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Chris-Tien: Calm in the Center of the Storm


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This challenge is a little different, although I am still working on attaining a healthy weight (152 by the end of November ....).  My major goal is to manage my mental health and to be calm, rational, and adulting by the end of the year.  

 

With the approaching holidays, I am feeling dread and stress.  Not at levels that would send me to a health professional or counselor, but enough that I know I need to institute self care routines to head off problems.  For the most part, I think that small changes will have a big impact.  I have been noticing that I am spending too much time online with social media and news sources, and it is definitely stressing me out.  In addition, some nasty graffiti has been appearing on campus.  This wouldn't stress me out, but the campus reaction and blame-game is definitely pushing me over the edge.  Especially since, there is little to nothing that I can do about any of it.

 

My first sensei, may he rest in peace, always told me that I should remain relaxed until an opponent came into the "red-zone" --- the point at which they could strike me.  To be calm and relaxed in the center of the my circle was the goal then.  And I think it needs to be the major goal for the next challenge.  

 

How?? 

 

Working on it ..... but here are a few ideas:

  1. A social media and online news fast.  Other than Nerd Fitness forums.  
  2. Meditate
  3. Hang with my peeps: Pound class, pottery class, CrossFit sessions, etc.  Be with people off-campus.  In fact, be off campus unless I am in class or holding office hours.  
  4. Improve 5K time.  My last attempt was 48 minutes.  I can beat that if I just keep working on it gradually.  I like the Zombies, Run! app.
  5. Lat pulldown max of 100 pounds.  

 

I already dropped a bunch of Discord server memberships.  Not that I am on Discord very often .... Facebook is more of a problem.    I turned off "news" notifications on my cell phone.  

 

I am not going to log!!  That can also become a point of stress.  I will come and describe what I am doing and how I am feeling.  

 

Time to ....

 

image.png.4e5d93145bc19649077436ba98c56277.png

 

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Jed'aii Ranger

"We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less."  - Kurt Hahn

“THE QUESTION ISN'T WHO IS GOING TO LET ME; IT'S WHO IS GOING TO STOP ME?” Ayn Rand

Past Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51

 

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Yesterday's CrossFit workout .....  done in 39 minutes and 40 seconds.

 

Brave Enough Workout  Scaled to 70%

 

2 Rounds

Run if weather permits or Row

200 m Run

42 Dubs/84 singles

200 m Run

53 Air Squats

200 m Run

28 Abmat sit-ups

200 m Run

21 Rus. KBS (18 lb)

200 m Run

14 TTB/Knee ups

200 m Run

7 Seated DB Press (12 lb)

40 min Time Cap

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Jed'aii Ranger

"We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less."  - Kurt Hahn

“THE QUESTION ISN'T WHO IS GOING TO LET ME; IT'S WHO IS GOING TO STOP ME?” Ayn Rand

Past Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51

 

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I like this plan. 

3 hours ago, Chris-Tien Jinn said:

My first sensei, may he rest in peace, always told me that I should remain relaxed until an opponent came into the "red-zone" --- the point at which they could strike me.  To be calm and relaxed in the center of the my circle was the goal then.  And I think it needs to be the major goal for the next challenge.  

This is a good life visual. I am trying to not worry about things that might happen.  Staying calm until things are in the "red zone" seems like a good life perspective.

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Wisdom 22.5   Dexterity 13   Charisma 15   Strength 21  Constitution-13

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind' Luke 10; 27

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I have mostly been able to avoid Apple News.  Found myself starting to look at it this morning and decided "Nope!" after the first few headlines.  I need to move it off of my phone's first page of apps.  Putting distance between me and a bad habit.  

 

I've left some Facebook groups that have become drama-queen central.    I noticed that Facebook seems to have ended the ability to mute someone for 30 days, which used to be a great mental-health saver.   I'm working on ways to increase the difficulty of mindless surfing.  

 

But, even the little changes have already started to help. It's fall break, and so there have not been new instances of graffiti.  

 

I went to yoga class on Wednesday ... and then got my flu shot in the afternoon.  

 

Thursday, I finished grading.  Had a really bad headache, but it cleared enough that I ran a couple of miles (outside!) in the afternoon.  Slow run.  I did have to stop and walk a few times because some other people in the park had a HUGE dog that they were barely able to hold onto.  I didn't want to run by him.  And with the wind and the hills, my pace was slower than on the treadmill.  But it felt great to be outside on a sunny day.

 

Today, I'm not feeling well.  So, I'll see what I can get done, but I may curl up with another cozy mystery.  I finished In the Company of Witches (An Evenfall Witches B&B Mystery Book 1)  by Auralee Wallace.  It was nice and light.  I'm looking for more Halloween-themed, easy books.  (Suggestions welcome)

 

 

 

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Jed'aii Ranger

"We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less."  - Kurt Hahn

“THE QUESTION ISN'T WHO IS GOING TO LET ME; IT'S WHO IS GOING TO STOP ME?” Ayn Rand

Past Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51

 

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I did a social media break a while ago and never did get back to it because it turns out I just did not miss it. For the news, I enjoy my morning news email that I get a few times a week. It's a very brief overview of what's going on, but at least I feel like I'm somewhat in the loop. But my problem wasn't getting overwhelmed with news, it was that I had no idea what was going on in the world outside of my little bubble. 

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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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4 hours ago, Artemis Prime said:

I enjoy my morning news email that I get a few times a week.

 

I get the New York Times summary in my email, and that's been enough.  Our local newspaper is published semi-weekly, but it usually doesn't have the news that I'm interested in reading locally.  So ... Facebook is how I learn about things to do in the area.  I just have to suppress the doom and drama.  

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Jed'aii Ranger

"We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less."  - Kurt Hahn

“THE QUESTION ISN'T WHO IS GOING TO LET ME; IT'S WHO IS GOING TO STOP ME?” Ayn Rand

Past Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51

 

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On 10/27/2022 at 5:38 PM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Hey friend, it's been six days since you posted, how has your week gone?

 

I almost hate to say .... so I'll put it in spoilers.  I don't even know how to describe the trigger warning.  Don't read unless you're in a good place and stress and depression has not marked you or your family or anyone close to you.  It's been a rough few weeks as a college professor.  

 

Spoiler

*Whew*  Several students' stress levels went beyond the breaking point.   At least one was hospitalized, although it is hard to find out solid information.  

 

We  also lost one of them. on Halloween night.  A first year student.  I teach first year classes.  I didn't know him, but many of my students were his friends and teammates.  He was in a colleague's class. They are in shock.  

 

One of my TAs was a victim of a shooting last year.  She can't leave her apartment right now because of PTSD.  She is in therapy, but I'm worried.  

 

On the upside, the graffiti and drive-by yelling at students has mercifully stopped.  Odd thing to be grateful for.

 

I'm doing OK.  But it's been quite stressful, and I'm just coming to the point where I'm not numbly juggling metaphorical plates and caring for others.  Deciding what I need for self-care myself.

 

After the flu shot, I didn't feel well and had a couple of migraines.  I don't get them very often any more .... and that cluster seems to have passed.  

 

I have been doing something pretty much every day on the self-care front.  

 

My weight is still hanging in a good range.  Currently at 151.8 (goal for November is under 152 pounds).  

  1. A social media and online news fast??  Mostly doing well there.  A couple of peeks at Apple News has reminded me why I decided to put it on the last page of my apps.  Twitter is going to be deleted over winter break.  I skim the New York Times online, but I don't read too many stories.    Too depressing.
  2. Meditate?  A couple of times.  I need to do this more frequently.  
  3. Hang with my peeps?  YEAP!!!  I've been going to Pound class and ceramics.  I glazed a bunch of bowls for the pre-Thanksgiving Empty Bowl fundraiser.  I LOVE COLOR and glazing pottery.  
  4. Improve 5K time?  Yes.  I trimmed off almost a whole minute a couple of weeks ago.  
  5. Lat pulldown max of 100 pounds??  Well .... no.  I'm kinda stuck between 90 and 92.5  pounds.  Gotta work on that, but I'm not going to be too hard on myself right now.  

 

And  POTTERY RESULTS.  These are from my first pottery class.  The best of 6.  I enrolled in the follow-up "intermediate" class and decided that I'm going to be OK with recycling a lot of clay and keep only things that I do feel good about.  Last Wednesday, my mind was scattered and I was having a hard time with a basic bowl.  I didn't keep any of my attempts, but I'm OK with that.  Hubby is going to give me a ceramics studio membership over Winter Break so that I can have a good time practicing when I'm not tired from teaching.  

image.png.78394df904f71b4555281b2b8ef68c52.png

 

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Jed'aii Ranger

"We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less."  - Kurt Hahn

“THE QUESTION ISN'T WHO IS GOING TO LET ME; IT'S WHO IS GOING TO STOP ME?” Ayn Rand

Past Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51

 

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Hugs. That is really rough.

 

Woot for all the wins. The pottery is beautiful. I love how you gave yourself permission to not keep everything you build. That's one of my issues when I'm learning some new craft.  I think just deciding beforehand that some of your creations you aren't going to want to save, that's just part of learning.

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Wisdom 22.5   Dexterity 13   Charisma 15   Strength 21  Constitution-13

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind' Luke 10; 27

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Aww jeesh sorry for the tough semester. Glad you have a hobby that can be beneficial in many areas and allowing yourself grace. The bowls had me thinking of a fundraiser one of the colleges I went to. Glad you are able to enjoy helping with the service! 

Congrats on showing up to yourself admist this difficultly!!

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Larger than Average Fairy Druid Level 1

10 STR / 8 DEX / 10 CON / 13 INT / 13 WIS / 17 CHA

(DnD Stats)

 

 

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I'm still here ..... saying that feels like a major victory.  

 

Weight is 151.6 ... below the goal of 152!!  🥳

  1. A social media and online news fast??  Still mostly avoiding social media.  Checked in with Facebook to see if/when the annual Turkey Trot would be.  We'll see how the weather is that morning, and I may walk it if the sidewalks are icy.  
  2. Meditate?  Urgh .... not very often.  
  3. Hang with my peeps?  YEAP!!!  I've been going to Pound class and ceramics as well as hanging out at the gym.  
  4. Improve 5K time?  My pace is slowly improving ... at least on the treadmill.  
  5. Lat pulldown max of 100 pounds??  I'm currently at 82.5 pounds x 8.  So my theoretical max is more than 100 pounds .... but I'll keep working on it.  

I'm still working on identifying what I can do .... and not worrying about what is not in my red zone.  I think I'm improving.  At least, I've been more effective at self-care and getting to the gym.

 

This week, I have run a couple of times, went to Pound once, and did one upper-body workout (with a little bit of leg work too).  Today will be some cardio.  So .... 5 out of 7?  Not bad.  

 

 

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Jed'aii Ranger

"We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less."  - Kurt Hahn

“THE QUESTION ISN'T WHO IS GOING TO LET ME; IT'S WHO IS GOING TO STOP ME?” Ayn Rand

Past Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51

 

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I feel like I'm crawling out from under a heavy rock finally.  The week of Thanksgiving signals the end of the semester.  Yes, we have three weeks to go, but the mood is becoming much less grim on campus.  

 

I signed up for Run Across America's Holiday Hustle again this year.  I'm keeping expectations low .... 50K .... but that means I'll certainly crush it and go on to try for 100K.  Also, signed up for the low-stress, untimed local Turkey Trot.  We'll be staying home this year (again) because of work.   Retirement is looking better and better. 

 

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Jed'aii Ranger

"We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less."  - Kurt Hahn

“THE QUESTION ISN'T WHO IS GOING TO LET ME; IT'S WHO IS GOING TO STOP ME?” Ayn Rand

Past Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51

 

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We had fun walking the 5K Turkey Trot.  Most walkers took the shorter routes (1 mile or 2 mile loops), but the weather was nice .... so we went the full distance in 55 minutes.  Yes, we finished last.  Well, almost last.  The people who decided to bicycle did a much longer distance and came in after us.   Next year, we will be home in Minnesota, and I'm aiming to run a good time.  

 

I ended the challenge weighing 153 pounds.  A little higher than I'd wanted, but I enjoyed Thanksgiving and the special foods.  I'm also working out more again .... which tends to increase my weight a bit.  So, this is now an experiment to see if I can return to good habits for the next few weeks.  I made a habit-tracker table that I print out and paste into my daily planner: tracking cardio workouts, strength training, meditation, and creative activities (knitting and ceramics and ??).  

 

Center of calm in the storm?  Actually, I did better at this than I had hoped.  Avoiding online news feeds (especially on the phone) was a good start.  Meditation is an excellent practice that I've been cultivating again.  But I'm also not taking responsibility for student success .... or lack thereof.  I'm not taking the blame for my daughter's mental health issues.  When her baby shower had to be cancelled (her mother-in -law got COVID), I did not jump in to try to save the day.  I'm not getting sucked into "perfect Christmas gift" guessing games (the family members will get something I think is meaningful).  It's a lot easier to be responsible for my actions but not take responsibility for the outcome.  

 

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Jed'aii Ranger

"We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less."  - Kurt Hahn

“THE QUESTION ISN'T WHO IS GOING TO LET ME; IT'S WHO IS GOING TO STOP ME?” Ayn Rand

Past Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51

 

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18 hours ago, Chris-Tien Jinn said:

Center of calm in the storm?  Actually, I did better at this than I had hoped.  Avoiding online news feeds (especially on the phone) was a good start.  Meditation is an excellent practice that I've been cultivating again.  But I'm also not taking responsibility for student success .... or lack thereof.  I'm not taking the blame for my daughter's mental health issues.  When her baby shower had to be cancelled (her mother-in -law got COVID), I did not jump in to try to save the day.  I'm not getting sucked into "perfect Christmas gift" guessing games (the family members will get something I think is meaningful).  It's a lot easier to be responsible for my actions but not take responsibility for the outcome.  

Wow, this is great! You are not taking responsibility for things that are not yours, which I can imagine is really hard to do. Will you continue to avoid online news? For me, online news is a boredom-thing, and I usually get out unhappier than before as well.

 

18 hours ago, Chris-Tien Jinn said:

I ended the challenge weighing 153 pounds.  A little higher than I'd wanted, but I enjoyed Thanksgiving and the special foods.  I'm also working out more again .... which tends to increase my weight a bit.  So, this is now an experiment to see if I can return to good habits for the next few weeks.  I made a habit-tracker table that I print out and paste into my daily planner: tracking cardio workouts, strength training, meditation, and creative activities (knitting and ceramics and ??).  

This sounds like the perfect balance to me, to be honest. You work on your health when nothing special is happening, and you enjoy life when appropriate. It sounds like you had a great challenge!

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3 hours ago, Waanie said:

Will you continue to avoid online news? 

 

Sorta.  It's also a boredom thing for me, when I have my phone and nothing to do or read, I'll look at the news feed.  Bad idea.  So, I'm working at looking at one online newspaper and avoiding "feeds" of any sort.  I enjoyed reading a physical newspaper because I could flip to the sections that interested me and avoid things that I can't impact.  And celebrities behaving badly was not usually part of the news.  If you liked that .... well, there are tabloids and magazines with that information.  

 

It's very difficult to set down burdens that are not mine to carry because many people insist that they are mine.  My college is big on blaming faculty when students don't do well in a course, for instance.  But I keep working on it.  

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Jed'aii Ranger

"We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less."  - Kurt Hahn

“THE QUESTION ISN'T WHO IS GOING TO LET ME; IT'S WHO IS GOING TO STOP ME?” Ayn Rand

Past Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51

 

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2 minutes ago, Chris-Tien Jinn said:

  I enjoyed reading a physical newspaper because I could flip to the sections that interested me and avoid things that I can't impact.

I'm one of the few of my generation who has a physical newspaper, and I really like it. The style is predictable, I know which columnists are printed on which page and what their general world-view is,  and I can skip any section that does not interest me, while skimming the articles that only interest me a little bit.

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