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  1. The earthquake finally stops. Scalyfreak stays under the altar until the last aftershocks fade, just in case, but she is eventually forced out into the open by one of the most basic animal needs. Thankfully, the Temple of Iron is outfitted with a large and comfortable bathroom for all visitors to use, and Scalyfreak is all too happy to make use of every fixture in it. Freshly showered, and thinking more clearly as a result, Scalyfreak returns to the altar and the pack with clothing she left there and proceeds to change into a clean outfit. That done, she unpacks her travel rations, her water bottle, and the very lovely-smelling fruit pastries she purchased at that last stop in that charming village, and makes an effort to estimate how long they will last. The water at least is not a problem, thanks to the font behind the altar. In addition to being fed by a stream from up in the mountains above the temple, the font is also connected to a complex system that collects rainwater, to ensure hydration for temple visitors at all times. This is good news, because although the earthquake is over, the storm continues. The wind howls, the hail is pummeling the roof above Scalyfreak, but that is far less of a concern than the small amount of food she has with her. The Temple of Iron is impervious. It will keep any and all danger away from those who visit it, Scalyfreak knows this for a fact. She is not worried, as long as she can remain in the temple There is the small matter of running out of food over the next week or so, but there is water, and water can make the food last. Before diving straight this challenge period, here's a brief “intro” for anyone who doesn't know me very well: Those of you who read my previous challenge know that I very unexpectedly found myself among the casualties of a restructuring and headcount reduction effort at work. That's a complex and polite way of saying I was laid off to save the company money. Now, looking for work is never fun, and looking for work under these circumstances is even less so. It is also, to no one's surprise, incredibly stressful. To add to the stress of finding a new job, I am also dealing with the realization that the job I was asked to leave was gradually burning me out. I think I was too busy to notice, and now that I'm no longer distracted by the daily stressors of the job, it's becoming obvious. So that's an issue that I now have to deal with as well. I'm not going to involve job searching in my challenge goals, at any point in any challenge period. Instead, I'm going to focus these challenges on something more important – taking care of my mental health. This will involve meditating, deliberate movement and/or going outside where the sky is, and also reflecting on the positive things in life. Structured into challenge goals, all of that looks something like this: Activate daily resilience buff ...by meditating every morning. The form of meditation is irrelevant, but for easy tracking will most likely be done with the Insight Timer app. Cast healing spells during the day ...by going outside at least once every day. Going with the Happy Sidekick is preferable, though at her age and with the state of her arthritis, walks with her are too slow and short to count as actual exercise. Because of this, this particular goal can also be met by exercising either at home or at the gym. Apply Regeneration talisman ...in the form of a gratitude journal every evening. I will use this not only to make note of what I appreciate and am grateful for, but also to reflect on what I need to let go of and what I perhaps need to work on. This is a two-phase goal, as the talisman in question has yet to be delivered, largely due to slow shipping. This will be treated as a priority, because the sooner I have the actual journal in hand, the sooner I can get started doing this properly. (While I await the arrival of the talisman journal I plan to use a regular notebook for this goal, since that is better than skipping it, and Therapist #4 sent me a journaling worksheet I can use for prompts.)
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