Are you progressing or are you stagnant? Are you consciously striving for growth? Are you neglecting important areas of life? Do you have a daily time devoted to personal development?
These are the questions I asked myself before I made up my mind to institute “monthly challenges” last month. August’s monthly challenge was to read two books (one fiction, one nonfiction), to exercise 2x a week, and to begin studying formal logic.
My books were The Left Hand of Darkness (science fiction) and The Well-Trained Mind (popular guide book to homeschooling). I finished both, though I wouldn’t recommend reading The Well-Trained Mind straight-through, unless you desperately want to learn how to go back and fill in all the gaps in your education and you are stubborn as a mule. The Left Hand of Darkness was fabulous and did not disappoint, after all Ursula K Le Guin is a wonderful science fiction/fantasy author. The Well-Trained Mind added more ideas to think about when I have my own children and am considering schooling, it also provided an incomplete, but good list of “Great Books”. Which is why my fiction book for September is The Illiad (full disclosure: I finished my August books early so I’m in Book 12 of Homer (roughly halfway through)). I’m loving the translation by Richard Lattimore and would wholly recommend it to anyone searching for a readable version.
Exercise goal= check.
I began studying formal logic by getting a traditional logic meant for 7-8th graders. This week I’m starting Chapter 2 and will finish the first book in six months. More on this later.
So, for September let’s Level Up! I chose a harder fiction book (though it’s surprisingly easy, the beauty of a good translation). My nonfiction will be Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. It’s a popular finance book that my fiance read and loved. I’ve avoided finance like the plague, so I figured this was an easy way to dip my toes into the subject of money. On the exercise front I’m shooting for five times/ week. The study of logic will continue, with focus on not skipping any weekdays.
I plan to do spend my lunch hour getting the reading done, 10 pages a day in both would allow me to finish them. I’m going to try to get a 15 minute exercise in before I go to work, but on days I don’t I’ll do it after work before supper. Logic will be done in ~30 minutes before bed.
That’s my plan on how to “level up” this month. Do you have one?
Your wit was a muscle
You so shyly flexed
But I burned it out
In search of the benefits
I would supply mediocre words
In exchange for your symphony
An unfair trade at its very core
Happy to share the melody
If I ever found you narcissistic
It’s because I didn’t know the meaning
Standing in the presence of an unknown genius
An unforgiven misunderstanding
First time I’ve sat down in awhile.
How Cool is This!!?
Super cool, if you ask me.
A system is a portion of the universe
Vague and useless
Honest, that’s the definition that I had heard
If a fraction of the cosmos is a system
Could I be one
Disordered me, surely the cause of a schism
To be necessary to a whole, that’s absurd!
It’s just that’s what I was told by a little bird
Photo by Vincent Laforet
This city is on fire
No longer a city of life
Shriveled land with molten cracks
Waiting to erupt again
Morphs into chancy
Such close proximity
You’ll have hours to talk
If you catch their eyes
The lights have dimmed
The sides have fallen in love
Swooning over me
I learned I was claustrophobic
Right before I died
Are we all philosophers or is that a justification?
Affirmations caught in the breeze
Do we walk to forget a memory or to cement one?
We’ve all experienced a pure intention
The substandard result of
Jumping the gun
Do we go to the park to feel young or to validate that we’re not?
Midlife crisis in the simplicity of oscillation
A war well-fought
Do we write to commit a sin or to pardon?
Bestowing unrighteous benedictions
Either way I’m guilty
Disgraced by my own thoughts
It’s been three years since I said I could marry you
Over two since I realized I could never
You see demons that aren’t there
They are yourself
You believe you are wicked’s evil tongue
The right-hand of Satan
The human embodiment of Beelzebub
You are the systemic persecution of innocent people
You must tear it down
An oppressive rule you must dismantle
I’d dedicated my life
But each and every time
The only evil you did
Was not realizing it was in your mind
Spinning figurine of glass
I’m a butterfly turned ballerina
Months, maybe years, have passed
Circles- I just keep twirling
Unchecked I’ll fall-break
Lovely shards of ice
All over your lovely disposition
Damage worsens with time
I’m not a bomb, I’m acid corrosion
Gnawing at your mind, eroding your heart
Appearances- no one had foreseen
My cyclical toy life of self-ruin
Love-lean emotional abandonment
And this hazy time of already spent.