The Thirty Day Challenge

I signed up for Cal Newport’s email list and as one of the introductory emails, I received a “Thirty-Day Challenge” to focus solely on one project. Nothing else. I was challenged to limit it to just one project.  Note: I mentioned his books here

It’s an intriguing idea. I decided one of things I’ve long wanted to do was update all of my gardening ebooks. Make sure the formatting is consistent across all the ebooks, get improved covers uploaded and get back to testing them.

For the month of January 2022, that’s what I’ll be doing – upgrading all my ebooks. 

I”m also looking at other projects I can tackle in a 30-day window. 

And I’m only taking on one project at a time.

These are the possible 30-day projects I’m considering. Some may last  longer or be shorter than 30-days – I’ve already decided I can repeat a big project over multiple 30 day periods. But as nothing is carved in stone (not yet anyway – see the left hand column, bottom, for stone carving) I will modify the list as I go. It’s one of my “works in progress.”

my 30-day project board


You’ll see the 30 Days To Fitness is off by itself. That’s a mandatory one I’m not giving myself an option to ignore. 

In months where the number of days isn’t 30, I’ll modify the challenge to the number of days in the month.  I can track directly on a calendar hanging beside the white board (check mark on the days I hit my goals.) 

Bottom Line

I’m rather pleased with this process (for the moment). It allows me to focus on one area at a time and two things spring to mind.

  • I can continue with any given area for more than 30 days – repeating as I wish and
  • If something goes “south” it’s not the end of the world as I’ve only invested 30 days in that project.
  • Having a well-defined focus for a short period means I can relax knowing I can modify anything in the near future.

If you’re interested in following along as I report on this project (and others) click here

A New Year And I Am Reminded

A new year beckons and I am reminded…

A new year beckons and it brings along a raft of new hopes and dreams.

But it also seems to bring a renewed stream of problems. The same problems we’ve had for …

Well, for some time.

I’m surprised how some are so afraid of others being different, they’ll go to any lengths to avoid, stop or eliminate a difference. No matter this difference doesn’t have any impact on their life — some folks feel any difference can’t be tolerated.

I am aware of how many people are afraid of change, of something different that’s coming down the pipe at us. And this fear is harnessed by politicians for their own ends.

I see how in the midst of plenty, folks go to church on Sunday but vote to build a wall on Monday. And I do not understand…

How a media-created problem such as a dandelion on a lawn calls for the general nuking by chemicals that leave a scar on our landscape and bodies.

I’m not surprised the Boomers got old. I am surprised some of us went so far to the political right forgetting what it was like to be young with ideas of forging a new world of love.

I am reminded that Jesus was a Jewish, Syrian refugee.

In Secret From The Covid Hordes

My writing, in all genres, has been much like my fitness activities. All have been done in secret from the Covid hordes. So much secrecy you’d never know it was happening. (hint: it wasn’t)

I’m getting quite good at blaming Covid for a lot of things (like forgetting I’ve already been writing other posts about the damned virus.)

But I Have Questions

Why did I gain weight?

  • I was following the Ice cream covid prevention diet. Don’t laugh, I didn’t get Covid did I?

Why did I start to grow a beard and then shave it off?

  • Covid made me do it (plus there’s a lot more grey in it now)

Why did that crazed driver cut me off almost causing an accident at 70mph?

  • He is a charter member of the Covid hordes car club and needs to drive so fast to get to a bathroom. (I had written something more graphic here but my raised finger will have to suffice for emphasis.)

Why I haven’t I published all the posts I’ve handwritten?

  • I read Covid hides in the spaces between the keys on my keyboard.

And now..,

Double-vaxxed and boosted, I’m struggling to reboot a normal life. And given seniors were in the bulls-eye for this thing (and I’m a senior) I’m a little gun-shy of all y’all.

I pushed my office chair back to the office from its former position blocking the front door from the hordes of Covid zombies I expected to invade at any moment. I’ve plugged the extension cords back in (they were used to power up the defensive alerts) and fired up the laptop (unplugged to prevent it from getting the Covid virus too.)

I’m on the last carton of ice cream and I sense a diet in my near future.

But I’m back, ever so tentatively, and the keyboard still works. We’ll have to see if I do.

What’s clear is I’ve written enough about Covid.

Time to move on. And my diet… sigh.

Stay safe folks. Get those shots and boosters.

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Two Social Media Changes Confirming My Slowing Down

Between Facebook and Youtube, I’m getting the message to retire. I’m just not willing to pander to either of them and this is my problem I admit. I have other options in life and it’s time to move on them.

Facebook Just ‘Improved’ Again

Seriously, what a difference Facebook just made in how I want to use it.

Now, instead of simply clicking a link to take me to my garden-author page or the page for this blog, I have to change to that page identity. Instead of being Doug Green as an administrator of that page, I have to actually change personas to become Doug Greens Gardening. Or Douglas Green author.

This means I can wander Facebook making comments as Doug Greens Garden (a business account).

My business page can ask to be your friend on Facebook.

Frankly, I don’t want business accounts pretending to be individuals on my Facebook account nor do I want my author “business” to do it either.

A business I deal with has no need to see my personal posts other than to improve their advertising efforts (which is likely why Facebook made this change).

And the stats have changed.

And in order to see the stats of each post (did this kind of post help more or less gardeners?) I now have to click on every post (it used to show automatically under the post (readers couldn’t see it but I could.)

It’s just more of a hassle than it’s worth this morning.

Youtube Just Kicked Me Off Their Advertising Platform

Well, I get this one. I haven’t made a new video is quite some time and have been focussed on other creative activities. Apparently I no longer have enough people watching my videos to qualify me to receive a portion of the ads.

Any of these platforms rewards the more recent upload as more valuable than older content.

Given I used to make less than $15/month, it’s neither a problem nor an incentive to make more.

To be clear, Youtube will continue to advertise on my videos, I simply won’t receive a cut of those ads.

And who knows at this time whether I’ll even make more.

Moving Forward

I have a career change plan that’s becoming clearer in my head (you didn’t think I’d retire to sit and watch tv did you?) and I’ll post here when that begins to take shape in the real world.

Thanks for reading this far. It’s an interesting online world out there as the big guys fight for traffic and attention.

You can subscribe for updates here

COVID and Seniors

We’re now COVID boostered and the data about not getting sick (14 days after the shot) is truly encouraging.  We’ll continue wearing masks as I understand we could still pass it along to others and a mask will prevent this.  But when the booster settles in, we can rejoin society.

I’ve been reading how difficult this COVID and seniors interaction is for the elderly after this length of time. And I confess, even though I’m extremely unlikely to catch COVID, I’m apprehensive about it.

The data I’ve read suggests we seniors have been “trained” to avoid people because for the last two years, one infected person could kill us.  And thank you very much, I wanted to avoid that if possible.

I can confirm it’s difficult to think about interacting with a large group of maskless people.

Bottom Line

You’re going to have to be patient with recalcitrant seniors in your life as they slowly get used to not wearing a bulls eye on their chests.


I’ve upped meditations to twice a day and doing some visualizations about being in crowds.

Also, I’ve put myself on a diet (do you know how effective ice cream is at reducing anxiety?) 😉

So this is the new “normal” and it’s time to truly learn to embrace it.  I expect we’ll all be getting a yearly COVID booster just like we get our yearly flu shot.

Welcome to the hyper connected world where an individual halfway round the world is your next door neighbour.


If you can’t beat them, join them

I’m not a massive fan of spending a lot of time with social media – don’t have it on my cell phone or ipad – because I’m weak-willed and if I got a ping saying, “You have new posts” (or whatever they’re using now) I’d be there in a heartbeat.

I’d spend time on social media instead of writing and reading and frankly, I’m a writer not a social media maven so I’ll stick to writing.

But having said that, I know a lot of you are stronger willed than I appear to be and enjoy social media so I’m going to use it as a way to tell you when I post something here.

And yes, I’ve got software to do this for me.

But I want to make it fun for both of us so I’ll be adding different kinds of useful content in different formats.

Stay tuned – here or (now) on Facebook.

But if you’d like to get new posts via email, you can subscribe here.