Week 18: Notebooks, Notifications and Nails in my Coffin

This year, I set myself 22 little goals to pursue throughout the year. I call them the 22 in 22. They may all seem a bit random, but they were important to me at the time I made my New Year’s Resolution. Each Saturday, I take a few minutes to check my progress on a few of my goals.

#12 Set aside “unplugged” hours of the day

This became suddenly much easier when I started “Engineering my Summer” (I haven’t shared this project with you yet, but don’t worry. Details are forthcoming!)

Remember last year, when I set up a series of small projects to make progress in my Ideal Life, projects that were to last through the summer?

Well, this year I have a few ideas for my summer, and one of them is one part research project, one part creative binge, one part content creation in two languages.

To get the ball rolling on this project, I took a nearly blank notebook and filled every single page with a theme for this project (there are 101 themes!) and have taken to, with great pleasure and delight, making notes in the notebook on each of the themes, making connections between them, cross-referencing them…

At this juncture in the project, in what I like to call the “fireworks phase,” I can’t think of an electronic way that would be more efficient than the good old-fashioned notebook. What I love about this is that when I get lost in my project, I am doing it in an absolutely 100% unplugged way.

#8 Learn strategies to mitigate the dopamine loop re: creative endeavors

One fantastic way to stop living for the “little red dot” on social media, that is, the little red dot that indicates that we have notifications, is to remove all notifications. Sure, you don’t know if anyone is engaging with what you put out there, but at least you aren’t disappointed that there isn’t more engagement.

Or, alternatively, you can have so many different projects going on at once that you simply can’t keep up anymore with the notifications.

Somewhere between the two there is a sweetspot. I have yet to find it.

Notifications are critical for building engagement, and engagement is critically important, so as not to just be putting content out there for my own pleasure. But on the other hand, the content I am creating must first and foremost come from my heart for it to be of any value (to me), and that value does not come from engagement. It comes from whatever the creative force and energy is that is living in me

When you have a bunch of irons in the fire…finding the sweetspot can be a challenge. Balancing engagement and creative impetus is so important, and right now I am erring on the side of creativity.

#4 Complete and update our home binder info

As I mentioned earlier this week, I recently attended my first Death Café. Listening to the other participants in the conversation talk about telling someone “Where all the passwords are” got me thinking that…well, I know where my stuff is, but would anyone else know where to look?

The home binder is not where we keep passwords. (Just in case someone was going to come snooping around.) But I feel like at some point, I might need to at least put in the home binder some kind of clue as to where to find them.

And then…seriously. If anything happened to me, is there anyone…like…any of my internet stranger friends that I would want to have notified? I mean, IRL friends would be easy. But there are people precious to my heart that I would want to know, too.

Or maybe that is just the nature of the beast…people just disappear off the face of the earth and that’s it.

In any case, I think that the answer to the question, “What would I want done with my body should anything happen to me?” belongs in the home binder. I want to get a first, very impermanent draft of my thoughts on the subject into the home binder. Just in case.

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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