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The Prologue So, I had originally envisioned a LotR-themed challenge in which I engaged in beauty and running around the woods (or at least local parks) and singing to the trees. But it rang hollow, and I realised something important: I'm no elf princess. * I’ve also been pondering a Harry Potter-themed challenge, but nothing ever came together. Until it did. Forget beauty and serenity. WEIRD and WONDERFUL is who I am. Somewhere along the way, I forgot that. I need to re-embrace my inner Luna. Okay, Let's Back Up I'm Ann of Vries, aged 39; a storyteller, a diarist, a fiber artist, a gamer, a traveler, a hiker, and a new mother. I’m madly in love with my partner, Mr of Vries, and my 6 month old son, Rowan of Vries--usually known as the Enting. Warning: There will be baby pics on this thread. I’ve been in the Adventurers Guild for the last several challenges. I love the Adventurers, but recently the class hasn’t been quite fitting right… and it, oddly enough, took a recent adventure for me to figure out why. About two and half years ago, I emigrated to the UK from Seattle. I love it here, it sings to my bones. It speaks to my soul. This is the place I want to settle. But I’ve realised recently that while I intend to make my home here, I have been treating my stay like a long term tourist. It’s time to live here. To belong. To dig deep and grow some roots. I can't do that in the mindset of a visitor. The Challenge Note: This challenge is in conjunction with the 12 Week Year System. I'm still figuring out the details of this particular "year" so you may see some tweaks in my challenge as I sort that out. Get Weird and Wonderful: Engage in my creative projects: writing, knitting, other crafts (I was recently given some acrylic inks to use with my dip pen and have I even opened them? No!) . Do my hobbies at least 10 minutes per day, 5 days a week. Be my weird and wonderful self. I used to be this eccentric weird girl with an odd charm. These days I just feel awkward and unsettled. I suspect that culture change has something to do with this (Seattle is full of awkward charm; London is full of sophistication), but I don’t feel like myself anymore and I want to change that. I’d rather be myself and stick out than try to fit in and feel uncomfortable in my own skin. Internal journeys are hard to track with SMART goals. So I’ll start with the physical: I want to look like myself again. Unshockingly, I gained weight during pregnancy. Not a lot—I’m only carrying about 10lbs of it now. But it’s enough that my wardrobe no longer fits (or fits poorly when it does). I told myself I’d wait at least six months before I fussed about it. That time has come. Lose at least 2lbs during this challenge. I'm for gradual changes, and anyway it's hard to do a strict fitness routine with the Enting. Return to drinking at least 2 litres of water a day. I can't seem to stick to this one without tracking it, which annoys me, but it is what it is. Clean out my closet: pack away maternity/nursing clothing, sort for the season, figure out what is missing and make a plan to replace them. For example, I know that I’m short of autumn/winter footwear. They all wore out last year, but I didn’t want to try shoe shopping whilst pregnant. Study to Become a Wizard Naturalist: Get walking. Walk at least 10k steps, 5 day a week, as per my fitbit. Note that this will usually involve carrying my 20+lbs-and-growing baby for an extra workout. There is a known inaccuracy because it counts patting the Enting (while winding/burping him) as steps, but I'm opting to accept that for ease of tracking. Observe my surroundings: Note 3 interesting things I’ve encountered, at least 5 days a week in my journal. This is meant to get my out of my head and engaged in the world around me. Eat more healthy homecooked meals. I’m so bored of living on ready meals and prepared foods. Keep records. Create a layout to track these items in my shiny new Bullet Journal. I've been keeping daily to-do lists these last few mad months, but I think I'm now ready for more long term coherency instead of disconnected daily episodes. Let's see how this goes, shall we? AoV x