I brought a printout of this chapter to a Pittsburgh Cartoonist luncheon. But, at the time, this was the last page I had finished. So, I just attached one more page with the words “This is all I’ve drawn so far” written on it. I think they enjoyed that more than the actual comic.
“The older I get, the faster time seems to pass by.”
I hear some iteration of those words quite often. And naturally, I’ve experienced this phenomenon myself as well. I assume most of us have. A year does indeed feel like a shorter amount of time than it did when I was younger.
One day, it occurred to me: Everyone talks about time passing by like it’s some sad, nostalgic thing. Why don’t we ever consider the upside. Like, how much you could do with a month or a year now that you know that said unit of time is going to feel so short.
What could you accomplish in a month if you worked on something a little each day? Maybe learn to play a new song, lift more weight, or grow an herb garden from a pack of seeds. Maybe a month is enough time to break a bad habit or strengthen a good one. A month may seem shorter, but the amount of stuff you can achieve in it has stayed the same.
So, I’m trying a little experiment in self-improvement and self-discipline. I have chosen three things that I want to improve on and I’m going to spend some time on them every day for the rest of the month. I’ve even made myself a little task chart like you’d make for kids in the second grade. Each day, I’m going to color in a square on my chart after I’ve completed the task. I’m not sure, but I suspect that treating myself like a small child can only help. I even thought about using stickers, but that might overcomplicate it. I also limited my list to three things so I won’t get overwhelmed and quit. if this works out, then someday, I might do four or five tasks at once.
What tasks am I working on this time?
#1. Work on Comics Every Day
It might surprise you to know that I usually work on comics every two or three days, usually in a long stretch at a time. I wonder if my work will improve if I work in smaller but more frequent shifts. Only one way to find out.
#2 Learn to Use Game Maker
I’ve been playing around with Game Maker software, but I never seem to stick with it long enough to really learn anything. I don’t expect to have built any kind of game in a month, but I do hope to add some basic skills to my repertoire.
#3 Spend Extra Time with Noko Noko
Noko the turtle has had some problems with low humidity. I’ve made some modifications to the turtle habitat and he’s really started thriving again. I want to keep a closer watch on him and make sure he continues to do well.
That’s it. Three manageable tasks I can add to my daily routine. Do I expect to do al of them every day? Probably not, but by the end of the month, I hope to look at a chart that’s mostly filled with colored squares and have some new skills or improved habits.
Why am I telling you this? Am I trying to inspire you to do more with your time too? No, I’m actually being entirely selfish. I’m thinking that if I tell my plan to the internet, then I can’t back out if I get tired of it.
Of course, if you want to work on your own stuff, I won’t stop you. I might even cheer you on. You know what? Here, you can have a sticker chart too. Go put it on your fridge.