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  1. Happy New Year, Rebels! I will be challenging myself to give attention to the four aspects of my own activities in the same way that my story needs to have some balanced perspective of its four protagonists. Barbarian/Ekaterina: 🌩🌥☀ I need to be doing my bodyweight exercises because I want to continue improving my strength before the time comes for my efforts to be rewarded with my original long-term goal of buying a bike. Ranger/Varsha: I need to keep a daily activity level going as well so it's not as hard to get up and do my exercises on my body weight exercise days. I know I don't want to walk, but maybe I can do more GMB movement exercises to improve my mobility. Wizard/Paige: I have written a book that must undergo my own scrutiny and revision before it's ready for sharing with outsiders for spotting problems I'm too close to see. I want to use the first long weekend to read it for the first time like a reader who's seen nothing but a back-cover synopsis. Fingers crossed that I'll find a lot to love about it. Artificer/Alidavai: 🛠 I have crafts that are partly done, and I want to give them time and attention in order to make progress and potentially finish them. This includes the rainbow scarf which now has about 75-80% of a skein left to add, the next bite of my pixel quilt for which I need to prepare the four nibbles' pieces, a drawing of Ekaterina that's been waiting nearly three months for me to continue coloring it, and a Vox Machina puzzle I got for Cidran that I suggested we should do together the next time the table gets cleared. I want to pick up one of these tasks every night instead of getting stuck on my phone. I've got four emojis for each so I can attribute a rating of 0%, 50%, 100%, and 110% when I go above and beyond. (Why are the barbarian's emojis stormy weather? Because she's a storm aura barbarian! ) That sums up my goals for this challenge. I'm excited about this, and hope my guild choices inspire others I've seen use these five-week challenges for non-athletic goals. Thanks for your company and support in this coming year! Sincerely, Maerad
  2. Woohoo! It's almost here - 2022!! The magical year of so many promises. Looking for a new house, graduating from graduate school, starting IVF (the doctor is giving us just under an 80% chance of being pregnant by the end of 2022 based on our current test numbers, which we feel really good about, so let's pray that he's right and our time has finally come!!). It could be a doozy but it should, hopefully, be the year where Things Are Finally Starting To Look Up. Especially given my now-only-newish job going so well thus far, it's hard not to be at least a little optimistic even if I'm so far in the weeds right now that it's not something I spend much time or energy expressing. Plus I always love New Year's Eve/Day anyway - it's such a sense of the blank page for me. Literally anything could happen! The possibilities are open and endless! You never know what might be in store for you down the road and I find it very exciting With that said, I am still in the weeds until December 17th, which is the final day of the semester for both my workplace and my grad class. But while I did a terrible job of posting last challenge, I honestly surprised myself a little bit at how well I could follow my super simplistic challenge, so I'm going to keep the same basic idea but turn it up just one single notch for this short follow-up: Quest 1: Eating Eating not-box food didn't do as much for my weight as I was hoping it would, though it certainly didn't hurt either. The other big change my doctor suggested was eating more chicken, cheese, and potatoes, but I honestly already eat a good amount of chicken and cheese, so I'm choosing to focus in on potatoes. This should be especially easy because I have probably 8-ish pounds of potatoes in my pantry right now (my husband misunderstood how many I wanted for the Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and bought just over twice as many as I expected), along with leftover mashed potatoes anyway because the recipe claimed it made 8 servings, which I thought would be great for 6 adults and 2 little kids, but holy bajesus everyone had a good sized serving and there's more than half the mash left... So my goal is going to be to eat potatoes at least once a week every week between now and New Year's (5 weeks). New recipes are welcome but not required. Also potatoes don't have to be the centerpiece of the meal but they do have to be reasonably present - like roasted root veggies with a burger would count since our "roasted roots" is usually a little more than half potato anyway. Also, as a side note, this morning's weight was up to 132! Not enough for me to celebrate yet, considering that's still well within my range of normal fluctuations, but I'm mildly hopeful. Quest 2: Exercise This will actually probably be the hardest one for me. A combo of anemia (which leads to low energy), a crazy schedule, and sheer inertia makes this daunting as heck, and honestly I was scraping the bottom of the barrel last challenge for passes here. With that in mind, I'm going to keep my original goal of "literally anything even slightly extra physical once a week" and add in at least one yoga session - should be easy if I tell my husband to bother me into doing at least one with him at some point! - and at least one weights session. By which I mean "probably just one or two sets of something, probably tricep rows (I think is what they're called?)". I'm not a weightlifter by any means but I do want to increase my archery draw weight and running likely needs to wait a bit longer anyway (needing to gain weight + arthritic knee that doesn't like cold = not a great idea right now unless something changes), plus that wouldn't take terribly long or a ton of energy. So I think those are both doable, even if I shove them in after the 17th. But you'd best believe I'm letting myself double dip and count the yoga and weightlifting as my "thing" that week if I need to! Quest 3: Life Same base idea as quest 2, I'm just repeating last challenge and barely bumping it up a tiny notch: Literally anything at all once a week (probably going for being social on here - I'm unofficially going to try to start responding more to folks on here, which is a struggle for me - working on my son's quilt, baking Christmas cookies, or watching amusing YouTube videos) plus getting to at least row #7 of my son's quilt. I'm about halfway through row #4 so this shouldn't be too difficult I think and my kid is super impatient/excited for it so I want to make sure I'm at least making reasonable progress on it to show him. Again, I'm totally allowed to double dip here - I get to count quilt work time as my "thing" that week when needed. Trying to "start" today to keep what tiny bit of momentum I have going, though I wouldn't expect any kind of useful update tomorrow (toddler ninja class + grad school deadline tonight = probably just going to work and go to bed). Wish me luck!!
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