Tag: gettingbackintoaroutine

Pisces New Moon Goals and acknowledging fears

So I’m a few days late in posting—but over the weekend the moon moved through it’s second new moon transition for the year and it was through the Pisces constellation. I’ve realized one thing so far on my reboot break—I’m falling into the old habit of concentrating on one thing to the determent of everything else. While I did need to decompress after my job ended—I barely did anything else. I know that I need to start listening to my inner voice—but I’m truthfully finding that more difficult than I thought. This is due in part to letting all the other voices (you know the ones—your parents, family, teachers, bosses, even close friends) have more of a say in your life than you do.

So what does that have to do with the Pisces new moon and making goals? Pisces is about-facing both your dreams and your fears—and this is something that truthfully I haven’t been good at in recent years (facing either of them). It is hard to try to rewrite a dream, when you realize that the one you’ve held on to for years isn’t going to come about (say becoming a professor and having a marine biology/molecular biology/developmental biology research project going), and having to figure out what else you can do with your life.

Fears have been a little easier to acknowledge—at least my two biggest ones (and actually those are anxiety based issues than actual fears)—one is talking, both in front of large groups of people, and then just one-on-one with someone new. Why do I have the fear/anxiety issue—I’m “afraid” that they (if it is one-on-one) or someone in the audience is going to correct either my sentence structure or the pronunciation of the word(s)—and this stems from childhood. When I was just starting kindergarten, we moved from Massachusetts to Oklahoma, where I was enrolled in a new kindergarten class. Then the following issues arose—my speech (I learned to talk out in Massachusetts, and had a northeastern accent—where I didn’t pronounce my “r”. Now this would have taken care of itself over the years as I settled into things and the school—but the teachers and others thought it would be better if I was put in speech therapy to speed up the process. So I spent most of my elementary school career having to have speech therapy two to three days a week just to learn how to pronounce a single letter of the alphabet. On top of that, my kindergarten teacher would always correct my speech, to a point that I didn’t feel comfortable talking. I thought was the point if someone was going to just repeat it anyway—so I started just writing out what I wanted to say, and it was either passed around to everyone or the teacher would read it out loud.

            So needless to say—I don’t have that many fond memories of being in public schools (from speech therapy to being bullied and ridiculed—I was very happy to graduate), and while I managed to work on the issue a little through college, it is still something that crops up from time to time as something I don’t like to do, but I know that I need to—so I’m going to be looking in finding different ways of coping with stress and anxiety of talking to others.

The other fear/anxiety that I have is actually being behind the wheel of a car—aka driving. I don’t mind being a passenger, for the most part I’ve gotten over the severe carsickness that I had as a child—it is now just a mild to moderate problem. Where did the anxiety of being behind the wheel come from? The answer simple answer is childhood—the more complex answer is an older sibling who decided it would be “cute” that when picking me up from the movies and driving home to remove their hands from the steering wheel and telling me either to steer the car, or that we’d swerve into the oncoming traffic. Looking back, I can see how they thought it would be “cute” and possibly instill wanting to be my own chaperone/driver in me, so that I would jump at the chance for signing up for drivers’ education, get my license, and never bug other people for a ride. But that isn’t what happened—instead it instilled a deep anxiety in me, that possibly someone is going to grab the wheel, or something will happen and I have no control over it. I’ve tried over the years to take lessons—but the fear is deep, and not something that one gets over quickly. So for now, I am more than willing to rely on public transportation, my bike, my feet, and occasionally asking someone for a ride somewhere. Also with the way the world is going—who knows how long vehicles are going to be around anyway.

So other than focus on your dreams and fears, what else can one focus on during the Pisces new moon?

            Following your hunches/intuition—now this is something that I need to work on, as I’ve ignored my own gut instincts too often over the past several years.

            Heal—focus on working though emotional or spiritual issues.

            “Surrender”—practice yoga, meditation—and open yourself to the possibilities of the universe.

In addition, Pisces is also moving through my 5th house—or my fun zone. So this is the area that is triggered by creativity, children, and romance. Now I’m good with the creativity portion—I don’t have kids (and I’m not around them all that much), and truthfully right now I’m not in the market for romance (especially since I’m still trying to figure out my life and where I want to be working/living within the next year).

So there are several different things that one can do during this sums up the 5th house (or fun zone):

            Taking up belly dancing.

            Making a toy for a child.

            Starting to date

            Going on a trip with your significant other

            Doing something creative (writing, painting, so forth)

            Do something that typifies your idea of fun

            Throw a party

So there are few things on the list that I can basically scratch off as not doing—starting to date, going on a trip with your significant other, making a toy for a child, and throwing a party. These are only crossed off the list because 1) I’m again not looking for a relationship, 2) I’d rather meet up with people for lunch or an afternoon walk than throw a party; and 3) I don’t have the accessories to make a toy for a child (as I would be leaning towards making stuff animals for children).

I’ve tried to belly dance in the past (had actually bought some workout DVDs), and I may actually try to find a free program to follow on-line. I found it fun and challenging (especially since I currently don’t have the coordination for it—not that I had the coordination in the past either).

So if I were to make goals for the next few weeks, they would be the following:

            Get back into a meditation routine—preferably at night, but may try morning as well.

            Start doodling again, and possibly turn one of the doodles into a cross-stitch pattern (and teach myself how to cross-stitch).

            Daily workout (Beachbody or possibly see if I can find a free online belly dancing workout)

But overall remember: Progress not Perfection

No Comments AstrologyHealthNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentspirituality

Admitting that I’m a procrastinator and how I’m going to deal with it in 2020

So, I’m a little over a month into my reboot break. I’ve done a little soul searching, some reading, adopted a puppy from the local animal shelter, a few walks around Boomer Lake, tried to get back into a fitness routine, and so far have put off trying to draft a master plan/outline for the year.

One thing I will admit to is that I’m a procrastinator—if I don’t want to do something I will either find something else to do, or I will keep saying that I’ll do the task tomorrow (and depending on the task—keep saying tomorrow).  I’ve realized that the procrastination wasn’t that bad while growing up—there were deadlines for homework and things like that (and as a child—at least I couldn’t get away that much with the procrastination), but it started to develop once I hit college, and has gotten slightly out of hand since.

When it was time to think about going to college, I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to major it (I enjoyed numerous subjects in school), and I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go. I had an average grade point and had an okay score on the ACT—neither of which were going to get me very far if I wanted to go to school out of state. I already had the mindset that I wasn’t going to take out a loan for school (even if I was eligible for any that were halfway decent), therefore that meant going to the state college in town.

I had decided to go the science route (as at that time everyone was saying something along the lines of “major in what will pay the bills, and minor in what you enjoy”). I could have gone into business—but the thought of sitting behind a desk all day bored me, so I went the science route. I started off thinking wildlife ecology & management, but once I found out that the lab exams for one of the courses was out in the field looking at plants (that wasn’t so bad)—but you had to identify them by their scientific name (my spelling is bad at the best of times—I’m glad that there is spell check), I decided to switch to biochemistry and molecular biology.

I still took classes that I found interesting, and this resulted in me taking seven years to finish my undergrad—but I got two bachelors’ degrees (biochemistry & molecular biology, and biology), plus a minor in history (I was two classes shy of a sociology minor by the time I graduated). Throughout these seven years, I learned several things about myself—first and foremost the testing anxiety was still front and center. I did well in the humanity and social science classes, but the other sciences (where my majors were)—those were a struggle at times when it came time for the tests.

I’d found that certain areas of both degrees were more interesting than others—for example I enjoyed learning cell and molecular biology more than I did organic chemistry and physics. I also found that I could pull historical facts forward faster than I could pull the method and byproducts for an organic chemical reaction.

I remember that I was probably a year or so away from graduation and wasn’t sure if this was the direction I wanted to go—but was also unsure of which direction to go in. I therefore push onward, took the GRE (got an okay score—not great—remember I have huge test anxiety issues, especially if the test is all computerized—which the GRE was at that point), and applied for different graduate programs.

I decided that I should try to stretch my wings and I applied for several different programs that were out of state (plus at the last minute, decided that I would also apply to my alma mater as well—as the ultimate fall back). So I applied to four different programs out of state, and while I managed to get an on campus interview for one of the programs—none of them panned out. Either my grades weren’t high enough, or they didn’t think I could handle the PhD program and suggested that I should apply for the masters program instead (PhD programs pay you to learn, masters programs for the most part don’t)—so I was lucky in that I was able to get into my alma mater for grad school.

This wasn’t my first choice, but I was going to make it work. I spent a year in a structural biology lab, before I realized that wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. I then switched to a plant molecular biology lab, where I was actually being challenged in learning. I hadn’t worked with plants that much before joining the lab hadn’t done any RNA work, and I found things enjoyable for the first time in a few months in grad school. Also it was nice to be told that within four years I should have learned as much as possible and it would be time to move on. The only drawbacks for those years in grad school—there was no real mentoring in how to “properly” write a scientific paper or proposal, and there was no real career mentoring.

After graduation I managed to land a post-doctoral position at one of the many universities in the Greater Boston area. While I enjoyed the time out in the area, I had ignored some red flags that I shouldn’t have and struggling since to figure out exactly what I want to do with my life and career. I’ve realized that one should never really take a position in a newly started lab unless they are willing to put in fifteen or sixteen hour days six days a week. I only learned a few new things, and started to slowly realize that I probably wasn’t cut out for academic life.

Coming back home, and bouncing around at my alma mater (first a postdoctoral position, and then two staff positions), has only highlighted the fact—I still haven’t found that position/job/title/occupation that is my “calling”. There have been things that I’ve enjoyed over the past seven years, but there have also been things that I really disliked over the past seven years as well.

So how does all this tie into my admitting that I’m procrastinator?

Going to sidetrack a little and give a little background on procrastination (see how I’m procrastinating?).  For years, it has been said that procrastination is a time management issue—and that definition is easy enough to see—we do something else to avoid doing what we originally needed to do. Now it is being toted as an emotion management problem (https://www.fastcompany.com/90357248/procrastination-is-an-emotional-problem). Basically, we procrastinate or put things off that we may (or may not) have attached negative emotions to.

So, I’ve admitted that I’m a procrastinator—which means that I’m admitting to having negative emotions attached to certain ideas or tasks. So which tasks/ideas/goals have I either consciously or subconsciously attached negative emotions to?

            Getting back into shape—I’ve been out of shape majority of my life (never was really big on sports growing up nor being all girly and dressing up/wearing makeup). I had managed to lose a good amount of weight twice in my life—first time was out in Boston (I was walking my dog at least twice a day, and cooking for one—though most of the time weekday dinners were a peanut butter sandwich), and then again about six months or so after moving home. At that point I joined an accountability group on Facebook that was being run by a old high school classmate—I lost probably about twenty pounds or so, but then after a bike accident (where I royally bruised my lower left leg) and job issues—I’ve put the weight back on (with added interest—I’m probably at my heaviest since college). Why do I have negative emotion attached to getting into shape? In part—I was picked on throughout school (or at least up to going to college) about my appearance and weight. So there are still those issues that I need to work through—basically I need to remind myself on a daily basis that I’m losing weight to live my best possible life—not someone else, and I’m not losing the weight to make anyone else happy either.

            Transitioning into an industry position—this is more tied into my anxiety, and the worry that I’m going to make another wrong turn (like I did with my first postdoctoral position). For the most part, I like to have a good idea of how things are suppose to go—I knew that with the postdoctoral positions, I had to work hard (though I did limit the hours to more or less “normal forty hour weeks”) and I would have to read a lot to brush up on the subject matter (as both were new to me areas). Going into industry—there are numerous different directions that one can go in, the job may or may not be totally steady (depending on if the company is bought out, merged with another, or if it somehow goes bankrupt), and about a hundred different other issues. Also it comes down to whom you know, and who is willing to put in a good word for you—and this is totally tied in with my anxiety.

            At times I have problems with trying to do small talk, and networking—it isn’t that I don’t want to meet new people and expand my network—I do, but I have this underlying fear from childhood that people are going to be interrupting me and correcting my speech. This comes from the fact that when we moved to OK from MA, I ended up in speech therapy for years because of the fact that I learned how to talk in MA. In case you didn’t know people in MA have a tendency to drop the “r” in words—so since I learned how to talk in MA, I had a northern accent. The teachers and school officials decided that I needed speech therapy to learn how to pronounce my “r”—I spent five years in speech therapy, plus had teachers correcting my speech in class. I then got into the habit of not really talking in public settings—and this is something that I’m trying to work on. I know it is a slightly irrational fear, but it is still there lurking in the back of my mind.

            Choices—there are so many different choices for what one can do in industry, it is almost like being a kid in a candy store. While I have several different options listed out about what I’m curious about—I have a fear that the one I may chose could be the wrong path. Though as I’m told—I won’t know if I like, unless I try it. This is also tied into the networking problem—I don’t want to feel like I’m wasting people’s time if I decide that their path isn’t the same one that I actually decide to go down.

            Needing to have everything planned out. I will admit that I do like to have an idea of all the steps, and any and all possible results and endings before starting something. I mean instead of picking just one area of Indian art for my paper for art history in high school, I wrote basically a thirty-page paper covering everything that could fall under the umbrella of Indian art.

            This is also coming from again my first postdoctoral position—I thought I had everything planned out, but then the rug was metaphorically pulled out from underneath me. It isn’t fun realizing that one needs to move back in with one’s parents in order to get out from the mountain of debt that one finds themselves in. So now I’m trying to figure out how to plan out every single step of everything and finding myself in motion paralysis.

So now that I’ve admitted to being a procrastinator and the two main areas (health/fitness and career) that I’m procrastinating in, how will I go about getting past the procrastination and making progress on each area?

As I was reading some different pages on procrastination and emotions I found the following three sentences to be profound:

            “Viewing the whole task (e.g. project or paper) all at once will only frustrate you if you have unrealistic expectations. Realize you must break the task into smaller pieces and you cannot do them all at once. The next key is just start whether you feel like it or not.” (https://socialanxietyinstitute.org/procrastination-wasting-our-time-and-increasing-our-anxiety).

Then I found the following ideas that had to deal with procrastination along with social anxiety:

            Make a list of tasks and prioritize what needs to be done

            Reward yourself for completing difficult tasks

            Use relaxation strategies to deal with anxiety about completing tasks

                        Some of the techniques include: deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, autogenic training, and guided imagery.

(https://www.verywellmind.com/procrastination-and-social-anxiety-disorder-3973931).

So now I’m going to name the two big tasks (relating to fitness/health and job transition). Then I’m going to brainstorm how to break those two big tasks into easier to handle tasks. In addition I’m going to brainstorm an award system for each big task. Finally I’m going to break down the tasks into monthly/weekly/daily goals—with the rewards being based on hitting the larger (weekly or monthly) goals. In other words—I’m going to be working on my long term plan (other wise known as five year (or ten, twenty year) plan.

Sites with their links have been included that I found interesting and used in the post.

No Comments careerfitnessHealthjob searchingPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Trying to find a routine yet again….

Well I realized that next week will have to mark the second restart of my photography challenge (or maybe tomorrow), as I didn’t post a picture (or anything) the past couple of days. I guess I’m still slowly recovering from having the flu still.

One thing that I have to do this weekend, is start up the second volume of my bullet journal (which I have now gone two and half weeks of not doing since coming down with the flu). I do better when I know that there are things to check off, and I have some idea of how my week is suppose to progress. I will be getting better at nutrition now–I went and did the free wellness checkup today (mainly to get the numbers and to make sure that everything was still within the normal range). Good news is that everything is still within the normal range, the bad news is that its closer to the almost trouble range as well.

I know for a fact that my nutrition has been off point more than on point for the past couple of years. Having my shakeology daily (or even weekly), and a mini workout doesn’t balance the amount of processed foods I’ve been eating. I think that it is time for me to go back to trying to have salads for lunch (with a vinaigrette dressing) or something that doesn’t have a lot of processed carbs (i.e. no bread or wraps), and making a protein shake for dinner whenever that meal is more processed than I prefer. Getting the nutrition under control will allow me to lose the weight, even when I stick to low impact cardio.

Getting the wellness checkup was the little push I need–the numbers are still good, but they’ve crept in the wrong direction (towards the real trouble zones), and if I don’t want to have to take medication for them later, I need to get the situation under control now. I’ve also realized that when the sweet tooth comes zooming out–there are times when I’m good at controlling it, and other times when I give in to it (this afternoon is an example of that).

So I’ve managed to start the bullet/to-do list/everyday journal yesterday. Hopefully I will be getting back into some healthy habits if I can color a box to say that it’s been done. I’ve also realized that with trying to find a new job, I will in theory be juggling almost three full time jobs (since I’ve been told that networking and job searching should almost be treated like full time jobs on top of the already full time job that I have). So yeah I think the alarm clock is going to have to be set for the weekends so that I can get some stuff accomplished instead of just sitting on my rear all day long.

No Comments HealthPersonal DevelopmentUncategorized