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  1. I'm experimenting with workout schedules. That's the science. In my last challenge, linked here: I had the following goals: Goal 1: Workout every day. Goal 2. Eat more, earlier in the day, and in smaller portions to avoid bingeing at night; and everything should be clean. Goal 3. Water/Sleep: 6 cups at least & 6 hours at least. I'm not changing the goals for this challenge, I probably won't change the goals for a while. But because my completion chart looked like this at the end of the challenge,.... Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Work Work Work Work Work Jujitsu (AM) Church “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ Cardio Resistance Jujitsu (PM) Life Group Errands Cardio Resistance Endurance or Speed Hams (RDLs) & Chest Yoga Abs Yoga Endurance Hams (RDLs), Lats & Delts Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Week 0 4/6 5/8 3/6 2/3 4/5 4/8 6/7 Week 1 5/7 4/7 4/7 idk idk 4/7 4/8 Week 2 3/5 4/6 2/8 3/6 idk idk 4/8 Week 3 4/8 4/7 idk idk idk 4/7 4/8 Week 4 idk 3/8 5/6 idk idk 4/6 5/7 Week 5 idk idk idk idk idk idk I figured I should reevaluate my workout schedule. I to see more green this time around. Changing my schedule around to look like this: Sunday,--Cardio: preferably hikes to build endurance, (Is there anything better on a Sunday afternoon?), but since the weather will be iffy over the next month, anything will be fine. Monday--Weights: RDLs + (Bench & Lats) or (Rows & Shoulders) Tuesday--Cardio: Doesn't matter what kind. Wednesday: Jujitsu & Abs/Core work, If no jujitsu class -> Weights again Thursday- Yoga: I usually have church activities on Thursdays, so I get home very late and in varying states of fed/hungry. So I'd rather do something simple and at home, while I get ready for bed. Friday-Abs/Core work: I run my errands on Friday nights, so I need something I can do at home, that's relatively quick. If all else fails, 1min. planks suffice just fine. Saturday- Weights again. Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Week 0 Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week Xtra Week 5 I know this challenge is only three weeks, but I didn't feel like making a new chart, now or in the future. I'm also going to start a week now, and go the week after Christmas. Because my main goal going into next year is to workout consistently, so there is no point in taking a week off anywhere and disrupting that. I'm less tired than I was a few months ago, and my strength and endurance are slowly picking up, so I know at least something is working.
  2. This challenge is all about cultivating the quiet strength of balance, and I can’t think of a better time to set that intention than at the new moon just before the Autumn Equinox. I’m focusing on the core elements that sustain me and bring me peace, security, and the quiet strength to be who I am in the world. Heal as I can, when I can. Eating Wellness Wednesdays Sometimes the gym Do not give in to despair. Writing (Dissertation is 12, 343 words as the challenge opens) Classwork Connections Allow no one to choose combat for me Sleep, regularly but also often Schedule as little as possible by the clock and calendar. Meditation, including small bits of sitting throughout the day.
  3. My world is pretty damned busy. I have a full-time job, a family, I volunteer with my church, and I attempt to have some sort of healthy lifestyle. Over the past year, the volunteer position turned into more of an Unpaid Second Job, though that's slowly fixing itself, and my full-time job recently spiraled out of control, and though that project is in the rear-view mirror, I fear others like it will just rear their ugly head soon. I don't need my life to be perfect; I just want to find some balance. This challenge will have only two goals, which I will attempt to achieve daily: Try not to exceed my max encumbrance Be kind to myself That's it. That's a LOT. I've been going at a breakneck pace for years. I have five kids, a grandson, a fiancee, a full-time job, a part-time volunteer position AND until 2019 was working out or running up to seven times per week while also competing in 20 Obstacle Course race weekends per year, buying a house, remodeling the deck, becoming a woodworker, and being a massive Star Wars nerd. My fiancee told me I don't know how to take vacations because when we would vacation, I would either go race, or go on a service Mission Trip with my church youth group. One of my kids told me she was worried I was going to have a heart attack. My youngest told me she doesn't like asking to go shopping for things like clothes that fit or groceries because I'm so busy. These should be red flags and I have ignored them for years. So right now, I am trying to change my behavior. On the first week of this challenge, I am taking a week of PTO from work. I am going to be doing landscaping in my yard, finishing my garage, and completing the lattice cladding on my deck in preparation for my son's High School graduation party. I also need to put together a couple of media slideshows for the party instead of the photo boards most people have done, because it's easier and less time-consuming. So, my family is not wrong and I don't know how to vacation and I do too much, stress too much, and should learn to be kind to myself and rest. I'll give it some effort.
  4. Balance, in my life, has always been that elusive friend watching you from afar, giggling as you struggle, giving you a mischievous nudge when all goes well but also lifting you up in the darkest nights, when a rain of thin and sharp icicles pierces your heart. It is the fox from St-Ex's Little Prince, waiting to be befriended but running away when I try too hard. This round, I'll keep coming to see it every day, at the same time, and we'll see if we get closer by the end of it. I've got intermediate life goals: Be at home. I've gone from crappy appartment to good appartment with crappy landlord to crappy appartment for way too long. If I'm ever going to find balance, I need to be a master of what gets in my kitchen and in my washing room. I want to find pleasure in cooking and showering again, that means choosing the exact appliances I am willing to use. I'm tired of bowing under a ceiling too low and having meals cooking either too quick or too slow and I think I'm ready for choices and consequences and not having anybody to blame for my housing problems but myself. The goal is buying a (small) flat. For the first time ever, I've got a positive budget balance and I'm able to save. My net worth is above 0 (yay!) so I can work toward a down payment. That's a twelve months goal, I've got a progress bar and a preplanned path: Get ready for Space! So, that's silly but during my studies and since then, I could always picture myself as a resources manager/cartographer. This is one of the paths were my life is leading me so, why not try for it in Space? The ESA is recruiting, giving me a shot at just that. I'm not making it a life goal and won't cry a tear if I'm rejected right off the bat but I'm still going to lie down, take a good aim and shoot my bullet. I must: take a medical exam. write down an awesome résumé. write down an even more awesome cover letter. get in shape. Keep on hiking I'm still planning to fulfill my hiking guide course and get ready to launch some survivalism seminars (survivalism in the broader sense as in, surviving in nature, of course, but also building the confidence to say no and make choices, building toward financial independance, stress management, relationship management and others). For that, I need to: register to the hiking guide association and get the proper insurance. get a proper first aid kit. accomplish 2 internships. build up an internet site. put together a first hike - target is an historical themed hike somewhere in the neighborhood. get clients. start hiking. Longer term goals like building relationships and actually living a balanced life will come later. For now, I'll focus on that. That means: Daily eat 2 meals (1 pre-cooked, 1 cooked). drink 1l of water (water bottle at work). sleep with the lights off and the windows open (no duration target). Every other day go out and get a small workout. Start with 4x5 squats, push-ups, hollow-holds, inverted rows. Workdays get to work by 6:30 am. Week 0: registering to the hiking guide association. get the proper insurances. get the first aid kit. Week 1: get my résumé ready. Week 2: medical exam on May 19 - 2 pm. get my cover letter ready. Week 3: finalize my postulation application for the esa. Week 4: get in touch for my internships. Monthly: follow my IPS, save and build the downpayment. Stretch goals: go to the vineyard, relax, have a beer, make sure it doesn't turn into a jungle. declutter the house. start working on the internet site. hike. This calls for a different kind of theme music: See you all on the way and may Balance watch your path. It's got room for more friendships than one.
  5. I feel like I've spent a lot of time the last few months building my alter-ego's awesomeness, which is definitely great and necessary, but ultimately not as much fun. Yay, I do the dishes right after dinner! And I drink lot of water! Good stuff but not .... exciting. So let's focus on super stuff this time. Finally! I feel ready to work on actual skills, not just basic strength building. First skill: I "lost" my pull-up ability when I developed a shoulder recruitment imbalance, and gee whiz, now that I'm activating the right muscles more, I can't do one again. I will slowly work my way through to this again, but with body awareness, movement prep, and follow up stretching. Second skill: Also shoulder related. Grumble grumble been effecting so many things grumble. I'm starting arm balance work by taking on crow pose. I want control in this before I move on to super stuff like handstands. Third skill: A continuation from previous and probably on going for a looooong time. Two different running goals of getting back to sub 30min 5K (or better), and run a 10K without time goals to begin with. I see alternating interval training and long runs in my future. Long term skill goals: muscle up, human flag, handstands, maybe a parkour class or an aerial skills class, running super fast and far. https://i.gifer.com/37sf.g My alter-ego's attire has been jeans and Ts for a while now. I need to feel better than that, so time to upgrade. But!... This super-suit can't restrict me in any way during my usual activities, or maybe add to risk. Also money, and fitting rooms are closed. Therefore I will be shopping in my current wardrobe to find things that are more put together than the usual grubbing attire, with an eye to shapes and styles that work for me so I know what to look for when I can go out. Or maybe what patterns to buy and plan for when I can effectively go fabric shopping if I can't find what I want (usual problem.) The related challenge is that I've been slow to get to my exercising and then I have to walk the dog, and I'm still not leaving the house for work, so by the time I shower, why bother? I will rectify this by having one glass of water, then one cup of coffee while hopefully checking in here, and then getting my sweat on first thing in the morning. And if I can't walk the dog in this suit then it doesn't fit my needs. Back to alter-ego https://i.gifer.c She's done a great job keeping my going, so the things my AE will keep at are; food tracking for calorie tracking for knowledge and to make sure I keep an eye on a few nutrient goals. tackle a few house projects, looking at painting radiator covers to start budget track and plan play in the garden
  6. This challenge begins during a time of converging paths, each with their own pressures: PhD classes, interpersonal conflict, editing work, physical challenges, emotional balance, spiritual wholeness. At times it feels like I am navigating under a starless sky, and all I can do is trust the sails and be grateful that the water lifts the boat. I hadn't meant to make an Earthsea challenge, and it's been forever since I read the books, but here we are. Writing often reveals the Way; as Ged found, words have power to restore balance to what has been upset. The way will open.
  7. Snow Falling on Warm Ground When I sit Let the thoughts come. Welcome them even! With an open heart, I can receive them Drifts of snow falling On warm ground. When I am work, Let the chaos come. Welcome it even! With a centered heart, I can embrace it Drifts of snow falling On warm ground. When I am play, Let the obstacles come. Welcome them even! With a calm heart, I can resolve them Drifts of snow falling On warm ground. When I am in the world, Let the difficulties come. Welcome them even! With a full heart, I can release them Drifts of snow falling On warm ground. This is a mindset challenge. My goals are about restoring my heart and spirit after a long and difficult dark night of the soul, one that feels as though it is finally beginning to recede. What I learned on my path through Hell is that I have no enemies; there is no fight. I am an agent of the Spirit. Simplicity: storage unit; monthly housekeeping; local food subscription for 2021. Peace: the path forward to togetherness with Vivian; continued thoughts and efforts with the boys; meditation. Integrity: the dance with the job*; begin doctoral classes Restore: acupuncture; massage therapy; milk and honey and yummy goodness; meditation. Initiative: paralegal for those facing eviction; research proposal for honesty project Teamwork: rely on my advocates, the attorney and TheTherapistsThree; maintain contact with my Jedi Council; the morning call; and the Forum Friendship.
  8. I'm turning this into a six week challenge because I can. Also, this series of challenges has growth as a central theme, and growth is continuous. Last time around I did indeed experience growth, and with that came knowledge. I'm putting that knowledge to use in this challenge and taking on a more freestyle kind of format. I do have goals, and in-particular I want to get myself into race-shape before I kick my season off at the beginning of January, but I'm taking a slightly more relaxed and reactive approach in order to accommodate the unexpected events that keep cropping up and my emotional and physical reactions to them. I've gone back to paper and pen, planned the next section of this path of mine, and given myself some guidelines in order to help me keep moving forwards. This challenge I will run. This challenge I will do yoga. This challenge I will lift. This challenge I will do body weight exercise. This challenge I will also study, read, knit, draw, cook, clean, and work towards achieving the best balance in life I can. If there is one hard and fast rule that can never be changed then it is this: there is no such thing as an unacceptable or wasted day. Rest is vital, emotionally and physically. GOALS AND GUIDELINES Run, but only on days off (almost always twice a week) Work out, but only before work (and just twice a week for the next six weeks). Also included under this goal is grip working, specifically working on my grip with cold hands. This can be done up to three times a week for the next six weeks. Study, at least half an hour on days off and at least fifteen minutes on workdays (and on work days, always before work) Keep stress low. Make time for fun and creativity every day, especially after work. And that's it. There are more things, but they're like background noise at the moment. The above is what I am primarily focused on. It is my hope that keeping things relaxed like this for a short time will help me make and keep the habits I'm trying to form, and then next time around I can work on SMART goals. In addition to all of that, I will update daily and check-in with others as often as I can. Doing that is one of the things that helped keep me going when things got tough and tiring towards the end of last challenge. Let's see how this plays out.
  9. Alright, so this is a brief description as a placeholder (cuz I'm currently at work) This challenge I'm doing something a little different. Instead of 4 small goals, im creating a list of things I can pick and choose from each day, each item giving between 1 and 5 pts for completion. To pass at bare minimum I need to accumulate 100 points (20 points a week). To get an a+ ranking will need to be over 500 points. More details to come...
  10. Nic walks into the Ranger Headquarters after her last mission. She had hit some minor setbacks, but understood that the setbacks were a result of her strict new training regimen-- her body simply wasn't up to the task because it was growing stronger. But now, it was time to prove herself again. Nodding at the guildmaster, Nic makes her way to the Assistant Quartermaster to return her equipment. "One set of magic rings of levitation, one bow, the short sword, 10 knives." Nic each item on the counter as she listed the item, pulling each one out of her trusty rucksack. "Welcome back," the QM replied. "You're going to need those again. Report to Bev in Assignments, she has a new mission for you." The QM paused, "Come back when you're done with Bev. I have some things you'll need. Leave this stuff here," he gestured to the tools Nic had already taken out, "you're going to want to repack when you get the new equipment." Nic silently raised an eyebrow at this. Nodding, she left the ruck behind, but grabbed a dagger off the counter and put it on her belt. Just in case. You never know when a knife might come in handy, after all. Having armed her self, she then walked over to Mission Assignments, also known as the bar. "I heard you have a mission for me, Bev." Nic sat down in front of Bev, who was manning the bar. Bev efficiently whipped out a coaster and then set a nice tall glass of Harrendahl mead in front of Nic. Nic gave a grin at the quick service. Bev remembered everyone's orders and always knew what suited their mood. "Good to see you again, Nic! Long time no see." Bev was right on that point. Nic had been on a free-lance training mission for the past month, after failing a previous assignment. "Listen, when this mission came up, I had to give it to you. It's perfect. So you know the Mar'saat Raiders in the Western Reach? They're looking for some help. Someone tough, motivated, but unlikely to be stopped by the Warlord's forces. They're short a few members after that battle in the Weir Woods." "The Raiders? Really?" Nic knew of the Raiders. They were some of the toughest of the Rangers-- legendary for their strength and speed. They were a key unit in the Rebellion, great at smuggling supplies into beseiged villages or ambushing Warlord Dzanai's forces. They epitomized what it meant to be a Ranger, in Nic's eyes. "See? I knew you'd be interested. They're looking for someone to help them smuggle supplies from the base in the Reach to a small fishing village at on the coast. They'll be able to tell you more when you get there, but they're expecting you at the beginning of next week. Go see the QM. He'll have what you need." Draining the mead, Nic gave a quick "thanks!" to Bev and headed back to the QM. He had replaced the bow that she had returned with a bo staff. Nic was grateful-- the bo staff was her preferred weapon. In addition to the bo staff and other weapons, the QM had added in a new pair of boots ("Extra light, so that you can run faster, but durable enough for all terrain, and enchanted to drain water if they get wet,"), a map to the base at the Western Reach ("burn it once you've memorized it-- don't want Dzanai's forces to get a hold of it and read it."), and a new half-cloak ("a little easier to run with, than that long one you've got on."). "See you in a month, Ranger. Come back safe." Nic smiled, thanked the QM, and walked out the door. She had a mission to do.
  11. “Let’s start from the beginning, one last time...” Have you guys seen Into the Spider-Verse? Cos if you haven’t, how dare you. It’s the best animated movie I’ve seen in a hot minute. And so, it’s the theme of this challenge! I was on a bit of a Spider-Man kick before, but then I saw the movie and, well. Here we are. I’ll do my best to post movie references and inspirational quotes without accidentally spoiling anything. And I’ll post other Spider-Man stuff too, not just from ItSV. Spider-Man (plus a dose of Assassin’s Creed) has hardcore reignited my desire to be strong and nimble and do parkour and stuff. So, to try and work toward this strong, nimble future-self, I will do 3 workouts per week. That’s only twelve times! I can do twelve times. Since I wanna focus on strength, control, and flexibility, I’m thinking body weight circuits or a tough yoga practice (like NF Fire A or something) or balance practice; but I’m not gonna tie myself to any specific activity lest I get bored of it. I found a few Neila Rey workouts that are along the lines of what I want (including some Spider-Man themed ones!) that I’ll post below. I’ll have to modify a few of the movements to make sure they’re quiet, since I have downstairs neighbors, but I think they look pretty good. ADDITIONALLY: my uni’s rec center has a climbing wall. And I live, like, a less than five minute walk away. So during this challenge, I have to go try the climbing wall at least once. What could be more perfect for Spider-Man training than a climbing wall?? If I can manage 10/12 workouts, then I will buy myself this Nifty Spider-Shirt as a reward! “I never thought I’d be able to do any of this stuff. But I can. Anyone can wear the mask. You can wear the mask. If you didn’t know that before, I hope you do now.” Love, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man <3
  12. Welcome back for another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge.. World 1 was my first extended stay through 22 challenges. I took a hiatus from NF and came back with a new direction for my goals where I warped to World 2, which I defeated in a Boss Fight slaying some mighty big goals. In World 3, I continue to develop my fitness, getting my body in the best shape of my life, even with the Degenerative Disc Disease, Arthritis, Disc Fissures, and more. Through physical therapy exercises and karate, I have maintained my core and back muscles to ease the pressure off my spine, but in the end I defeated World 3 by transforming my life into a new form. With chiropractic care for my spine, hitting the high ranks at karate, starting the new Toastmasters program called Pathways, and working to complete my Novice training at IJRS, World 4 feels like something new everyday. I just keep on L-I-V-I-N, fight the good (and healthy) fight, and level up my life! Challenge Lesson: "Light. Darkness. A Balance" [WARNING! The Last Jedi and Karate Kid SPOILERS below] When Luke begins training Rey, he has her sit on a rock eyes closed to reach out and sense the Force: Balance is everywhere. It is in the duality of nature, opposing forces and laws of conservation in physics, and in Star Wars, it is in the Force. The Original Trilogy deals heavily in the duality of the Force with Light versus Dark, Jedi versus Sith, Good versus Evil. The Prequel Trilogy muddies the water a little with the Prophecy claiming a chosen one will bring balance to the Force, which can be argued is fulfilled by Vader, first reducing the Jedi order to two Jedi, then killing the emperor, but is the Prophecy real? How many Force wielders exist in the galaxy which we do not even know about? And so on... The Sequel Trilogy is playing with the duality of dark and light, but it is appearing less about the confrontation between the two and more about how the two complement each other. One cannot exist without the other. Snoke says, "Darkness rises and light to meet it," then explains, "I warned my young apprentice that as he grew stronger, his equal in the light would rise." Here's a great article about the lines: https://medium.com/@AliyaSmyth/the-most-important-line-in-the-last-jedi-no-one-is-talking-about-2af5996d1b8 There is more to learn coming in Episode IX about this relationship, but back on Earth, we live with balance everyday. Most are physical elements working with and against each other, which are easy to see and understand, but the mental aspects take a bit of experience to begin to construe the cause and effect elements which influence the balance. In exercise, balance is extremely important, like "don't skip leg day" because strong legs are just as important as strong arms. My back muscle and spine issues are a testament to balance. My body was grown for downhill running and forward momentum power playing football and rugby as adolescent. I neglected to strengthen my lower back or gain flexibility in my hips or abdomen. My body was a rolling boulder which could take hits and keep moving. With all the time punishing my body and neglecting proper exercise balance, my spine and back worsen. These days, I'm learning more and more about proper exercises to help build these problem areas and maintain a proper balance. Karate has been awesome for building balance as well, but even before I started taking karate, I always liked to refer to the original film series "The Karate Kid" to describe this concept of balance. I'll stick with only the 1984 first film in the series to keep this post short (well, shorter). If you haven't seen it (It is on cable constantly! How could you not?), then let me explain it quickly. The first film in the series is a straight forward story about two characters. The main character is a teenage boy named Daniel who moves clear across the country from New Jersey to California. In his new school, Daniel has trouble making friends being bullied by a group of kids from the same karate dojo, the Cobra Kais. The second character is a handyman martial arts master named Mr. Miyagi who agrees to teach Karate to Daniel to help him with his bullying issues. While teaching Karate, Miyagi demonstrates that there is more to the martial art than fighting. He taught Daniel many concepts for better living: the main one being balance. After Daniel learns to block, his next lesson is to learn to balance his body. Daniel is eager to learn to punch, but to quell Daniel’s eagerness Miyagi dispatches this wisdom, “Better learn balance. Balance is key. Balance good, karate good. Everything good. Balance bad, better pack up, go home.” Daniel learns to keep his body balanced for his karate moves to efficient and effective without giving his opponents opportunity. Later, the night before the karate tournament Daniel admits his nervous and scared, Miyagi helps Daniel see the bigger picture by saying, “Remember lesson about balance? Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance. Everything be better.” Daniel gets it at the end of the movie after he is hurt in the tournament, he is given the option to forfeit the final match. Miyagi feels Daniel has proved himself to win respect from the bullies going further than anyone expected. Daniel sees the injury and forfeit as the Cobra Kais getting a cheap out. He explains to Miyagi that forfeiting won't give him the balance between himself and the Cobra Kais, nor with himself and his girlfriend, Ally, who is a friend of the Cobra Kais. He has to finish the fight. Win or lose, it would show he is not going to let anything keep him down. That warrior mentality along with his prowess as a karate student is something the Cobra Kais will respect. Balance is the key for everyday living. For diet, you have your "balanced breakfast". You should have three "square" meals a day. Of course, there are other moderate diet options with snacking through out the day, 5 small meals, etc. Your workday and home life needs to be balanced to keep both your employer and family happy. Your body needs to be balanced to stay upright. Your body weight and muscles needs to be balanced to avoid back problems. I see this balance lesson at Toastmasters as well. A Toastmasters participation in meetings should have a balance. There are several different roles, each with their own specific lessons. Prepared speeches teach you how to prepare and formulate a speech. Table Topics teaches you to think on your feet. Speech evaluator teaches you to give encouraging feedback. The leadership roles teach you organization, scheduling, problem solving, coaching, listening, improvisation, and encouragement. To get the full benefits from Toastmasters you need to experience each role. Your Toastmasters experience needs to have a balance. Your whole life needs to have a balance. Weigh things to compare, contrast, and compromise. Use moderation in all things to avoid extremes. Find the light and the dark, then understand where the grey is. [SPOILERS Over] My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 4 Level 5 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 320 min total, 80 weekly. STA +1, DEX +1 Walking: Fortify the Spine - 720 min total, 180 weekly. Updating to challenge current routine. STR +1 Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 320 min total, 80 weekly. Adding a nightly exercise routine. STR +1, STA +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 560 min total, 140 weekly. DEX +1, STR +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 880 min total, 220 weekly. Adding nightly karate practice with family. DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Track weight. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. Track lunch portions for 24 of 28 days. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly for 24 of 28 days. Keep on cutting out the crap. CON +4 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete 60 Hours of various Chores and Maintenance, with at least 15 hours each week (reducing for the school year as I need time to help the kids with homework). Chores and Maintenance are the following areas (goal hours for challenge Dishes (10) Laundry (8) Cooking/Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming/Trash/Other (20) Yard Work (4) Animal Care (32) Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance (8) WIS +1, CHA +1 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($107.25 carried over) REWARD: For each week in which I complete 20 or more hours of Chores and Maintenance, I will put aside $10 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE: For any week where I complete less than 15 hours, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD: $5 for each Personal Project hour (Epic Nerd Camp, Extra Life, Jedi website, VHS-to-DVD conversion project, etc) CONSEQUENCE : Lose $10 for each week without a Personal Project hour. REWARD: $50 for each completed IJRS lesson. MORE WRITING! STOP LOSING EASY MONEY! CONSEQUENCE: Lose $20 for each week without completing an IJRS lesson. REWARD: $1 for each night of fasting after dinner. Fruits and veggies allowed in small quantities, but no dessert or snacking. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $5 for each day without fasting. REWARD: $1 for each day with a small, healthy lunch. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $5 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. REWARD: $2 for each morning or night of brushing and flossing. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $2 for each morning or night I forget to floss. Lose $10 for NOT flossing for the full day. BONUSES: Life: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training (mentoring, reading/writing, charity, meditation, IJRS lessons). $2 for each hour working on Toastmasters including meetings. $2 for healthy grocery shopping or healthy meal prep. $2 for each Home Renovation or Auto Maintenance hour. Workout: $5 for each cardio session over 30 min $10 for doubling any weekly minimum PUNISHMENT: Lose $10 each day with weight above 149.5 lbs. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any day. Lose $5 for each morning not weighing in.
  13. Heidi

    Heidi: Believe

    The last challenge was about watching the wheels come off, as I knew they would. So this challenge is about walking the new path, finding peace in the solitude and listening for the inspiration in the quiet. It is the darkness that makes the light shine so brightly. I have much on my plate for school this challenge. I just met with my new writing workshop adviser, and after exchanging several heartfelt emails, I decided to look up what she has written. It turns out she's on my Read Real Soon list. I have bumped the book ahead of a few others in the stack. Overall, I'm tickled to be working with Dombek, and I was before I looked her up. To know that she shares my love of Madeleine L'Engle and Ursula K. LeGuin just makes it all that much better. I can't wait to read more about how our cultural phenomenon of calling everyone selfish is more about our own perspectives than an epidemic of personality disorder. I'm taking some big leaps spiritually as well, offering to volunteer, putting together programs for volunteer efforts and the like. I keep applying for jobs, of course, but this has been going on forever and is demoralizing. I'm looking forward to being of use in one way or another. Think good thoughts for me. My first library classes begin on June 7, and the first manuscript to Kristin is due June 24, just before the challenge ends. I have some reading to do before then and some response papers to write. I also have the TMWW to attend, possibly. I'm waiting on word about the scholarship. On the family front, the lack of communication and the active exclusion is getting very old and wearing me out emotionally. I would love to have better solution for this but I don't yet. Yet. Keep watching this space. In the meantime, Vivian and I love love love going to the river. I have new water shoes for both of us on the way. Sunscreen is my next purchase, and we are looking forward to the holiday weekend coming up. On the schedule is a play, a trip to our favorite toy store, a couple Serious Surprises, gardening, river wallowing, and board games, as well as cooking (she has specifically requested that we make cole slaw together, and was flout out amazed that I knew how to make it. Ah, the joys of maturity.) I have joined Heroes Rise for the month, mostly to see what it's about but also because my motivation could use some back-to-basics inspiration. I'm Heidi there, too, so look me up if you're around. Good grief, but the challenges are slipping by me quickly this calendar year. Anyway, the elements of this round are a focus on believing in myself and in the universe, letting myself walk in the knowledge that the universe loves me and wants me to be happy and that all will be right with the world. It's harder than it sounds. Dates & Details May 20-26 - introduction to new instructor May 20-26 put together program details, scout a place for the programs, follow up with non-profits May 27 Charlotte's Web - Roanoke Children's Theatre May 29 Interview June 2 Yoga on the Mountain June 7 Library School begins - gather syllabi and plan time around assignments Monday - Women's Meeting Tuesday - Yoga @ Park Wednesday - Yoga @ Mansion Thursday - Katrina Thursday - Violin with Vivian Friday Yoga @ Park Sunday Friends Meeting
  14. Heidi

    Heidi: Receive

    Mind Body and Soul I’ve gotten a bit slack with the daily writing and the yoga routines and all the rest. I was feeling disconnected, spent from a very bleak midwinter indeed, and I need to reconnect, especially at the soul level. I’m looking forward to setting down anxiety and fretfulness and worry. I’m looking forward to living in harmony and love, letting the universe be in charge. I’m thinking of this round sort of like a sustained balance pose, like the Eagle or the tree. Or, my favorite, Lord of the Dance, even though this past challenge I considered it a huge success just to do Corpse pose. Let’s see what the Universe has in mind for me, shall we? This spring I’m doing something kind of weird. I’m putting a whole bunch of stuff out into the universe and seeing what comes back. I’ve put out a mountain of energy and intention and effort and invitation in the past three months. Mostly, I’ve heard nothing, except for the occasional faint and distant no. Okay, universe; message received. Apparently the directions I have been looking are not the ones the Universe has in mind for me. But I still don’t know exactly what I am supposed to be doing. This round I’m working with the uncertainty of it all, leaning on the knowledge that I am a powerfully effective person and very capable indeed. If it should all come back that I end up with two master’s degree programs and a full time job and a part time one on top of that, I could probably do it all, frankly, though not for very long. But maybe just long enough to see what I want to keep. I’m crafting this challenge around what I want to be doing regardless of the external validation structures that might come my way. I’m going to highlight the things in my life that are actively positive elements, and I’m going to update on how my focus on them is going. Mind - daily activities Read Spiritual Book Group Book A Testament of Devotion I'll add in other books as they happen. This place is being left as available depending on what happens with the two graduate programs I'm working with. Knit Publish the patterns that I have finished. Finish the Mrs. Who capelet and publish the pattern. Consider the possibilities of a wholesale yarn order Begin Vivian's Daphne Dress Write Pages are due before the colonoscopy on April 25. More pages will be required at the Queens Workshop May 20-26 Then pages will be needed for June and July, too. Body Gym: I have missed the gym, and it has missed me. It's no real surprise that there is a positive feedback loop of negativity when I don't go to the gym because I'm getting depressed. So the answer is: More Gym Time. Weights and walking and swimming are wonderful and have been missing from my world for too long. The Steam room and sauna are definitely needed. Any day with these is a good day. Yoga: I've added in a bit of structure since the yoga has fallen by the wayside. Tuesday Morning Yoga at the Library Wednesday Evening Yoga at the Mansion Friday Morning Yoga at the Library Soul - This is the area of greatest need, and fortunately is the one that has the most activity scheduled. These are the ways of the universe, in which there are no coincidences. Monday Evening meeting Sunday Friends Monthly Spiritual Formation Meeting - date tbd for May Monthly Women’s Wisdom Meeting April 18 & May 16 Semi-annual Spiritual Retreat May 4-6 Annual Friends Blue Ridge Gathering April 29
  15. Heidi

    New Moon Light

    Happy February, Druids. This month there is no full moon, as the Snow moon of February was early and ambitious and showed up at the end of January just in time for a spectacular eclipse, leaving this a month for walking in the dark as I make my way toward balance and harmony, in my life and in my soul. There is no end in sight to the contentiousness that the universe is sending my way, giving me the opportunity to acknowledge and release my own shortcomings, if I'm up to the challenge. I have worked hard to get where I am; the journey has been a difficult one since this time last year, and the year before that. I don't expect the Universe will be done with me any time soon, given that I have a lot of Ranger-ish tendencies, wanting to blast through the high growth with a Machete, taking the hill while singing rousing choruses of TeamFightSong. What's worse, I'm really good at this approach, so finding a still spot within is never my first inclination. At the end of last challenge, I was still working on this, and had just found a profound stillness within myself. This sounds wonderful, but it had its own dangerous element of detachment that becomes the abyss instead of the engaged distance of a balanced perspective. This challenge I'm looking for the path to be revealed. I have a number of elements in that activity to actually do, but this is less about tasks and more about a moment to moment mindset of finding calm in the chaos, of being the still point in the noise. I'm happy to have you along. Let's see what is revealed.
  16. Goals: 1, continue eating healthy. 2, don't sweat the small stuff. 3, try to reestablish workouts as time/life permits.
  17. I don't think I have ever been this excited to start a new year or a new challenge! 2017 was difficult and January was useful to take stock of where I am and what I want to do with my life. The answer is: do more of the things which make me happy, judge less, and be healthy. (Also, swear less.) I will try to maintain this momentum throughout 2018, so I am here setting up the basis for all the 2018 challenges to come! The quests themselves will change, but these 3 goals will largely remain the same (unless I reach one of them mid-year, then I will change!). It took a long time for me to identify these three priorities, and I intend to pursue them fiercely! I am falling short of a metaphor or a picture of someone I want to emulate. Because this is the year where I reclaim MY life and live it the way I want, without too much interference from others. So, let's say that I want to be, as often as possible, as happy as I am on this picture (or happier!). This is me and my sister at a k-pop concert last year - few other moments were as happy as that in our lives! (I am on the left, in case someone is wondering ^_^) Ultimate goals for 2018: 1- Be healthy, and not be ashamed of my body, specifically lose 22 kg 2- Stop judging readily and be more accepting of others and myself, specifically stop putting myself down 3- Use my free time to do things which I enjoy, specifically DO things with my hands on top of having intellectual hobbies For February, let's start with basics and establish good habits! Quest 1: Establish healthy living habits! - Note what I eat every day - No need to try to limit what I eat yet, just take note of patterns, feelings when I eat a bag of M&Ms (or want to) and be mindful of what I eat - Try and sleep 7 hours per day (this means in bed by 11:15pm, 10:45pm on Thursdays!) (I am currently around 6 hours, so 7 should not be impossible!) - Exercise a little every day (I currently exercise 5 days a week, but I am inclined to rest and not do anything physical on weekends) Quest 2: Flex my non-judgmental muscles! - Try to catch myself when I am being judgmental and instead try to understand others' point of view - Listen to Judgment Detox - Write down 1 thing to be grateful of every day Quest 3: Try out new things and see what makes me happy - Try 1 new restaurant or 1 new dish (cooking a new recipe is okay too) per week - Move furniture around a buy a piano and realize my life-long dream to actually learn how to play - Start my own online shop selling stickers and trading cards Side quest: stop swearing. Method: when I am about to swear, use another word. If I already swore, repeat the sentence without the swear word. Continue until extinction of swear words or sheer exhaustion. I feel like I am waking up from a loooooong slumber where I was on the sidelines, on the outside looking in. I learnt a lot, but did not DO much, because I was afraid of failing, because I should not, because I did not know how. I want to let go of this feeling and embrace failing, and be more active in life! More details tomorrow so I don't make this post too long!
  18. AERI AND THE PATH OF LIFE This challenge is focused on gradually setting down a habit for some of the basic elements of a balanced life. These are mostly day-start activities. DAILY: Maintenance: 5 min ; wakeup alarm @8:55 - (5 * cd) Meditate: 5 min + cd Activate: 5 min warmup + 5 min cooldown ; gym 3/week Declutter: 5 min + cd Inventory: self aware, take note of actions and week's chosen behavior. (cd = challengeday) WEEKLY: Buy groceries Budget plan Simplify mission path Choose week's behavior to work on. .
  19. January starts with the Wolf supermoon and ends with the Blue supermoon. The end of the year holiday visiting and playtime have been wonderful, but now, taking a cue from the moons, it's time for some serious reflection. I need to sit quietly and listen, to look behind me at the fractured path that was 2017, to lean into the feelings and find the insights as I prepare to walk forward. I'm glad to have you along.
  20. Heidi

    Heidi: Hurrah!

    A final hurrah! for 2017, I'm letting this challenge span from November 19 - December 31 This challenge I'm going to put together some of the best parts of 2017, laying a strong foundation as I head out of this year and into the next. We have two major holidays going on in this challenge, and I'm looking forward to the structure holding me. Also, I have Yet Another Court Case at the end of the challenge, so all structure is good structure; my balance tends to get wobbly with court cases. The daily and weekly structure seems to work best for me, one of the lessons I've learned this year is that when I aim small I miss small, meaning that I can correct the course before I have strayed too far off the mark. This has been a really helpful lesson, not just in the gym or as a challenge element, but as a life tool. So with that in mind: Daily: Sleep Chronic Fatigue makes sleep elusive and fitful. Routine helps, so with that I'm hoping to #Fall back into a routine: Sauna or hot bath Swimming a few times a week, hopefully no less than three times. More is better on this front, so possibly daily. Writing a few pages each day, hopefully finding something that can get worked on well enough to turn in for the submission due on December 1. Reading I have a bunch of reading that has to be done in order to write papers that are due on December 4. I would like to have them done well in advance of that, as I'm getting together with a spiritual formation group to discuss Learning to Walk in the Dark, which I'm really looking forward to reading. The talk is November 30, and I can't really justify spending the time on the book if I haven't finished my classwork. Also, I need to develop the daily reading habit once again. Knitting I am working on three different projects: A dress for me, a sweater for Vivian, a blanket for Vivian. It would be nice to wrap these up and have at least one to put under the tree for her. And of course, I want to wear the dress! Weekly: Therapy works. Legal Notes and Log Updates Court on December 19. Editing The classmates' work will need to have three readings between Dec 1 and Dec 8, with written critiques due Dec. 8. Future Planning I have a few elements that need attention for where I'm heading: Submission Packet to Hollins Scholarship packets to Tinker Mountain Writers Workshop - A and B Scholarship submission to BYM Women's Meeting Mantra: #Acceptance leads to #patience. #Patience leads to #balance. #Balance leads to #harmony. #Harmony leads to #peace.
  21. Lucky fire dragon counts the good things Starting a log here for reflection and a place to keep going in between challenges or anytime really as I struggled with my challenges this last year (2016) and want to play a bit around for a while. Currently I am looking to re-establish strong workout and healthy eating habits keep up the good work attitude, being pro-active and less procrastinating keep up meditation habits remind myself often to take pressure and judgement off myself in order to appreciate the good there already is and in order to LIVE (happily) have enough structure to not have to even think about working out or not, just do it have so much fun with exercise I look forward to it balancing work, family and fitness in a way that makes me happy feel good in my body, treat it with kindness, have it be my strongest, bestest friend there is probably a ton more, but this is enough for now In 2016 I had big changes in my work life and it affected me more than I wanted to see, but now I can honestly say, it's all good and valuable. I neglected any workouts for long enough to feel like a total beginner again and that, too, is not a bad thing. I can start again, but stronger than 3 years ago and kinder, too. I realized that in the end, it is all about the joy. Without it giving me joy I won't do it for long and it won't be worth it either. So I switched from the L2+ courses at my pole studio back to Level 2 and yayyy, joy is back I go for walks instead of running and am surprised how much I enjoy it. I do some yoga when it's easy to fit in and do it slooooowly with conscious pleasure of a fully alive body, no matter how far I can stretch or how long I can hold. I love Erich Schiffmann's idea of "flirting with your limits", playing with the minimum you have to do in order to make your body work some at all and the maximum beyond which it would be too much. In between mental lows hit me and my mind tells me blah-stories about everything I suck at and it's way too easy to fall for it. I used to then make either massive plans to improve ALL THE THINGS or crumble and do nothing at all. Both didn't work very well Now I switch rather to larger perspective, breathe, get back to here and now and wonder "what would feel good to do right now?" "what would be a kinder thought?" "what would be a healthy choice for right now?" PLEASE remind me of these, when I forget again!!!! Also really helpful is counting my blessings and former victories. Feel good things make me feel good, who would have thought I will let the things I like guide me home again and again... Here is a list, so that they are easier to find dancing spinning around the pole or hanging upside down headstand and handstands (when I dare) going for walks hot baths music singing silence empty email inbox clean house sweating it all out fresh clear water a nice cup of tea counting my blessings laughing kids laughing coloring in embroidery funny stories yoga to be added onto Over the last months I finally got a good work rhythmn and conquered ancient habits of procrastination that I often struggle with on any work stuff that doesn't have a fixed appointment. It's still challenging but much better, because I saw I could do it. What helped was discovering beeminder and connecting it with my to-dos on habitrpg. Beeminder would charge me actual money if I derailed too much and hubby would see it on our joint account and I realllllllly didn't want that as that would have been super embarrassing. So there it is. But it worked! I got a whole lot of old projects finally finished and it feels amazing. Next goal on it is daily mini workouts to bring back a healthy habit without overambitious planning: https://www.beeminder.com/gluecksdrache/daily10 My daily 10 10 push ups 10 chin ups (can be from standing on tip toe or even negatives from stool) 10 goblet squats 10 leg lifts from hanging First 4 days were HARD Day 1 I had to do the push ups with feet wide apart (but elbows tucked in) and over 2 sets of 5 - managed only 1 chin up from standing, the rest were like halfway until I resorted to negatives from a stool - the goblet squats worked well with 8kg kettlebell, so yay on that - the leg lifts were super tough with straight legs, so I changed to tuck lift, then straight lower down Day 2 went better with 2 chin ups from standing on tip toe Day 3 the push ups were done in 1 set (woot) but with elbows slightly out and feet hip width apart, 6 chin ups from standing over several sets (woot) Day 4 (today) push ups over 2 sets again, but 7 chin ups from standing over several sets, yayyy Did it first thing in the mornings and found that great, because I get thirsty and start the day with a good dose of fresh water, I feel awake and satisfied by having that tiny workout Daily weigh in Another thing I want to keep going for a while as it tells me where I am in a way that shows tendencies and doesn't just soothe me (if I hit a light day and feel oh, I'm fine) or shock me (if I hit a heavy day and feel aaaaaaaah what is this?!!!) but more honestly tells me where I currently am. Right now I am fluctuating between 65 and 68 kg, which is not a happy place for me, but I'll have to embrace it for now and use it for motivation instead of beating myself up about it. Goal is 62kg, but even 64 would already be awesome again. Pole and Yoga My third current fitness goal has its own accountability due to my weekly challenge with my youngest daughter She counts all her minutes spent on studying for school (besides homework) and I could all my minutes on strength training, pole and yoga done at home (not at class). If I only do my daily 10, it won't do for this, so I HAVE to do more in order to compete with her. Prices are high: I get some cool leggings for each week won (have 5 leggings on their way in the mail to me, so that will last a while) youngest gets favorite schleich toys (with cost limit) for each week won I've been goofing around with what could be fun ways to keep it simple and easy to go to (like my daily 10) and played "the floor is lava" - having to stay on the pole for the duration of one song and training spin after spin for another song. Still takes me 30 minutes as I need to warm up first before being able to do anything and do want 5 min stretches after, but 30 minutes should be doable more often and it was great fun. Once classes start again by January 12th, I'll have more detailed things to train... So these are my three things to update on at the moment and I appreciate any extra accountability. Please shout at me when I neglect too much, because it really, really serves my happiness to do these! Thank youuuuuuu Here is some yoga fun on the pole to sum up for now, that turned out to be quite strenuous and good form training: would love to create a pole sun salutation variation and already have some ideas, but I'll have to regain some more strength again first .... motivation
  22. Heidi

    Heidi: Fall

    #Fall - into routine Daily: Sleep Chronic Fatigue makes sleep elusive and fitful. Routine helps, so with that I'm hoping to #Fall back into a routine: Sauna or hot bath Writing a few pages each day, hopefully finding something that can get worked on well enough to turn in for the submission due on November 1. Knitting It seems to soothe me. Knitting helps me feel as though I'm not a useless slug even when I can barely do anything physically. It's a bonus that Vivian has started knitting with me and we are enjoying planning a blanket for her bed. She's the absolute best, and I am completely blessed to have her in my life. Weekly: Therapy because a week without it would be tragic. Legal Notes and Log Updates The court date isn't until mid-December, but the weirdness has definitely ramped up and there are lots of little things to take care of and note along the way. Editing The classmates' work will need to have three readings between Nov 1 and Nov 8, with written critiques due Nov. 8. Mantra: #Acceptance leads to #patience. #Patience leads to #balance. #Balance leads to #harmony. #Harmony leads to #peace.
  23. After a successful previous chellenge where I wanted to start good habits anew and arm myself better to win against such threats as team chocolate cakes, overindulgence of dim sums with friends, and more generally a "laissez-faire" policy due to stress which led to the gain of almost 10kg, we are moving to a more difficult part of life, how to make these good habits the new normal. How do I learn again that eating everything that I want is NOT the norm? (Or healthy or even sustainable) So this time Bulbasaur and I move further into the Kanto forest. We have our new weapon Vine Whip, from our previous challenge, and our determination is strong. We are Level 7, so we know we can defeat most weak Pokemons. We know we will meet a lot of strong Pokemons too, so we need to move towards two equally important goals: 1- Get stronger to win against these Pokemons 2- Get used to losing once in a while and not get overly upset about it (no turning off the Nintendo DS!) (To be honest, I think Goal #2 might be much harder than #1! I had example of that just yesterday.) The great thing about Pokemons, is that as they level up, they learn new attacks. Our next stop is Poison Powder, a great attack against almost all Pokemons, which infects them with poisons and slowly make theim faint! But this attack is learnt at level 13, which will not happen for a moment. However, we are slowly but steadily going there! How does this translate into Pokemon SMART goals? Easy! I will steal from my former self! 1- Spend time in the tall grass - Fight off other Pokemons and get stronger! 2- Go to the Pokemon center regularly - Always be full of energy! 3- Eat good Pokebeans - Make sure my body is fed the right nutrients! 4- Visit all the houses on the way - Pick up skills and hidden objects! Boring point details which I need to be able to nerdilly follow what I do every day on a 15-min basis Ok, so, hum, 165 points per week is the revised extimate, down from what I could be doing. Rewards will be in the form of new mangas and new candles to keep me warm while I study. As long as I meet my point goals, I should always have the candles to support the study. (Reward will also be when I succeed at my exam in January haha!) Finally, For Bulbasaur to reach level 13, all I have to do is... lose weight. 1 kg per level. It increases in difficulty each kg and can be as slooooow as levelling up. The ultimate goal is to be healthier, with more muscle than now and less fat, but there is no denying that I should lose weight, so that is easy maths! Since losing 6 kg in 4 weeks is either impossible, unhealthy or medically induced, this will be the target for the next challenge. For this time, we will aim at 3.5kg (since earlier kg are easier to lose). Starting weight: 88.5kg - Target for end of challenge: 85kg. The added beauty is that at 85kg, several pieces of clothing which I cannot wear now will fit me again. Happiness ensues. See you all in the forest!
  24. Well, I'm bulky again. This year has been a serious yo-yo, and up here at the crest of this most recent "yo" I'm needing to re-focus on my continual stated goal of getting lean to start dropping again. Once again I'm going with four goals with some minor tweaks over last time: 1. Sleep. Still going to play it loosely, but I've recognized that I have a weakness for binge-watching TV late into the night. To address that I'm going to limit myself to two episodes of whatever I'm watching on Netflix. 2. Wake. In the previous challenge I attempted to get up and do a bodyweight circuit every weekday morning. I realize now that was super-ambitious. Plus, I kinda hated it so by the end of the challenge I had blown it off completely. This time around I'm going to throttle back and try something new to me: yoga. Three days per week I'm going to start my day with a 15-minute beginner's yoga routine I found somewhere on the webs. Hopefully this will be a more pleasant way to start my day so I'll actually look forward to doing it. 3. Eat. I'm going back to counting calories--it's always been the best way for me to manage my intake. Six days a week I'm aiming for 2000 kcal, then Sundays will be a relatively free day. Macros aren't important, but food quality is. I'm aiming for 80% Paleo/Primal during target days. Free days need to be mindful without being restrictive. I think I can drop 1 pound per week with this approach and keep it sustainable. 4. Lift. After getting back to lifting in the previous challenge I'm really enjoying being in the gym again, but I'm finding that I still need to be careful with my knee and that the 5/3/1 (modified) program I was using to build strength isn't necessarily optimal for fat burning. I'm going to go with a 3x10 program and count on the increased volume (with shorter rest periods) to keep my heart rate up while still preserving lean mass. Gym target is still just two days per week which makes for a pretty comfortable life balance right now. With school starting back up and nothing really on the horizon until Thanksgiving I think I'm primed for a good run over the next few months. A strong challenge would be the perfect way to kick that off. Time to get after it.
  25. Wow. The end of the last challenge went through my life like a meat grinder. Mediation Workshops, threats of nuclear war, Personal Relationship Crumbling, Charlottesville. Thank goodness I have the NF community and the habits I've built with you guys over the past few years. One of the things that I know is that we will do it together, and we will go farther than we ever could have imagined. #Writing: After attending the Tinker Mountain Writers Workshop, I applied for and got accepted into the Queens University MFA in Creative writing. This means that I have to read and write every day. I started a scheduled structure, and stick to it mostly. I need to continue it so that it is a solid habit. First submission due: September 1. I also need to submit a piece to a contest or so, since it would be a wonderful thing to get a cash award, and the validation wouldn't be awful. But the writing is the thing. Feel free to check out my progress in my tracking spreadsheet (two tabs). Also, I have a paper on American Exceptionalism to write that I got an extension on, and that needs to be swept up. #Writers Life #Mediation certification: I took all the required training seminars last challenge, and will spend this challenge getting the required practicums -- observations and co-mediation -- taken care of. Hopefully the court certification will be finalized by the end of this challenge. #FingersCrossed. #Communication with Vivian. My daily calls with my daughter were suspended when we went to court on July 6. This hurts, and she was in tears over it. The appeal hearing was moved to the end of October (two challenges from now, I think, but maybe three -- this is how I measure things). I'm now limited to calling on Monday and Wednesday. I wrote her a Garden Report and included a garden word search along with the pictures I took and mailed it to her, and thus began a habit of mailing her something most days. Harvey mails some days too. It's our way to stay in touch now. I send a puzzle or coloring page or whathaveyou. And then I'm going to write my pen pal, who is in prison. #SnailMailRules #Employment I interview for a position to teach GED classes at the regional jail. This resonates with me in ways that don't really make any sense, but in a very positive, contributory way. Part time. I'm thinking of it as a work-study component to the writing classes. #WishMeLuck #Self-care Nightly sleep I need to take care of myself by making certain I'm getting enough rest. If I'm worn out and exhausted, I can't be a good student / parent / friend. I need to be in bed no later than 9 p.m. Daily Sauna or hot bath Meetings A few meetings a week, especially on Wednesday, then therapy on Thursday and then the Friends Meeting every Sunday. Water reestablish the habit. Walking. My steps fell to hell as the office job progressed. I went from a ten mile a day habit to barely a mile, and lost the habit of walking thirty minutes every day as well. I'm hoping to put it back. #FinancialPlanning with the attorney: Financial worry is soul-crushing. Bankruptcy filing in Monday, August 14. #Acceptance leads to #balance. #Balance leads to #harmony. #Harmony leads to #peace.
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