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Snarky's Epic Quest (Updated! Pandemic Edition)


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UPDATE: Pandemics change a lot of things. jump forward here in this topic for Pandemic Edition

 

 

Things I'd love to do:

 

  • Ride a bike in a different country
  • Swim in the Pacific Ocean
  • Ride a Horse in the Western US (yeehaw!)
  • Play a ukulele in Hawaii
  • See the Northern Lights
  • To learn to kayak
  • Try white water rafting
  • Learn to speak Spanish fluently
  • learn other languages for touristy purposes
  • learn more about photography (so I can take photos of all the things!)
  • write a book
  • lose 100 pounds

 

Places I want to walk around 

  •  Acadia National Park, Maine US -Completed September 2019!
  • Arches National Park, Utah
  • Glacier National Park, Montana
  • Oahu, Hawaii
  • Danube River Cruise, Munich, Bratislava, Vienna, Budapest
  •  Italy
  • Paris, France 
  • Return to Ireland (and not be sick :D )

 

 

 

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This is the month for Maine! I'm really looking forward to exploring Acadia, and I can't wait to take pictures of the views. And it will feel REALLY good to cross off an item on my epic quest list. 

 

I'm nowhere near the shape I'd like to be in for this trip. But I've made a lot of personal progress since I posted this Epic Quest, and I'm really proud of myself.  I feel like I'm finally taking care of me, and I'm happier than I've been in a long time. 

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ACADIA IS SO GREAT!!! I really loved it there. We had really lovely weather the entire week, so I felt really lucky about that.

Mom and I went hiking up and down Gorham Mountain which was a really big deal for us, and around the Jordan Pond trail, which was less of a big deal, but more of a really enjoyable time. We walked along the carriage roads with Dad, and did lots of window and actual shopping in town and tried a new restaurant every day. It was a really great vacation.

We started Gorham mountain along the Beehive trail side, and everyone who looked at mom and I said in alarm "You're going to do the Beehive?" and we said "We're just going up the mountain." but then we SAW the Beehive Trail and went up a little just to see what it was like. Full of iron rungs, narrow ledges and it looks AWESOME. But my legs were already worn out from hiking the day before, so we just went up Gorham and saw some AMAZING views.  

There were parts of the hike that were really challenging. I got to climb down iron rungs. WHICH WAS SO AWESOME!!!  and terrifying. Ladders freak me out.  I injured my quad on the way down and hobbled for the last couple days, but it was WORTH IT. I also had bruised knees, but I really think only one was from that hike and the other was from being in tiny bus seats. 

One day I'll go back in really good shape, having conquered my fear of ladders. Maybe wear some gloves or get chalk for my sweaty palms. But I'm coming back to Acadia one day and I'm checking off more trails. Cadillac Mountain Trail, The Beehive! I'm happy we got three really good hikes in over the week, with some fun touristy rest days in between, but I definitely have some clearer fitness goals!

I'm so glad to check this box off! :D What a great trip! I'll post pictures soon!

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Some photos from Maine and Acadia National Park 

 

View of The Bubbles from Jordan Pond Loop trail

20190912_134807.jpg

 

 

The top of Gorham Mountain, our most challenging day!

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The other side of Thunder Hole

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Sunrise over the Harbor

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For hiking, I really love the AllTrails app. It was great especially on Gorham to gauge how far we still had to go, and celebrate where we’ve been.

 

I found myself during our hikes, past all the anxiety, and doubt, and found a version of myself that gives me hope that life is going to be okay. It was pretty cool

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Maintaining a 15 pound weight loss was a little more difficult than I realized. It took a little time for my body to learn THIS was my new healthy weight balance. So now that it's not actively trying to gain weight back, I am starting to lose weight again. I'm learning that I need to feel more challenged in my exercise, and that instead of getting sucked into a diet, I just need to focus on eating vegetables, and the rest seems to follow. Vegetables. :P

 

The weather is cool now, and perfect for hiking. The trails are dry, the leaves are changing color, and crisp breeze keeps the bugs away. (mostly) Mom and I are going out every other day right now, and it feels so great. I feel at least 50 pounds lighter in my heart. :)

 

 

 

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It's been an exciting month! I was in the running to illustrate a children's book for a small company that was self-publishing, and I didn't get the job. Which is really great, because I did not want that job. But I did get a job offer to do character designs for a local exhibit, and y'all, I am SO EXCITED and really, REALLY want this job. If this can open the door for some business with local places, that would be amazing. 

 

Fingers crossed I get it!

 

I've lost a pound, which considering this is PMS bloat time, I feel really good about that progress. I'll get weighed in a couple more weeks. I learned that I love chopping wood. It's therapy, a workout, AND gets something done around the house. I found a purpose in cleaning as well, because frankly, I'm the only one with enough energy to get it done right now. Everyone is depressed, and Mom has her hands FULL with taking care of Dad who may be finally accepting his blindness. We'll see. I say this without judgment, because I can't even imagine the struggle it takes to not see. I ate one meal with my eyes closed, and I was ready to throw my plate across the room.  We've split up cooking duties pretty evenly, and we take turns making delicious and inedible dishes. :)

 

I pared down my travel wish list. It started to feel more overwhelming than epic, so I thought "Do I really want to go there, or am I checking off a box?" The nice thing about the list is that if I change my mind and say "I DO want to go to Iceland!" I can add it to the list. Initially, taking a river cruise down the Danube wasn't on my list at all but knowing I'm going next year is really exciting, and it deserves a spot on the list. :)

 

 

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I didn't get the job. It's okay. I was really bummed out at first, but then I have all this free "not working" time to do stuff that I've always wanted and get a little closer to my epic quest goals. 

 

Tomorrow is my 39th birthday. I've been thinking about everything I have and haven't accomplished, especially with everyone on social media saying "It's the end of a decade, what have you done with your life?" 

 

I came to the conclusion that I like my life the way it is. It's a good life. I travel, I have lots of time to create whatever I really want. I have great friends, and a wonderful family. There are some things I'd like to change.

 

1. Reach out to friends more. Schedules get busy.

2. Take charge of my health. This is a long-term goal. I'm okay with it. I lost 15 pounds this year so far. I'm going to go for 20 by the end of the year.

3. Finish some art projects and send them out. I keep trying to guarantee that my work is good enough to get published, and I'm focusing on the wrong goal. I have no control whether my work gets published. So I end up getting perfectionist brain and never finishing anything because it's not perfect enough.  This is silly.  I do have control over finishing the projects I have and sending them out. So I'm just going to relax, have fun, and finish the work. Done is good.

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For my birthday, my family bought me a Nintendo Switch! I bought the game Fit Boxing, and it's so satisfying. I love it. It feels good to punch things out.   Mom joins me about every other day, and she really enjoys it too. I've been playing it for over a week now, and I can really feel it in my upper body. I've asked for Ring Fit Adventure, which pairs my love of adventure gaming with physical activity.

 

Turning 39 was a wake up call for me and how I spend my time. I am tired of spending so much time on self-reflection and self-helping. I'm tired of sitting, I'm tired of being pleasant, and I'm tired of giving away my time and energy to people and activities that don't give something back. SO BEGINS MY MID-LIFE CRISIS. I'm really excited about it. :D 

 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Bob the Bardbarian said:

I'm surprise you didn't title this thread "Questy McQuestface".

 

Out of curiosity, what did you want to write your book about?  Travelling?

WHAT?!?! That's an AMAZING TITLE!

 

 

I've been thinking about starting a blog about traveling! But I have a couple different ideas for books, mostly picture books! My problem is that I get an idea, I write down some notes, and then I lounge around in the Land of Intentions where I don't actually accomplish anything. BUT NO MORE! I'm having a special Epic Winter where I start tackling some of the non-travel related questy things. :)

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8 hours ago, Snarkyfishguts said:

I lounge around in the Land of Intentions where I don't actually accomplish anything.

Oh same here.  If I had a nickel for every unfinished project I ever started I could buy my own island.

I've been trying to do something new lately, which is finish whatever I start.  Even if it sucks.  Even if I don't like the finished product.  This helps keep me in check on starting new things.

A blog could be a good starting point towards a book though.  Maybe, like, take scenic pictures with a cup of tea in the foreground or something?  Tea can be very relaxing, and when there's a great view to go with it, it makes it all the better :)

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 Level 4

Character Sheet | Current Challenge |

| Past Challenges | #1 | #2 | #3#4 |
Educate - Entertain - Inspire

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16 hours ago, Bob the Bardbarian said:

Oh same here.  If I had a nickel for every unfinished project I ever started I could buy my own island.

I've been trying to do something new lately, which is finish whatever I start.  Even if it sucks.  Even if I don't like the finished product.  This helps keep me in check on starting new things.

A blog could be a good starting point towards a book though.  Maybe, like, take scenic pictures with a cup of tea in the foreground or something?  Tea can be very relaxing, and when there's a great view to go with it, it makes it all the better :)

I agree! I think a book might be daunting, but just to write a blog would be fun, and definitely inspire me to travel more, which I’m hoping to do over the next couple of years. 

 

Buy your own island. LOL I like that. How are you enjoying finishing things? Do you feel extra-mighty? I’m hoping I feel extra-mighty when I finish something finally :)

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On 12/18/2019 at 7:46 AM, Snarkyfishguts said:

How are you enjoying finishing things? Do you feel extra-mighty?

 

Honestly, just being able to finish things feels nice.  Even if it's the end goal that I had in mind.  I've made a couple of songs like that, and honestly, I'm okay with that.  I know that when you listen to an album, not every song is catchy or as appealing.  Having some follow-through, and creating a sense of integrity, does make me feel "mighty" I s'pose.

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 Level 4

Character Sheet | Current Challenge |

| Past Challenges | #1 | #2 | #3#4 |
Educate - Entertain - Inspire

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4 hours ago, Bob the Bardbarian said:

 

Honestly, just being able to finish things feels nice.  Even if it's the end goal that I had in mind.  I've made a couple of songs like that, and honestly, I'm okay with that.  I know that when you listen to an album, not every song is catchy or as appealing.  Having some follow-through, and creating a sense of integrity, does make me feel "mighty" I s'pose.

YOU ARE MIGHTY!!!

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This year I decided to make a couple goals, or resolutions, if you prefer. 

 

  •  Be Travel Ready
    •  Practice German, then switch to Spanish
    •  Exercise 5x week, strongs 2 times a week
    • Eat really healthy food that will make ME really healthy
    • Save money
    • Get plenty of sleep
    • Buy clothes for each trip I'm taking
  •  Be Agent-Ready
    • Practice Drawing Daily
    • Post on Social Media 3x week
    • Post on Blog 1x week
    • Finish dummies
    • Submit queries to agents

So two BIG goals, and a plan to accomplish both things. In 2020 I'm taking a Danube River cruise, and we have an extension in Munich. I really want to know some basic German, because I feel like that's a part of the experience when traveling. I wanted to learn a couple other languages too, but I'm recognizing one language is enough :) 

I don't really want to focus on losing weight, although I expect that will be a result of my healthy living plan. I worked out and ate lots of veggies, and I didnt' get sick over Christmas. I've never had a big trip to anywhere where I wasn't too sick or too out of shape to REALLY enjoy it. I want to hike up mountains with an ease I haven't felt for a long time. So my success won't be measured in pounds, but in miles and elevation :)

 

I can't control if I get published. That's not a good goal, I'm finally learning. I can only control what I can do. So taking away the goal of "I'm going to be published!"  I'm going to do everything I can do to be ready for getting an agent and getting published. My success will be determined by the work I finish, and the queries I send out. If someone says "YES!" that will be great, but that's not the actual goal. :)

 

Happy New Year, everyone. I hope 2020 is good to each of you.

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Sounds like some good focus points! I like it :D

I should also focus more on what I can do than how much a weight or what I would want to happen.

Good inspiration, thank you :) 

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"Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection"

Epic Quest: Sif's list of awesome

Challenge: let's smash another year #low-carb #push-ups #intermittent fasting

Spoiler

 

Sif rises once more (~2020): 1

The Return of Sif (~2018): 1, 2, 34567, 8

The Age of Kibcy (~2012/13): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 89

 

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1 hour ago, Siferiax said:

Sounds like some good focus points! I like it :D

I should also focus more on what I can do than how much a weight or what I would want to happen.

Good inspiration, thank you :) 

 

 

Thanks! I really appreciate it. Pursuing a weight goal was really frustrating for me because I could work really hard, do everything that was good for me, and feel amazing, but still not lose weight. I don't need to create that kind of feeling of failure in my life!

 

I hope you find what works for you! :D 

 

 

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I gained weight over the holidays. Nine pounds is a decent setback. But I am working out consistently again, and I am eating a lot better and weaning off the sugary cookies.  I’m also working consistently again, and i feel like I have a better balance in my life. I’m not obsessing over one thing.

 

i just want to complain about one thing. Every morning my mother talks about diet and exercise. It feels like shes reinventing everything every day and its exhausting. I keep saying “just follow the plate rule and exercise” but thats frankly too simple and she cant seem to lock into that at all. She is wearing me out. She insists she doesnt know how to eat and then in another breath says shes an expert.

today I just walked away. I just dont want to spend so much of my life talking about food

 

edit! my folks just informed me that I am super grouchy and they are going to enjoy a nice day out without me. I am so happy! 

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Okay so back at the beginning again. I weighed 273 yesterday which is a 2 pound weight loss this month. 

 

With COVID-19, my river cruise is canceled. I'm so relieved that decision is out of my hands now. We'll try again next year, which will work really well because that's a whole year of learning German, exercising and getting in amazing shape, and something to look forward to!

 

This pandemic scares the stuffing out of me. 

 

The good thing about this is that it really curtailed my mid-life crisis. Before, I was all like "What am I doing with my life?" "Does my life mean anything?" "What have I accomplished?"

And traveling was a great balm to that insecurity. But now that people are dying and fighting to stay alive, I realize my life has meaning because I am alive, and that the time I get to spend with my friends and family is beyond precious. The quiet moments of practicing to learn a new song, or reading a book, or walking outside mean a lot more now. It's enough. I don't have to prove to anyone my worth. I just have to be here for my loved ones and just appreciate each day. 

 

I'm still scared stuffingless though. At least I'm not alone in my fear!

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On 3/28/2020 at 9:17 PM, Snarkyfishguts said:

I realize my life has meaning because I am alive

Truth!

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Doodlie for life, Pancake by choice
Spoiler

 

Challenge 12, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 

Challenges 2017: 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28

Challenges 2018: 29, 30, 31, 32, 3334, 35,

Challenges 2019: 36, 37, 38, 39, 40

Challenges 2020: 41, 42, 43, 44, 45

 

Challenges 2023: 46

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Checking in. I weighed 269 today, which is a step in the right direction. This puts my total weight loss to 10 pounds. I finally lost the weight I put on over the holidays!

 

This is going to take a really long time. :)
 

my resolutions were put on hold for a while because of world events, but now I am still putting them on hold. I’m going to start studying german again some day. On the grand scheme of things,  it just doesnt feel as important right now.  Losing weight is enough on my plate right now with everything else, good enough

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Checking in again! I weighed in at 264 today, which is awesome! I’ve started intermittent fasting, and its working really well for me. My hours are from 7pm to 10am, but they are flexible. If I eat at 8pm the night before, I wont eat until 11am. Sometimes i have longer fasting shifts, and some days I just need to eat breakfast. But the power of food has diminished greatly with fasting and I feel in control of my eating!

 

I am going to make a new Pandemic Quest List because so much of my Epic Quest involves traveling and being in social settings. I’ll work on that this weekend. 

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Monthly weigh in: 262. I stopped fasting and clearly it helped, so back to it! I’ll take this small loss though! 
 

 

 

i’ve started practicing German and Spanish again. I’m using memrise still and like it. Spanish is more familiar and I can see a point where it can feel more natural to me. German is still difficult, but I’m enjoying the challenge of it. 

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I finally made a pandemic Quest List. I didn't want to at first because I kept hoping we'd be done with all this by now. But we're not. So here is me, accepting reality and making a list :)

 

Snarky's Epic Quest: Pandemic Edition

 

  • Finish a picture book dummy. Focusing on creative work is hard this year, so I'll consider this a huge victory. Bonus points for finishing  more than one
  • Finish German Course 1 in Memrise
  • Crochet an afghan
  • Read books! I have almost 100 books I want to read, and I'm going to start reading them, and I'll share how that goes! I don't really have a set number to read right now. I just like reading, and would like to make more time for it. 
  • Learn Clip Studio Paint. 
  • Lose 100 80 pounds. I've lost 20 pounds now, so only have 80 more to go! I'm really excited about this one!
  • Embroider a christmas stocking. I have this kit that's been sitting in my drawer for a couple years. This is the year to do it!
  • Complete my ukulele learning books and get really comfortable playing more than three chords on the uke. 

 

 

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  • Snarkyfishguts changed the title to Snarky's Epic Quest (Updated! Pandemic Edition)

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