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Sara Kingdom's Year of Regeneration #1: Halfway Out of the Dark


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I'm struggling with this challenge. For the first time in a long while, I was tempted not to post one, and despite lots of things I'd like to work on, I'm really struggling with a plan. Everything is drudgery and hopelessness. Habits are shackles we use to build ourselves more demanding prisons where every moment of every day we spend controlled and managed and forced to perform so one more thing can be checked off a list, and if we miss one, they start falling in cascade like dominoes of failure, and success just means no strong likelihood of improvement in  return for spending every day as a cog turning in a meaningless endless machine where we're both jailer and prisoner; neither of which is a small job when habits don't become habitual, but have to be manually monitored forever, every hour, every day. I can set goals, I have a lot to choose from, but what's the point?

 

200.gif

 

I am not in a good mood when it comes to challenges.

 

However, I am still here. It's winter and I am halfway out of the dark.

 

Since I don't want to spend my time fishing or talking about girls, I'm going to skip ahead a bit. Same basic theme, fewer sharks and opera singers. (On the whole, it's better if those happen to other people.)

 

 

Week 1: Care-taking

  • Spend an hour doing something fun. Actually fun.
  • Make something pretty, fun, or festive.
  • Like 11

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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Your phrasing is beautiful and evocative even as the emotions they describe are difficult and painful. It's a stunning dichotomy. Cheers to being here, it's at least half the battle.

  • Like 2
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Week 1 Day 0

 

I did two deeply annoying things well enough for today, so I'm now going to take a shower, eat something spicy enough to clear my sinuses, and watch part of a movie while punching holes in some 2023 planner pages, and I will call that having fun and making something attractive.

  • Like 5

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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3 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

Week 1 Day 1

 

I did two deeply annoying things well enough for today, so I'm now going to take a shower, eat something spicy enough to clear my sinuses, and watch part of a movie while punching holes in some 2023 planner pages, and I will call that having fun and making something attractive.

Sorry to see the motivation tank is runny near empty. 

 

For something interesting and sometimes fun to listen to, you might try Guy Windsor's podcasts.  Lots of sword talk -mostly HEMA, but some other variety in there as well, and related culture (the episode with Ruth Goodman was surprisingly interesting to me).  Could be interesting listening while doing something keeping the hands busy (hole punching, laundry, etc.).

  • Like 2

Human | Plays with Sticks | Monkish Leanings | Rangerish Overtones

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5 hours ago, ChrisWithaStick said:

Sorry to see the motivation tank is runny near empty. 

 

The motivation tank is running selectively. Getting those two annoying things done had a really high ratio of mental preparation time to work time. If not for that, I think the less annoying jobs would have got done sooner.

 

5 hours ago, ChrisWithaStick said:

For something interesting and sometimes fun to listen to, you might try Guy Windsor's podcasts.  Lots of sword talk -mostly HEMA, but some other variety in there as well, and related culture (the episode with Ruth Goodman was surprisingly interesting to me).  Could be interesting listening while doing something keeping the hands busy (hole punching, laundry, etc.).

 

I will take a look for that! That would be fun. Ruth Goodman is always interesting. Odd but not totally unexpected to see her turn up in that context. I presume they were doing an episode that needed a domestic historian for context.

  • Like 2

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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17 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

Everything is drudgery and hopelessness...

 

This echoes in my soul.

 

Butter Scraped GIF - Butter Scraped Over - Discover & Share GIFs

 

Bilbo gets me lately.

 

17 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

Spend an hour doing something fun. Actually fun.

 

Might see about adapting that to my needs as well.

 

8 hours ago, ChrisWithaStick said:

For something interesting and sometimes fun to listen to, you might try Guy Windsor's podcasts.  Lots of sword talk -mostly HEMA, but some other variety in there as well

 

I'm gonna check this out too!

  • Like 1

[Level ??] Rurik, the Hexbane 

Class: Witcher (Blood Hunter/Ranger)

BRUTALITY 11 | FINESSE 10 | VIGOR 11 | INSIGHT 14 | WILL 13

Equipment: School of the Wolf armor, Wolven steel sword & Deargdaith silver blade, adventurer's pack with alchemist's kit.

 

"Rangers have to at least give up on pants. It's a special rule we enacted after Rurik became a Guild Leader.” – DarK_RaideR

"Did I just get my ass kicked by a member of Metallica meets History Channel's Vikings?" - Wild Wolf

"By the Well-Oiled-and-Meticulously-Groomed Beard of Rurik!" - Tanktimus the Encourager

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I didn't do anything special for Christmas. I think now that the kitchen is verging on clean, it may be time to think about baking all the cookies (okay, one cookie recipe in different shapes and flavors) and all the cakes. And setting up a lemonade hot cocoa tap. They fit my macros, I can have a cookie meal every day.

 

X-Mas Christmas GIF

 

And eggnog. My eggnog consumption fell off sharply after the first batch. And I'm planning to infuse some spices for mulled wine. I will be so wintery.

 

Can I Have Some More Rise Of The Guardians GIF by DreamWorks Animation

  • Like 6
  • That's Metal 1

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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I'm sorry the habits aren't habituating. I'm here anyway, to follow whatever direction or nondirection emerges.

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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Week 1 Day 1

 

I got my two urgent (and most annoying) tasks done before the end of breakfast, so I've been a bit more laissez-faire about the rest of the list. Tired again, so I've been taking more rests. Though not actually falling asleep, which is maybe a good sign? My sleep deficit is not gone, and sleep is still hard, but it may be settling into a more manageable level of deficit.

 

Also a good sign: I spontaneously did a few things that were on the list, but not on today's list.

  1. Boiled some water for use later and left it to cool down
  2. Started the booze spice infusion for mulled wine later (cinnamon stick, allspice, cardamom pod, black peppercorn, orange peel)
  3. Made pickled onions (bay leaf, pickling spice mix, black peppercorns) using a bit of the brine from my sauerkraut as a starter just to get it going faster

I'm planning to reuse the mulling spices when I actually get some brandy. We're going with vodka this time around, because it's what I have in the cupboard. Russian Ukrainian Santa approved, surely. I'm gonna call that making my festive thing today, and punching some more planner page will be a bonus.

 

I'm surprised I did that stuff, because my productivity bursts are short and narrowly focused these days, and then I need either brain rest or a lot of refocusing again. I've spent a lot of today telling myself various things are a job for later, and that I'm pacing myself. (And, unusually, believing myself, so I can get on with the current thing.) I'm slowly getting back to the mindset that if I'm resisting the job, I need brain rest or food or something, and I will do the job after I rest, or if necessary I will do five minutes of the job and rest. There is, sadly, a difference between telling yourself this and having the mindset. One is data stored on a hard drive, the other is firmware that's booting up on the brain hardware.

 

It's very difficult to train listening to the inner task initiation landscape, whether it's picking up on what you're ready to spontaneously do with a little push, or what needs rest, or what can be given a little push before rest and what the bon-threatening push is. This is more mindfulness than I tend to have, even when actively trying to.

 

Also there was exercise today. Not tons, but it was done.

 

I would not call this an amazing day, but a pleasantly mediocre one that is a useful midpoint between a disaster and a perfect success. I need more of those as good training of how to bounce between a lot of disasters or constantly holding myself to the standard of perfection.

 

Maybe I'll make the pickled spiced apples tonight.

 

ETA: Pickled spiced apples made. Why not, I was already messing around with jars and salt and spices. (Same spices as the booze infusion with a hint more cardamom.)

  • Like 7

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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I have eaten too many fresh vegetables.

 

no more christmas GIF by Sainsbury's

 

(I've been cleaning out the veggie drawer cuz I'm too lazy to make real food. Dinner the last couple nights has been roughly chopping up a wedge of cabbage, a carrot, a tomato, some mushrooms, sometimes a little onion, throwing in some whole garlic cloves, putting some cheese on top, and throwing it in the oven. Any veggie + cheese + oven = dinner. Only maybe all five servings of vegetables in one sitting is too much? I WILL NOT GET SCURVY GUYS.)

  • Like 3
  • Haha 3

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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2 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

I have eaten too many fresh vegetables.

 

I have not eaten enough chocolate. Why is nothing in this house made of chocolate? Why is a stupid mostly responsible person buying the groceries? This is unacceptable. I am hungry again. I'm... damn, I'm like 800-1000 calories short.

 

Someone in this house needs to make with the baked goods, is all I'm saying.

 

Sigh. I will punch more planner pages, then go look for the peanut butter. There should at least be peanut butter.

  • Like 4

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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7 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

Maybe I'll make the pickled spiced apples tonight.

 

ETA: Pickled spiced apples made. Why not, I was already messing around with jars and salt and spices. (Same spices as the booze infusion with a hint more cardamom.)

 

So, something that surprised me in 2022 was that pickled fruit is actually really good. I wound up getting some pickled watermelon rind from a friend of mine and it was super tasty. Took all the flavor from the brine and had its own unique, fresh element.

 

I'm willing to bet this is gonna be good.

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4 minutes ago, Kishi said:

So, something that surprised me in 2022 was that pickled fruit is actually really good. I wound up getting some pickled watermelon rind from a friend of mine and it was super tasty. Took all the flavor from the brine and had its own unique, fresh element.

 

I'm willing to bet this is gonna be good.

 

Most of the pickled fruit I've eaten (I think some spiced peaches?) were sweet, and I'm not planning to sweeten them. But I think it could still be a very nice sweet-sour kind of thing. I'm hoping it'll work with cheese. Like, apples go with cheese and pickles go with cheese, so it should be twice as good, right?

  • Like 6

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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33 minutes ago, sarakingdom said:

 

Most of the pickled fruit I've eaten (I think some spiced peaches?) were sweet, and I'm not planning to sweeten them. But I think it could still be a very nice sweet-sour kind of thing. I'm hoping it'll work with cheese. Like, apples go with cheese and pickles go with cheese, so it should be twice as good, right?

 

Sounds like it's worth an experiment at least.

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9 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

I'm hoping it'll work with cheese. Like, apples go with cheese and pickles go with cheese, so it should be twice as good, right?


Your logic is sound. Please let us know how it goes! (Even though I assume it will take a while).

  • Like 1
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On 1/1/2023 at 4:39 PM, sarakingdom said:

I'm struggling with this challenge. For the first time in a long while, I was tempted not to post one, and despite lots of things I'd like to work on, I'm really struggling with a plan. Everything is drudgery and hopelessness. Habits are shackles we use to build ourselves more demanding prisons where every moment of every day we spend controlled and managed and forced to perform so one more thing can be checked off a list, and if we miss one, they start falling in cascade like dominoes of failure, and success just means no strong likelihood of improvement in  return for spending every day as a cog turning in a meaningless endless machine where we're both jailer and prisoner; neither of which is a small job when habits don't become habitual, but have to be manually monitored forever, every hour, every day. I can set goals, I have a lot to choose from, but what's the point?

 

I am not in a good mood when it comes to challenges.

 

However, I am still here. It's winter and I am halfway out of the dark.

 

I'm glad you decided to join us here, in spite of the difficult situation.

 

I feel much the same as you describe about putting anything on a to-do list. However, all is not drudgery and hopelessness. I say this after having a tasty breakfast, a nice hot mug of tea and some cookies.

 

I think that starting with the food goals is a smart move.

 

On 1/1/2023 at 4:39 PM, sarakingdom said:

Week 1: Care-taking

  • Spend an hour doing something fun. Actually fun.
  • Make something pretty, fun, or festive.

 Yep. I'm right there with you.

Level 67  Viking paladin

My current challenge   Battle log 

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On 1/2/2023 at 10:56 AM, Rurik Harrgath said:

Might see about adapting that to my needs as well.

 

20 minutes ago, Mistr said:

Yep. I'm right there with you.

 

The immediate issue is that fun is hard to quantify. Did I do my fun thing yesterday? I did put a concert on while punching my planner (cuz my movie was not available and that was), but there's a difference between watching a movie while hole punching and hole punching while listening to a concert I'm not really watching, so, while fun, it probably does not meet the actual fun quality bar, the same way some types of break don't meet the brain rest bar.

 

Fun is hard.

  • Like 3

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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13 minutes ago, sarakingdom said:

The immediate issue is that fun is hard to quantify. Did I do my fun thing yesterday? I did put a concert on while punching my planner (cuz my movie was not available and that was), but there's a difference between watching a movie while hole punching and hole punching while listening to a concert I'm not really watching, so, while fun, it probably does not meet the actual fun quality bar, the same way some types of break don't meet the brain rest bar.

 

Fun is hard.

 

I also do not know what fun is. I know what reward is. (Sugar, caffeine, alcohol). I know what flow state is. I know what the absence of distress is. But what is fun? Uncertain.

  • Like 4

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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It is 10pm. My "get ready for bed" alarm has gone off. I'm about to start making breakfast. This tells you what you need to know about how today has gone.

 

I'm pretending this was the plan. Ah, yes, IF. And my work today was *checks notes* top secret. So secret even I don't know what I did. The plan. Yes.

  • Like 2

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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Week 1 Day 2

 

Festive thing I made: mint hot cocoa mix (okay, basically a large meltable truffle)

Fun thing: a movie I will watch some of in bed which will be fun probably

 

I am made of fun. And festiveness. Festive fun, that is me.

 

mtv feelings GIF

  • Like 3

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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