So, we’re now a quarter of the way through 2022, and the historical events can take a break for a decade or two now…I didn’t get the ‘reset’ I’d been planning on during March—but I’ll forage into the second quarter of the year guarding it closely.
The first quarter of the year seems to have been my ‘testing’ quarter. Testing to see if I could figure out a schedule that I could stick with, and the answer is—I’m still working on that schedule. I’ll fully admit that I’m not handling the possibility of a greater global conflict very well—when I get super stressed or down, I have the terrible habit of spending money. That means I now need to head into the second quarter of the year with a more solid plan for personal/professional development, writing, networking, crafts, and just life in general.
So, we’re now into year three of the pandemic, (the US started shutting things down roughly mid-March 2020), and its looking like everyone is trying to move to the ‘endemic’ mindset—hate to be a party crasher, but even in an endemic, the virus can and will still kill people. Therefore, lets still practice social distancing, washing hands, and wearing masks when in a crowded space. In terms of the total number of cases of the virus within the US, when I published ‘February in Review’ on March 1st, I noted that we had reached a little over 80.6 million cases and now as of April 1st —we have reached a little over 81.7 million cases (an increase of a little over one million cases). Numbers are going down, but is it due to the people vaccinating or just not going and getting tested??
Historical events?? The war is still ongoing in Ukraine, the sanctions are still building against Russia, North Korea is trying to develop longer range missiles, the SARS-CoV2 virus is still circulating, and I won’t even mention what happened at the Oscars last week. But, seriously—enough is enough, time out for everyone—grab a damn candy bar and chill.
The illegal invasion of Ukraine is entering the fifth week, and it seems that the talks between the two countries are stalling—FYI: I don’t think Ukraine should have to make any concessions—and Russia shouldn’t be asking for anything. Russia should have to make all the concessions for the illegal invasion. Yes, I know that there can be similarities drawn between this invasion and several that the US has led over the past few decades—the only difference, those political individuals are no longer in power here in the US (and haven’t left the country since they know they can be arrested elsewhere).
Anyway, I’ve digressed into a semi-rant on current events. As stated earlier, we’re a quarter of the way through the year, and before I really sit down and try to generate the goal list for April (and possibly an broad list for the second quarter), I should look back at the goals I set for March and see how I did with each of them.
The goals for March included:
- 130-150,000 steps
- Figure out my intentional movement calendar/board-game (aim for at least five minutes of intentional movement each day)
- Finish at least one non-fiction book
- Read two-to-four (if not more) fiction books
- Recommit to the limited spending challenge
- Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, daily oracle card drawings and overall commitment to improving my mental and spiritual health
- Craft time–complete one new cross-stitch project and at least eight days of photography
- Continue working on updating the blog/website
- Continue working on expanding my writing portfolio
- Work through at least one module of a personal/professional development course
So how did I do with each of them?
130-150,000 steps; I actually managed to surpass my goal step for the month. Since there were several days wehre I managed to get a walk in at Boomer and take Chaos through the neighborhood–I managed to get 169,631 steps for the month.
Intentional movement calendar/board-game; I’m still working on developing the calendar/board-game. I’m putting weight tracking sheets into my yearly journal (so far I have tracking for 10 weeks), and am working on developing ideas for HIIT workouts (and other cardio workouts as well)–probably will take moves from various workout programs.
Finish at least one non-fiction book; I’m still bouncing between different non-fiction books, and have only read about a third to half of any one.
Read two-to-four (if not more) fiction books; I’ve read numerous fiction books this past month, and they include:
- A Night for Us (Wilder Brothers Prequel) by Carrie Ann Ryan
- Evernight Unleashed (Ravenwood Coven #3) by Carrie Ann Ryan
- Perfectly You (Luna Harbor #2) by Claudia Buroga
- Here, There, and Everywhere (Butler, VT #8) by Marie Force
- Falling for the Enemy by J.E. Parker
- Don’t Call Me Greta by Angie Santon
- Unraveling the Past by Beth Andrews
- On Her Side by Beth Andrews
- In This Town by Beth Andrews
Though the only two that I’ve written mini-book reviews for are the two by Carrie Ann Ryan.
Recommit to the limited spending challenge; Umm..moving on to the next goal…
Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, daily oracle card drawings, and overall commitment to improving my mental and spiritual health
I managed to spend a decent amount of time outdoors, though there were some days where it was fairly brief.
I’m still working on doing the daily gratitude journal entries, oracle card drawings, and improving my overall mental and spiritual health.
Those two aspects of health are just like one’s physical health—they don’t ‘collapse’ overnight, and they can’t be ‘fixed’ overnight either. Improvement has to be a steady and ongoing effort.
Craft time; I managed several days of photography (either iPhone or camera), but haven’t completed a cross-stitch project yet.
Continue working on updating the blog/website;
Well, the answer to this will also encompass the following goal (expanding my writing portfolio). The short answer—I posted during the month of March, but not as often as I had during the previous years.
The two reasons: my inner critic/imposter syndrome and fear.
Fear, that none of the ‘newer’ topics would get viewed. Fear, that what ‘traffic’ I do get to the blog would disappear, and finally fear that I wouldn’t succeed.
My inner critic/imposter syndrome has been driving that train for the past few months. I know that it will take awhile to do proper SEO research for different topics (especially for the science/medical topics) in order to be able to drive traffic to the blog organically.
I also know that I can also find my tribe by writing and sharing the posts on different sites—I haven’t done a lot of that because I didn’t/don’t want to deal various other ‘hot button’ topics of my youth.
Self-reflection over the past month reminded me that I do have that deep inner sisu—I needed it in order to finish grad school, and both post-docs. If I didn’t have that inner fortitude, I wouldn’t have finished grad school (at least not with a PhD) and I sure as hell wouldn’t have made it through the post-docs.
Continue working on expanding my writing portfolio (science/medical writing, personal/professional development, hobbies/crafts, travel, and other topics as well).
As a slight continuation of the above answer—this really didn’t happen as I’m still trying to figure out what I want really want to write about (at least science/medical topic wise). Though I’m thinking of starting with an introduction to molecular cloning (and some tips on how to get a cloning project from start to finish), and then weaving that into series on GMOs (genetically modified organisms), biofuels, and vaccines.
I’ve got several bird pages ready to write and publish and am working towards writing/publishing a page a week (along with a blog post) or possibly every other week. I also have quite a few trips that I can write about for ‘throwback’ travels as well.
I just have to ‘ignore’ the inner critic/imposter syndrome and ‘quiet’ the inner editor that wants a ‘perfect’ outline before starting to do any type of research or writing.
Work through at least one module of a personal/professional development course from my 2022 e-course BINGO card (or others if they strike my fancy).
Nope, I didn’t work through any personal/professional development courses during March. Also, if I had work through a course—I didn’t make note of it in either of my larger journals.
So March wasn’t the best month in terms of meeting my goals. I managed to hit the step goal, get outside a little more often, and read quite a few fiction books (though this really isn’t a problem usually).
Moving into the second quarter—I’m going to focus on not spending nearly as much as I have the past few months (probably looking at deleting the two games off the kindle again this coming week). Also, focusing on writing, working through various personal/professional development courses, and being more active on LinkedIn.
Therefore the goals for April will include:
- At least 130-150,000 steps
- Finishing the intentional movement tracking sheets/game board and doing at least five minutes of intentional movement each day
- Read at least two non-fiction books
- Read at least two-to-five fiction books
- Commit to the no spend days/no spend weeks/limited spending month
- Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, daily oracle drawings
- Craft time
- Working through at least one module of a personal/professional development course
- Finally, writing, writing, and some more writing.
In addition to the above goals—I’m going to continue working on improving my time and project management skills as well (as being better at both will help me reach the above goals and other goals as well).
I’ll continue to send happy thoughts/good vibes to the people of Ukraine fighting to keep their country intact and move forward as they chose.
While the decade has been far from ‘smooth sailing’, and this year definitely seems bumpier than the last two—I’m hoping that it will be the last really bumpy year and we can heal, and move forward to a brighter future.
Therefore, I will remind people that if you follow me on other social media sites—I will probably have some political and/or religious posts/statements. I won’t apologize for my views (I believe in science, education for all, healthcare for all, women’s right to choose, people’s right to marry who they want, people identifying as they choose, and the separation of church and state—I’m a mix of pagan, wiccan, and atheist).
I will say this again—if my post is ‘upsetting’—ask yourself why you find it upsetting. I don’t share things to offend, but I do share to help try to educate in addition to showing my stance on various topics.
Therefore on the eve of this new moon, I send healing thoughts and vibes to the people of Ukraine and Russia. Nothing is gained through the loss of lives…