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Everything posted by courtneyc

  1. Thanks! I've actually been way more social than I have been in years, but a lot of it is low level socializing that can be fun, except that it doesn't fill the need to be understood and really seen. (If that makes any sense.) So I think maybe looking for different social outlets than my current ones might be the trick. Week 1 Update Woke up yesterday very, very sick. It was so bad I had to ask my ex to come over and help out, because I was not safe to take care of my daughter or dog alone. He's a good guy, so he took care of things. Needless to say this has put a pause on starting this challenge. Hopefully, I'll be feel decent enough tomorrow.
  2. I'm struggling these days. I like to be positive, but the truth is the last half a year has been a mixed bag of self discovery that has me feeling really run down. The separation after 10 years of marriage, adjusting to my new job, living on my own for the first time ever, and being a single mom...it's a lot. I've started to get pretty lonely. I've been keeping myself busy, basically filling every waking moment with training or work or anything. It isn't good or sustainable, but when I slow down I'm left facing all of these fears about myself and the future. I don't really know what to do for my challenge. Small, positive changes are good. I keep getting overwhelmed with calorie tracking, so I want to try a written food log. Regular creative writing would also be good for me. This is me, so there will be no shortage of jiu jitsu. I don't feel the need/desire to make any specific training goals right this moment. Meditation might be a good way to help me slow down a little without becoming a total sad sack. So here we go: Weekly Goals Keep a daily written food log (losing 5lbs this challenge would be pretty fantastic) Write 100 words 5x a week Daily 10 minute meditation w/ Headspace
  3. Hey there! Sounds like you have been really busy, but it's good to see you back on the boards! The staph infection sucks...I just kicked one of those myself with the help of some crazy antibiotics. Missing out on the training time was brutal, so I can't imagine how antsy you've got to be feeling without your BJJ fix. Welcome back!
  4. On the other side as in not doing it anymore, because you got a full-time job with actual benefits?
  5. Sometimes the truth is better than fiction! Week 2 Update Okay, so week 2 is an improvement on week 1. The tracking is slowly getting better as is my diet. I actually have a bjj competition this Saturday, so I'm trying to cut a little weight before then. Nothing crazy though. Just pushing the protein and vegetables harder than I was previously. I haven't been as focused going into this competition as I was with my last one. The plan is to show up, have fun, and do my best. It's also my good friend's first competition, so I'm really excited to cheer him on. Should be a fun, and hopefully safe, time. I like that I picked a more focused study for my musical work this week. It is helping me to practice in a more active way, which should lead to better progress. The work schedule has been thrown for a huge loop this week with school being out for election day and a bunch of teacher planning days. I don't make enough to afford childcare yet, and all of the fall time off is brutal on my daytime productivity. So I'm pretty much starting work for the week tomorrow. I'll just have to make it work.
  6. Oh fellow Monks, week 1 was a bust. Work got very busy, and I descended into a state of crazily bustling from one thing to the next. Such is life sometimes. Today is beautiful. I passed a leisurely morning/midday with some good friends making waffles, listening to someone play the accordion outside my bedroom window, a group trip to the farmer's market, and finally time in the park. The sunshine was golden, and at one point I was woken from a nap by the softest puppy cuddling my face. You can't dream up better days. I am getting better at slowing down when I need to. My focus improves as I slow down. Regular checkins with myself and down time are helping. The mental space is the best possible fuel for my creative pursuits. This week I will track, focus on deeply understanding chord progressions in the key of C major, and be the boss of my work schedule (instead of letting it control me).
  7. After a roller coaster half a year life is finally settling into something resembling a routine! I've got a real job, my own place, and am learning how to be an adult all on my own. It feels a little like going off to college right after high school, everything is kind of exciting and scary and sometimes I have trouble focusing on the things I should. So, I'll be taking baby steps as I return to challenges. Main Priority: Get my work schedule under control over the course of this challenge. My work is largely self-directed, and while I've taken measures to keep myself on task, I still find my work hours dragging well into the night. There's no good reason for this. I could easily finish my work every day, but I get distracted and put off tasks. I have a little catch up to do the first half of this week with a freelance job I took on, but by the end of this week (and for the remainder of the challenge) I want to be done working by 5PM. Weight loss: My weight has stayed right around 175 for the last 2-3 months. Honestly, during all the craziness of the new job and apartment hunt I am happy to have maintained the 50 pound loss and continued my training. Now that I have more mental space though, I'm ready to say goodbye to these final 25 pounds. This first week I want to make daily tracking a requirement. I'm not even going to say I have to hit some weekly number, just get back into tracking everything that crosses my lips. Depending on how this first week goes, I might add a weekly limit for the official start of the challenge. Get Creative: I've had such a difficult time focusing on anything the last few months. It's been almost half a year since I finished a book, which is just crazy and so unlike me! As I get my work schedule under control I want to use some of that recovered time for creative pursuits like writing and music. I got a fancy pants keyboard a couple weeks back and have declared that no sheet music may enter my home while I learn to play by ear. For this challenge I want to establish a daily habit of practicing music theory and experimentation on the keyboard...let's say 15 minutes of keyboard practice a day to start. It would be great to work in some creative writing, so I'm shooting for two 30 minute writing sessions each week. No specific jiu jitsu challenges this time around. I still train a ton...if anything I train a borderline unreasonable amount. So of course jiu jitsu talk will happen on this thread, it just won't be a specific part of my challenge. It's good to be back!
  8. This summer I stepped away from the heavy goal setting and just let life take whatever shape it would. It was a good exercise in some ways. I got a little better at rolling with the punches instead of stressing myself out by trying to control everything. But now it is time to exercise some discipline. Goals Weight loss is still one of my top goals. I've made huge amounts of progress, having lost about 50 pounds since I started a year ago! I've got another 25 pounds to go until I hit my initial goal. Tracking and copious amounts of training have been the two biggest components to my successful (with accountability from you lovely people coming in a close second!). So I'm back to daily tracking and not exceeding my total weekly calories. Organization/Discipline at Work. My new job is awesome. Great coworkers, awesome flexibility...almost too much flexibility. My work is almost completely self-directed, which I prefer, but it leaves a lot of room for slacking off. My goal for week 1 is to create a weekly and monthly work schedule to instill a little structure in my days and to come up with a way to keep track of one-off tasks (a list I keep on the wall will probably be sufficient). Training. BJJ is my sanity. Even when everything else in life is crazy pants, I can go to the studio and life feels better. For this challenge I want to focus on using my feet and knees more effectively. I'm not sure of details/specific moves right this moment...those can take shape along with the challenge. Control the daydreaming. All the stress and life changes have me retreating from reality through daydreaming. (That feels weird to write, but I'm certain I'm not the only person who does this...right? Maybe?) It is affecting my ability to focus, and focus is something I really need to have right now. I have creative pursuits I'd rather be working on; I think I just need a little nudge to go after those instead of retreating into made-up versions of reality. Initial goal: finish a book by the end of the challenge. Secondary goal: learn a song on the guitar. So that's that. I'll tidy this up into something easier to track over the days to come, but this is my focus for the next four weeks. See you all around the boards!
  9. Shake-ups indeed! I got a job that should gradually work towards full-time, so that's semi-settled. Still looking for my own place, which is really frustrating after a few months. Overall, I'm good most days with only the occasional rough ones. I'm in a rough patch right now, but hopefully I'll push through it soon. Thanks for checking in!
  10. Well hello there fellow monks! I've missed you all this summer, but a break from extra requirements (even positive ones) was exactly what I needed. I'm jumping into this challenge in the final days, so I have no crazy goals...just the desire for a little accountability as I re-establish my tracking habit. Also, I started a new job back in July. Much of the scheduling is at my discretion, which means procrastination can become a problem. Today my goal is to write 2 blogs, 2 employee bios, and discuss a new project with my boss. Happy to be back.
  11. Quick update before I turn in for the night... This past weekend was rough with some friend drama (like I need more drama right now!), but things are thankfully settled down on that front. I am talking with two different people about the possibility of some freelance writing and design work. The apartment search continues. Jiu jitsu is my sanity. Also, I took my daughter indoor rock climbing for the first time (her first, not mine). She took to it like a champion, and I see more climbing in our future. I just need to find another adult willing to become belay-certified so I can do more than boulder and stare longingly at the top rope walls. Now, I sleep, because I must rise with the sun in order to drop people to the ground during 6:30 AM takedown class. I swear that class is better than coffee.
  12. How is this challenge almost over? I really have no idea where the weeks have gone. The place that seemed almost as good as mine ended up going to someone else. I saw another promising rental today and am waiting for the landlord to send me the application. After getting my hopes up on the last place only to be disappointed, I'm feeling more cautious this time around. The job hunt is proving especially frustrating. I have not gotten a single call back so far, though I have managed to get myself on some spam lists by applying to positions on craigslist that I (incorrectly) thought were reputable. This week I'm going to apply to some restaurants downtown in the hopes that I can secure some sort of revenue stream while I continue my search. I'm also toying with the idea of a combination of waiting tables and freelance design work with the hopes that over time I could shift fully into design work. Okay, super tired right now and struggling to keep this coherent. Early bedtime for me tonight. Happy 4th my fellow USA nerds!
  13. It can be tough to make the call to take some time off when you need to. So way to play it smart and safe! Besides, reading is wonderful, and the Mistborn trilogy is a fun read. I hope week 3 is full of little victories and lots of happy book moments for you!
  14. Thanks! I don't think I'm a bad mom...nurturing just doesn't come as naturally to me as it seems to for other women. I just have to come up with my own way of dealing with the summer, and maybe that involves allowing more of some activities (video games and tv) than would be my ideal to keep the overall mood positive. Week ? Update I don't know what week it is in the challenge. Three? I think it is three. My general confusion should be a clue that life has been busy. I may have found a place of my own to rent! I need to complete the application and credit check, but the landlord seems really on top of things, which makes me feel good about my first pick. Having my own space sooner rather than later would be a big step forward for me right now. Current home life is cordially separate, but I think I'll be able to relax more when I'm not bumping into John all over the house. Training is okay, not great. My left knee and right foot are both bothering me. The foot is more annoying than worrisome, but I'm feeling cautious about the knee. It burns when I get into the mount position or start from knees for rolling. I find myself gravitating towards being on my back during rolls just to keep the pressure off it. Enough complaining though, and onto some positive things. My daughter has camp this week, so I'll have plenty of time to submit job applications. Tomorrow I'm going hiking with a jiu jitsu friend, and on Friday I'm planning to have lunch with another jiu jitsu friend. It will be a productive and social week, which is exactly what I need right now.
  15. Ooo...that's very punny. I bruise easily. These days it seems like I'm nothing but bruises, which can be borderline embarrassing when I take my daughter to the pool. You can practically hear the collective intake of breath from the adults when the cover up comes off. I need a bathing suit that says, "body by jiu jitsu," on it. Hi! I disappeared for awhile. Glad to see you around the boards. Week 2 Update I've have had some good days and some not-so-great days since I last checked in. School is out, which puts me in full-time mom mode during the weeks I didn't schedule some kind of summer camp, i.e. most of the weeks. It adds an extra challenge to the whole job hunt process, and in general wears on me quickly. Some women are amazing mothers that are really proactive about scheduling playdates and fun activities with their kids...I can pull off maybe two days of that before my introvert alarms begin blaring. To add to the general craziness, John works from home, and that means every time I think I have my daughter occupied with a solo activity so I can get some work done, she inevitably starts chatting up her dad. So then I'm distracted from my work making sure he can get his work done...it gets frustrating quickly. Ummm, positives...bjj training is going pretty well. I started attending an early morning (6:30 AM!!!) takedown class this week. Takedowns are one of my biggest weaknesses on the mat, since we mostly start from knees during rolls. I thought I would feel more blurry-eyed during the majority of the class, but so far the grip fight warm ups have proven more effective than caffeine at getting me fully awake.
  16. Foot is getting better, though I haven't been great about taking care of it. Someone was interested in sparring at open mat on Saturday, and I took an elbow to the top/ankle region. The bruising is impressive. I'd much rather us be bjj/nerd fitness buddies than injuries buddies. Feel better soon!
  17. You guys are awesome. Thanks for all the encouragement! Had another solid day. Applied for yet another job, celebrated the end of kindergarten with my daughter, and got to enjoy the nice weather. The only thing missing from my day was BJJ, but, alas, the studio was closed tonight to prep for the promotions ceremony early tomorrow morning. It is probably for the best that the option to train wasn't there. Yesterday, I felt something pop in one foot and was in a lot of pain. It's still sore today with limited movement of the big toe. *fingers crossed* A couple days of rest should have it in decent shape for Monday evening class.
  18. Do it!!! BJJ is life changing, and you will not regret it.
  19. The trick is to conserve even when you roll hard. So, learn how to have good defense and use explosiveness strategically. You will naturally feel panicky and like you have no time to think, but if you focus on staying safe, you will find you do in fact have time to think. The other thing the helped me a lot was to have a game plan of sorts...a couple submissions I'm strongest with along with go to escapes for the major positions you might get stuck in. Thanks! Never skip BJJ...you think you're not in the mood, but you're always so happy by the end of class. I train at an awesome school in Maryland called Clinch Academy. Week 1 Update It has been a fabulous week. I'm tracking again, got a job application submitted today, and had so much fun at class tonight. Evaluations feel extra fun this time around, and I'm not sure exactly why, but I won't complain. There were many things that brought me joy today, but my chosen one for this Wednesday is taking a small cutting of spray roses from the garden after the rain let up this morning. I put them in my tiniest glass vase on the windowsill above my kitchen sink and love them.
  20. Sorry to hear about the girl troubles. The whole world of dating seems so strange and trouble-ridden to me. Your challenge plans look good! I especially like that you're incorporating some concrete steps for the career goal. Hopefully, following those gives you some insight into what you want to do next.
  21. Do it! You'll have such a great time. My biggest takeaway was the importance of endurance. You have to learn to pace yourself for multiple intense rolls, and depending on whether you compete for points or submission only the rounds might be longer than what you're accustomed to in your usual open mat sessions. Focusing on keeping your breathing calm will help keep you calm so you can be technical and not spazzy.
  22. It's really a day by day sort of thing. Today has been good. I will take tomorrow for whatever it is and try to make the best of it. Thanks!! I'm both excited for and a little daunted by the prospect for additional competitions. Right now, I'm happy to enjoy rolling and training in a more playful fashion. Thanks! It is always great to see you around the boards! You are awesome as always, and the support is much appreciated. Day 1 Off to a good start so far. I'm putting together an application to law firm that hires people to transcribe court cases...did a little type testing today and established that I type 70 wpm at 97% accuracy which is on par with professional typists. So yay for me. Double good things today: I saw a really cool plant with seedpods that are flat circles while walking home with my daughter from school. The pods were so thin they reminded me of stained glass. I pointed them out to Grace, and she thought they were as fantastic as I did. It's also evaluations week at my studio. Since I'm only up for a tape stripe, I feel super calm and can just enjoy participating in matches and the general festive nature of the week. It was a good day.
  23. Big life stuff is happening. First and most exciting! That tournament I had the other weekend? My very first one ever? I placed first in my division. I'm just a teeny tiny bit thrilled about that. Even if I hadn't won, it would have been a fantastic experience to be there with my team to support one another and be supported. But winning took it right over the top. I stayed calm, composed, and patient. That was the biggest victory (I think) for my first competition. Now for the less thrilling life stuff. After a lot of deliberation my husband and I have decided to separate. It's a good call I think, and neither of us are a mess over the decision. It does mean a lot of life changes though, and some, like job hunting for me, are more anxiety-inducing than others. Some days my focus isn't great, which I suppose is to be expected. So, this challenge is all about taking small, positive steps each day/week to keep myself focused and acknowledging the good things I do. Because the toughest part about finding a job is that so much of the process is outside of my control. Goals Apply to 2 positions per week Track calories daily Find something beautiful each day and share it (either here or with someone) Do one thing from the following list per day Journal Creative writing prompt or story progress Make something for the fun of it Have a social outing Do something fun with my daughter No points involved. Just regular check-ins to keep me positive and moving forward.
  24. At the tournament as I type this. Thanks!
  25. A little late to the party, but still... CONGRATULATIONS!!! That is awesome news and makes me seriously happy for you.
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