So the moon has transitioned into its fourth new moon phase last night—so I’m going to be a day or so late in posting the April New Moon goals. I talked about how the first quarter of the year was my ‘testing’ quarter—hopefully will get back into some type of consistent posting this month.
But before I look ahead to the April new moon, I should look back at the goals I had set for the Pisces new moon, and see how I did with each of them.
So what were my Pisces new moon goals?
Well, they included:
Work on indulging in more creative work during the day
Spend at least part of the day mind-mapping different ideas (creative writing projects plus expanding the writing portfolio)
Create an intentional movement board game (include weight lifting, yoga, Pilates, cardio, dancing, walking, and so forth)
Continue with an evening meditation routine and also try to meditate in the morning as well.
So, how did I do with each of them?
I would like to state, that only two (creating mind maps and the board game) are ‘one-and-done’ goals, while the other two are ‘continuous’ goals.
Therefore, I would say that the only two that I was semi-consistent were the evening ‘meditation’ (which is currently just sitting quietly for a few minutes at night), and managing some photography throughout the month (though it wasn’t on a day-to-day basis).
While I like my personal/professional development board game, I decided that trying to d a fitness one wasn’t really going to work. I couldn’t decide on how many squares—did I do one for each type of lifting workout, how spaced should they be (one square, three, or more?), and how many of the other workouts (yoga, Pilates, cardio, walking, and say dancing) should be added?
Therefore, I decided I’d copy down (and modify) the tracking sheets from a fitness program I’ve done a couple of times (leaving off the pushups and lunges). I could dedicate several pages within the journal to the tracking sheets, and then I’ll make a list of different cardio, yoga, Pilates workouts that I can choose from for the non-lifting days.
Then I will simply charge the iPod, put it on shuffle and do a workout each day (also taking into account rest days and ‘active’ recovery days [yoga and Pilates]).
I have at least one mind-map completed for a rather large ‘omic’ writing project that I’m going to start on this coming month—in addition to the other large writing project that I’m toying with (melding the ‘troubleshooting tips for molecular cloning’ with the topics of GMOs, biofuels, and vaccines).
I’m still debating on the oncology topic(s) that I’m going to write on (currently I’m thinking focusing on pathways that are ‘disregulated’ by different cancers), and work on the mind map for those topics.
So, I can possibly say I ‘managed’ possibly half the goals? There was time sitting quietly, and there was some craft time, and some mind mapping—just not always constantly or consistently.
As I mentioned last night in my ‘March in Review’ post—I’d let my inner critic/imposter syndrome drive the ‘fear’ train during the first quarter of the year. Changing directions is difficult, and when you live in the ‘analytical’ side of your head for years—its slightly difficult to move into the ‘creative’ side and get things up and going (such as writing, photography, crafts, and learning).
One thing I’m going to do is write everyday. Whether or not I ‘publish’ what I write daily—well, that is a whole other question (and will depend on what I’m writing). But currently I’m thinking of at least a biweekly (possibly weekly) photography page with its accompany blog post (currently would be focused on birds), and then possibly a biweekly travel page with its accompany blog post (currently would be focused on ‘throwback’ vacations, though may add in ‘wish list’ travel blog posts [places I’d like to travel to and things I’d like to see]).
When it comes to my ‘why’—I think I’ve figured them out: I want to help improve science communications between the general public and the science community, I want to help improve science education (show that it isn’t boring or dull), and share my story as I’m rediscovering my enjoyment of learning, writing, and sharing it with others.
So, I will be also be starting a weekly science series within the next few weeks—I just need to make sure that I have enough written ‘before’ hitting ‘publish’. The current two ‘large’ series I’ve already mentioned above (the ‘omic’ project and the molecular cloning/GMO/biofuel/vaccine project).
So, I digressed a little on the topic—but that is the ‘joy’ of free flow writing—you just write, and possibly go back and edit out what doesn’t make sense. Since this is a post on goals and reflections—I think I’ll leave the few meandering paragraphs on how I’m going to work on improving things.
Therefore, I can say that I’ve been embracing the phrase ‘progress over perfection’.
The Pisces ‘new moon season’ has come to an end, and it is now time to embrace the Aries season–which is also the ‘start’ of the astrological year. This means, that I can ‘reset’ my long-term, yearly, monthly, and weekly goals to match the ‘new future’.
What is that future: A future where I’m a both a content creator and a copywriter all rolled into one.
What are some of your tricks for dealing with your inner critic when it gets totally out of hand?
So the moon will be entering its last full moon stage for 2021 over the weekend. For most of us within the US that will be today—December 18th. That means there are basically only two weeks left in the year—fourteen days, and then it will be 2022. But before I look ahead to the next full moon, I should look back at the goals that I set for the Taurus full moon and see how I did with each of them.
The goals that I set for the Taurus full moon included:
Starting my second round of Morning Meltdown 100
Continuing to mend my relationship with food and movement
Continue working on updating the blog/website
Work on updating my LinkedIn profile
Get back into meditating nightly
So how did I do with each of them?
I’ve been ‘on/off’ in terms of doing Morning Meltdown 100—not because I don’t like the program (I really do like it), but its more of needing to get the dogs out the room, have the workout done by a certain time on certain days of the week, and just finding the ‘energy’ to push play.
I’m hoping that once I have the numerous presents in the bedroom wrapped and set out next week, and things slightly rearranged again, I’ll be in the mindset to start pushing play again. I have decided that one of the goals for 2022 is 365 days of intentional movement.
Breakfast is still my ‘hardest’ meal to eat—I’m still trying to ‘attach’ positive feelings to the meal and the start of the day. In the past, I’d usually be quickly eating breakfast to get out the door by a certain time to catch the bus, the train, or bike to work to get my day started. It always marked the ‘start’ of the day, whether or not I wanted the day to ‘start’.
That is one reason why I’d like to start my own business and do freelancing—I can decide when to start the day. Breakfast wouldn’t necessarily be the ‘start’ of the day—it could be the ‘mini-break’ in the morning.
Updating the blog/website again fell by the wayside this past month. I think the problem has been my inner critic/imposter syndrome winning those ‘unheard’ arguments I’ve been having with myself.
I know that in order to succeed at setting up a freelance business—I need to have a portfolio of different pieces written and published, both here on the blog and other sites as well (such as LinkedIn, Medium, and other sites)—I have a literal ‘laundry’ list of ideas I’d like to write about—I just need to pick one, and go with it as my first piece.
I’m slowly updating the LinkedIn profile, and realize that with having joined an larger accountability group within the one professional development group I’m in—I should have it updated within the next few months, showcasing my desire to pivot in the direction of remote/online/freelance writing and/or data analysis.
In terms of the nightly meditation—I’m doing it, but not how I’d been doing it earlier in the year (lighting candles, and sitting on the floor). Instead, after reading I’ll sit quietly in bed and try to focus on my breathing for a couple of minutes before lying down and falling asleep.
So, the goals were semi-met (mending one’s relationship with food and movement isn’t something that can occur within a short time frame) during the Taurus full moon. I’ve realized that between the time change, season change, and my inner critic/imposter syndrome I have the tendency to focus on things that allow me to ‘escape’ mentally, but don’t help me reach my goals. The focus for the New Year will be trying to catch that ‘escape mentality’ and only allow it to flourish every so often.
How have you been managing your stress and/or anxiety over the past year and a half?
The full moon posts (last month’s review and then this month’s) will be a little behind schedule (only by a day)–because I’ve fallen behind schedule in terms of writing.
Today marks November’s full moon and the partial lunar eclipse. I didn’t observe the eclipse–mainly because I wasn’t up for setting an alarm for basically 2 o’clock in the morning and staying up for about two hours to try to catch it at its peak. I’ll just have to wait for the next one–and hopefully it will peak around six in the morning.
Now, there are only eleven days left in November (after today), and forty-two days left in 2021. It will be interesting to see how 2022 goes, considering the ‘roller-coaster’ that 2021 has turned out to be.
Before I look ahead to the Taurus full moon, I should look back at the goals I set for the Aries full moon and see how I did with each of them.
The goals that I set for the Aries full moon included:
Making use of the Self-Control App again. It is a time management app that allows you to block access to specific websites for a specific amount of time each day. I usually use it to stay off of social media (mainly Facebook and Instagram) and the news.
Putting my phone on airplane mode (again to keep myself from randomly checking social media) and placing it across the room.
Have the kindle turned off and charging (again across the room). This way I won’t be tempted to read or play games
Continue on the never-ending journey of personal/professional development.
Draft a new ‘master plan’ that includes reworking the blog/website (for remote/freelance/contract writing), personal/professional development, hobbies and life in general.
So how did I do with the Aries goals?
The first three goals were all related to time management. In that regards, I did okay–not great (as I didn’t set teh phone or kindle across the room), but I did make a little progress.
One thing I noticed–I’d let my inner critic/imposter syndrome ‘win’ another debate. While I’ve been getting better at setting and metting little goals throughout the week/month, this past month I’d ‘slid’ backwards and allowed myself to be distracted from my goals.
Still working on the ‘master plan’. I’ve realized that one of my ‘hang-ups’ is still allowing ‘outside’ influence (i.e. worrying about what others think of the direction I’ve decided to go with my career).
Being a questioner, I’m suppose to be able to honor ‘internally’ set goals (for things that matter and make sense to me), without (in theory) worrying about the opinions of others. Well–I’ve realized that I’m still letting some of my childhood anxiety issues creep into my day-to-day adult life (things I’m slowly working through). In that regards, I’ve decided that as I work on the ‘master plan’ I need to phrase the goals in such a way that they address one of the following ‘topics’/’issues’:
Am I working toward the type of future career I want (i.e. location independent, harnessing my strengths: leaner, intellection, input, achiever, curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking, honoring my values, and is it challenging [but not massive, daily anxiety-inducing challenging)?
Am I working towards a travel/health combo goal (i.e. going to Peru and hiking around Machu Picchu or going to Tanzania and hiking up Mt. Kilimanjaro)?
Am I staying true to my values (curiosity/creativity, knowledge/learning, spirituality/inner harmony/peace, evolution/transformation/growth, and vitality), and/or have any of them changed?
In terms of the personal/professional development goals–I’m still working through the one ‘assignment’ from the Write Your Way to Freedom course (we were having Wi-Fi issues last month), and I didn’t get as much done as I’d originally plan.
Baby steps were made last month (the Wi-Fi issues didn’t help), and acknowledging my semi-procrastination is a huge win for me–because I usually just try to sweep it under the ‘rug’ and promise myself I’ll do better next month. I’m not sweeping it under the ‘rug’ But I will do better next month.
Having the above questions to help guide my goals will help immensely and that is what life is about–moving forward, figuring out why we’re backtracking, and making those adjustments to keep moving forward.
Progress this year has been in baby steps—I’ve been working off of comfort diagrams (I should be posting my latest one within the next week or so), new/full moon goals, and my strengths/weaknesses. I’ve decided on a career ‘path’—remote/contract/freelance/online that will allow me to be somewhat location independent, make use of my strengths, and also give me some ‘control’ in the type of projects I take on.
How are you meeting your goals?
Do you acknowledge when you’re derailing yourself, or do you try to ignore it?
So the moon will be entering its eleventh full moon cycle for the year tonight (or possibly tomorrow night or even last night—depending on where you are in the world). This means there are only eleven days left in October, and then only sixty-one days (two months) left in 2021. Considering how ‘bouncy’ this year has been—I’m leering to see what 2022 is going to be bringing.
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, if I numbered the above questions one to five, my answers would be as followed:
I don’t think that I’ve been hotheaded, selfish, or argumentative this month. We’re still dealing with the pandemic—which means that for the most part, the only people I’m around on a continuous basis is family. I try to stay out of any and all ‘arguments’ on-line pertaining to anything related to science, politics, or just general life. The main reason is to protect my health (specifically my mental health).
I don’t think I’ve been going to fast or being overly impulsive this month. While I have decided to go in the direction of freelance/remote/contract writing—I’m doing it at a slower pace, only to ensure that I don’t work myself to the point of almost having another mental breakdown.
One thing I’ve realized over the past few months—there really is no need to be overly competitive with other people. You can be overly competitive with yourself (a nice way of pushing yourself to reach for the goals)—but there is enough success to go around for everyone. Since I’ve been self-isolating for the past eighteen months, I’ve been trying not to be as brash and blunt with people (unless we’re talking about how vaccines are good and they can help get us out of the pandemic—then yes, I will be as brash and blunt as needed).
Again, I don’t think I’ve been ignoring people’s finer sensibilities—I actually think that it would be nice if people would start expressing a little empathy towards each other. There has been one thing that people keep saying is essential for moving forward with any career these days and that is emotional intelligence. One aspect of emotional intelligence is empathy—being able to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. That is something I think a good portion of the world needs to work on—developing (or expressing) empathy. I understand that the past eighteen plus months has been difficult for everyone—but if people sat at home like they were told last summer, we wouldn’t have as many deaths from the virus, and we’d be a lot closer to being done with the pandemic. Now, we’re just trying to stay one step ahead of the damn virus.
I looked back at what I wrote for the Aries full moon last year (which occurred at the beginning of October)—the US only had a little over 7.4 million cases (now, we’re at just under 46 million—that means we’ve had basically 38.5 million more cases of the virus over the past year). We’ve surpassed the death total from the Spanish flu pandemic. Therefore, I’m still working on ways of adding ‘enjoyment’ into my day-to-day routine.
Looking back at what I wrote last year—while I stated that I’m ‘happier observing than participating’—that doesn’t really mean ‘wallflower’—it could also mean that I’d do well in consulting positions (where one needs to ‘observe’ to figure out the problem and brainstorm potential solutions). I’m still working on networking more—I’ve been ‘slow’ only because I’m trying to also be ‘focused’ and network in directions that I think I’d be interested in pursuing at some point in the future.
Aries is moves 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.
Last year I had made the ‘commitment’ to push play daily on streaming workouts. This year—I’ve made the commitment to intentional movement. That is where I move around at least five minutes a day, and acknowledge the fact that housework can also be considered a ‘workout’. I’m slowly readjusting my relationship with not only food but movement as well. I’d also decided I’d renew my Beachbody-on-demand subscription at least one more year, and do some of those programs—but mixed in with other intentional movements. Therefore, I’m not going to beat myself up if I ‘miss’ a Beachbody workout—usually those days will either be recovery, or I’d decided to be outside doing some yard work or going for a walk.
This time last year, I stated that I didn’t feel like I was close to where I wanted to be in terms of my reboot break and transitioning into industry. I stated that part of the problem was the pandemic—but the larger part (and it was the part I was ignoring) was I still ignoring the fact I was burned out on everything.
I’m slowing coming to terms with the burn out, and figuring out ways of dealing with various warning signs of burnout—that way once I start really moving forward in terms of freelance/remote/contract writing/consulting/data analysis, I’ll be able to acknowledge and work through the warning signs instead of blindly ignoring them and almost hitting that ‘brick wall’.
While I know most people mean well with advice and everything—I’m also going to be trying to stay in my lane and only seek advice when I really need it. I have an good idea of what I need to be doing in terms of heading in the ‘freelance/remote/contract’ direction, and now it is a matter of realistically dividing those larger goals into more manageable goals—and not throw everything on the plate.
Last year I had the goals of continuous personal/professional development, reviewing/editing/reassembling my 150+ goal list, and writing/posting ‘notes’ to myself as a remind of when I felt I could check email/social media.
This year, my goals for the Aries full moon will include:
Better time management, by doing the following:
Making use of the Self-Control App again. This is a time management app that allows you to block access to certain websites for a specific amount of time. I have it block me from social media (Facebook & Instagram) and the news.
Put my phone on airplane mode for a set amount of time (particularly when I’m trying to do computer work [research/writing or working through an e-course), so that I can’t randomly check social media. Also have it set across the room.
Have the kindle off and charging (again across the room). This way I won’t be tempted to read or play games.
Personal/professional development is a never-ending journey. Therefore, I will specify that I will work through the rest of the 30-day hand copy challenge from the write your way to freedom course, and hopefully also watch at least two-to-three other videos in at least one other personal/professional development course that I’ve bought over the years.
Finally, try to draft the ‘master plan’ that includes reworking the blog/website (for the remote/freelance/contract writing), hobbies, personal/professional development, and life in general.
The main ‘note’ that I will be posting on my laptop will be: ‘Progress over Perfection”
I’ve more or less stopped reading the last chapter of my life, so I’m slowly working on writing the next one (possibly with the bad habit of trying to ‘edit’ as I write).
What small steps are you going to take towards a personal/professional goal during this full moon period?
So, we’re going to be heading into another ‘new moon’ phase this week. If you’re in North America, it will be on today (Monday, September 6th), elsewhere in the world—either today or tomorrow.
The new moon is two weeks prior to my birthday this year and the full moon will be on my birthday this year.
So what are some of the things that one can do during the Virgo new moon?
Take an inventory of your life. Figure out what is working and what isn’t and then figure out what needs to change for the things that aren’t working.
Be of service–help out more at work (if able), do the little things that can help make someone else’s day a little more bearable.
Be healthy–see what is and isn’t working in your health and fitness routines and figure out what to fix (what new habits to start working on)
Avoid nitpicking–this is where the motto “progress over perfection” really comes into play
Get organized–pay bills, figure out the monthly schedule (workout, eating, so forth)–things that can make life a little bearable going forward
While most would think that the new moon would be moving through my first house (since my star sign is Virgo), it actually moving through my 11th house (or friends’ zone), since I’ve been going with my rising sign (which is Scorpio).
Looking back at what I wrote last year, I’d realized that the ‘new normal’ was possibly going to consist of social distancing, wearing a mask, and just being considerate of others. Too bad others haven’t gotten that memo yet (but that is a rant for another day).
Some of the things one can do in regards to their 11th house include:
Sign up for an evening class in something you’ve always wanted to do
Ask your friends to introduce you to friends of theirs you’ve never met
Wish on a start every night for a month
Introduce a childhood pal to a friend from your life now
Say ‘Hi’ to someone you see nearly every day but never talk to
Thank your best friend for being there for you
Well, some of these things still aren’t really possible due to the fact that we’re still in the middle of a pandemic (and who knows when it will get under control). Therefore, if I were to try to do something in regards to my 11th house it would be either wish on a star every night for a month, or thank my best friend for being around still. I also know that I could try to do virtual meet-ups, but that will still require me investing in a better wifi router for the house, and some drapes for one side of the room (if I decide to sit at the desk).
Prior to the pandemic, I would have a monthly lunch get together with a college classmate, but we haven’t done that since March of last year, and with the way things are going—it could easily be March of next year (or possibly 2023) before we may be able to get together for lunch again.
So, since I’ve decided to stay in semi self-isolation, my goals for the Virgo New Moon period will include:
I’m going to take inventory of various aspects of life (research/writing/editing, crafts/hobbies, fitness, mental health/spirituality, and finances) and work on developing a working schedule that will allow me to be productive, but at the same time enjoy time outside as well.
Continue with daily workouts (either alternate between weightlifting and shadow-boxing ro stream Morning Meltdown 100)
In combination with the first goal–organize the schedule, and work at blocking out periods of time (or assign certain tasks to certain days) and see if that helps improve my productivity
Work on completing the third and fourth goal from the Leo New Moon goal list
Determine the top five to ten types of freelance/remote/contract writing that I would like to do and start drafting examples of each. Also start drafting my ‘own’ medical content pieces.
Determine the top five to fifteen items/sponsors/affiliates and so-forth for the other three ‘blocks’ of my business foundation
Continue with the evening meditation and start trying to incorporate them into the morning as well.
My focus moving forward has been ‘Progress over Perfection’, and while it has been a bumpy and windy road, I feel like it is now allowing me to start writing the next chapter of my life (since I’ve stopped reading the last one). I also know that I may have to take an ‘in-person’ job at some point to help make ends meet until I really can get the whole online/freelance/remote/contract writing/consulting/blogging career up and running.
So, we’re on to the last third of the year—there are now only 122 days left in 2021. While it feels like time is starting to speed back up again, I’m wondering when things are going to totally go to hell. The vaccination rate is still on a steady decline (though there are days when the number of shots given is high), and the delta variant is still running rampant through the country. Luckily, I’ll be able to get the J&J booster shot sometime between October and December (they state that it is most effective six to eight months after the initial shot). So, it looks like I’ll be staying in self-isolation throughout the fall and winter (with the occasional walk to get the paper on the weekend, and possibly a walk once a month at Boomer Lake).
The world is still crumbling at a decent clip, and I’m talking about everything from the issues in Central Asia (Afghanistan) to the fact that while Greenland lost a huge amount of ice—they also got a huge amount of rainfall (for like the third time in recorded history). Therefore, I’m limiting my news intake to morning/night and the occasional lunchtime checks on Facebook. When I published ‘July in Review’, I noted that the US was a little over 35.7 million cases for the SARS-CoV2 virus, and now we’re at a little over 40.1 million cases (so it was an increase of not quite 4.5 million cases last month—all due to the delta variant and fewer people getting vaccinated).
So the numbers are going back up, and less than 0.5% of the hospitalized cases are vaccinated individuals (break-through cases). That means over 99% of the people in the hospital for SARS-CoV2, haven’t gotten the vaccine (and a good number now are children under the age of 12 that currently aren’t eligible for the vaccine). I really wish things would go virtual for another semester or two, and if everyone wants schools opened—get the damn shot. (End rant)
Staying in self-isolation will give me the time to really start focusing on trying to get a freelance/remote/contract career started (focusing first on writing, crafts, and possibly project/product management, then stretching to data analysis, and possibly educational consulting).
Before looking ahead to September (the start of the last third of the year, and a semi-modified new set of goals, and continuing to work on my time and project management skills), I should look at the goals I set for August and see how I did with each of them.
The goals for August included:
Restart LIIFT4 (mainly following the lifting schedule, not necessarily streaming the program)
Finish up the writing/editing assignments for MWO, the MWO course, and roll the dice to figure out the next advancedcheeky scientist program to start
Finish reading two to three non-fiction books
Read two to four fiction books (and hopefully write small reviews over at least one of them)
No spend days/no spend weeks/limited spending month
Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries
Craft time (Continue working on the cross-stitch project)
Work through at least one other personal/professional development e-course
So how did I do with each of them?
135-155,000 steps: I managed to get in 154,591 steps this past month. Mostly through wandering around the house and yard, though I did manage to get a walk in at Boomer Lake earlier in the month. I’m thinking that for September–most of the steps will be from wandering around the house/yard, walking through the neighborhood (early mornings, so I can wear my mask), and possibly a walk at Boomer Lake.
Restarting LIIFT4: I’m still giving my wrist a little more time to heal (I semi-sprained or did something to my right wrist last month), and therefore didn’t do any lifting this past month. As I mentioned in another post (400 day update), I have until basically the end of September to decide if I’m keeping my beachbody-on-demand subscription or not. I’m trying to limit my ‘screen time’ (or as much as one can when they’re thinking of freelance/remote/contract writing as a career option). Therefore I’m thinking of working out away from the screen (lifting weights and doing other things), and doing ‘screen time’ for mainly yoga.
Finishing up the MWO program & deciding on new one: I’ve finished the editing assignments for the program, and am still working on the writing assignments. I have one module left to go through (though I may not get the certificate until I complete the writing assignments), and then would be ‘done’ with the program. I did roll the dice and decided that I’d be working through the following programs over the next several months (regardless of when I finish the MWO): User Experience Squad, Project Management Consortium, Regulatory Affairs Council, Business Development Federation, and Product Management Group.
Finish reading two to three non-fiction books: I managed to read the following non-fiction books:
I Want to Do All the Things: Finding Balance as a Polymath, Multipotentialite, and Renaissance Soul by Arcadia Page
The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker
Though I haven’t written mini book reviews over either of them yet.
Read two to four fiction books (and hopefully write small reviews on at least one of them): The fiction books Imanaged to read during the month of August included:
Vortex: A FBI Thriller (#25) by Catherine Coulter (review posted to blog)
Dawn Unearthed (Ravenwood Coven #1) by Carrie Ann Ryan (review posted to blog)
Wiretaps & Whiskers (The Faerie Files #1) by Emigh Cannaday (review posted to blog)
Catnip & Curses (The Faerie Files #2) by Emigh Cannaday (review coming soon)
My Next Play (On My Own #3; advanced reader copy) by Carrie Ann Ryan (review coming soon)
Three out of the five books have reviews posted to the blog, and the other two books are books that I just finished within the past few days, so those reviews should hopefully be getting posted to the blog (and other sites) by the weekend.
No spend days/no spend weeks/limited spending month:
There have been a couple of books bought, one (or two) large amazon orders–but truthfully, nothing more than usual. The breakdown for this will be in the next installment of the limited spending challenge check-in.
Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries:
I’ve been able to spend time outdoors this month–though there was only one walk at Boomer Lake (due to combination of temperatures and the delta variant). I am very grateful that my parents have a decent size backyard that one can be out in during this period of time. I’ve been doing my evening meditations/sitting quietly moments for at least a few minutes (hoping to add this to the morning routine as well).
In term of the daily gratitude entries–I’ve been pretty good with these, even if they’ve been something along the line of being grateful that I don’t have kids and therefore I don’t have to worry/stress about navigating things with the pandemic still raging.
Craft time (continue working on the cross-stitch project):
I actually finished my first small abstract cross-stitch project the other day. Instead of trying to find a pattern, I’m sticking with abstract made up on the spot designs. The reason: I can’t draw a straight line to save my life, and trying to write letters on the fabric was giving me a headache, though I do know that with practice I’d be getting better at both of them).
I should be getting in my glue gun by the end of the week, and will be gluing some of the fabric to the backside of the framefor a more completed look.
I’m starting on a second and larger cross-stitch project, and am finding it therapeutic stabbing the fabric over and over again with teh needle and thread. It seems that the amount of time spent on the project is directly correlated to how irritated I am with the world.
Work through at least one other personal/professional development e-course:
I started two different short e-courses this past month, and finished one of them:
Understanding and Developing Emotional Intelligence on Udemy
With the way the world is going today (especially in terms of the anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers), this is something that a lot of people seem to be lacking. Out of the five main concepts (self-awareness, self-control, social skills, empathy, and self motivation)—I feel like everyone needs a good dose of empathy.
While I may be getting tired of being in self-isolation (more or less) daily, at least I know that I’m doing my part not to spread the virus. Just like I know that wearing a mask in public, helps slow the spread of the virus (even though I shouldn’t be carrying it—it would still help protect me from catching it).
Everyone that is screaming ‘it’s their right’ on whether or not to wear a mask, or get vaccinated, or whatever—yes it is your right, but the world doesn’t revolve around you. We’re a global society, and we really should be looking out for each other (instead of being of the ‘me-and-mine’ mindset).
After taking the course, I’ve realized that I need to work on the self-motivation (keeping the inner critic/imposter syndrome in check) the most, with maybe self-awareness coming in second. I’m usually aware of my emotions, and while I try not to let them get the better of me, sometimes I don’t always control my facial features as much as I should.
Another thing I did last month (and actually at the very end of the month)—I submitted a ‘application’ for paying freelance writing gig. The opportunity came from the company that I’m doing the volunteer writing for (one of the editors wants the pages on another site rewritten), so I sent a response with links to both the blog and my LinkedIn profile (as my portfolio) to the editor I work with and we’ll see what happens.
Even if I don’t get the job—I managed to quiet my inner critic long enough to ask some questions in one of the medical writing Facebook groups I’m in, and put together a response and emailed it back in the afternoon. This is a really big step for me, since I’m more likely to try to let the inner critic/imposter syndrome win and not try to go for things.
I decided earlier in the month that I was going to be keeping the website url, and running tagline for the blog. I will be updating the site over the next few months (especially with a ‘portfolio’ section to highlight various science/medical writing styles/topics, and other writing examples).
I’m not going to change up my ‘goals’ that much, though I will be trying to put a little more time into the other ‘writing’ projects that I’ve got on my plate.
The other goals for September will include:
130-150,000 steps; I’m hoping to get at least one walk in at Boomer Lake this month, in addition to maybe one or two walks through the neighborhood in the mornings (when I shouldn’t run into anyone who could be potentially ‘anti-mask’)
Start my own fitness routine (weight lifting, shadow boxing, yoga/stretching)
Start working through the User Experience Squad program, work on the writing assignments for the MWO and finish the sixth module of the MWO program
Read one to two non-fiction books
Read two to four fiction books (have small book reviews written and published)
No spend days/no spend weeks/limited spending month
Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, and daily gratitude journal entries
Craft time (continue working on the new cross-stitch project)
Work through at least one other personal/professional development e-course
I’m keeping the goals similar to the ones for August—though I’m changing up the fitness/intentional movement goal. Instead of streaming workouts (though I might do that for the yoga), I’m going to just put on music and either lift weights (focusing on certain muscles) or shadow box. This way I’ll be getting in my fitness/intentional movement for the day, but at the same time will be having some ‘screen free’ time as well.
I’ll also be trying to figure out what other types of writing I’d like to be doing, so there may be a variety of blog posts (or pages) popping up throughout the month as I try my hand covering different topics.
While I’ve semi rewritten the ‘work with me’ page, that page and the welcome page may get updated throughout the fall as I slowly make my way into the freelancing world of writing, editing, proofreading, and crafting.
So, while time is starting to ‘speed’ up, I hope that everyone is getting their vaccination shot(s) against the virus, and if you have kids—they’re getting theirs as well. As that (along with masks and social distancing when needed) is really the only way we’re going to be able to get to a ‘new’ normal.
While I’d asked this question last month on what types of posts people would like to see more of (science/educational, personal/professional development, hobbies/crafts, book reviews, or thoughts on different career paths), I decided that I will continue forward with a mixture of all (as that fits my personality and my top two strengths: learner and intellection).
I’m going to share the words I chose for 2021 again— growth, creativity, curiosity, happiness, and prosperity.
So we’re going to be heading into our second Aquarius full moon for the year. Tonight, we will see the moon enter its full moon stage & the Aquarius constellation (for the second time). This means there are only 131 days left in 2021. While the year isn’t dragging as much as it did last year, I wouldn’t mind it slowly down just a bit.
I reflected on the questions for the Aquarius period again, and realized that some of my answers changed a little from the last month. So, again one can look at the book “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland there are a series of questions that one reflect on during the next few days:
Have I been pragmatic to the point of losing the romance of life?
Have I been living too much in my head and not enough in my heart?
Have I been trying to do things my way, just for the sake of it?
Have I been trying to hard to befriend people, and for the wrong reasons?
Have I allowed myself to move forward this month?
So if I were to number the above questions 1-5, my answers would be as followed:
I would say that my response is going to be similar to what I wrote last month. We’re in the middle of the delta variant surge (numbers are going up—and not the correct numbers [i.e. the number of people getting vaccinated]), so I’m really not interested in ‘the romance of life’ (though I am re-reading a couple of romance series).
Well, yeah I have been living a little too much in my head and not enough in my heart. I’m trying to survive the combination of the pandemic and stupidity waves. Though I am trying to be a little more optimistic going forward-I’ve also realized that my faith in humanity has been severely shaken thanks the past few years.
This depends on what one is talking about—especially since I’ve been on a ‘reboot break’ for the past year and a half. Since there is really no one correct way to take care of ones mental health—I’ve been focusing on what works for me (crafts, sitting outdoors, and when needed ignoring the world).
I’m trying to network more on LinkedIn, but at the same time trying to have it focused in a few directions. I know that I need to build rapport and add value before even thinking of asking for something as simple as an informational interview. Therefore, I don’t think I’ve been trying to befriend people for the wrong reasons.
I’ve slowly been moving forward this month. While I did try to set up an editorial calendar for the month (it went out the window by the 6th), I have made small progress in a couple of different areas. I’d decided that I’m going to try to go with weekly goals (in terms of different personal/professional development areas), and will also try to set aside certain time periods to focus on say research (even as simple as finding papers on different topics), and then also set aside time to write and edit.
Aquarius is also moving back through my 4th house or my home and family zone. This is the time when one should try to find a balance between one’s personal life and one’s career. Two months in a row, it is focusing on my home and family zone. While I mentioned last month that cases are starting to go up again, I’m pretty certain by fall we’re going to be back at hitting 2+ million new cases a month, at least until the vaccines are approved for younger kids and the parents wise up and get their kids (and themselves) vaccinated. Therefore, my personal life and career are still deeply ‘intertwined’, since I’m going to be home more or less all day, every day for the next few months.
I’m still working on shifting my mindset from ‘balance’ to ‘harmony’; allowing myself to be happy with whatever choice I’m making at any particular point of the day, without the overwhelming feelings of guilt for not trying to ‘multi-task’.
Therefore, I’m going to keep with the larger ‘open-ended’ goal that I set for the last Aquarius full moon:
Working on time and project management skills, by finding time for crafts, making progress on projects, and feeling accomplished at the end of the day.
My specific mini-goals will be:
Create a timeline/schedule for my various writing projects that I’m coming up with (including the ‘troubleshooting tips for molecular cloning’ writing project)
Create a timeline/schedule for the rest of the bird pages for the blog
Start a 30-day journaling challenge (find some type of inspiration on pintrest)
Continue working on the cross-stitch project (hopefully have it done by no later than the end of September)
Start working through various e-courses.
I’ve been slowly working on my time management skills over the past week. I’m back to using the app Self Control (added in a few additional sites to the block list), and that has helped in terms of mindless scrolling. Though I still need to fine-tune my daily/weekly schedules (or at least be at peace with the fact that I enjoy sitting outside so much during the nice weather).
I’m going to be trying to work on the project management aspect of things over the next few months, especially since I accepted he volunteer medical content writing position last month.
Therefore, I need to figure out the timelines for different projects (in addition the volunteer position), and actually stick to the schedule—though I know there will probably always be a slight change due to something going on in the world.
I will be reminding myself that the goal is progress not perfection, and even if the path looks to be winding back on itself—it is still forward progression, and as I move forward I will be able to see how far I have actually come.
What are some of the projects that you’re juggling?
So, the moon will be transitioning into its full stage over the weekend (Sunday if you’re in the US, and possibly Saturday or Monday elsewhere in the world). This is also mark the second consecutive Aquarius full moon (meaning it has moved through all other signs, and is back in Aquarius this weekend). Once we hit the second Aquarius full moon—there will only be nine days left in August, and 131 days left in 2021.
Therefore, before I reflect again on the Aquarius questions I should look at the goals I set for the first Aquarius full moon and see how I did with each of them.
So what were my Aquarius full moon goals? They included:
Working on time and project management skills, by finding time for crafts, making progress on projects, and feeling accomplished at the end of the day.
While that is a totally ‘open-ended’ goal, some specific mini-goals were:
Creating a timeline/schedule for my ‘troubleshooting tips for molecular cloning’ writing project
Create a timeline/schedule for the rest of the bird pages
Determine a specific time of the day for doing the oracle card challenge
Start a 30-day journaling challenge
Create one necklace or start a cross-stitch project
Start working through various writing e-courses
So how did I do with each of the mini-goals?
I have created a very rough timeline/schedule for the ‘troubleshooting tips for molecular cloning’ writing project. While I had created it during the last full moon phase, I didn’t take into account other writing assignments that would take more time than I had set aside for them. I originally had planned on having this writing project done by mid-October, but will probably go back and fine-tune/readjust the timeline to also take into account the other projects (since I just rolled the dice on the personal/professional board game Monday night). The new projected end date for this project will probably be sometime in mid-to-late November.
This is something that I’m still working on determining. I have probably another 100 pages (taking into account bird orders, families, and then species) to create. I don’t want the overall project to be finished ‘too early’, as this is one thing I do enjoy doing—researching and learning about different birds. Though, I am thinking of a ‘largish’ writing project in relation to the bird pages. Tentatively it will be called ‘Molecular Genetics and the Reorganization of Bird Classifications’.
I’d actually decided that once I manage to do a four-card spread (to catch up on days 27-30), I’m going to put the oracle card challenge on hold. I came to this decision, mainly because it was starting to become more of a ‘chore’ than a fun and enjoyable challenge. I will still draw a card (or a spread), but may not share them on Instagram continuously (it may be a weekly post on say Saturday or Sunday).
I truthfully forgot about this one. I’ve been writing a little more in the journal each day, mainly reflecting a little on either what I managed to get done (or not done) or how I’m feeling about certain things in the world (like the delta variant running amok).
I’m working on my cross-stitch project, a little every other night or so. I’ve decided that I’m going to see how many different colors I can use to totally fill up the space as a circle (more or less). I have basically 240 (or more) different colors of threads, and I’d like to see how many colors fill up this medium size tapestry. I’m also going to hopefully start creating a couple of necklaces/bracelets over the next few months (probably not going anywhere thanks to the delta variant running amok).
I’ve managed to work through an e-course, but it wasn’t one on writing. It was actually a very short course on understanding emotional intelligence and how to practice (and cultivate) it.
So I managed to get about two-thirds of the goals accomplished (or at least partially met) over the past full moon period. I’d realized last week that I was not staying on top of my time management at all, and that something needs to change for that.
That is why, for now I’m going to be working with the idea of meeting weekly goal totals instead of saying that I’ll complete this or that course, or have this or that writing project done.
As I mentioned in the update on my comfort diagram, I’m going to be aiming for at least three to three and half hours a week (breaks down to thirty minutes a day minimum) for certain things (like e-course work, reading non-fiction, and working on crafts), plus a minimum number of words written (say three to four thousand words). Though the actual tracking possibly won’t start until next week (when I have some type of tracking sheet set up).
I’m slowly improving my time management skills (still need to work on the mornings and mid-afternoon), but life is always about improvement and trying to be a little better than the day (or even the week) before.
We’ll see if any of these improve throughout the next Aquarius moon cycle.
What are some of the things you’re trying to improve on?
So we’re going to be heading into May’s full moon within the next twenty-four hours, and hopefully the weather will improve. This full moon is also suppose to be lunar eclipse as well–but we’ve been having rainy/cloudy weather for the past few weeks, so there is a chance that I won’t be able to see the eclipse in the morning due to possible overcast conditions.
Therefore, before looking Sagittarius full moon, I should look back at the goals that I set for the Scorpio full moon and see how I did with each of them.
The goals for the Scorpio full moon included:
Finish 21-Day Fix Real Time and then start 21-Day Fix Extreme Real Time
Spend more time reflecting and set at least one ‘long-term’ goal (personal or professional) that is at least 5-10 years down the road
Finish setting up my 12-month plan (based semi off the ‘long-term goal’; bonus–this would be finishing up a past Aries New moon goal as well)
Continue with daily evening meditations
So how did I do with each of them?
In terms of the two fitness programs–I decided to concentrate more on ‘intentional movement’ and then started LIIFT4 for the third time. It isn’t that I didn’t like 21-Day Fix & 21-Day Fix Extreme Real Time, but I just wasn’t in the mood to listen to the ‘lectures’ on ‘proper nutrition and eating’ as I’m still trying to improve my relationship with food. I will do these programs, but once I feel like my relationship with food has improved enough that I’m not worried about falling back into the mindset of restriction.
In terms of goals 2 & 3–I’m still in reflection mode and contemplating ‘long-term’ goals, and still trying to flesh out the ’12-month’ plan as well. Though I did create a personal/professional board game over the past few weeks that could be tied to both of the goals. I’ve realized over the past few weeks that in terms of trying to set ‘long-term’ goals I keep hearing conflicting viewpoints. The viewpoints go from ‘yes, everyone should have at least one long-term goal to strive for’, and to ‘if you’re focused on a specific goal, you might miss an opportunity because it doesn’t align with your goal’.
These conflicting opinions, made me realize that I’m ‘afraid now’ of setting long-term goals for several reasons: 1) I tried that with grad school/post-docs (had thought of trying to obtain a professor position) and it didn’t happen; 2) I’m having ‘troubles’ seeing myself ’15+’ years down the road doing something (since I’m worried about possibly being on the ‘wrong track’ again); and 3) I’m striving to still find that ‘balance’ between different areas of life (since I know I have the habit of becoming laser focused on one thing to the determent of everything else).
But I’m working my way slowly away from the ‘fear’ by creating and playing my own personal/professional development board game. It is giving me the power to decide what I’m doing, what I’m studying/reviewing, how far in-depth I’m going, and how I’m going to showcase what I’ve learned.
Meditation at night is going more or less smoothly–the only time I ‘skip’ it is if I’m either not feeling well, or something has totally messed up my evening routine (say a water heater spewing 20-30 gallons of water into the room). It hasn’t quite become a fully ingrained habit yet, but I’m making progress towards that end goal. It does help improve my sleep, and I think I’m going to also try morning meditation as well this summer.
So I may not have been totally on target with the Scorpio goals, but I also didn’t fall totally off target either. I’m slowly embracing the fact that productivity/health/life is all cyclic, everyone has good days/weeks and then bad days/weeks. The mark of improvement and progress is making sure that you strive towards getting back towards the good days/weeks instead of wallowing in the bad days/weeks. Also noticing what your productivity ‘cycles’ are can also help, in terms of wondering where you might need to have ‘fewer’ goals or when you can possibly add ‘more’ goals to your list.
I’m slowly starting to figure out my productivity cycle (it looking like peaks are beginning and mid-fall, slow climb/fall, ‘bottoming-out’ twice a year [April/May and possibly Oct/Nov]), but will continue to tract to be sure. A new ‘goal’ will be to try to limit the ‘fall’ and start the ‘climb’ quicker (only two months bottoming-out instead of the possible four).
So question: What are some of your favorite productivity trackers?
So the moon should be hitting its full stage by Monday night
as it enters the Virgo constellation. That is making this week a really fun
week in the US—we’re starting it by setting the clocks an hour ahead, then the
full moon, and we end it with Friday the 13th. If I were a
superstitious sort—I’d be planning on staying in bed all week. J
If you’re one who tries to understand how your mood changes
or is affected by the moon—the Virgo full moon usually has people feeling
finicky and anxious. Personally—I don’t need any extra anxiety in my life; I
manifest plenty on my own. Though no matter what sign I go with (star, rising,
or moon)—all three are able to handle the Virgo energy.
So what are some questions that one can ask during this full
Have I been too picky, pedantic, or
critical of myself or anyone else?
Have I been
humble to the point of underrating myself?
Have I been
of service to others enough this month?
Have I been
worrying and complaining too much, and thus attracting negativity?
Have I paid
enough attention to the details that I need to this month?
So if I were to number the above questions 1 to 5, my
answers would look like this:
don’t think that I’ve been too picky, pedantic, or critical of others currently
(though I have harbored critical thoughts of the world—but with the current
political, health, and environmental issues going on—that isn’t too
surprising). I will admit that I possibly have been a little too critical of
myself lately—but it has allowed me to notice (and admit) certain habits and
mindsets that really aren’t beneficial to me currently. Those habits and
mindsets will slowly be getting corrected over the next couple of weeks.
probably have been a little too humble when it comes to thinking of what type
of transferable skills I have for moving into an industry position. I’ve never
really been one to toot my own horn on anything—as I really don’t like drawing
attention to myself. But I do know that if I want to get a job in industry and
then make it up the ladder—I will have to start tooting my own horn, as there
isn’t anyone else who will do it for me.
been helping out around the house a little more, and depending on how things go
(namely how bad the coronavirus spreads over the next few months), I might try
to volunteer at the library or find a part-time job or internship somewhere
learning something new, but at the same being of help to others.
actually trying not to worry too much about things that I can’t control. I’m
trying to catch any negative thoughts that I have and then slowly rephrase them
in a more positive manner.
this one thing that I noticed that I’ve been doing—focusing too much attention
on a certain task to the determent of everything else I had on my daily to-do
list. Currently, it has been too much time trying to find companies and people
to reach out to at those companies, and ignoring spending time on crafts, and
meditation at night. This is something that I’m going to start correcting this
week—to where I only spend thirty minutes to an hour at a time focused on
anything related to my transition into industry, and then spend “X” amount of
time doing something else (knitting, drawing, journaling/reading, walking the
dog, going for a walk to practice my photography).
So one other thing people should look at is what house the
moon is moving through as well. For me, the Virgo full moon also correlates to
my 11th house or my friend zone. This is the time to try to focus on
the other people in your life, and is also a good month for networking as well
(so the universe is still trying to help nudge me along the path to a job in
is something I have been trying to do more of over the past few weeks (there
are actually a couple of webinars I need to go back, watch again, and take more
notes on how to effectively network), and something that I need to keep doing
basically until I decide what day/year I’m going to retire from whatever job I
have—and then I will probably still be networking, just not as extensively.
So what are some things that I can and work on during the
nightly, and trying to reframe all negative thoughts to more positive thoughts.
the best time schedule to where I’m spending time on different areas of my life
(personal & professional development, health/fitness, crafts, spirituality)
instead of being narrowly focused on one area.
notes for reaching out and networking more effectively.
Also remembering: Progress and not Perfection; Don’t fear
failure, fear being in the exact same spot next year; and work hard in silence,
let your success be your noise.