Owning my time

When I decided to revive this blog recently, I mentioned that being more conscious about how I direct my attention and spend my time was one of my aims for 2017.  At the start of the year I felt that I was making real progress, and had started thinking about a blog post to celebrate this positive direction, but then my focus shifted because… we have decided to move to Seattle! This has meant a few weeks of intense discussions and decision-making, followed by a sudden increase in admin and logistical tasks, as the next couple of months will be focused on winding down our life here in Luxembourg and making plans to start over in the US…  So have I been using my new-found time management skills to rise to the occasion magnificently? Hmmm, not quite!  If anything, I’ve been backsliding slightly, due to the frustrating paradox that (until the urgent deadlines approach, anyway) I tend to procrastinate more when there’s a lot to get done… So here I am to kick-start my newly energised recommitment to conscious use of time, by reminding myself what I’d learned at the start of the year, and most importantly, what works for me when I’m trying to stay focused:

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Why so quiet?

It’s been over 6 months since I posted anything on this blog, & I’ve been contemplating reviving it for a while. I thought I’d start by reflecting on why there’s been such a long gap – I think there are 3 reasons:

The good: The easy / comfortable answer is that I’ve spent less time here because I’ve been doing a bit of writing & editing in other places recently.  As I’d hoped, starting this blog gave me the confidence to share things I write a little more.  I’ve done some bits & pieces for the BLC newsletter, and I’ve done a few interviews – as well as some other writing & editing – for City Savvy Luxembourg. Surely it should be possible to keep the blog up as well though? Which brings me to…
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My love-hate relationship with the great outdoors

A few days ago I was watching the film of Dr Seuss’s The Lorax with the children when I found myself having a weird emotional reaction to it. Normally I enjoy this sweet little film with its feelgood message about the power of small actions, but suddenly its environmental values were making me feel uncomfortable. After all, when I spent the day helping the children choose and plant up tubs for the patio recently, it triggered my hayfever so much that I barely slept that night. Continue reading

Good Facebook, Bad Facebook?

Back in the UK, I didn’t have a Facebook app on my phone. My first smartphone had a frustrating tendency to run out of memory if I even considered installing it, and by the time I upgraded the phone, I’d realised that I probably didn’t have the willpower to avoid getting sucked into Facebook while with the children, so I left it off. Moving to Luxembourg felt different, though. It was easy to justify installing it on my shiny new iPhone – after all, we had (still have!) no landline here, so the phone was my one link to the outside world, to “back home”, and Facebook felt like a valid way of keeping in touch & having a comforting link to home. Continue reading