22 in 22: Artefacts, Geekery and Flawed Humanity

Here I go! Gotta keep talking through the progress I hope to see this year and imagining how I am going to make it happen, or else this year is just going to slither on by and I won’t have seen it happen!

Gretchen Rubin, the author who got me thinking that there might be progress that could be made on things like “happiness” and “satisfaction”, suggested trying a broader set of goals for the year. This would stand opposed to my overarching theme for 2021, which was “Buy No Clothes.”

Broad can be good. I’m looking forward to broad! I wrote about the first three on the list here, and the whole list is here.

#4 Keep the Homestuff up-to-date

A snoozefest, right out of the starting blocks. We have a binder at home in which I write down important things, like, “boys’ current shoe size”, and “what time we need to leave when for what” I keep stamps in it, and the bus schedules and emergency phone numbers.

It also includes things like the process for things we don’t do very often and that I always forget how to do, and any important info I need to accomplish it.

Likewise, every single year when it comes time to do our USA taxes I forget the process of all the extra hoops we have to jump through because we live in France, and it makes me crazy (I wrote a whole article dedicated to helping me and people like me get their taxes done. It boils down to “start early.”)

I want to gather up all the info and keep it in one very safe place so that each year I don’t have to panic at the thought of finding it all again. (I’ll still panic, of course. But all the stuff will be in one place. It’s all about taking care of future me.) I just have to make sure I remember where that very safe place is.

This is one of those cases where I am tired of saying “I should really do this.” I just want to do it.

#5 Read my Bible everyday

I do this, usually. But this year, I am adding a new level of complexity. Lately, I have been reading my Bible on my tablet. I do not love this. However, my early morning time happens in the dark, so I don’t wake anyone in our tiny apartment. So having it on my tablet has made it possible to read in the dark.

I miss my real Bible. I miss knowing instinctively what page and what column a favorite passage was in, and having to flip through the pages to find it…always happening upon a handwritten note scrawled in the margin with a date and a name that reminds me of something special from the last 20 years or so.

To rectify this, I am going to do both! Do my regular reading on the tablet, with my reading plan, and then set aside some time when I can just sit with my Bible, the paper one, and read. Not as part of a “I need to do my daily reading,” but as a way to savor my Bible: As a way to remember the exploits of the past, the hopes of the past, the tragedies of the past. Of my own past, I’m talking here, because my Bible was what walked me through them. My own story is written on every page, too.

I want to remember what God has done for me…I’m tired of forgetting things and feeling like I’m starting over from scratch. That feeling has only existed since I stopped holding the artefact in my hand.

#6 Dashboard for creative projects

Hahaha!! Now we’re off to the races! A retroplanning, anyone? Just last night I was saying to my sister…”I’m lost. I need help!” , because without vision, the people perish. Right?

There is flow, that mysterious, mystical state of being creative and the actual act of creating. This is one thing (quite possibly one of my favorite things…)

But once there is work product and something needs to be done to get that out into the world, well, then I need some vision–a creative cannot live on creativity alone. And as I was talking to my sister last night, I realized that I needed a retroplanning. (Also: quite possibly one of my favorite things, right there next to a good, solid, extremely intricate Venn Diagram.)

Likewise, I have made no secret of the fact that I am a numbers nerd. I love to track progress, study trends…I need to create a dashboard to follow along with these figures as they relate to my status as future podcasting royalty. Naturally, I have no idea what they all mean right now, but having them will be important.

#7 Don’t Look Down: find a literary agent

It is not because I have a new toy–my podcast, that is–that I will allow myself to stop looking for that one literary agent who will catch my vision for the series of novels that I have written, am writing and will be writing. I want to believe that the stories of flawed humanity they contain, the conflicted relationships at the core of those stories, will resonate with the reader.

The central theme of the series, seven books in all, is “don’t look down.” Do not give up.

It’s time I took a page outta my own book.


The first reviews for Sing With Your Feet, the podcast everyone is talking about (uhmmm…well, everyone in my house is talking about) are in! Apparently, it isn’t a snoozefest. Please give it a listen!

Episode 32: Environment and Ecology Sing With Your Feet

Talking Points: “Not on my Green Parenting Bingo Card,” LiElla is back!; Geeking out and going out green. Episode 32 is part of our series on the Ideal Life Categories, this week's theme being "Environment and Ecology." The series began back in Episode 15: The One About Our Bodies, in case you want to get caught up! Links: Learn more about LiElla Kelly, Death Doula, on her website and blog, Leaving Well…The Blog. or on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/leaving.well.death.doula/ or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=leaving%20well%20end-of-life%20planning You can contact Lily by email: lily@lilyfieldschallenge.com, or find her other work here: https://linktr.ee/lilyfieldschallenge
  1. Episode 32: Environment and Ecology
  2. Episode 31: Mental Health
  3. Episode 30: Contentment
  4. Episode 29: Commitments
  5. Episode 28: Lucidly Ever After

Published by Lily Fields

I am passionate about contentment. This is a challenge, because I am equally passionate about progress. I get up at 4:00AM to chip away at a solution to this monolithic problem: how to make progress on my contentment. Born and raised in the USA, I married a French philosophy teacher in 1999. We have lived in France since 2007. We stayed young and carefree until life threw us two curveballs in the form of little humans one after another in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Now I am a slightly older, slightly more exhausted version of myself, but with mystery stains on my walls and a never-ending pile of laundry.

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