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Ambarwen Oromendur: Quenta Mentieryon, part 1 (Bag End)


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Respectful greetings to the Druids!

 

Ambarwen Oromendur here, coming off a (barely) successful respawn challenge, and after spending more soul-searching time than was probably necessary on deciding where my next challenge would land (long detailed post here), I think it feels right to start in this guild.

 

My goals are to continue to solidify the habits I started to build in my respawn challenge, and so I will retain roughly the same categories, with a few tweaks and additions. I also will seek to take advantage of a rare situation: I am not traveling, hosting anyone, or doing anything unusual in my life from now until the last week in May. This means I have an opportunity to truly establish routine habits without the sort of distractions that normally derail my efforts. I’m generally satisfied with my evening routine, so now I plan to try and reclaim some parts of a morning routine I used to have, back in a long-lost day when I wasn’t quite so hopeless...

 

As a Ph.D. candidate writing a dissertation on Tolkien, I’m still soldiering along in Middle-earth, and will likely be doing so for at least the next six to eight months. My challenges are likely to be Tolkien-themed for the foreseeable future — so any and all Tolkien geekery is more than welcome here :) (For those uber-nerds interested, my title means "Tale of her Journeys" -- or at least I hope it does, because I don't actually know enough Quenya to string two words together. Using the amazing cross-referenced dictionaries at Parf Edhellen and the grammar notes at  Ardalambion this is what I've come up with. Anyway. Moving on.)

 

 

Main Quest: FINISH MY DISSERTATION. Period. This has to be the most important thing in my life, every day. Last challenge I let external pressures distract me, and now I’m even further behind and starting to feel like I’m in trouble. Current milestone goal: I want to send all of Part II of the dissertation to my advisor before I leave for the UK the last week in May. It’s going to take a lot of focus and more than a little luck to get me there, but I think I can do it.

 

 

Quest #1: Bilbo’s heart (20 points)

 

“Go back?’ he thought. ‘No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!’ So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.”  ~The Hobbit

 

Last challenge my Ranger quest was kind of a failure, I think because I tried to focus on specific exercises rather than just looking for exercise in general. This challenge, my plan is to use the heart rate monitor I wear all the time anyway (Mio SLICE) to keep me motivated to move. There are no limits on the type, distance, length, number, or suitability of the exercise — as long as it gets my heart beating enough to satisfy the tracker, it counts. One point for every day that the PAI score on my tracker is over 100, with a goal of five days a week. Extra days earn extra points. (Conveniently, if I am diligent in performing my other quests, this one should very nearly take care of itself. We’ll see.)

 

 

Quest #2: Boromir’s strength (20 points)

 

“Pippin marvelled at his strength, seeing the passage that he had already forced with no other tool than his great limbs. Even now, burdened as he was, he was widening the track for those who followed, thrusting the snow aside as he went.”    ~The Fellowship of the Ring

 

The first of the three pieces of the morning routine I am attempting to reclaim during this rare month at home is an upper-body strength practice that will hopefully serve as a foundation for getting back into trying to do pullups someday. I will do three max sets of twisty pushups (I have a dusty set of these I will have to dig up tomorrow) first thing in the morning, five days a week. One point per successful day, no extra points.

 

 

Quest #3: Legolas’s lightness (32 points)

 

“The strongest must seek a way, say you? But I say: let a ploughman plough, but choose an otter for swimming, and for running light over grass and leaf, or over snow — an Elf.”  ~Legolas Greenleaf (The Fellowship of the Ring)

 

The Elf quest from my last challenge was quite a success, and I am going to try and solidify that habit while expanding its scope, with a two-part challenge. The first part is a continuation of my last challenge habit, and the second is (in the spirit of reclamation that seems to be a feature of this challenge) another resurrection of an activity from one of my old challenges.

- I will do a mindful bedtime stretching routine of at least five minutes (keeping myself honest by using a timer) five days a week. Extra days earn extra points. 

- I will perform a set of exercises designed to correct Anterior Pelvic Tilt three days a week (this is a lifting-specific program; I'm allowed to skip any exercise requiring gym equipment). One point per successful day, extra days earn extra points.

 

 

Life quest #1: Galadriel’s focus (20 points)

 

“But perhaps you could call her perilous, because she’s so strong in herself. You, you could dash yourself to pieces on her, like a ship on a rock; or drownd yourself, like a hobbit in a river. But neither rock nor river would be to blame.” ~ Samwise Gamgee, speaking of Galadriel (The Two Towers)

 

For the Druid portion of my challenge (there is one, really) I will reclaim the remaining two pieces of my old morning routine. While it might seem like I’m trying to make a big change here, I actually did this regularly off and on for many years — it’s more a matter of rediscovering the groove than creating anything new.

     - I will do Julia Cameron-style morning pages (link) five days a week. 

     - I will meditate for at least five minutes five days a week. No restrictions on the type of meditation, and whether or not I count it successful depends entirely on whether or not I manage to sit still in my meditation space for five minutes (I think that trying to grade the quality of my meditation before I get used to doing it again would be a recipe for failure). 

A successful day requires both of these; one point per successful day, extra days earn extra points.

 

 

Life quest #2: A hole worthy of a Hobbit (8 points)

 

“The tunnel wound on and on, going fairly but not quite straight into the side of the hill…and many little round doors opened out of it, first on one side and then on another…. Bedrooms, bathrooms, cellars, pantries (lots of these), wardrobes (he had whole rooms devoted to clothes), kitchens, dining-rooms, all were on the same floor, and indeed on the same passage.”  ~The Hobbit

 

Last challenge I gave myself an extra point for dunging out one of my horrible closets, and even a week later it makes me very happy to be able to open that door and fetch a roll of toilet paper or something and not have my skin crawl. I have a HUGE list of that sort of thing that needs doing. I want to use the fact that I’m home this month to take advantage of how good it felt to have a clean house for the briefest of moments (it’s already kind of a mess again. Sigh. WHY AM I LIKE THIS???). This is a two-part quest.

     - Once per week, I will pick up clutter, put things away, sweep the floors, and generally get the house to a point where I would not be embarrassed if a friend stopped by. I don’t actually expect to host anyone, but that’s not relevant — what I want is to feel like it would be OK if I did, because last challenge having my house clean for my friends made me feel SO much better. One point per successful weekly tidying effort, no extra points.

     - Twice at any point during the challenge, I will choose a task from my VERY long list of home-sorting projects and complete it. Possibilities include: empty and tidy office closet, empty and tidy spare room closet, sort through and deal with the huge piles of mouldering stuff under the deck, empty and clean refrigerator, empty and clean kitchen cupboards — oh, there are a million things like this. I will draft a fuller list later, but this is enough to capture the concept and give me enough to be getting on with. As all of these tasks are big and icky, I will earn two points per task. Extra points are possible after the first two.

 

Total points to be successful: 100. Extra points in one area are explicitly permitted to make up for failures in another.

 

Best of luck to all in your own challenges! Let us journey together through the Golden Wood, and see what is to be seen if we leave the Mirror free to work...

 

mirror.thumb.jpg.2e7b8dc63784d5069a2a0374bf759699.jpg

 

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hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 ]

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The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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Looks like you've thought everything out well.  Best of luck on your challenge.

 

I agree that trying to grade quality of meditation is a recipe for failure.  It still is for me, and I've gotten pretty good at it.  Lol.  I think even when you're experience there's still good days and bad days when you try to quiet down.  Showing up on the cushion each day is what's important.

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3 hours ago, MaD MaLKaV said:

Showing up on the cushion each day is what's important.

 

Yes, indeed. It's been a long time since I've shown up properly. I'm going to spend some time cleaning and preparing the space today, and then tomorrow morning I will formally begin again. Hopefully, if I make it as easy as possible to do, the old patterns will come back quickly.

 

For this challenge I'm explicitly giving myself permission to fidget for five minutes and then get up :)  I hope I won't, of course -- but if that's what happens, I'm OK with it.

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hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 ]

[ Current: The Red Book ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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YOU ARE WRITING YOUR DIS ON TOLKIEN??? Amazing! I love you already! Let's be friends. Following of course. I love the way your organized you challenge. definitely inspirational!

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Daily Battle Log, Sweat like an Orc, Live like a Hobbit, and Look like an Elf

Current Challenge: Plague

“As the Wheel of Time turns, places wear many names. Men wear many names, many faces. Different faces, but always the same man. Yet no one knows the Great Pattern the Wheel weaves, or even the Pattern of an Age. We can only watch, and study, and hope.”  Robert Jordan, The Eye of the World

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Yeah, I'm pretty sure the department of Computer Science that I got my Masters from didn't have an option of doing your PhD dissertation on Tolkien, or I might have finished up my PhD there.  That definitely beats the "something-something Quantum Computers" topic my adviser was recommending.

 

What Tolkien topic are you tackling?

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Level 10 Vegetarian Vampire Warrior

STR: 16 DEX: 7 STA: 6 WIS: 46 CON: 27 CHA: 17

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Short update to celebrate early-challenge success: I completed my whole morning routine for the first time in (according to the last date in my journal when I opened it this morning) more than seven months. The pushup numbers were embarrassingly low -- but actually not quite as low as I'd feared, the journaling went quickly, and the meditation was much less fidgety than I expected. Let's hope it augurs good things for the rest of the challenge!

 

"That’s good for a beginning."  ~Frodo Baggins (The Fellowship of the Ring)

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hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 ]

[ Current: The Red Book ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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17 hours ago, ladyofthebog said:

YOU ARE WRITING YOUR DIS ON TOLKIEN??? Amazing! I love you already! Let's be friends.

 

Welcome, friend! :) 

hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 ]

[ Current: The Red Book ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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16 hours ago, AverageFish said:

Following because I'm in the same position of finally having some consistency to my schedule and also because TOLKIEN! Why wasn't this an option decades ago when I was choosing a career path? Good luck!

 

Heh. In my particular situation, it's a bit of a mistake to conflate "dissertation topic" with "career path." The former is happening, if slowly. The other hasn't really yet happened in my life, and may never do so (shrug)  Doesn't matter -- I'm enjoying the work (when not stressing out about how far behind I am...ugh), and the world will never need fewer network engineers, so I can always go back into the tech world if it turns out this won't pay the bills.

 

Tolkien Studies has actually been a thing for a while. Tom Shippey published The Road to Middle-earth in 1982 (which it pains me to note was more than three decades ago) but he was already doing academic work on Tolkien in the '70s. He was a medievalist first, though, and that's true of nearly every successful Tolkien scholar today; Verlyn Flieger, Michael Drout, Jane Chance -- they're all medievalists, and most are experts in Anglo-Saxon studies. So that's probably where you needed to be back in the day to be a Tolkienist now :) Also, in passing, I'm what's euphemistically referred to as a 'mature student' -- so you're probably not all that much older than I am.

 

Hooray for consistency! Good luck in your own quests! Feel free to stop by and geek about Tolkien any time you like :D

hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 ]

[ Current: The Red Book ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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4 hours ago, MaD MaLKaV said:

Yeah, I'm pretty sure the department of Computer Science that I got my Masters from didn't have an option of doing your PhD dissertation on Tolkien, or I might have finished up my PhD there.  That definitely beats the "something-something Quantum Computers" topic my adviser was recommending.

 

Long ago in a galaxy far, far away I was accepted into grad school for "Electrical Engineering with a focus in Computer Science." I ended up not going. There were Reasons.

 

4 hours ago, MaD MaLKaV said:

What Tolkien topic are you tackling?

 

Dissertation title: "Yearning for Rivendell: The Wilderness of Myth and the Myth of Wilderness in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth" 

 

My field is mythological studies. I'm examining Tolkien's modern myth from the perspective of both source criticism and ecocriticism, looking at how the relationship between humans and the natural world (specifically the wilderness) is treated in his sources, how it is treated in the Middle-earth legendarium, and how the two are related. I'm eventually trying to show that people's love for Middle-earth can be used as mythic instruction for changing their stories about wilderness in the real world. 

 

That's assuming, of course, I ever get far enough to be in a position to draw conclusions (sigh).  I'm going to get working now. I need to extricate myself from Lothlórien today if it kills me...

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hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 ]

[ Current: The Red Book ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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Short day 2 update: morning routine achieved -- although since I wasn't quite awake, when I went down for that first set of pushups the DOMS from yesterday's sets fair took my breath away :blink: 

 

Still entangled in the Golden Wood. Every day I stay stuck there is another day behind, because although time may not flow there, it certainly does in this grey world of dissertations and deadlines. I MUST stay better focused today... I really need to get on the river and moving!

 

"Lórien was slipping backward, like a bright ship masted with enchanted trees, sailing on to forgotten shores, while they sat helpless upon the margin of the grey and leafless world." (The Fellowship of the Ring

 

 

hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 ]

[ Current: The Red Book ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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So I finished Chapter 5 of my dissertation yesterday. "Elves in the Forest." Done. Finally. Nearly two weeks later than my already-three-months-behind plan, but done is done is done.

 

I really don't want to talk about anything else involved in the challenge...or in my disastrous mess of a life...but Chapter 5? (BLEEP)ing DONE.

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hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 ]

[ Current: The Red Book ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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This week I've been struggling with the activity quest -- I had a couple of days in the 90s, and 90 is good but it is *not* 100 -- but when I woke up yesterday and the stupid thing read 45, I knew I had to break out the big guns. So I went dancing.

 

Two hours of ballroom and Latin and swing last night set me up with more than enough PAI points to get me through until Monday, as I knew it would.

 

It also set me up with back spasms to deal with this morning. As I knew it would (sigh).

 

I have no regrets. It was a nice night, lots of good dancers and lovely dances, and it reminded me how much of a joy it can be to move in complete sync with someone else. (Standard Slow Foxtrot is a b*tch of a dance to get the hang of, but when it's good, it's really REALLY good. I had a solid handful of good ones last night...mmmm...)

 

But damnitalltohellanyway I'm getting really bored with this constant lower back pain, which sort of went away last challenge but has now come back with a vengeance, and makes the already supremely difficult job of staying focused on my dissertation that much harder. Sit-to-stand desk, heating pad, stretching every night -- I do everything right, and I still hurt. (WAAAAAAAAAAH! LIFE ISN'T FAAAAAAAAIR! <sniff> OK, self-pity party over. But still, it sucks.)

 

Anyway. I would really like to avoid spinning down into the cycle of pain --> no movement --> more pain --> drugs --> no awareness --> pretty much crippled for weeks. I'm going to try to get through today without any painkillers, but I'm beginning to think I might have to take muscle relaxants tonight, which means I'll be combat ineffective for at least twelve hours and will probably end up sacrificing any dissertation work tomorrow. If I do that, though, I should be able to start up again with the pushups on Monday, so it might be worth it. We'll see. Wish me luck...

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hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 ]

[ Current: The Red Book ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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[WEEK 1 UPDATE]

 

Main Quest (Dissertation): Finished Chapter 5 and actually got a decent start on Chapter 6. The secret seems to be getting to bed early enough that I can be awake early enough to get a solid 5 or 6 hours of work in before lunchtime (usually around 2ish). Basically, if writing doesn't happen before then, it doesn't happen at all -- so I need to be disciplined about doing what it takes to make it happen.

 

Quest #1 (Bilbo's heart): Met the threshold on Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun. 5/5. This was my stated goal and I met it, but I could stand to do it in a more gradual fashion rather than relying on thrashing myself once or twice a week and then dealing with the painful aftermath. If I would just go for a (BLEEP)ing walk every day I'd be fine.

 

Quest #2 (Boromir's strength): Done Mon-Fri. 5/5. Morning routine -- and it helps that I'm not fully awake and don't have the mental functionality to talk myself out of it. I came close to doing so on Friday, though, because I hurt so much, but in the end the pressure of routine won out and I got it done. I don't want to talk about the numbers. Hopefully next week the DOMS will be lower and the numbers will be higher. It sure felt nice not to have to do them on Sat and Sun, though!

 

Quest #3 (Legolas's lightness): Bedtime stretching routine done Mon-Sun, 7/5. Easy-peasy. APT exercises done Sat, 1/3. Not nearly so easy. If it isn't attached to a specific routine, I just can't seem to make it happen :( 

 

Life Quest #1 (Galadriel's focus): Done and done, Mon-Sun. 7/5. Routines are amazing, and having just enough of a nudge from the challenge to make me do it is even more amazing. I don't actually know if the morning pages truly contributed to my increased productivity this week, but I'm going to say they did!

 

Life Quest #2 (Hobbit hole): I, uh, well, everything can't go swimmingly, right? Right? Nothing. 0/1, 0/2. In my defense, I had an infestation of ants to deal with in the kitchen all week, which took every bit of my extremely limited housework energy while leaving me pretty much exactly where I started, in a slowly deteriorating home environment with crap piling up everywhere. I have GOT to get on this better next week.

 

Overall points 25/25 (by the grace of a few extra points from decent routines that are easy to stick to every day, at least as long as I'm required to post on a challenge thread about them). Thanks at least partially to the APT exercises I did on Saturday, my back's screaming pain subsided to a dull roar today without the use of drugs, so hopefully with the stretching tonight I'll be able to face another week. You know, if I'd just do the stupid APT exercises three times a week like I said I was going to do I might not be struggling as much...duh...

 

"You’re nowt but a ninnyhammer, Sam Gamgee: that’s what the Gaffer said to me often enough." ~Samwise Gamgee (The Two Towers)

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hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 ]

[ Current: The Red Book ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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9 hours ago, oromendur said:

and it helps that I'm not fully awake and don't have the mental functionality to talk myself out of it.

I love meditating first thing in the morning before my mind is completely fired up.  It makes me feel like a quiet-minded meditation master, compared to how active my head is when I put it off until later in the day.  I'm lucky to have never fallen back asleep during my sit, since I do it pre-coffee.  Now, if only I could get in the habit of getting up early enough to meditate first thing...

 

My worst time to meditate is when I'm in the middle of reading, especially if I don't close the book at a chapter end or something.  But I've had multiple distracted sessions from where I tried to put a book down and go squeeze in 15 minutes of sitting.  It's so easy to fall into on the weekends, because I'm already trying to squeeze my meditation into baby naps, and I tend to read most of the weekend anyway.

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Intro | Challenge: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

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5 hours ago, MaD MaLKaV said:

I love meditating first thing in the morning before my mind is completely fired up.  It makes me feel like a quiet-minded meditation master, compared to how active my head is when I put it off until later in the day.

 

Word! It does feel good, because your body is still in 'rest' mode so your mind can get there easily, if you give it half a chance with a bit of ritual anchoring. It's like magic.

 

I have NEVER been able to maintain any meditation practice that didn't happen first thing in the morning, not without significant external support (like actually going somewhere for the purpose of meditating with other people, which it turns out really isn't my bag). I don't even try anymore :) 

hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

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The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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Wrong fandom for my challenges, but I don't care -- it will never not make me smile :D

 

MayTheForest-.jpg.830101d265e7547a753c167c1bc125ee.jpg

 

In less positive news, the morning routine has kind of gone off the rails this week; I don't know if I pulled something in my abs/groin or what, but now both my back and my front hurt and I just couldn't force myself to do any pushups today -- and that started the cascade of not meditating or journaling either. And I was feeling icky on Wednesday and didn't do any routine that day either. And the (BLEEP)ing HRM reads 20 this morning :( 

 

I'll try and reset things this weekend. My friend talked me into going dancing again tonight -- two weeks in a row! Good for me! I'll do the APT exercises before I go (haven't done those this week yet either, sigh) and hopefully it will stretch things out enough that I can still move tomorrow.

 

At least I'm up early enough to get some good writing in today. I hope. If the gods are kind...

 

Anyway. Happy Star Wars day, everyone!

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hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 ]

[ Current: The Red Book ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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On 5/3/2018 at 8:06 AM, AverageFish said:

Commiserations with the back pain. Mine would also be better if I could do my PT more regularly.

 

Right? I mean, it's not like I don't know what I need to do, or that I don't know it will help me. I just don't do it (shrug). Ridiculous, but there you are.

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hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 ]

[ Current: The Red Book ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

Link to comment

[WEEK 2 UPDATE]

 

Main Quest (Dissertation): This has actually been going surprisingly well. I'm more than half done with Chapter 6 already. Maybe there really is something to this morning pages thing...

 

Quest #1 (Bilbo's heart): Exceeded 100 on Mon, Tue, Wed, Sat, Sun. 5/5, cumulative 10/10, overall 10/20. Friday was SO damned close -- I started out at 20 and earned 75 points in two and a half hours of hard dancing -- but 95 is not 100. Since I felt like I earned a reward after writing so successfully all week, I splurged on another social dance on Saturday, but it wasn't anywhere as good a night as Friday. To be honest it probably wasn't worth the money I couldn't really spare -- and to make things worse, the stupid HRM only captured part of the night because one or both of the Bluetooth radios puked and I didn't notice, and now I'm starting this week somewhat behind, and to top it all off my back hurts (grrrrrr). Maybe this will be the time I will manage to learn not to go three days in a row without exercising? Maybe?

 

Quest #2 (Boromir's strength):  Mon, Tue, Thu. 3/5, cumulative 8/10, overall 8/20. As I said the other day, this kind of went off the rails; Wednesday I felt like dog vomit and Friday I hurt too much. I suppose I could have done them on Saturday or Sunday but I just didn't. 

 

Quest #3 (Legolas's lightness): Nailed the stretching again, Mon-Sun, 7/5, cumulative 14/10, overall 14/20. I'm starting to feel comfortable with this in my routine. Didn't do a single set of the APT exercises though (sigh). 0/3, cumulative 1/6, overall 1/12. I KNOW this would help so much with the back pain. Seriously. I don't understand what is wrong with me :( 

 

Life Quest #1 (Galadriel's focus): Done Mon, Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun. 5/5, cumulative 12/10, overall 12/20. The problem with tying everything to a morning routine is, if I fail to get started with the first part (see Quest #2) then everything just goes sideways. I need to push this harder next week (I may have met the standard this time, but I, uh, find myself in need of some extra points.)

 

Life Quest #2 (Hobbit hole): Nothing. Not a single (BLEEP)ing thing. 0/3, cumulative 0/4, overall 0/8. I really don't want to talk about it.

 

Challenge points 20/25, cumulative 45/50, overall 45/100. Not great -- it's kind of a big deficit when considering how ungenerous I was with my extra point opportunities this challenge -- but not insurmountable. I'm not ready to give up. Although I do foresee a significant amount of unpleasant cleaning in my near future...

 

"After coming all that way I don’t want to give up yet. It’s not like me, somehow, if you understand." ~Samwise Gamgee (The Return of the King)

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hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 ]

[ Current: The Red Book ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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I've been doing morning pages for several years now--not all the time, admittedly, but when I feel my brain is clogged up, I do them for months or even years at a go. I rarely go more than a few months without picking them up again. They've helped me uncover questions, find answers, and make a lot of big decisions and changes in my life.

 

And even when I'm not doing the brain vomit that is morning pages, I journal quite frequently as well. Writing is just how I process the world XD

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Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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[WEEK 3 UPDATE]

 

I got basically overwhelmed by a tidal wave of life this week. But overall, from a challenge perspective, things didn't turn out *too* badly, I guess.

 

Main Quest (Dissertation): Finished Chapter 6: Hobbits in the Shire. It came together suspiciously quickly. I mean, I always knew it was going to be a shorter chapter, as there's less to work with in the text, but even so -- either I'm getting the hang of this writing thing, or my standards are declining precipitously as the weeks go on ^_^ Either way, I finished Chapter 6! Now the conclusion to Part II, incorporate committee feedback on Part I, and get the whole thing ready to send off before I leave. I think I'm on track (which makes me very nervous -- I'm sure I'm forgetting something important).

 

Quest #1 (Bilbo's heart): Done and done. Above 100 Mon-Sun, 7/5, cumulative 17/15, overall 17/20. The secret to keeping this demanding gadget happy seems to be two nights of social dancing a week. Unfortunately, that's not really financially sustainable, so I'm going to have to figure something else out this week. You know, maybe, GO FOR A WALK? Seriously. It's not that hard. And it's free. WHY does Resistance kick my (BLEEP) so hard on this one?

 

Quest #2 (Boromir's strength): Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri, 4/5, cumulative 12/15, overall 12/20. Thursday I *really* overslept and didn't have time for the morning routine. It took a LOT of willpower to force myself to get it done on Friday, but I did it, so well done me. Numbers are starting to creep up and the mysterious ab pain seems to have gone away, so I have NO EXCUSES for not finishing this one strong in Week 4.

 

Quest #3 (Legolas's lightness): Stretching routine is solid, Mon-Sun, 7/5, cumulative 21/15, overal 21/20. Yay! APT exercises done, um, well, Tue. 1/3, cumulative 2/9, overall 2/12. Boo...

 

Life Quest #1 (Galadriel's focus): Done Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat Sun, 6/5, cumulative 18/15, overall 18/20. As mentioned, Thursday's morning routine fell into the black hole of overwhelm this week. It is *very* easy for me to convince myself to take a day off from this when I feel icky in the morning, so I am grateful for the nudging of this challenge -- knowing I have to report on it is keeping me on track when I wake up with a serious case of "don't wanna." 

 

Life Quest #2 (Hobbit hole): We're, um, just not going to talk about this one. 0/1, cumulative 0/5, overall 0/8.

 

No, actually, maybe we are. I think part of the problem is I tried to do too much and was not specific enough. For the next challenge involving housework (it'll be a while as I'll be traveling, thank the gods), I think I will lower the bar right on down to the ground and pick the babyest baby steps I can think of. For now, to get through this challenge, I'm giving myself the following tasks to complete by Sunday: 

     - Laundry

     - Pick up clutter

     - Vacuum bedroom

     - Vacuum living/dining room

     - Clean out refrigerator

If I do all of this successfully in the next week, I will give myself the three weekly tidy/home project points. (sigh) Wish me luck!

 

Challenge points 25/25, cumulative 70/75, overall 70/100. At least my deficit didn't increase... I now need a 30-point week to be successful in the challenge. I have the extra points available, and it should be totally doable, as long as I press as hard on everything this last week as I did the first week. I suppose it's a hallmark of a good challenge that it motivates me to push through to the end -- but I wonder that I'm really not doing things right. Seriously. I don't think it needs to be this damned hard! No wonder I'm exhausted at the end of every challenge and fall off the wagon after two in a row! Sigh.

 

"The stars are faint; and I am weary as I have seldom been before, weary as no Ranger should be with a clear trail to follow. There is some will that lends speed to our foes and sets an unseen barrier before us: a weariness that is in the heart more than in the limb."   ~Aragorn (The Two Towers)

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hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 ]

[ Current: The Red Book ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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On 5/9/2018 at 2:43 AM, Ann of Vries said:

I've been doing morning pages for several years now--not all the time, admittedly, but when I feel my brain is clogged up, I do them for months or even years at a go. I rarely go more than a few months without picking them up again. They've helped me uncover questions, find answers, and make a lot of big decisions and changes in my life.

 

Every time I start with them again things get better -- productivity rises, I feel mentally more together -- but I'll go on a trip or get lazy or whatever and the practice just falls off. Then I wonder why my brain is foggy and I wander around bumping into walls instead of getting work done (sigh)

 

For me, they seem to be most useful as mental hygiene; all of the disconnected dream-detritus and unhandled emotional residue from the day before spews out of my head and onto the page, which tricks my silly brain into thinking it's handled :) 

hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 ]

[ Current: The Red Book ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

Link to comment

So I finished "Iphigenia in Taurus" and my thoughts are buried in page 3 of my thread.  I think that qualifies me to hear your rant about Iphigenia.  I think you said it was a rant, but I might be remembering wrong.  I'm still a couple of days to a week from "Iphigenia in Aulis", so if you need to hold off until I've finished it too, I'll understand.

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Level 10 Vegetarian Vampire Warrior

STR: 16 DEX: 7 STA: 6 WIS: 46 CON: 27 CHA: 17

Intro | Challenge: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

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On 5/17/2018 at 6:57 AM, MaD MaLKaV said:

So I finished "Iphigenia in Taurus" and my thoughts are buried in page 3 of my thread.  I think that qualifies me to hear your rant about Iphigenia.  I think you said it was a rant, but I might be remembering wrong.  I'm still a couple of days to a week from "Iphigenia in Aulis", so if you need to hold off until I've finished it too, I'll understand.

 

Ha! I did promise you a rant, didn't I? I'll go post it in your thread :)

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hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 ]

[ Current: The Red Book ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

Link to comment

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