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Manarelle... what? PLANS a break? Nonsense!


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As much as I tell everyone else that self-care is important and we need to be kind to ourselves, I'm still not very good at doing it for myself. This week hit me with a couple days I had to be up at 3:30am; a covid booster shot that made me bone-deep exhausted for 24 hours; and the start of a project that's going to require more early-morning/ late-night work days and six-day work weeks for at least this month if not January as well. Since this is a short challenge anyway, and it's unlikely I'll have time to make or do anything noteworthy, it seems like a perfect time to dial down the expectations on stuff, and go for care this time.  It also coincides with the shortest days of the year, and for someone who is solar powered, this is the perfect time to self-care. 

 

Goals: 

  • Move: Heart rate up 4 times a week, 5-minute core exercises on off days to keep healthy posture
  • Read: Order/ check out at least 2 books for funsies, not for "ought to"s
  • Food: make sure there's some (healthy-ish) treat or dessert in the house, so no temptations to eat crappy treats
  • Decorate: put up christmas lights, because light makes me happy
  • Offline: don't doom scroll or mindlessly browse

 

I'm somewhat uncomfortable on the move goal, because I've been doing exercise 6 days a week for the last 5-6 years, and trimming it back feels lame. On the other hand, I know the value of deload weeks, I'm finishing a 12-week set of exercises this week, and, well, working out when exhausted and worn out helps no one.  I also know that if I attach an award to getting extra days in, I'll try to power through on days I should be resting, so no extra reward. On the other hand, when I don't do core work, my posture sucks and my back starts spasming, so I'll get some quick core in to avoid falling into that trap. 

 

Reading, food, and decoration are really just to give me things to be mindfully happy and relaxed about. I have a bad tendency to go ascetic on myself and not notice until I'm grumpy. I'm going to try to fit some healthy pampering in. Trying to be offline more when I don't have a stated goal is something I've been trying lately and it's really helped me refocus on here and now rather than "something horrible is happening that you have no control over!!!" This ties in well with the book idea. Hopefully. 

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Manarelle the Level 60 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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3 hours ago, Manarelle said:

Trying to be offline more when I don't have a stated goal is something I've been trying lately and it's really helped me refocus on here and now rather than "something horrible is happening that you have no control over!!!"

Focusing on the here and now was one of my main summer goals and it's amazing how much of a difference that made on my overall attitude and outlook. And cutting the screen time was a huge part of that. 

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"For God did not give us a spirit of fear; but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline". - 2 Timothy 1:7

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." -Gandalf

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On 12/3/2021 at 4:45 PM, Manarelle said:

Read: Order/ check out at least 2 books for funsies, not for "ought to"s

Whatcha got in mind?

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Thanks for the reinforcement. Today wasn't a hugely busy day, but I elected to relax today and work out tomorrow, since Friday is going to be a long day and I dislike having two down days in a row. It felt guilty and wrong to not work out, but I feel substantially less hectic for having taken it. 

 

On 12/5/2021 at 7:34 PM, juliebarkley said:

Whatcha got in mind?

 

No clue yet. I picked up the Hobbit from the gentleman's bookshelves, and I'm slowly winding through it. I absolutely loathed Tolkien when I was younger, and I'm still not super fond of his writing style, but since I haven't found anything else, I'll keep at it. I should probably hit up a library, but... time. 

Manarelle the Level 60 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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2 minutes ago, Manarelle said:

I picked up the Hobbit from the gentleman's bookshelves, and I'm slowly winding through it. I absolutely loathed Tolkien when I was younger, and I'm still not super fond of his writing style, but since I haven't found anything else, I'll keep at it. I should probably hit up a library, but... time. 

That doesn't sound like reading for funsies. :( If you are okay with reading off a device, you could ask in the Reading Challenge thread for suggestions that suit your tastes better. Your library will have modern titles in ebook format, Project Gutenberg has many more older titles.

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Goals: 

  • Move: 4 workouts, 2 core days. Feeling a bit guilty about it, but took the extra down time gratefully. 
  • Read: Sat down and finished the Hobbit, re-reading The Killer Across the Table, which I haven't decided if counts yet.
  • Food: Yes. Finished the apple cobbler, eating brownies responsibly and slowly. 
  • Decorate: Not yet. 
  • Offline: Doing better. 

Busy week. Felt guilty about sticking to only 4 workouts, but in hindsight, I really, really needed the downtime. Used part of that downtime to finish off The Hobbit which was ok, but not satisfying.... kind of like a diet cookie. It was a thing, but you'd probably not voluntarily do it again. Went to try LotR, but apparently my gentleman has every Tolkein book except those, sooooooo... Tried reading a book on Antifa for randomness, but the writing style was insanely dry and clinical, so I just went back to an old favorite. The library is open late on weekdays, so I may pop over there this week and see if anything grabs my fancy. I made a massive to-do list of small things I've been putting off or forgetting, and knocked them all out over the week, so I'm feeling pretty decent about life, but also a bit tired. Next weekend, alas, we agreed to have lunch with my parents, but then I'll get some actual large chunks of down time. Yay. 

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Manarelle the Level 60 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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Week 2:

  • Move: 3 workouts, 3 core days. 
  • Read: Finished The Killer Across the Table, read two books from Ran and the Grey World (manga), one very large volume of Thor: the Complete Collection that the husband got me for the holidays, and started on Arrival by Ted Chiang. 
  • Food: Still working on the brownies, and I'm ok with that. 
  • Decorate: No, and honestly, I'm going to write this one off. 
  • Offline: Yes.

Started out that this was going to be a busy week. All the extra/ early work hours got cancelled, which I'm fine with, but made me feel like this challenge was a waste of relaxation. Unfortunately, a minor pain in the ankle I fractured six years ago has gotten notably worse, to the point where I made a telehealth appointment. The doctor said to stay off it, keep it wrapped for extra support, and if it's not better in a week, go get an x-ray to make sure it's not re-fractured. The pain has been a slow build-up, so I'm hoping it's nothing major, but it does mean my cardio days have been sidelined. I'm still debating how to - or even if I should - work that into the promised 4 days of exercise. I suspect it would be best to drop that to 3 days of weightlifting and just core on the off days, but I'm very uneasy about that. 

 

Wonky timing worked out in my favor for once, so the lunch with the parents was short and fairly painless. Food is going well, although I have minor worries about that as I cut my workouts (hopefully temporarily). Decorating just isn't gonna happen. For one, it mostly requires standing and walking a lot, which I apparently should not be doing. For two, I just don't have the care for it. Yes, christmas lights are pretty and sparkly, but I know I'd just feel pressure to get them up, and then pressure to get them down again in a timely manner, so meh. I'll change the decor at my work desk from fall to winter after the solstice, and call it good. 

 

Spending less time offline has been very good, and I'm going to continue that. I've gotten solidly back into reading with that extra time, and am loving it again. After ignoring it for a month or so, I also finally moved my cosplay stuff down to the shelves the gentleman cleared, and started re-working the sabatons for Thor. The pattern I had was decent, but there were some weak spots and worn places that need fixed before I can wear them again. There are, of course, a TON of other errors, mistakes, and areas of improvement on all the pieces that (probably only) I can see that make me want to redo the whole thing, but I'm learning to appreciate the growing process and let it go. I'll remake the sabatons and call it done.

 

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The gentleman has the next week off, and convinced me to take a random day off as well to go up to an Amish fabric store in PA that is amazing for cosplay. I have a list of things to look for, including fabric to make the top for Valkyrie, which is holding up ALL the other pieces of that cosplay (except the wings, which we don't talk about yet). 

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Manarelle the Level 60 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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Sorry to hear about the ankle, enforced 'relaxation' tends to be a frustrating condradiction. I hope you get to enjoy some good books and some sedinatry creativity!  Your cosplays always look wonderful from my end, but I am a tad biased in that I am always impressed by how folks can managed to take fabiric and foam and sculpt real-life versions of fantasy out of them. I've spent a lot of hours on YouTube just watching folks carve and apaint and sew... and it's still magic to me! 😂

 

I hope the fabric store trip is awesome-- it sounds like one of those places you could get happily lost in for hours! (like bookstores, art stores, and hardware stores 😂) I am trying to resist my Mom's textile art leanings, but some of the yarn stories just make me want to get in into kitting so I can be part of the drama. 😉

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Learning the art of Failing Upwards... (or: Moving Mountains with Teaspoons!)

www.Martha.net - Model Horses, Stories, Webcomics, Plaster Casting, Treadmill Gaming, etc... because you can never have too many hobbies!

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3 hours ago, UnquietBones said:

I hope the fabric store trip is awesome-- it sounds like one of those places you could get happily lost in for hours! (like bookstores, art stores, and hardware stores 😂) I am trying to resist my Mom's textile art leanings, but some of the yarn stories just make me want to get in into kitting so I can be part of the drama. 😉

 

I love stores that let you wander and discover, regardless of the store type. I fully support textile art exploration, but be aware it is just as fraught with hoarding potential as any other hobby. :)

 

The enforced relaxation bothers me because I've found a good balance of being able to reasonably eat what I want and work out/ stay strong. This throws a wrench in that, and takes away the "I am a person who exercises/ is fit!" part of my identity. Brains are dumb. 

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Manarelle the Level 60 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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Fabric store was good. Spent a LOT of money, but also shouldn't have to go shopping for at least a year unless something weird crops up. The trip started out a little late but went well, and we got to hit up a comic shop nearby where the gentleman rivaled my amounts spent on his hobby, so something for everyone. 

 

I started a 4-day split workout since the ankle is better but not 100% yet. Monday was arms, yesterday was nothing because we got home too late. Today was DOMS for the arms and shaky legs after workout... tomorrow should be interesting! It's been a while since I really got to push a workout, so this is a nice change. 

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Manarelle the Level 60 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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Week 3:

  • Move: Really liking the split 4-day workouts. 
  • Read: Still working on Arrival and But What If We're Wrong by someone Klosterman that I don't agree with but would like to finish. 
  • Food: One brownie left! Thinking apple cobbler next. 
  • Decorate Keep cleaning: closets done.
  • Offline: Yes. 

My husband surprised me yesterday by saying he remembered me wanting to deep clean and asking if I wanted to get a start on the closets. We organized the bathroom/ dry goods closet, cleaned and rearranged the linens/ lightbulbs closet, and massacred the basement utility... "closet." The basement one is this awkward little space with a toilet, no door, and a ton of stuff that the landlord said was there when they bought the place, including a veritable stack of old paint cans. We literally pulled everything out, tossed a fair bit, set the paint aside to catalogue and then take to the dump, marked some stuff to take to storage, and will be getting shelves to organize everything else on when it goes back in. There is a ridiculous amount of space in there now, and we've consolidated a lot of randomness into sensible, easy-to-find order. Not sure how long it will stay that way, but it's a nice change, even if we were both exhausted by nighttime. 

 

Took apart the sabatons and re-drew a couple of the pieces. Cut the new version out of foam and Worbla for one boot and remembered how painful it is to cut Worbla for long. ... After a minute's googling, it turns out there is a thing called a hot knife that is recommended for both Worbla and foam and now I feel a bit dumb. Oh well. Making progress, and having fun, and that's what matters. 

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Manarelle the Level 60 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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I have a hot knife (combo pack with a wood burner kit).  Honestly, I haven't found it any easier on foam than just using a sharp X-acto or box knife.  Haven't tried it on Worbla, but I normally use my heavy duty shop scissors for that, since it gives me a lot more control.  YMMV.

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Anim07734; God of Death in Training

Tiefling Assassin and Artificer

 

Maxim 70: Failure is not an option. It is mandatory. The option is whether or not to let failure be the last thing you do.

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7 hours ago, Anim07734 said:

I have a hot knife (combo pack with a wood burner kit).  Honestly, I haven't found it any easier on foam than just using a sharp X-acto or box knife.  Haven't tried it on Worbla, but I normally use my heavy duty shop scissors for that, since it gives me a lot more control.  YMMV.

 

When you say "heavy duty shop scissors," can you give an example? I've been using a pair of Fiskars sewing shears, but they twist and dull way too easily. Tried tin snips and regular scissors, and they did the same. The best luck I've had is with the xacto blade and sharpening it every other cut, but that's rough on the index finger. I am all ears for better ideas. 

Manarelle the Level 60 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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I've got a pair of Kobalt scissors from Lowes that came with with one of my random tool kits.  They work great for all kinds of precision cutting on tough materials, though 6mm foam is about the thickest I can get a clean cut on.  I keep randomly misplacing them, so no idea how much I've actually used them over the years, but so far I haven't needed to sharpen them or anything.

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Anim07734; God of Death in Training

Tiefling Assassin and Artificer

 

Maxim 70: Failure is not an option. It is mandatory. The option is whether or not to let failure be the last thing you do.

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