I’m teaching myself how to use my new graphics tablet by putting twenty minutes of tablet time on my goal list for every day. Most of the time, I forget even though it’s on my list of goals. I need to link it to a habit I have — in Tiny Habits construction, “After I X, I will spend twenty minutes practicing with the graphics tablet,” but I haven’t figured out what the X is yet. It’s supposed to be a X that is logically consistent, so it ought to be something like “After I have finished writing for the day, I will… ” Unsurprisingly, though, after I have finished writing for the day, I don’t really want to spend another twenty minutes on the computer. I want to get up and walk around and have a snack and talk to the chickens. But I am enjoying it when I remember it, so I’m hoping that enjoyment turns into remembering to do it.

I’m also reframing my mental attitude from “playing” to “practicing.” Playing implies that it’s trivial; practicing reminds me that it’s a goal, that it’s something I want to develop my skill at. But the above graphic is yesterday’s twenty minutes (maybe closer to 45 before I was done), posted so someday I can look back at it and smile. Hopefully smiling with, “Wow, I’m so much better now” and not with the wistful, “Oh, yeah, I remember when I wanted to learn to do that.”

I’m also starting to look at maps and campground apps. Two weeks from now or so, I’ll be on the road again, making my way across the country. I haven’t made any decisions about how long I’m going to be on the move or how I’m going to drive. My last cross-country drive was in the north, through Montana and Minnesota, but I’m early enough this year that I’m going to stick to the south. But I might zoom through the east to Texas, then slow down and enjoy the wildflowers for a while. I don’t need to be in a hurry, even though I’m looking forward to getting back to Arcata and taking Z to the beach.

It might be a weird time to travel, though. Last night, I couldn’t fall asleep. My throat hurt, my nose was running, and I wondered whether I was coming down with something. I reassured myself that it couldn’t possibly be the corona virus and then remembered that two of the people I’ve been spending time with flew through international airports within the past month. Plus, they’ve visited Disney and Universal Studios. They could totally have brought me some germs. Of course, it’s far more likely that I’m having a gluten-reaction. But I really don’t want to become a disease vector: graphic designer, yes. Disease vector, no.