkpoint 2016: March

For the third month in a row, something unexpected came up—which threw off my routine, in turn making it more difficult to complete my self-assigned daily/weekly/monthly tasks. In January it was 2+ weeks of the flu/endless cough, February brought back the excruciatingly painful internal hemorrhoids for over a week, and March ended up surprising me with heartbreak and an unplanned stay in London. (I should probably take the hint and start planning for just three weeks each month when I do these checkpoints, but I'm still carrying on like normal for now!)

So I'm currently still in London, crashing at Hannah and Herm's place. They should be getting back tomorrow morning, and I'll be returning to France mid-April, planting my feet in Montpellier for spring/summer.

Now that I've set the scene, here's some of what I did in March:

March Progress

1. Volunteer
  • (+) Continue hosting weekly English conversation table, as if it were a volunteering commitment. — I did plan another English convo meetup at the start of March, though ended up not attending myself due to the breakup.
  • (n/a) If news is received that we'll be staying longer in Rodez, contact a local middle or high school to offer myself as a volunteer.

2. Learn Calligraphy
  • (+) Buy a dip pen and black ink. — I bought my "starter kit" online from Scribblers while here in London: Nikko G nib, cork nib holder and Sumi ink.
  • (+) Print Kaitlin Style Course outline and any other additional worksheets from the video course — Printed these while still in Rodez, but did not bring the worksheet set with me to London.
  • (-) Complete faux calligraphy pages in Kaitlin worksheet set (pg. 5 - 13) — Left the sheets with my big suitcase and the rest of my stuff at Damien's parents' house near Montpellier.
  • (+) Watch "About Straight Pens" video in Kaitlin course
  • (+) Finish Gothic alphabet and 4 more pages in "Calligraphy Made Easy" book — Finished! Though I think I'll probably move away from this book (and the pens with cartridges!) and move forward next month with my dip pen, ink and The Postman's Knock workbook pages/video course.

3. Live Out My Values
  • (  ) Confident - Contact and secure three "testers" for Rebemail. — I have one "tester" giving it a spin now, though!
  • (+) Connected - Keep attending OVS events weekly. — Although I left Rodez, here in London I've attended a French conversation meetup both Saturdays I was here alone.
  • (-) Creative - Attend another pottery and/or painting course. — I had to cancel the second pottery class I'd signed up for because that ended up being the day of my train to London!
  • (+) Helpful - Write blog post about learning a language with a growth mindset for FluentU. — Finished this one while Hannah and Herm were gone, and it feels really good to have complete. This honker is just over 4,000 words. I'm excited to share it, but it probably won't be published for several months. I'll keep you guys posted!
  • (+) Curious - Spend 30 minutes researching my calendar curiosity/France's 10-day week.

Other goals
  • (+) Read three books — I read four books this month: "The Phantom Tollbooth" by Norton Juster, "My Life in France" by Julia Child, "Down Under" by Bill Bryson, and "Innumeracy" by John Allen Paulos. (I'm taking advantage of Hannah and Herm's bookshelf to read some physical books! The first three on this list I highly recommend.)
  • (+) Make plans to visit Hannah and Herm in April — Zing! I'll have ended up staying with them for a month when I leave mid-April. Who woulda known? Silver linings.
  • (  ) Four Thankful Thursdays — Posted TT on 3/4 Thursdays this month.

April Focus

Here are some smaller tasks to complete this month, to get me closer to my three main resolutions:

1. Volunteer
  • Spend 30 minutes researching volunteering opportunities in Montpellier.
  • Ask any acquaintances I meet if they know of volunteer opportunities
  • Take next step for one volunteer opportunity

2. Learn Calligraphy
  • Purchase Amy Style worksheet set and video course from TPK. (I found out this style is best for beginners and straight pens, which is what I am and have!)
  • Find somewhere to print Amy Style worksheet set in Montpellier
  • 10 minutes of practice every day. (in Montpellier)

3. Live Out My Values
  • Meditate at least 5 minutes every day. (I've been thinking about doing a 30-day meditation challenge for some time now, and an email from a friend the other day sparked me to finally take action and just start. For now I'm using the app "Calm" to guide the meditations and track my time.)
  • Attend at least one Meetup/OVS event per week (once living in Montpellier).
  • Send a letter per day. (April is National Letter Writing Month, folks! I will be participating in the #write_on challenge again, where you send one letter a day for the 30 days of April. Yesterday I bought postage here in London, since I'll be sending letters from here for the first two weeks of the month.)

Other goals
  • Read four books
  • 4/4 Thankful Thursdays
  • Complete my French study plan for April
How was March for you? What's one thing you'd like to accomplish in April?
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