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Jupiter Finds Some Zen


Jupiter

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Yesterday I found a wall calendar at the store titled "Zen as F*ck", and I thought it'd be a perfect idea for this challenge. So, this challenge is going to be all about finding my Zen. And with work continuing to drive me up a wall, I'm going to need it. Some of my goals will stay the same, and others will change slightly. Anyway, here they are:

 

Zen for the body in two parts:

 

Fitness:

 

- Strength training 2 sets Mon/Fri -- What's more Zen than lifting heavy things? Still plan to do this twice a week like I've been doing, but I'd like to move up to doing the 1 set 10 pound/1 set 8 pound dumbbell combo for both workouts this time around. 

- Yoga between 10 and 30 minutes Sat -- My wrist still doesn't like me right now so this will be mostly wrist exercises until I can move up to doing regular yoga again.  

- Stretch 5 minutes Tues - Thurs --  My body is so stiff from sitting at a desk all day. Add in all the extra stress and ouch. So this will be a nice, quiet few minutes to unwind after work and physically shed some of that stress before I move on to the next thing on my list. 

 

Nutrition:

 

- Healthy breakfast 3 days -- Having a good Zen day starts with a healthy breakfast, so I'm aiming for 3 days a week. Even if all I eat is oatmeal from a box, it counts and will be better than pop tarts. 

- Cook dinner Sun/Tues/Thurs -- Aiming for healthy meals, even if it's just throwing some frozen veggies into the microwave or on the stove. 

 

 

Zen for the mind:

 

Intellectual:

 

- Outline 30 minutes 4-5 days -- I am almost halfway through writing up a detailed outline for a novel, and I'd like to finish it by the end of this challenge. Generating ideas is totally Zen. 

- Write 1 hour, 5-6 days -- Writing is my ultimate Zen place, but I haven't done much of it this month, so I really want to focus on that this challenge. I have a short story I need to finish re-writing/revising and another potential novel project that I want to play with and see if I can do something with it. 

- Research 30 minutes 3-4 days -- The story-research-fu will hopefully be strong this challenge. I have lots to get through, so hopefully I can start making a dent in it. After all, a Zen mind is a more informed mind. 

- Meditate 3-5 minutes 3-5 days -- The hallmark of being Zen. This will hopefully help to keep me from wanting to strangle my co-workers being so stressed at work. 

- Read 30 minutes (or more) 7 days -- Reading fiction helps me to unwind and recover from the day, so this is in keeping with the Zen mindset. 

 

 

A few miscellaneous work items:

 

To better help me find my Zen, I will:

 

- Take breaks -- I'm allowed 2 15 minute breaks and I want to make sure I start taking them. I usually work through lunch, but I can afford to take a few minutes away from my computer during the work day and the world will not end. 

- Log out -- I have not been logging out of the system after I clock out, so I want to get back to doing this. I do not need to be checking work email after I'm done for the day. When I'm done for the day, I leave. 

 

 

And that's it. I'm hoping this won't be too much, but if so I may have to pare things down a bit. We'll see how things go. Anyway, let the Zen journey begin. 

 

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3 hours ago, Jupiter said:

Cook dinner Sun/Tues/Thurs -- Aiming for healthy meals, even if it's just throwing some frozen veggies into the microwave or on the stove. 

 

Frozen veggies are such a life saver!

 

I find it so cool that you are in the process of writing your own novel!

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Current challenge

"Failure is the mark of a life well lived." - Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer. 

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On 10/25/2020 at 3:44 PM, Jupiter said:

strangle my co-workers

If it weren't illegal/immoral, this would be my vote.

 

On 10/25/2020 at 3:44 PM, Jupiter said:

I'm allowed 2 15 minute breaks and I want to make sure I start taking them.

Good idea. I find it gives me something to look forward to on a bad day, and that alone can help me push through.

 

Reading anything good?

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On 10/25/2020 at 2:44 PM, Jupiter said:

- Stretch 5 minutes Tues - Thurs --  My body is so stiff from sitting at a desk all day.

 

Are you doing specific stretching to counteract the lengthy sitting?

 

On 10/25/2020 at 2:44 PM, Jupiter said:

- Take breaks -- I'm allowed 2 15 minute breaks and I want to make sure I start taking them. I usually work through lunch, but I can afford to take a few minutes away from my computer during the work day and the world will not end. 

 

If you have access to a quiet place it could be the perfect time for meditation.

 

On 10/25/2020 at 2:44 PM, Jupiter said:

wanting to strangle my co-workers being so stressed at work. 

 

Yep...

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"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." -Nelson Mandela

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." -Walt Disney

Challenges: 1

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On 10/25/2020 at 4:27 PM, Edgedancer said:

 

Frozen veggies are such a life saver!

 

I find it so cool that you are in the process of writing your own novel!

 

Yup, they really are! :) 

 

Thanks! :) I've technically already written one, but I took a break from it to work on other things for a bit and try new processes. I need to get back to it and revise it (again) soon though. 

 

14 hours ago, Waanie said:

Great challenge, as always :). I hope that you'll get into zen-mode more and more of the time, even though your work will probably stay crazy.

 

Thanks! :) And thanks, me too. I don't expect the work situation to change for a long while, so having more Zen would definitely help.  

 

4 hours ago, Countess D'If said:

I freaking love this

 

LOL, thanks. :) 

 

1 hour ago, juliebarkley said:

If it weren't illegal/immoral, this would be my vote.

 

LOL, yeah. :) 

 

1 hour ago, juliebarkley said:

Good idea. I find it gives me something to look forward to on a bad day, and that alone can help me push through.

 

Oh yeah, that's true. It'll be nice to have them to look forward to. Thanks. :) 

 

1 hour ago, juliebarkley said:

Reading anything good?

 

Yeah, I'm reading Starbreaker by Amanda Bouchet. It's the 2nd in her new trilogy, kind of a romance space opera (I'm obsessed with anything space opera right now). It's pretty good. 

 

41 minutes ago, Firefly1230 said:

Are you doing specific stretching to counteract the lengthy sitting?

 

Nothing specific or fancy, just some basic stretches. 

 

42 minutes ago, Firefly1230 said:

If you have access to a quiet place it could be the perfect time for meditation.

 

Oh, true. I had planned to use the breaks to read or work on my outline, whichever I felt like doing, but I may have to add that too. Thanks. :) 

 

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Today was fairly quiet, all things considered, but not as Zen as I was hoping, at least while working. Just had to deal with stupid little things like people not reading emails and then dealing with screwed up files that people are trying to push through in a hurry but actually can't. Still, not too bad for a Monday. The rest of the week will probably be a different story. Two people from another department are out sick so we'll have to do their work on top of our own crazy loads. Fun times. Anyway, after work went better and helped me along towards finding Zen. Stats:

 

 

Zen for the body:

 

Fitness:

 

- Strength training 2 sets Mon/Fri -- 1/2 -- Done. It was a bit harder today than usual, but at least I still got through it. And I'm finally starting to see a bit more muscle definition in my arms. So, very small improvement, but still improvement. 

- Yoga between 10 and 30 minutes Sat -- 0/1

- Stretch 5 minutes Tues - Thurs --  0/3

 

Nutrition:

 

- Healthy breakfast 3 days -- 0/3 

- Cook dinner Sun/Tues/Thurs -- 1/3 -- Cooked dinner yesterday, so it doesn't really count for today, but still, I had leftovers for lunch and dinner today, so that makes 3 semi-healthy meals in the last two days. Yay. :) 

 

 

Zen for the mind:

 

Intellectual:

 

- Outline 30 minutes 4-5 days -- .5/5 -- I only worked on this for about 15 minutes instead of 30, so the score is halved. Still, I got in one plot point at least, though I'm not sure it really fits with the rest of the story. I think if I tweak it a bit, though, I can make it work. I just need to figure out how I should tweak it. 

- Write 1 hour, 5-6 days -- .5/6 -- Only 30 minutes, so another half score. Still, not bad for not having written in a while. I feel pretty good about it. :) 

- Research 30 minutes 3-4 days -- .5/4 -- Only 15 minutes. Learned some interesting stuff. 

- Meditate 3-5 minutes 3-5 days -- 1/5 -- Did 4 minutes, though it was hard to get through. I was antsy and kept fidgeting. Still, I think it helped. 

- Read 30 minutes (or more) 7 days -- 1/7 -- Read for 30 minutes. I finally got to one of the big reveals. I'd sort of guessed what it was already, but it was great finally having it confirmed after 2 books of foreshadowing. 

 

 

Miscellaneous:

 

- Take breaks -- Done. 

- Log out -- Meh, sort of done? Didn't immediately log out after clocking out, but I did it earlier than I normally would have.  

 

Overall, not a bad first day. I think I may need to move meditation up to one of my breaks though like Firefly suggested. I didn't get to it until later in the evening and I think it might work better earlier. Anyway, I am beat, so off to bed with me. 

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4 hours ago, Jupiter said:

And I'm finally starting to see a bit more muscle definition in my arms. So, very small improvement, but still improvement. 

Oh yeah! It's awesome that you are starting to see muscle definition :D.

 

It looks like you had a productive day, all in all :).

7 hours ago, Jupiter said:

romance space opera

Hmm, I should check it out. I haven't read space opera for a while, but I've read a few series in the past that I really enjoyed, and I think I'd enjoy the romance :).

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20 hours ago, Jupiter said:
21 hours ago, Firefly1230 said:

Are you doing specific stretching to counteract the lengthy sitting?

 

Nothing specific or fancy, just some basic stretches. 

 

People that do a lot of sitting typically have shortening of the psoas and anterior hip flexors. The best thing for this is called a couch stretch but I have some modifications if you need them.

 

17 hours ago, Jupiter said:

And I'm finally starting to see a bit more muscle definition in my arms.

 

I once read that it takes 1 month for you to notice a difference, 2 months for those that see you often, and 3 months for everyone else. WTG!!

 

17 hours ago, Jupiter said:

 Meditate 3-5 minutes 3-5 days -- 1/5 -- Did 4 minutes, though it was hard to get through. I was antsy and kept fidgeting. Still, I think it helped

 

Every little bit helps. Meditation can be difficult and need some practice. Have you considered setting aside a solid 15-30 minutes maybe once a week? I've found that in the beginning it takes some time to get into a "zen" state but with more practice it becomes easier and quicker.

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"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." -Nelson Mandela

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." -Walt Disney

Challenges: 1

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17 hours ago, Jupiter said:

Just had to deal with stupid little things like people not reading emails and then dealing with screwed up files that people are trying to push through in a hurry but actually can't. 

This. I feel like we shared a Monday. My Tuesday had a slight diversion off into the land of historic errors that occurred before I started and have been carried forward month to month because it's how it's always been done.

 

I hope your zen helps. I like watching the river outside my office, it's calm and peaceful, and safe to swim in. Some people just need a little help getting in the water ;)

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15 hours ago, Waanie said:

Oh yeah! It's awesome that you are starting to see muscle definition :D.

 

It looks like you had a productive day, all in all :).

 

Thanks! :) 

 

15 hours ago, Waanie said:

Hmm, I should check it out. I haven't read space opera for a while, but I've read a few series in the past that I really enjoyed, and I think I'd enjoy the romance :).

 

Yeah, definitely, it's a pretty decent series so far. Have you tried Ann Aguirre's Sirantha Jax books? Those are really good too.

 

11 hours ago, fitnessgurl said:

Muscle definition for the win!!! Woot!

 

:D 

 

2 hours ago, Firefly1230 said:

People that do a lot of sitting typically have shortening of the psoas and anterior hip flexors. The best thing for this is called a couch stretch but I have some modifications if you need them.

 

Hmm, I've never heard of a couch stretch. I'll have to look that up. Thanks. :) 

 

2 hours ago, Firefly1230 said:

I once read that it takes 1 month for you to notice a difference, 2 months for those that see you often, and 3 months for everyone else. WTG!!

 

Oh, interesting, I didn't know that. Thanks! :) 

 

2 hours ago, Firefly1230 said:

Every little bit helps. Meditation can be difficult and need some practice. Have you considered setting aside a solid 15-30 minutes maybe once a week? I've found that in the beginning it takes some time to get into a "zen" state but with more practice it becomes easier and quicker.

 

Yeah, for sure. Mm, not really, I didn't think I'd be able to last that long LOL. That's why I thought I'd start small first and work my way up. But I may try it that way anyway just to see how it works. Thanks. :) 

 

2 hours ago, RobinLost said:

This. I feel like we shared a Monday. My Tuesday had a slight diversion off into the land of historic errors that occurred before I started and have been carried forward month to month because it's how it's always been done.

 

I hope your zen helps. I like watching the river outside my office, it's calm and peaceful, and safe to swim in. Some people just need a little help getting in the water ;)

 

LOL, we can be work twins. :D I hope your Wednesday is better. :) 

 

Thanks. :) 

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Busier day today, with more rush files and more people interrupting me for different things. I was supposed to do a rush file early in the morning and didn't end up getting to it until closer towards the afternoon because I kept getting interrupted so much, that's how bad it was. And I seem to be getting more panicked emails from people who wait until the last minute to send me stuff to fix or change for them. And half of these panicked emails keep coming in after hours, because of course I'm supposed to be there at 7pm. If they're working at 7pm, that means I should be too, right? Oi. So, started sort of Zen in the morning and then it went downhill from there. Anyway, stats for today:

 

 

Zen for the body:

 

Fitness:

 

- Strength training 2 sets Mon/Fri -- 1/2 

- Yoga between 10 and 30 minutes Sat -- 0/1

- Stretch 5 minutes Tues - Thurs --  1/3 -- Just spent a few minutes doing basic stretches. Felt lots better after. 

 

Nutrition:

 

- Healthy breakfast 3 days -- 1/3 -- Had banana nut oatmeal, yum. 

- Cook dinner Sun/Tues/Thurs -- 2/3 -- I had planned to make breakfast sandwiches for dinner, but my English muffins were bad, so I lost motivation and ended up throwing in a bag of frozen veggies and penne into the microwave. 

 

 

Zen for the mind:

 

Intellectual:

 

- Outline 30 minutes 4-5 days -- 1.5/5 -- Got in 30 minutes today and another plot point and a half, though I think part of it needs to be moved earlier. Still, I think I'm about at the halfway point now. 

- Write 1 hour, 5-6 days -- 1/6 -- Only 30 minutes again. I was really tired and not very motivated, but I wrote anyway. 

- Research 30 minutes 3-4 days -- 1.5/4 -- Got in 30 minutes of research, but it had less to do with story and more to do with life stuff, but I'm going to count it anyway. 

- Meditate 3-5 minutes 3-5 days -- 2/5 -- Did 3 minutes today on my 2nd break. I was really stressed and it seemed to help a little bit. 

- Read 30 minutes (or more) 7 days -- 2/7 -- Read for 30 minutes. I ended up finishing my book last night so started another one tonight, Amanda Bouchet's other series. 

 

 

Miscellaneous:

 

- Take breaks -- 2/5 -- Done. 

- Log out -- 0/5 -- Meh. Failed. 

 

Anyway, I am wiped. Night nerds. 

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3 hours ago, Jupiter said:

Yeah, definitely, it's a pretty decent series so far. Have you tried Ann Aguirre's Sirantha Jax books? Those are really good too.

Yes, I loved those books! Fun story, action-packed, and with a tall dark and handsome. It was that series that lead me to reading more space opera, for example the books by David Weber and by Elizabeth Moon. Those are not romantic series, but are space operas with strong women nonetheless. Anyway, I put both of Amanda Bouchet's series on my wish-list now :).

 

 

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On 10/28/2020 at 1:09 AM, Waanie said:

Yes, I loved those books! Fun story, action-packed, and with a tall dark and handsome. It was that series that lead me to reading more space opera, for example the books by David Weber and by Elizabeth Moon. Those are not romantic series, but are space operas with strong women nonetheless. Anyway, I put both of Amanda Bouchet's series on my wish-list now :).

 

 

 

LOL nice! :) Did you read her other series in that world too? Dread Queen I think it's called? I'll have to check out their books, they sound neat. :) And Bouchet's other series is actually more epic fantasy, but it's pretty good so far. Happy reading! :) 

 

On 10/28/2020 at 5:03 AM, fitnessgurl said:

Ugh! Co-workers can be so inconsiderate!

Overall though, you got a lot done. You didn't shut down...you kept going after work & overcame your workday. I'd call that a win!

 

Yup, sure can. 

 

Thanks! :) 

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Is today Thursday already? I can't even tell what day it is anymore. Anyway, yesterday and today were pretty much the same as Tuesday. People wanted their stuff asap and I worked my butt off and stressed trying to make it happen. A few of them still ended up getting pushed back though and I just plain missed one all week. It was supposed to go out on Monday and I didn't get to it until today. I didn't even see it actually, it was buried under all the rush files. My co-worker seemed a bit upset by it, but at that point, it just is what it is, you know? Anyway, fewer people jumped down my throat the last two days, so that is a good thing, and goes a long way towards helping my Zen. Also, a lot of Illenium music. Very mellow pop. I'm officially obsessed. Anyway, stats for the last two days:

 

Zen for the body:

 

Fitness:

 

- Strength training 2 sets Mon/Fri -- 1/2 

- Yoga between 10 and 30 minutes Sat -- 1/1 -- Tried a short hands-free yoga video today instead of stretching. I like it. There was a butterfly stretch at the end though, and I could barely do it, which was annoying. I feel like the last few stretching days never even happened. 😕 

- Stretch 5 minutes Tues - Thurs --  2/3 

 

Nutrition:

 

- Healthy breakfast 3 days -- 1/3 

- Cook dinner Sun/Tues/Thurs -- 2/3 

 

Nothing new to report here. Some fruit and veggies were had, but healthy breakfast and actual cooking didn't happen. 

 

 

Zen for the mind:

 

Intellectual:

 

- Outline 30 minutes 4-5 days -- 2/5 -- Nothing yesterday, only 15 minutes today, but I got in another plot point. Right at the halfway mark now. I need to do some thinking about this one side character though. He's a bit of a mystery and I need to flesh him out a bit. Also need to think about the emotional arc of the main character a bit more. 

- Write 1 hour, 5-6 days -- 1.5/6 -- Nothing yesterday, but got in 30 minutes today. I really struggled with it for the first few minutes. My brain was like, "what r words?" but I read over the previous few paragraphs and then I was able to get into a decent groove. 

- Research 30 minutes 3-4 days -- 1.5/4 -- Nada. I'm thinking this needs to be moved to the weekend, maybe I can do an hour both days. 

- Meditate 3-5 minutes 3-5 days -- 4/5 -- Did 3 minutes yesterday on my break, which turned out to be only 3 minutes long. Then 3 minutes today right after work. I was slightly less fidgety today, and I felt better after. 

- Read 30 minutes (or more) 7 days -- 4/7 -- Read for 30 minutes yesterday, plan to read for at least 30 minutes before bed tonight. 

 

 

Miscellaneous:

 

- Take breaks -- 2.5/5 -- Nope. No breaks yesterday (other than my 3 minute meditation) and only 1 break this morning. 

- Log out -- 1/5 -- Logged out right after work yesterday, didn't quite make it today. 

 

Meh, I feel like I'm not doing all that great this week. Maybe I need to make some adjustments. Oh, I forgot, we had d&d yesterday, which was fun. I was looking forward to that all day yesterday. Anyway, I'm going to go read for a bit and try to go to bed early. Night nerds. 

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3 hours ago, Jupiter said:

LOL nice! :) Did you read her other series in that world too? Dread Queen I think it's called? I'll have to check out their books, they sound neat. :) And Bouchet's other series is actually more epic fantasy, but it's pretty good so far. Happy reading! :) 

 

I did not, was as our (SF/fantasy-focused) student library did not have it. I'm now back at regular libraries, and they generally do not have a lot of SF or fantasy, let alone in the original (English) language.

 

2 hours ago, Jupiter said:

Meh, I feel like I'm not doing all that great this week. Maybe I need to make some adjustments.

It felt like you were making a huge step from last challenge; maybe it's slightly too much for now?

 

2 hours ago, Jupiter said:

Oh, I forgot, we had d&d yesterday, which was fun. I was looking forward to that all day yesterday.

Nice :D.

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20 hours ago, Waanie said:

I did not, was as our (SF/fantasy-focused) student library did not have it. I'm now back at regular libraries, and they generally do not have a lot of SF or fantasy, let alone in the original (English) language.

 

Aw, bummer, that sucks. :( 

 

20 hours ago, Waanie said:

It felt like you were making a huge step from last challenge; maybe it's slightly too much for now?

 

Hmm, maybe. I need to think about it over the weekend and re-evaluate. 

 

20 hours ago, Waanie said:

Nice :D.

 

:D 

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Work today was surprisingly quiet despite the busyness of month end, and I was pretty Zen for the most part, then left early for a doctor's appointment. I think it went well. Got weighed like normal, and I was pretty surprised at the number. All summer I've felt fat and like I'd gained all this extra weight, but I actually weigh the same as I did a year ago. So I must be doing something right LOL. I mean, I'd prefer to lose weight obviously, but I'll take maintaining my current weight over gaining more. I also fasted for my blood test, but the lab closed early so it was all for nothing LOL. Anyway, after I got home I scrapped all my plans and just read the entire rest of the afternoon/evening and finished my book. I liked it, but I was also expecting something more from it that I didn't quite get. I'm on the fence about reading the next one in the series. I feel like Bouchet's space opera was better. Anyway, I will probably be adjusting my goals tomorrow. I just need to figure out how to adjust them. 

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I'm late, but I'm here!  I love this zen challenge!!!

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“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” John Steinbeck

“Do I dare disturb the universe?” – T.S. Eliot

“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” – Toni Morrison

"All we have to do is decide what to do with the time given to us" JRR Tolkien

 

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On 10/28/2020 at 4:09 AM, Waanie said:

Yes, I loved those books! Fun story, action-packed, and with a tall dark and handsome. It was that series that lead me to reading more space opera, for example the books by David Weber and by Elizabeth Moon. Those are not romantic series, but are space operas with strong women nonetheless. Anyway, I put both of Amanda Bouchet's series on my wish-list now :).

 

 

 

I've never read any space opera, but I have checked some of the recommandations from both of you and I think I might give it a try! 

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Current challenge

"Failure is the mark of a life well lived." - Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer. 

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