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Starling Tries To Keep 2018 From Being A Dumpster Fire


Super Starling!

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In 2017, I saw my country implode and someone close to me unexpectedly die. The stench of this year may never come out of my hair. 2018, however, is going to be a Year Without Steaming Garbage. I declare it so. 

 

The obvious opposite of trash? Recycling! Let's follow this metaphor into concrete plans!

 

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Reduce - bad dietary choices! 

- hide junk food & rum in cupboards so they're annoying to access; do not buy any replacements for these items

- drink 1-2 days week/max

- keep the house full of fruits & yogurt instead

 

macklemore+thrift+shop

 

Re-use - items I already have! 

- no online shopping unless something is genuinely needed! (think carefully: do I actually require this thing, or will a similar thing suffice?) 

- if I feel like getting something new to me, hit up a library, thrift store or independently-owned business! 

- whittle down 4 books from my in-person TBR pile; then give to charity/sell to used bookstore (see below)

 

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Recycle - "let it go" 

- literally: go through clothes & other items I own, donate/trash what I don't use

- figuratively: meditation. Download a meditation app & really give it a go. 

 

I've always failed catastrophically at meditation. This will be my final attempt before abandoning it for life. 

 

I will be sure to mark each failing with an Oscar the Grouch GIF so you can clearly, easily locate them. Though I imagine you'll be able to smell them from a mile away. 

 

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JOIN ME! 

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Love it, I'll be following!

 

4 hours ago, Super Starling! said:

 

I've always failed catastrophically at meditation. This will be my final attempt before abandoning it for life. 

 

 

If you don't already have a beginner's meditation plan you like, I can forward you the 30-day Camp Calm from David Cain's program.  Though I haven't made it past day three myself... meditation is one of those things that sounds wonderful, but is about as personally appealing as broccoli for breakfast.

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“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

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Heck Yeah. Love the theme! Let's do this! 

 

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And I'm totally here to help with the meditation strategy. Lay out all the objections that arise as you go, and let's examine what they tell your brain. 

 

2018 is the year we take everything back. 

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17 hours ago, Super Starling! said:

 

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Yoda is a sloth! It all makes sense now!

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Following along. 2017 has definitely been a dumpster fire, but nothing that we (individually and collectively) can't come back from. And of course the hippy in me loves your "recycling" goals :)

 

18 hours ago, Super Starling! said:

I've always failed catastrophically at meditation. This will be my final attempt before abandoning it for life. 

Lol. I'll be interested to see how this goes for you. I've barely tried meditation yet but my tries have not been successful at all

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Thing with meditation is, you CANT fail... if you sit crosslegged on a cushion and shut your eyes and count to 10 over and over silently, you are meditating. If you listen to a guided youtube video as you sit quietly, you are meditating, if you sit for 30 seconds quietly at work before opening those emails, thats meditating. 

 

People think its reaching enlightenment or that your mind will shut off completely, it wont.... even people who have practised for years can struggle with that at times! 

 

But just giving yourself a moment or two, really makes the world of difference. 

 

Have you tried Headspace? If not, i have a subscription code i can give to you. 

 

Also, i listen to this when im feeling like i cant sit in silence. 

 

 

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Thanks for all the insight and support, everyone! I've heard good things about Insight; Stop, Breathe, & Think; and Headspace, so I think I'll download the ones that are free and try them to see which goes best with the way my brain works before the challenge starts. 

 

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I really like the name "Stop, Breathe, & Think" because I actually had a Post-It note that said "Stop, Breathe, & Smile" at my desk for a while. I'd read somewhere the study that if you smile, your body thinks you're happy, and it becomes a positive cycle. If you force yourself to smile, you're actually headed in the right direction. So the title is close. Also, the logo is cute: 

 

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Right? So cute.

 

4 hours ago, Salinger said:

People think its reaching enlightenment or that your mind will shut off completely, it wont.... even people who have practised for years can struggle with that at times! 

 

The preoccupation with thinking of nothing turns into a really horrible feedback loop. "[silence] I'm really nailing it -- CRAP! now I'm thinking -- now I'll NEVER get this right -- just -- I'm going to stop thinking -- now -- failure -- crap -- NOW -- FUCK."

 

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I read a book by this guy that mentioned that maintaining focus is like training a puppy to stay near you; when it strays, you're supposed to gently pick it up and bring it back without getting mad at it. 

 

I'm not sure the author of the book ever owned a rowdy beagle like mine, but okay. 

 

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(Hunting breeds? Incorrigible.) 

 

Just considering my meditation options is actually making me feel calmer. Especially now that I'me back home after Christmas. My in-laws (who are splendid A+ people) have this thing where they turn on the TV and just leave it on, full blast, all day. 

 

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At one point, I muted it because I was reading alone on the couch. One of them came in, looked at the TV in confusion, un-muted it, and left againThey weren't in the room. They aren't even watching it half the time. It's just a thing that must. be. on. 

 

This disrupts the shit out of my zen. 

 

I will, on occasion, say "I'm going to go upstairs and read for an hour," and they don't take it personally. But I do feel a bit rude. I don't want them to think that they are insufferable. It's just the TV, which is a given there. It is their way. 

 

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I tend to get overstimulated easily. I read a book about "highly sensitive people" and have never felt more spoken to in my life. 

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12 minutes ago, Super Starling! said:

My in-laws (who are splendid A+ people) have this thing where they turn on the TV and just leave it on, full blast, all day. 

 

AaaaAAAAACK this is so a THING when visiting my family! At my brother’s over the weekend, I hit my limit when he had the TV on full blast and his wife had YouTube on full blast in the same room for like twenty minutes. I just stared at my husband with WHAT IS ALL THIS NOISE OMG eyes and he just nodded. Such a thing.

 

+1 for not letting the fuck-i’m-not-supposed-to-think-shut-UP-brain cycle get you too early in the process. And try all the apps and things. There are so many ways in, and the “best one” is simply the one you want to spend time with. 

 

You got this.

 

{turns on the TV and walks away}

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2 hours ago, Super Starling! said:

 

I read a book by this guy that mentioned that maintaining focus is like training a puppy to stay near you; when it strays, you're supposed to gently pick it up and bring it back without getting mad at it. 

 

I'm not sure the author of the book ever owned a rowdy beagle like mine, but okay. 

 

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(Hunting breeds? Incorrigible.) 

 

 

I'm jealous, beagles may be the most endearing breed of dog out there. 

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Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

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Following because your meme game is on point and to see if you figure out meditation.  I too struggle. A lot.  

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” John Steinbeck

“Do I dare disturb the universe?” – T.S. Eliot

“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” – Toni Morrison

"All we have to do is decide what to do with the time given to us" JRR Tolkien

 

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12 hours ago, Super Starling! said:

My in-laws (who are splendid A+ people) have this thing where they turn on the TV and just leave it on, full blast, all day. 

Ugh, my step-mom is like this (though luckily not full-blast). Even if it's on silent the visual is distracting and over-stimulating when on all.the.time. But I might be extra sensitive to it because I'm not even a fan of music as background noise and I love listening to music

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11 hours ago, Kestrel Grey said:

I'm jealous, beagles may be the most endearing breed of dog out there. 

 

THIS GUY? ENDEARING?

 

 

I DUNNO...

 

 

ARE YOU SURE? 

 

We got him from a beagle rescue. We think he might also be part border collie. He's a five-star lover-of-everything (including cats, kids, other dogs, you name it), but when he catches the scent of something, he is GONE. He has to be on-lead at all times. My in-laws (of TV fame) have accidentally lost him more than once because he will DART out the door and lunge into the woods.

 

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I downloaded three meditation apps to my phone today. I'm going to probably start trying them this week to get everything lined up for the challenge.

 

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I apologise for the fact that this is the lamest Turtle. 

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18 minutes ago, Super Starling! said:

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I apologise for the fact that this is the lamest Turtle. 

Speak ye no evil of Leonardo. He was always my favorite, and this was the absolute best ever no room for debate Ninja Turtle movie of all time.

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20 minutes ago, Super Starling! said:

 

THIS GUY? ENDEARING?

 

 
 

RESCUE BABIES ARE THE BEST!  All three of ours are rescue babies.  He is so much nose and all cuteness!

20 minutes ago, Super Starling! said:

I downloaded three meditation apps to my phone today. I'm going to probably start trying them this week to get everything lined up for the challenge.. 

 

  I use one called Simple Habit.  Will be interested to see what you think of yours.

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” John Steinbeck

“Do I dare disturb the universe?” – T.S. Eliot

“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” – Toni Morrison

"All we have to do is decide what to do with the time given to us" JRR Tolkien

 

Human Bard: CON 2, WIS 5, INT 1, CHA 2

 

Current Challenge: Nova Levels Up (and maybe doesn't abandon a challenge...)

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I love the theme for your challenge.  It's a great way to start off a year that will be amazing!  Following. 

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49 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Speak ye no evil of Leonardo. He was always my favorite, and this was the absolute best ever no room for debate Ninja Turtle movie of all time.

 

I feel like I've never gone through a Leonardo phase. I went through a goof-off phase (my early childhood, Michaelangelo), a sarcastic phase (teenager, Raphael), and an overanalytic, geeky phase (now, Donatello), but I've never been much of a stoic leader. Perhaps I'll hit that phase later in life. 

 

47 minutes ago, Stribs said:

RESCUE BABIES ARE THE BEST!  All three of ours are rescue babies.  He is so much nose and all cuteness!

 

Thank you! He came via the Doggy Underground Railroad from West Virginia (high kill state) to Pennsylvania (lower kill state). I took one look at him on Petfinder and was like "what's up, DESTINY? I want that soft little tuxedo boy." 

 

1 hour ago, LadyShello said:

I love the theme for your challenge.  It's a great way to start off a year that will be amazing!  Following. 

 

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A few times a year, I forget to take one of my mood stabilizers, and I always realize it way too late in the night, when it's like 1 a.m. and I realize I'm manic and can't sleep. I get night sweats and weird, skittering thoughts. They're, like, creative visions and dreams that pulsate and are beautiful. It's a gorgeous, inspiring thing that's also a HUGE pain in the ass. 

 

That happened last night. It happened after I'd done a bunch of meditation, so at first, I was like "WOW, THIS IS THE OPPOSITE OF WORKING." 

 

So I can't really say anything about the efficacy of meditation, because I was having a medical withdrawal reaction. 

 

Sigh.

 

I tried out Stop, Think, & Breathe and Insight Timer last night.

 

Stop Think & Breathe:

Pros: The app has a comprehensive mood tracker. Like, REALLY comprehensive. You can put down up to 5 emotions that are all across the board, from yay to nay. And you can select from a huge range of emotions that you're experiencing at the same time. I had selected "creative" and "loved" and "sad" at the same time last night. (I miss my boss. He died last year. I was sad that my dog is getting old. But I also felt loved, and happy about my family, immediate and extended. And creative because -- unbeknownst to me at the time -- I was manic as fuck.)

There are two voices to choose from. I listened to the female one, and I liked it. 

Cons: There aren't a lot of meditations to choose from. You have to subscribe to access most of them. 

 

Insight Timer: 

I haven't found any cons to this yet. There are a LOT of meditations to choose from. You can choose what type of theme, instructor, topic, and/or mood to listen to.

I listened to a really nice meditation about surrendering. It said that people hold onto their worries and fears like armor. They feel like thinking about the worst prepares them. But really, nothing can prepare you for the negative parts of life. Clinging to this armor does nothing but drag you under. But if you let it go, you can float, and go with the flow. The voice said that going with the flow opens you up to new opportunities you might not have encountered because you were so busy clutching your armor. It felt so real that I had a nice little cry. 

 

To commemorate this new quest, I did an illustration yesterday: 

 

 

It was very inspiring to draw this, digitize it, turn it into a mandala in Illustrator, and color it in.

 

I've never done anything quite like this illustration project before. 

 

Sorry for my lack of .GIF game. This was an oddly serious post for me. 

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8 hours ago, Super Starling! said:

I listened to a really nice meditation about surrendering. It said that people hold onto their worries and fears like armor. They feel like thinking about the worst prepares them. But really, nothing can prepare you for the negative parts of life. Clinging to this armor does nothing but drag you under. But if you let it go, you can float, and go with the flow. The voice said that going with the flow opens you up to new opportunities you might not have encountered because you were so busy clutching your armor. It felt so real that I had a nice little cry. 

 

Big long hugs. I hope your medical stuff stabilizes quickly. In the meantime, that is a profound insight, and something I needed to hear today. Thanks.

 

(and yeah, really cool mandala!)

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"First you decide what you've gotta do, and then you go out and do it. And maybe the most that we can do is just to see each other through it." -Ani Difranco

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Thanks for the art compliment, guys! I'm always exploring new ideas, or trying to. 

 

Spending the next few days with my friends in a cabin in the woods playing board games. Sounds like the setup for a horror film, I know.

 

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If I don't come back, feel free to slap "failed at meditation" on my gravestone. 

 

The next few days are just going to be a free-for-all. I'm going to try to make a few good nutrition choices, but I'm mostly at the mercy of what's being cooked (there's a schedule, and a grocery list, and the Whims of the People), and what junk food everyone brought, and my own ability to turn down the massive amount of alcohol that's going to be around. 

 

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(Side note: if you haven't seen the movie Cabin In The Woods, you really should. It's gobs of fun.)

 

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When I get back, it's time to Buckle Down. 

 

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I can do this. 

 

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2018 has, so far, given me two homes with frozen pipes! The pipes froze in one of our cabins (we had 2) in West Virginia -- and when we got home, they were frozen here too! 

 

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Now the cabin AND the house are thawed. The house mended itself; the cabin needed a man with a blowtorch. Cool. 

 

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Ah, winter. 

 

I had a lovely time in the cabin with my friends, though. I did a LOT of meditation, to varying degrees of success. I have trouble focusing and staying empty. Some days are better than others. I should probably dial back on caffeine. 

 

I've already gone to the gym today and done some meditation, so I'm going to focus on doing my several weeks' worth of laundry, plus watching the second season of Man In The High Castle. 

 

How's everyone else's 2018 going so far?

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