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Everything posted by Sulinar

  1. Wow, I come back here after far too long away, thinking of doing the next challenge, and head straight to where I always feel I belong, with the Rangers... and Spezzy's here too?! This is obviously a Good Sign.
  2. Ooh, it's been a month already! Wow. Well the getting to bed by midnight didn't always work but I was much better at it. And I think the crashing is going off a bit, so I must finally be recovering from renovation. Anyway, this month I'm doing a primal challenge (well 3 weeks, but let's see how it goes at the end). So that's lots of sleep, eating slightly more cleanly (although I'm actually pretty good at this, now I look at the list of stuff you can/shouldn't eat), and looking after myself more. Which includes all screens off by an hour before bedtime. Tonight I'm going to occupy that time with a bath. *splashing noises*
  3. Another month - the theme for this one will be being in bed by midnight. That doesn't mean I'll get more sleep, but at least I'll be giving myself the chance to get more if I'm actually in bed! Also, I've been feeling increasingly exhausted - last week's "Saturday crash" hit me Thursday evening and stopped me going out with friends on Friday afternoon. So maybe I need more sleep.
  4. Oh, and had another rejection on the story front. So now it's gone to Asimovs, and after this I'll have to cut it fairly drastically for a couple of markets that only take up to 6k words (it's 7.8). But at least it's out there. And today I typed up a few more of the short shorts that I wrote in March. I'd *completely* forgotten some of them, and they're not bad. Need major work to expand them into something more meaningful in length, but I'm tolerably happy with them. Also I've signed up for another writing thingy - this time you work on one piece throughout the month, so it sounds like a good opportunity to try to finish the novel that's been sitting about for years, getting in the way of other things.
  5. Still pootling away here, 30 minutes exercise bike a day plus at least 10 minutes of yoga and often more - with the exception of two days where it was yoga only as I was exhausted. In fact I'm coming to realise that the exhaustion is much deeper than I'd previously thought, not surprising really given what the last few months have been like. Anyway, keeping up with the low carb thing reasonably well - and have noticed significantly less heartburn and other health-related issues, which is interesting. Had sugar a couple of times, in chewing gum and a couple of politeness biscuits today when my cake-loving friends brought fika, and found it to be FAR too sweet. Yuck. Also have achieved (nearly) one of my summertime goals already, in that I've bought some kombucha cultures and have produced one batch - I left it a bit too long and it's more like cider vinegar, but still drinkable and very pleasant. So that's pleasing. Last time I tried to grow it, years ago, I killed it immediately. I hope I can get to grips with it as it's so delicious. Also have been eating sauerkraut with breakfast (yes, really) - egg, bacon and sauerkraut. Nice combination.
  6. Just realised that I've not updated here this week - that's because even since I got back to Sweden I've been flat out with work. Although I *have*, as expected, had more time for me too. So I've done half an hour on the exercise bike a day plus at least one and sometimes two yoga sessions. Also I've been eating low carb(ish), and have now got much more of a grasp of what that actually means (!) I don't know whether I've really changed my body composition in all of a week, but I *feel* a lot better. So I guess this is my April challenge and I'll carry it on until I've done a month of it (started on the 7th, so that'll take me up to my birthday).
  7. I think you're allowed to eat any crap you want on such days!
  8. Yay you! Loads of good stuff happening this week (I am intrigued by chicken and crunchy things too... some kind of crispy grub type larva thing perhaps?) Yoga with ropes! (out of interest, what was this?) Good tactics with your Dad! Kneeling push-ups! (I levelled up to these about a month ago... I am SO proud that I can actually do a proper nose to the ground movement for the first time in my life.) Getting the Cherokee Shuffle down! 10 minutes of yoga turning into 30! Just general awesomeness! Are you finding that keeping track on a daily basis here is giving you more insight into exactly how much you're achieving? Or are you doing the record keeping as another thing you have to do and not appreciating all of these many victories? Just wondering. I tend to do the latter, but you may not be so daft.
  9. Still here, still plugging away at yoga and renovation and work and... well, that's about it. I'm travelling back to Sweden next week and I've got loads to finish here before I go, so fitness/diet other than trying *not* to stuff all the cheese into myself is not really happening. But I am doing a lot of exercise in terms of painting/plastering the ceiling of what seems to be the biggest room in the world (there's a new house being built nearby and I can see it from said room. It has literally taken them less time to put up all of the walls and roof than it has for me to paint this one ceiling). Anyway, once I'm back in Sweden there'll be way more time for exercise and so on, so I'm trying not to get too stressed or too down on myself about not doing anything coordinated this month. Oh, and my story has been rejected by two magazines so far and now it's out with another one (thank God for the electronic submission... at least you don't have to wait weeks to be rejected!)
  10. Hey Seabright! Sounds like you're still working hard at this bravery thing! All the paperwork and contacts relating to your Dad's condition sound pretty tough, and I'm very impressed by how you're just getting on with them. I mean, for all I know you may be panicking or putting stuff off IRL, but out here in cyberspace it looks like you're incredibly organised and focused. With bravery, the bit I find the most difficult is that when you've been brave over one thing and think "Yeah, that's done", you look up and there's another one you have to do. I wonder whether one day you just find that they come easily? Or is it that you do things that other people would think were brave without even thinking about it and these things, that you find so difficult, would be easy for other people? (And by "you" here, I mean "one", of course, but I just can't bring myself to write it.) Anyway, I'm amused that you go looking for geocaches but don't find them and just enjoy the walk instead. I reckon that 2 out of 3 caches I go looking for just turn into an excuse to be out somewhere nice in the world. As far as your mouldy ceiling goes, have a look for remedies using white vinegar. I've found it to be invaluable for a number of things like that (retrieving both an ancient leather jacket that had gone mouldy and our outbuilding, which the previous owners had used as a smoking cabin for 35 years with predictably smelly results - oh, and it also makes an excellent weedkiller too, if mixed with a little washing up liquid).
  11. Thanks Seabright! Yeah, I'm chuffed about the submission too. I intend to produce another short story in a shorter time than 24 years, too! As for fitness stuff, I'm still plugging away in little bits, and actually when I write down everything I've done over the last 48 hours it's pretty good, really. Yesterday I succeeded in my boss battle for NF Academy level 2 workout (I'm starting the Academy right from the start again), which included me managing NINE knee push ups! Nine! Right down to the floor and back up! Yes, I know it's from my knees, but given that I've never had much in the way of arm muscles, I'm really happy with this. I also did what felt at the time like a pretty tough core workout (with mad Daniel Scott on doyouyoga) which has left me astonishingly unsore today. Does that mean I do have a core in there somewhere? Or is it going to hit me tomorrow? And today I've done 4 hours of plastering over cracks at the house, plus more yoga. And I've typed up some of the fiction I wrote (longhand) during my writing month, and I'm about to do another one or two pieces before going to bed. So yes, pleased with that. It's only when I've written it down that I see what I've actually done (duh).
  12. Hmm... not going too well at the moment. Renovation has got in the way, meaning that as well as not being able to walk or run (plantar fasciitis) I now can't do any kind of weight bearing exercise on my right arm (tennis elbow from hacking at harder-than-titanium brick for an hour and a half until it finally submitted). But anyway, I got up today and went out and did half an hour plus on my bicycle, which was both nice and knackering, the latter mainly because as usual I have a bicycle on which the gears are impossible to change. I've got it in a lowish gear, but it turns out that it's not quite low enough to comfortably climb the hill back to the house. Did it though. And I am still doing my yoga. But this is not the consistent, if small, effort that I've put into my other monthly challenges this year. And I don't like the feeling. On a positive note, although I've also stopped writing this last few days, which is unforgivable, I have just submitted a story to Interzone. My very first submission to any market, anywhere. And it's the story that I started writing for that very magazine in 1993. Just as well they weren't relying on me for material, really.
  13. Measurements taken too - they've actually not changed much from last time I took them (about 6 months ago). Gone up a couple of cm on my arms, but that's muscle from renovating. But I definitely *feel* saggier. Anyway at some point I need to organise my photos so I can compare the last few sets to see the difference, which I'm sure is there. And not in a good way!
  14. Pumpkin-seed! Ha! I'm a paleo snack! You're right, though, I think it does help if you actually write down what you do. Sometimes you don't achieve what you set out to, but you tried. Sometimes you have something to do later and you think "Oh, I can't", but then you look back and think "Well, actually, I have done stuff that was like this before, and it was OK", and that helps. What's not good is when you don't keep track of stuff that you suspect - or know - that you did nothing worthy of yourself; that's much worse than trying and failing. What yoga are you doing? I started with the NF Yoga course but recently I've been doing doyouyoga (starting with the free ones of which there are quite a lot). Many of those are 10 minutes or thereabouts.
  15. Took my photos today. Ugh. I'm such an odd shape - very apple (skinny legs, fat middle). And that's not good, health wise. Although actually my legs aren't really that skinny, it's just my middle is very obvious, when I'm undressed. Anyway, onwards and upwards.
  16. I've been around NF for ages, but I've never really managed to get anything to "stick", except NF yoga. And then, somehow, everything came together at the end of last year and I had a Facebook meltdown which meant that I stopped using it - right at the same time that the NF yoga challenge started. So I had a lot more time each day (plus loads more mental energy) and a clear challenge to finish. And I found that the format of doing something, even if not something very big, every day for a month, really felt like a good fit for me. If you only have to do 10 minutes' meditation a day, then surely you can keep it up for a month? (Answer... yes, but only barely.) Since then I've done the following: Yoga for at least 10 minutes every day. Many days it's been a lot more. On the days when I had the flu at the worst, in mid-December, it was really only those 10 minutes, and some of those were just the kind of yoga sessions where you stretch a few limbs, but I did it. So since 1 December I've done more than 30 hours of yoga. And although I've still got the tightest hamstrings in the universe I'm definitely feeling a bit more bendy and more able to balance. Sometimes. My January month's challenge was 10 minutes of meditation a day. And I hated it. HATED it. But I did it. And actually I did learn some stuff - such as I find it much easier to meditate while in slight pain (one of the meditations involved holding your arms out to the side for the whole time. That really hurt, but it gave me something else to think about.) The worst ones were where the instructor said "release your worry about..." and then listed a whole load of things that were completely irrelevant or just annoyed me. But again I learned that actually most things in my life are pretty good - it's stuff like "release your worry about Brexit meaning that the entire foundation of your life has just collapsed" that I'd have to include, and that's the kind of thing that would make anyone worry. So I have actually done meditation a couple of times since January, and I'm going to try to keep trying it, because I know the various benefits are astonishing. Although I was amused to read the other day that Mark Sisson can't be doing with meditation either! My February month's challenge was at least 15 minutes of writing every day. And I looooved it. It's not that I was surprised to love writing, because I've always thought of myself as a writer, but the format was something I didn't think I'd enjoy. A couple of years back I enrolled for a month's free write challenge (you had a topic every day, you were supposed to just write for 15 minutes, no crossings out, not thinking too much about what you were writing). I did maybe three of the prompts and then gave up because I "didn't have time". So I dug out those prompts and used them. I wrote last thing at night, in bed, longhand. Sometimes that meant that I started writing at 1am. But I did it. I actually even created a little loop of music to work to with an app on my phone for quite a lot of the sessions, which was fun too. And the prompts were weird things, like "Creativity all over it" and "Fruit party", "Cloud dancing" and "She stood for". And from this I learned that 1) when I'm writing stuff that's not meant to be part of something longer, I'm amazed by the things that come out of my head. Often even when I actually started writing I didn't know what I was going to write, but pretty much all of the pieces are OK, and one or two of them are really good, either as they stand or as clues to a longer piece; 2) at some level I think that short fiction should involve violent death. I killed or threatened to kill several other people in these stories, and in one of them I was the victim. So that was fun!; 3) you can actually end up writing quite a lot if you only write every day for 15 minutes (although of course a lot of them were longer sessions). So writing is going to carry on. Indeed, this mammoth battle log entry is going to be my writing for today, I think. March... now, March is why I'm here. There are a number of reasons why I want to finally do something about losing the few pounds extra that I'm carrying (particularly as I'm going to hit 49 in May and the few extra pounds are increasing all the time). So March needs to be about fitness/body composition. I've been a member of NF Academy since it was launched and never really done much with it, so that's my basis for my "at least one thing a day" for this month. And last night I wrote down my "big why". Which was that I haven't really got one, and how that fact has been one of the things preventing me for doing much about my body composition for several years. My big why (and the full version runs for several pages) is that yeah, I understand completely why a big why is a good idea. But mine boils down to "because". So that's what I'm going with. Thus far, I have to say that this challenge format is great fun. I've really enjoyed doing different things each month and then finding ways to keep up the activities I enjoy. Other things I want to be adding for other months later in the year include improving my Spanish, not for any reason other than it sounds so nice, and trying to achieve better sleep hygiene while still managing to squeeze all the other stuff in - this will be easier as of April when I'm meant to be back home in Sweden and not renovating in France for at least a few months. Oh, and I'm still off Facebook. Which given all the shite that's been happening is looking increasingly like an excellent decision. So, yeah, a bit of a saga there. But this is for my own accountability so that's fine. I'm intending to post regularly but I probably won't usually write very much - one of the keys to this set of challenges has been about not making it too strict for myself, so I'm not setting rules for how often/what I'll post. Tomorrow's action: Take my "before" photos. Again. And try not to despair too much at the fat I've put on over the winter.
  17. Hi Seabright! I just had to comment on your thread and say that I think you seriously underestimate your bravery. Almost every entry makes me think "wow, that's brave". Clearly you're dealing with lots of not very easy stuff, but you are *dealing* with it. Very impressive. I first dropped by because I'm doing a similar challenge this year, and I was curious about what someone else's challenge might look like, and how they'd be coping. And it's fascinating getting an insight into what you've been doing. Also, you write very amusingly. I don't know whether that's deliberate or accidental, but if you've never thought about writing fiction you should! Now I'm going to apply my own bit of bravery and actually start a battle log of my own. And I'll be following your progress with interest!
  18. Ha! I'm not actually doing the challenge this time round, but I've got some pretty good skills when it comes to reconstructing stuff, as I'm currently renovating a house in Normandy. Of course this does mean that the house I actually live in is definitely not getting any domestic rangering (except when people come to visit). But I will stand on the sidelines and cheer everyone on!
  19. And a very Happy New Year to you, oh Turtle-shaped thing! I'm glad that you're getting help with the Hashimoto's. But it sounds like the really important changes are coming from the inside!
  20. Yay - just did my final yoga session of December - finishing with a 45 minute session (I'm finally mainly over the flu, although I'm still coughing a bit). So in 31 days I've done 648 minutes of yoga (actually that's the last 30 days, which is all the stats that doyouyoga will give me). That's nearly 11 hours, which is pretty damned good considering I've been suffering from the flu since 12 December. I also did a load of shoulder work today, ripping down 2/3 of a lath and plaster ceiling, which was pretty grim and dusty work but satisfying: Looking back at this month it's been great having the yoga challenge to keep me going. There's no way I'd have done yoga every day if it wasn't for that. And without that I'd have done nothing, exercise-wise, a lot of the month. As it is I feel like yoga needs to be something I do - even just a little bit - every day, and now I've bought a bicycle I'll hopefully be able to take some outdoor exercise that won't be interrupted by my plantar fasciitis. So it's been fun. I've also found that being off Facebook has been extremely useful - I've had a lot more mental space and have even managed to squeeze in a bit of writing (today I finally finished a short story - though admittedly it's now about 8000 words so not that short - that I've been writing, on and off (mainly off) since about 1993. Yes, really. Plans for next year? Continue, expand, repeat. (And yes, I've just watched "Edge of Tomorrow" for the umpteenth time as my New Year's Eve treat. The only film that could make me not hate Tom Cruise.)
  21. I would love to meet the person who gave me this bloody thing - I've had it for a fortnight tomorrow, and I'm *still* really bad with it. Can't breathe without coughing, still full of snot, still really tired and brain foggy and just bleagh generally. Today we had a delivery of 62 packets of wood flooring (weighing something like 10 kg each) so carrying those into the house was fun. We actually had to leave a third of the shipment in the garden - managed to get them as far as the outbuilding, though, so if it rains at least the stuff is under cover. But really, when is this going to go away? Anyway, other than that (and Christmas being completely cancelled cos of the lurgy) I'm still doing my yoga every day. Yesterday and the day before I did a couple of tough arm and leg sessions, today I'm back to mainly meditation/breathing. But anyway. Still not got around to meditation, but I feel like that needs to be next month/year's task to achieve. This year I've definitely built a yoga habit (and this month even more so), and how difficult can it be to add a few minutes' meditation?
  22. Well I still feel pretty bloody dreadful - still full of snot and cough and yuck generally - but I *have* continued to do yoga everyday. In fact in the last 30 days I've done 579 minutes of yoga! So that's going well. Also still off Facebook and enjoying that too. So yay, overall.
  23. The cold from hell is still upon me (I really must remember to get a flu jab next year, this is absolutely horrible and I feel like such an idiot because it just might have been preventable). But I'm *still* doing my yoga every day. And despite occasionally making me feel like my head's going to explode, I do feel better afterwards each time. Now I just need to work on the feeling grateful to be me...
  24. What a sweet cat! I don't think mine would like Santa as he's not fond of strange men, especially ones that go "Ho ho ho". " I stopped keeping track of stuff on my fancy charts and I feel an overwhelming sense of relief!" - I think you've probably hit it on the head there.
  25. Yep, I've got my Christmas flu thing early this year! But I did my yoga yesterday anyway, and unless I have a sudden relapse I'll be doing it today too. Only 12 minutes yesterday, and I've been averaging 20-30 minutes every day otherwise, but at least I did something (at 1 am!).
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