Here is my monthly report on projects, goals, and the lessons I learned along the way.
My 2021 Goals
545,684/1,000,000 words for kids (A part of my #1millionwordsforkids goal) (+2,501 words)
722/1,000 Resources (Videos/Worksheets) for Members of The Religion Teacher (+11 resources)
39/24 Books Read (+3 books including Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie, Exit Strategy by Martha Wells, and Hatchet by Gary Paulsen)
38/73 Books of the Bible read from beginning to end (+1 book read)
78/100 30-minute workouts (+6 workouts)
How I Spent My Time in October 2021
- 16:06 – The Religion Teacher Email & Customer Service
- 9:28 – Technical Support: Membership Website Down
- 8:48 – The Religion Teacher Membership Re-Launch & Shipping Books
- 5:51 – Morning Preview
- 4:19 – Daily Review
- 4:01 – The Religion Teacher Saint Worksheets
- 3:05 – Advent with the Angels: A Daily Devotional for Kids
- 3:00 – Weekly Review
- 2:38 – The Religion Teacher’s Prayer Worksheets
- 2:10 – The Religion Teacher Newsletter
- 2:03 – 15-Minute Stations of the Cross for Kids
Total Time: 72:59 Hours
October 2021 Highlights & Lessons Learned
Wow, what a month of surprises.
I’ve been calling it “Ocovidtober.”
One of my daughters complained of some strange neck pain at the beginning of the month then developed a fever. We didn’t think much of it, but she couldn’t go to school with a fever until she had a COVID test and neither could her sisters.
To our surprise, she tested positive for COVID-19 and a domino effect ensued: first my wife (fully vaccinated) developed symptoms followed by a brief fever by another one of our kids. Three positive tests in total. COVID quarantine is tough on big families. We isolated the sick from the healthy and managed to keep four out of the seven of us COVID-free including our son who concerned us the most. He already spent a night in the hospital with pneumonia once and we didn’t want to go through that again. Even tough he has antibodies from the breast milk of my wife Jen’s vaccine, we didn’t want to take chances. After all, Jen got COVID despite the vaccine.
During Jen’s ten-day isolation, I was on dad duty 24/7. It was truly all 24 hours getting up with a baby throughout the night. Thank goodness for zoom and FaceTime and the ability to see everyone’s faces throughout the day.
We made it through and after three weeks our last daughter was able to return to school from contract tracing. In mid-October we had them all dropped off for only the third time since the school year began.
I returned to work on a Monday after all of our isolation and quarantining with a long list of things to do.
Most people aren’t excited about Mondays. I love Mondays. I love my work.
But all those visions of a productive week quickly vanished.
Murphy’s Law states:
“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”
My membership website–the one I had been relaunching–suddenly crashed while I was adding some new resources.
Almost ten hours of tech support phone calls and online chats later, the site was back up and running, but still very slow.
In the end, it might have been the nudge I needed to upgrade to a better hosting platform. If I can save my time, increase website performance, and eliminate these outages, then it will be well worth the extra money to upgrade.
Advent with the Angels
In July’s project report, I mentioned I was working on an Advent devotional book for kids. Last month I continued to work with an editor on the text and a book designer on the cover. With COVID and the website outage, I was behind and sadly the book launch will run right up against the first week of Advent.
I’m disappointed the book won’t be ready ahead of time for families and schools to order at the beginning of November, but I’m glad to at least publish one new book in 2021. It’s been an unproductive year, but I’m glad to have something new to show for it.