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For my return to the Challenges, I'm going to go with a Lord of the Rings theme, since I'm currently doing a Walk to Mordor challenge too. So, attempting to follow Frodo out of the Shire, here's what I'm aiming for: Declutter the Hobbit Hole Like Bilbo getting ready for his 111th birthday party and subsequent departure from the Shire, I need to get rid of some stuff. I already have some bags ready to go, but I'm not sure what to do with them, so for this part of the challenge my three main objectives are: Figure out what to do with old stuffed animals that are still in good shape Weed out my wardrobe and pitch/donate the stuff I don't wear anymore Organize my closet Farmer Maggot's Mushrooms I've been doing a very good job (if I do say so myself) of eating local throughout the summer. In my climate, we're getting to the time of year when that becomes a bit trickier, but to try to keep the momentum going, during this challenge I want to visit: A new farm stand nearby that has fruits and veggies The local pumpkin patch The butcher shop next to my work A nearby apple orchard I always say I'm going to check out and never have Walk to Mordor As previously stated, I'm working on my own Walk to Mordor Challenge (just left Bag End on September 1). I hope to make Bree by the end of this challenge (135 miles total, I already have 26.81 miles in). Strength Training For strength training, I'll be doing the Lord of the Rings workouts. Instead of doing each book as a super set though, I'll be treating them as separate workouts. Thursday, Saturday, Monday is currently my best schedule for working out. And there you have it! By the end of this challenge, if all goes according to plan, I should be out of the Shire and ready to take on the rest of Middle Earth.
First off: *g8ggle gif* Ahem. Now that we’ve got that out of the way .... It looks like #lockdownlightlife is not evaporating where I live any time soon. Things are mostly back to normal - with a few exceptions. Masks, temperature checks and green status health apps are required everywhere but running outdoors Restaurants are still limited to parties of 5; with varying capacity Gyms are strictly limited to something like 3m of space around each goer Entrance to the country - even for residents - is highly limited and is a dodgy proposition at best, with strict quarantine protocols upon re-entry for those lucky enough to gain permission to enter. It’s a far from guaranteed thing. I’m sure there are more things, but those are the ones that affect me directly I’m still fairing pretty well with things as they are. It looks like this challenge will encapsulate Thanksgiving - let’s see if I get to do my big to-do for that, or if I’m running packaged plates to friends individually. I’ve promised that hell or high water it’s happening this year. Goals - Of Consistency, no less Nutrition. Continue on the trajectory from last challenge by: Not eating like an asshole (meaning not eating things I know are going to cause me pain or too damn much or all junk in a day) Keeping a loose eye on my macros on a weekly level and seeing how closely they resemble My Fitness Pal’s gentle weight loss guidelines by tracking my food daily with an eye toward accuracy but not Nazi-ism Making sure to eat at least 2 servings of vegetables a day even if I don’t wanna Try to get enough water. What’s enough? An amount so I don’t wake up dehydrated feeling Movement. Continue on my 4 - 5x a week yoga schedule via Zoom or in-person if desirable/available; add in some sort of accessory work on Saturdays. Either a 5th yoga class or something in the gym in my building - even if that’s just treadmill & a podcast Social Habits. Continue on with my Zoom Tuesday Coffee with friends for as long as that lasts; continue supporting my Herd as daily as possible; continue trying to expand my social network through this new D&D group; try to interact with other humans in the world at least once a week Stoke That Creative Flame. Keep my running crafts going. Currently, I’m still into clothes sewing and embroidery. Keep that up. Maybe add other things in as they catch my fancy - but, and this is a biggie: use up the supplies I have on hand before delving into a new thing that requires a bunch of specialty tools. Yeah. I know. This is the bane of all handicrafts peoples. And I used to have bins and bins of supplies from all the different things I’ve done over the years - but I don’t have that here, and to re-build that level of stash is ridiculous. I also don’t have storage space for that shit. So: use what you’ve got and then move on Also tied to #4: Exercise Your Brain. I’ve got a year of Skillshare, and while that’s not learning on the level I feel comfortable with, bite sized info is fine. And it’s better than the plague of listicles that has taken the rest of the godsdamn Internet over. Pick a “class”, complete it, take with it what I can, move on. Not every instance of learning needs structure or metrics. Or papers. Certainly not dissertations. And I almost forgot: Get out of my comfort zone. We all know how much I love a photo challenge. I’ve been stagnant in my photography for months and months and wanted to grow my skills. I haaaaaaaate people in my pictures and my selfies are abominable. I’m also never satisfied with my face in them. Which seems like a psychological bear that needs poking. Hell, I bailed on my 365 days of yoga for Year 40 challenge - let’s fuck around with some insecurities. Shake some trees and see what falls. As such, work on improving my people photography game through selfies - and post the best one in a week. Phone or “real” camera, it doesn’t matter. Face in the shot or hidden - whatever. Just create something and get it somewhere decent. Doesn’t have to be magazine worthy. And that’s pretty much it, at least thus far. Not a deviation from previous Cycles, but more a continuation of that solid foundation I’ve built with a look toward at least gathering the supplies for a second level.
Continuing on in my ‘the only constant is change’ theme of the past few years .... We are in Phase 4 Part 1 of lockdown where I live (maaaaaybe opening to Phase 2 next week?). Malls are open with no restrictions but kids’ play areas and entertainments being closed (mall restaurants are limited to 30% capacity) - fitting rooms are open again and kids are allowed back into the mall Cinemas are open for very limited capacity Gyms are open with restrictions Mosques are open with restrictions Restaurants are open for parties of 5 or less unless single-household - some are at 100% (new) capacity; some are still at 30% depending upon government approval (still no buffets or shisha - which is actually kind of funny: there was a move to ban shisha a couple years ago that met with huge local pushback) Offices are up to 80% capacity Water sports are back Home care services are back with testing Spas, health clubs and indoor pools are back at 30% capacity Beauty centers are open at 50% capacity General guidelines for out of the house remain at: masks everywhere, hand sanitizer everywhere, temperature and green status health app checks when entering all buildings but home, social distancing This last few weeks has seen an influx of people returning from either being stuck abroad or taking their Summer holiday at home per usual and returning for school. Schools are staggered at lots of home time + a little classroom time for limited numbers of students per day. As of yesterday, September 4, we are sticking at around 150-200 new cases daily, which is good. We shall see what happens in the next 2 weeks to a month when people that are coming back leave quarantine (which is a mix of home and hotel). There were 4 people arrested yesterday for breaking home quarantine. My routine is currently in flux again because my gym is closed due to deep cleaning because of COVID exposure. Hoping by the time challenge starts it’ll be open again. Hoping that by the time Zero Week starts it’ll be open, but that may be optimistic. My goals aren’t really updating from last cycle. Goal 1: Fuel my body in a way that brings me joy and moves me closer to my goals This is actually harder than one would think. Getting back to a regular yoga practice last cycle has me wanting more and more veggies and lighter meals. My gut disagrees with that assessment for the most part (my favorite veggies are off the table if I want a happy gut). Lighter meals are definitely possible, and I’ve already put the brakes on eating like crap during the weekends a bit. I‘my not back to my ‘all no all the time’ ways, but I’m not okaying or suggesting weekend BS either. Mostly. This Cycle I’m focusing on: Eating more veggies (that don’t kill my gut) Continuing down the less-meat path, but also less fake meat Focusing on smaller portions Not eating garbage during the weekends Making sure I have emergency food on hand that isn’t chips re-re-re conceptualizing meal times to incorporate more nutrient dense options but not necessarily going back to paleo (ie I’m not ready to give up sushi rice bowls, I just need to make sure I’m getting more actual nutrition than lotsa carbs + fat + some herbs) Not discounting fancy hippie food out of hand - I used to love making this shit, but stopped when I moved because nothing was ever available locally. There is a lot more selection nowadays. I’m also toying with the idea of going back to macro counting. I was at my healthiest and had my best relationship with food when I was eating paleo and tracking macros. (Minus gut issues. The death farts were real, but at least came without ripping pain). Since I’m not eating out anywhere near the amount I was pre-Covid this should be totally doable. I just might not like what I see. Which will also help with portioning 100%. Fitness Fingers crossed that I can get back into the studio and that the schedule they had set holds. If so, continue on with my 4x a week yoga classes and walking to and from. 1 day off a week to chill and hibernate is good. If not, I’ll sign up for more Zoom classes from the other gym - or go in person, though that would necessitate Uber trips instead of walking and I don’t know if I’m there yet. Feeding My Non-Food Needs Continue to work on a main project + busywork projects + Animal Crossing + coloring Set a deadline and actually make myself take 1 Skillshare class on something with no pressure to apply that knowledge Continue checking in with y’all mostly daily Continue on with 1 dinner a month with friends Continue taking 1 morning each week (currently Tuesdays when the dogs are at daycare) to spend some time out of the house doing something else like getting breakfast in preparation for rejoining the demands of being social, and sitting with that to see how it feels before deciding if i want to return to my social life at all. Examining what feeds me v what drains me. What anxiety is my brain being an asshole and what anxiety provides room for growth. Current projects: An exploded Ohio Star quilt for my Dad Sew House 7 Tea Dress in black cotton lawn (the shirt version, not the whole dress) Braided cable experiments with the lucet fork Knit lace experiments with quilting cotton Busywork knit shawl I don’t really even like anymore Maybe macrame that looks like lace with that quilting cotton? Finding something to do with the printed lawn cotton I bought Blackwork embroidery - probably handkerchiefs for gifts That smocking dress I have in my head if I find the right fabric and tutorial Finishing the fruit tree grove on my island (Animal Crossing) Finishing the Overlook Hotel on my island Finishing the beach resort on my island Finishing the witchy studio on my island Figuring out what to do with the area surrounding my house on my island