Weekly report #004 – Ruled by languages…

…at least my schedule is

Overall, this was a very satisfying week – a little stressful, sometimes exhausting, but productive nonetheless. I got my TV “addiction” under control, seem to have replaced it with a language addiction – although, let be honest, it was already here – and met interesting people while discovering my new workplace. I also designed a new schedule that – as this report confirmed – happened to be in line with all my “scheduling needs”. Now, if only I could get up earlier!

Health

Sleep

Time of tracker activation: between 01:27 am and 05:53 am – 03:00 am on average
Time of tracker deactivation: between 09:31 am and 12:33 pm – 10:52 am on average
Time spent in bed: between 6h40 and 9h19 – 7h51 on average
Time spent sleeping: between 2h56 and 5h33 – 4h01 on average

I slept pretty bad this week, to the point that it is my worst week so far in terms of average time spent sleeping. At this point, I am willing to experiment, so if my body doesn’t feel the need to send me to bed earlier, I will force it to reconsider. As I am typing this, it is actually 7 am, I stayed up all night and intend to stay up until at least 9 pm. Fourteen hours to go!

Diet

Meals eaten: 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners, 4 snacks.
Meals skipped: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner.

I invited my partner to his favourite restaurant one evening to celebrate the fact that he still wasn’t leaving as planned and we had sushi the day he got paid. The rest of the week, my meals weren’t extremely varied – I made enough lentils soup and pasta with salmon for three meals each.

Ingredients:
Most eaten/drunk: white bread / butter (6), garlic (5), chocolate and nuts spread (4)
New ingredients: five spices, coco milk, lentils, onion, coffee
Most increased consumption: butter (+5)
Most reduced consumption: orange juice / button mushroom (-3)

Types of ingredients:
Most eaten/drunk: condiments (15), dairy products (14), vegetables / sugary (9)
New types of ingredients: none
Most increased consumption: condiments (+11)
Most reduced consumption: cereals (-4), sugary / fungi (-3)

Dishes:
Favourite meal: kai med mamuang at the restaurant
Healthiest meal (?): lentils soup with a thousand spices
Least favourite meal: tomato and button mushroom
Unhealthiest meal: crisps

Exercising

Total steps this week: 15,262
Average: 2,180.3 steps per day
Best day: Thursday with 5,079 steps
Days I reached my 5,000-step goal: 1
Days I almost reached it (4,000+): 1
Days I wasn’t even close (1,000-): 3

I didn’t exercise this week, but I made a decision that should get me to reach my 5,000-step goal at least five times a week. And there is no way I am going to spend the weekend inside – I need to get out and walk to get tired and fall asleep earlier!

Weight

Weight change: unsure (unreliable scales)
Weight loss goal: -23 kg

Mental and physical states

Mental state: 0 awesome, 4 happy, 1 OK, 0 sad
Positive factors: entertained / working / languages / time with partner (1)
Negative factors: loneliness (1)

Physical state: 0 awesome, 0 good, 5 OK, 0 bad
Positive factors: none
Negative factors: temperature / bad sleep / late hour (1)

Leisure

Social life

Total friends I interacted with in person: 8
Days I spent time with friends: 1
Total friends I interacted with on Skype: 6
Days I skyped with friends: 5

Maybe the word “friends” is a bit strong as I was meeting the 8 people I mentioned for the first time, but we had friendly conversations, so this should qualify. I didn’t mean to only count my friends, but rather any person with whom I have meaningful interactions – so no, cashiers don’t count.

Entertainment

Time spent watching series/films: 11.5 hours
Time spent browsing the web/blogging: 23 hours
Time spent reading on paper: 1.15 hours

I downloaded a wonderful app called aTimeLogger and have been using it all week to log all sorts of activities, which means I will now be able to monitor the time I spend on my computer. The number above only covers the time spent relaxing, reading, blogging, sending e-mails, checking social media, etc. and not time spent working or practising languages.

I made conscious efforts to watch less series and cut my TV consumption in half since last week. My goal was to reduce it to 14 hours per week and I am proud to have achieved it. Well, “pride” is a bit strong for something like that, but I really needed to get this under control.

Language learning

German: 7h55 spent
Speaking: 6h17 in 3 Skype calls
Listening: –
Reading: 2,937 words
Writing: 482 words
Translating: 352 words
Vocabulary: –

One of my usual partners decided to put our conversations on hold while he takes some time to reflect on personal matters, but I had my first conversation with a new partner and spoke for over three hours so I won’t complain. My new partner has an unusual German accent due to his Scottish roots but this wasn’t an issue when we spoke. It went well but I am not sure when we will get to speak again as he is in the process of moving to France.

Spanish: 7h24 spent
Speaking: 2h35 in 4 Skype calls
Listening: 37.5mn
Reading: 1,420 words
Writing: 193 words
Translating: –
Vocabulary: –

In addition to my usual German-French-Spanish-English friends, I spoke for the first time with three new language partners – two Spaniards and a Venezuelan. The conversation with the Spanish man went rather well, he spoke very good French and was very talkative, to the point that I wondered if he wouldn’t enjoy recording monologues more than pretending to have a conversation.

The call with the Venezuelan was extremely difficult because of his accent and how fast he spoke as well as how tired I was. He hadn’t showed up for our appointment and convinced me to call him “for 10 minutes” – actually over an hour – after 11 pm and I had to ask him three times to switch to English so I could rest a little.

The Spanish woman had a clear accent and slowed down her speech so I could understand her. Unfortunately, there were interferences so she couldn’t hear me very well and I could hear myself in my speakers through hers or something like that. These issues combined with my “not so good” experience the night before made me shy or at least ill at ease and I wasn’t able to contribute much to the conversation.

Finally, I started watching The Legend of Korra in Spanish without subtitles; I already watched it in English and German so I don’t get lost easily. I also watched a few YouTube videos in Spanish and listened to Spanish and South American music all night to keep me awake and energised. Now I need to decided which song to learn first!

Others:
Japanese, ASL: only vocabulary reviews.

So last week I managed to nearly double the amount of time dedicated to German and Spanish . This week, I was surprised to find out that I had reached the exact same number of 15h19 divided only slightly differently than last week. I cannot emphasise enough how happy this makes me!

Work

Actual work

I still got no assignments but took small steps in the right direction: I proofread a short text translated by one of my language partners, translated another, worked on my website, and formatted a document that I will start translating next week with two goals in mind: 1) adding a piece to my portfolio, and 2) sharing an interesting resource with French readers who would never read it in English.

Marketing / Job hunt

Following a decision I had made two months ago, I subscribed to a local coworking space, where I intend to spend a few hours every afternoon, and attended an informal event held there this week. I was welcomed into a small community of entrepreneurs – all freelancers or startuppers – by nice and interesting people who had been working there for a while and some who had just joined as well.

One member thought the company she works for could use my services and asked for my card to pass it on to her boss even though she wasn’t sure that the company would keep her. Another offered to reintroduce me to a potential client I would really like to work with. Yet another assured me that my services could be useful in this community and recommended some ways I could develop my business – or start a new one.

Some of those people I could work with, be friends with, or maybe both, but I definitely see myself sharing this space with them. I may have found something I had been looking for for a while – a group of people about my age that motivate, help, and enrich each other for the common good rather than their own interest. A community that yearns not merely to acquire knowledge but also to share and expand it.

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