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RisenPhoenix

RisenPhoenix Has a Big Challenge

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Okay, so last challenge was all about taking small steps to get myself back up and running after the end of last year.  This challenge.... well, really has nothing to do with the last challenge, I just want to play it up between the two of them.

 

Also I decided Big was a better word choice, compared to Large.  Deal with it.

 

 

1) The Big Sleep: Improve sleep quality by seeing the impact of supplements, hydration, screen time, and other possible factors.  Play with adding reading time before bed.

 

Yes, I changed the word simply so I could get a literature pun in my challenge.  Also Deal with it.  Anyway, I haven't been sleeping well the last couple of weeks, and I really haven't narrowed down the reason.  I've definitely fought some colds, I've definitely had some injury-related wakedness, and I've definitely had a bunch of stress at work before my boss was starting maternity leave.  So I've had a bunch going on, and I'm not sure if that is the cause or something else.  So, time to do some N=1 experiments and see if I can figure it out.

 

2) Big Break(fast): Start doing a 16-8 IF window, every day.

 

Okay, kind of cheating here, on two fronts.  One, I've been demoing this all week at work to see how I'd do.  The answer is.... actually pretty well.  One day I was starving at like, 9am, but otherwise I was doing okay.  I imagine that when doing November Project I might be a little less thrilled, given I'll be awake longer, plus exercising, but by and large, I should be fine.  Secondly, I'm also not going to be a super-stickler for exactly 16 hours.  It's the goal, and I suspect most days I'll make it fine, but I'm also not going to let it ruin work or training.  It can ruin training because I just can't eat before aikido.  I've made that terrible, terrible mistake before, and nothing good comes of it.  So if I eat a little after I'm supposed to close the 8 hour window.... oh well.  Yesterday I didn't get home until nearly my window closed, and if I start doing second classes again I'll be ending almost at my window's end.  Not going to not eat simply for stupid temporal reasons that the body won't actually recognize.  As for work, sometimes I just need to eat when I can.  This week I had an 11 hour day on Tuesday, with the next step of a long process I was training for due when I was supposed to eat.  Clearly skipping out of work to eat wasn't going to fly.  Same goes when I just have experimental time points that need to be done, or just boat loads on the bench.  I can flex my schedule easily enough most of the time, but I won't go crazy over (again) a temporal thing that my body ultimately won't really recognize.

 

3) The Big Self(care): Nearly fanatical self-care/self-prioritization.

 

I really have no good wording for this one.  I need a bit more selfcare, and a bit more assertive behavior when it comes to dealing with people who want me to do things that I'm meh about.  Really it's just prioritizing my mental sanity and all that.  Also probably good go keep a running tally of how often I need super-critical selfcare days/recharge moments.  Also I should look into just.... stopping?  Resting?  I'm bad at rest (shocking, I know), but just moments of stillness are good for me I think.  This morning I just was pretty content sitting and sipping coffee on my couch.  I should do that more.

 

4) A Big To Do: Adulting Things: to to these before end of challenge

  • Oil change and repair (windshield washer fluid tubing leaking, definitely need this done this month)
  • Send a very over due Thank You card/gift
  • Schedule two massages (my usual and a special neural reset massage a sempai told me about)
  • Lock down budget for vacation payments (preferably using work bonus rather than emergency fund)
  • Try two new recipes
  • Stuff I'm forgetting

 

 

So yea.  Challenge stuff.  Also, I officially have a Topical Vacation Getaway.  End of April, a week in Jamaica.  At the same place my parents' time share was, but at a fraction of the cost.  I have the room booked and the flight squared away, the PTO approval, and Company should be able to make it with no issues so she'll be there with me.  It's a bit of a sticker shock for me, since it's all inclusive and the price is all up front.  But I can cover it with no large issues, and once I get there any food, drink, and basic entertainment is completely covered at the resort.  So yea.  Bring on April and the unlimited fruity drinks at the bar.  (And hopefully by that point being somewhat closer to the weight I was in September.)

 

Any questions?

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Nice goals :)

 

I agree you need more time to lounge on the couch and sip coffee. Possibly decaf coffee if you're having trouble sleeping.

 

Yay for having a real vacation in Jamaica at a resort!

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Glad to see Jamaica worked out after all. :)

 

I'm sure you know about coffee and seltzer water as means to blunt appetite, but I'll post up anyway just in case you don't. No reason to suffer on an empty stomach.

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2 hours ago, raptron said:

YAY JAMAICA! 

 

I KNOW!  Like, first honest-to-goodness R&R vacation in almost 6 years.

 

1 hour ago, Mistr said:

Nice goals :)

 

I agree you need more time to lounge on the couch and sip coffee. Possibly decaf coffee if you're having trouble sleeping.

 

Yay for having a real vacation in Jamaica at a resort!

 

Thanks!  I was trying to figure out the best way for the next few weeks, so it's good they don't seem insane.

 

And yea, lounging with just the intent to do Nothing is going to take a bit of work.  No required reading, no phone scrolling, no TV.... just.... sitting.  Probably the closest I'll get to meditation.  Interestingly, this is essentially what I did when I was lifting in the mornings.  I would sit with my cup of coffee at my kitchen table, blankly staring out the window.  And it was nice.

 

I wonder if on vacation when I start getting twitchy I could find a dojo in the area. ;)

 

 

1 hour ago, Kishi said:

Glad to see Jamaica worked out after all. :)

 

I'm sure you know about coffee and seltzer water as means to blunt appetite, but I'll post up anyway just in case you don't. No reason to suffer on an empty stomach.

 

It's like the Universe was trying to be less of a dick, lately.  Almost like it's trying to make up for the shitshow that was last year's end.

 

And I am well versed in the coffee-water-seltzer blunting.  Honestly for the most part I don't think stretching to a 16 hour window is that hard.  Normally I have a snack around 10 or so in the morning.  Nothing crazy about waiting another 2 hours until I break the fast, and I can utilize it to be more productive when it comes to work, too - can't eat if I'm in the lab.  Only problem comes from if I'm both dehydrated AND hungry.  Then I need to prevent gorging.

 

 

Anyway.  Saturday I adventured to find an ALDI's store near me.  Not huge, not a great yogurt variety, but otherwise decently solid stuff.  Probably should start doing that as my basics shopping.  I did grab an entire jar of ghee for like, 6 bucks that will last me ages, and some pre-made butter chicken sauce.  Plan is to use the ghee to brown the chicken thighs I bought, and then finish with the sauce.  I also made some 'mini' meat loaves.  Enough for five dinners, possibly more if I cut the serving size i half.  But they came out really well, considering I was winging it a bit.  Kind of one new recipe.  Then yesterday morning I went to aikido, and ended up breaking my fast around the 17 hour mark or so.  Possibly ate a whole bunch more than I should have, but outside of some cocoa dusted almonds and a well-deserved hot chocolate, everything else was pretty solid. 

 

Fast today was broken around 16.5 hours, eating lunch at a little before 12:30p.  Should be home in time to warm up dinner and devour it before the window closes.  Still need to schedule a bunch of things, though.  Trying to see if I can not be lazy and schedule the neural reset massage my sempai was telling me about before she actually goes and schedules it for me...

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Yay for a real vacation!

 

Sometimes ALDI's is great. I've never had good luck with produce at ALDI's, but I've gotten some great deals on meats.

Also, the kiddo likes to hang out in the parking lot to return carts and collect the quarters.

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So I was going to post how I've lost 2-3 pounds since I weighed myself in mid-january.  Then all the V-day baked goods crossed my path at work.  Welp, gorging is good for the soul, sometimes.  Tonight I'll eat a smaller dinner and then behave well tomorrow. *shrug* The devouring was all in my non-fasting window at least?

 

I've been trying to get to bed early the last few nights.  Or earlier, at any rate.  Nothing crazy, and I've mostly been waking up when my alarm said so.  Tuesday night I skipped aikido because we got a much-hyped snow storm, but I figured better safe than sorry.  I skipped NP that morning, too, for the same reason, plus wanting to sleep.  Outside of the baked good gorging today, food has been fairly solid all week.  Maybe a few too many cocoa dusted almonds just before my eating window closes, but nothing insane.  My body is giving some physiological signals that I'm taking as A-OK signs, even if pounds aren't melting off via IF protocols (yea, because I *totally* believe that BS line).  What is nice is that even if I'm hungry in the morning (and there have definitely been rough mornings), I am usually fine with a cup of coffee/tea and some more water to hold me over.  And at the other end, I have been more or less adhering to the 8PM cut off for eating, unless I get home at 7:45.  Even so, by 9PM I'm done, and content with my eating window.  So that's a nice benefit.

 

I've scheduled my car to have its oil changed and to look into some damage I stupidly inflicted a couple weeks back that has kept me without windshield washer fluid.  I also snagged a neural reset massage for the beginning of March.

 

I finished The Sky Below the other day, having come home to just chill and read.  I finished the "text book" portion of Salt Fat Acid Heat, and I'm skimming through the recipes now, though functionally that means the reading material is done (though Nosrat does seem to continue her trend of entertaining stories through that section as well).  So next up is.... something.  I have Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential" as well as a few fiction books I can dive into.  I'm also actively trying to think of some things to leave for the Jamaica trip.  The newest Expanse novel drops in March, and I'll hold that for the trip, plus I figure one or two other books to bring with me.  Suggestions welcome.  Met with my Work Mentor today and he suggested reading or watching the book "Superforecasting," as well as a few other educational bits and bobs.

 

Also as part of that meeting was talking about what RP @ 45 looks like.  Part of the "What do you want to do when you grow up" conversation we've tried to have in the past, but got sidelined after I went to him for help with all my issues with my boss. Everything there is working so well right now, part of the meeting was actually talking about how GOOD the relationship is now that it's over.  As he said, often resolved conflict makes the relationship stronger, which is definitely something that's true in this instance.  We also started to touch on what I want to progress my career into, which is hard when I've dealt with so much uncertainty in my professional life.  That said, we started talking about potential project / program management, thoughts on the different parts of biotech I can maybe weasel my way into, what I can leverage into, yadda yadda ya.  He's trying to pitch me towards working where he works - program management in the CMC space, which deals with how to scale up and make drugs happen after they've been discovered in the lab.  A lot of the movement thought is about trying to make sure that what I move into is consistently relevant, and not suddenly a dead field in a couple years. (I already had this happen, in a way.  Industry was very pro-infectious disease treatments in 2000-2008ish as a result of lots of hospital MRSA infections and E.coli outbreaks.  Couple years later the fervor for those died away, so finding jobs focused on those topics are harder to come by outside of academia.  So I'm fortunate that I could leverage my two other legs of training, but other people aren't that lucky.)

 

But in any case, I threw around a few ideas, and he, er, kind of shot them down?  A few things he said, and I quote, "That's a waste of your brain space."  So he apparently thinks high enough of my mental ability to try and toss me some higher aspiration thoughts.

 

So yea, he said nail down what I want Age 45 to look like, both professionally and personally.  Figure out what I want there, what risks I want to balance, and then he said next meeting we'll talk a bit more on his neck of the woods.  Should be interesting.  I really like these meetings and conversation, and I hope he doesn't think they are going to vanish after that year mark.  Ha!

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17 minutes ago, RisenPhoenix said:

Industry was very pro-infectious disease treatments in 2000-2008ish as a result of lots of hospital MRSA infections and E.coli outbreaks.  Couple years later the fervor for those died away, so finding jobs focused on those topics are harder to come by outside of academia.  So I'm fortunate that I could leverage my two other legs of training, but other people aren't that lucky.)

There still are a lot of rooms in hospitals that require contact precautions due to MDROs (The cool new acronym because MRSA is soooo last decade). Do you know why the industry stopped being interested?

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45 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

There still are a lot of rooms in hospitals that require contact precautions due to MDROs (The cool new acronym because MRSA is soooo last decade). Do you know why the industry stopped being interested?

 

Cost, mostly.  Research is expensive, and getting viable treatments is hard.  So basic research is financially best done at hospitals and universities, or nonprofits who aren't expected to produce a viable product.  So, when it shows that getting basic answers is hard, investors are less likely to back a project, which means private industry is going to behave by finding new, shiny things.  I'm riding the genomic/cell medicine wave right now, since that is the shiny thing for the field.

 

But to the point that MDRO (multi-drug resistant organisms, for those wondering), the *easiest* treatment is lowering antibiotic usage and proper sterile technique.  Those two things are already infinitely easier than creating new treatments to combat them, when really basic behaviors can drastically alter the landscape.  So yea, less need for some super shiny startup to Solve Everything.

 

C'est la vie.

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1 hour ago, RisenPhoenix said:

Also as part of that meeting was talking about what RP @ 45 looks like.  Part of the "What do you want to do when you grow up" conversation we've tried to have in the past, but got sidelined after I went to him for help with all my issues with my boss. Everything there is working so well right now, part of the meeting was actually talking about how GOOD the relationship is now that it's over.  As he said, often resolved conflict makes the relationship stronger, which is definitely something that's true in this instance.  We also started to touch on what I want to progress my career into, which is hard when I've dealt with so much uncertainty in my professional life.

 

But in any case, I threw around a few ideas, and he, er, kind of shot them down?  A few things he said, and I quote, "That's a waste of your brain space."  So he apparently thinks high enough of my mental ability to try and toss me some higher aspiration thoughts.

 

So yea, he said nail down what I want Age 45 to look like, both professionally and personally.  Figure out what I want there, what risks I want to balance, and then he said next meeting we'll talk a bit more on his neck of the woods.  Should be interesting.  I really like these meetings and conversation, and I hope he doesn't think they are going to vanish after that year mark.  Ha!

 

Excellent that your relationship with your boss is now GOOD. :D 

 

I hear you on the uncertainty you have faced coloring your attitude toward your career. You have only recently been in a position to think about career development instead of job hunting. Keep in mind that you now have industry experience at several companies. That will be valuable to prospective employers. You could go into QA, process development, project management or some other aspect of the business of biotech that requires real world experience as the base instead of academic credentials. I had no idea of all the things a person could do in industry with a science degree until I started working here.

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3 hours ago, Mistr said:

 

I hear you on the uncertainty you have faced coloring your attitude toward your career. You have only recently been in a position to think about career development instead of job hunting. Keep in mind that you now have industry experience at several companies. That will be valuable to prospective employers. You could go into QA, process development, project management or some other aspect of the business of biotech that requires real world experience as the base instead of academic credentials. I had no idea of all the things a person could do in industry with a science degree until I started working here.

 

 

Yea, either job hunting or hell bent on finishing loans made career thoughts not really a priority. But part of my future plans thought process was project management, since I am fairly good at logistics and time tabling, and finding out who knows what. He.... kind of hand waved that, and hinted that I look at *program* management instead, because he felt I would be bored doing the clerical  minutia of a project manager. In a way it does work well for my strengths - can leverage my want to be technical, plus my tendency to try to make things efficient, and is also pro-automation, plus transferable to most biotechs. So next time we are going to go into different parts of the CMC side of things, and product pipelines and manufacturing stuff. I did kind of see my Mentor as Future RP, but apparently he started to also see me as Past Him. So maybe it’s something worth investing. Doesn’t hurt and the company is stable enough that I have time. Which is weird to feel. Stability. Weeeeeird. 

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23 hours ago, RisenPhoenix said:

 

Yea, either job hunting or hell bent on finishing loans made career thoughts not really a priority. But part of my future plans thought process was project management, since I am fairly good at logistics and time tabling, and finding out who knows what. He.... kind of hand waved that, and hinted that I look at *program* management instead, because he felt I would be bored doing the clerical  minutia of a project manager. In a way it does work well for my strengths - can leverage my want to be technical, plus my tendency to try to make things efficient, and is also pro-automation, plus transferable to most biotechs. So next time we are going to go into different parts of the CMC side of things, and product pipelines and manufacturing stuff. I did kind of see my Mentor as Future RP, but apparently he started to also see me as Past Him. So maybe it’s something worth investing. Doesn’t hurt and the company is stable enough that I have time. Which is weird to feel. Stability. Weeeeeird. 

 

*waves from far away* Project management is a lot less fun than it sounds. I dabble in it occasionally for work and it is mostly just herding cats trying to get people to just do what they're fscking supposed to, and is mostly paperwork. Blech.

 

I looked up the definition of "program manager" and yeah, that actually sounds like it could be an engaging challenge. We don't really do that sort of long-term thinking in my line of work (I sure wish we would though!) but I can see a lot of benefit in that idea.

 

Also. heya B) Jamaica sounds warm and not at all New-England-y. Bonus.

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13 minutes ago, Kyellan said:

 

*waves from far away* Project management is a lot less fun than it sounds. I dabble in it occasionally for work and it is mostly just herding cats trying to get people to just do what they're fscking supposed to, and is mostly paperwork. Blech.

 

I looked up the definition of "program manager" and yeah, that actually sounds like it could be an engaging challenge. We don't really do that sort of long-term thinking in my line of work (I sure wish we would though!) but I can see a lot of benefit in that idea.

 

Also. heya B) Jamaica sounds warm and not at all New-England-y. Bonus.

 

Oh hey. Fatherhood hasn’t killed you yet! Bravo! :D

 

And yea, that seems to be what my mentor’s take on the matter was. Interestingly, I had floated a similar thought past my boss last year and she was.... well, not exactly supportive of the idea. Clearly my mentor thinks higher of me than my boss, but at this point that’s not really a shock. 

 

In other news, I went to the dojo tonight and I think I’ve adopted a 15 year old. Or at least the 15 year old has adopted me. (Clearly this is dojo land, and not the real world.)  Nice enough kid, if you forgive the whole “is a teenager” thing. But tries (most of the time) and seems to take my direction a bit more seriously. Add in a bit of teasing banter back and forth and he seems thrilled. Today’s banter involve him snarking about how he’s going on vacation to Costa Rica with his family. I therefore suggested he be used for demos in koshinages and take all the break falls. And that I would suggest to D-Sensei he volunteered. Kid practically yelped when D-Sensei started to pile into the teasing. Lots of laughs had by the adults. 

 

But it it was a decent class. My sempai got stuck with me and we worked on shondan prep, and tried to loosen my shoulders so they aren’t quite as muscle bound. Another decade or four and that might get figured out. Maybe. Overall not a super hard class physically, but a hard mental class. Hopefully stuff stuck. 

 

Now im being lazy because I need to work this weekend and Presidents’ Day. Ah wel. Science doesn’t wait. 

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Nice to hear that things are going well at the dojo. I'm sure you will be a great Role Model for your young kohai. 

 

Shoulders are such a challenge. I have a set of PT exercises and stretches if you want to add to your arsenal.

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