“30 me mins” – finding time to progress your non-paying goals

Like most people, I have varied interests, and have been lacking the initiative to progress with any of them. Specifically, I want to improve my foreign language skills (German), drumming and begin my next novel. My 2 biggest concerns are lack of motivation, and being able to still give some time to my husband everyday.


As those in the work force know, having a full time job can feel just like that: full time.  After work, errands, chores, family & other commitments, it’s sometimes hard to find the energy for hobbies that don’t pay the bills. Yet it can be those very hobbies that enrich our lives!


To give myself motivation, and to respect the time for my husband, I decided I would try something I call “30 me minutes” – dedicating a short amount of time to these 3 goals. Every week day I will dedicate 30 minutes as follows:


– 10 mins language (German)
– 10 mins drums
– 10 mins writing


The order may change and the exact time may vary. The point is this will allow me to form a healthy habit. And at ten short minutes each, it’s not a daunting task to accomplish every day.


But yet, I’m still skeptical I will be able to keep to this. Will I really have 30 minutes to focus on these things every work day? Well, It’s worth a try! I will record my thoughts each day, and we will see if this truly helps me progress in my hobbies, or if it motivates me right back to lying on the couch, watching Facebook cat videos!

Evil lurks on every page

The Secret History by Donna Tartt is one of the few books I can’t stop thinking about, can’t wait to pick up again, think about calling out sick from work to stay home, on the couch, reading more.

The tone, character development and setting Tartt creates are all wrapped in a constant sense of danger, as if evil was lurking on every page. The whole thing teeters on this:  after a terrible accident occurs, one character makes a treacherous decision, pulling the rest of the group along with him.

Here is my favorite quote that sums up the story so beautifully:

At one time I had liked the idea, that the act, at least, had bound us together; we were not ordinary friends, but friends till-death-do-us-part. This thought had been my only comfort in the aftermath of Bunny’s death. Now it made me sick, knowing there was no way out. I was stuck with them, with all of them, for good.

Other notable quotes:

The more cultivated a person is, the more intelligent, the more repressed, then the more he needs some method of channeling the primitive impulses he’s worked so hard to subdue. Otherwise those powerful old forces will mass and strengthen until they are violent enough to break free, more violent for the delay, often strong enough to sweep the will away entirely.

I suppose there is a certain crucial interval in everyone’s life when character is fixed forever; for me, it was that first fall term I spent at Hampden. So many things remain with me from that time, even now: those preferences in clothes and books and even food—acquired then, and largely, I must admit, in adolescent emulation of the rest of the Greek class—have stayed with me through the years.

It is easy to see things in retrospect. But I was ignorant then of everything but my own happiness, and I don’t know what else to say except that life itself seemed very magical in those days: a web of symbol, coincidence, premonition, omen. Everything, somehow, fit together; some sly and benevolent Providence was revealing itself by degrees and I felt myself trembling on the brink of a fabulous discovery, as though any morning it was all going to come together—my future, my past, the whole of my life—and I was going to sit up in bed like a thunderbolt and say oh! oh! oh!

Sometimes, when there’s been an accident and reality is too sudden and strange to comprehend, the surreal will take over. Action slows to a dreamlike glide, frame by frame; the motion of a hand, a sentence spoken, fills an eternity. Little things—a cricket on a stem, the veined branches on a leaf—are magnified, brought from the background in achingly clear focus.

The idea of living there, of not having to go back ever again to asphalt and shopping malls and modular furniture; of living there with Charles and Camilla and Henry and Francis and maybe even Bunny; of no one marrying or going home or getting a job in a town a thousand miles away or doing any of the traitorous things friends do after college; of everything remaining exactly as it was, that instant—the idea was so truly heavenly that I’m not sure I thought, even then, it could ever really happen, but I like to believe I did.

Monstrous as it was, the corpse itself seemed little more than a prop, something brought out in the dark by stagehands and laid at Henry’s feet, to be discovered when the lights came up; the picture of it, staring and dumb in all its gore, never failed to provoke an anxious little frisson but still it seemed relatively harmless compared to the very real and persistent menace which I now saw that Bunny presented.

If he had his wits about him Bunny surely would keep his mouth shut; but now, with his subconscious mind knocked loose from its perch and flapping in the hollow corridors of his skull as erratically as a bat, there was no way to be sure of anything he might do.

To compound this—all these unpleasant recollections to the contrary—so much remained of the old Bunny, the one I knew and loved. Sometimes when I saw him at a distance—fists in pockets, whistling, bobbing along with his springy old walk—I would have a strong pang of affection mixed with regret. I forgave him, a hundred times over, and never on the basis of anything more than this: a look, a gesture, a certain tilt of his head.

Any action, in the fullness of time, sinks to nothingness.

Hampden College, as a body, was always strangely prone to hysteria. Whether from isolation, malice, or simple boredom, people there were far more credulous and excitable than educated people are generally believed to be, and this hermetic, overheated atmosphere made it a thriving black petrie dish of melodrama and distortion.

Whatever else one may say about guilt, it certainly lends one diabolical powers of invention; and I spent two or three of the worst nights I had, then or ever, lying awake drunk with a horrible taste of tequila in my mouth and worrying about clothing filaments, fingerprints, strands of hair.

“There is nothing wrong with the love of Beauty. But Beauty—unless she is wed to something more meaningful—is always superficial. It is not that your Julian chooses solely to concentrate on certain, exalted things; it is that he chooses to ignore others equally as important.”