Tag: writing

Progress on the 44 things to do before turning 44 project

Okay…I realized last night as I was working on the latest update to this ‘project’–I never got around to posting the original 44 things to do before turning 44, nor either of the previous two updates. The original post, and both previous updates I think I posted to Instagram, and I think LinkedIn.

I’ve posted the third update to Instagram this morning, and until LinkedIn allows me back onto my account–obviously I can’t post it there. So I’m posting it here, and will probably post it over to Facebook this afternoon sometime. So, this ’44 things to do before turning 44′ is an update/continuation to the previous ‘birthday’ challenge (43 things to do before turning 43) and the ‘goals’ have been taken from the new 101 goals in 1001-days challenge that I’d also started back the day after my 43rd birthday.

Today marks the third update (March 20), and the half-way point between my birthdays. Now, if it was a perfect world–I’d be halfway done with the goals (in theory knocking out 22 goals in six months)…but it isn’t a perfect world, and I’ll admit that I’d fallen into procrastination canyon for awhile last fall. I’m slowly getting better at getting things done, and who knows I may actually get a decent number of the goals totally completed by my birthday in six months.

So what is on the 44 things to do before turning 44?

Well these goals include:

The daily oracle/tarot card readings are an ‘365-day’ challenge…so obviously I’m not going to be checking this one off until basically my birthday in six months. I have been consistent at doing an oracle card drawing daily, and am even thinking of starting an new Instagram account for sharing those ‘readings’.

I’m learning about body confidence (I’ve read several books on the subject–so check out the list a little further down the challenge list). I’ve got an idea for creating a consistent exercise routine (hopefully by the next check-in, I can say that I’ve managed at least 30-days of consistent intentional movement).

The daily mediation goal is another one that I won’t be ‘checking’ off until basically my birthday in six months. I have been sitting ‘quietly’ for a few minutes every evening, and am still working on trying to introducing some ‘quiet’ (aka meditative) time in the morning. Getting into the best shape of my life will slowly start happening once I’ve developed that intentional movement plan that I will (hopefully) be able to stick with.

I have an idea for the name of a YouTube channel, and ideas for what I would be wanting to talk about…I just need to ‘record’ a practice video and see how it looks/sounds before actually ‘launching’ the channel. Then hopefully by the end of the summer I will have ‘launched’ it as a podcast as well–or at least have a outline/schedule for launching it as a podcast.

Working on the happiness plan, and slowly working on getting the debt down (starting to keep track [more or less] of purchases and such).

Again, the stretching daily won’t be ‘checked’ off until my birthday–and I’ve been stretching in the morning & before bed. The monthly editorial calendars have been getting made (and more or less followed). The others are still works in progress.

Okay…something checked off: My definition of success.

I’m defining success as any of the following:

I have my credit card debt paid off…and have canceled a credit card…and the others are paid off monthly

I have started saving money again, and adding to my retirement account

My yearly earnings are in the upper five figure to low six figures

My stress levels have ‘leveled’ out

I’m committed to a fitness routine that I’ve tailored to my likes and dislikes…I’m in the progress of getting into the best shape of my life

I’m meditating twice a day

I’m spending time out in nature

I’m writing and researching things of interest

I have two successful blogs….two successful freelance businesses

I have a podcast…a YouTube channel…that I do for fun…and to educate and entertain others…earning money from them is secondary…

I have an online store for selling my crafts…

I’ve developed an “working relationship” with my ‘imposter syndrome/inner critic’…

I have developed and embraced my vision of minimalism…

I am staying up-to date on world events…

I have created numerous online courses that not only cover science topics, but history, social sciences, and current events.

Basically…Success to me is being curious, constantly learning, creative, present, productive, and aware that not every day is going to be rainbows and unicorns…sometimes they’re thunderstorms and disasters…Success is more than money, influence, and power…it’s being a member of the global community, helping to improve society in whatever small way(s) I’m able to. It’s being comfortable with what I have, doing what I can with what I have, while striving to be a little better tomorrow than I was today. I’m only in ‘competition’ with the me I was yesterday.

The next step is to create a vision board based on the above statements.

I’m making progress on the non-fiction reading:

I’ve been averaging about five books every two months (so roughly two and a half books a month). While I’ve read more non-fiction books this time around compared to the list for the 43 before 43 challenge–I’m hoping to still ‘finish’ this challenge. That means I need to try to read at least one non-fiction book a week for the next six months. One thing I need to do–is to go back and write at least four to five mini-book reviews over various books that I’ve finished.

Okay two more things have been totally checked off, and I’m halfway done with the challenge of reading two banned books.

Both of the above series are romance series that are based around a group of siblings. The ‘Lost & Found’ series has aspects of suspense woven throughout all the books, while the ‘Cottonwood Cove’ series has various other ‘tropes’ (such as brother’s best-friend [though so does the ‘Lost & Found’], enemy-to-friends, and friends-to-lovers). I give both series five out of five stars, and am planning on going back and writing reviews for each of the series (haven’t decided if it will be five individual reviews or a combo-five reviews over the entire series).

The other goal checked off that page: Doodling/drawing, coloring & framing at least two original drawings. I decided that for this goal I was going to do large drawings/doodles instead of the smaller ones I’d been doing last spring/summer and early fall.

Here are the three that I’d completed last fall:

In addition last fall, I also finished up the first really large needlepoint project:

I’m currently working on a needlepoint project that is even larger than this one. Though I should possibly do a couple of small ones as well–just to make sure that I hit the goal of completing at least three needlepoint projects. I’m also thinking of launching an etsy store to sell abstract needlepoint projects, digital coloring books, downloadable prints of my colored doodles, and other crafts–so stay tuned to hear about when I decide to launch that project.

I may get several of the above goals finished over the next few days/weeks. I have numerous black and white doodles that I can use to create a coloring book. I just need to have really good pictures of them to upload into a program to then print off (or upload) as a pdf booklet. I’m thinking of possibly trying to complete the draw/doodle & paint goal this upcoming weekend along with starting to possibly play with some resin or make some charm bracelets & necklaces.

Okay. In terms of the photography challenge–I need to try to develop a plan–am I going to do various 30-day challenges, random times with the cell-phone camera or what. The last time I did a photography challenge was back in 2018/2019 and I managed about six to seven months before I called quits (mainly because I felt like I was constantly ‘repeating’ the subject matter).

In terms of new & full moon goals–I’ve only missed one so far, and that was setting full moon goals in Oct 2023. I wasn’t dealing with Oct very well (as that was the start of the ongoing genocide in Gaza), and the one thing that really fell by the wayside was the full moon goals at the end of the month.

I’ve finished three Udemy courses and two Skillshare courses so far:

I now have a couple of ideas of sites to use when trying to do SEO research for writing (both on this blog & the science, health, medical blog), and I have a better idea of what goes into a business plan.

I’ll be doing one of those exercises again that allows me to figure out my values at this stage of life, and then figure out how to combine those with my strengths to determine how to create my ‘dream career’. Time theming is something I’m attempting this week…and I’ve realized so far that I need to pair the ‘theming’ with other productivity ‘tools’ such as using a timer, logging out of social media sites, and so forth to ensure that I’m not getting overly distracted from what I’m wanting to get accomplished.

The final two goals:

The sudoku & crossword puzzle challenge is an way of keeping the brain active. I use to do the sudoku puzzle almost daily, but when things really started to go south late 2022…I quit doing them–now I’m going to try to get back into doing them. The crossword puzzles are just for fun, actually they both are. I don’t expect to ‘win’ at the sudoku puzzle every day–especially the harder levels towards the end of the week, and I’m pretty sure that I won’t be finishing every crossword puzzle either.

Learning basic sign language is another ‘refresher’ in a way. When I was younger I could sign the entire alphabet using sign language, but as with many things–since it wasn’t ‘related’ to school…I quit practicing and have forgotten most of what I’d learned. It similar with wanting to become fluent in Spanish–I took a year of Spanish in high school (my freshman year) before switching to German. I didn’t take any foreign languages in college–though, I did take a class that had a class trip to Honduras (so I brushed up on my Spanish a little). I want to become fluent in Spanish to where I could travel to Spain and hopefully not have to rely on a guidebook. I’m hoping to become proficient in Arabic…because why not?

But there you have it. If you’ve read this far (or scrolled) I’ve managed to complete 3 out of the 44 goals currently–that’s not quite 7% (it’s actually 6.8%) of the goals met. Some of the goals are just a matter of deciding that the evening craft time will be spent drawing, painting, playing with beads/charms, threads, or resin instead of knitting (which has been my major project for the past couple of weeks–trying to finish my latest afghan).

So what am I going to try to accomplish over the next two months?

I’m going to work on accomplishing the following:

  1. Create a vision board based on my definition(s) of success
  2. Launch a YouTube channel
  3. Complete at least two 30-day challenges
  4. Read at least another eight non-fiction books
  5. Read another ‘banned’ book & at least one ‘classic’
  6. Finish at least one small needlepoint project
  7. Draw/doodle & paint an original piece of art
  8. Create a workout plan
  9. Write a letter to my future self
  10. Complete another four Udemy courses
  11. Complete another five Skillshare courses

Have you ever made a list of goals based on how old you’re going to be the next year? If so–were you able to accomplish all the goals, or were there some goals that were left unaccomplished?

I’m hoping to put a little progress into all the goals–regardless of whether or not I land a remote position (I want to have at least applied to say half a dozen remote science/health/medical communications positions), as some goals are on-going (getting debt down, getting into the best shape of my life), while others can be marked as ‘done’ once the birthday rolls around (since they’re ‘on-going’ but only for this particular birthday year–currently).

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Harnessing time & project management to focus on personal & professional growth

So Thursday night marked the first full moon of 2024. We’re now twenty-seven days into the new year, and I’m ready for it be over. I know I should give it ‘more time’…but there is the ongoing genocide in Gaza (yes, the ICJ ruled…their ruling amounted to a ceasefire [stop any & all genocidal activities]…but Israel is ignoring it [as expected])…and I have a bad feeling things are going spiral out of control soon…and this is going to explode into the third world war.

Plus…there is that new variant of the SARS-CoV2 virus floating around as well…

Last year, I didn’t post any new or full moon goals for the first half of the year (depression and so forth)..and I’ve made it a goal to try to be better this year…even if I’m a day or more late in posting the goals (or reviews). 

What are some questions to reflect on during the first few days of the full moon? According to “Moonology: working with the magic of the lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland:

Have I been too self-centered, egotistical, or proud?

Have I been treating the people around me like minions?

Have I been arrogant, vain, pushy, or pompous?

Have I been expressing myself creatively enough?

Have I shown myself enough self-love?

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

  1. Let’s see…there is still the SARS-CoV2 virus running around (technically we’re in the ‘epidemic’ stage and not pandemic stage)…there is a genocide being carried out live in Gaza…and we’re heading into possibly the most heated/volatile presidential campaign season (even worse than either 2016 or 2020). Since I’m still working on building a freelance business, I don’t think I’ve been self-centered or egotistical about things. I’m proud that I haven’t totally lost my sanity or have had any type of major mental breakdowns. I won’t say that it has been a walk in the park—I’m still struggling with a few things, but I’m surviving.
  2. Nope, I haven’t been treating the people around me like minions. I live at home with my father currently—there are no minions here. Though the animals would say that I’m their minion.
  3. Again, nope I haven’t been arrogant, vain, pushy, or pompous. This is also because again—I haven’t really been out of the house for quite a while. Last year, I just started meeting a friend for lunch monthly again. Though I’m sure that those I’ve blocked on various social media sites might argue this. 
  4. Well, this is something I’m working on. Currently I’m working on a afghan and I’m about a little over a third done with it. I also have a needlepoint project I could pick back up, doodling, drawing, coloring, painting, and numerous other craft projects to do in my evening spare time. I would like to get up to Boomer with my camera at some point…but since I’m really a fair weather girl..that will still be a couple of weeks before that happens (and then will probably be the first time in over a year since I took my camera up there).
  5. The answer to this is almost me shrugging my shoulders…as in I’m not sure. From fall of 2021 though this year has been a goddamn rollercoaster…and I’ve never been a fan of them. So, I probably am not showing myself enough self-love and/or self-care. It is something I’m going to be trying to get better at as I navigate 2024 (with fingers and toes crossed that a world war isn’t going to suddenly erupt). So, yeah—I still need to work on improving my health: physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and social. 

With focusing on self-care/love, this will include doing intentional movements (anything from lifting weights, to walking, to cardio and yoga), meditating at night, doing a oracle/tarot card reading, starting to listening to podcasts again, reading, and just trying to figure out what works for me.

Looking at my chart—the Leo full moon is going through my 10th house, which is also my career zone. So, with it going through my career zone—the past couple of years have been spent trying to figure out what it is I want to do with the second half of my life…both personally and professionally.

I’ve decided that I’m going to be focusing on freelance (and possibly remote work) with science/health/medical communications/education, in addition to also adding in some history/social sciences and current events. As well as figuring out how to monetize the creative/hobby blog (link to a different site for selling crafts? Go to craft fairs and/or farmer markets? The possibilities are possibly endless.

The combination of the two—will allow me to combine my core values: learning/knowledge, imagination/originality, growth/evolution, communication & community, simplicity & insightful; with my strengths: learner, intellection, input, achiever, deliberative, creativity, curiosity, and critical thinking. In addition the combination of these paths (freelance work in different fields and creative craft work) will also allow me to embrace my multipotentialite personality.

So what are my goals for the Leo Full Moon? They include:

  1. Develop not only an calendar for intentional movement (such as weight lifting, cardio & other stuff), but also a weekly schedule for working on different projects (such as morning updates on Gaza & the West Bank; my microbe series I want to get started; and other ‘random’ projects), as well as continuous learning (working through e-courses and listening to podcasts). 
  2. Continue working on my two-to-five year plan…with mini-goals/objectives
  3. Spend time in the evenings working on crafts (continue the afghan, or also work on the needlepoint project, doodle/draw, maybe try to make some jewelry).
  4. Evening oracle card reading and meditation time. 

Life isn’t so much about finding balance…but finding equilibrium between areas of life—sometimes we do need to push a little harder in the career…but then we need to fall back and spend more time doing things that replenish us and allows us to ‘refill’ our internal cup. This has actually been one of my biggest stumbling blocks—finding the equilibrium between things…as well as finally admitting that I was on the wrong career path.

Will I get all goals accomplished? Well, I am starting a couple of days late (because, as usually I’m running behind schedule on things)…and technically half the goals are continuous (three and four), while the first two goals are more fluid…so I’ll aim to get them accomplished…and I’ll check back in next month (with the update) and we shall see…

What are some of your Leo goals?

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Reflection and planning for the fourth quarter: Aries Full Moon Goals

So the moon will be entering its next full moon cycle for the year tonight. This means that there is only an day left in September and then we’re sprinting into the fourth and final quarter of 2023.

I will be more than happy to see the end of this year…and if I could find a time machine—I’d jump ahead a few years to say 2026 or 2028.

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? They include:

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 sensibilties?

Have I had enough fun?

So before answering the questions, I do need to point out that September is basically over, and these questions can be answered in one of two ways: 1) reflecting back on the month of September, or 2) how one want to behave during the Aries phase (which is the first two weeks of October). So as usual I’m going to number the questions 1 to 5 as I answer them.

  1. I would have to say that I’ve managed not to lose my temper, get into any arguments (at least any that are worth remembering having), and I haven’t been acting selfish. September (while it is my birth month), is now just another month I’d rather avoid if possible. I was joking with someone that I was only going to acknowledge half the year, and was debating on how often that would mean I’d have a birthday.
  2. Have I been impulsive during the month of September? Well—yes, if I take into account how many e-books I’ve bought. I probably should keep the phone on airplane mode for majority of the day to ensure that I’m not spending time on social media; also should download another time management app that would ‘block’ my access from different sites (namely Facebook). Have I been going too fast during the month of September? No. I probably have been going a little too slow again. While I have the science/health/med blog/website up and going—I haven’t gotten a blog post up or started any projects to highlight in the portfolio section of the site. The goals for October are not to spend excess money (only order what is absolutely necessary and no new books [other than what’s already been pre-ordered]), and to have at least one if not two blog posts up on the new site, and drafts of at least three different pieces for the portfolio done. 
  3. No, I don’t think I’ve been brash, blunt, or too competitive this past month. I may start being a little more blunt around certain topics (especially education and basic civil rights), but that is a topic for another day. I’m only going to try to be competitive with myself—and only the person I was yesterday.
  4. Well I’m still self-isolating for the most part, and therefore majority of my interactions with people are virtual. I’m working on being more empathetic while at the same time drawing and maintaining my boundaries on certain topics/areas of life.
  5. What is this word fun? The past year has been nothing short of a dumpster fire and we’re going to be stuck dealing with the damn SARS-CoV2 virus thanks to all the idiots back in 2020 that didn’t want to stay at home any longer, and all the idiots that refused to wear masks, social distance, and get their damn vaccines and/or booster shots. While I may have caught COVID—luckily it’s been extremely mild (though it could also still be allergies—need to purchase an in-home test to determine for certain). Therefore, I’m slowly trying to ‘reintroduce’ fun into my day-to-day routine. Fun for me can mean anything from working on my needlepoint project, to sitting outside with the dogs, to making cookies or brownies.

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.

It’s that time of year (for the second time) to sit and reflect on various things—the good, the bad, and the silly. Figure out where we’re stalling, and then try to develop a plan to start pushing the needle forward again (instead of having it spin around in a circle).

Health wise—I’m still procrastinating on developing a weekly schedule for fitness. I have most of my dumb bells in the family room (the 14-lb and 20-lb weights are still in my bedroom), the exercise bike is in the living room, and I technically have the room to roll out the yoga mat. 

My excuse has been centered more or less around our youngest pup and the fact that if you’re on the ground—he thinks it is playtime (and he plays rather rough—but then again he’s only about seven or eight months old). The excuse for the bike—nothing to watch and I get bored after only a minute or two; and the dogs try to attack the pedals. 

Needless to say—I need to ‘schedule’ the thirty minutes or so for a bike ride, pop on a movie (or pull one up on Amazon video) and get my workout in. Also—can pop in a workout DVD (I do have a handful that I could work out to again), and see how they handle me trying to do a workout in the front of the house.

Nutrition wise—I’m trying to get more protein in each day (starting to mix protein powder in with plain Greek yogurt, chia seeds, and fruit), drink more water, and cut back on the processed foods (mostly the sweets and chips).

Career wise—I’m pivoting to freelance science/health/medical communications. Why—to help improve the science/health/medical literacy in the global community. There is so much mis- and dis- information out there on various things, that if we’re going to try to colonize another planet—we need people who understand these topics.

I’m still working on developing a schedule that will work for life (health/wellness, career(s), personal/professional growth, and crafts/hobbies), and determining different ways of handling the procrastination bug when it bites (which it does on a fairly regular basis). So time and project management skills are still on the ‘improvement’ list of habits.

The Aries full moon is arriving just before the start of the final quarter of 2023. Therefore, my goals for this full moon are going to revolve around getting things going for both the final quarter of the year—and the next year or two. 

The goals of the Aries full moon will then include:

  1. Setting up the October calendar, fourth quarter BINGO card, and the October BINGO card
  2. Devise (and then test) an intentional movement schedule that includes weight lifting, walking, cardio (exercise bike, dance parties, and shadow boxing), yoga, and so forth.
  3. Have at least two mini-book reviews written and posted on various sites
  4. Work through at least part of a personal/professional e-course
  5. Continue reading (and finishing) at least one non-fiction book that I’ve started.

The motto for the final quarter of 2023: ‘Progress over Perfection’.

What is a personal/professional goal that you’re going to work towards achieving this quarter?

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Procrastination…derails majority of December’s progress

My apologies for ‘disappearing’ last month…my other laptop more or less died on me…and I was sulking and scared to see if I could pull anything off the backup hard drive. Needless to say–I’m going to strive to be better (or more consistent) in posting here, and on other sites as well.

So we’re officially in 2023…today is New Year’s Day–and I’m aiming to see the silver lining daily.

That means we have a new ‘blank slate’ for writing our life story…we have 365-days to progress towards our goals or potentially wallow in our comfort zone…personally I’m aiming towards making significant progress towards my goals this year.

The last third of 2022 was not an easy time…and it’s going to be bleeding over into the start of 2023…

The ongoing family medical issue is still ongoing…and currently we’re having to look into long-term skilled nursing facilities…with the small hope that she’ll recover enough there to be able to come home at some point this year.

While I’m happy that 2022 is over…it could have left on a slightly nicer note—we had to deal with a flat tire on our way home yesterday from visiting family in the hospital. Yet another little expense we weren’t expecting for early January. 

I’m working at looking for silver linings daily…cause life still has me feeling massively burnt out—and I know that it’s also part psychological…

I’m hoping that by the end of the year—I have a better grasp on my mental health…though I won’t be surprised if at some point I do get diagnosed with moderate cases of depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

In terms of the total number of cases of the virus within the US, when I published ‘November in Review’ on December 1st, I noted that we had reached a little over 100.6 million cases and now as of January 1st —we have reached just a little over 102.5 million cases (an increase of not quite 2 million cases). So, numbers are going up slightly…but that probably is due to the holidays and everyone traveling.

So—please, wear a mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and get boosted when needed.

I’m boosted, but still wearing a mask if going into stores—because I haven’t gotten my flu shot yet…

Still trying to keep the mental health on an even keel—therefore, I’m still trying to lean more into my strengths and values: knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, evolution/transformation (values), learner, intellection, input, achiever, and deliberative (strengths).

So before setting goals for January, it’s time to look back at the goals I set for December and see how I did with each of them. The goals for December included:

  1. 120-155K steps
  2. At least one partial walk at Boomer Lake and at least five to ten minutes of intentional movement each day
  3. Finish at least one non-fiction book
  4. Read at least two-to-four fiction books
  5. Commit to the no spend days/no spend week/limited spending challenge
  6. Meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card drawings
  7. Craft time
  8. Get the second blog up and going
  9. Work through at least part of one personal/professional development e-course
  10. Writing, writing, and writing
  11. Setting up goals/ ‘master’ plan for 2023-2028

So how did I do with each of them?

120-155K steps:

I barely managed to hit the minimum goal–but I did and slightly surpassed it at 121,549 total steps for December.

Partial walk at Boomer Lake and five-to-ten minutes of intentional movement each day:

No walks at Boomer last month, and while I in theory had five-to-ten minutes of intentional movement I still haven’t gotten around to writing down what those intentional movements were (just going by the ‘active’ minutes on the fitness watch).

Finish at least one non-fiction book:

Nope…partially read several non-fiction books, but haven’t finished any of them yet.

Read at least two-to-four fiction books:

Managed to read four and they were:

  1. Billionaire Unclaimed: Chase (The Billionaire’s Obsession #18) by J.S. Scott
  2. State of Shock (First Family #4) by Marie Force
  3. Only Mine (Honey Mountain #5) by Laura Pavlov
  4. Tor’s Solstice Surprise (Dragon Knights novella) by Bianca D’Arc

Still need to write min book reviews for these plus The Path to You (Wilder Brothers #3) by Carrie Ann Ryan

Commit to the no spend challenge:

Only managed to do barely half the month in terms of no-spend days. Due to the ongoing family medical issue—I’ve fallen back into the bad habit of spending money on things that (at times) I don’t really need.

Meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card drawings

I’ve more or less managed to meditate and/or sit quietly each night…managed daily gratitude journal entries, and did daily oracle card drawings (might not have written them down though).

Craft time:

Finished the second abstract needlepoint project:

Second abstract needlepoint project finished off with buttons.

Slowly starting a third needlepoint project as well.

Get the second blog up and running

Nope…once again–one of the bigger goals for January

Work through at least one module of a personal/professional development course:

Nope…didn’t work through any modules of any course this past month

Writing, writing, and writing:

Did do some writing…though once the other computer started to act up–the writing and research kinda fell by the wayside…so I need to get back into the habit yet again.

Setting up goals/’master’ plan for 2023-2028

I’m slowly setting up the goals for 2023 (BINGO card style) and am working on the ‘master’ plan for the year and beyond. I know that my new normal is probably going to consist of a family member being in an assisted living facility now (though hopefully within a few months if they make enough progress they may be able to come home)…which means I can focus more on moving my life forward instead of being in a slight limbo of not knowing what is going on.

So, a little progress was made during December…and I feel like I’m already ten miles behind on what I need to be doing for 2023. At least I have the master tracking sheets for January set up (managed to finish those this morning)…and I have a couple of ideas of how to continue to make progress on time/project management as I head into 2023.

Goals are going to be in the BINGO card format—I’m also going to be copying those BINGO cards into my weekly/daily journal planner—so that I can actually reference back to them more than just once a month (or year).

In addition, I’ve removed the Facebook app from the phone (as one way of helping to save money—since that is one of paths of my book buying splurges), and will be deleting the Farmville 2 app from the kindle again (started playing that again mid-month and spent a little too much money on it)…or just play it slowly.

In addition I’m going to attempt to re-download and make use of the self-control app (blocking myself from Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, and various other sites during the day)—hopefully it will work on the newer computer (for some reason it stopped working on the older one several months ago).

So, what does that mean for January and 2023 in general??

Well, hopefully I’ll be cutting down on the amount of debt I have (aiming to go at least 27 or 28 days of each month without spending any money)…goal is to have the debt down somewhere between a quarter and three-fourths by Dec 31st.

It also means that I’ve gotten serious about research/writing/content creation and am posting/publishing on multiple sites on a fairly consistent basis.

So what are the goals going to be for January?? Well, the major goals are going to be:

  1. 120-155K steps
  2. At least one partial walk at Boomer Lake and at least five-to-ten minutes of intentional movmemnet each day (starting to also keep track of what that intentional movement is)
  3. Finish at least one non-fiction book
  4. Read at least two-to-four fiction books
  5. Write at least three mini book reviews
  6. Commit to the no-spend days/no-spend weeks/limited spending challenge (aim for at least 25 days; goal being 28-29)
  7. Meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card drawings
  8. Craft time
  9. Get the second blog up and running
  10. Work through at least part of one personal/professional development e-course
  11. Writing, writing, and writing
  12. Finishing the ‘master’ plan for 2023-2028

These goals are probably going to be staying the same throughout the year…the step goal will change monthly (going up and down)…and once I have my ‘master’ plan for the next few years drafted—the final goal will change or possibly disappear.

I know where my ‘distractions’ are…and all I need to do now is develop a plan/schedule for working around them (since a big part of my ‘distractions’ are reading and/or playing various games on the kindle).

2023 is going to be the year of success, progress, and change…every little step forward is a step towards those dreams.

Therefore I will also be leaning more into my strengths and values: learning/knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, evolution/growth, and intellection.

They’ll be giving me ample practice at time and project management–and these also go hand in hand with consistency and productivity.

In addition the words I’m choosing for 2023 will also include: Change, Strength, Health, Self-care, and purpose.

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Baby steps…functional resume created…brainstorming more ideas:Taurus Full Moon in Review

So the moon will be entering its last full moon stage for 2022 tonight—but we’re getting rain, so I won’t be able to view it. That means there are only 24 days left in 2022…That also means I need to look back over the goals I set for the Taurus full moon before looking ahead to the Gemini full moon.

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

  1. Change up my breakfast routine–aiming to try to get more protein and fruits
  2. Work on the second blog–getting the about me and home pages written, in addition to hopefully at least one or two blog posts written and posted as well. I’d also like to start brainstorming ideas of communications pieces that can be added to the portfolio section of the website.
  3. Semi-continuation of the above goal–brainstorm ideas for communication pieces that could go in the ‘featured’ section of my LinkedIn profile
  4. Have a functional format of my resume ready to be optimized for job applications
  5. Work on fleshing out my definition of ‘success’ and creating a digital vision board to go with it

So how did I do with each of those goals?

Well—I managed to make progress on two of them:

I’m slowly switching up my breakfast routine to also include oatmeal with fruits and nuts, and waffles (not the healthiest choice—but a little better than just the blueberry muffin).

I have a functional format of my resume finally created—and have already used it for a potential job. I really detest trying to summarize twenty years of work into like two pages (currently its basically three pages). I have summarized (more or less) the past twenty years of my life (grad school to current) into three pages.

The other three goals I’m still working on—the second blog/website while it is technically ‘live’—I need to get the correct copy up on a couple of the pages (about me and the home pages), plus a blog post or two; I’m still working on fleshing out what my definition of ‘success’ is…mainly in terms of breaking it down to ‘success in x area of life’; and I’m still working on brainstorming ideas for different types of communication pieces that could go on both the blog and the featured section of my blog.

So—forty percent of hitting goals is better than zero. True, I could have done more work on trying to get the second blog up and running, and brainstorming ideas—but I’m also granting myself grace considering how totally hellish the past few months have been.

One of the tasks for the next few weeks—start fleshing out the goals for 2023 and beyond. Mainly start figuring out the long-term goals in regards to several of the level-10 life areas (personal development, spirituality, finances, career/professional development, hobbies/crafts, and health/fitness).

Though I’m also going to be trying to give myself the gift of self-acceptance especially when it comes to not getting everything done due to anxiety going sky-high or stress or any number of reasons why I decide to turn off the computer at night and work on the needlepoint projects.

Anxiety, stress, and depression aren’t going to be fading quickly—but I can really start trying to manage, control, and possibly even avoid prolong episodes of each—by protecting my time, and improving my self-care routine/schedule.

What are some of your favorite stress and/or anxiety relief methods/practices?

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Focusing on what I can control: Goals for the Taurus Full Moon

So the moon will have entered its latest full moon stage sometime tonight—and will also be a lunar eclipse as well (actually this was early morning—and we were overcast, so even if I’d gotten up early I wouldn’t have seen it). This full moon is also referred to as the Beaver Full moon, and since it’s an eclipse—it’s a ‘beaver blood full moon’.

There are twenty-two days left in November, and a total fifty-three days left in 2022. Looking further ahead to the start of 2023—I’m going to send up a wish/happy thought that it will be a little mellower, and not quite as bumpy as 2022 has been.

Depending on our schedule for the weekend, I’m going to try to get in at least a partial walk at Boomer Lake this weekend, with the camera (might not carry all the gear though).

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

Have I been lazy or overly self indulgent this month?

Have I been too obsessed with money or status symbols?

Have I been stubborn, jealous, or possessive?

Have I been doing too much comfort eating?

Have I done enough exercise?

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

  1. I think it depends on what aspect of life we’re talking about…In terms of having a set fitness routine—yes, I’ve been semi-lazy over the past month (and if I’m totally honest it’s been longer than that), I just haven’t been in the mood to try to get the dog and cats out of the room so that I could a workout. In terms of being overly self-indulgent, I’m trying to curb the spending (again). I have deleted various games off the kindle, and the only splurges at times now are more e-books.
  2. No—I’m not obsessed with status symbols or money. Money is necessary for survival in today’s society. Therefore, I’m going to make sure that I’m earning enough money to survive, thrive, and be happy—nothing more and nothing less.
  3. Any and everyone would tell you that I’m stubborn. I freely admit to being stubborn—I think it is the one thing that got me through school (public and college) and all four positions after grad school as well. I’m trying to avoid the comparison trap of jealousy—everyone is on his or her own journeys/paths and no two are the same. I’m also trying to strengthen my personal boundaries—so I am slightly ‘possessive’ of my time alone and my winding down time. I’ve noticed that if I don’t ‘unplug’ by a certain time I start to get agitated and that won’t do in the evenings (or really at any time).
  4. I’m sticking semi with last year’s answer of yes/no. I really don’t like the phrase ‘comfort food’ as (to me) it screams of the diet culture industry. Food is meant to both comfort us and fuel us; and hearing the phrase ‘comfort food’ makes me think of counting calories, containers, and wondering what type of exercise I need to do to burn off the calories. Therefore—yes, I’m eating food that comforts me (including sweets and chips) but for the most part those are limited to the weekends. I’m still working on healing my relationship with food—which includes trying to listen to my body’s signs of when I need to be fueling it.
  5. As I mentioned in my summary of the Aries full moon—I’ve figured out what types of movement I’d be happy doing—just haven’t set a schedule yet. I’m trying to make sure that I’m not sitting on my butt all day—but I also cancelled my BeachbodyOnDemand subscription back in September since I seldom made use of it. Now I’m more of the mindset of turning on music and lifting weights or having a impromptu solo dance party.

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

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

In terms of trying to spend time with friends—while everyone has claimed that we’ve moved out the ‘pandemic’ stage and into the ‘epidemic’ stage—there is now the flu to worry about (since majority of people aren’t wearing a mask)—I have been trying to get back into the routine of meeting a friend for lunch once a month.

It will be the turkey holiday soon—my older brother and his family are suppose to be in state that week—so there may be a small family get together at some point (if nothing else hopefully see the elder sibling).

It seems since we’ve hit the ‘20s’—each year tries to out do the previous. The world is tumbling in a downwards spiral—though I hope that at least in the US we can stem it for a while by having a blue wave on election night.

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

  1. Change up my breakfast routine (to continue to work on mending my relationship with food)–try adding in oatmeal with fruits/nuts, or yogurt with fruits/nuts at least twice a week. Both to get away from the usual blueberry muffin, but to also try adding in a little more protein, fiber, and fruit to my diet.
  2. Work on the second blog–getting the about me and home pages written and functional.
  3. Brainstorm ideas: blog posts (both blogs), portfolio pieces, and featured pieces (for LinkedIn profile)
  4. Get the damn functional resume written and ready to be optimized for different job applications
  5. Work on fleshing out my definition of ‘success’ and creating a digital vision board to go with it

There are a little over seven weeks left in 2022—so while I’m focusing on finishing the year strong (resume, LI profile, updated websites, and so forth), I also need to start fleshing out the goals for 2023 and beyond. I know that 2023 isn’t going to start nice and easy (slim possibility of the family medical issue being resolved by then)—so I need to really focus on making sure that I’m controlling what is in the realm of my control—emotions, thoughts, and my day-to-day schedule.

Anxiety, stress, and depression aren’t going to be fading quickly—but I can really start trying to manage, control, and possibly even avoid prolong episodes of each—by protecting my time, and improving my self-care routine/schedule.

What are some of your favorite stress and/or anxiety relief methods/practices?

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Reading, writing, and planning: Aries Full Moon Goals

So the moon will be entering its next full moon cycle for the year probably tonight (at least for me). This means that we’re not quite a third of the way through October—but time does seem to be going a little quicker. I’m hoping that the last quarter of the year goes a little smoother…but I’m also not going to hold my breath on it either.

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

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

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

           

Have I been brash, blunt, or too competitive?

           

Have I ignored other people’s finer sensibilities?

           

Have I had enough fun?

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

  1. I would have to say no—I haven’t been hotheaded, selfish or argumentative this month (a couple months ago—yes I was slightly argumentative then). We’re still dealing with a family medical crisis that may or may not resolve the way we’d like it to—so I could be considered semi-selfish in just wanting the whole ordeal over one way or another.
  2. Considering the month I’m currently having and the past two months, I don’t think I’ve been overly impulsive this month nor do I think I’ve been going too fast (possibly going a tad too slow). I know what I need to do—but currently the other issue is taking majority of my concentration and I’m working on ensuring that I don’t impulsively spend too much money.
  3. No, I haven’t been brash, blunt or too competitive—this month. I was slightly brash and blunt a month or so ago—but that particular circumstance called for me being brash and blunt (and I’m still not going to apologize for it either). While I understand the need for competition (to ensure that the best person is hired)—I truthfully think that there probably is more than enough work for everyone who wants it—so I’m only going to try to be competitive with myself—and only the person I was yesterday.
  4. Well I would say this year it would depend on the situation and the people involved. While I do try to empathize with others—I’m also starting to draw my boundaries and stating what I will and won’t do in particular situations. I also realize that sometimes things can get a little tense and sometimes conversations may need to be put on hold.
  5. What is this word fun? While there are hopes that we’re moving from a ‘pandemic’ to an ‘epidemic’—we’re still stuck dealing with the damn SARS-CoV2 virus, and considering the past nine weeks (and counting)—I really haven’t had much fun, and am still working on ways of adding ‘enjoyment’ into my day-to-day routine.

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.

For the past two years I’d made various ‘commitments’ such as pushing play daily on streaming workouts or committing to intentional movements each day. Well, I canceled my Beachbody-on-demand (and technically my Beachbody) subscriptions this past month—for whatever reason, I’d prefer to pop in a DVD than trying to log into the website…the DVD player relies on power (and not being overly dusty), while streaming workout relies on power plus a good internet connection and the website not being down.

Therefore I’m still in the process of trying to develop a good mix of things I like to do (weight lifting, walking, hiking, and so forth) and making a ‘schedule’ that I can more or less stick with—because life has been throwing more lemons and limes at me than I can use for making various drinks and dishes.

I have a good idea of what I’m wanting to do career wise—it’s a matter now of making a schedule that will work with everything that is going on in life right now—plus I’m still dealing with the feeling of burnout (but not just in terms of career—currently its in terms of everything).

Since I’m pretty sure that this Aries full moon is going to be a very chaotic time, I’m going to limit the number of goals that I’m going to be setting. The goals for the Aries full moon will include:

  1. Write out a list of things I’d enjoy doing in terms of intentional movement (weight lifting, walking, cardio, yoga, and so forth)—and try to devise a schedule.
  2. Have at least two mini-book reviews written and posted on various sites
  3. Work through at least part of a personal/professional development course
  4. Continue reading (and possibly finishing) at least one non-fiction book that I’ve already started.

The motto for this quarter is ‘Progress over Perfection’

Four goals for the Aries full moon–and hopefully four goals that will get accomplished. I know that I have an extra one or two listed above–those are bonus goals…I’m trying to just remember to take things a day at a time, and even then–remember to take things an hour at a time, and if need be a minute at a time.

What personal/professional goal are you working towards this quarter?

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On to the final quarter of the year: September in Review

So, we’re in October…that means there are only three months, 92 days, roughly 13 weeks, or 2,208 hours left in 2022. It’s the final quarter of 2022, and I’m trying to figure out what and how much stuff I can get accomplished before both the end of October and the end of 2022.

Truthfully, I’m tired, burnt out, and just ready for 2022, the decade, and the century to be over.

September was a mess—while there was my birthday, it was a nice low-key day—but the rest of the month was a mess. How as September a mess?

Well—the ongoing family medical issue that I mentioned briefly in my August in Review—it’s still ongoing, and we’re not sure how it’s going to resolve (there is a fifty-fifty chance of it going either way right now).

There’s numerous things going on in the world—ranging from Russia’s still illegal invasion of Ukraine (by the way—I think Russia should be kicked off the UN Security Council…just sayin’), to the death of Elizabeth II, to hurricanes and other natural disasters.

By the time the family medical issue is resolved, I won’t be surprised if in addition to the moderate cases of depression and anxiety, I don’t also have a moderate case of PTSD as well.

I will mention again, that it is time to end the filibuster, expand the Supreme Court, enact term limits for both the Supreme Court and Congress, and finally codify women’s health care and gun control into law.

In terms of the total number of cases of the virus within the US, when I published ‘August in Review’ on September 1st, I noted that we had reached a little over 96.3 million cases and now as of October 1st —we have reached just a little over 98.2 million cases (an increase of not quite 2 million cases). So, numbers are staying ‘steady’—though I’d like to see the number actually start going down again. But there are the various omicron subs-strains running amok.

So—please, wear a mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and get boosted when needed.

Once I call a local pharmacy to schedule an appointment, I’ll be getting my booster shot sometime during October (and possibly the flu shot as well).

While trying to keep the mental health on an even keel—I’m trying to lean more into my strengths and values: knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, evolution/transformation (values), learner, intellection, input, achiever, and deliberative (strengths). Though sometimes it doesn’t help having the background/understanding of medical issues…ignorance is bliss at times.

So before setting goals for October (and possibly the fourth quarter), its time to look back at the goals I set for September and see how I did with each of them. The goals for September included:

  1. 120-150K steps
  2. Hopefully one partial walk at Boomer Lake, and at least five to ten minutes of intentional movement each day
  3. Finishing one of the many non-fiction books I’ve started
  4. Read at least two to four fiction books
  5. Commit to the no spend days/no spend week/limited spending challenge
  6. Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card darawings
  7. Craft time
  8. Working through at least one module of a personal/professional development course
  9. Getting the second website up and running
  10. Writing, writing, and writing

So how did I do with each of them?

120-150K steps:

I managed 126,581 steps during the month of September. In part due to a partial walk up at Boomer Lake on Labor Day, and the weekly walks to the corner convenience store for the newspaper on the weekend.

One partial walk at Boomer Lake, and at least five to ten minutes of intentional movement:

I managed a partial walk up at Boomer Lake on Labor Day. Since it’s been a while since I’ve walked all the way around the lake, I’m slowly getting back into the routine. I’ll probably aim for at least one partial walk at Boomer Lake each month (especially as the weather get colder), and hopefully by the spring—be walking all the way around the lake again.

In terms of the intentional movement—the step tracker states that I’ve been moving at least five to ten minutes a day—but I haven’t been writing down what I’ve been doing each day (need to improve on that).

Finishing at least one of the non-fiction books I’ve started:

Nope, didn’t finish reading any of the non-fiction books that I’ve started.

Read at least two to four fiction books:

I managed to read seven ‘new’ fiction books during September (and probably a good dozen or so re-reads). The new fiction books were:

  1. Home Base by Abbie Zanders
  2. Legacy (Montgomery Brothers #1) by Laura Pavlov
  3. Peacekeeper (Montgomery Brothers #2) by Laura Pavlov
  4. Rebel (Montgomery Brothers #3) by Laura Pavlov
  5. State of the Union (First Family #3) by Marie Force
  6. Collide with Me (The Baker’s Creek Billionaire Brothers #7) by Claudia Buroga
  7. Shattered Sea (The Tattered and Torn Series #4) by Catherine Cowles

Commit to the no spend days/no spend week/limited spending challenge:

I managed 22 days of not spending any money during the month of September—which considering how bad of a month it was—is a victory in itself. The goal for October will be a minimum of 22 days and a goal of 29.

Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card drawings:

I’ve managed to get better at evening meditations—mainly through the use of the soothing pod app on my iPhone. I’ve also managed my daily oracle card drawings and daily gratitude journal entries.

The time outdoors has either been brief (when I take the dogs out), sporadic (sitting outside on and off throughout the day), or semi-long (spending the afternoon outdoors or walks).

Craft time:

Well most of my craft time was spent on Canva creating various images for different LinkedIn posts throughout the month, in addition to using PowerPoint for image creation as well. I spent a little time using doing some photography as well.

Crafts, such as jewelry design/creation, cross-stitching, coloring, or doodling didn’t really happen—goal is to do more of those crafts throughout the fourth quarter.

Working through at least one module of a personal/professional development course:

Nope…this didn’t happen.

Getting the second blog/website up and running:

Nope…this didn’t get accomplished either.

Writing, writing, and writing:

This is one where I did do a fair amount of writing—I managed to keep two weekly series going on LinkedIn, and even started a third one. In addition, I managed usually some type of ‘original’ content another two to three days on the site. While I didn’t get much writing done for the various blogs (though I did get at least five posts on this blog done last month)—I did manage to write somewhat consistently all month.

August, September, and now October (and probably November and December) were/are also focused on trying to find my new normal.

With a family member in the hospital (now going on nine weeks), we’re hopefully that they’ll be released hopefully by Christmas—yes I’m well aware of how far off that date is currently.

That means—I need to have a schedule in place that will allow me to get my work done (writing, reading/research, crafts/hobbies, and so forth), while also being able to help with the potential home care for said family member.

I’m still working on figuring out that schedule. Every time I think I have it partially figured out—the inner critic/imposter syndrome loves to pull me back into my comfort zone—or throw out an idea/thought that has my anxiety spiking.

Looking back at what I wrote at the end of August—I claimed that I was going to aim for consistency in reading, research (on various topics), and writing.

Well, I managed to be consistent in reading fiction books (seven new books, and probably a good dozen or so re-reads), and was somewhat consistent in the research and writing.

Moving forward into October, the goals are going to be:

  1. 125-155K steps
  2. At least one partial walk at Boomer Lake, and at least five to ten minutes of intentional movement a day
  3. Finish at least one non-fiction book
  4. Read at least two to four fiction
  5. Commit to the no spend days/no spend week/limited spending challenge (aiming for at least 22 days, goal is 29)
  6. Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card drawings
  7. Craft time
  8. Getting the second blog up and running
  9. Working through at least one module of a personal/professional development course
  10. Writing, writing, and writing

So the goals for October are basically identical to the goals for September—with the exception of the steps (October is a little higher—at both ends).

As I stated in my review of August (and it definitely applies for September):

 “Also, since I ‘fell’ down on a few of the goals last month, by repeating them—I’m giving myself grace for not being ‘perfect’ and another shot on hitting the goal this coming month.”

I have my fingers crossed that October won’t be any worse than September (and I’ll have a ‘rough’ idea on that come the end of the first full week of October)—but if it is by some chance worse—I’ll just have to give myself grace and remind myself: Progress over Perfection, and sometimes ‘okay, and published’ is better than ‘perfect and forgotten’.

I’m still going to aim for consistency—consistency in reading, research (on various topics), and writing.

Aiming for consistency allows me to lean into my strengths and values: learning/knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, evolution/growth, and intellection.

In addition—they all give me great practice at time and project management as I’m aiming for at least 85% overall completion (I’m fully acknowledging that I may not hit the step goal, and that I may also not have that much time outside—but I can work towards all the other ones).

I mentioned last month that I was going to try to ‘unplug’ from the computer at night to read or work on a craft project—and I think I only managed it a few times throughout the month—so another ‘mini-goal’ to work towards (no computer after 8pm at least four days a week).

With fall here—what is one of your fall goals?

Namaste…

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Need to read more nonfiction, make the to-do lists…Aquarius in Review

So the moon will be transitioning through the Pisces constellation over the next day or two…which means that I should be looking back at the goals I had set for the Aquarius full moon before trying to set goals for the Pisces full moon.

So, what were the goals that I had set for the Aquarius full moon? They included:

  1. Finish reading Trilobite: Eyewitness to Evolution by Richard Fortey
  2. Get the second blog/website (that is dedicated to science/medical/health comms) up and running
  3. Write (and create the graphics) for steps three and four (restriction digestion and ligation) for ‘molecular cloning’ post series on LinkedIn
  4. Create a timeline/schedule for getting the rest of the bird pages up on this blog
  5. Start a 30-day journaling challenge
  6. Create one necklace or start/continue a cross-stitch project

So how did I do with them?

Reading:

Well, I haven’t finished reading Trilobite: Eyewitness to Evolution by Richard Fortey yet…I did read quite a few books during the past month, I just never got around to finishing any of the non-fiction books that I’d started.

New blog/website:

Didn’t get around to doing any work on the new blog/website this past month…other than staring at blank word documents and the semi-live website. One goal for the weekend is to at least get part of the website formatted…

Working on the LI molecular cloning series

I managed to write and create the graphics for the third and fourth step of my molecular cloning post series on LinkedIn. In addition—I managed to get to step five (an introduction to transformations was posted this past Tuesday).

The rest of the bird pages:

Didn’t get around to creating the timeline/schedule for getting the rest of the bird pages posted to this blog. I have a list of the birds that I still need to do the research on–and that includes the order and families as well…so we’re talking probably still another seventy to eighty-five pages to write.

Journaling challenge:

Didn’t start one this past month…I did write in my journal every day–just not on any particular topic/thought.

Crafts:

Nope, didn’t create any jewelry and I didn’t put any work into the any of the current cross-stitch projects I hve going

The Aquarius full moon was a chaotic period putting it nicely—there is still a family member in the hospital (and will probably be there another two to five weeks), so I’m still stumbling trying to find my new ‘normal’.

I’ve also realized that I’m letting my inner critic/imposter syndrome ‘drive’ more often that I should…this shows up as me not writing, binge buying books (when I know I already have more than enough books to read), and allowing the negative self-talk to continue uninterrupted.

This self-reflection has given me other things to also focus on as we continue heading towards the end of 2022: time and project management, in addition to actually spending time self-reflection (writing out the weekly to-do lists, breaking them down to daily to-do lists, and reflecting at the end of each day on what I managed to get accomplished).

This will require blocking out chunks of time for different projects (and different aspects of those projects)—and honoring those projects (i.e. not scrolling through social media or working on another project), and if I get ‘bored’ during the time block—I’ll make note of it and adjust things according for the next day.

I decided, I’d also end with the last few sentences that I typed last month when I was introducing my Aquarius goals:

But things are always a work in progress—because perfection is a myth…what looks perfect to one person may look lopsided to someone….

Progress not perfection, small steps, and even following a winding path are the thoughts/mantra for the next month or so.

Still curious to know: what are some of your time management tools or tricks?

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A little late…but goals are declared for the Aquarius Full Moon

So the moon has transitioned into (and possibly through) the Aquarius constellation the other night (I’m a day or two late in posting these goals…but hey—I’m getting them posted).

It was also a super moon (and I think this one is the sturgeon super full moon). There are only eighteen days left in August, and then only four months (one quarter) left in 2022.

The moon is going to be transitioning through Aquarius, and if one looks 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:

  1. Well, there is still the SARS-CoV2 pandemic, and now we’re also dealing with localized epidemics of monkeypox—so therefore, I’m still not in the mood to try and date. I’m currently happy with the status of my life—even if it means that I’m still single.
  2. I’ve always been more ‘analytical’ minded than ‘artistic’ minded/hearted. I am trying to be a little more ‘artistic’ or ‘loving’—through doing more crafts, gratitude journaling, and meditation.
  3. Well, I’m still on my ‘reboot break’ so there aren’t many other options. I am getting serious about freelance/remote/contract work for science education/communication, photography, and possibly data analysis. In order to be successful at that—it will probably require me to blend ideas into something that will work for me.
  4. I don’t think I’ve been trying to befriend people for the wrong reasons. Currently, I’m still pushing myself in terms of networking, and slowly stepping out of my comfort zone and setting up virtual coffee/water chats.
  5. If we’re talking about moving forward during August—then the answer is no. I haven’t moved forward as much as I probably can…but part of the problem is the ongoing family medical emergency that we’re dealing with.

Aquarius is also moving 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. This year things are about where they were the past couple of years—though this year, there are the vaccines for the SARS-CoV2 virus. But there are still upticks in case numbers (because of variants and people still not getting their vaccine), in addition to the fact that there are monkeypox cases as well breaking out across the country.

I’ve realized that I’m probably not going to be getting everything that I want done during the month of August—which means I need to shift the mindset from ‘balance’ to ‘harmony’—being accepting of what I’m able to get accomplished each day—even if it’s just reading a couple of pages in a non-fiction book.

So what mini-goals should I set for the 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.

While that is a totally ‘open-ended’ goal, some specific mini-goals are:

  1. Finish reading: Trilobite: Eyewitness to Evolution by Richard Fortey
  2. Get the second website (that is dedicated to science/medical/health writing) up and running (have at least three blog posts written)
  3. Write (and create the graphics) for steps three and four (restriction digestions and ligations) for ‘molecular cloning’ post series on LinkedIn
  4. Create a timeline/schedule for the rest of the bird pages for the blog
  5. Start a 30-day journaling challenge (find some type of inspiration on pintrest)
  6. Create one necklace or start a cross-stitch project

I’ve decided that while I’ll still be trying to look for a remote communication position—I’m leaning more in the direction of freelance (writing, photography, crafts, data analysis, project/product management). The top two ‘soft’ skills I need to get better at for this pivot: time and project management. It seems I end up with more things left to do than finished at the end of the week (and month)—I know the main culprit is poor time management (sitting outside most of the afternoon, plus taking an hour and a half to two hours to wake up in the morning).

But things are always a work in progress—because perfection is a myth…what looks perfect to one person may look lopsided to someone….

Progress not perfection, small steps, and even following a winding path are the thoughts/mantra for the next month or so.

What are some of your time management tools or tricks?

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