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Echo level up: consistency


Echoceanic

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Time for another challenge!

I liked doing the last one, but I'm not going to stick to a theme or narrative for this one because I have literally no idea how it will go. Plus I'll need to get technical and detailed.

I am going to be working on consistency and discipline (surprise surprise) like many others here. The reason being that I am not planning on losing my 5:45 am wake up time I managed to keep up 5 days a week these 3 months after I stop working (the job is not working out due to horrible bosses that don't respect me as a person, surprising lack of hygiene for an office job and just generally the obligations either are me fixing invisible mistakes, or not having anything to do - I am getting the opposite of motivation, not just lack of one).

In addition to that I want to work out more, because I want to get stronger, fitter and feel better, and I want to work more - freelance and finding a new job.

The third thing is that I need to calm down. What people don't know from just looking at me is that I can get super aggro really easily. I am naturally a blunt, 'sounds like she's yelling at you but she's actually not' person and it just made things even worse on this job and in life. When someone would just be slightly stressed I get super stressed and kinda angry. And I either get consumed by it or I shove it down till I feel nothing.

I generally feel better when I am working and thriving, and I have been kinda on pause with that these months because of not being able to get out of my own head. I also have a habit of being too hard on myself and as a lot of people here have said, just beating yourself up won't do much - hell there are people I have read that have said this this current challenge. With all of that out there, here is what I am planning:

 

An object in motion remains in motion (aka Why? Why wouldn't you?)

 

Get up (seriously, slacker friends I have get up earlier than me more consistently) at 5:45 am or earlier, with the alarm, and just, you know, do stuff. I procrastinate a lot during the mornings, but even reading and drinking coffee is better than sleeping and then not feeling well because I am not a night owl.

I am allowed a nap (if I'm not at work, duh) but it can't be after 2 pm. It's my cut off point for being able to sleep later on.

Just generally do more - writing, graphic design, cleaning, working out, etc. Hell, I'll shove skincare even here because I am sick of my chin acne.

I have trackers for all of this, and my goal is if I do more than the previous month (shouldn't be hard) I am counting it as a win. For the getting up one, I have to do more than 50% during the whole-ish month ( the challenge is till June 24th so pretty much the whole month). For the nap one, I need to be almost 90% done with it.

 

REWARD (points) - One point for each tracker done - I have 18 currently in my journal, so 18 points, plus 5 weekly ones (a tech free day, chore trackers, meal making and a pillow changing one). I have no idea what the reward will be - I have no budget so something that is cheap, and food doesn't work. We'll see. I might put one for each, or vary it depending on what I manage to do.

 

The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. - James Allen

 

I agree with the 'a man is what he thinks' philosophy. I also agree with the 'don't pretend to be something you're don't want to become' one but that is less important for this. I want to remain calm and not get that upset. This is a long-term goal and there is no way to complete this during a challenge because it's a life-long process.

  • Take breaks when you feel riled up. Even if it's a few deep breaths if you can't leave the situation.
  • General calmness, either by music or exercise or writing everything out in my journal. Helps a lot.
  • People don't need to know your emotions. Project a calm image and find a way to speak clearly even when you don't feel clear. This will stop me feeling even more annoyed when people try and 'help' but their help is saying calm down. That doesn't work, I don't have a damn switch (deeeeeep breath). Luckily my anger has never been a violent one, just a yell-y one, and usually on my own afterwards not at a person. Which is hilarious because i can be super calming for other people, have patience and can be really diplomatic.
  • Guided meditation (I first typed mediation) try. I have a half-hour one a friend uses I want to give a shot to. Might not work. In general reading books helps and just having a tech-free day (minus music listening and if mom watches TV next to me). 
  • Don't talk about work. I am leaving soon and I don't want to turn into a person like one of my coworkers (she had been away from that job for 4 years and is still talking about the shitty controlling boss) on my next job, and I don't want to even talk about it aside from the big news and like me sharing my day with mom.
  • FEEL. For fuck's sake, just feel. I don't disassociate, I just bury all emotions (other than anger at times) so that while others see it, I don't notice it. Like putting it on mute only for me.

This will involve me sharing highlights here and in the battle log (where I kinda feel like screaming into the void because of lack of activity, but never mind). I will try and not journal here. Focusing too much on things is also bad.

 

GOALS: Be your badass version of an adult. Find a new job. See if you can do the exams you wanted to get your qualifications for a pharmaceutical technician. Great if you can do both of those at the same time. Write, design be awesome. You know the drill.

 

 

Random inspiration that I wanted to share (aside from the quote and the kind of mantras above): this video about waking up early from a random dude I found; my new 'don't ask stupid questions' shirt because I love it; the gif here because of her expression tumblr_of3whdssnX1tp6349o1_250.gif.7356142f32a482137b9be20abbb97c2c.gif  and the fact I want to get a handstand-esque anything eventually (hence the push ups).

 

So, let's move it.

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6 hours ago, Echocheanic said:

See if you can do the exams you wanted to get your qualifications for a pharmaceutical technician.

 

This sounds like a great achievable thing. What do you need to do, figure out where and when to take the exams?

Are there courses you need to take, or just material to study?

 

 

Xena, Level 14+ Valkyrie Ranger

January 2017  December 2016

Oct/Nov 2016

 

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13 hours ago, Xena said:

 

This sounds like a great achievable thing. What do you need to do, figure out where and when to take the exams?

Are there courses you need to take, or just material to study?

Well I need to see if the high school here does this, or do I need to go to another town (if I do I need to call there). I also need to ask about materials. No classes, just exams, and I have to pay for each one, so I have to know the price too (I know the approximate one). I need to find a phone number and call basically, but I need to do it during working hours, so, after Thursday when I am not longer at work till 4pm. 

It's basically a second high school degree. 

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So, I am ending zero week with some soreness at the back of my thighs I have no idea how to fix. It's from the wall sits I did a few days ago. I should stretch but I have no idea how to do that part of my body. Oh and my back has finally stopped hurting - I think I pinched something or stiffened something a few days ago. 

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Try this for your sore thighs:

 

 

 

Also, following for awesome goals!!  :D 

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SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

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39 minutes ago, SkyGirl said:

Try this for your sore thighs:

Thanks, will definitely try it tomorrow ( 9:30pm ish here so too late to bust out the mat now). And yay, glad to see ya here. :))

 

Oh an the good part about today is I am still fit enough to lift a cart full of groceries (6-ish kilos with not really a lot of places to hold it well) over a wall that is higher than my waist. The whole 'actually use your abs' thing has become second nature now.

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I really like your overriding goals here, although that probably isn't surprising given the theme of my challenge this time round. With great consistency comes great results :) 

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I'm here!!!  Looks like a solid challenge!

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7 hours ago, jonfirestar said:

I really like your overriding goals here, although that probably isn't surprising given the theme of my challenge this time round. With great consistency comes great results :) 

Yeah, I think that's why I gravitated to your  challenge too. There is a reason why they say 'slow and steady wins' and it's not the slow part. 

 

5 hours ago, Stribs said:

I'm here!!!  Looks like a solid challenge!

Glad to have you here! :D

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On 27/05/2018 at 9:16 PM, SkyGirl said:

Try this for your sore thighs:

 

Well, I tried that and 1) I am way too tall for this, I kept hitting my head against the cupboard and my head was on the ground cause my mat is tiny; and 2) wow am I not flexible. Those last exercises I had to stop cause I couldn't even handle the pose for as long as it took her to describe it, cause owwww. Especially the left hip opening one (where her hip goes to the side) where I had to stop cause I could feel my muscle actually tensing like a string. I mean the back of my thighs stopped hurting but now the back of my knees feels strung out and the inside of my thighs (like the muscle connecting the thighs to the torso from the inside) hurts too. So now at least I know my hips are also not flexible as well as the back of my knees (but my hips are usually fine unless I need to keep one leg straight? (i can't pull my leg straight up in the air either). Example: the downward dog V shape is hell for me because of the simple fact it hurts to have my knees straight.

 

Yoga is hard guys. And frustrating when you are not sure you're doing it right.

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6 hours ago, Echocheanic said:

Well, I tried that and 1) I am way too tall for this, I kept hitting my head against the cupboard and my head was on the ground cause my mat is tiny; and 2) wow am I not flexible. Those last exercises I had to stop cause I couldn't even handle the pose for as long as it took her to describe it, cause owwww. Especially the left hip opening one (where her hip goes to the side) where I had to stop cause I could feel my muscle actually tensing like a string. I mean the back of my thighs stopped hurting but now the back of my knees feels strung out and the inside of my thighs (like the muscle connecting the thighs to the torso from the inside) hurts too. So now at least I know my hips are also not flexible as well as the back of my knees (but my hips are usually fine unless I need to keep one leg straight? (i can't pull my leg straight up in the air either). Example: the downward god V shape is hell for me because of the simple fact it hurts to have my knees straight.

 

Yoga is hard guys. And frustrating when you are not sure you're doing it right.

 

some suggestions....from a tall person with very tight hamstrings who has also done a lot of yoga...

 

1. It's easy to overdo it on hamstring stretches. It sounds like your hamstrings are already quite irritated. You can injure them worse if you are too aggressive with stretching or hurt your back. One of the gentlest hamstring stretches you can do is this one (which is in the picture of the start of the video).

 

image.thumb.png.53b6a5e344d52f03174375614b7a1093.png

 

You can make it even more gentle by bending the bottom leg (that take strain out of your back). You can bend the upper leg as much as you need to. If you are feeling some stretch, you are doing enough. You might try gently pulling on the leg for 5-10 seconds, relaxing for 5 seconds (don't release the leg, just relax a bit) and then repeat a few times.


Here is a similar stretch with support

image.png.fc0c069a58ecd357cf56b8a580b19df3.png

 

do this at the corner of a wall, or in the doorway. It sounds like your hamstrings are really tight (like mine), so don't try to get the leg vertical. Just do what you can.

 

In downward dog (the v-shaped yoga pose you were talking about), bend your knees as much as you need to. It's a pose that looks simple, but there's actually quite a lot going on.

 

image.png.62586fe503f12193951ee3c1b89dbbdf.png

 

Here's another really good way to modify it:

 

image.png.97c98f64fa2b9001b8bc8a8f4c968585.png

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Xena, Level 14+ Valkyrie Ranger

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8 hours ago, Echocheanic said:

So now at least I know my hips are also not flexible as well as the back of my knees (but my hips are usually fine unless I need to keep one leg straight? (i can't pull my leg straight up in the air either). Example: the downward god V shape is hell for me because of the simple fact it hurts to have my knees straight.

 

Yoga is hard guys. And frustrating when you are not sure you're doing it right.

 

Right there with you! My hamstrings are ridiculously tight too and I can't even have my knees flat when my legs are in front of me. You know that stretch they make you do in high school gym class, the one with your legs out in front of you and you're supposed to bend over and try to reach your toes? Yeah, for me it's a stretch just to have my knees flat. My husband and I have a running joke about how I can never go to a yoga class at his gym because I'd get kicked out for cursing too much :) I used to be really good about practicing touching my toes and it honestly helped more than I thought it would. Don't worry if it's not great, just find something to work towards and keep at it! Slow and steady progress will get us both there in the end!

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13 hours ago, kcaleece said:

You know that stretch they make you do in high school gym class, the one with your legs out in front of you and you're supposed to bend over and try to reach your toes? Yeah, for me it's a stretch just to have my knees flat.

Yup, I'm the same way. It has gotten better over the years but not nearly enough for me to do it as a light exercise. I practise touching my toes too, and I actually do it by way of touching the back of my heel, stretching my back as much as possible and letting my legs do as much as they can without pain. 

 

15 hours ago, Xena said:

some suggestions....from a tall person with very tight hamstrings who has also done a lot of yoga...

 

Those are good tips. My calves are also really tight (example is that I can actually do more exercises in heels than barefoot or in sneakers). So any leg exercise where I need to straiten the leg and I have to struggle to not hurt myself. But then I can wrap my calf behind my head and sit in the yoga pose that is knee on top of knee (like the general sitting pose only more contracted, your heels wind up at the sides of your butt) so it's hilarious when I say I am not flexible.

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8 hours ago, Echocheanic said:

But then I can wrap my calf behind my head and sit in the yoga pose that is knee on top of knee (like the general sitting pose only more contracted, your heels wind up at the sides of your butt) so it's hilarious when I say I am not flexible.

 

One thing I've learned is that this isn't as uncommon as you'd think. I'm much the same way - overall, I'm actually quite flexible, but my hamstrings rival concrete - and the one time I did talk to an actual yoga teacher, she said a lot people have one or two areas where they're much less flexible than the rest of their body. Apparently I'm just an extreme case of this and it sounds like you might be in the same boat. I know that's not exactly a useful tip or anything, but I found it slightly comforting that I wasn't wildly out of the norm at least :)

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Current Challenge: KCAleece's Summer Alliance (Part 1)

Alors je ne lui parlais ni de serpents boas, ni de forêts vierges, ni d'étoiles. Je me mettais à sa portée. Je lui parlais de bridge, de golf, de politique et de cravates. Et la grande personne était bien contente de connaître un homme aussi raisonnable.

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On 30/05/2018 at 4:09 AM, kcaleece said:

I know that's not exactly a useful tip or anything, but I found it slightly comforting that I wasn't wildly out of the norm at least :)

It actually helps knowing this. That it's a thing people experience and not a weird issue I only have. 

 

Sooo, week one?

 

Week one:

Today I was officially notified that my, I guess statement, that I am not looking to continue my contract after tomorrow was accepted with the cringiest speech ever that both complimented me (am apparently professional and have strong character, whatever that is worth from a person like one of my bosses) and insulted me (by comparing me to a woman who is literally dating one of them and calling her more competent than me because she spends more time with them). This is after being hired and finding out I have the lowest salary in the office and being treated like shit. Yeah, I am so glad I am not staying. I kept my cool and didn't boil in anger, so yay for me.

 

I also splurged on a face cream because I have really painful acne on my chin that are pissing me the hell off (and on other places but mostly my chin). Like my face hurts from them and I can't sleep. It's the cheapest one I could find, aka the only one I could find without ordering from a catalogue or something. I have no idea how I feel about this, because I tend to feel guilty if I spend this much money on something like this. But it's skin, and I live in a really really polluted town. 

 

I'll exercise from Friday because for these two days I am still at work and I still haven't found how to work out at 6pm. But I should hit my three days at least.

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"Difficult for myself? Agent... I was born difficult for myself." - Clint Barton

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Woot for staying calm at work! How long do you have left there? Hope the face cream helps he acne.

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4 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

Woot for staying calm at work! How long do you have left there? Hope the face cream helps he acne.

The 31st was my last day so I am free. And looking for another job while actually knowing I am capable enough to ask for the salary I need and not feel weird about it. Everything is a learning experience and people that pretend simple work like selling things or making phone calls is something you can't do unless it's your life goal are idiots. 

The funny thing is that I really liked my coworkers and hated leaving them. If I was confident that the boss in charge of that would give me a raise so I could have the same paycheck as everyone else did when starting out, I would have stayed. But nope, not straining my nerves for minimum wage, when general workers got more money than me.

 

The bad side is that now that I'm out of work, I wake up later. Anyone have any ideas on how to wake up when there isn't something you need to do in the morning? The regular things like putting your alarm clock across the room don't help.

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giphy.gif

 

Okay UPDATE:

 

So, yesterday I missed my workout because I read a book all day. Generally not a bad way to go. Today I did a lot - in the spoiler so this doesn't seem stupidly long:

 

Spoiler
  • warm up dancing - quite a lot actually
  • 20 squats with 2 2 kg weights in each hand (so like 8 pounds) - for half of those I raised my arms at the end so I like that one. 
  • 45 sec plank
  • 15 bicep curls with same weights
  • 20 wood choppers each side with one weight
  • 20 kettle bell swings with the same weight
  • 15 "punches" (extending my arm in front of me with a weight in it) 
  • 10 elevated push ups on the counter because I was aware I did a lot only got winded near the end of these
  • less than 30 sec wall sit - this is awesome and really hard
  • stretching using @Xena's tips plus what I usually do.

 

I am waiting for Outlook to gather itself up so I can attach my cv to an email, so I am still on the look for work path. I have one lead by Monday I have to go and ask a third part just in case this person wants to mess me up.

Also, I have a friend I have mentioned before, that constantly pushes me to read his book because he doesn't realise that 1) 400 000 words (for non writers that is only 56 000 words less than all three Lord of the Rings books) are a lot and I have no time to fix everything wrong with it and 2) I don't want to read his first chapter over and over and over (I have started it like 5 times and I keep finding something he needs to change and I never make it past the first chapter before he rewrites). Now I am also a writer and he was a beta for one of my books. That was fine though he was incredibly late. Now I have another one that needs rewriting. He thought I already did it, but I haven't written a lot these days, and he said that he's fine reading the draft I need to rewrite. Then yesterday he said he can't because it sucks and he can't finish it (paraphrasing). I was fine with this. Then he somehow manages to convince himself to go through with it 'because he owes me and he is my friend'. I hate this mentality. If you don't like it, don't freaking read it, geesh. And just having him reading it because of me and not because he actually wants to know the story, sucks. So I told him to not read it today. I actually had to argue with him about this. In the end I told him I had work and i could not argue with him all day.

I like him as a friend I really do, but he is intense and I hate it.

 

I have been sleeping more and of course that makes me sleepier. I kinda want to take a nap now, but it's 4pm. And I haven't' done any work aside from change my sheets, write a motivational letter, exercise and type this up. I might not work today. Boooo. Small update cause people might be curious, I haven't gotten any acne since I've used the creme but my face is tight-feeling.

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7 hours ago, Echocheanic said:

The 31st was my last day so I am free. And looking for another job while actually knowing I am capable enough to ask for the salary I need and not feel weird about it.

Congratulations!!!  Sorry you had to leave a team you liked but you said yourself that you were feeling a lot of stress and if lovely coworkers are not balancing that out, they’re icing being wasted on a shit cake. Hope you can find a new team where the whole dessert is good. 

 

7 hours ago, Echocheanic said:

The bad side is that now that I'm out of work, I wake up later. Anyone have any ideas on how to wake up when there isn't something you need to do in the morning?

...have something you need to do in the morning?  I kid, but I’m also totally serious. 

 

It’s been a long time since my last bout of unemployment but it’s pretty effective for me on vacation to make up Things To Do. Usually I pick a task - might be a workout, housework, or even just 1 hour reading. I set a time I want to start, and treat it like work - I have to be breakfasted, dressed, possibly showered before that time so I can do the thing. Then when I get up, it’s into the regular morning routine and by the time I really think about the fact that mowing the lawn isn’t exactly necessary or urgent I’m awake and ready enough to do it anyway. 

 

And those moments during the day when I feel motivation slipping and the urge to laze is strong, those are great moments to bust out a quick burst of physical activity. I’m a big fan of some of the short strength workouts here on NF - the Wolverine AMRAP is kinda my go-to - but whatever suits your interest and ability. I find it has to be short, though. If I tell myself I’m going to do two videos with The Fitness Marshall, I’ll do it. If I tell myself I’m going to do a 40-minute yoga video, I’ll procrastinate. 

 

Also, NGL, I scream inside at the thought of voluntarily getting up before six when I don’t have a scheduled out-of-the-home activity. Is your field one where your next job will likely have a similar start time (or is your commute likely to stay similarly long)?  Because if so, I get keeping your schedule as is. But if not, have you considered splitting the difference between your ideal for productivity and your ideal for comfort? Like, on those days I leave myself totally to my own devices I’d love to sleep in until 9; for work I get up between 6-6:30. On weekends and vacation I aim for 7:30 and while I grumble and complain a little I rarely actually have trouble waking. 

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1 hour ago, Radost said:

and by the time I really think about the fact that mowing the lawn isn’t exactly necessary or urgent I’m awake and ready enough to do it anyway.

Have half-tried this. I should try it more, and actually schedule it, maybe think about it before bed too. For tomorrow I have 'go to the market before the morning rush' so 7am. So I have to be up at 6. For Monday it will probably be 'work out before you have to leave to do stuff because you'll forget later on'. Added bonus of me being alone in my house.

 

1 hour ago, Radost said:

Also, NGL, I scream inside at the thought of voluntarily getting up before six when I don’t have a scheduled out-of-the-home activity.

The thing is, my work started at 8 at I had a 10 min commute - small town. I could have easily gotten up at 7, eaten and rushed out of the door, but I liked the time I got to read and write and generally get my head on straight before I did anything. Any job I get might wind up getting me to start earlier instead of later. I feel better generally when I wind up getting 6 hours of sleep, and when I get more than 7 I feel sleepy all day and my head hurts. So honestly my ideal wake up time would be crazy early. I'm one of those people that doesn't feel sleepy if she just gets up and moves right away. But if when I wake up I don't have a thing that pops into my head as a 'do it NOW' light, I lie down thinking I'll just stretch and even if I'm not sleepy, fall back right asleep. 

 

1 hour ago, Radost said:

 Sorry you had to leave a team you liked but you said yourself that you were feeling a lot of stress and if lovely coworkers are not balancing that out, they’re icing being wasted on a shit cake. Hope you can find a new team where the whole dessert is good.

This is such a nice summary of what I was thinking! I got asked a ton of times whether or not someone pissed me off, and I had to explain that it was the company and not the guys around me.

 

Also, HI! I like your name. Is that the word for joy in, like, several languages in Europe and I think maybe Russia? :D

"... However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." -  Stanley Kubrick

"Difficult for myself? Agent... I was born difficult for myself." - Clint Barton

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1 hour ago, Echocheanic said:

I feel better generally when I wind up getting 6 hours of sleep, and when I get more than 7 I feel sleepy all day and my head hurts.

 

Ooof.  That's...very different from me (I feel best when I'm getting between 8-9 hours - though when I used to have a lifestyle that sometimes included snoozing for up to 10 I totally got that same TOO MUCH SLEEPS feeling).  I totally find that when I can build my schedule to work well with my natural sleep needs and best times, that the alarm becomes far less necessary...hope you'll be able to find that feeling too.  

 

I'm totally with you on getting up a little earlier to have that time before work.  I also have a 15-minute commute and start work at 8:20...yet I get up around 6:30.  I need that time to wake up slowly.  Mostly I use it for drinking coffee and browsing the internet, but I also get a lot of little jobs done around the house, like washing dishes or giving the toilet a quick scrub, and sometimes I read an actual book or do a bit of colouring or something like that.  

 

 

1 hour ago, Echocheanic said:

Also, HI! I like your name. Is that the word for joy in, like, several languages in Europe and I think maybe Russia? :D

 

Hi back!  You got it: I studied Russian all through high school and university, and I sing in a Balkan folk ensemble where we're always finding songs about girls named Rada (which is derived from the same root), so it's one of my internet handles.  How'd you pick it out?  I don't meet a lot of people who would recognize it...  :ph34r:

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3 minutes ago, Radost said:

How'd you pick it out?  I don't meet a lot of people who would recognize it...  :ph34r:

I'm not a native English speaker actually. :D I'm from Macedonia, so it's always a treat to see things like this. 

 

Yeah when I get 8--9 hours of sleep I can easily take a nap later on and get 11 and feel even crappier. With 6-7 I might struggle with getting up but I feel great.

"... However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." -  Stanley Kubrick

"Difficult for myself? Agent... I was born difficult for myself." - Clint Barton

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6 minutes ago, Echocheanic said:

I'm not a native English speaker actually. :D I'm from Macedonia, so it's always a treat to see things like this. 

 

Ahh, cool!  We sing a fair bit of folk music from Macedonia, it's one of the places where half the pretty girls deemed worth singing about seem to be named Rada, haha.  Not as many as in the songs from Bulgaria, though.  

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14 minutes ago, Radost said:

Ahh, cool!  We sing a fair bit of folk music from Macedonia, it's one of the places where half the pretty girls deemed worth singing about seem to be named Rada, haha.  Not as many as in the songs from Bulgaria, though.  

Rada, Radica, those are kinda older names that existed back then (are still active but not so much), so it's no wonder you get a lot of it. Half of the others seemed to be named Mare of some other variation it seems :D 

"... However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." -  Stanley Kubrick

"Difficult for myself? Agent... I was born difficult for myself." - Clint Barton

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