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[jofalltrades] Sanity Check!


JessOfAllTrades

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I am a wonderful, fantastic, mess of a human being. I'm 27 and I already have on hell of a life story to tell, and I only plan to add more as time goes on. I have overcame, changed, and had to come to terms with my method of understanding the world that was left unchallenged for most of my life. My grad work has pushed me further into trying to understand myself, my priorities, what I consider a well lived-life, and how well I'm doing at living up to my expectations. The wonderful community here at NF, and the wisdom you all share have helped me in this process, where as a lot of others in my life have not. So even though this is my fifth challenge, it's time to focus on the bigger picture (thank you format/rules change!). Am I actually becoming the person I want to be? Am I giving enough attention to the different roles I take and the things I love to do? Am I actually doing what I say?

 

Therefore, my Main Quest here at NF is:

 

Become the Heroine Worthy of the Story - Creating my Own Myth

 

There are numerous areas that I can address when it comes to becoming the best version of myself that I could be. It could be the healthiest, the most hard working, the fearless performer, and so on. While my overall goal is vague and has numerous areas, I will attempt to focus on one per challenge for here on out, and maybe one other area with the Side Quest Life Goal. So most of the time this will be health-related, because I'm no where near heroine status yet. I'm getting there, I've made major life improvements since starting at NF, but I have a ways to go.

 

Last time it was all about food! Once upon a time Jess had cable and would regularly binge on Food Network shows for entire evenings and days. She always dreamed of being in love with cooking and impressing people all the time with her mad kitchen skillz. Unfortunately life kept getting in the way. She always made excuses about being too busy, too tired, or too stressed to cook great meals and keep her kitchen clean. That challenge didn't go very well by the end mostly because I was running low on my sanity points. Stress has been taking over my life as of late and self-care has definitely fallen to the side. So not good, and definitely not myth-making behavior.

 

So for this challenge I am going to focus on gaining back some sanity. This challenge will probably look a little strange goal-wise, but I think it's the only way I am going to be successful this time around. So I'm going to put on my super-nerdy hat, mix up some tabletop gaming references, and present my sub goals.

 

tumblr_msrnpeO40g1rrofo2o1_400.jpg

 

Making a Sanity Check

When a character encounters a gruesome, unnatural, or supernatural situation, the GM may require the player to make a Sanity check using percentile dice (d%). The check succeeds if the result is equal to or less than the character’s current Sanity.

On a successful check, the character either loses no Sanity points or loses only a minimal amount. Potential Sanity loss is usually shown as two numbers or die rolls separated by a slash, such as 0/1d4. The number before the slash indicates the number of Sanity points lost if the Sanity check succeeds (in this case, none); the number after the slash indicates the number of Sanity points lost if the Sanity check fails (in this case, between 1 and 4 points). - Call of Cthulhu

 

 

So I'm kind of a gaming junkie. I love being involved in tabletop games and playing numerous types of characters. I actually haven't played Call of Cthulhu for years, but sanity checks have made their way into almost all of my other campaigns because my usual gaming group finds them to be so much fun. And I think giving myself sanity checks may help remind me when I need a little self care, and when I need to stop pretending things are out of my control and it stresses me out. I have way more control than I like to tell myself, and it's time to stop making excuses. Taking charge of my stress level is a part of this, and I have done nothing but make it harder for myself this semester. That needs to stop. So this challenge will be covering the last part of my semester.

 

Supporting Goals:

 

1)      Constitution – Food is not a drug, it is fuel that you need to be awesome

 

tumblr_m2l0tlEXI21r3e62yo1_500.gif

 

So Constitution is usually my dump stat. I used to play a lot of elves in D&D (which take a Con hit automatically), but generally just did not see the point. This is mostly due to my usual DM, who runs combat-light, RP-heavy sort of games. Once I started branching out with new DMs I realized Constitution is important. So now my characters generally have a good Constitution, and I need to as well.

 

As someone who works in education, I am constantly around children (who I affectionately call germ factories). When I was teaching I was sick constantly, yet last year I as fairly illness free thanks to some good life choices. I want to continue that, and while I know some illness will happen no matter what (for instance, I’m coming down from an awful cold at the moment), I need to buff my Constitution to be better able to stay healthy. While exercise plays a role in this, for this goal I’m looking towards food.

 

Like many people, I abuse food. I use it as a reward, I use it as an excuse, and I always find a way to get out making the better choices when it comes to what I eat. Not only that, but I have been terrible as of late being prepared and making sure I’m eating period. Stress does that to me. I tend to lose my appetite, not pay attention, and then I made bad food choices when I realize what I’ve done. Does preparing and watching what I eat stress me out? Yes, but not nearly as much as the guilt I feel after I screw up so much. So in order to meet my goal, I must:

 

  • Actually eat three meals a day
  • Cook at least three times a week
  • Keep a reason journal. Write down WHY you are making a bad decision. Time to be a bit more self-aware.

 

2)      Intelligence – Being a good student

 

tumblr_me1d7c7xWU1qi9v0p.gif

 

Playing intelligent characters has always been easy for me because I’m a smart-cookie. My brain has its own unique way of functioning that sometimes makes school a hassle, but there’s also a lot of fun, weird, creative stuff going on in there too. I’ve come to realize that seems to be the case with everyone. However, so far I have been very successful in my graduate education. Not so much this semester. So it’s time to buff my intelligence.

 

At the moment my fulltime job is a graduate student. For the past two semesters I have allowed myself to shift from an internal locus of control to an external, and have used my “loss†of control to become excuses for why I’m not doing my best. I’m in jeopardy of losing my 4.0 because I’ve been a slacker this semester. It’s also been my hardest semester, so all of the more reason for me to take charge of things and get it together. I spent the first month and a half feeling awfully sorry for myself, my lack of free time, and all the things going wrong in my program. I’m done with that. The past two weeks I’ve been working on getting it together. I now have a behavior plan for my classes (to keep me attentive and force interaction), and I need to rock it on these last few assignments. So in order to meet this goal I must:

 

  • Finish all reading and homework the day before it is due (at least. No waiting till the last few minutes before class/frantically finishing something during work)
  •  Follow my behavior plan (which I’ll share with you all in another post)

3)      Strength – Focus on getting strong

 

strong-olsen.gif

 

There is something really cool about playing a character who wields a greatsword like it’s no big thang. When I go for fighter-type characters, I definitely enjoy carrying a big stick and speaking softly.

 

Now that I am done with my 5k obligations I want to get back into lifting like crazy. The last time I went to the gym to lift (which was embarrassingly long ago), I had definitely lost some of my gains, mainly in bench and squat. The end of May will mark one year I’ve been experimenting with lifting, and I want to be able to look back and be blown away by my progress. I know that finding the time has been hard for me, but too often have I listened to my excuse-making-sorry-self and not gone to the gym when I could have. So right now I’m getting over being sick, but I want to at least make it to the gym to lift twice a week. I know that isn’t much, but I’m going to need baby steps here. After all, the overall goal of this challenge is to be a sane Jess. So in order to meet this goal I must:

 

  • Lift 2x a week

4)      (Life-Goal) Charisma – Social Life

 

tumblr_mg656jpT9C1rs9lpbo1_500_large.gif

 

Ahem, contrary to the gif, I generally play high Charisma characters in table-top games because I’m good at it. I’ve always been an extrovert, and I’m generally only happy if my social life is full of stuff to do. So playing the sweet-talking swashbuckler or the charming bard isn’t a challenge for me. Usually I make friends before I do something awkward, which apparently people find endearing at that point.

 

While I do need alone time sometimes (not by choice, persay), I find myself often depressed when I feel that my social life is stagnating. That’s been the case all semester. My social life has definitely gotten smaller since moving to Maryland, and grad school has not been the place to find new friends. However, it’s been really easy to not push myself to meet new people. So that’s changing. In order to meet this goal I must:

 

  • Invite my cohort to an event at least once
  • Attend two new meetups
  • Try to make plans with friends at least twice

Storytelling Rebel
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"“You've seen my descent, now watch my rising." ~ Rumi

 

 

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This is a cool idea. As you write your goals, cut yourself some slack. It's great to take accountability where you can, but your sanity checks should show you that there are some things that are, indeed, out of your control. Sanity is being able to let those go.  Or, as the Serenity Prayer says:

 

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
 

I'm very interested to see how you set up goals for this.

49 is the new 53

 

Fourth Level Half-Elf Ranger

STR [6.5] DEX [6] STA [17] CON [5] WIS [3]  CHA [5]

 

Current Challenge

 

My Third Challenge  > My Second Challenge > My First Challenge

 

"Don't ever tell me there's no way."  Agent Phil Coulson

 

 

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I love the sanity check so much. Looking forward to following along!

 

Thanks. :) Hopefully I stick with it this time.

 

This is a cool idea. As you write your goals, cut yourself some slack. It's great to take accountability where you can, but your sanity checks should show you that there are some things that are, indeed, out of your control. Sanity is being able to let those go.  Or, as the Serenity Prayer says:

 

God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.

 

I'm very interested to see how you set up goals for this.

 

I absolutely get what you're saying, but I need this. I haven't been taking any sort of accountability at all recently, and it's becoming a problem. And after a whole lot of reflection I made sure to pick goals that are truly in my control. I know there are things I cannot change, but I can't keep making excuses for the things I can change. I've been sitting here at the extreme of letting things go and my sanity has definitely suffered for it.

Storytelling Rebel
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"“You've seen my descent, now watch my rising." ~ Rumi

 

 

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This is a cool idea. As you write your goals, cut yourself some slack. It's great to take accountability where you can, but your sanity checks should show you that there are some things that are, indeed, out of your control. Sanity is being able to let those go.  Or, as the Serenity Prayer says:

 

God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.

 

I'm very interested to see how you set up goals for this.

 

Or, as the Firefly version goes, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and a big-ass gun to make up the difference."

 

But yeah, your goals are great, love the gifs, and I'm excited to follow along!

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Good to see you back again.  I like the goal set up.  Hopefully you can really get back on top of things.  I will be following along.

 

Glad to be back, truth be told. Here's to hoping this is the kick in the butt I need!

 

yay for goals.

I feel you on the "i'm a mess I need a sanity check and I feel crazy when I don't talk to people"

 

hugs and in for the awesome!!! 

 

It's kind of sad how unhappy I am when I'm not with people. My poor social life has been in shambles this semester.

 

I am in love with all of your gifs. Great write up and HAPPY DAY ONE!

 

Haha, thank you. I'm gathering quite a collection thanks to NF. Best of luck to you!

 

Glad to see you decided to do a chalenge this go around. Best of luck!

 

Thanks. Looking forward to trying to approach this as not stressful. :)

 

Or, as the Firefly version goes, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and a big-ass gun to make up the difference."

 

But yeah, your goals are great, love the gifs, and I'm excited to follow along!

 

Hehe. :) Thanks, and glad to see you back to follow!

 

Glad to see you're back Jess!  I love the idea of just getting back to you for a challenge.  Sounds like it will still be pretty ambitious too!  Good luck!

 

Thanks! :D

Storytelling Rebel
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"“You've seen my descent, now watch my rising." ~ Rumi

 

 

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Finally getting around to an update.

 

So far my foray back into the challenges has been uh... Mixed? Let's start from the beginning.

 

Goal 1 has been really mixed. Some days I've been great about making good decisions, others not so much. The good news is I have been eating three meals a day. So that's a start. A few of those meals have been impulse decisions. Here are my reasons so far:

1) Forgot to pack something

2) Fuck self control (only happened once, really. Other times I listened)

3) I'm too tired to cook.

 

Which brings me to cooking. So far I've "made" two dinners. Both had a few parts that were pre-made, but I'm counting it. Cook smarter, not harder.

 

Goal 2 has also been mixed. I've been following my behavior plan, which is basically the following:

1) No laptop in class (because I use it for evil)

2) Participate at least five times (Have been hitting over five, wooo!)

3) No checking your cell phone until break

 

So those are going well. Having all my homework done the night before it's due? Not so much. Had one big paper and had to facilitate a mock group counseling session. Both had their final details added the day of before class. This one is going to take some work. I hate that my brain doesn't acknowledge motivation until a deadline is looming. Even right now I'm supposed to be reading articles for a research proposal (Ha. My Friday night kicks ass), but I'm here updating and looking up homemade sugar scrub recipes. I'm debating a pinterest Christmas here. Any of you crafty types into making sugar scrubs? I'd love some advice.

 

Goal 3 finally got started tonight. I made my way to the gym finally to get some lifting in. Unfortunately I had someone interfere with me throughout the night to offer tips and his input. I was annoyed at first, but it turns out he's working towards instructor certification, so I can forgive him. I literally was the only lady on the lifting floor this evening, and apparently he wants to work with more lady clients to get experience. May work with him a few evenings if our schedules overlap. Maybe. I'm kind of a private person at the gym, so we'll see. Session 2 for this week will be Sunday.

 

Goal 4 is in the works. I planned the next cohort happy hour, which makes me feel cool. I've been looking through meetups to find a potential event this Saturday evening, but nothing is catching my interest. Sooo, any MD/DC/VA nerds want to hang? My next step is to contact people up in NJ and plan for a trip to see them, since I haven't been to my native stomping grounds since.... Last Christmas? Yeesh.

 

So I guess this week hasn't been all that bad. Still owe my accountabilibuddies a study plan for the rest of the semester, so I'll get to that sometime in the next few days. And maybe I'll actually get through a few articles tonight even though it is the last thing I want to be doing on a Friday. Sometimes a lack of social life is a good thing? Bleh.

Storytelling Rebel
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"“You've seen my descent, now watch my rising." ~ Rumi

 

 

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Sounds like an all around not bad week, to be honest.  :)  I also suffer horribly from the procrastinators.  I've tried 5 minute bursts, blocking bad sites, rewards, you name it.  I'm still a slave to the impending deadline.  :-/  Sadly, self imposed deadlines do not have the same effect.

 

Keep up the good work and maybe give the lifting guy a shot.  If he really starts to bug you, suggest he ask one of the aerobics group instructors if he can make a quick pitch for "test subjects" at a class.  That might get him a wider audience and demonstrate that you aren't just blowing him off...  (I'm terrible at telling people to buzz off when I want some solo time.)

 

Good luck!

FluffyRin  --  Ranger (Level 4)

STR 4 | DEX 3 | STA 4.5 | CON 10 | WIS 10 | CHA 6

Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, Current

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Sounds like an all around not bad week, to be honest.   :)  I also suffer horribly from the procrastinators.  I've tried 5 minute bursts, blocking bad sites, rewards, you name it.  I'm still a slave to the impending deadline.  :-/  Sadly, self imposed deadlines do not have the same effect.

 

Keep up the good work and maybe give the lifting guy a shot.  If he really starts to bug you, suggest he ask one of the aerobics group instructors if he can make a quick pitch for "test subjects" at a class.  That might get him a wider audience and demonstrate that you aren't just blowing him off...  (I'm terrible at telling people to buzz off when I want some solo time.)

 

Good luck!

 

Truth be told, it wasn't a terrible week at all. :) I need to give myself more credit sometimes.

 

Ugh, procrastination. I definitely have tried numerous methods to curb my procrastination tendency. Here's to hoping something works soon! I have a literature review due for a proposal, and it was originally due Thursday. I was working intensely on it last night and the professor emailed us to extend the deadline to Monday! I forced myself to keep working, but the quality of work was terrible and it took me really long to even get out something crappy. My brain works in strange ways and I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one.

 

As for the lifting dude, he did email me the other day to see what time I was hitting up the gym. I uh, kind of flaked. I'm going to email him to apologize (and explain that this week I'm all over the place and probably not going until Saturday. Eeek). I will give him a shot though. I have a soft spot for people trying to become a teacher in any area.

 

I'll let you all know how it goes. Also, seriously, week one is already over and it's Wednesday of week two?! Good god.

Storytelling Rebel
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"“You've seen my descent, now watch my rising." ~ Rumi

 

 

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Week 1 Report

 

1)      Constitution – Food is not a drug, it is fuel that you need to be awesome

 

tumblr_m2l0tlEXI21r3e62yo1_500.gif

 

In order to meet my goal, I must:

 

  • Actually eat three meals a day
  • Cook at least three times a week
  • Keep a reason journal. Write down WHY you are making a bad decision. Time to be a bit more self-aware.

Results:

  • Actually eat three meals a day
  • Cook at least three times a week
  • Keep a reason journal. Write down WHY you are making a bad decision. Time to be a bit more self-aware. Everything completed!

So I'm still not eating wonderfully, but I've been able to cook a bit more and actually make sure I eat. :) A!

 

2)      Intelligence – Being a good student

 

tumblr_me1d7c7xWU1qi9v0p.gif

 

In order to meet this goal I must:

 

  • Finish all reading and homework the day before it is due (at least. No waiting till the last few minutes before class/frantically finishing something during work)
  •  Follow my behavior plan (which I’ll share with you all in another post)

Results

  • Finish all reading and homework the day before it is due 3 out of the 2 days of the week
  •  Follow my behavior plan (which I’ll share with you all in another post) Done! Soooo, B?

3)      Strength – Focus on getting strong

 

strong-olsen.gif

 

In order to meet this goal I must:

 

  • Lift 2x a week

Results:

  • Lifted once this week. So sitting at a C.

4)      (Life-Goal) Charisma – Social Life

 

tumblr_mg656jpT9C1rs9lpbo1_500_large.gif

 

In order to meet this goal I must:

 

  • Invite my cohort to an event at least once
  • Attend two new meetups
  • Try to make plans with friends at least twice

Results:

  • Invite my cohort to an event at least once
  • Did not attend any new meetups yet
  • Made plans for D&D, but those are standing bi-monthly plans, so doesn't count. :) So making progress here!

Storytelling Rebel
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"“You've seen my descent, now watch my rising." ~ Rumi

 

 

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It sounds like you had a pretty good first week.  I must say, I love the idea of journaling the reasons why a bad choice was made.  For a lesser person, it could be rationalizing, for you it's a sanity check and it's cool! 

 

Looking forward to hearing more.

 

- Scott

 

49 is the new 53

 

Fourth Level Half-Elf Ranger

STR [6.5] DEX [6] STA [17] CON [5] WIS [3]  CHA [5]

 

Current Challenge

 

My Third Challenge  > My Second Challenge > My First Challenge

 

"Don't ever tell me there's no way."  Agent Phil Coulson

 

 

Link to post

Alright, so while I am super bummed to admit defeat, my challenge just did not happen these past few weeks. Grad school was too busy kicking my butt.

 

The good news is I actually followed some of my goals, and didn't give into too many bad habits in the process. I just failed at updating. Utterly. 

 

Oh well. This sort of thing happens. Just hate to see it happen to this and my last challenge. Especially since I am coming up on my nerdaversary. Crazy.

 

Got some big plans coming up for the new year, and plan to get started on them next week with the end of finals at some time off. :) Stay tuned.

Storytelling Rebel
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"“You've seen my descent, now watch my rising." ~ Rumi

 

 

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