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About EaseActivate

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    San Francisco Bay Area
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  1. Hey everyone — just wanted to give you a heads up that I’m probably going to take a break from the NF boards for awhile. Everything’s good (went to the gym yesterday! new sched is working!) — I’m just scrambling to keep up with new job, and posting here has become a To Do list item that I keep pushing back. I’ve also been working on habits that have intrinsic immediate value to me, so having a model for accountability has become less critical to my success. I’ll be back when it’s time to level up again and need a community to get there. In the meantime, this introvert is sending hugs and quietly slipping out the back door for some rest. Thank you again!
  2. I was in Okinawa, which is much more south than, say, Tokyo, and more like tropical waters. It was exactly the way you picture it, with all the coral and brilliantly colored fishies! Same here! And I'm always awkwardly embarrassed by that... heh... Good question! I don't normally use hairdryers, so if they do, that'll be a new skill to unlock. I'll check! Update: I did great on my first day back, and had an awesome meeting with my new boss. We're both super happy to be working together, and everything's going awesome so far. Jet lag fiiiinally kicked my ass last night, though, and I had a terrible time sleeping. So I'm extra tired today. Exercise: I did get on my home cardio machine (today was a 'work from home' friday for everyone on my new team -- another great thing about the new job!) -- and that felt like a good re-start. I expect to be able to get to the gym next week as scheduled. Enjoyment: I've been keeping an Enjoyment Log on a new app in my phone, and I'm still working out my methods for remembering to fill it out. I realized it's a strange feeling to just write down things that feel good, since I often use journaling to solve problems and study my discomforts. Once I start, though, it's really easy to find things to focus on. Usually it's moments that I stopped to do something nice for myself. Moderation: Now that I'm back from vacation I am soooooo ready to kick alcohol and sugar back down to where they belong in my life. (I was pretty moderate on the trip, too. So done with the stress bingeing.) Morning Pages: Still loving this. I got two in on my trip (which was all bonus -- i didn't expect to get any in), and it's been easy to get back into it now that I'm home. Still finding this extremely useful for helping myself get oriented with my new job and focusing on what matters. So, I'm good.
  3. Checking in from a 5-day vacation to Okinawa, Japan. We’re staying with my husband’s friend — an American man who married an Okinawan woman and had four kids (ages 5-11). The house is total chaos and absolute wonder. I love hanging out with these kids so much. We just went to the aquarium, and are now headed out for sushi. I’ve gone scuba diving twice — first time since my honeymoon three years ago! — and it’s quite a surprising workout. And gorgeous. I’m also inspired hearing my husband’s friend talk about losing about 100lb over the last two years by focusing on whole foods and high fiber intake. He’s got me thinking about how to get more vegetables into my dinners, and I like that he still eats grains as long as they’re whole grains. Need to research that more, cuz I do like me some breads. Here are some whale sharks from the aquarium. Enjoy!
  4. p.s. OMG my body feels so good! I needed a workout like woah.
  5. WOOHOOO!!! Today I start a new job and i went to the gym for the first time this morning! I woke up at 4:30am (my alarm is 6am) because sleep before new job was just not really happening, and said, screw it, let's just go to the gym. It was my first time at the gym, so I had to deal with all of the access setup (fingerprint, keypad code), making sure i had All My Things, setting a combo on a new padlock, using a new workout app, working out how I'll deal with showers and makeup, and figuring out where the gym fits into my commute. It was nice to have the extra time to explore each step. I had no expectations for my actual workout because Just Showing Up was the real victory, but I managed 10 minutes of elliptical, 3 sets of push-ups, 3 sets of squats, and 5 minutes of rowing. Not a bad starting point. Both machine styles were new(ish) to me (it's been years), so I needed to get my body familiar to them. Only two things I didn't anticipate: Need to bring a waterbottle next time. (Check.) Forgot that this plan means I'll be showing up at work with wet hair in the morning. (Decided I don't care.) Next time, I'll feel like I know what I'm doing, and I'll be ready to focus on the workout. (Also, next time will probably be in a couple of weeks, because I'm leaving for a trip to Japan on Friday, and this week is weird enough this week that I don't think I'm going to have a second window for the gym.) Anyway! Gotta go! NEW JOB to do! Yay! Hi! Heck Yeah! (Doot dooooo doo doo doo!)
  6. Update: Job is finalized, official, and starting monday! Woot woot! Also worth mentioning: I have a trip to Japan next Friday. So that'll be fun.
  7. Greetings! I spent most of the last challenge dealing with the Very Uncomfortable Psychological Rollercoaster(tm) that comes from job hunting. I'm 95% sure I have the new job locked in now, though, and I expect to begin it sometime during this challenge. I learned a very important thing during my very uncomfortable rollercoaster: my focus on my health is motivated by my enjoyment of my daily life. If i'm enjoying my daily life, I naturally also wanna be healthy so I can enjoy more of it. If I don't enjoy my daily life, I wanna curl up on the coach and eat binge on junkfood and booze so I can minimize my energy for the unpleasantness. So! In this challenge, we will be focusing on ENJOYMENT! We shall get our grooves back, as they say. And we shall remember why we love this life. Challenge is as follows: 1) Morning Pages! I freaking love this practice that I started in my last challenge, so I'm continuing it. Every morning, I wake up and write three pages in a notebook longhand while I enjoy my coffee, and before I do anything important. It's a creative braindump to activate my thinking and clear away the cobwebs, and it feels wonderful. Commitment: I will do this every workday (~5 days/wk). Weekends, vacation days, and sick days are optional. 2) Join a Gym! I've decided that with the shift to my new job, I will also introduce a gym schedule on Tuesdays and Thursdays (I've previously just been working out from home). So my goal for this month is to establish that schedule. I won't impose any specific fitness goals yet -- I just need to work out all of the processes for just showing up. Commitment: I'm going to aim for every Tues/Thurs (except vacation/sick days), but if I miss a day, I will learn from what happened and adjust something to fix it for next time (and that will have value too). By the end of the month, I will feel like I trust my new schedule and can go to the gym twice a week. 3) Moderate sugar & alcohol! This continues to be an important factor for me, so I'll stick with what's been working: Limit one drink max & one sweet max if I have work the next day. Prevent sugar crashes and hangovers (read: consume small portions and/or slowly) on weekend/vacation days. Skipping sugar & alcohol altogether is always welcome and encouraged. (Sidenote: i'm currently taking 7 days off both sweets and alcohol to reset my brain after the last challenge. They'll be reintroduced for moderation this weekend.) 4) INCREASE ENJOYMENT! I want to do something every day that increases my enjoyment, and keep track of it. Examples: Try a new recipe Explore a new resource for learning Dance like nobody's watching while I walk home from the bus stop listening to music Write down 3 things I'm grateful for today Write down funny things that happened today Goal-setting / affirmations / visualizations -- whatever helps me focus on where I'm going and what I'm capable of Meditation Quality time with my partner Quality time with a friend Going out to a new restaurant Going for a walk in nature Expanding/refining my commitments to support my community or charities Getting into a "flow" state with personal projects or work Documenting my progress here in NF and engaging with you wonderful people. ..basically anything that activates the "PERMA" elements in positive psychology : positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishments. I've found that curiosity is a particularly engaging experience for me, so a lot of these ideas target that part of my brain. I'm not totally sure how I'm gonna track #4 yet, but I'll figure that out this week. Hugs to all of you! Oh hey. Maybe muppets this time. Yeah, muppets!
  8. Thanks for checking in. Is it the end of the challenge already? Yep, okay, and I didn't even post enough to get pagination on my thread -- man! Totally gonna make it up next challenge. And this one was, for better or worse, exactly what I needed it to be. As for where I am now: i think i turned a corner at the end of this week on all this job hunt anxiety. I'm still waiting on a final offer and paperwork from the new team, but I have assurances from top to bottom that it's definitely going to happen, so I'm taking a deep breath and resolving to stop questioning it. It should be settled by early next week anyway. I let a lot of things slip with sugar, alcohol, and exercise this challenge, and I think I learned something important from the process: my motivation to feel healthy is fueled by enjoying my daily life. When I'm having fun in my life, I want to increase my energy (exercise) and avoid things that make me feel cruddy the next day (sugar and alcohol) because I want to maximize what I can accomplish in a day. When I'm not enjoying my daily life, I prefer binge on alcohol & sugar and avoid exercising because I want to minimize the time I have available to do stuff. I just want to make time pass and hide from things. And during the job hunt, when there were long stretches of just waiting for responses from the other parties, anxiety-inducing interviews, and sitting in uncertainty and insecurity and guilt all day, I really did not enjoy my daily life, and I genuinely felt like I was "taking care of myself" by reducing the time I had available to sit in that space. I know that's not the most productive conclusion and decision (and I'd like to do things differently during the next stressful life event), but it's how my logic worked at the time, and it was a valid (tho dubious) strategy. This is significant for another important reason: there's been a part of me that was concerned that the only reason I focused on health for the last year was that I was getting bored with my job and had extra time -- and that once I got a new job, I wouldn't have time for health again. But i don't think that's true at all. I think I focused on health because I was really enjoying my freedom and curiosity, and I wanted to maximize how much I could spend time in that space. This new job is going to give me a lot of creative and intellectual opportunities, and I'm really expecting to enjoy them. I think, even if I get busier, my motivation to focus on health will strengthen because I want to do more with the time I have available. That is, it'll strengthen because I'm busier. That's the new theory, anyway. To reboot my body awareness (now that I feel like I've cleared the biggest anxiety hurdles) I resolved yesterday to go 7 days without any sweets or alcohol. I have two events next friday & saturday night where I expect to drink socially, so I'll make those the finish line. Nothing from that category until then. (Sidenote: I noticed last night that my sweets cravings were WAY stronger than my craving for alcohol, which was basically none because I was exhausted. This always fascinates me when I observe it, because I associate alcohol with having the more addictive qualities. Sugar is a devious beast, yo.) Part of the issue with this challenge is that I was so distracted, I stopped manually tracking my progress. So unless it was autotracked (like fitbit steps), I'm gonna do some guessing at the below progress. 1) Moderate Sugar and Alcohol I lost track but I know I (a) mostly followed it, but (b) had a handful of days when I totally threw this rule out the window, so I'm just gonna call it 75%. 2) Morning Pages This was an EXTREMELY useful tool, and by far the BEST thing I did for myself this challenge, because it helped me clarify my own thoughts for making Big Life Choices. Even when I wasn't sedentary and putting crap into my body, I still kept writing in the mornings as often as I could and it. was. so. good. Looks like i showed up for this 21 out of 27 days, which is about 77%. Funny how that's number's not as a great as I expected, but I'm SUPER proud of it. 3) Move I pretty openly gave up on this one. Not well tracked, so I'm just gonna give it about 40%. 4) Get a new perspective I did this about half the weekends, and basically gave up on it too. (But the ones I did it for were super helpful.) 50% Those are all below 80%, so I definitely failed this challenge. No loot reward for the main challenge. BUT LET'S TALK ABOUT BONUSES!!! I did this one (!!): Get rid of all the trash bags & piles in the garage. We got a big "dumpster bag" from our city trash collection and filled it with all the trashbags and boxes in our garage, and now that space is clear! Woot! $5! And this one!!!: Pass the PMP Certification Exam! Heck yeah!! Another $5! I also had a "$.50" daily bonus for skipping alcohol or sugar, or for adding meditation, and i tracked 12 of those. So that's $6. AND! I! DID! THIS! ONE!: $50 Ultra-Bonus: getting a new job that I'm excited about (Even though the paperwork's not yet settled, if I'm gonna tell my brain the hunt is over, then I better also give myself credit for this thing.) So that's $66 in bonuses. I did think I'd do better on the main challenge, but I also expected this was gonna be a rough ride. The bonuses were the real challenge this time, and so I'm declaring victory. Next challenge, I'll get healthy and sane again. Thanks for riding along for my (relatively quiet, posts-wise) rollercoaster this month everybody! Cheers!
  9. (I'm pretty sure) I HAVE A JOB! I'm staying in the same company, but switching to a new team and doing stuff that's super interesting with really smart, fun people! We're still finalizing all the details with HR (so there's still a smidge of room for things to go sideways), but they're certain they want me and I'm certain I want them and they're certain they have the position available. And two super-high level executives at my company have both told the hiring manager that I'm a rockstar, and my current boss told him I'm the best he's ever hired. So... I think we're pretty safe at this point. Meanwhile, the Work-From-Home company (which, to recap, was not very work-from-home) also contacted me yesterday to make an offer, and I graciously declined. Even if things went sideways on the current plan, I'm still certain they are not the team for me. Meanwhile, Big Pretty Company is still moving like molasses, so I'll wait until everything's official before I inform them I'm out. HOLY CRAP I AM SO RELIEVED THIS IS ALMOST OVER. That was mercifully quick for a job hunt (mostly thanks to the internal opportunity). I'll fully transition in mid-March, but since i'm staying in the building, I'll be available to both teams at all times, so it doesn't need to be a sudden transition. And now I'm starting to think through how I re-add proper workouts into my new schedule (suddenly I'm considering joining that gym near the office), how I keep doing Morning Pages cuz they were an EXTREMELY supportive tool for this process, and how I handle a bunch of work transitions next. Deep breaths. We're good.
  10. PROOF OF LIFE SMOKE SIGNALS! - Elton John was amazing (!) - I might have a new job settled by the end of this week (!!) - It's within my current company -- they're basically creating a new role with everything I asked for in order to keep me (!!!) - I'm freaking exhausted and am so ready for this all to be over (!!!!) - I'm totally half-assing my challenge right now and will reset once this is all done (!!!!!) - Kthxbai (!!!!!!)
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