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Everything posted by greenjasper

  1. You hit the nail on the head, WoodNymph. It already sucks enough to struggle with depression, but so often that goes hand in hand with this stupid perfectionism. Like, "why bother, I already know this won't turn out perfectly so I'm just not even going to try." But someone reframed the idea of perfectionism for me recently... saying, "Perfectionism isn't genuine." And she's right. I'm not being genuine if I don't give myself some of that wiggle room you mention. Hey Rurik, nice to meet you! Yay, another ex-military type on NF! I knew there had to be some lurking about... You're right, since the sweet day I received my DD-214, I got my life back, but I was also ripped away from the dozens of people I was used to interacting with on a daily basis. That type of community doesn't seem to exist here on the civilian side of things. Of course, there's friends I stay in touch with and visit when possible, and people who care about how I'm doing... but the daily community/big-dysfunctional-extended-family aspect to my life is gone. I'm really going to have to seek out a tribe to spend time around now. Maybe something like CrossFit would be fun once I get my baseline fitness back. I'm hoping that spending some more time in nature and getting back into running (as my foot allows) will help clear my head.
  2. 27 JULY, 2015: Old dog, new tricks So far, so good. Not a pass with flying colors day, but I went for a walk around the block in the afternoon when I realized I hadn't been out all day. I really hate going out when it's sunny, especially without makeup. I'm pale with scary dark eye circles. Frankly, I look sickly and it takes doctoring to make me look "normal." So going outside is already one thing I hate, but then subtract makeup? Well, I keep my head down and walk fast. I was really proud of myself in the evening for learning how to use After Effects, not a typical program used by print designers. However, my boss had an extra project for me (read: extra $$$) IF I could figure out the technical aspect of how to do it. I totally crushed it, and my boss and I are now both excited about our new project. So, on the work-from-home front things are going well. Amidst any NF challenge is my constant real life challenge to maintain a relevant set of skills. I'm not sure if that used to be such a stress for people, but in this technological era, I know that if I fail to keep developing, I will one day find myself totally outdated and unneeded and I'll have to go back to a regular 9-to-5. Shoot me now. I'll work double the hours to avoid going to work in the typical fashion.
  3. I too, have that same feeling: I should be my ideal weight and strength level NOW. Today! Sure, I'll wait a couple hours for it to magically appear, but come on universe! But I think that's just my perfectionism talking. I don't want to appear weak before anyone. Even though I've admitted that I'm not where I want to be or where I should be, I want it to seem like I can swoop in and magically rectify the situation. I don't want to have a messy, difficult time getting to that goal line, because goodness... how mortal and flawed and imperfect that is. But that's how it is. We're at where we're at today, let's go crush it.
  4. So, in joining this Renaissance Rebels group and starting the challenge today, I've been thinking about the real, underlying, unstated goals of my challenge, maybe ones I didn't even admit to myself. My quests seem to be about fitness, productivity, and general health and wellness. Yada yada, all the typical stuff. But what is it that I want to DO with all my (hopefully) newfound productivity? I used to have many creative pursuits, like a lot of people when they're younger. And then the birth of my professional life was basically the death of my creative one. Even though my job *seems* like a creative person's dream -- I'm a graphic designer -- and sure it does require some aesthetic sense to do a good job... design is essentially making collateral intended to brand a company and sell its products. It's not much different than being a marketing manager, a salesperson, a PR person. I like my job, but it rarely if ever, feels creative. I don't end the day feeling blissfully creatively tapped out or anything. I just end the day tired like many people with their jobs. If I'm being really honest with myself, the last time I recognized myself at all was when I still did creative things regularly. And ouch, that was a lot of years ago. So the last two days, I've spent a little bit of time (~40 minutes a day) sketching. The results suck. Like, throw it in the garbage immediately suck. It's even worse knowing that a decade ago, I could do a realistic rendering of bodies in motion, that I used to do beautiful landscape sketches. I was never fast at drawing like some of my friends, but I could do it. Now it's really easy to punish myself with the knowledge that I let a skill like that slip through my fingers, although it doesn't do me any good to pout and brood like that. But I decided I'm just going to think of drawing like push-ups. With my push-up goal, it doesn't matter whether I suck and fail, fall to the ground. It doesn't matter whether I get sore. I just keep doing them. My body couldn't do anything other fail at what it hasn't been practicing recently. I USED to be good at drawing and I USED to be good at push-ups. But like anything you don't do frequently, your ability wanes. As long as I can drop to the ground every day and keep punishing myself until my arms and my whole core lights up with pain, I can do the same thing with a sketchbook and pencil. Hopefully less pain though... Anyway, sorry for the long post, I've just been working through some stuff related to creativity and thought it may be helpful to share.
  5. Thanks everyone for the support so far, and wishing everyone luck as we all start our work on our quests today! I've been feeling really upbeat about starting the challenge, until today when it actually starts, of course. I'm such a self-defeating contrarian that way... My alarm went off this morning and all I could do was whine out loud. I was out late at a concert last night, the first honest-to-goodness concert I've attended in about 8 years. I'm tired. I'm sore. But you know what? I got up. I did my push-ups, cleaned my apartment a bit, journaled, did some sketching practice, and I'm getting ready for work now. I refuse to fail this challenge on day one, or day anything! I'll be checking in this thread once in a while, with maybe some longer posts in my Battle Log. Not sure how I'll do that yet. Off for now, NF!
  6. Hey Hippolyte. College years aren't really known for people having the most regular sleeping schedules...but if you actually make a habit of a certain routine, it becomes easier to stick with. You might want to set some clear guidelines as to what a "real meal" is so that you can judge how you're doing on your goals. For me, sometimes instant oatmeal is a "real meal" because I have a kind that is high fiber and low added sugar. Other times a salad with just spinach greens and dressing is a "real meal" even though there's no cooking involved and only two ingredients. Good luck!
  7. My favorite part is that self care is part of your challenge. I wish you luck!
  8. that's a lot of weight-training and yoga! Are you at least going to stagger them throughout the day? cute little pokemon, btw.
  9. Hey, welcome back! It sounds like you're already on track with your diet... I'd heard of couch 2 5k but didn't realize there were podcasts related to the idea. Huh. btw... I wish you luck with your saving goals!! In the next few months I'll be starting the same thing. I have about three years of saving to go though.
  10. I was way too productive this morning. What's wrong with me?

  11. Hey, nice goals! What do you like to read?
  12. I love all your workshop and train excursion pictures. I like all your schedule optimization ideas... definitely some things in there that I could stand to work on as well. Especially the smiling~!
  13. I think you might have not only the best character backstory but one of the most heart-wrenching real life stories. Hope you don't mind that I'll be following you...
  14. It's an indie rock festival with several bands I like. It's taken over my several blocks of my neighborhood the past couple days... to the point that I went out walking to scope out a new book store today, only to get *almost* there and realize it was behind the fenced-off Admission point. Yeah, it was depressing to look back, but like you said, I'm not staying with that feeling or that history. I just want to mindfully integrate it this time so I don't keep repeating the same few mistakes.
  15. ack, sorry, triple posted. stupid internet connection.
  16. Love the island theme, and I want to see you make the 200 mark or get as close to it as possible this challenge!
  17. Of course I have to chime in and insist you've never had a really good cup of coffee.... but it really is an acquired taste. You might need some caffeine in one form or another to get through college stress!
  18. PRE-BATTLE LOG: 25 JULY, 2015. Challenge 1 in 2 Days. So, since I signed up for the NF challenge 6 days ago, I've lost 6 pounds. I assure everyone I'm not going hungry over here, I think a lot is just water weight, or my body going into shock that I'm not drinking alcohol and instead consuming more nutritious calories, more whole grains, salad, etc. For some reason the few pounds I've lost is a reminder at how much fitness I don't have right now. I can look at my body and say... oh, that's where my abs used to be. Now it's three rolls. That's where I used to have stronger arms, stronger legs. Now it's flab and cellulite. It's like looking at a familiar city where buildings you know have been demolished. I can't believe I ever used to be able to outrun people 10 years younger than me in the military. Looking at me, you'd think I'd been a secretary my whole life. Yesterday was rough in particular. It's not like I'm exercising a lot, a few push-ups here and there, some walking. But enough to make me thoroughly sore. And I am a giant baby when I'm sore. It makes me want to be lazy, like... errands to run? Nah, not today. I'm sore. I'm going to seriously have to watch that. I am going to get a proper scale today, because the one I own is old/semi-broken and maybe it's telling me lies. I don't like the idea of scales, but at this stage I need something to "report to." Nobody's really going to know or care if I fall off the bandwagon and start playing games, drinking, not going out of the house again. But I know I will continue gaining weight as long as that's my lifestyle, and a scale will tell me so. PRE-BATTLE LOG: 26 JULY, 2015. Challenge 1 tomorrow! Today was absurdly productive for the first half. I woke up when my alarm went off, worked out, cleaned my apartment, journaled, drew, got groceries, organized some files on the computer. And then I (almost) psyched myself out about going to the concert. I did go, and I'm actually just home between sets to eat dinner before I go back out again, but for all of what I thought was "progress" I've made this week in preparation for the challenge... well, it just seemed too damn lonely to go to a concert, just me, this tragic alone figure around all these people happily chatting away with friends and holding lovers. I really couldn't bear the idea, even to see four bands I really like. And yeah, I can't lie... it was actually like that, the alone in a crowd feeling. But I went, gosh darnit. I went and saw a good set by a band I like. Not bad for a depressed agoraphobic in a new city.
  19. I like that idea. I don't want to set the bar too high for myself right now...
  20. I actually went back through some three-year-old journals this evening. I had to transfer them to a cross-platform app anyway, because they've been stuck in DayOne which I can't access from my PC. So I'm going through and reading these old journals and poems and just started crying. I was so sad then, for many of the same reasons I am now. So many things that seemed traumatizing but perhaps also temporary and fixable are still things I'm going through now, that I have not fixed for myself. Things are different but the same. I feel like I've moved through time and learned nothing. I'm feeling very shocked and angry at my sad, awful self, but it's also pretty clarifying and motivating. You're right. Looking back sucks hard. I did sign up for a couple classes on backpacking related topics because it's something I'd like to get into, and I got myself a concert ticket for Sunday... so because I can't waste the money I spent, now I have to go! I may also check out Meetup and other things, but I don't want to overcommit and overbook myself. One day at a time and slowly going outside the comfort zone is key.
  21. Welcome and good luck! I'm former Navy as well. There are definitely cushioned plastic-type mats made for people to stand on while at the kitchen sink or behind a cash register at work or anywhere they might be standing on a hard surface. Even though it's your back that's hurting, I'm wondering if it's really standing on the hard floor that's making it worse. Hard to say.
  22. That sounds most excellent. I can't wait to see what other people are working on.
  23. Here it is, folks. PRE-BATTLE LOG: 22 JULY, 2015. Battle 1 in 5 Days. Going to have to look into getting earplugs to sleep. Neighbors, car alarms, sirens all kept me up. My eyes are bloodshoot, I look and feel like a mess, I slept in 2 hours late and missed my planned morning walk/jog. My whole day's schedule got messed up from the lack of sleep. So this becomes a question of: how do I turn a bad day around? I feel what's happening to my motivation, my self-confidence, my conviction in these moments. They all tank. It's horrible. I made an effort to do something small to turn it around. Without sitting down and making a to-do list (e.g. wasting time, I love making lists to procrastinate), I put up a command hook for a hand towel in the bathroom and a kitchen towel in the kitchenette -- I'd been putting off doing that for two weeks even though I've had the hooks. Which led to me taking out the trash. Which led to putting away some papers that were out making a mess of things. I got dressed, put my hair back, slapped some make-up on and bolted out of the house like someone trying to escape. In a sense, I was. I was trying to escape that Dark Place. The Place where I fall and don't get up. I'm really familiar with this Place and don't want to be there anymore. I had to go to FedEx to pick up my new juicer (my sister's housewarming gift to me). I walked - it's about a half mile. Now for the fun part: it would have been so easy for me to get an Uber cab home. I looked at what a big box it was packaged in and my thoughts of carrying it home just faded away. There's no way, I was telling myself. You can't carry a 20 lb. huge box all the way home. Imagine all the stops you'll have to make. You'll look like an idiot on crowded streets with busy cafes, in front of everyone commuting to work. And then I told myself to shut up. I did not book the cab. I asked, "Can I unbox it here?" To my surprise, they said sure. I took out the slightly smaller but still heavy box inside, and put it in an oversize reusable grocery bag. And then I walked home with it. Was it awkward and heavy to carry? Yes. Did it keep banging against my legs as I walked? Yes. Did I ever set it down and admit defeat? Hell no. And then I came home and did my push-ups. Just a few, but it's better than nothing. My eyes are still bloodshot, my planned productive morning is still gone and I feel cranky, but I have to learn how to make the best of less than ideal circumstances and give up the idea that every day is going to go according to some nice fluffy plan I made up that sounded nice. That's not realistic. My perfectionism will get the best of me if I don't watch it. Edit: Later the same day... You guys, I'm going bats and the challenge proper hasn't even started yet. I want to watch a movie and play games and eat junk food. All at the same time. Right now. I'm having a very hard time convincing myself that writing, reading, taking a walk, anything, is a better idea than any of the aforementioned. I'm not going to do any of those things, of course. I'm eating a salad, listening to backpacking podcasts and typing this post. I've actually had one of my most productive work days in weeks -- I got six design projects sent off, AND I got my inbox to zero. ZERO! It's the best number. I don't think I've seen an empty inbox in... years? I tried out some new tools recommended by or that I found out about from NFers to keep me on track: leechblock and coffitivity, thanks you guys! I also reconnected with Wunderlist, and my boss and I decided to use Google Sheets to coordinate our work projects. So a combination of new tools and thinking about how to make my life more efficient definitely helped today.
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