Tag: MayinReview

May in Review

So May is over, and there is now 27 days left in the first half of 2020 (since I’m a couple of days late in posting). We’re still in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic (numbers are now well over 6 million world wide and over 1.8 million in the US—the global number has doubled in the past month, which means we’re still not near the point where we start going down hill), and everything is still going to hell in a hand basket. Countries are trying to come up with ways of dealing with the coronavirus, but still allowing tourism to start up again—while I applaud their efforts, I’m personally going to wait until it’s obvious that the numbers are going down and there is a possibility of a working vaccine on the horizon before I start thinking of traveling.

May has come and went, and while I was starting to get into a routine (a little late in the month—but better late than never), my mood is starting to slip again. The reason for my mood starting to bounce around the negative again is fairly simple—it is a combination of ignorance, male privilege, and white supremacy. So there was another murder of an African American male, which was caught on video. It took over a day for the murderer (who is now an ex-cop) to be arrested, but not before protests started popping up over the country. Now I don’t have a problem with the protests—I think that the African American population in this country has good reasons for protesting (just like the Native Americans)—it is the other side that I’m having problems with. It has been shown that various white supremacy groups in the country are supporting the people agitating the situation. The cops aren’t helping matters either—as there have been videos showing cop cars driving into protesters, pepper spraying protesters, and so forth. It’s clear that racism is still a huge problem in the United States, and will stay as a problem until we manage to fix several of the underlying problems: white privilege (I know that I’m guilty of this—I’m able to turn off the news and in theory not worry about most things as I’m a white heterosexual female (though I still need to stay alert and hyper-vigilant when I’m out and about on my own, so that I don’t become a statistic for sexual assault, rape, or some other crime), white supremacy, and male toxicity.

These issues have always been present in society—though usually at a level that overall people have shrugged it off—but for the past couple of years they’ve been growing and now we’re not shrugging it off. While there is no such thing as an ideal world (unless we want to talk science fiction and robots)—we need to get to a point that we can communicate with each other and not have things break down and lead to violence. People shouldn’t have to be worried about leaving their homes and wondering if they’re going to be pulled over, or whatever based on their skin tone—we all share the same damn genetic code and it is only the order of those four nucleotides (A, T, G, and C) that result in the differences of our physical appearances and other traits. There is no superior race (again—we share the same genetic code), and there is nothing within that code that codes for ethnicity. White male privilege has been a problem for a couple of millenniums and it’s time for another reminder—we all have to share the planet—there is no planet B, and if we destroy the planet—everyone dies. Money, social standings, and other artificial markings of society won’t save anyone if there is no clean air to breath or clean water to drink.

So that is why my mood started to slide back towards being in a bad mood and not caring about various things—society as a whole is pissing me off again. I have hope that we’re going to come through the latest struggles as stronger society, and that better screening methods are put in place to keep bullies, white supremacists, and other toxic individuals out of positions of authority and power. While I know that there are good cops out there—they need to start standing up to the ones that aren’t—until they do that it is extremely hard to see any of them in the good light.

So as I head into June, it is time to both look back at the goals I had set for May and see how I did with each one of them, and then set the goals for June.

So what were the goals for May? The goals for May included:

1) Moving more (exercise, yard work, walks)—if I can’t get the battery replaced in my fitbit, I will have to order a new one (as my other fitbit is also on it’s last legs as well—only holds ~20% of it’s charge for claiming it is “dead”). Therefore I’m not sure when I will be getting around to keeping score of my steps, and since that is up in the air—I’m not really going to set a step goal for May.

            Exercise daily (included in the above moving more goal). I will probably restart Morning Meltdown 100—and that will take through the summer and into August.

            Since we will still probably be self isolating most of the summer, I have a couple of ideas for the yards to help add color to the yard and also attract birds, bees, and butterflies.

2) Read at least two non-fiction books

3) Personal/Professional Development—listen to podcasts, work through various e-courses, networking, and interacting more on linkedin.

4) Money log/weekly-check ins/No Spend Days—try to work up to no spend weeks, and have a bare minimum spend month

5) Start devising goal list to break it down and work on various different ways to translate those goals into a editorial calendar for the different areas—blog, personal/professional development/fitness & health/mental health/crafts.

So how did I do with each goal?

1). Moving more (exercise, yard work, walks)—if I can’t get the battery replaced in my fitbit, I will have to order a new one (as my other fitbit is also on it’s last legs as well—only holds ~20% of it’s charge for claiming it is “dead”). Therefore I’m not sure when I will be getting around to keeping score of my steps, and since that is up in the air—I’m not really going to set a step goal for May.

            Exercise daily (included in the above moving more goal). I will probably restart Morning Meltdown 100—and that will take through the summer and into August.

            Since we will still probably be self isolating most of the summer, I have a couple of ideas for the yards to help add color to the yard and also attract birds, bees, and butterflies.

So the above goal had several sub-goals as well. So I think I managed to do okay for the most part—I had between 4,000 and 11,000 steps a day. The total number of steps right now is difficult to determine since I didn’t sync my fitbit daily (and currently the site is claiming it’s too busy to sync). So if I had to guess—I managed about 150,000 steps (not to bad for still self-isolating). Daily workouts weren’t that consistent as I am still trying to figure out the best time of day for me to do my workouts. I’m probably going to be working out in the mornings (and will probably have to ensure that the pups aren’t in the room—they make doing any type of floor exercise difficult).

I’m slowly working on the yards—since we haven’t put up the partial privacy fence yet, the back flower gardens are currently on hold.

Read at least two non-fiction books

I managed to finish two books this month: “Mind Maps: Quicker Notes, Better Memory, and Improved Learning” by Kam Knight.

I bought this and another book on mind mapping after listening to a short video on how it could help in job searching and things like that. It actually isn’t that new of a concept to me—I’ve called it bubble mapping in the past, and have used it previously in school (namely when trying to write a short story and needed to brainstorm ideas). It is something I’m going to try to implement moving forward—though I will admit to slight OCD and needing to remember that the mind maps don’t have to be perfect—they just need to get the main ideas/thoughts down.

The second book I finished was “Brand You! To Land your dream job: A step by step guide to find a great job, get hired, and jumpstart your career” by Diane Huth.

The book had quite a few good points, and I need to go back through it and make a list of things that I haven’t been really focusing on so that I can keep track of them in the future. There were also a couple of points that I disagreed with as well: potentially having to have two facebook pages: one personal and semi-private and then a public one for your professional brand. I have a hard enough time trying to remember to post occasionally on the facebook pages I have for both the blog and then my fitness page—I don’t want to add in a third (or fourth) page that I’m not to remember to post on. Truthfully I don’t have anything to hide on my facebook page—I am a liberal, a scientist, and someone who likes to poke fun at things. My facebook page is there for me to keep in touch with friends and family—my best advice to future employers, if you don’t like what you see on my page, don’t send a friend request.

Another thing that I disagree with was the section on how women show dress (including makeup and accessories)—I don’t mind dark suits, but I’m going to pair them with a bright top—that’s just how I am. Also in terms of jewelry—I hardly wear it (too many years of working at the bench); if I’m going to paint my nails—it will be a color that I like (that strikes somewhat of a balance for what is “accepted” nail color). Also when I smile—I seldom show my teeth—I look a little too weird smiling like that. I understand the point of view that the book was written, but I also know that all things can be tweeked to fit each person’s unique personality.

Personal/Professional Development—listen to podcasts, work through various e-courses, networking, and interacting more on linkedin.

I may try to start listening to podcasts when I’m writing or possibly doing yard work (haven’t listened to many because the front of my iPhone is cracked and I’m trying to use it as little as possible—so listening to the podcasts requires being near my laptop, and having iTunes behave). I worked through some modules of various e-courses and managed to finish one or two little ones (though I may re-watch them later—as one was on developing editorial calendars). Though I still need to work on doing more on linkedin.

Money log/weekly-check ins/No Spend Days—try to work up to no spend weeks, and have a bare minimum spend month

This didn’t happen this month—something to work on over the next few months.

Start devising goal list to break it down and work on various different ways to translate those goals into a editorial calendar for the different areas—blog, personal/professional development/fitness & health/mental health/crafts.

This is also something that I’m very slow on developing and even at times stalling out on—and there are several reasons for this:

            We’re in the middle of a pandemic, so I can’t really say that if I get “X” amount of stuff done I can treat myself with a trip somewhere.

            I realize that I have way to much stuff as it is—so it seems silly to say that if I lose “X” pounds (or inches) I can reward myself with something new.

Therefore I’m still trying to figure out both the goals and what the possible “rewards” are going to be for the different areas (blog, personal/professional development fitness/health/mental health/crafts) that I want to focus on.

One thing I have realized though—the blog is going to be a blend of different things so that I can focus on both my strengths while also trying to improve some of my “weaker” areas.

The goals for June will include the following:

Moving more (workouts, being outside, walks, marching in place, chores, and other things). I’m not going to set a step goal (as I’m not sure why my fitbit isn’t syncing and I’m currently not in the mood to get a new one), but will be trying to ensure that I’m moving around a good portion of the day.

Daily workouts—I’m thinking of bouncing between several different programs right now (Morning Meltdown 100, LIIFT4, Country Heat, and Yoga Booty Ballet) to keep my interest going.

Reading at least 2 non-fiction books

Personal/Professional Development—listening to podcasts, working through various e-courses, networking, and interacting more on linkedin.

Money log/weekly check-ins/No Spend Days—trying to work up to no spend weeks and have a bare minimum spend month

Continue working on devising a goal list and breaking it down, plus working on various different ways to translate those goals into an overall editorial calendar for the different areas I want to focus on: the blog, personal/professional development, fitness & health/mental health/crafts.

Then remember: “Progress over Perfection” and “Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the same place next year”

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Month in Review: May

So we’re officially entered June, and within a blink of an eye—the year will be half over. May has been helpful slightly in that I’ve realized that I need to do a “reboot break” some time soon. One of the books I finished reading this month was “Reboot your life: energize your career and life by taking a break” by Catherine Allen, Nancy Bearg, Rita Foley, and Jaye Smith. It showed me that sometimes “quitting” something is the best thing to do, in order to figure out what it is you really want to do. So sometime between now and November (when my job contract is up), I’ll be starting my reboot break (more on this in additional posts).

But while I’ve realized that I need to take a “reboot break”, the things I realized over the course of April still hold true: 1) I still have no idea of what I want to do job wise (though I have a couple of ideas). I also realize that this statement can be taken literally, and it isn’t meant to be—all I mean is that I haven’t decided which direction I want to go as a “specialist” and which direction I want to go as a “generalist”. 2) I still have yet to find a good balance between things—I seem to be either all in or barely in at all; and 3) I really need to work on getting the anxiety and stress under control.

But as we head into the final month of the second quarter, it is time to reflect back on the goals that I set for May. Again, as I’ve mentioned previously—the goals are going to be staying the same (more or less)—that way I can continue trying to reach them monthly, and once they become an habit—then I can switch them up.

So the goals for May included:

At least 434,000 steps (again breaking down to 14K/day)

Continue with the photography challenge

Start back on a workout schedule (potentially alternating between weight training & cardio).

Read (or finish) at least 3 non-fiction books

Aim for two weeks of no spending (keep a money log)

Continue to try to interact more on linkedin

Continue working through the various e-courses/groups and transition plan (making notes, narrowing down on cities, looking into companies, and figuring out my superpower trifecta)

Read at least one article on FiercePharma and/or FierceBiotech (weekly and work up to daily) and make notes so that I can do a blog post (or weekly recap of what I’ve read).

Read at least one scientific article a week and write a 500-word summary for a potential blog/science post.

So how did I do with each one?

At least 434,000 steps (again breaking down to 14K/day)

            I managed to surpass my goal of at least 434,000 steps (even though there were several days that I was below both 14K and at times 5K). My final step total for the month was 466,661 steps. This brings my yearly total to 2,240,365 steps.  In terms of my yearly goal of 5 million steps, I’m 2,759,635 steps away and there are still 201 days left in the year. That means I only need 13,730 steps per day for the rest of the year to reach 5 million.

            In terms of my 1001-day goal of reaching 14,014,000 steps that I had originally set last year (which would end approximately Sept 28 2020)—I’m at 7,519,336 steps. There are ~472 days left in my first 1001-day challenge. I’m 6,494,664 steps away (which breaks down to again 13,760 steps a day to reach the goal). So I’m good on this goal as well.

Continue with the photography challenge

            I had to post a couple of days together (or several on the same day) due to the wifi being down in the evening at home. I had to post four days worth over two days (instead of doing three at once—I did two on Friday, and then two on Saturday morning). I’ve managed to keep up with the challenge (even with having to do catch-up posts). This only happened twice in the month (one long post for days 80-82; and then for the end of the month and beginning of June).

Start back on a workout schedule (potentially alternating between weight training & cardio).

            I will admit that other than walking and trying to get my steps in daily I haven’t been doing a real workout program for the month of May. This is one of the things that has really made me stop and look at how far I’ve let both my mental and physical health slide the past couple of months.

Read (or finish) at least 3 non-fiction books

I actually managed to finish four books this month, and I’ve written a book review for one of those books (“Reboot your life: energize your career and life by taking a break”). The one by Devin Thorp was okay—since I don’t have kids, own a house, or and things like that, there were several chapters that didn’t pertain to my life.

The two that were basically career/networking guides just helped to remind me that I do need to try to spend more time networking and figuring out what I want to do with life (there are still questions in one of the books that I need to go back and continue working through).

So the full titles and authors of the books that I finished reading during May were:

925 ideas to help you save money, get out of debt, and retire a millionaire by Devin Thorp

Reboot your life: energize your career and life by taking a break by Catherine Allen, Nancy Bearg, Rita Foley, and Jaye Smith

Next Gen PhD: A Guide to Career Paths in Science by Melanie V Sinche

Navigating the path to industry: A hiring managers advice to academics looking for a job in industry by M.R. Nelson

Aim for two weeks of no spending (keep a money log)

            I managed to go maybe two days a week without spending money on campus this month. I’ve realized that part of my problem is that I turn to sweets to help deal with irritations at work (also it’s one of my excuses for getting my steps in). I’m hoping that I will do better during the month of June (especially if I figure out how to “forget” my wallet at home a few days a week).

Continue to try to interact more on linkedin

            This is something that is up and down throughout the month. Mentally I feel drained in the evenings and weekends—therefore I focus on things that help me mentally regroup before the next week. Interacting on linkedin right now isn’t one of those things. Again—I know where my problem is, I just need to figure out the best method for starting to deal with it in a way that isn’t going to backfire on me in long run.

Continue working through the various e-courses/groups and transition plan (making notes, narrowing down on cities, looking into companies, and figuring out my superpower trifecta)

            I’m slowly working on things—but since I’ve realized I need a “reboot break” I’m trying to figure out how to fit that into the whole plan as well. I want to mentally recharge and find my footing again—but at the same time I don’t want to be wasting time that I could be spending on job searching either.

Read at least one article on FiercePharma and/or FierceBiotech (weekly and work up to daily) and make notes so that I can do a blog post (or weekly recap of what I’ve read).

            Have totally forgotten about doing this during the month—my bad. Need to get the pages to almost pop up as my home pages to remind me to scroll through things and start “acting” like an adult.

Read at least one scientific article a week and write a 500-word summary for a potential blog/science post.

            I’ve read the abstract of several different papers over the month—but that has been as far as I’ve gotten on this one. It’s hard to do, when you’ve realized how close to total burnout you’ve gotten.

So the major thing I managed to accomplish this month was realizing that I really need to take time for myself—get my health (mental and physical) back on track, take care of a few other things, and then also focus on my job search. While I know that there are people who will disagree with me—currently I’d rather not have a job and be able to sleep well at night, then have a job, sleep miserably, and not enjoy what I’m having to spend 40 hours a week doing. I’m also 39 and just realizing that it’s time to sit and really try to figure out what I want to do with the second half of my life (though I’m sure I’ll live past 78).

Therefore the goals for June include:

At least 420,000 steps (14K/day)

Reading (or finishing) at least 3 non-fiction books

Continuing with the photography challenge

Working on planning my “reboot break”

Aim for two weeks of no spending (keep a money log)

Continue to try to interact more on linkedin

Start back on a workout schedule (potentially alternating between weight training & cardio).

Continue working through the various e-courses/groups and transition plan (making notes, narrowing down on cities, looking into companies, and figuring out my superpower trifecta)

Read at least one article on FiercePharma and/or FierceBiotech (weekly and work up to daily) and make notes so that I can do a blog post (or weekly recap of what I’ve read).

Read at least one scientific article a week and write a 500-word summary for a potential blog/science post.

I’ve added in one additional goal—but I think that could be the goal that really gets me to focus more on the others in the second half of the year. Because I need to keep reminding myself—that every day is a new start, and when taking everything into account, we only live once. I’ve put work and being in a lab center in my life longer than I should have–now I need to pull it back and see what else could benefit with being the center of my life for awhile.

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