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Qeidren - Starting over in the Outback


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Day 7:

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I made it. Quite handily. Still in one piece. Managed to not strain anything, managed to stay on top of my diet. Spent a lot more time away from my workshop than I'd have liked, so that's something to work on for next week. Maybe try and stack more errands into the same day because for me, travel times are the real killer. Coming off of night shift back to 5AM starts is always a headache, and invariably there has to be a day where I just come up short on sleep and trudge through it. But it's much better than the alternative of trying to do it slowly, failing horribly 3 days in a row and then having insomnia while I'm working days. I lose my entire weekend that way.

 

So let's review:

Diet:

Over 500g of leafy greens this week (+2BP), consisting of spinach, lettuce, rocket, beetroot leaves, and celery leaves. Serving them with some appropriately cooked red meat helps cut through the grassiness. Don't even need mayo or dressing.

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Cooking:

Smokeless chilli unlocked! No Worcester, no bacon, no black cardamom, no smoked paprika. Still plenty of flavour. No need for rice either, about 400 calories per serve, and delicious mixed in with a salad. I may post the recipe tomorrow if people are interested.

 

Exercise:

Attended my first yoga class today, practised five days for at least 25 minutes. So that is +5BP for this week. I learned a few small things that will help me with my form when I'm practising at home. I also snagged a copy of this today while I was out. It's a great resource, I've actually gifted it as a present twice before (not this time though).

 

Level Up:

Got a long ways to go here, but I'm just gonna have to knuckle down and do it. The longest part is going to be prepping all the material. The actual sewing part usually flys by, barring a few head-scratching moments when I figure out how to do what the destructions are telling me in a way that actually works.

 

Bonus:

Leafy greens: +2BP

Yoga: +5BP

Water: +5BP there were a couple of close calls last thing in the day, and I lost count at least once and ended up having extra, but I've managed at least 2L per day for a solid week, which is a PB for me at this point

Steps: +7BP Forgoing public transport for a 20 minute walk, or just making time for a walk around the block has kept me on track here. Making time for movement is key on days where I don't have to go outside.

Table: 0 BPwet weather warping wood and a lot of errands this week have kept me out of the workshop. I did manage to rig up a jig and square off the table top pieces with the router, for gluing but that is as far as I've gotten. Barring any other distractions my only day out next weekend should be to my yoga class so I'll have the time to spend. Fingers crossed.

 

Overall, I am on track and up 19BP, and I've got some room to start making changes and tinkering outside the scope of the challenge. Exercise, diet, projects, time management, etc. That last one is gonna need looking into. Finding the energy and head space to make small gains on projects after work or on busy days like today, as well as making sure I put the hours in and make good use of them, is something I want to look at for the coming week.

 

I did look closer at adding more fruits and nuts to my diet, but every different source has a different opinion on every single food, processed and not, with regards to migraine. Some sources say literally everything will give you a migraine, from bread to tomatoes, to coffee, some say that '$thing' can help prevent them because it contains '$foo' and I'm not willing to experiment right new given the potential consequences in down time and a lack of medication handy. I'll set aside time over the Christmas break, and run an elimination diet for a week or so with high doses of candidate foods. What I would kill for is some actual gods damned figures on tyramine content and some idea of how quickly it can accumulate in and be metabolised by my body. But good luck with finding anything so useful as that...

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Connor "Qeidren" Murphy, Aspiring Sky Pirate

St: (4) Pe: (7) En: (4) Ch: (3) In: (7) Ag: (5) Lu: (3)

Bonus Points: 53(53)

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Day 8:

There are times when life just doesn't seem to stop. This has been one of those weeks. Two family birthdays to celebrate today had me up early and travelling a long ways. I managed to cover all the basics today, even put in a good hour paddling in a kayak, not that my watch picked it up. By the time I got home though I was wiped. Crashed out on the couch for over an hour and opted for a simple dinner: leafy greens and rice. Tomorrow I'm up at 5, for work. Assuming I sleep well tonight I am gonna get my yoga in before work.

 

Goals:

Diet: leafy greens 100g

Recipes: not today. Research for more recipes, tomorrow.

Exercise: Day off from yoga today. Just means I've gotta hit it every weekday this week. I can manage that.

Level Up: Was out all day and crashed before dinner, I shall be heading to bed shortly.

 

Bonus:

Steps: Over 9000! So that's 8/8 on the go.

Water: Finishing up one more glass as I type this. 8/8

 

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Connor "Qeidren" Murphy, Aspiring Sky Pirate

St: (4) Pe: (7) En: (4) Ch: (3) In: (7) Ag: (5) Lu: (3)

Bonus Points: 53(53)

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Day 9:

The morning after the night before. Big day at work, came home, showered, had dinner and slept.

 

Diet:

leafy greens: 200g and counting. I may run out of salad before I run out of taste for this. Plus, The more I realise just how eating healthier helps my mood, motivation, and outlook, the more I want to do it. My snacks yesterday were 80% fruit and veg.

Recipes: Think I wanna try something Indian this week. Gonna look into it.

 

Exercise:

Yoga: Got my yoga in first thing in the morning. Really helped my energy levels. I'll be taking 2 classes over this weekend. If I wanna get in one class between consecutive Sundays, there is going to be one week every 2 months where I have two classes inside of 4 days. I could've copped out on it, but that would mean failing the spirit of this challenge, and plus it's already paid for I'd be throwing away my own money. Also I have started to notice small changes in my posture and movement. Nothing shattering, but it's a lot like teaching myself to belly breathe waaaay back in the day: a few times a day, I stop and pay attention to how I'm standing, and it's better than two weeks ago.

 

Level up: I have no idea how my coworkers can sleep 4 hours, work 12, and then go home and put 3 hours into personal projects, and I'm a night owl. If I get less than 6 hours sleep 2 days in a row I may as well be effectively nonfunctional. Do I 'protect the asset' to borrow a phrase from Greg McKeown, or am I just not pushing enough?

 

Bonus:

Yoga: 1/5

Steps: 1/7

Water: 1/7

 

Now, time for my morning stretch...

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Connor "Qeidren" Murphy, Aspiring Sky Pirate

St: (4) Pe: (7) En: (4) Ch: (3) In: (7) Ag: (5) Lu: (3)

Bonus Points: 53(53)

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Day 10:

Diet: Crushing it. Been eating more fruit, too.

Recipes: this is the part that can get a little disheartening, you would not believe the amount of things that contain this one little molecule that can screw my neurovascular system right the way up. Definitely gonna make a butter chicken though, my way. No fennel, no yoghurt. The secret ingredient is actually lemon anyhow ;)

Exercise: The basic standing pose, Tadasana, is actually teaching me the most about how I move and stand, by following the technique I picked up from the class, lifting my knees, and putting tension in my thighs, it pulls my torso over my hips and keeps it centered. I stop every once in a while and just do that for a few seconds. I trained myself to belly breathe the same way, and it literally took two days. There's a lot more muscle memory involved here, but I am already seeing the difference.

Level Up: This is the part that has me bummed, but 12 hours on the go, and then getting home... I don't want to give up on working after hours, but pushing myself here is definitely burning the candle at both ends.

 

Bonus:

Steps: 2/7

Water: 2/7

Yoga: 2/5

 

Been a bit flat this afternoon. Maybe it's just an energy thing, but I dunno. Spent waaay too long on social media. I know it's bad for me, and it is totally the wrong place to go for social interaction, but my other options are pretty much nil in that regard. That's not Covid's fault either, it's mine. It's also just way more complicated than that. I feel really positive about where I'm going physically in terms of diet and exercise, but the other stuff? I'm not so sure. A good night's sleep always helps, so that's what I'm doing next.

Connor "Qeidren" Murphy, Aspiring Sky Pirate

St: (4) Pe: (7) En: (4) Ch: (3) In: (7) Ag: (5) Lu: (3)

Bonus Points: 53(53)

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2 hours ago, fitnessgurl said:

Wait...so you belly breathe naturally now?! I do it, but have to think about doing it.

Been doing it for nearly 20 years. I set a timer on my watch to go off every hour, and when it did I would stop and take one, conscious, deep breath from my diaphragm. After two days I was doing it all the time.

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Connor "Qeidren" Murphy, Aspiring Sky Pirate

St: (4) Pe: (7) En: (4) Ch: (3) In: (7) Ag: (5) Lu: (3)

Bonus Points: 53(53)

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Day 11:

Took an early night last night. Work was one of those hectic days where I put in 12 miles without trying, just lots of running around and screaming. Okay, maybe not that much screaming...

Diet: I now look forward to eating like a starving rabbit on a bender. I feel better, and once I started eating enough healthy greens, feeling full was simple, and it's lowered my total daily calorie count to the point where I'm slowly losing those last 4 Kilos. Another three weeks or so and I'll be middle-ing my BMI.

Recipies: Butter chicken sans garam masala and yoghurt this week. That's the plan.

Exercise: Yesterday I went a whole day without spending some part of it with a dull throb in my middle back or a nagging itch below one of my scapulae. I'm still a little lopsided, but the incremental improvements are helping. I haven't woken up stiff in days. I slept a little wrong last night, but my neck actually recovered quickly this morning with a few stretches. I'm going to be starting bodyweight exercises in another week or so.

Level up: I had the thought this morning while doing my daily yoga that given how much I've changed in the past two weeks that I can't be in such a hurry to do too much all at once, in one day. My energy levels and motivation are improving, when it comes to regularly putting in time on my projects after hours I'll get there, but it was never about pushing through, it was about energy and diet, and exercise, and focus. Like my posture problems the tweaks were subtle but necessary.

 

Bonus:

Steps: 3/7 too many yesterday, LOL

Water: 3/7 killed it

Yoga: 3/5 wanna do this every day now.

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Connor "Qeidren" Murphy, Aspiring Sky Pirate

St: (4) Pe: (7) En: (4) Ch: (3) In: (7) Ag: (5) Lu: (3)

Bonus Points: 53(53)

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On 11/3/2020 at 1:08 PM, Qeidren said:

Been doing it for nearly 20 years. I set a timer on my watch to go off every hour, and when it did I would stop and take one, conscious, deep breath from my diaphragm. After two days I was doing it all the time.

Have you noticed a health difference at all?

I'm going to be more ontentional about doing this because it helps me physically & mentally.

L3 Human Ranger/Assassin

Str. 6 Dex. 2 Sta. 1 Con. 12 Wis. 8 Cha. 3

https://www.nerdfitness.com/character/58014

Motto: Where there is life, there is hope.

Soli Deo Gloria

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It's been a long time, but I can tell you that the lower the point that you breathe from the more you fill up your lungs. The way this was all explained to me (by my singing teacher at the time, 19 years ago) the diaphragm works by first pulling your lungs down, then expanding outward. The more you pull your breath forward into your chest the less total volume you have per breath, it's also way harder to breathe from the top down (i.e. shoulders, into your chest, and then belly). The supposed stats are:

belly breathing is 60% of your lung capacity

Chest is 30%

Raising your shoulders is 10%

Take that with a grain of salt, but yes a proper belly breath is gonna fill up your air tank way more.

 

If you can consistently breathe from your belly you improve how long you can hold your breath and what you can do in one breath. There are plenty of caveats to that, too: a full breath, using all the available space you can cram your lungs into is actually kinda painful to hold for more than a few seconds. Also: the more you're moving around the harder it is to hold your breath and the faster you'll expend it. But, generally the more you belly breathe the fewer breaths you take overall, the longer you can hold your breath, and if you're a vocalist at all, the longer you can hold a note.

 

I'm not too sure about the overall aerobic improvements but any boost to baseline O² and lung capacity has got to have an effect.

 

Also: your stomach will stick out just a leetle bit more without regular abdominal exercises. All those opera singers aren't just packing on the pounds they have some truly beastly breathing muscles.

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Connor "Qeidren" Murphy, Aspiring Sky Pirate

St: (4) Pe: (7) En: (4) Ch: (3) In: (7) Ag: (5) Lu: (3)

Bonus Points: 53(53)

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Day 12:

Last work day for the week. Lots of cleaning up to do. Got everything done, gonna have to keep an eye on my eating habits when I'm off  as I tend to eat less fruit and veg when I have a whole pantry at my disposal. But given what I know about how my body and brain respond to what I eat I have plenty of the right kind of motivation to help me out.

 

Diet:

Eating leafy greens every day now. Yum!

 

Recipes:

I need to pick up some sumac and some ground coriander seed. But it's shopping day tomorrow so that's cool.

 

Exercise:

Yoga Friday, yoga Monday. Put in another 25 minutes this morning.

 

Bonus:

Steps: 4/7 

Water: 4/7 on cooler days it's easier to drink less. Still managed to hit the target.

Yoga: 4/5 I'm more awake when I do this first thing. Making the time for it in the morning is the thing. I had to skip my morning coffee today in order to get my practice in and had one at work instead, and can I just say: eww! Pod coffee for one, robusta for #2, and it gave me indigestion for a third. Next time I'm just gonna be late.

Connor "Qeidren" Murphy, Aspiring Sky Pirate

St: (4) Pe: (7) En: (4) Ch: (3) In: (7) Ag: (5) Lu: (3)

Bonus Points: 53(53)

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Day 13:

Yoga again today, followed by a massive lunch. So massive in fact, that I had a snack-sized dinner. #totallyworthit! I nearly went for a burrito, but I can literally get that around the corner from home, so I had Indian again instead.

 

Diet: More leafy greens with dinner. I also bought some frozen berries today, gonna try a smoothie tomorrow, see if I like it.

Recipes: I mixed up a spice mix based on garam masala (cumin, coriander, sumac, nutmeg, cinnamon, paprika, chilli, garlic, green cardamom, cloves, and peppercorns) and have some chicken breasts marinating with it in some cooking cream. Smells pretty authentic.

Yoga: I've made some small gains with my flexibility, and I'm definitely more aware of my wonky spine, but the improvements there will take time. 

Level up: Good news everyone! I made time tonight to trace out the pattern for my vest and after my final glass of water for the day I am going to cut it out. Tomorrow I can start cutting out the actual fabric.

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The whole thing will be 100% natural fibres. The red sateen will be the lining with a charcoal broadcloth for the front and a plain black lawn for the back. Plus, unlike my store bought suit vest this one will have working pockets in which to stow my pocket watch.

Bonus:

Steps: 6/7

Water: 6/7

Yoga: 4/5

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Connor "Qeidren" Murphy, Aspiring Sky Pirate

St: (4) Pe: (7) En: (4) Ch: (3) In: (7) Ag: (5) Lu: (3)

Bonus Points: 53(53)

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Day 14:

Week two down.

Diet: I have fallen in love with salad.

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#don'tcare

Recipes:

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Home made scratch-built Butter Chicken. A little heavy on the calorie count, but delicious.

Yoga: I'm starting to do more side stretches with my morning yoga. I've been more mindful this week about my posture, and I'm definitely not feeling as lopsided throughout the day.

Level Up: Right after this post I am off to work on some clothing. I popped into Spotlight today on my big walk, and finally found some vest buckles. Finally have everything I need to finish this off, just got to get it started.

 

Bonus:

Leafy Greens: >500g this week. Delicious.

Water: 7/7

Steps: 7/7

Yoga: 5/5

Total: +19BP = 38BP

Connor "Qeidren" Murphy, Aspiring Sky Pirate

St: (4) Pe: (7) En: (4) Ch: (3) In: (7) Ag: (5) Lu: (3)

Bonus Points: 53(53)

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1 hour ago, fitnessgurl said:

Love them!

Frozen berries in a blender with milk. Is there anything better? I've bought some frozen cherries now, too. I'll be able to have it with some yoghurt every once in a while and maybe icecream when I'm feeling naughty.

Connor "Qeidren" Murphy, Aspiring Sky Pirate

St: (4) Pe: (7) En: (4) Ch: (3) In: (7) Ag: (5) Lu: (3)

Bonus Points: 53(53)

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1 hour ago, Qeidren said:

Frozen berries in a blender with milk. Is there anything better? I've bought some frozen cherries now, too. I'll be able to have it with some yoghurt every once in a while and maybe icecream when I'm feeling naughty.

Nice! I mix frozen strawberries & pineapple. Yummmm!

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L3 Human Ranger/Assassin

Str. 6 Dex. 2 Sta. 1 Con. 12 Wis. 8 Cha. 3

https://www.nerdfitness.com/character/58014

Motto: Where there is life, there is hope.

Soli Deo Gloria

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Day 15:

We've had a bit of a break in the weather today so I got some yard work done. Only, the mower wouldn't kick over easily. Hoping it's just the spark plug, but I won't know more until I get a replacement. I only had to take the tops off the weeds anyhow, but I guess it will have to keep another week. Then I think something crawled into my hose reel, because I had the pressure washer out and the water just, stopped all of a sudden. Maybe some ants built a nest in there, maybe some cruft from the water tank got past the one way valve. Either way I can't clear the blockage so it's time for a new hose. It is 16 years old, so its had a good run.

Diet: No large leafy green serves to speak of today, but I did have a massive cherry berry smoothie with breakfast and plenty of fruit for snacking.

Recipes: I was prepping my butter chicken last night when I thought about just stopping with the mushrooms in the pot and serving them with a raw salad and lashings of tandoori sauce and tomato chutney. So that's what I am going to attempt tomorrow: curried mushrooms. Should be a nice low-carb twist on my usual warm salads.

Level Up: Marking out the printed sateen for cutting with a chalk liner just wouldn't take, the weave is just too tight to hold onto the chalk. So clearly I need more fabric marking tools. Gonna have to order something though, because I don't want things that will run or leave a permanent stain, that's why I got a chacoliner in the first place. I managed to get all the lining cut out and I'll have plenty of time overnight tomorrow to start assembling and overlocking. But as per usual, the destructions are clear as mud on a few key steps. That will be the sticking point.

 

Bonus:

Steps: 1/7

Water: 1/7

Yoga: 1/5

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Connor "Qeidren" Murphy, Aspiring Sky Pirate

St: (4) Pe: (7) En: (4) Ch: (3) In: (7) Ag: (5) Lu: (3)

Bonus Points: 53(53)

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Day 16:

Yoga again today. The class booking system had screwed up my bookings because I took three classes inside 14 days, but that got taken care of. I had a Doctor's appointment too that's got me on two different antibiotics for an ear infection that just keeps coming back. I am anticipating random mood swings (vestibular system weirdness FTL) in the next few days, but hopefully they won't throw me too far sideways.

 

Diet/Recipes: I tried a curried mushroom salad, and it worked, but 400g of mushrooms reduces to a lot less than six serves when cooked. So now I'm wondering if it's worth buying almost a Kilo of mushrooms, but then, red meat is actually dearer. But so far I haven't hit my recipe target this week. Eep!

 

I was also thinking over my breakfast today that I'd like to try a week where I eat >90% fresh produce and meat. Do all my own cooking and whathaveyou. The only exceptions being my morning coffee, some rice and a little milk. I'm thinking either after this challenge or when I'm off over Christmas.

 

Exercise: Yoga class was good. There were a couple of poses where I made the stretch all the way to the floor, no props. Still a little stiff in my shoulders, but I've added some more poses to my practise, and I can work on them.

 

Level Up: there were no trains home last night after yoga, so a half hour journey ended up taking close to two. I got in after 11 and spent some time with Liliana. I'll be making the time up before work tonight.

 

Bonus:

Steps: 2/7

Water: 2/7

Yoga: 2/5

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Connor "Qeidren" Murphy, Aspiring Sky Pirate

St: (4) Pe: (7) En: (4) Ch: (3) In: (7) Ag: (5) Lu: (3)

Bonus Points: 53(53)

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On 11/2/2020 at 1:16 PM, Qeidren said:

If I get less than 6 hours sleep 2 days in a row I may as well be effectively nonfunctional. Do I 'protect the asset' to borrow a phrase from Greg McKeown, or am I just not pushing enough?

Me too. Sleep is critical to good health; this is not a healthy place to push yourself IMO.

 

On 11/3/2020 at 6:06 AM, Qeidren said:

Spent waaay too long on social media. I know it's bad for me, and it is totally the wrong place to go for social interaction, but my other options are pretty much nil in that regard. That's not Covid's fault either, it's mine. It's also just way more complicated than that.

You're not alone on this. I'm not a social media person, but social interaction has always been hard for me too. I have no real-life friends, where "friend" is defined as "someone you could invite over to watch a movie or something" rather than "person who is friendly with me in a superficial way" (I have lots of those). All efforts to make said friends have been miserable failures. It's pretty depressing when you're living it, but sadly pretty common I think.

 

On 11/4/2020 at 4:32 PM, Qeidren said:

I now look forward to eating like a starving rabbit on a bender.

🤣

 

On 11/8/2020 at 8:41 AM, Qeidren said:

Marking out the printed sateen for cutting with a chalk liner just wouldn't take, the weave is just too tight to hold onto the chalk. So clearly I need more fabric marking tools. Gonna have to order something though, because I don't want things that will run or leave a permanent stain, that's why I got a chacoliner in the first place.

I usually just use a pencil, ballpoint pen, or a piece of ordinary blackboard chalk. But then again, my sew-from-scratch experience is pretty limited.

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15 minutes ago, juliebarkley said:

You're not alone on this. I'm not a social media person, but social interaction has always been hard for me too. I have no real-life friends, where "friend" is defined as "someone you could invite over to watch a movie or something" rather than "person who is friendly with me in a superficial way" (I have lots of those). All efforts to make said friends have been miserable failures. It's pretty depressing when you're living it, but sadly pretty common I think.

I am slowly starting to work on this, trying to reconnect with the few old friends I still have contact with, but Covid is not going to help in meeting new people, and I have a hard enough time as it is meeting people like me. But, if it was easy I'd already be doing it. Here's to socially awkward weirdos meeting new people.

ixDE2De.gif

20 minutes ago, juliebarkley said:

I usually just use a pencil, ballpoint pen, or a piece of ordinary blackboard chalk. But then again, my sew-from-scratch experience is pretty limited.

I'm just being fussy, I know. But I'd much rather have the tools to get the job done the way I want to. Also: this is available locally for just 23 bucks, so...

Connor "Qeidren" Murphy, Aspiring Sky Pirate

St: (4) Pe: (7) En: (4) Ch: (3) In: (7) Ag: (5) Lu: (3)

Bonus Points: 53(53)

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8 hours ago, juliebarkley said:

You're not alone on this. I'm not a social media person, but social interaction has always been hard for me too. I have no real-life friends, where "friend" is defined as "someone you could invite over to watch a movie or something" rather than "person who is friendly with me in a superficial way" (I have lots of those). All efforts to make said friends have been miserable failures. It's pretty depressing when you're living it, but sadly pretty common I think.

 

My inner cynic thinks it's far more common for people to keep trying and eventually settle for people who are friendly in a superficial way and call these people "friends". The pressure on the average person to have "friends" and "a social life" has always been high, especially in culture that overall tend towards seeing extroversion as the norm and introversion as something unusual.

 

I am in the same situation in that I had practically no in-person friends before the pandemic* (not counting co-workers I am friendly with), and obviously no opportunities to change that now that we are supposed to distance ourselves from other people, an I am cheerfully taking that to hermit level extremes.

 

I don't typically see a problem with this. My online friends provide the emotional connections I need, and serve as my mental/emotional support network outside of my marriage. I miss having in-person friends when I come across situations where the physical presenter of a set of hands would be helpful, such us when I need to borrow a truck, or something similar. But the idea that the emotional connection and support we can get from in-person friends is somehow more real and more valuable than the one that can be found in a genuine online friendship is a myth that I hope will eventually fade as generation after generation grow up interconnected online. 

 

Obviously what works for me isn't going to work for everyone, but I thought it was worthwhile to provide a different perspective on things.

 

 

 

*= Caveat: I live with my best friend, and obviously this makes the physical absence of other in-person friends a lot less of an issue for me than if I was living alone. :) 

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12 minutes ago, fitnessgurl said:

What I am finding is that I'm doing all the work...which is difficult for an introvert.

 

It's also unfair. If the other person is not willing to do their share, consider whether this "friendship" is worth your efforts?

 

And personally, as an introvert, I don't find that it is difficult to put in the work with actual friends who are willing to do their share. Food for thought.

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Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

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8 minutes ago, Scaly Freak said:

 

It's also unfair. If the other person is not willing to do their share, consider whether this "friendship" is worth your efforts?

 

And personally, as an introvert, I don't find that it is difficult to put in the work with actual friends who are willing to do their share. Food for thought.

Definitely food for thought. Time to re-evaluate.

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L3 Human Ranger/Assassin

Str. 6 Dex. 2 Sta. 1 Con. 12 Wis. 8 Cha. 3

https://www.nerdfitness.com/character/58014

Motto: Where there is life, there is hope.

Soli Deo Gloria

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