Category: Pandemic2020

Time to focus on self care, meditation/mindfulness, & those e-courses: Scorpio New Moon Goals

So the moon is going to be transitioning through it’s new phase last night–I’m a day late in posting this, and it is moving through the Scorpio constellation. We’re halfway through November, and that means there are only about 47 days left in 2020. While I’m almost joyful that the year is ending (and the fact that the 2020 election went the way I wanted)—I’m also slightly wary to see what 2021 is going to be bringing. I mean in terms of the pandemic, the world is currently over 54 million total cases, the US is over 11 million cases and there are over 1.3 million dead from this damn virus. There should hopefully be a vaccine available sometime next year (but when it will be available to the general population—that is a good question).

So as the moon moves through Scorpio, there are several things that one can do during this time (according to “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland), and they are:

            Get sexy.

            Invest wisely.

            Make inner peace.

            B-r-e-a-t-h-e

            Drop grudges

This moon is also moving through my first house or my image zone (how one presents themselves to the world). While Aries is the start of the zodiac calendar—when the moon (either full or new) passes through your first house, it can also seem as the start of a “new year” (we can have a “new start” twice a year if necessary).

So what are some of the things that one can do during this time?

            Surprise friends with the ‘new you’

            Throw out all your old make-up and start again

            Get married or meet someone new

            Good time to move

            Splurge on something in a vibrant color

            Have a facial

            Get your sight checked

For me, this particular new moon period is guiding me to focus on myself, and remind myself that I’m worth whatever work I put into my future—in other words no one else is going to do the work for me. This is a future that is going to take awhile to create (in part to the pandemic), but also because I realize that there are quite a few issues that I still need to work on, but never the less: a new future is going to be made—and I’m the only one that can make it what I want, if I do nothing—others decide my future.

Looking at the above two lists there are few things that are crossed off (getting sexy, throwing out make-up, getting married or meeting someone new, and currently moving). These are only crossed off because 1) I currently don’t wear makeup; 2) I’m not in a relationship or looking to be in a relationship; and 3) in order to move I have to have an idea of where to move to—and that is up in the air; in addition to a pandemic (so no moving yet).

A few other things are being crossed off this year as well: Getting my sight checked (pandemic is still around, and I don’t want to be going places if I can avoid it); surprise friends with the ‘new me’—the new me is still a work in progress, and gatherings are currently again a no-no.

But if I were to make a short list of goals for the Scorpio New Moon they’d include:

            Meditating and/or B-R-E-A-T-H-E; I had it as a goal last month as well—I’ve realized that the best way to possibly do it is to hook up the iPod to the mini-speaker and try to play some nature music (or make use of the white noise maker). But also realize that if I can only manage a few minutes at a time that is still a win. Possibly also work through a couple of courses on mindfulness as well.

            Start working through one or two of the finance courses that I’ve purchased so that I can possibly start thinking of investing some money at some point in 2021.

            Start the 10 rounds workout program (this this a six week program and should take me to Christmas). Also I need to give the program an honest try–therefore I am committing to the six weeks and doing one round (any additional rounds will depend on what I think of the program at the end).

And as I head into the last few weeks of November and then December, I need to remind myself to keep the following phrases/quotes front and center as well:

“Progress over Perfection”, “You can’t start the next chapter of your life, if you keep reading the last one”, and “Not caring what other people think is the best choice you will ever make”.

No Comments AstrologyNew Moon GoalsPandemic2020Personal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Mini-rant, and various updates (including October’s Libra New Moon)

So I was debating on whether or not I was going to combine posts or do two separate posts–and I decided to combine.

The first portion of the post is going to be a mini-rant (#sorrynotsorry). The US elections were not quite two weeks ago and they went the way I was hoping–Joe Biden & Kamala Harris were elected the 46th President & Vice-President of the US. Historic first, with the election of Kamala Harris (she’s the first woman & woman of color elected). This isn’t what I’m going to be ranting about–what has me totally flabbergasted is that there were over 71 million people who still voted for the orange blob that is currently residing in the White House.

I don’t understand that–how could anyone vote for him?? The COVID cases in the US are over 11 million (and were over 9 or 10 million on election day), there are over 250K dead, there are major issues with our economy, housing, healthcare, environment, human rights, and it should also be mentioned that he is a serial sexual predator as well. Those issues right there would have me voting for the opposite party if I was a member of that political party and this was their candidate. I can’t understand how anyone (especially white women) could vote for him–unless they’re perfectly fine with all those problems.

I know that everyone is saying that there needs to be conversations between the two sides–I agree to a point. I’m willing to discuss/debate actual issues such as figuring out how to raise money to fix roads, bridges, build schools, improve infrastructure and things like that. I’m not willing to discuss/debate moral issues such as black lives do matter, I don’t care about what is going on in peoples’ bedrooms as long as everyone involved is consenting adults, there is no planet B, families are meant to stay together (not be separated at the boarder)–because unless you can trace both sides of your family back in the US and/or Americas prior to 1492, you are the descendant of either slaves or illegal immigrants (because that is how the US was founded).

So, yes going forward there may or may not be political posts on the blog (I do try to keep them to an absolute minimum)–but I’m also trying to be true to myself and not minimize one part to make the world at large happy. Also should make it known–any and all comments are flagged as spam until I review them. Therefore anything hateful or spiteful will never show up on this site–they’re deleted without hesitation. #goodvibesonly #notimeforhaters

So now to the next topic: Reviewing the Libra New Moon goals before moving on to making the goals for the Scorpio New Moon.

So we’re going to be coming up on November’s new moon this weekend. This means that besides needing to look back at the goals that were set for the October new moon—there are also only 47 days left in 2020. While the election went the way I wanted—we still have 67 days until the new president and vice-president are sworn in, which means there are still 67 days for the current administration to cause problems (and they have been).

But my irritation with that (and the current pandemic) are ideas for another blog post. Here I’m going to look back at the few broad goals that I set for the Libra new moon and see how I did with each of them.

So what were my goals for the Libra new moon?

            Improve/work on my nightly meditations;

            Start trying to tune in to my intuition/gut instinct; and

            Continue working on regaining my identity.

So how did I do with each of them?

            In terms of trying to improve my nightly meditations—I would say that I managed it only about two or three nights. For one thing—I usually forgot to grab my phone and have it near me when I was doing my card reading (therefore I didn’t turn on the nature music when I tried to meditate). One thing I can try to do is set up the iPod and mini speaker. I’m pretty sure I have nature (or at least some classical music) on the iPod—I can have it playing while I’m doing the card reading and then meditating.

            In terms of trying to listen to my intuition/gut instinct more—this is also slow going. I’m tuned in to the fact that I really don’t feel like going into a bench position (though they still do sound interesting)—and the main (current) reason is because of needing to relocate. Until the pandemic is under control in the US, when I start looking for a position it will be something that is remote/online to begin with. Everything is basically boiling down to trust—and I truthfully don’t trust majority of others to be listening to the experts and doing what they’re told.

            In terms of ‘regaining’ my identity—I’m pretty sure that this will always be a work in progress. I’m working on changing my mindset with food—I know that yes, there are certain foods that are better than others; but in all reality there is no thing as ‘good food’ versus ‘bad food’ in terms of overall nutrition—some are just loaded a little differently in terms of contents.

            In terms of developing an identity away from higher education—this is again a work in progress. I have some ideas of what I may like to do (most currently revolve around remote/online/freelancing/self-employment)—I just need to try to actually write out the goals (but have them framed in a more flexible tone of voice). My main goal is to develop a career path/identity that allows me to focus and highlight my strengths while improving some of my weaknesses.

Things may not have gone a hundred percent in terms of meeting the goals—tuning into my body and gut instinct/intuition is something that is going to take time to both cultivate and honor since I’ve spent so many years ignoring them. But there were steps forward in all three areas and that shows that I’ve managed to keep at least one phrase front and center the past month:

“Progress over Perfection”

Small steps lead to large accomplishments over time.

No Comments AstrologyNew Moon GoalsPandemic2020Reflections

Two months left in the year–reviewing how October went

So October is over—we had Halloween, a full moon, plus had to set the clocks back an hour (what could go wrong???). The US presidential elections are in just a few days (fingers crossed that the election goes the way I want it to), and there are only 61 days left in the year.

Last month I tried the experiment of “scheduling” time for both checking my email and being on social media (namely facebook, instagram, and twitter)—the experiment lasted about a week and a half. I’m not doing it quite as often (at least checking mail), but also I didn’t like the ‘structure’ of it—what if I felt like it was the best time to post/share something?? So time management (in terms of email and majority of social media) is still a work in progress (especially on the weekend).

The US still hasn’t gotten the virus under control—when I published ‘September in Review’ I noted that the US had over 7.4 million cases and now the US is a little over 9.4 million cases (that is an increase of over 2 million cases in a month). With elections just a few days away, it will be interesting to see how it turns out—I’m hoping the way I want, that way the virus can be brought under control and then travel may be possible by sometime late 2021 or early 2022. I’m still planning on at least (hopefully) one mental health trip somewhere.

So as we head into the last two months of 2020, I should look back on the goals that I set for October and see how I did with each of them.

The goals for October included:

At least 155,000 steps (breakdown to 5K/day; daily step goal may go up, but again that depends on the daily number of virus cases in town)

Continuing with the combo calendar of Yoga Booty Ballet and LIIFT4

Read (or finish) at least 2 non-fiction books

No spend days/no spend weeks/no spend month

Finish the Medical Writers Organization

Complete at least one other e-course that deals with python

Then complete at least two other short e-courses

So how did I do with each one?

At least 155,000 steps (breakdown to 5K/day; daily step goal may go up, but again that depends on the daily number of virus cases in town)

            I managed to hit and surpass my goal of at least 155,000 steps. I actually managed to get in 223,675 steps for the month. Some days were slightly under 5K and other days were usually between 6-9K steps. The main thing going forward I need to do is figure out things to do during the day that will have me moving around more than me sitting on my ass.

Continuing with the combo calendar of Yoga Booty Ballet and LIIFT4

I’ve been continuing with my calendar—though I have taken a week break from Yoga Booty Ballet. This was mainly because I was feeling so tired and blah. I will still be able to finish on time next month, since I had actually added in an extra week of Yoga Booty Ballet to the entire calendar. Plus I can always add in a couple of days of Yoga Booty Ballet to the next program as well.

Read (or finish) at least 2 non-fiction books

I managed to finish the following books:

How to be everything: A guide for those who (still) don’t know what they want to be when they grow up’ by Emilie Wapnick

            This was one book that was bought mainly because of the title originally. While I’ve been on my reboot break and contemplating what I want to do with my life, nothing was actually jumping out at me as the direction I wanted to go in—and I finally realized why—I’m a multipotentialite. In other words I need to have several different things going at once to keep happy.

            Which is why looking back, I enjoyed college so much—I had a wide range of classes to chose from and was able to figure out a major (actually 2) and a minor that allowed me to have variety during the day. Grad school allowed me to dive deep into a subject, the first post-doc allowed me to dive a little deeper, and then I totally switched with the second post-doc and then following staff scientist positions.

            While I could have stayed in academia and figured out a way to be multipotentialite—I’m happy that I figured it out on my reboot break. There is one quote that really sticks out to me from this book and it was “We let the fear of being judged keep us stuck in careers that no longer serve us, and identities that no longer fit [us]”. That totally sums up the last few years of my life professionally—since I’m still uncertain about how I’m going to do my transition into industry, I let the fear of judgment keep me in academia longer than I wanted to be there.

Two other little pieces of advice that I’m taking from the book: 1) It is impossible to actually be the best; and 2) if you were an actual imposter—you wouldn’t get imposter syndrome.

I’m going to be taking nuggets of information from various books and blending them together and forging my own path forward.

            I’m giving this a five out of five star review.

‘Don’t keep your day job: turn your passion into your career’ by Cathy Heller

            One thing I liked about this book was that there were numerous self-reflection questions one can ask themselves when trying to figure out what passion to try to turn into a career, and that there are also four different roles that one can take: creator, teacher, curator, and investigator. Currently—I’m still investigating which of the four I think would be the best fit for myself.

            There are also questions to ask about creating a side hustle, and steps that one should take for starting that journey. The two core things I’ve found the most helpful: be yourself on social media (which I try to do anyway), and then I’m also working on trying to identify the 9 to 12 categories that are most dominant in my life—as those are the categories I should be creating my content around.

            And the one quote I’m taking with me from this book is “Use your fears to fuel you and raise your standards to the life you believe you deserve”.

            I would give this a five out of five star review.

No spend days/no spend weeks/no spend month

There have been a couple days where I did spend some money—not as many days as I’ve had previously, but I still haven’t worked up to a totally no-spend month. Most days it was just a few e-books—but it did add up by the end of the month. One goal for the coming year is to actually try to minimize my spending and see how many days I can go without buying something.

Finish the Medical Writers Organization

            Currently I have finished the first two modules and I’m halfway through module 3. I’m hoping to have this program finished by mid to late November.

Complete at least one other e-course that deals with python

            This didn’t happen. I spent more of the month reading than I did working through e-courses.

Then complete at least two other short e-courses

            This didn’t happen. I spent more time reading and being outside (since we are now heading towards winter, there won’t be many days left that are nice for sitting outside).

I’m working on self-compassion and realizing that even if I don’t meet every goal for the month—I’m still making progress. I managed to finish two books, continue with my workout schedule, and get an additional almost 69,000 steps in this month.

I have to keep reminding myself that I shouldn’t be concerned with the opinions of others—there are going to be people who like me, who hate me, and everywhere in between. It is time to start living my life on my terms, following my dreams, and working towards fulfilling my goals and aspirations and no one else’s dreams/goals/ambitions.

Goals for November will include:

At least 130-150,000 steps—I’ve realized that as it gets colder, I’m less likely to take my dog out for a walk and I usually am sitting more than anything during those days. Therefore I’m going to have to figure out something to do (possibly put on movies or something and march in place to get the steps).

Finish up the combo calendar of Yoga Booty Ballet & LIIFT4; then start 10 Rounds (which is 6 weeks and should take me right up to Christmas), with a little Yoga Booty Ballet tossed in here and there

Read (or finish) at least 2 non-fiction books

No spend days/no spend weeks/no spend month

Finish the Medical Writers Organization program

Get half way through either the Management Consultant Firm or the Project Management Consortium programs

Start working through at least one e-course that deals with Python

Complete at least two other short e-courses

Start refreshing Spanish

Any small step is still a step towards progress and achieving my goals/vision. I’m reminding myself daily that going all-out and full-speed ahead is what almost brought me crashing into that metaphoric wall. Now I’m trying to slow down and ask myself—does this actually align with something I want—and not what someone else may want for me?

2020 may not be going the way I wanted it to go—but I know I can head into 2021 curving towards the direction I want to be going in—I just need to keep taking the baby steps towards that direction.

While reminding myself: “Progress over Perfection”, “You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one”, and “Not caring what other people think is the best choice you will ever make”.

No Comments BooksfitnessHealthMonth in Reviewno spend challengesPandemic2020Personal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Happy Halloween, or as the pagans call it–Happy Samhain

So today is Halloween–a pagan holiday that marks the end of the harvest season and the start of the ‘dark’ half of the year–or winter. Though winter technically doesn’t ‘arrive’ until December 21st (give or take a day).

Usually we would have decorations out in the yard and the porch decorated for the holiday–we love Halloween in this house. Though due to the pandemic–we’re going to be turning off the lights, and not handing out any candy this year. Personally, I don’t think it is safe for trick-or-treating this year–mainly because 1) who knows if the person opening the door is either asymptomatic or not; and 2) I wouldn’t want to be touch anything that was handled by someone else this year.

Hopefully, by this time next year the world as a whole will have a better grasp on the pandemic and we can start to embrace a new normal–the ‘old normal’ needs to die off; as it is partially responsible for getting us into the predicament that we’re currently struggling with.

So if you are going to be going out and celebrating Halloween/Samhain—please be careful. Wear a mask, social distance, and remember to treat each other (and yourself) with grace this year.

I’m going to be curling up with my kindle, a mug of hot tea and reading the night away.

Blessed be…..

No Comments Pandemic2020Reflectionsspirituality

The Taurus Full Moon falls on Halloween–a Blue moon & goals

So the moon will be heading into it’s latest full moon phase today—Halloween. This should be a very interesting few days—it’s a full moon, Halloween, plus (at least in the US), we have to set our clocks back an hour before heading to bed—then the US presidential elections are a few days later.

This weekend besides the full moon and Halloween—I will also be spending time outside dealing with all the broken branches from the ice storm that we had this week (our poor maple tree is now about half the height it was last week). We will have a nice amount of wood to stack and use next year (since it does take about six months or so for the ‘green’ wood to age).

In terms of some self-reflection during this time, there are some questions one can ask themselves (taken from “Moonology: working with the magic of the lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland), and they are:

            Have I been lazy or overly self indulgent this month?

            Have I been too obsessed with money or status symbols?

            Have I been stubborn, jealous, or possessive?

            Have I been doing too much comfort eating?

            Have I done enough exercise?

If I were to number the above questions 1-5, my answers would be:

  1. I would say this depends on what one considers overly self-indulgent? I haven’t been lazy, but I will admit to probably buying a few too many e-books. I’m going to try to make it through November with minimal purchases.
  2. I’ve never really been one for status symbols. I may be currently thinking a little more about money—but that is just because I’m on the reboot break during a pandemic and I want to make sure that I don’t totally run through my savings.
  3. Any and everyone would tell you that I’m stubborn. I freely admit to being stubborn—I think it is the one thing that got me through grad school. I personally can’t think of anything (or anyone) that I’m currently jealous of (unless you count countries that are actually handling the SARS-CoV2 pandemic decently). There is currently nothing that I’m possessive over either.
  4. Yes, I probably have been doing a little too much comfort eating—it’s the Halloween season, which means candy, candy, and more candy. Also, chocolate seems to be one thing that is really helping me manage this damn pandemic.
  5. I currently only have about 2 weeks left on the LIIFT4 program (I’m doing it for a second time), and I already have the next year workout schedule planned. I’m using fitness as more of a marker than nutrition currently for judging how I’m doing with certain things.

Then I should also look to see what house it is passing through as well—and for me, Taurus passes through my seventh house—or my “love zone”. This is the time that we spend a little energy on other people, instead of making everything about ourselves.

For me, currently there are no romantic relationships (I’m still trying to get my life in some semblance of order), I’m not working, therefore that means focusing on other relationships—(family, and friends).

In terms of trying to spend time with friends—we’re still in the middle of a pandemic and therefore it isn’t safe to really get together with anyone outside of family. In terms of family—it isn’t safe to try to visit anyone who is living out of state—that means I’m usually just around my parents (and every-so-often my younger brother when he comes into town).

This is a weird year (we’ve been in the grasp of the pandemic since March and truthfully there really isn’t an end in site), and I acknowledge that I’m doing the best that I can—even if it looks like I’m moving backwards in some areas.

So if I were to pick a couple of things to work on during the Taurus full moon period they would be:

            Finish up LIIFT4/YBB and then start 10 Rounds/YBB

            Start trying to dial in my nutrition a little (try to eat a few more fruits/veggies and a little less candy)

            Continue working on my life handbook

            Start being a little more active online (commenting, liking, posting) in various groups on Facebook and LinkedIn

            Meditating nightly–and hopefully for more than just a minute or two.

While reminding myself: ‘Progress over Perfection’; ‘You can’t start the next chapter of your life, if you keep re-reading the last one’ and ‘Not caring what others people think is the best choice you will ever make’

No Comments AstrologycareerfitnessHealthNew Moon GoalsPandemic2020Personal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Looking back at the goals for the Aries full moon

So the moon will be entering its second full moon stage on Saturday—which is also Halloween. So, hopefully the temperatures will be nice, and after doing quite a bit of yard work throughout the day—I will sit outside in the backyard with the dogs for a while basking under the light of the moon. But before one can start looking towards the next full moon, one should reflect on the goals that they had set for the previous one.

Therefore, I need to look at the goals that I set for the Aries full moon and see how I did with each of them.

The goals that I had set for the Aries full moon included:

            Review, edit, and reassemble my 150+ goals to accomplish in 2002 days. I know that there are some things that I can probably remove from the list—I won’t be changing the time period, I will just be changing out goals—seeing what has been accomplished, what needs to go, and possibly what can be added.

            Figure out what other ‘notes’ to post around the computer to help in time management. I’ve currently been telling myself when I can check my email and get on social media—it is slowly helping in managing my time.

            Continue with personal/professional development. This will include working through e-courses, reading, and journaling (especially taking prompts from different books and/or e-courses).

            Draft a ‘master plan’ that includes the blog, the transition (remote, freelance, contract), personal/professional development, hobbies, and life in general.

So how did I do with each of them?

In terms of the 150+ goal list—I did remove one goal (totally finishing the dream job hack program), I also removed the ‘number of days’ that I was going to be pushing play in terms of working out.

I removed the number of days and instead just stated that I was planning on trying to complete each of the following programs at least once.

I also then updated the rest in terms of how I was doing with each area—some I haven’t done much in, others I’ve done a bit more in. I’ve also decided that I would probably look at the list every 100 days or so and decide if the goals were still working or if I need to remove/add any goals.

In terms of the ‘notes’—the first two only lasted about a week and a half. I’m thinking of actually trying to find the programs to block access to various sites (or at least remove the bookmarks for certain sites). I’m getting a little better at time management, but not to the standard I really need to be at, especially if I’m thinking of starting up a freelance/consulting/remote/contract work.

I managed to get a couple of books read during the month, and slowly started working through another e-course (I’m about halfway through the medical writers organization). This is something that will always be on the list of things to accomplish—personal and professional development should be a never ending path that we travel on.

Still working on the ‘master plan’ for my life. Even though I have some ideas, I usually break out in an anxiety attack when I start writing them down as goals (since I haven’t though of how to break them down in to smaller goals). Now I’m just going to refer to things as going on my ‘to-be-accomplished’ list instead of a to-do list. The first has a much more positive spin on things.

So progress is being made—in terms of ideas of the direction(s) I would like to go with my career (just need to work on various courses along with two very important transferable skills—time and project management. I’m reading more (though at times it is more fiction, than non-fiction—but I’m working on trying to balance that out).

I realize that no matter how next week turns out—I’m in the driver seat of my career and life and therefore I need to determine the best direction(s) for me (and the pets) to be going in.

The following quotes are one of the things I keep coming back to as I work through various things: Progress over Perfection; You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one; and not caring what other people think is the best choice you will ever make.

No Comments 101 GoalsAstrologyBookscareerFull Moon GoalsHealthPandemic2020Personal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Photography Challenge Day 3: At the feeders–a hummer & a squirrel

So I decided to go with a duel picture today—at one point this summer I managed to get a picture of both the ruby-throated hummingbird and a squirrel eating at the same time.

You’re staying over there right……..

I think that the hummingbird wanted to make sure that the squirrel wasn’t going to try to slurp out any of the sugar water, before it started drinking.

Okay, it doesn’t seem to care for the sugar water…..

The feeder that the squirrel is feeding on is suppose to be “squirrel-proof”, and between them and the raccoons—they have managed to get the feeder on the ground at least half a dozen times. We actually have a loop of picture-frame wire as a connector between the hook and the bird feeder. Either the squirrels (or the raccoon) had figured out how to twirl the feeder to get the lid off—so the feeder is also slightly dented in a couple of locations.

The squirrels have found that they can either lie across the top of the feeder to try to pull out seeds, or better yet sit on the tray and slowly pull out the seeds. While the feeder is not longer totally squirrel proof—it is a little too heavy for them to carry off (in the past I’ve had to hunt for other feeders), but the mesh is small enough that it deters them from gorging on the seeds.

The hummingbird feeder is filled with basically boiled sugar water (1 part sugar/4 parts water—1/2c sugar to 2c water), and changed at least once a week—more often during the hottest days of the summer (when it bubbles out).

No Comments bird watchingnaturePandemic2020Photography

Aries Full Moon Goals: Time to reflect/revise, & plan new goals.

So the moon will be entering its full moon stage either tonight or tomorrow night (depending on where you are in the world). This will mark the first of two full moons for the month of October (the second one will actually occur on Halloween this year). So in addition to being the first of two full moons for the month—it also marks the beginning of the last quarter of 2020 as well. Fingers crossed, that the last quarter goes more smoothly than the first three quarters have gone.

So the moon will be moving through the Aries constellation—which means that astrologically we’re ‘starting a new year’ since Aries is the start of the Zodiac calendar. It is the time to reassess, redesign, toss, and make new goals if one is inclined.

So what are some of the questions we can reflect on during this time?

            Have I been hotheaded, selfish, or argumentative this month?

            Have I been going too fast or been impulsive this month?

            Have I been brash, blunt, or too competitive?

            Have I ignored other people’s finer sensibilities?

            Have I had enough fun?

So before answering the questions, I do need to point out that it is the beginning of the month, so I actually going to answer these questions based on 1) how I want to behave during the coming month, but also 2) how I behaved during the past couple of weeks. So as usually I’m going to number the questions 1 to 5 as I answer them.

  1. While I haven’t been selfish (at least I don’t think I’ve been acting selfishly) over the past month, nor do I plan on acting selfishly during the coming weeks—unless you consider setting aside time for self-care (for me that is taking bubble baths, and having at least forty-five minutes of winding down at night before bed)—then I will selfishly guard those times. I’m trying to control my temper—I will admit to getting into an argument with people last month. We’re still in the middle of a pandemic, and people are getting tired of the fact that nothing is ‘normal’. They want their kids to be in school full time face-to-face. While I can agree that face-to-face teaching is the norm, and what in theory is ‘best’—if you can’t guarantee small class room sizes, social distancing desks, and that your kids are going to wear the masks all day—it isn’t worth the risk. This isn’t a novel flu or cold that is going around—it is something five (or more) times deadly, and even if it doesn’t kill you it will leave you with health problems for the rest of your life. So yes, this is the one thing that I will argue with people about.
  2. In terms of being impulsive—I’m an impulsive book buyer (and that is something that I’m trying to curb. I know that I have hundreds of books on my e-reader that I haven’t read and I should make a dent in that ‘pile’ before buying more). In terms of going too fast—nope, people will probably accuse me of going way too damn slow—but guess what the tortoise won that race. Everyone goes through life at his or her own pace, and I’m finally at peace that my pace isn’t everyone else’s pace.
  3. Well, this depends on the topic—yes, I’ve been blunt in terms of the novel coronavirus. There are things that everyone should be doing (but most people aren’t doing them), that I have kept harping on (wearing masks, social distancing, and staying home whenever possible). But I don’t think that I’ve been brash or too competitive—again I’m slowing down to my pace, I’ve decided that trying to keep pace with everyone else was too damn tiring and if I’m going to make changes it has to be at a pace I’m comfortable with—and not worry if others feel the same.
  4. I don’t think I’ve been ignoring people’s finer sensibilities—it would actually be nice to see if their finer sensibilities would come out during this time. I’m actually trying to ignore their more obnoxious sensibilities, so that I don’t have to downsize my friend list too much over the coming months.
  5. What is this fun, you speak of? We’re going into month seven of the pandemic; the US has over 7.4 million cases, over 200K deaths, and idiots currently in charge. I am trying to figure out ways to add ‘enjoyment’ to my day, but at the same time realize that the ‘old normal’ is gone, and a ‘new normal’ is still at least fourteen to sixteen months off.

I’ve realized that I’m still happy being a wallflower—someone who is happier observing than participating, but that doesn’t help with networking and job searching. True networking is more virtual these days (thanks pandemic), and so are most job interviews—but I still have to develop the enthusiasm for talking with people (and not worry constantly that they’re judging me)—so here is still a small goal to be working on.

Aries is also moving through my sixth house (or my daily work and health zone). This house is where we can sit and reflect on who we are (both in terms of professional/work and personal/health) and decide to work on those aspects that we don’t like.

I had decided a couple of months ago that I was going to push play daily (and I’ve only missed one day so far), and complete four Beachbody programs before the end of the year. I completed morning meltdown-100 mid-September, and am currently going through a combo calendar of yoga booty ballet and LIIFT4. This combo calendar will take me to mid-November, when I will then tackle a new program (which will take me to Christmas). Then I will finish out the year/start the New Year with a different short program.

I’m not really close to where I was hoping to be in terms of my reboot break and transitioning into industry—in part due to the pandemic, but also in part to still not being absolutely sure which direction to go (I do have several ideas that are swirling that I need to get down on paper over the next few days). I have also realized aspects of the past jobs that I’ve liked and that I’ve absolutely detested—those too are going to be written down. The plan is to have an idea of direction(s) that I can go in that play to my strengths, helps me work on some ‘weaknesses’, but avoids most (if not all) the things I learned to detest over the years.

So what are my goals for the Aries full moon?

            Review, edit, and reassemble my 150+ goals to accomplish in 2002 days. I know that there are some things that I can probably remove from the list—I won’t be changing the time period, I will just be changing out goals—seeing what has been accomplished, what needs to go, and possibly what can be added.

            Figure out what other ‘notes’ to post around the computer to help in time management. I’ve currently been telling myself when I can check my email and get on social media—it is slowly helping in managing my time.

            Continue with personal/professional development. This will include working through e-courses, reading, and journaling (especially taking prompts from different books and/or e-courses).

            Draft a ‘master plan’ that includes the blog, the transition (remote, freelance, contract), personal/professional development, hobbies, and life in general.

While sticking to the following reminders: Progress over Perfection; You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one; and not caring what other people think is the best choice you will ever make.

No Comments AstrologycareerfitnessFull Moon Goalsno spend challengesPandemic2020Personal Developmentprofessional developmentRebootBreakReflections

Progress on personal & professional development goals: September in Review

So September is over, that means my birthday has come and gone—here is to starting the fourth decade of my life in self-isolation. There are only three months left in the year, and the coming month or so will be interesting—two full moons in October (last one on Halloween), then we ‘fall back’ time wise that night/early the next morning, and then the presidential election is just a few days later.

So I decided that I would try to ‘schedule’ the time that I’m either checking my email or on social media—that way I can hopefully get quite a few other things done as well—I think that the schedule will work (though some days will be better than others). Now I’m thinking that I may also need to ‘schedule’ my time outside—as I realize that once I sit down outside, I’m more likely to stay outdoors for the rest of the day (though like today I have brought my laptop outside to work on).

The US still hasn’t gotten the virus under control—when I published ‘August in Review’ I noted that the US had over 6.2 million cases and now the US is a little over 7.4 million cases (that is an increase in over 1.2 million cases in a month). With elections just a little over a month away, it will be interesting to see how it turns out—I’m hoping the way I want, that way the virus can be brought under control and then travel may be possible by sometime late 2021 or early 2022. I’m still planning on at least (hopefully) one mental health trip somewhere.

So as we head into the last quarter of 2020, I should look back on the goals that I set for September and see how I did with each of them.

The goals for September included:

At least 150,000 steps (This breaks down to 5K/day)

Finishing up Morning Meltdown 100 (I only have 15 days left), and then starting a duel calendar of Yoga Booty Ballet and LIIFT4

Read (or finish) at least 2 non-fiction books

No Spend Days/No Spend Weeks/leading to hopefully a no spend month

Finish the Data Science Syndicate program, install python and start learning how to use it

Finish at least 3 other e-courses

So how did I do with each goal?

At least 150,000 steps—I managed to meet and surpass my step goal; I managed to get a total of 202,386 steps in for the month. Unfortunately, the number of viral cases kept going up for the month (we went from ~952 cases at the beginning of the month to over 1900 cases as of the 30th). Therefore when I do decide to walk at Boomer Lake, it will have to be during the week (when hopefully everyone is at work), and isn’t a full walk around the lake (depending on what time I leave in the morning).

Finishing Morning Meltdown 100 and starting a combo of Yoga Booty Ballet and LIIFT4—So I finished up Morning Meltdown 100 mid-month, and then started on my combo calendar of Yoga Booty Ballet and LIIFT4. This combo calendar will now take me through mid-November. I’m tracking change by how heavier I’m going in the weights, am I doing less modifications, and do I feel better/sleep better.

Read (or finish) at least 2 non-fiction books: I managed to finish the following:

“Careergasm: Find your way to feel good work; bullshit free advice to help you get after it” by Sara Vermunt

            One of the things that I really liked about this book was the reminder that at times we need to think back on the things we enjoyed as a child to help find a clue to what we may actually really enjoy doing as an adult. I actually have several different ideas now swimming around in my head on things I could try to do and/or directions I could possibly take the blog/site, or even just other pages I could add to the site.

No spend days/no spend weeks/leading to hopefully a no spend month—this is something that I’m still working on—large goal again for October.

Finish the Data Science Syndicate program, install python, and start learning how to use it—I finished the data science syndicate program on the 3rd of the month. While I have installed python on my computer, I haven’t yet started any course that will teach me how to use the program yet.

Finish at least 3 other e-courses

I re-watched one skillshare short course—“The writer’s toolkit: 6 steps to a successful writing habit”. This was an okay short course—basically talking about creating an area that is solely for writing, determining what you’re going to be writing on, having a routine in place, and also reminding us to read books that we enjoy—if you don’t enjoy reading a certain genera of literature it’s no fun.

I had also started watching the skillshare course—“Writing and Blogging with Passion: Create a Flexible Editorial Plan and Calendar”. In addition I’ve also been working through an affiliate blogging short course program as well. One thing I’ve realized with some of the courses—I will have to do a lot of brainstorming to fit the blog to their suggestions, since I’ve decided to stay somewhat multi-facet in topics that I’m covering.

So I’m slowly making more progress on various goals—the biggest thing that I need to get control over is my time management. There is enough time in the day to accomplish everything I want—it may mean though that I don’t spend forty minutes aimlessly scrolling through social media or checking my email every five minutes. Once I have that under control, and remember that I’m the only one that can walk my path I will be on my way to achieving my goals—though they may look different four months down the road compared to today. That is fine—that is evolution, learning, and realizing that in four months I may not be the same person that I am today.

Goals for October will include:

At least 155,000 steps (breakdown to 5K/day; daily step goal may go up, but again that depends on the daily number of virus cases in town)

Continuing with the combo calendar of Yoga Booty Ballet and LIIFT4

Read (or finish) at least 2 non-fiction books

No spend days/no spend weeks/no spend month

Finish the Medical Writers Organization

Complete at least one other e-course that deals with python

Then complete at least two other short e-courses

While reminding myself: “Progress over Perfection”, “You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one”, and “Not caring what other people think is the best choice you will ever make”.

No Comments Bookscareercomputersfitnessmoney saving challengesMonth in Reviewno spend challengesPandemic2020Personal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Update on goals set during the Pisces Full Moon

So the moon will be entering its first of two full moon stage either Thursday (marking the full moon at the very beginning of the month) or Friday night. This full moon is the closest one to the fall equinox (which was last Tuesday). The full moon later in the month will be the “blue” full moon. This also means that we’re entering the last quarter of 2020………

So before looking towards the next full moon, I should look back at the goals that I set for the Pisces full moon and see how I did with each of them.

The goals for the Pisces full moon included:

            More creativity time (namely trying to teach myself cross-stitching)

            More time on self-reflection (meditation and journaling)

            More time on personal/professional development

So how did I do with each goal?

            In terms of creativity time—this is something that I still need to work on. I make the time (usually) for practicing my photography skills (currently mainly in the backyard), but I haven’t actually sat down and tried to learn a new craft. I think in part it’s due a little to imposter syndrome—never done it before and therefore I’m immediately judging myself poorly, instead of treating myself with compassion and understanding. This is something I notice myself doing quite a bit of lately, and it is something that I’m working on fixing—being more compassionate and caring with myself.

            In terms of the self-reflection—I would say it was a minor improvement in terms of journaling. For the most part I managed to do a oracle card reading (there were a couple of nights that I didn’t manage), and I feel comfortable in the path that I’m on. I am doing a balancing act—taking it easy, but at the same time moving forward. The biggest insight is that I realized that once I start to feel ‘bored’ on a job, I’d let my thoughts wander during the day—instead of being laser focused on the job. Therefore moving forward I need to make sure that the position is one that will constantly be challenging—also I need to remember that if I feel like I can do more, ask for more responsibility on the job.

            In terms of personal and professional development—I managed to finish the Data Science Syndicate program (and will be writing up my thoughts on both the program and possibly going that route), and downloaded the python program to my computer. I now need to start working through one of the other e-courses that I bought that focuses on python.

            I had just published a post ‘self-reflection, ‘jack-of-all-trades’ vs ‘specialist’, & now more planning’ earlier this week. Within the post I made note on what areas I was going to focus on, where I would consider myself either a jack-of-all-trades or specialist. I also manage to finish at least one book: ‘Careergasm: Find your way to feel good work; bullshit free advice to help you get after it’ by Sara Vermunt. One thing that I hadn’t been thinking on was what if I need to redo my goal list (again)?? I love this passage:

 

           “Sometimes the best thing to do is let go of some old goals that simply aren’t serving you anymore. Lighten your load. Let ‘em go. Make room. It’s time your goals start working for you again, and not the other way around”.

I think that is one of the major things I’ve been doing—recycling/renaming old goals and trying to make them look fresh. I in theory just made a new 150+ challenge list to complete in 2002 days (I decided to ‘modify’ the original 101 goals in 1001 days challenge). Now I’m thinking that I may be having to back to that list and modify it again—though the goals are all ‘me’—I’m just not certain that they’re for the ‘future’ me or the ‘past’ me—and I want to be working towards the future me, not being held back by the ‘past’ me.

So over all, I think I did well with the goals. Yes, I could have spent more time doing creative work—I will probably start doing more, once I remind myself that I don’t have to share the finished product with anyone if I don’t want to (and I think that has been one thing that has been holding me back—fear of what others will think). Self-care is always something that I can strive to be better at (this comes from the fact that I spent way too many years in academia pouring my heart and soul into something that really didn’t give anything back), and personal/professional development should be a never end road—and it is, I’m just slowly finding my way back to it, and will be traveling the road at my speed.

As I keep moving forward, I will also be remembering the following—“Progress over Perfection”, “You can’t start the next chapter of your life, if you keep re-reading the last one”, and “Not caring what other people think is the best choice you will ever make”.

No Comments AstrologyBook ReviewsFull Moon GoalsPandemic2020Personal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections