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Asuka and Bulba learn to take care of themselves first, the world second


Asuka

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Hello all! Bulba and I are back after a difficult challenge last time, who saw us lose some steam and some of our spirits, so it is time to get back on track. But this time the goal will be US. 

 

It will be okay if we do not go very far in the forest.

It will be okay if we don't do everything we had planned to do. (Many many thanks to @Manarelle for reminding us of that last challenge!)

It will be okay if we ask for help.

It will not be okay if we are not okay.

 

So this challenge is all about finding the right balance to be okay and move forward in a positive fashion. Encouragement, celebrating victories, being grateful for all of the things we receive, enjoying the moment without guilt will be our weapons, and serenity and an even mind will be our goals! 

 

Actual challenge goals will be relatively consistent with our previous challenges, but much more geared towards building a happier life.

 

1- Visit every Pokemon Center - Prioritize sleep

2- Eat nutritious Pokebeans every day, and sweet Pokebeans from time to time - Focus nutrition on balance between reason and happiness

3- Speak to many people and learn from them - Continue preparing the exam, celebrating successes

4- Fight in the tall grass - Exercise, in all forms, making it fun to lift heavy things

5- Spend time playing with Bulba - Do something kind for ourselves. Every. Day. 

 

I will also simplify the accounting system because last time it was impossible to do...

 

Goal details (note that this is obvious for most people... but since I was not able to follow these rules lately, I am writing them down to remind myself - feel free to skip this section entirely!)

 

1- Sleep

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Step 1: sleep. There is no step 2.

7 hours will be set as minimum, 8 hours will be the goal. 6.5 hours are tolerable. 

This means: in bed at 930pm, lights out at 945pm ideally.

If not possible, then 1030pm and 1045pm

In extreme cases lights out at 1115pm, even if the house is in disarray, dirty dishes are not done, Korean was not studied and I have not played or done anything relaxing. 

(I should print this and put it next to my bed...) This is where nights of six hours or less end. It just makes life miserable and not worth living given how physically difficult the remaining hours are.

- 2 points for 7 hours, 4 for 8, 6 for 9 or plus, 1 for 6.5, 0 for 6. Weekly goal: 14 points

 

2- Food

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If I don't sleep I want to eat crap (doesn't everyone?). So let's not offer me too many opportunities to eat badly first by sleeping more (I see an emerging theme here).

Food is key to lose weight and to train well (duh). And I want to do both. So I need to eat better.

First I need to start tracking again. I have been holding on around 86.5kg, which is okay, now I need to start losing weight again and tracking is a great tool.

- 1 point per day where I track. Weekly goal: 7 points

Second, I need to make sure to eat protein and not too much carbs - I will play around with servings and see if I have to adjust (any nutrition suggestion around protein / carb balance is welcome!)

Let's say 1 serving of protein with each meal + 1 in snack, and only 1 serving of carb per meal + 1 in snack

- 1 point per each meal / snack done correctly (carbs + protein). Weekly goal: 20 points

Finally, I need to stop feeling guilty when I don't follow these rules and eat pasta with tomato sauce or chocolate. 

- 1 extra point whenever I am able to catch myself guilt-tripping and manage to make it okay (because it is okay, really).

 

3- Exam prep

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So I have not dedicated as much time to exam prep as I would want to. But let's face it, I would want to spend 8 hours every day prepping this exam, which is not possible because 1/ work and 2/ boring. Also, commute. But at the same time, I have noticed I read emails (in Korean) faster and understand more of what is happening in meetings, which means I am progressing and this is also success! Especially since the exam is part reading and part listening!! (And I am already not bad at writing.) So I need to remind myself that work is helping me study. What I need to focus on is specifically vocabulary training, grammar studying and mock exam taking. all of which can be done during weekends, and with the first two being doable in 15-min increments. So small goals, because they will add up.

- 1 point per workday when I spent 15 min doing vocab and 15 min doing grammar. Weekly goal: 5 points

- 2 points per weekend day when I spent 1 hour doing exam prep. Weekly goal: 4 points

- 1 point per hour spent speaking Korean with friends (really? really!)

- 1 point per episode of Korean drama watched instead of Castle or Buffy or other things which do not develop my Korean power

I can try to do more, but I do not have to. Because every email, every meeting, every lunch is actually studying.

 

4-Workout

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I hurt my neck and had to dial back on weightlifting and started missing my 3-minutes daily. I started inventing reasons in my head to lift and even games to trick my friends to do it with me. This is a serious clue that I want to lift weights! So let's do it, being careful not to hurt myself again (although my injury had nothing to do with lifting and everything to do with me being a klutz hahaha). 

- 1 point per day when I lifted for at least 1 song. It can be all different exercises, all deadlifts (I am in love with deadlifts even if my hamstrings hate me now). Weekly goal: 7 points

Nothing else, because I already move quite a lot and need to stop being guilty when I don't exercise. Yes, I will 90% of the time still do 30-min biking in the morning, and two 90-minute dance classes per week. But if I am late I will only bike 20 minutes and it will be okay, because it is okay!!

 

5- Self-care

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I need to spend more time taking care of me, and less worrying about others. Others have themselves to take care of them (or should). 

So I need to do more things to soothe myself, especially during winter months with no light, gruesome commuting and uncertainty about employment (not very high probability, but high impact if it happens!!). So I should do something nice for myself every day. It can be small like taking 5 minutes to put on body lotion, it can be taking time for a nap or meeting friends on weekends, it can be just taking 15 minutes to read a book. I should just get used to doing it everyday, like the weight lifting exercise I love so much.

- 10 points per day when I do something for me. Weekly goal: 50 points

Because this is the single most important goal of all! So it is almost half of the expected points per week.

 

Total goal 107 points per week (who decided that weeks would have 7 days making calculations so difficult??).

 

I will do my best and if I can meet this goal it will be great and I will buy myself some new nice clothes which will FIT.

And If I cannot meet that goal, I will try meeting it the following week!

 

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"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising up every time we fall." Confucius

 

 

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There needs to be a "love" reaction. Sounds like you're in a good place and ready to make it better. Winter months are always harder for me to stay positive; I might steal your self-care goal until the sun comes back. Following for the awesome, you've got this!

 

 

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Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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1 hour ago, Manarelle said:

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There needs to be a "love" reaction. Sounds like you're in a good place and ready to make it better. Winter months are always harder for me to stay positive; I might steal your self-care goal until the sun comes back. Following for the awesome, you've got this!

 

Hello Manarelle! Your sentence "Not doing something this weeks only means I will have more time to do it the following week" really helped a lot lately! I would be happy to share the self-care goal. I find that it helps when the world is not taking enough care of me! 

 

It also helps to be in the season where I can happily think about gifts, and prepare some for my loved ones (and myself!). I am this close to redecorate my desk with Christmas ornaments - but I will hold off until December 1st! 

 

1 hour ago, Aster said:

A solid plan. Good luck! 

Hi Aster and welcome! 

I will do my best to actually follow the plan! 

 

 

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"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising up every time we fall." Confucius

 

 

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I love your focus on the self-care. :)

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On 11/27/2017 at 1:50 PM, WhiteGhost said:

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WhiteGhost Welcome!

 

16 hours ago, raptron said:

I love your focus on the self-care. :)

Hi Raptron!

Self-care is what I felt I was missing the most in my last challenge. Not to say that I was not taking care of myself, but I was not dedicating time to it, just doing it without thinking and it left me feeling miserable. Yesterday, I took the time to think "today my self-care activity will be to organize these cards". It made me happy and I really wanted to do it, and when I went to bed I thought "I spent 30 minutes doing something that was just for me". This simple re-framing helped tremendously!

 

Day 2 and the challenge is coming along well! 

I took the time to study, to self-care and I went to bed earlier, so that this morning when I woke up, I did not hate the idea of waking up, I was okay that it was time! 

The weightlifting also makes me super happy, but my legs are definitely feeling it! I walk like an old person today - dance class will be a challenge!

I focused on lower body on Saturday, so yesterday I did 1 set of everything to even things out - I plan to do the same today. It will help develop my upper body while resting (but not too much!) the lower part. 

 

Funny but disgusting story below - Reader beware

Spoiler

I noticed that I am definitely developing stronger muscles in my legs, especially quads and inner thighs. Unfortunately, this is also where most of my fat lives, so when I squat I can see the muscle trying to push out the fat and I can see the fat complaining... I can see right next to each other muscle definition and flabby flab useless fat! I wonder which one will win the war...

 

I am considering trying a personal trainer, since there is a big sale in the gym next to my house (Did you eat too much for Thanksgiving? Come sweat it off!). 

What is your experience with it? It is still expensive - was it worth it? How difficult was it? (I am dead afraid the trainer will laugh at my lack of shape...) Thanks a lot!

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"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising up every time we fall." Confucius

 

 

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You are not alone in the muscle/ fat competition for space. :) Personal opinion on personal trainers - it varies so much. If you and the trainer get on, it works great. If you don't, or if they don't listen to you and work with you ("my way is always right" is a bad attitude for anyone), it feels like wasted effort. Ask if you will be with one specific trainer or if you can switch if you don't get on. And then actually switch if need be, don't worry about hurting their feelings - you're in it to make you better! A good trainer will also have that as their goal, and work to make it work for you, not for their ego. 

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Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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December is here! And with it a slew of trouble, such as strong, icy winds, snow and cold-related skin conditions! :)

 

This is why self-care is all the more important, to be able to fight against constant attacks from the environment.

 

So quick 1-week recap:

1- sleep: Not good. But I am working on it. I am battling a cold and the night medication puts me to sleep instantaneously, so I am taking advantage of it. But I feel more rested from the bus naps because I got rid of the gilt of napping in the first place, thanks to self-care. Since it is on my mind as a priority and I am working on it, and I am feeling less tired than before, I will grade myself B-, passing, for this week.

2- food: Not good either. I totally forgot to track, I have to get back at it. From a weight perspective I am still on the high end of 86.x kg, so kinda okay. I really try to eat more in the mornings and less at night and it seems to overall balance things out. Passing C because I did not gain too much weight despite a hectic schedule, but I won't pass myself next week if I don't start tracking again!

3- exam prep: Improving! I was behind last week on studying, so I made it a priority this week, and I managed to get 90 min in yesterday night. I will focus more on it now that my Christmas tree and Nativity scenes are done (they are the reasons why I could not work last Saturday, because making them took some time - yeah, right...) and I will also start mock test again, just to make me realize again how hard it is. But I feel better now about failing (like this will not be the end of the world), so I will do my best, but I will not kill myself over it. B- for last week because I managed to study even in Japan

4- workout: I am 3 days behind on my daily 5-min workout, but I will eventually clear them out. I also forgave myself for missing 1 30-min session of cardio on Monday. I may comp it on Sunday, but if I don't I will survive. Also yesterday I did my 5-min workout and it did not hurt anywhere. IT WAS A BLAST. I smiled the whole time then added some reps at the end. So I am grading myself B for Beginning to Build Bulk.

5- self care: AWESOME. I try to do small and large things for myself, always very mindfully, reminding myself "this is for your own good, so enjoy this time". It made these moments really happy, and it helped me get through tough times last week. Now I need to time them better, because spending six hours organizing stickers by size and colors makes  me incredibly happy (yes it does, I am a total sticker nerd), but it does take time away from studying and sleeping. But I allowed it on Saturday because Thursday and Friday had been so hard at work. (As in my boss' boss cannot punish me because I am a foreigner, so he punishes my boss whenever I do something he does not like, such as disagreeing with him, even in private.) This effort has been a major change for me (also noticing when I am speaking to myself in a mean way like "oh you forgot your key you idiot!", and switch it around "Oh you forgot your key, let's go back to get it.") and it was pretty successful. I still have progress to make, but awareness is getting there! A for that this week.

 

Overall Bulba and I are moving forward rather happily, maybe a bit more round that we could be, but it is really cold outside, so who can be mad at us for enjoying hot chocolate and cookies? 

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This is soooo 100% us. 

 

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"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising up every time we fall." Confucius

 

 

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On 11/29/2017 at 6:05 AM, Manarelle said:

You are not alone in the muscle/ fat competition for space. :) Personal opinion on personal trainers - it varies so much. If you and the trainer get on, it works great. If you don't, or if they don't listen to you and work with you ("my way is always right" is a bad attitude for anyone), it feels like wasted effort. Ask if you will be with one specific trainer or if you can switch if you don't get on. And then actually switch if need be, don't worry about hurting their feelings - you're in it to make you better! A good trainer will also have that as their goal, and work to make it work for you, not for their ego. 

Thanks for the advice! 

One of my female friends tried it at the gym next to our place and liked it. I will probably try too, once my exam is over. And I will follow your advice - if he/she does not jive with me, I will ask for a change! Going to a gym is already difficult for me, so if I don't like the trainer I will never get there...

 

And I will keep on squatting! 

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"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising up every time we fall." Confucius

 

 

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11 hours ago, Asuka said:

5- self care: AWESOME. I try to do small and large things for myself, always very mindfully, reminding myself "this is for your own good, so enjoy this time". It made these moments really happy, and it helped me get through tough times last week. Now I need to time them better, because spending six hours organizing stickers by size and colors makes  me incredibly happy (yes it does, I am a total sticker nerd), but it does take time away from studying and sleeping. But I allowed it on Saturday because Thursday and Friday had been so hard at work. (As in my boss' boss cannot punish me because I am a foreigner, so he punishes my boss whenever I do something he does not like, such as disagreeing with him, even in private.) This effort has been a major change for me (also noticing when I am speaking to myself in a mean way like "oh you forgot your key you idiot!", and switch it around "Oh you forgot your key, let's go back to get it.") and it was pretty successful. I still have progress to make, but awareness is getting there! A for that this week.

 

Overall Bulba and I are moving forward rather happily, maybe a bit more round that we could be, but it is really cold outside, so who can be mad at us for enjoying hot chocolate and cookies? 

 

GREAT progress on goal 5! And no one can be mad about hot chocolate and cookies. :D

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I'm going to second Raptron, above. Sounds like you had a rough week, but you haven't given up and you're making a lot of progress to take care of yourself. That stinks that the boss' boss can make things difficult for your boss over stuff like that, but yay for recognizing it and taking care of yourself! How's this week going for you?

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Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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Thank you all for your support - I could not do it without you!!

 

As it turns out last week was rather good despite everything, so it calls for celebration!

 

1- sleep: Improved. I did not break the 11:15pm rule and tried to sleep more than that. I even got to sleep in Friday morning since I was working off our Seoul office (30min-commute, yay!). On Monday, I also slept 8 hours. Life on Tuesday was just overall different from what it is when I am on 6 hours of sleep plus the bus ride. B for sleep! I will hopefully be able to do better this week and the next as I am working mostly out of our Seoul office. Also the week after (even if it is after the challenge) is HOLIDAAAAAYS! So SLEEP will be my friend.

2- food: Could do better, but improvement: I tracked 70% of the time and I remembered to be more reasonable with portion control. I am switching back to my smaller bowls, as I think I got over the NEED TO EAT EVERYTHING IN SIGHT, which got triggered when work was so depressing a couple of months back (when I was eating cake everyday). It feels okay now to stop eating when I am not hungry anymore, even if I am still struggling not to "size up", even if I know the small size is enough. It took me 3 tries to finally get the small portion at the Hallal Brother next to my house. Because the middle size looks better! It is cheaper per pound! Even if I am not hungry anymore by the end of the small size... Also the small size is $2 cheaper! I finally managed to prove to myself it was enough, but I would not believe it... Funny how your brain works sometimes. On the super super good side, since I started controlling portions and not eating dinner at the office and at home, I was able to lose weight and broke the 85kg barrier this am! Seeing 84.x on the scale made me happy... and helped strengthen my resolve! A- for food! (Because tracking could be better).

3- exam prep: I did not do as much as I wanted, but I watched some drama, which helped cement some knowledge and I went to class, so there is that! Some study, but not enough. I have to do better. B- for exam prep because of the efforts and the Monday night study session. 

4- workout: VICTORY! I managed to get back on the horse and do a 30-min weightlifting session on Sunday! Looks like these 5-min daily sessions really helped built up my endurance and strength so that I managed through the whole workout (yes, even the lunges). I also think that my rear is smaller than before (but since I cannot make myself actually measure, it may just be acceptance... anyways I will take the positive feeling). I also was careful about respecting my body and switched out cardio sessions for walking or for stretching when I was not feeling good. And it was okay! A for workout!

5- self-care: Great again! I really tried to listen to my body and my feelings and be more mindful of myself. It is a great help in everyday life and enables me to accept the limits, flaws and that I also need care, not just people around me. So I feel I am doing well, living more happily and regretting fewer things. Also: I take better care of my body, which is necessary by the temperatures that we have (currently 10 Farenheit, or -12 Celcius, I am in the office wearing my coat :(). Also, I discovered something wonderful, which is just accepting the hobbies which make you happy! I am not completely there yet, but I used to be somewhat ashamed of my hobbies (k-pop dance, k-pop music, k-pop in general and lots of TV shows), as they are seen as immature ("When will you grow up? Your room looks like that of a 16 year old!"). Even when they are made as a joke, these comments still hurt... But I now care less about it, because of all the happiness I derive from them. So I put a tiny bunny sticker on my phone. And every time I look at it, it makes me happy ^_^. So A for self-care!

A- total for the week given higher acceptance, lower weight (BETTER FITTING PAAAAAANTS!) and less care about what people-who-are-not-me (even my mother) think.  

 

We are halfway through the challenge and I feel like I want to live more of my life, and not change as many things to be happy. So yay! :D

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"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising up every time we fall." Confucius

 

 

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Dang, you did so well! 

11 hours ago, Asuka said:

A- total for the week given higher acceptance, lower weight (BETTER FITTING PAAAAAANTS!) and less care about what people-who-are-not-me (even my mother) think.  

 

We are halfway through the challenge and I feel like I want to live more of my life, and not change as many things to be happy. So yay! :D

<3 <3 <3 that is so great

 

 

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I just received a mini Bulba plush toy!!

It is adorable so I am happy!

 

A good week again with more sleep, more exercise and a wonderful wonderful concert on Saturday which let me exhausted on Sunday...

I have abandoned the idea of working out and I am trying to get some studying done but I am really tired so I am not sure it will be very productive. I did better than usual on my mock exam on Monday (yay!) And I noticed that vocabulary is still my weakness. So I have to focus more on that in the days to come. (28 days left before the exam but 4! Before vacations!!)

I plan on studying during my vacations and then rest. 

My sister is visiting so life is good but distractions abound. Also just today when I am doing laundry for 2 people my dryer decides to stop working (happens sometimes when it is too hot or too cold, just need to let it rest...) so I had to hang everything inside and crank up the heat so I have clothes for work tomorrow... hahaha life is so random sometimes.

 

Overall I could still improve on food, but this week has just been alright so I don't think I should hold myself back. I will some stretching tonight as exercise and will call it a day. 

 

And yay for real mini-Bulbi!!! ♡♡♡

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"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising up every time we fall." Confucius

 

 

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Today is my last day of work of the year! 

I am on vacations in a few hours.

 

WARNING! SAD POST AHEAD!

If you want to stay Holiday Happy, then stop now. Have great holidays, May you and your family have peace, happiness and health now and for all of 2018! 

:angel:

 

Prelim recap Week 4:

Someone I knew and admired made the choice to take his own life this week because of depression, so it was definitely not an easy week. I struggled not to cry and to continue just going through life, but did not sleep well and did not put much energy into working out. There has been no Korean study since then. I am hoping I will get better and things will improve as I go on vacations tomorrow am.

 

1- Sleep: Will try to sleep on the plane. After all I am air-bound for 11 hours, so I can eat, live and sleep. I want to resist the temptation to take sleeping pills, because I am afraid of getting too used to them and not being able to stop taking them. With no alarm-clock for the next 2 weeks, I hope to be able to do better.

2- food: I alternated between not wanting to eat anything and wanting to eat everything in sight. I tried to keep portion control in mind. I mostly managed. Still within the 85.x weight range, so I consider that I am managing.

3- exam: Nothing done. Need to do more. Will take my books and study more once I don't have 8h of work and 3h of commute to do everyday. 

4- workout: I stopped weightlifting because I was afraid I might drop them if I got too sad all of a sudden. I went on my bike every morning at least 15 minutes, and tried to keep the habit in place. We have another bike at home so I will do my best to continue during the holidays. 

5: self-care: I was very very careful. I suffer(ed, hopefully) from depression and only understand too well the feelings that led to this terrible incident, so I made sure I was making myself okay, eating at least a little, staying away from anything potentially dangerous (I avoided black ice, I avoided heavy objects) and making sure I was talking with people and being okay with my feelings. People at work had to live with me taking longer bathroom breaks. (Silver lining: I discovered this week I can cry, then wait 5 minutes and look normal enough that people would not notice.) I let myself go a bit overboard with shopping, just because I tried to find some joy and happiness in a moment when there was none. I will save more in January and February to compensate. I wrote and I listen to people who also missed him and did not want to believe he was gone. It helped, to see that I was not alone. I tried to make a happy environment for people around me who were not affected so that their happiness could come back to me. Today for my last day of work of the year (boy, do I love saying that!!), I bought a cake for the team and we ate it together. It made me happy to see us together in that moment, and it helped. I will continue to be kind. If it can help anyone else, then I did what I was here for.

 

So overall, I will not grade this week. I will add up the next 2 weeks (or whatever is left before the next challenge next year) and will grade the overall effort afterwards. and I hope I will have improved, but if not, it is okay. I made efforts and I learned and I tried to do the right thing. This has to be enough for now. 

 

Anyways,

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope that you and your family will enjoy a healthy, restful and happy 2018! 

 

 

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"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising up every time we fall." Confucius

 

 

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/hugs. I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Glad to hear your self-care goal is helping, though, and that you have people you can talk with about it. 

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too, and I hope you enjoy your time off!

Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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