26: Demerits and Gold Stars

gold stars

I am doing NaBloPoMo this month. 30 blog posts in 30 days. Come join me. #nablopomo2022

photo credit: @markusspiske via Unsplash

I am shamelessly stealing this post idea from my friend Elisabeth (but with proper credit!). A few months ago, she introduced this new blog format of sharing recent demerits and gold stars based on a segment of Gretchen Rubin + Elizabeth Craft’s podcast Happier (which I have NOT listened to – just for the record – but maybe I should?).

I love the idea of taking stock of things that I could work on and things I should give myself credit for — so I am jumping on the bandwagon today and sharing my recent demerits and gold stars with you.


  • Staying up too late. I have a bedtime of 10 pm that I aim for every night, but the truth is that “lights out” has been closer to 11 pm (or even 11:30 pm) many nights because I wanted to read another chapter or because I was dallying away time on my phone.
  • Not working on the vacation photo book sooner. The plan was to create a photo book from our epic summer vacation and have it printed by Christmas, and now Christmas is four weeks away and I haven’t even started working on it (although I have thought about starting many times). I usually do work a little bit better under pressure, but I really shouldn’t have waited so long because as everyone knows who has put together a photo book, it takes an insane amount of time to sort through the gazillion photos and pick out the best ones!
  • Dallying on my phone. Not proud to admit that I am spending way too much time mindlessly “scrolling” on my phone. I mean, it’s not “unpleasant” while I am doing it, but an hour goes by and then I feel terrible for wasting a whole hour on my phone – if that makes sense? I think I need some sort of intervention.
  • Not keeping the clutter at bay. I’ve been really frustrated with the clutter that seems to build up on every single “open” surface in our home and I am trying to figure out if it’s just a lack of organization on my part, or if it’s simply that there is not enough space to put things. I am constantly moving stuff around to make room to do something else.

Gold Stars

  • Sticking to my yoga routine this month. My Streakers365 group on Facebook comes out with these monthly “Streak Challenges”. You pick one habit that you focus on for the month and as I have mentioned before, for November I pledged to do yoga every day (from at least 10-minute up to 45-minute sessions). I only missed one day (at the beginning of the month) and only because I did other workouts and simply “forgot” to add 10 minutes of yoga to my workout stack.
  • Checking a few things off my work to-do list. Sometimes I tend to ignore non-urgent little things on my work to-do list because other things seem to be more pressing, but I had a bit of downtime the other day and decided to tackle this list of “little things” and I felt so productive that day!
  • Cooking more vegetarian meals. Jon and I have cut back on our meat consumption in the last few months (not that we’ve eaten a ton of meat, to begin with) and I’ve really enjoyed trying new vegetarian recipes.
  • Starting my holiday to-do list. I know, better late than never. I think I pushed the holidays out of my mind on purpose, but now that Thanksgiving (in the US) is over, there is really no denying that the holidays are upon us and that I need to get organized. Once, I have a list that I can tackle, the whole thing is only “half as scary” and I actually have fun preparing for the holidays. They just – for whatever reason – seem to be sneaking up on me every year.
  • All of you. For sticking with me through NaBloPoMo. I can’t tell you how incredibly thrilled and proud I am that you not only decided to join me but that you’re actually “crushing” this year’s NaBloPoMo. You’ve all been so consistent in putting out posts and also visiting and commenting on other people’s blogs! It’s not lost on me that this took time and commitment and you all just deserve gold stars for that!

Share a recent gold star with me!

  1. And the gold star goes to finally finishing the calendar for next year. If I am lucky it will still make it to the grandparents in time for Christmas.

    1. Oh, that definitely deserves a gold star!

  2. True confessions time: I miss the days when the boys went to bed before us. We were so much better at getting the lights out by 10 and it was lovely. I had some intentions of making a photo book for my parents but that fell off the radar. I wonder if I can still get it done for Christmas?

    My recent gold stars are cleaning up my work procrastination list and my last minute decision to jump in on NaBloPo and stick with it!

    1. Are you still going for the photobook for Christmas? Mine has to be done in the next two weeks – eek!

      You definitely get a gold star for jumping in on NaBloPoMo. I am sure you surprised yourself by finishing so strong :)

  3. Since I have only ‘met’ you recently, I think I will now have to go back and read about your epic vacation! I went to France with my cousin in September, a once in a lifetime trip that we LOVED. I think about it every day. But since I went without my husband and daughter, I doubt I will put together a photo book. I do have a little travel diary that I wrote in while there, and I would like to tape in some ticket stubs and such. Perhaps I will get to that.

    I guess my gold star is that I cleaned up my blog. It felt good to do that!

    1. Don’t worry – I’ve only done a handful of recap post from our summer vacation yet (I am hopelessly behind), so more stories are forthcoming :)
      I’ve been really enjoying some of the posts from your trip to France. It sounded so lovely!

      Yes, gold star for cleaning up your blog – obviously, that needed to be done now that you’re in a true blogging routine again ;)

  4. My gold star is that we got the Christmas tree up and the outside lights done yesterday and we’re ready for the festive season to begin!

  5. My gold star is I made smooth tasty gravy for our turkey dinner on Thursday. Nary a lump in sight, thank you very much.

    1. *clap, clap, clap* that is indeed gold star worthy!

  6. Oooh! I love this! My gold star is making it this far into NaBloPoMo! As you know, I really didn’t think I could make it happen (November is so busy!), but it has been so fun to be part of this project with you and all the others.

    My demerit is the same idle phone use you describe. An hour passes in a snap when you are mindlessly scrolling through headlines or instagram posts. Ugh.

    1. Yes, gold star for making it through NaBloPoMo. So awesome you joined this year… and look at your strong finish!!

  7. Gold star for me is that I got parcels mailed that needed to be mailed, with only one exception. The post office is always rough, I think, so I’m happy I have most of it out of the way.

    1. Nice!! You’re on it! :)

  8. Ooh, I love gold stars and demerits! I love the Happier podcast, and I always like it when it’s Elizabeth’s turn for a demerit, because they tend to be things like, she has a burned out lightbulb in her house that she hasn’t changed in over a year, or one time she confessed that her outdoor Christmas lights were still up in March. She’s pretty funny. Anyway, I guess I would give myself a gold-star-in-progress- I’ve been spending the day getting Christmas decorations up. By the time I go to bed, I will be done!

    1. I definitely have to listen to the podcast sometime – obviously.
      Gold star for getting your house decorated. I need to get on that.

  9. Yay! You know how I feel about demerits and gold stars.

    Recent gold stars:
    – getting this far in NaBloPoMo!
    – I’m about 90% done with buying/ordering Christmas gifts (it’s a good thing because the rest of the time until Christmas is going to be SO busy)!

    – I’m 100% committed to intuitive eating, but things feel a bit off-kilter for me in the food department this week; too much sugar, too few veggies.
    – I haven’t run hardly at all in the last month, and I can notice the difference in my body (especially in combo with my other demerit)

    Photobooks are exhausting and I have a perpetual demerit about NOT sitting down and dealing with all the photos we’ve taken this year. I am feeling so overwhelmed, but have given myself a VERY specific goal to accomplish next week. Can I do it?

    1. I am so proud of you for following through with NaBloPoMo (not that I had any doubt that you could do – as you’ve been so consistent with your blogging!).

      And I feel you on the running and eating – I can instantly feel it in my body when I am slacking in those areas for too long. I hope you get to gold star status in that regard again soon.

      How is the photobook coming along?

  10. Gold star definitely pulling of Friendsgiving.
    But that meant (demerits) that for the first time ever in about 20 years more mom didnt have her Adventskranz on the table by the First of Advent. I still need to finish it and then bring it over.

    1. Your Friendsgiving looked truly amazing. I wish I could have been there ;)
      How far are you along with the advent wreath?

  11. The photobook of your holiday will be such a great gift! A project like that is so much work!

    My gold star is that I got caught up on our 2022 photobook. I work on it throughout the year to make it more manageable, but I was way behind. And then this month I had some quiet periods of the day and managed to get caught up!

    1. Nice, Lisa. You know how much work photobooks are, so kudos for finding pockets of time and finishing yours. I think breaking it up in chunks helps.

  12. I, too, am really bad about staying up too late. It’s a goal for 2023 to get back to a normal bedtime!

    A gold star for me is finishing my Christmas shopping today! I’m ready to wrap all the gifts and enjoy the rest of what this season has to bring.

  13. Gold star? Hm. I’m going to go with note working 24/7 this week? Which seems pathetic in some way. :) But I did get some errands done yesterday and a haircut and I even have plans for a half day of time doing kind of a personal reset this weekend, as we head into 2023. Yes, I’m commenting super-late, but… :)
    Demerit? Ooof. The last 2 months? Can I just say that?

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