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scalyfreak

Scalyfreak creates a place holder, and replaces it

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MCguSE0.png 

 

 

The battle seems like it has lasted forever, with no end in sight. Scalyfreak is no rookie against the enemies and bosses that populate this game called her life, but if this one is not the biggest and most powerful one yet, it certainly seems that way. Both Scalyfreak and her enemy are covered in cuts and bruises, their movements have slowed, but only one of them shows signs of exhaustion.

 

The Stress Monster, in addition to being huge and possessing an inconveniently large health bar and stamina meter, has turned out to have certain vampiric tendencies. Every time it lands a hit that injures or weakens its opponent, the Stress Monster grows in strength. Scalyfreak's efforts to avoid being hit have been more or less successful, but each blow that landed has left a bruise or a bleeding wound. It's been exhausting. It's been painful. It's been frustrating because there is no escape. The Stress Monster has cornered her, and the only way Scalyfreak will ever get away is when this battle ends, however it ends.


And then, as the two opponents are warily circling each other for the thirtieth or so time, someone new enters the clearing they are in. Someone who is taller than Scalyfreak, who is dressed in full armor, and who also carries a sword and a shield. "Sorry I'm late, there was this hydra that I - HOLYSHITTHAT'SBIG!" The newcomer sounds surprised but not scared, as he stares at the Stress Monster, that has stopped circling and started observing. A second person, fully armed and armored, seems to unnerve the monster just a bit

 

Scalyfreak nods. "Yeah, it grows bigger when it hurts you. Try and avoid getting hit." She smiles cheerfully and moves closer, standing close enough she can reach out and touch, although she doesn’t. She simply enjoys standing close enough that the warmth and strength of her fellow warrior can seep into her and in the process heal all of her wounds. Just standing next to this new ally makes her feel better, and bit by bit, her energy returns.

 

The newcomer doesn’t seem to mind, instead he watches the monster and after a few moments turns to scrutinize Scalyfreak, looking for injuries. “So I suppose I have to help you with that thing?”

 

“Well, yeah. It’s in the contract.”

 

The newcomer looks surprised.“Really?”


Scalyfreak nods. “Really, really.”


A sigh. A head-shake. An amused snort. “Stop quoting Shrek, wench.”

 

Scalyfreak’s smile grows wider, and warmer, as she nods towards a Stress Monster that suddenly doesn’t look so large, or so intimidating, anymore. “Come on, Husband. Let’s do this.”

 

MCguSE0.png

 

Alright. It is time to put on the Big Girl pants and realize that past a certain point, we are no longer fighting Stress Monster. We are dealing with Procrastination, whose primary mode of attack varies greatly depending on circumstances. Right now, she is reminding me of how tired I am, and how hard I’ve worked, and how much I deserve relaxing and taking it easy. Procrastination thinks I should sit out the rest of this challenge, and start over fresh next challenge period.

 

Since that is what Procrastination wants me to do, I am of course going to do the exact opposite. :devilish:

 

Tomorrow is the start of Week 3, and I am officially starting my challenge right in time to join the second half of the challenge period. In honor of it being Week 3, the challenge will have three components. Each one has two parts, the primary and then the backup that allows for an easier path if, or rather when, the stress becomes a little too much. The goal of the three challenge components is to provide something tangible for me to do every day, to keep me in shape for whatever Stress Monster throws at me next. The goal is also for that tangible thing to be easy to do, either by being something I’m already doing from previous challenges, or by being something I enjoy and would want to do anyway.

 

I have decided my three components will be kept simple and straight-forward. There will be a main option and a secondary option for each. The secondary can either be an either-or, or something I can do as an addition on good days, that is a lot less important than the fact I have a fallback if the primary is just too much that day.

 

1. Physical stress management – get a workout in three times per week. Use Habit Bull to track this so I can see progress.

Primary: Lift barbells. Best anxiety medication there is, and lifting has mental and emotional stress management components that help with the those goals. Plus, it gets me out of the house and provides Me Time, which is a critical component of day-to-day sanity. I have not yet decided which days of the week I will go to the gym, so I have Habit Bull that “any three days in the week” counts as success.

Secondary: Bokken workout. If getting to the gym is too daunting due to taking too much energy of any kind, I will indulge my inner Monkish tendencies (I’ve ignored them too long as it is anyway) and do one of the Darebee katana workouts with my bokken. I will not be required to do an entire workout, if I take this path. One set will be enough to count as a success, anything on top of that will be considered a bonus. The important thing is that if I don’t go to the gym, I have an alternative and I will not go entirely without working out.

 

2. Mental stress management – this is the part that keeps my mind from spiraling into an ugly Catch 22 of panic about how stressed I am.

Primary: Meditate every morning. It doesn’t matter if it is for only three minutes, anything is better than nothing when it comes to meditation. Thanks to @MaD MaLKaV recommending the Insight Timer app to me, I now have access to hundreds of guided meditations, split between three phone apps and a YouTube channel, and I have successfully incorporated meditation into my morning routine.

Secondary: Get enough sleep. This is an add-on goal, more than an either-or. Getting enough sleep really should be routine for me by now, given how many times I’ve listed is as a challenge. However, stress-induced insomnia is a real thing and makes sleep more difficult. Meditating helps with the mental part of stress management, however, if I can get enough sleep as well, that will help more. And if I miss the meditation, getting extra sleep will compensate.

 

3. Happiness Factor – The idea with this is to do something that makes me happy, based on the definition I arrived at during the happiness discussion in the Apr 23 – May 20 challenge: Maybe happiness is a bit like physical fitness? Everyone starts from a different situation, with our own unique baseline, and that baseline largely depends on decisions and actions of our past. We can move that baseline by actively doing things that makes us more fit/happy, and if we regularly and consistently keep doing these things, our general daily fitness/happiness level will go up and stay up, and that becomes our new baseline. And just like the muscle gains stop and eventually reverse if we stop lifting, the happiness will stagnate and eventually fade if we stop actively trying to be more happy.” 

 

This means that feeling good isn’t the same as being happy. Being happy means that mental and emotional baseline is sturdy enough that day-to-day bullshit, of any magnitude, doesn’t move it. If it does, the move is temporary and there is plenty of bounce-back available.

 

Primary: Actively make time to do things that make me happier. What exactly this will be, will vary from day to day. Generally though, it will be a way to make a difference, either to people around me or on a larger scale (like setting up easy recycling at home, donate time or money to a cause I support, or apply habitat un-fucking methods to my home).

Secondary: Actively make time for appreciating what makes my life a good life. Husband, The Sidekicks, my job, my family, my friends, and everything else I can think of. This can be an add-on, or an either-or. The important thing is that I do at least one of these two every day.

 

The place holder in the opening post will also be updated with the new challenge.

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10 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

Scalyfreak’s smile grows wider, and warmer, as she nods towards a Stress Monster that suddenly doesn’t look so large, or so intimidating, anymore. “Come on, Husband. Let’s do this.”

 

This makes me very happy.

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On 9/13/2018 at 9:28 AM, Grumble said:

 

This makes me very happy.

 

It make me happy too :) 

 

On 9/13/2018 at 12:18 PM, Gemma said:

It is soooo nice to have Backup

 

Yes, it is. Especially of the reliable kind.

 

19 hours ago, MikeW said:

Here for you when the stress monster is vanquished!

 

That may happen sooner than I thought. Not only did things at work change in ways that dramatically weakens Stress Monster,  having fun and exciting things to look forward to outside work makes a huge difference. NFL season has started and with it fantasy football. College football season has started, and my team dominated all over the place last week, and earned themselves a fantastic new nickname in the process. RLCS Season 6 is happening. 

 

Sports make me happy :) 

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Challenge update:

 

The Stress Monster is hanging around and making life difficult. Husband's Stress Hydra has not only respawned, it has regrown all of its heads, and it keeps growing them back when we chop them off.

 

Many metaphors for stressful work situations here. Details for my personal monster are in the spoiler. Husband's stress is not mine to share.

 

Spoiler

Apparently, completing a 12-month project in four months really is unrealistic. So unrealistic that we missed our launch date and high-level execs are involved in trying to figure out what our next launch date will be. There's talks of not paying the contractors who worked on the project, talks involving Legal, that focus on negligence and a lack of professionalism and work ethic on the part of lots of people who were more involved in this project than I was. To be blunt, it's really fucking ugly, and I am thankful I'm not involved in this part of it.

 

My boss, and the boss of my boss, made it very clear I've been a redeeming quality for our department and I've got nothing to worry about. That equals a level drain on Stress Monster, and actual sleep for me, so that part is nice. The work trip being pushed to an unknown date is less nice. We have a vacation planned and paid for, for early November, and I am not 100% sure if the new launch date will be before that or not.

 

So thanks to department-wide blackouts for time off I have been unable to see my therapist for three weeks, and I had no idea how much it help until I wasn't able to talk to her every week anymore. Seriously. Between that, having absolutely no energy for lifting (I tried and it was neither pretty or safe), my fantasy football team failing me, my best friend at work leaving for another job, and having no idea when my business trip will happen, all the anxiety that my therapist was helping me deal with is back in full and making me very angry. 

 

Massive silver lining: I am still remembering that husband is on my side and that we need to talk to each other. :)

 

Gym visits have not happened, because I have been too tired in the evenings. Meditation has not happened because I have been too tired in the mornings.

 

Walks with Trusty Sidekick have not happened for the same reason meditation have not happened.This makes me feel bad and more stressed. I have tried to make up for it with evening walks, but it's not the same and myTrusty Sidekick knows that.

 

On the plus side, when I came home from work last week, Husband was looking at things online and had found something he thought I would be interested in. Apparently he has listened to my random ramblings about how nice it would be to own a pressure cooker, and has spent time researching them and looking for good deals. End Result: I am now the proud owner of an InstantPot pressure cooker. :) 

 

So far I have used the pressure cooker for rice, for frozen chicken breasts, for clam chowder (there was a recipe in the cookbook that came with the thing), for a pork shoulder, and I have grand plans for a red lentil chili. Pressure cookers are awesome and this is my new favorite kitchen toy. There is much fun cooking in my future.

 

Also, because it's always okay to quote Shrek, here is one of my favorite scenes of any movie ever:

 

 

 

 

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Ouch, sorry that your week went upside down. Is there any chance your therapist could do phone appointments? It's not the same as in-person, but it could possibly be scheduled on a lunch break or something. Glad to hear your work acknowledges and appreciates you though. Good luck with this week, hope things improve for you.

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omg i forgot all about that scene! <3

 

if you're a redeeming quality then it might be worth explaining to them how your health is getting worse because you haven't had time to see your doctor.

 

also pressure cookers are wonderful. how did the clam chowder come out? here's one of my fav lentil recipes: https://kalynskitchen.com/recipe-for-spicy-sausage-lentil-and/ i do everything in the IP and then cook it for about 15 minutes instead of an hour.

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2 hours ago, CourtnieMarie said:

also pressure cookers are wonderful. how did the clam chowder come out? here's one of my fav lentil recipes: https://kalynskitchen.com/recipe-for-spicy-sausage-lentil-and/ i do everything in the IP and then cook it for about 15 minutes instead of an hour.

 

Oooo, that soup looks amazing. Do you saute or pressure cook after the blender part, where that recipe says to simmer for another 30-45 minutes?

 

And I have an in-person appointment on Thursday. :)

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13 minutes ago, scalyfreak said:

 

Oooo, that soup looks amazing. Do you saute or pressure cook after the blender part, where that recipe says to simmer for another 30-45 minutes?

i actually skip the blending part, use 2 cups less broth, and green lentils are perfectly cooked up by the end of the 15 minutes so i just dish and eat!

 

13 minutes ago, scalyfreak said:

And I have an in-person appointment on Thursday. :)

phew! very glad.

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1 hour ago, CourtnieMarie said:

i actually skip the blending part, use 2 cups less broth, and green lentils are perfectly cooked up by the end of the 15 minutes so i just dish and eat!

 

 

That makes perfect sense. I will add this soup to my list of things to try this fall. :)

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Alright. It is time to put on the Big Girl pants and realize that past a certain point, we are no longer fighting Stress Monster. We are dealing with Procrastination, whose primary mode of attack varies greatly depending on circumstances. Right now, she is reminding me of how tired I am, and how hard I’ve worked, and how much I deserve relaxing and taking it easy. Procrastination thinks I should sit out the rest of this challenge, and start over fresh next challenge period.

 

Since that is what Procrastination wants me to do, I am of course going to do the exact opposite. :devilish:

 

Tomorrow is the start of Week 3, and I am officially starting my challenge right in time to join the second half of the challenge period. In honor of it being Week 3, the challenge will have three components. Each one has two parts, the primary and then the backup that allows for an easier path if, or rather when, the stress becomes a little too much. The goal of the three challenge components is to provide something tangible for me to do every day, to keep me in shape for whatever Stress Monster throws at me next. The goal is also for that tangible thing to be easy to do, either by being something I’m already doing from previous challenges, or by being something I enjoy and would want to do anyway.

 

I have decided my three components will be kept simple and straight-forward. There will be a main option and a secondary option for each. The secondary can either be an either-or, or something I can do as an addition on good days, that is a lot less important than the fact I have a fallback if the primary is just too much that day.

 

1. Physical stress management – get a workout in three times per week. Use Habit Bull to track this so I can see progress.

Primary: Lift barbells. Best anxiety medication there is, and lifting has mental and emotional stress management components that help with the those goals. Plus, it gets me out of the house and provides Me Time, which is a critical component of day-to-day sanity. I have not yet decided which days of the week I will go to the gym, so I have Habit Bull that “any three days in the week” counts as success.

Secondary: Bokken workout. If getting to the gym is too daunting due to taking too much energy of any kind, I will indulge my inner Monkish tendencies (I’ve ignored them too long as it is anyway) and do one of the Darebee katana workouts with my bokken. I will not be required to do an entire workout, if I take this path. One set will be enough to count as a success, anything on top of that will be considered a bonus. The important thing is that if I don’t go to the gym, I have an alternative and I will not go entirely without working out.

 

2. Mental stress management – this is the part that keeps my mind from spiraling into an ugly Catch 22 of panic about how stressed I am.

Primary: Meditate every morning. It doesn’t matter if it is for only three minutes, anything is better than nothing when it comes to meditation. Thanks to @MaD MaLKaV recommending the Insight Timer app to me, I now have access to hundreds of guided meditations, split between three phone apps and a YouTube channel, and I have successfully incorporated meditation into my morning routine.

Secondary: Get enough sleep. This is an add-on goal, more than an either-or. Getting enough sleep really should be routine for me by now, given how many times I’ve listed is as a challenge. However, stress-induced insomnia is a real thing and makes sleep more difficult. Meditating helps with the mental part of stress management, however, if I can get enough sleep as well, that will help more. And if I miss the meditation, getting extra sleep will compensate.

 

3. Happiness Factor – The idea with this is to do something that makes me happy, based on the definition I arrived at during the happiness discussion in the Apr 23 – May 20 challenge: Maybe happiness is a bit like physical fitness? Everyone starts from a different situation, with our own unique baseline, and that baseline largely depends on decisions and actions of our past. We can move that baseline by actively doing things that makes us more fit/happy, and if we regularly and consistently keep doing these things, our general daily fitness/happiness level will go up and stay up, and that becomes our new baseline. And just like the muscle gains stop and eventually reverse if we stop lifting, the happiness will stagnate and eventually fade if we stop actively trying to be more happy.” 

 

This means that feeling good isn’t the same as being happy. Being happy means that mental and emotional baseline is sturdy enough that day-to-day bullshit, of any magnitude, doesn’t move it. If it does, the move is temporary and there is plenty of bounce-back available.

 

Primary: Actively make time to do things that make me happier. What exactly this will be, will vary from day to day. Generally though, it will be a way to make a difference, either to people around me or on a larger scale (like setting up easy recycling at home, donate time or money to a cause I support, or apply habitat un-fucking methods to my home).

Secondary: Actively make time for appreciating what makes my life a good life. Husband, The Sidekicks, my job, my family, my friends, and everything else I can think of. This can be an add-on, or an either-or. The important thing is that I do at least one of these two every day.

 

The place holder in the opening post will also be updated with the new challenge.

 

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14 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

Maybe happiness is a bit like physical fitness? Everyone starts from a different situation, with our own unique baseline, and that baseline largely depends on decisions and actions of our past. We can move that baseline by actively doing things that makes us more fit/happy, and if we regularly and consistently keep doing these things, our general daily fitness/happiness level will go up and stay up, and that becomes our new baseline. And just like the muscle gains stop and eventually reverse if we stop lifting, the happiness will stagnate and eventually fade if we stop actively trying to be more happy.” 

 

This means that feeling good isn’t the same as being happy. Being happy means that mental and emotional baseline is sturdy enough that day-to-day bullshit, of any magnitude, doesn’t move it. If it does, the move is temporary and there is plenty of bounce-back available.

 

QFT. Also, The Oatmeal did a bit on this. Everyone's "happy" means something different. My gentleman is perfectly happy to come home and relax in front of the tv/ computer all evening, knowing he's worked well and can pay his bills. I'd scratch my eyes out from boredom doing that, and he's said he thinks I'm insane, doing all the things I do that make me consider life worth living. 

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3 hours ago, Manarelle said:

My gentleman is perfectly happy to come home and relax in front of the tv/ computer all evening, knowing he's worked well and can pay his bills.

 

This sounds like a fantastic evening!

 

I love The Oatmeal, and I am baffled that I missed his take on happiness. Ironically, what he describes as not being happy, fits my definition of happiness. Most of all though, I think I subscribe to this take on it:

 

image.png.3a36f53eb56f846335ee37feb6359113.png

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kay, it's Tuesday, let's see how we're doing...

 

1. Physical stress management – get a workout in three times per week. Use Habit Bull to track this so I can see progress.

Monday: Nope. Everyone here goes to the gym on Monday evenings, so I stay home

Tuesday: Happy reunion with the barbells. I managed to stop myself from petting one of the plates and calling it Prescioussss, but only barely. Also had to cut the workout short when my previously injured knee twinged in mid-squat, at the end of the second set. Did a couple of body weight squats to confirm nothing was damaged, and stopped squatting or the evening. Still, felt good to be back.

 

2. Mental stress management – this is the part that keeps my mind from spiraling into an ugly Catch 22 of panic about how stressed I am.

Monday and Tuesday: Meditated both mornings.

 

3. Happiness Factor – The idea with this is to do something that makes me happy.

Monday: Made a breakfast casserole for work. The first week in October is International Customer Service week, and since we are a customer service department at work, we of course observe this every year, with contests, raffles, activities, and food. Leadership bring in breakfast for everyone Monday morning to kick off the week, and the casserole was my contribution. It was appreciated and popular (I was the only one without leftovers), and that made me happy.

Tuesday: Wandered around  the house and looked for the little things that Husband usually takes care of, and did them for him so he won't have to worry about them while dealing with Stress Hydra.

 

So far so good. :) 

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On 10/3/2018 at 1:43 AM, scalyfreak said:

3. Happiness Factor – The idea with this is to do something that makes me happy.

Monday: Made a breakfast casserole for work. The first week in October is International Customer Service week, and since we are a customer service department at work, we of course observe this every year, with contests, raffles, activities, and food. Leadership bring in breakfast for everyone Monday morning to kick off the week, and the casserole was my contribution. It was appreciated and popular (I was the only one without leftovers), and that made me happy.

Tuesday: Wandered around  the house and looked for the little things that Husband usually takes care of, and did them for him so he won't have to worry about them while dealing with Stress Hydra.

 

That's neat that the company does that - customer service is so underappreciated in many companies. Funny how a little thing like not having leftovers can give you a happy buzz. :) Very nice of you to do the little house things for your husband, too. 

 

gandalf-quote.jpg

 

Hope the rest of your week went well?

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12 hours ago, Manarelle said:

 

Hope the rest of your week went well?

 

Eh... um... I managed to do very well with everything except the first part of stress management. No working out. A combination of bad planning and poor timing on my part.

 

The mental stress management and the happiness factor kept up though. I have meditated, and I have played with the three sidekicks and spent time babying Husband, who is dealing with an overpowered Stress Hydra right now. So for this week I need to get better at taking care of myself, not just him. :) 

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Since I'm determined to inflict my boredom on everyone around me today, and Gemma has set the tone for posting 80's music videos, I'm going to share this hilarious literal lyrics video with everyone. Especially with @Gemma and @CourtnieMarie.

 

Content warning: Should be treated as NSFW if your workplace frowns on things like perving on school boys, making detailed jokes about certain body functions, mullets, floating cloth, or really low-def video quality. :)

 

 

 

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