Last Week in January 2014


Two books came into play this week: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow and David B.’s Epileptic.

  • Flow was my January pick for my book club with John. We alternate months, picking a book and having a dinner date to discuss the book at the end of the month. Next month is our retrospective. Flow was a three (out of five) star book for me over at Goodreads. Although I did not think it was very well-written, the ideas within it have already had an impact on me. (See more in the What I Learned section.)
  • Epileptic is a graphic novel that I picked up a Telegraph a couple weeks ago. It’s a memoir of a younger brother growing up with an older brother with epilepsy in the 60s and 70s in France. Intricate drawings and intense plot. A 5 star book to me.



John and I used our bookclub dinner date as an opportunity to participate in Cville restaurant week at Ten. I very much appreciated that they were able to adjust the restaurant week menu to fit my gluten-free needs.

Not a lot of additional cooking happened this week as I had tons of left overs from the weekend and several lunch dates during the week.


I had two highlights with exercise this week. The first is the Cycle and Barre class at ACAC. I haven’t taken exercise classes since high school and the kind of terrify me because of my fixed mindset. I went into this class not knowing what to expect and came out a convert. An excellent workout lead by a really great instructor (Melissa H, in this case).

The second is that on Friday I ran 6 miles in a hour and it was a dream run. The weather had warmed up so that I could run in long pants and a tshirt, I had the motivation, and my legs had the steam.


One working tip came out of this week: I was gathering feedback from a rather large group for a charter and decide to make a feedback excel sheet. I tracked what the comment was, who made it, and what the resolution was. I liked this for a few reasons: (1) commenters could see that I had gotten their comment and had a plan to respond to it (or that I had missed it!), (2) everyone could see who had actually provided feedback, (3) I had a checklist to run through as I was revising the document.

What I learned

This week, ala Flow, I learned that I like incorporating challenge into my life. Challenge, to me, is a much more motivating concept than “Goal.” A goal seems distant and far off; challenges are immediate and, in addition, playful. My challenge for this week was to attend an exercise class every day. I didn’t actually meet the challenge, but I attended classes 5 out 7 days.

What went well

Exercise! In particular, recognizing that I was nervous about seeming silly or “stupid” when I didn’t know the moves in a class and reminding myself that I am a beginner and that it was OK to not know the moves.

What I can do better

I keep letting food spoil before I can get to it. I’d like to do better about figuring out what my cooking schedule is and buying food to match the schedule.

What puzzles me

The chemistry of my body will always be a puzzle to me. Why I have weeks where everything comes together and why I have weeks where nothing goes right. Both of those states are in my head and things I can manage, but where do they come from and why?

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