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About Zaphine

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  • Birthday July 7

Character Details

  • Location
    Madison, WI
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  1. Thank you for the prod, @Waanie, @juliebarkley -- it is SO easy to not get on here and document. And time slips on so easily! The kittens are so much less like kittens now! They're just ... small cats, still adorable, but far more able to get into trouble than they were at first. They've been exploring the tops of doors, the bathtub. The top of the bookcase and the bathroom counter aren't even challenges any more. They've destroyed one Da Bird toy, snapping the string to everyone's dismay. For me ... I've made some progress. I've been staying more on top of meds and sleep (though more sleep would be nice). I've gotten back to walking several times a week. I've acquired more cat toys and have been exploring which ones they enjoy. I've taken a donation to the thrift store and made a bit less of a cluttered space. I haven't so much gotten back into yoga or meditation, darnit -- but at least I have the floor space to do yoga again. On the nutrition front, I made a batch of egg-bites in the Instant Pot ... and haven't actually eaten them. (Oh, why do I do that?) And I've ordered an initial pack of Huel meal replacement, to see if that helps. If there's anyone out there who's tried Huel and would like to give me advice, I'd appreciate it!
  2. Periodic check in! Successes: Went kayaking over the weekend! Started reading cat books, to better "think like a cat" Made an initial vet appointment for the Hobbits (my nickname for the cats -- the vet may need to be Isengard....) Scheduled a bookcase delivery from Ikea -- I had been procrastinating, trying to save a little money by doing curbside pickup, but that just wasn't happening. Batch cooked a big dish of mac & cheese over the weekend. It may not be healthy, but it's likely healthier than the McDonald's drive thru.... Stumbles: It is so dang tempting to stay up late in the evenings. The alarm is going off at 6:30 now -- in order to get 7 hours of sleep, I need to turn off the lights by 11:30. (And it is not unknown for the kittens to wake me up with purring snuggles at 3am....which is lovely but doesn't help with my rest). Work has picked up the pace, so I'm working some evenings now to prep for morning meetings. That makes it harder to wind down and fit things in. Now that I'm not WFH, I find that I'm missing my morning meds many days. Next steps: I think sleep and meds might be the next relevant baby steps. I need to get some more cat toys to tire them out before bed. I've heard a recommendation for the Cat Dancer and Da Bird. Any other recommendations? Oh, and more cat snuggles. It's important for their emotional development. And for your bribe -- here's a photo of my mermaid hair.
  3. Blue, green, red, magenta, purple, my natural dark brown, and my natural gray! The gray is mostly in Doctor Strange streaks over my ears. A friend's kid says I have "dark mermaid" hair. I think of it as pretty cool apocalypse hair. I thought I'd be safe, working from home for the rest of the year, but I've been called back into the office and am sitting with a bunch of executives today....
  4. Just remember -- Q struggled with depression lots, and yet ... he ended up pretty awesome and heroic. Unfortunately, being awesome doesn't always feel so awesome. *hug*
  5. Hi, everybody! Quick introduction -- My name's Zaphine, my big why is finding a healthy lifestyle that I truly enjoy, I'm just over 50, I work at a university in the US midwest, I have "dark mermaid" hair with about 7 different colors in it. Currently watching my way through both ST:TNG and ST:Discovery, just finished reading the new Harry Dresden book. I work with @spezzy sometimes, though I'm not very organized about it. So the past few months, I'd been cruising along, maybe not at HIGH rates of speed, doing pretty well .... and then life yelled "PLOT TWIST" and the wheels fell off the bus. I did my most recent challenge in the Druid forum, with a focus on walking, yoga, meditation, little bit of parkour and tai chi. I enjoyed it, I had a pretty good routine. But in the past two weeks, I've had two significant changes in my life: I adopted two kittens (Merry & Pippin, at your service) I got unexpectedly called back into the office part time, so that I'm now working on site most mornings for the foreseeable future. The combination of these two things has seriously thrown me off my stride. So this challenge cycle has got to be about regaining my foundation, finding my footing and balance, organizing life to lower my stress level and feel pretty good about my life. In addition, I'm going to continue trying to set myself up for a good Fall/Winter in a very unusual year. No huge goals, just life changing stuff. To that end, during this challenge, I'm going to: Work back up to near-daily walks Work back up to yoga 3x week Work back up to near-daily meditation Get a little kayaking in while the weather's still warm enough for it Work toward being able to offer more focused work time (rather than doing stress procrastination) And to support those goals, I'm going to: Do some bat cave work, to make the cat situation easier to handle Do some self-education on being a good cat person Look for ways to improve my nutrition (because going back to work has seen me in the McDonald's drive-thru on the way home more than I'd like to admit). The Rebels guild feels like a good place to do that. I can offer to make it worth your while with cute kitten pictures, if that'll sweeten the deal....
  6. You were on the verge of dropping trou for half a day at the mall? Adventure!
  7. Heh. Despite the fact that the dates for this challenge are in the header, my brain said said that it was over on the 10th. So I'll keep rocking this through Saturday. But yes, I have been thinking about the next challenge. And in the spirit of "it takes many tiny Legos to build the millennium falcon", I think I'm doing to concentrate on little things. Still figuring out what that might mean, though. Thank you for your thoughts. It can be really helpful to see my life from an outside perspective.
  8. *hug*
  9. Checking in, as this challenge draws to an end. My current status on each of these is in green. Here's what I said I would do: Daily activities (at least 6 days/week) Walk, at least 10 minutes, preferably outside (aiming for >5000 steps/day). Pause to savor the nature. Since the beginning of May, I've met that goal 50% of the time, basically every other week. There have been individual days where I've hit 5,000 steps (and one where I hit 11,000!), but I haven't averaged 5,000 steps in any week. I've taken pictures with my phone, posted pictures of nature to Facebook and here, and taken the time to enjoy outdoors. Meditate (finishing up the 21 Days of Calm right now, will explore after that) Since the beginning of May, I've meditated all but 4 days, which I'm very happy about. I finished the 21 days of Calm on my app, have experimented a little, and have seemingly settled into the daily Calm meditation. Druid Thang (yoga, Tai Chi, bellydancing -- I multiclass into Bard) I did yoga 13 days out of the last 39 days. Plus one day of Tai Chi, two days of parkour, and one day of bellydancing. This is the easiest place to skip, but a place that I really think makes a difference to my well-being. Social thang (World of Warcraft with friends, socializing via Zoom/Skype, walk with a socially-distanced buddy, phone call with family) Slam dunk! I accomplished the goal of 6 days a week without too much difficulty. Sing or dance (did I mention that I multiclass into Bard?) Eventual success! I started reminding myself to sing, and it now is pretty normalized. Weekly activities Hobbit Hole improvement (make my workspace more ergonomic, make my balcony a better treehouse retreat, etc) Progress! I have an adjustable standing desk now and have started getting used to it. I have bought plants and a comfy chair to make my balcony more inviting. Some bigger clean (take out garbage/recycling, clean bathroom, etc.) I've managed to stay ahead of entropy, but I haven't done the weekly "bigger clean" that I meant to do. Grasping the Nettle (things I really need to get done but don't wanna do -- and it will feel SO GOOD to have them behind me) Do my damn taxes at some point this month Not done. I sat down to do my first thinking about it today and realized I need to go into my office in order to even view/print my W-2. I'll do that later today. Set up my 403(b) at work Barely even considered. *sigh* Overall assessment -- this is the most successful of the three NF Forum challenges I've done. I've really enjoyed my time here in the Druids forum and the concentration on yoga and meditation rather than strength or speed. I don't intend to abandon any of these quests going forward. Right now, time goes by so fast. I don't know how it's June already. I had thought I would be bored staying at home so much, but I'm really not. This has taught me how to appreciate my own company and living small in a way I didn't think I could, my own version of a monastic routine. Lessons Learned: At least right now, a yoga routine that I can do at any time works far better for me than a scheduled class. While the intention was there to do the work, the actual execution floated around my schedule as needed, based on other activities, the weather, my mood, how I was feeling in my body. It would be good to have some non-NF yoga videos cued up so that I can do them without much searching and deciding. When I've got the urge to work out is not the moment to thoughtfully consider which of a hundred options I want to do. Doing a routine of any sort is the base goal. Pushing to do harder routines can be demoralizing and non-productive. I need to feel an innate good out of the work for continued success. I like meditating. I should keep that up. I'd seem to have more skill at mindfulness than concentration -- I'd like to work on my skills in concentration and focus, as well as to expore different types of meditation. Sleep really makes a difference. I can very much tell when I've had a run of days with less sleep than usual. Sleep should be a priority. Yeahhhhh, tai chi may be pretty damn hard to learn from a video. But even taking a few of the individual moves and doing them repeatedly can feel an awful lot like meditation, an innate good thing. So that's my thoughts on this one. Comments?
  10. A question for you all -- who are your druidy role models? I could use some inspiration, both among real and fictional beings.
  11. Memorial Day check in. Here's what I said I would be doing this challenge: Daily activities (at least 6 days/week) Walk, at least 10 minutes, preferably outside (aiming for >5000 steps/day). Pause to savor the nature. Meditate (finishing up the 21 Days of Calm right now, will explore after that) Druid Thang (yoga, Tai Chi, bellydancing -- I multiclass into Bard) Social thang (World of Warcraft with friends, socializing via Zoom/Skype, walk with a socially-distanced buddy, phone call with family) Sing or dance (did I mention that I multiclass into Bard?) Weekly activities Hobbit Hole improvement (make my workspace more ergonomic, make my balcony a better treehouse retreat, etc) Some bigger clean (take out garbage/recycling, clean bathroom, etc.) Grasping the Nettle (things I really need to get done but don't wanna do -- and it will feel SO GOOD to have them behind me) Do my damn taxes at some point this month Set up my 403(b) at work And here's how that is going. Pretty good on the Dailies -- the walking and meditation in particular. The Druid thing seems a bigger hurdle to regularly get over. I think I may need a few more yoga video options to rotate through, as the NF selection appropriate for my speed is pretty limited. Does anyone have any YouTube yoga videos they particularly recommend? If not, I'll likely browse Yoga with Adriene and see what I find. For the weeklies -- I've done some improvement on my balcony retreat, and I've ordered a standing desk which will get here ... someday. And my apartment is staying fairly clean, though now that warmer weather is here, I feel like I have too much "stuff" around. Still haven't grasped either of those nettles.... The outdoors is calling me, but I'm much more cautious about going out during the lovely mid-day. That's when all the other people are out, too. I need to find my bike pump or get a new one and spend some time on two wheels -- that somehow feels more solitary in public.
  12. Or, to make it geekier -- as Wargames said, "the only way to win is not to play."
  13. Martial arts often have a meditational aspect to them as well, given the importance of mental focus and breath. I did 10 minutes of meditation and 14 minutes of tai chi today, and .... it's hard to ignore the similarities between them, the intentionality of what you do with your body and how you breathe. Yeah, @Jean , with Jake Mace's video, I wished that he weren't standing in a stream, so I could see his feet better. It's far too easy to just pay attention to the fancy arm movements, even as the captions on the video said to concentrate on the main body and just let the arms follow the body's movement. Maybe 5 years ago, my mother took tai chi classes at the senior center for a while. She told me that for the first six months, she just concentrated on getting her feet right, and only then started working on the arms. I should have taken that more seriously than I did at the time.
  14. We had a couple of days of teaser summer weather, but now we're back to rain and cool. My excitement for the day is that I walked through the Jake Mace tai chi 14-minute video that @Jean recommended, my very first tai chi. Some bits of it made sense, some didn't (yet), but I've started to explore! Thank you, @Jean! This weekend, I cleared some room in my house for a slightly bigger, less cramped workspace. This morning, I did the hard work of live chatting with someone at a standing desk company to ask questions -- hey, that's a little intimidating, so it counts as hard work! So I think I'm closing in on a better workspace. Yesterday, I went to the grocery store, which ...seems to have substituted for my will to work out. So no yoga or walking yesterday. (It feels ridiculous to say that grocery shopping takes an energetic toll, but it definitely does these days!) That's ok. Every day, I do what I can, start from where I am.
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