Tiny Steps: The Power of Review and Conscious Entry

This week I was fully back into the flow of things. And even though I knew there were surely a million emails all with people needing things immediately, I started the week with a two-hour review session.

It was SO HARD not to check my work email.

But I had decided that spending time reviewing and practicing conscious entry (thanks, Havi for the concept!)  for the week would make a difference. I told my very anxious brain the time spent in review is really time spent on the projects, because they’ll go faster and easier.

It’s probably an oddness of mine, but I don’t like to process things while I’m deciding what to process. I’d rather make a plan, then when I’m not in the planning state of mind go through the exercise, and if it needs to be adjusted make notes for the next time.

Over the weekend I took time to make a series of questions to make the process easier.  How did the last week go, what’s coming up in the next week, what can I do now to make the next week easier, what am I forgetting – that sort of thing.

And on Monday, I just went through the sheets, cleared my head, closed out the last week and got ready for this one.

It worked. It worked SO well. 

My original plan after the review session was to spend the day just working down the list, aiming to get at least half the emails processed, even if it was just a little bit.

I ended up getting all but two handled – maybe not fully done, but at least back in someone else’s court. And some extra tax-time bookkeeping as a bonus project!

Now, this could have been sheer, coincidence. But I don’t think so.  As part of the review I looked a little at my notes from this time last year. I just want to hug me from then. I was SO stressed and worried about everything.

Too many things, and not enough boundaries.

I’m overjoyed that this year is different! 

Tiny steps I took this week:

  • I created what I think is a reasonable posting schedule.
  • I’ve been experimenting with morning and evening routines, and not worrying too much when they don’t work out.
  • I had a FABULOUS weekly review session, which ended up leaving me totally excited for the coming week.
  • I’ve been experimenting with ads for The Missing Piece, and seem to be on the right track – go go testing of hypothesis!
  • Many little things got done, which were all pressing on my head uncomfortably!
  • A few more yoga nights – who knew?

What are your tiny steps for the week?

Explorer’s Log #6:

In which we record the adventures and celebrations, both great and small, of the previous week.

Having a holiday in the middle of the week meant I kept being lost as to what day it was – but I’m not complaining! On Wednesday when the university was closed we took the jeep out to the end of a road we’d started exploring a couple years ago, found a wonderful little church that we’ll have to go back and photograph, and then found an entirely new road. And didn’t get lost!

Because of fire and drought, fireworks were super restricted this year, which the malamute appreciated. She’s not entirely happy about thunder, and fireworks are right out. So it was a quiet dinner on the grill of turkey burgers with basil from the yard and corn on the cob – which really just needs to be a summer staple in this house!

And we finished our free time by finally looking at photos from trips from weeks ago – its been that busy.  I’d forgotten how much fun I’d had taking pictures of dawn clouds reflected in the lake we camped at.

We finally got a little rain – hopefully it will be enough to keep our local CSA going. Not just because we love the fresh veggies, but because we really like the family that runs it. I know farming is hard everywhere, but out here – I just can’t imagine it.

The weekend felt like it snuck up on us – only two days in the office, then back out!  A bit of a whirlwind between a feral cat trap neuter release clinic (88 cats sterilized!), Sean’s dad’s birthday, and heading to Santa Fe to see this week’s offering from the Studio Ghibli festival. I’d never seen Princess Mononoke in the theater before. Very much wow!


And somehow in all of that Sean decided it was time to learn two new pieces on the mandolin, and start composing. Because he’s a nut. But now I’m glancing over at the dulcimer… as soon as things slow down, it’s time for me to start practicing my Christmas carols. Because yes, I’m that slow.

What adventures did you have this week? Large or small, we’d love to hear them!

Explorers’ Log #5 – Depletion and Renewal

The need to spend the last few weeks recovering from the music fest and the gala and graduation was overshadowed by the need to be at full speed on the next event, Tux and Tails. This is the fundraiser for our local animal charity, and helps get us through those times that grants don’t come in.

In short, there’s a fair amount of pressure. And we’re exhausted. We’ve been talking about taking breaks, doing more fun things. Branching out into different, exciting projects…but by the time we actually have time to do anything more than talk, we’re out of juice.

Completely depleted and drained.

Part of the problem is that we’ve over-estimated our capacity. Part is that we feel like we have no choice other than to just slog on. Between work things and other commitments we care about, we’ve gotten stuck in the trap of endless lists and deadlines. And once you’re there, it’s hard to climb out.

So, we’re starting put more emphasis on our rest periods. On stopping work. Figuring out what things make the most impact, cranking them out, and then being done. Moving on with the rest of our lives.

To that effect, this we had two lovely dinners on the patio. I found sheet music to our wedding song and have been mangling it one bar at a time. We signed up for a summer festival of movies and a folk music festival later in the summer. We might even start going to dance classes.

We’re a long way from recharged. But I’m beginning to hope that we will be, and to believe it.


Explorer’s Logbook #4: Flowers! And Cowboys! Spring in New Mexico.

 In which we record the adventures and celebrations, both great and small, of the previous week.

Life is good when you can have a work meeting with a cowboy. Let me explain: The university’s mascot is the Cowboys, so we though it would be fun to have a Cowboy Code – core values for the students that could encourage a culture of responsibility, philanthropy, etc. Last year the brilliant cowboy author Slim Randles spoke at commencement, and his speech resonated so much with what we’d been thinking that we knew we had to get him involved. Luckily one of our co-workers is a friend of Slim, so we all had lunch in Albuquerque and started hatching our plan.

Went to the biopark! We had time after our work appointments in Albuquerque to go to one of my favorite places ever – the Biopark. Favorite enough that even though we live two hours away, we still have memberships, so we can drop in whenever we get a chance. Somehow, those changes seem to be mostly in the dead of winter, or the blazing summer, but this time we got to see all the bulbs coming up, and wonderful blooming trees, and all sorts of loveliness!

Mysterious book sales. Not that I’m arguing, but we’ve seen a decided up tick in our short travel guide, 28 Great Things to Do in Santa Fe. The book was originally meant as a learning experience in formatting while I was working on my first YA book. Oddly enough, it’s been just as successful as the fiction books. Part of me wants to know what’s going on, so I can figure out a plan for the other books, but I think its for the best just to relax and be pleasantly bemused.

Well behaved dogs! Well, comparatively. We had a wonderful trainer come by on Monday night to give us pointers, and crazily enough, in just a week of doing part of what she suggested, we’re already seeing a difference in their behavior. Looking forward to adding more of her techniques in.

Pansys gone wild. I mean really. Look at these things. It may not seem like much, but a) these are from last spring! And b) they’re blooming in our yard!


 What adventures did you have this week? Large or small, we’d love to hear them!


Explorer’s Logbook #3: Pizza time!

In which we record the adventures and celebrations, both great and small, of the previous week.

The university was closed this Friday and old friends came down from Wyoming for Saturday dinner – well, not coming down just for dinner, they were driving to El Paso and our house was a reasonable halfway stop.

So Friday we hit Santa Fe for pizza making fixings and since it was such a lovely day, took a short walk on the path at Museum Hill. We’d noticed the path on the last trip, but the weather was far too blustery to check it out. It was a shorter path than we thought, but took us to the Spanish Colonial Museum, which we hadn’t visited before, so that was very cool. The featured exhibit was on the Civilian Conservation Corps sponsored woodcrafting at the Bandelier Monument Visitors Lodge.  Amazing work, and they even had a bench Sean remembered from childhood trips to Bandelier.

On the walk back we checked out an odd little building we’d seen any number of times, but never up close. The size and shape looked a little like a peculiarly situated crypt, but it turns out to be a scale replica of a flour mill. For unknown reasons.


Saturday was a solid spring-cleaning of the house – more of an adventure than it should have been, but it’s good to have it done. Then an evening of homemade pizza, good conversation, and bailey’s espresso chocolate chip cookies.

Other bits of happiness for the week included:

  • The planning for a new travel book – more on that soon.
  • Buds on the tulips in the back, and leaves on the lavender bush.
  • A new black bow tie for the Tux and Tails fundraiser later this summer.


What adventures did you have this week? Large or small, we’d love to hear them!

Explorer’s Logbook #2 : A Week of Music and Writing

In which we record the adventures and celebrations, both great and small, of the previous week.

It was a good and very full week!

  • Sasha, a stray husky who our entire street worked together to find a home for, was adopted by her foster family!

Sasha in the wild... now in a home!

  • It was a clinic weekend, so very early mornings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And almost 100 animals will live their own lives, without adding to the over population problem of Las Vegas. At clinic Sean found a lovely little malamute puppy that did NOT want to be there, but quieted down with some extra attention.
  • Sean wrote a new song on the guitar, and decided to learn the Moonlight Sonata for his piano final. Probably a better choice than the Shastokovich piece he’d originally selected.
  • Corie worked on revising her YA science fiction novel, and figured a potential way to solve a roadblock that’s been given her problems for several months.
  • Sean’s weeklyish string jam had an evening celebrating the music of Earl Scruggs, and preparing for the big yearly shindig.
  • And due to Sean’s hard work, we have more roses in the front yard, as well as phlox and pansies. Hooray for spring!

What adventures did you have this week? Large or small, we’d love to hear them!

Explorer’s Logbook #1 – Come play with us!

In which we record the adventures and celebrations, both great and small, of the previous week.

  •  Fuzzy, the oldest and wiliest of our porch cats, seems to have survived another winter! One day I’ll get him trapped and to the vet… but he’s smart enough to know what the trap is and waits for a less wary cat to spring it. Ah well.
  •  We had snow on Tuesday. Which wouldn’t have been so terrible if 1) the previous weekend hadn’t been so warm, 2) we hadn’t just put down roses and 3) it was the first day of spring! I’m so very ready for my daffodils.
  •  Sean’s music festival found a new partner. Technically, it’s not just his festival, but he’s very attached to it.

Lots and lots of driving on Saturday!


  • Long adventure day on Saturday! Down to Santa Fe for an opening at the State art museum, then on to Albuquerque for pad thai and a Chocolate and Coffee festival with lots of our favorite local shops – Windmill Dairy and Black Mesa Winery and Kakewa Chocolate house. Then up the Turquoise Trail with the top down on the car, and on to Penasco and Sugar nymphs for an out of this world dinner topped off with a brownie/brown sugar parfait. All so good, and so rich, that by the end we were defeated, and had to share it!

Moon rise outside of Sugar Nymphs

  •  Sunday Jazz at the art council. A fun hour of everything from bassonova to Monk, played by friends, and a pretty good turn out (including a dog).

 What adventures did you have this week? Large or small, we’d love to hear them!

We talk about a lot of things here…

Being gentle with ourselves, and the importance of small adjustments towards alignment.

Experiments in happiness and what does adventure mean, anyway?

What can happen when you say "Yes" and what might be waiting outside your front door.

And of course, why pretending to be a pterodactyl is good business.


Sound like your kind of place?

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