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My Happy New Year

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I’ve been blessed in abundance in 2022, with the end of the year glittering with moments of miracles and love. That doesn’t mean it was easy, or simple, or that there isn’t work left to do. In many ways, this land of abundance is alien, and I’m making my way into 2023 a little star-struck from it all, and with no small amount of culture shock.

 

How to live in this space, amplify it and honor it?

How to make sure I don’t squander the gifts with a scarcity mindset, or from anxiety?

How can I go forward in love?

 

This is a time of having set down the weapons; the sword stands at rest in its scabbard; the bow has been unstrung.

There is no fight and I have no enemies.

 

The Way forward is one of gentleness, a time of tending to my Self and my Spirit as I would tend  a  newly-laid garden bed, rich and fertile. 

 

In the lunar calendar, this is the end of the year, a time when all things should be squared away, buttoned up, and arguments ironed out. For the Celts, this was a time of looking forward as the earth tilts towards the light, culminating in Imbolc, a time to sweep the house and set the fields to right for the coming gifts of Spring. The Christian liturgical calendar brings Epiphany, a time of revelation and gifts, the joy of the end of waiting in the dark, the manifestation of the miracle.

 

These traditions focus on looking at our everyday lives in ways that we can prepare for the coming abundance, making ourselves ready to receive very real blessings.

 

This challenge, the goal is to take stock, see what’s what, and make a plan from there. Will there be a spreadsheet?

Possibly, but the numbers are less important than the measurement.

 

Because the universe loves me and wants me to be happy.

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&Heidi

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Back at work this morning.

No gym time this morning, as I’m still navigating the holiday schedules, both of the gym and of personal life.

 

Since October I averaged about 3500 steps a day. I’d like to do more than that. I’ve noticed that any day I get to the gym or go downtown, the steps just organically hit 5,000. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday last week all had numbers over 5,000, but Wednesday and Sunday (days without gym or downtown) were right at 2,000. So the number is not the goal, per se, but is the measurement of movement.

 

Going to the gym ends up being a keystone for other positives as well:

  • Any day that involves the steam room and the sauna is excellent for my peace of mind and my body loves it.
  • When I go to the gym, if I take my water bottle, I drink it while I walk, and then refill it before I go to the steam room. This is all good, since my acupuncturist wants me to drink a minimum of 80 ounces (friends, that’s a lot of water). So three water bottles full, preferably four.
  • Routine morning walks and sauna moment mean that my sleep schedule is more routine, and the quality of sleep is better. That’s always a win.
  • When I walk and sauna in the morning, I get hungry afterwards. :) Since October, my eating habits have gone from scant to paltry. I have good food, so the only problem is getting motivated to eat.

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May you have peace this day.

 

 

 

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&Heidi

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A note about the situation with my daughter, for those of you who have been following along:

 

She and I have had a brilliant time together.

She spent the night the 17th, and the sky didn’t fall. We had a good time scootering to the bakery for breakfast, something I think she’s looking forward to doing again. :) Then we were together on the 21st, and then on the 24th. We did presents the morning of Christmas Eve, then Uber’d downtown (too cold to scooter!) to meet some friends for lunch and pinball. She had a great time catching up, and it’s wonderful watching her interact and be herself. After downtown, we all came back to the loft, where she and the other 11 year old broke out their saxophones in the lobby — he plays alto and she plays tenor — and there was a spontaneous Christmas concert. The adults sat and enjoyed it, and afterwards the kids talked about working on a couple pieces together, especially some John Williams stuff (I made a pitch for Princess Leia’s Theme, of course).  She’s visiting again on the 28th, and we are planning on going with friends to see Avatar and then have dinner in the village. This is all lovely. Then we have regular visitation again on the 31st.

 

I’ve seen her more since Thanksgiving than I did the rest of the year. This is all wonderful, and was made possible by the plan the therapist put in place. Sadly, we are now in limbo, since the plan didn’t really go beyond the end of the year. I had hoped to have a follow-up by now, but I am not surprised that there hasn’t been any communication. Uncertainty is very hard for me,  which takes me back to the heart of this challenge: living in abundance instead of expecting scarcity.  All will be well; my only job is to have faith.

 

The therapist mentioned in a recent email that phone communication with Vivian and me is important on its own merit (beyond merely planning for upcoming outings and the like). This feels very positive, even though I haven’t been able to talk with her on the phone since the middle of November. 

 

The therapist also indicated that she’s behind soccer signups, so I sent Vivian’s dad a note. He, unsurprisingly, rejected it completely, and I bounced it back to the therapist with some suggestions and asking for assistance. This, too, requires faith.  I sent some notes about a theatre camp that Vivian is interested in. It meets on Sunday afternoons, and she would love it. Even if I get a no, continuing to advocate for her interests in the larger world are the right thing to do.  I have a feeling something is afoot at the other house (beyond the weirdnesses that I’ve just come to accept). It feels as though there are changes happening that aren’t being spoken of. 

 

All in all, it feels as though there are a lot of seeds in fertile ground. 

You know how it feels when you plant a tulip bulb in October and then sit and wait, watching all the nothing happening while you mulch and fertilize, and then the snow falls and everything seems to go dormant for two months? That’s how it feels. Stay tuned, for—like the tulip—I expect when the blooming happens, it will be sudden and beautiful and well-rooted.

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&Heidi

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This is lovely imagery and a beautiful theme, perfect timing for a 'rest, prepare, and believe' cycle. 

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“To see that your life is a story while you're in the middle of living it may be a help to living it well."

-Ursula K. Le Guin


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On 12/26/2022 at 5:31 AM, Heidi said:

This is a time of having set down the weapons; the sword stands at rest in its scabbard; the bow has been unstrung.

There is no fight and I have no enemies.

This reminds me of what a certain Krav Maga instructor I knew once said: "The weird thing about self defence is, the more you train it in, the less you actually find yourselves in situations where you need to apply it"

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On 12/26/2022 at 2:07 PM, Gemma said:

This is lovely imagery and a beautiful theme, perfect timing for a 'rest, prepare, and believe' cycle. 

Thank you, and welcome.

 

On 12/26/2022 at 8:28 PM, Sovalis said:

I am grateful for the update, I have been thinking about both of you a lot over the holidays. I am so glad you got good time together and I hope that things conspire to keep that going! 

Thank you for holding us in the light — this is a blessing, friend.

 

8 hours ago, DarK_RaideR said:

This reminds me of what a certain Krav Maga instructor I knew once said: "The weird thing about self defence is, the more you train it in, the less you actually find yourselves in situations where you need to apply it"

This is wisdom. Welcome, Dear Ranger. I feel good things are happening in your Land, too, with more to come; I’m looking forward to checking in on your thread soon.

 

Hi, Friends. This morning I woke up in the very early dark with a raging headache, took some medicine (thank you pharmacy!) and laid back down until just before Vivian arrived. I was getting ready for the visit, and getting tickets for the movie, planning the bus route, and trading texts with our friends that we would meet for the movie.  When she showed up, she said very perfunctorily “I don’t want to see the movie with you; I only want to see it with dad.” I could tell there was a lot going on under the surface, and we talked calmly about it, and all was smooth. I took a break after a bit to go out to the roof and text the friends that we wouldn’t be coming after all. This is sad, for certain. There were also a couple emails, one from her dad saying my plans were “inappropriate” and one from the therapist saying I’m not to include anyone else during our visiting time. This last one confuses me, and I haven’t replied to either yet. Am I not to take her to public places? Is she not to make friends with the people we meet? This all seems weird. There was an email from the therapist about soccer and theatre camp, as well. The therapist is backpedaling, and this is as unsurprising as it is sad. It will sort itself out, and I am too tired and too full of blessings to be able to parse my way through this just now. She didn’t just lose her relationship with me when everything was broken; she lost her relationship with her extensive community.

 

The friends were disappointed, of course, and we talked about possibly setting up a FaceTime and also some movie watch parties — if we all made it through a year in isolation, a continent between us should be easily enough navigated.

 

Vivian and I had a beautiful time in the apartment, as we so often do. We ate pizza and played games and watched a movie and talked about books and played with her new dolls. She told me a story she has made up about her stuffed animals, and friends, it’s good. I asked if she had written it down (she has, some of it) and we talked about how to craft a story by writing the parts that you know, even if it only comes to a page or two, and then going back and taking a single sentence and writing what you know about the details of that sentence, and doing that over and over again until you don’t have any more “o yeah, and also” to add. She’s a natural storyteller, and I suspect she’s a natural writer, too. 

 

I’m tired. Between the headache and the unexpected turn of events, I’m worn out. I could go to the gym (they’re open until 9), but I just don’t know that I have it in me right now to do anything more than put on my nightgown and lie down and stare at the ceiling. Rest, too, is essential.

 

May you have peace this day.

 

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&Heidi

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Surprising no one, it was nearly impossible to settle last night. 

I finally gave up trying around midnight and broke out graph paper and just forgot about the clock and the intended routine and the coming work day and all of it, and drew a garden and a cabin and all of that. I fell asleep around 3, then woke up just in time to log in. Another round of Maxalt and I was good enough to go to work and be present. Vivian and I had pizza yesterday, so that didn’t help with my head issues, or with my overall energy levels.

 

It’s a good day so far, and I’m confident the evening will be uneventful. 

2000 steps yesterday, and 3 bottles of water.

Probably the same today.

 

I am tired, and looking forward to a quiet, early night.

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On 12/28/2022 at 7:50 AM, DarK_RaideR said:

This reminds me of what a certain Krav Maga instructor I knew once said: "The weird thing about self defence is, the more you train it in, the less you actually find yourselves in situations where you need to apply it"

 

I've had self-defense instructors quote this to me more than once... personally, I think it's a combination of becoming more situationally aware and therefor not putting ourselves in situations where we need to defend ourselves, and the simple fact that the training shows. Predators may not be able to put their finger on exactly what it is that's different, but they recognize that someone else will be easier prey.

 

20 hours ago, Heidi said:

. There were also a couple emails, one from her dad saying my plans were “inappropriate” and one from the therapist saying I’m not to include anyone else during our visiting time. This last one confuses me, and I haven’t replied to either yet. Am I not to take her to public places? Is she not to make friends with the people we meet? This all seems weird.

 

Actually, it makes perfect sense, at least if we assume the request comes from a desire to control Vivian and keeping her powerless. Vivian can't remain ignorant of what normality is like (which makes her easier to manipulate/control) if you insist on exposing her to sane people with healthy relationships. Therefor, you must stop this and do your part to contribute to isolating her  in order to keep her ignorant. 

 

See, it's completely logical, if said logic is sick and abusive.

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3 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

See, it's completely logical, if said logic is sick and abusive.

Unfortunately, you’re completely right.

I would add the word “complicit” as well.

 

I finished up at work and found the words to reply to all the various emails.  This is emotional labor, friends, and there isn’t really a Fitbit setting for that, unless you count that my resting heart rate has gone back up. No worries, though: I’m glad I found my way through with grace. I communicated my support of Vivian (who now goes by Georgia), and my desire to see her thrive. The responses will come as they may.

 

During a work break, I put quinoa and chicken broth in the steamer and added a small salmon filet in the steaming basket a few minutes before it was done. This made a world of difference in being able to find my balance. Work ran late as usual, and I heated up a bowl of slow-cooker cinnamon oats, added some yogurt, ground ginger, blueberries, and ground almonds. It was delicious and sustained me through the last hour before I could log out. 

 

I’ve rinsed the dishes but not put them in the dishwasher yet because I still haven’t unloaded the clean things. Recovery days are like this.

The weather turned warm again — high in the lower 60s this afternoon — and I’m glad I made time to go to the rooftop and simply sit.

By the time I logged out, it was dark again. 

 

On a completely different note, has anyone out there ever purchased and lived in a yurt?

We have a local company that makes pretty good ones, and after last night’s session with graph paper, I’m more intrigued than ever.

It’s not exactly “living in a van by the river,” but it’s enough to engage my imagination about living by a stream in the mountains.

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Day three of HeadacheDays woke me up at 3 ish again, and I took a pill again, and slept until 7 again.

This is the Way.

 

I’m moving slowly, but moving, and the pill is effective.

Today at work I’ll be putting together my end of the week/month/year log, and let me tell you, that’s a lot of logging.

season 1 episode 6 GIF by Twin Peaks on Showtime

 

 

 

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On 12/29/2022 at 8:59 PM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I am, alas, yurtless and have been so my while livelong life.

Same, friend, a thing I might be changing. ?? Who knows what this year will bring?

 

Yesterday at work was good, actually, once the medicine did its thing. Curiously, there was plenty of work to get done, and some great conversation along the way about the work coming next year. Just as I was putting the finishing touches on my log, my friends texted to ask if wanted to join them for dinner out with the extended family and I was glad that I had the energy to say yes. I logged out, took a shower, and was a Real Person as they rolled into the parking lot to pick me up. Sidenote: they rented a Pacifica minivan for the drive from LA, and we all agree that it's a keeper.  Dinner was great. I sat between Kat, their daughter who is somehow about to turn 21, and Chris's mom, who is just delightful. His sister was there with her sons and their significant others, and she and I talked about all things education (she's a teacher). By the time the entrees arrived, we were all overfull from chips and salsa, a time-honored ritual of "let's get Mexican."

 

The evening was just great, and I came with my face a little sore from smiling. The LA family is leaving this morning, and they already have plans to come back in July. With Francie starting a cooking venture and Chris's composition work already being remote, everyone is awash with possibilities of staying more in touch. Kat is looking at a college in town, as well, and one of the sister's sons has a horse at barn that is community run, and you can see where all this ended up.

 

I still hadn't heard anything definite about Georgia's visit this weekend, and it took a while to settle. Along with the weather playing with my neurology, I didn't get to sleep until after one, and the lack of sleep combined with the  overcast morning meant that I was slow and it was another Maxalt day. Just as the medicine was taking effect, I got a note that Georgia was on her way. We are settled in for a low-key weekend. She has asked if we can stay up until midnight, of course. :) 

 

All in all, I am grateful for the gifts of 2022, which were beyond anything I had hoped for.

Thanks for being along the journey with me this year, friends, because the path was steep and narrow, with more than one pebble in my boot along the way, and friendship made all the difference in being able to navigate and continue on. I expect there will be thorns and pebbles along the path in 2023, but I'm blessed to get to carry you all with me.

 

Stay tuned.

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20 hours ago, Sovalis said:

I wish you and Georgia a fabulous time ringing in the New Year. Excited to see what adventures you have in 2023! 

Thank you, and thank you for being here. Excited to have the adventures, and to share them along the way.

 

Last night we did, in fact, stay up until midnight, surprising us both. Around 6:30 we were texting back and forth (she likes to do this, and it’s become a whole second conversation for us, and I really like it) and said “It’s only 6:25! I thought it was 9, honestly!” The day had that feel to it for certain, with the fog and rain darkening the sky—the sun really never stood a chance. She and I played games and then she took a bath around 9. Friends, she was enjoying it so much, she had me come in and add warm water three different times so she didn’t have to get out. It was delightful to see. 

 

We ended up with a bit of a second wind after that and played cards until midnight and then, weirdly, we were completely awake. We watched the rest of Captain Marvel and then it was well and truly bedtime. I think we were both out within minutes. 

 

This morning started predictably late, but good. We got up and knocked around and made cinnamon squares (think muffins, but in a baking pan instead of in cups). They are almost done, and the apartment smells amazing. We’re looking forward to downtowning —pinball and the Starcade before going to the gym for a swim.

 

Right now she’s in the loft with headphones listening to a Minecraft vlog, and I am content.

Today is a good day.

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4 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

No matter what external factors attempt to bring themselves to bear on the situation, you and your living place will always be a safe space for her.

May it ever be so. ❤️ 

 

1 hour ago, Sovalis said:

What a great start to the year. 💜

It really was. :) 

 

The afternoon was just great. We hung out and played games, then went to the gym after they opened. We swam (FitBit says I did a half mile, which isn’t too shabby) and she wanted more time in the pool, so I hit the steam room for a few minutes and then came back out to collect her. She’s always reluctant to leave, but then wiped out and famished once she gets into the locker room. Today, she was going to “just take a quick rinse” in the shower, and she was there long enough that I got a whole slow-yoga routine in, lying on the locker room floor. It was excellent.

 

At home, we devoured the rest of the spaghetti and meatballs in near silence — we were almost too wiped out to watch tv (an episode of Andor sat on pause for a good ten minutes). When we were done, we instacart Ed some ice cream and it was Just Right. We finished the episode and put our dishes in the dishwasher, and then she wanted to read more for a bit. This is good. This is healthy. This is right. My heart is full.

 

I’m pretty wiped out from the beautiful weekend and am very glad I have tomorrow off. I might tackle the bookcases tomorrow, or I might just ignore it; time will tell. I’m not interested in getting another case of project fever like the one that wrecked my everything back in October.

 

I’m feeling very reluctant to do the whole “goals for 2023” thing. I think that this year, or at least this coming few months, my focus is staying on an even keel. In many ways, my “goal” is to remove things from my list: fewer classes, fewer projects, fewer deadlines. When I look back at January 2022, I see how very different my life is, and I remember how many struggling days there were, how many rapid pivot points, and how much I relied on help. This is all good. My biggest asset last year was being able to be available, and it’s something I’d like to internalize.

 

So, in that spirit, there’s not a list of goals, or a retrospective of books that i read or movies I watched (though I’m pretty sure there’s a half-hearted log somewhere on my blog). Despite all the chaos, confusion, physical ailments, and interpersonal impediments, I have somehow managed to actually level up this year. Stick around friends, and enjoy the view.

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&Heidi

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Heidi Chronicles  NF Character Sheet | @theheidifeed| MySlashdotKarmaIsExcellent

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Drifted into a snooze and then woke up at midnight-thirty ravenously craving a salad. A salad?!? Yeah, okay, Universe, whatever, I thought; I have been less than successful in recent weeks making sure my daily intake is over 1000 calories (my docs want it to be at least 1800). I haven’t picked up the milk in a few weeks, so that’s a calorie hit as well. I made a note that I should take advantage of the nice-ish weather on a day off and go pick up this week’s milk, and then set about making a salad.

 

I have all the pieces and parts on hand, so I made a basic salad with romaine, carrots, broccoli, and croutons, and spooled up the latest episode of Leverage: Redemption. By the time you could say “let’s go steal a con job,” I was done with my salad and — oddly enough — hungrier than ever. I spooned the rest of the crockpot oats into a bowl and while it was heating in the microwave, I set up another batch to be ready in the morning. I have this super-small crockpot that I use, called “the lunchbox” and it holds right at three cups. I don’t like to max out the capacity, so I go with 2/3 cups old fashioned rolled oats and 2 cups water, along with some cinnamon.

 

When the microwave was done, I added some ginger, blueberries, and ground almonds to the oats, and man, was it delicious.

I’m off to watch the episode and hopefully fall asleep and then stay that way.

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&Heidi

Gypsy Druid Paladin

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Friends, I’m happy to report that I fell asleep and stayed that way until 8. This is good. This is the Way.

I spent all day doing NothingWhatsoever, armed with a lot of graph paper and visions of A-frames dancing in my head, the headed to acupuncture. Even though I didn’t go to the gym, I got in over 3,000 steps and drank 3 liters of water (4 bottles).  It was a good day. 

 

This morning I woke up early again, with my head doing its low-key thing; rain was definitely coming but hadn’t arrived yet. I stretched and made tea and was gentle with myself. I felt the headache start to recede, so I let it be and was restful until I logged in. And wow, what a day. I had my month-end/year-end review with my boss, and he’s pleased as punch with my work, and is reorganizing the team. He’s pulling me “up out of the trenches” to hang with the overview crew, and this should be interesting. I’m definitely okay with the scope of work (it’s essentially what I do anyway). The structure will be nice.  He also added in three different certifications that he wants me to get, and I’m happy to do it. 

 

I had a great conversation with my therapist over lunch. (Green beans and corn. I know, not sophisticated, but it met the basic requirements and is really warm, too.)

 

There was a lot of analysis all day long, which I love, and which also takes a cognitive toll. At the end of the day, the contentious coworker called me up to “discuss the process.” She asked me my professional assessment and then when I gave it to her said “yeah, no. Just no. We’re not going to do that.” Well, okay, not sure why you asked. She then started down a long-winded explanation about how I don’t understand the basics of my profession. “It’s best practice,” I said. “Best practice according to who?” she asked pointedly. I took a breath and didn’t correct the grammar. “It’s industry standard,” I said. “Well,” she said in a huff, “it might have been that way at a place where you worked once, but that’s not the way it is here.”

 

I dropped a text to my boss, who asked me to put a pin in the conversation and drop him an email. Gladly, I complied (it took another ten minutes to get off the call; she’s like that). After the call I made a cup of tea, and then ended up investigating yet another facet of an issue, and that took about 90 minutes. Sure enough, as I was writing up what we had found in our investigation, an email came in from the contentious coworker explaining my job to me (and flat getting it wrong). I sighed, warmed up my now-cold tea, and sat down to write a few short sentences about why Quality Assurance analysis should never happen in a development environment. It boggles the mind, truly.

 

So far I’ve drunk two bottles of water and walked 2600 steps. I haven’t done the dishes and I kind of don’t care.

They will still be there in the morning if I don’t get to it tonight.

Because the universe loves me and wants me to be happy, I have absolutely nothing scheduled this evening and there’s a new (sadly, last) episode of Leverage: Redemption.

 

May you have peace this day, friends.

 

I sent it off, and dropped my boss a heads up that there was incoming and logged out, twelve hours after I had showed up this morning.

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&Heidi

Gypsy Druid Paladin

Ranger1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 ::

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Paladin71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79 |

Heidi Chronicles  NF Character Sheet | @theheidifeed| MySlashdotKarmaIsExcellent

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45 minutes ago, Heidi said:

I sighed, warmed up my now-cold tea, and sat down to write a few short sentences about why Quality Assurance analysis should never happen in a development environment.

 

Because it's industry standard?

 

Also: Yikes.

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The Great Reading Thread of 2023

“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.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scalyfreak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32; Ch 33; Ch 34; Ch 35; Ch 36; Ch 37; Ch 38; Ch 39; Ch 40; Intermission V; Ch 41

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31 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I want to be a fly on the wall the day you simply respond to one of her emails with nothing more than:
 

"I don't care."

You know that was the first draft, of course.

But, much like some other-unnamed-for-now emails, I did not write my response to her. I wrote my response to my boss, whom I openly copied on the message. Visibility is a superpower.

 

1 hour ago, Scaly Freak said:

 

Because it's industry standard?

 

Also: Yikes.

sexy happy days GIF

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&Heidi

Gypsy Druid Paladin

Ranger1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 ::

Druid8 | 9 | 1011  | 12 | 13 |:: 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 |:: 1920 | 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 | 52 | 53| 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 |:: 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | :: 70 |

Paladin71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79 |

Heidi Chronicles  NF Character Sheet | @theheidifeed| MySlashdotKarmaIsExcellent

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