So, we’re entering June—that means there are only seven months left in 2022.
I’d mentioned last month how I’d hoped that things would start to ‘mellow’ and ‘level out’—they haven’t. May wasn’t a great month—if it were possible to ‘erase’ months from the calendar, I’ve already picked the four months I want to do away with: February, April, May, and October.
Seems random doesn’t it? Well all four months have something in common: they’re months that we’ve lost dogs.
February 2018, we lost Spelunkers to cancer.
April 2015, we lost Speedbump to old age.
October 2018, we lost Piranha to old age, and Chewi to a combination of old age and cancer.
Then, this past month (May 2022) we lost Rolex to hemolytic anemia.
It was thought that her hemolytic anemia had been brought on by the allergy shot she had gotten last fall. Since she’d been on medication for over seven months and slowly being weaned with (what was thought to be no complications), everyone had their fingers crossed.
Unfortunately, her allergies acted up (we didn’t notice her licking and chewing on her leg), she gave herself a sore—which kicked in the immune system, which also triggered the immune cells against her blood cells. We had thought we’d caught it in time, but due to various issues, she didn’t beat this relapse. So I hope you’re enjoying yourself at the rainbow bridge, and watching over us.
The world is still going to hell in a hand-basket—Russia is still waging their illegal war in Ukraine, the SARS-CoV2 virus is still running around, and then there is the gun violence.
There were two mass shootings last month within a week and a half of each other. The ‘first’ was up in Buffalo, where ten people were gunned down in a supermarket—because of the color of their skin.
The ‘second’ one was just last week—and 21 people were killed: two teachers and 19 kids; plus 17 others were wounded.
Plus there were three shootings today: one at a high school in LA (students wounded), outside a Wal-Mart in Pennsylvania (one injured), and one in Tulsa OK at a hospital (four were killed plus the gunman). Not to mention that there had been another shooting in a small town outside of Tulsa earlier this week.
I know that people state that one shouldn’t be ‘political’ when trying to job search, start a freelance business, and so forth—but enough.
If people want to disagree—fine. If people don’t want to work with me—fine. If somehow these views result in not getting a job interview or offer—fine.
I know that people will say—‘but the Second Amendment’…
What is the wording of the Second Amendment?
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”
So, while it does refer to the right of individuals being able to own guns—it also states its main goal: a well-regulated militia (national guard) for the security of the state.
The amendment was needed because of the disconnection between individuals while they were drafting the constitution and debating over it—some didn’t like the idea of the government having that much ‘military’ control, while others thought it shouldn’t matter, since everyone had some type of ‘arms’ at home.
I truthfully don’t have any problem with responsible gun owners—those that have gone through the background checks, keep the weapons and ammunition locked up (separately), and so forth.
My problem—the ability for those who obviously have severe mental health issues to be able to buy weapons and ammunition and no one really blinks twice at it.
My problem—the toxic culture we live with day-to-day, that makes it ‘taboo’ for people to talk about mental health issues.
My problem—is that there are organizations and people who would rather keep lining their pockets with money, than try to resolve a pandemic that has been raging for decades.
My problem—the toxic patriarchy culture where rich, old, white men are afraid of the future—so they fan the flames of hate and misogamy to try to stay in power.
There is a good percentage of the American population that wants sensible gun laws; that want universal background checks, and the age limit raised for the purchase of weapons.
Why won’t Congress do anything? The pockets of many are being lined by the businesses that would ‘lose’ some money if those changes were put into place.
So, here is a solution: vote out every NRA-backed Congress member, plus any NRA-backed state politicians, and vote in those who support the Second Amendment—but who also support common sense gun laws, and universal health care (especially mental health).
So—please, lets have a civil discussion about universal health care (including mental health), universal background checks, closing loopholes, and ensuring that weapons don’t end up in the hands of those who shouldn’t have them.
So, that was my unintentional rant on gun violence in the United States. I know that it will take quite a while before anything worthwhile happens—but we need universal healthcare (including mental health) in this country, we need universal background checks, and ways of keeping weapons out of the hands of those that could do severe harm.
In terms of the total number of cases of the SARS-CoV2 virus within the US, when I published ‘April in Review’ on May 1st, I noted that we had reached a little over 83.0 million cases and now as of May 1st —we have reached just a little over 85.9 million cases (an increase of a about 2.9 million cases). Numbers are going back up—in part to the different variants of the omicron sub-strain of the SARS-CoV2 virus.
So—please, wear a mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and get boosted when needed.
As I alluded to last month, I’m going to focus on my strengths and values moving forward this summer: knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, evolution/transformation (values), learner, intellection, input, achiever, and deliberative (strengths).
Before trying to set my goals for June, I should look back at the goals I set for May and see how I did with each of them.
The goals for May included:
- At least 130-155,000 steps
- Starting to lift weights, do some cardio, yoga, walking, and so forth
- Read at least two non-fiction books
- Read at least two-to-five fiction books (also have written at least two mini book reviews)
- No spend days/no spend weeks/limited spending month
- Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card drawings
- Craft time
- Working through at least one module of a personal/professional development e-course
- Writing, writing, and more writing
So how did I do with each of them?
At least 130-155,000 steps; I managed to actually surpass my goal step. I managed 188,937 steps for the month of May. This was in large part due to weekly walks at Boomer Lake—I think I only ‘missed’ one week walking at the lake.
In terms of the intentional movements: well, I managed weekly walks (for the most part) and since it’s summertime—it means mowing the yard at least every other week.
Since we lost Rolex, the other two dogs spend a good chunk of the day in my room with me—and I haven’t had the heart to ‘kick’ them out so that I can do a thirty-to-forty minute workout (yet).
For the non-fiction books, I’m currently reading the following:
The First Fossil Hunters: Dinosaurs, Mammoths, and Myth in Greek and Roman Times by Adrienne Mayor
INNERCISE: The New Science to Unlock Your Brain’s Hidden Power by John Assaraf
I’m a little over a third of the way through each of them.
In terms of fiction books I’ve read the following:
Wildfire Griffin (Fire & Rescue Shifters: Wildfire Crew #1) by Zoe Chant
Wildfire Unicorn (Fire & Rescue Shifters: Wildfire Crew #2) by Zoe Chant
Wildfire Sea Dragon (Fire & Rescue Shifters: Wildfire Crew #3) by Zoe Chant
Wildfire Pegasus (Fire & Rescue Shifters: Wildfire Crew #4) by Zoe Chant
Wildfire Hellhound (Fire & Rescue Shifters: Wildfire Crew #5) by Zoe Chant
Wildfire Phoenix (Fire & Rescue Shifters: Wildfire Crew #6) by Zoe Chant
How Much I Want (Miami Nights #4) by Marie Force (book review written)
Etched in Honor (Aspen Pack #1) by Carrie Ann Ryan (book review written)
Faking the Game (Paradise Bay Billionaire Brothers #1) by Claudia Buroga
There may have been several other fiction books read—but they were either repeats or I haven’t finished them yet.
In terms of the no spend days/no spend weeks/limited spending challenge–I managed about a third of the month without spending some money. I of course splurged on e-books, the silly game, essentials (dog treats and so forth), and craft supplies.
Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card drawings:
Time outdoors was manageable for the most part this month (there were some rainy days where I only went out briefly at night with the dogs).
The meditation/sitting quietly is still a ‘work in progress’—mainly in terms of setting a area up that I wouldn’t have to ‘take down’ as soon as I was done meditating. I managed the daily gratitude journal entries for the most part (there may have been a day or two that I didn’t do it), and I managed about two-thirds of the month in terms of the daily oracle card drawings
In terms of craft time: I managed to get in at least a weekly photography session up at Boomer Lake, and once some more black thread comes in, I’ll be starting on Rolex’s memorial tapestry. So there has been craft time—just not a ‘daily’ chunk of time.
In terms of working through personal/professional development courses: I’m also done with the LinkedIn Unlocked course that I purchased at the end of April—I think I have like two and a half modules left of it.
In terms of writing, writing, and doing some more writing: since I decided to start a 90-day content creation/research challenge, I have been doing a little bit of writing daily.
I’m working on the ‘molecular cloning’ series, in addition to researching various other topics.
I’m trying to stay ‘true’ to my strengths and values, but at the same time not fall down the rabbit hole of ‘overthinking/analysis-paralysis, and constant research’.
So, I made progress with some goals (steps, and reading), while others are still slightly ‘stagnant’ (limited spending, intentional movement, and working through various e-courses) in progress.
While it would feel ‘better’ to blame others—I know that I ‘triggered’ this month (due to stress, anxiety, and depression), and instead of rationally working through the emotions—I spent money.
I can handle the emotions (even all three at once)—but when there are multiple ‘causes’—that is when I really spiral.
Two of the main causes this month: losing Rolex, and the two mass shootings. I could also mention that there are health issues with other family members that didn’t help the situation.
But, all I can do is put one foot in front of the other and try to do a little bit better than I did yesterday.
For example—I managed about a third of May without spending money—therefore the ‘minimal’ goal for June will be twelve days (or forty percent).
I was ‘reminded’ in one of the personal/professional development groups—that when it comes to writing, having an outline is essential (especially as one moves towards a communications role and/or freelancing)—and that isn’t something that I do often. Usually, I’ll start writing and then draft an outline from the notes (even though I know that isn’t the way one should usually go about writing).
So moving forward into the last month of the first half of the year, goals for June will include:
- At least 130-150,000 steps
- At least one weekly walk at Boomer Lake, and at least five to ten minutes of intentional movement a day
- Finish the two non-fiction books that I started
- Read at least two-to-five fiction books (and write at least one mini book review)
- Recommit to the no spend days/no spend week/limited spending month challenge (aiming for at least twelve days)
- Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card drawings
- Craft time (work on Rolex’s memorial tapestry)
- Working through at least one module of a personal/professional development e-course (aim to finish LinkedIn Unlocked)
- And of course–writing, writing, and more writing
Are the goals redundant?? Yes—but (at least for me) that is how they become habits—repeating them over and over again.
But they’re also goals that align with strengths/values: learning/knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, and evolution/growth.
What may change—how I go about achieving the goals–I’m going to spend the next couple of days also working on a multi-prong personal/professional development plan that will focus on career, finances, personal/professional development, spirituality, and hobbies/crafts.
I know what my biggest ‘sticking’ points are: being over zealous, trying to cram a months worth of ideas/goals into a few days, and then allowing the inner critic/imposter syndrome drag me back into my comfort zone when I ‘fail’ at achieving the goals.
This means I’m also going to be working on improving my time and project management skills as well—considering they’re part of each and every goal listed above.
The first step for June will be creating the rough draft of the multi-prong personal/professional development plan for say the next three-to-five years; then breaking those goals down into say one-two-three (or one-three-five) years, first set of quarterly, first set of monthly, first set of weekly, and then finally first set of daily goals.
In addition—I’m still working on figuring out my ‘brand’. I’m settling in on certain colors and fonts, I’m still attached to the blog byline (‘A little bit of this, A little bit of that’), so now I just need to figure out a good working web address for the site.
I’ll also be continuing with my 90-day content creation/research challenge. The goal is at the end of the 90 days I’ll have at least three months worth of content (maybe more, maybe a little less—since anything written and published here, or submitted to Medical News Bulletin is included on the spreadsheet), plus hopefully even more ideas of things to look into researching and creating.
So May really didn’t go as plan for the most part—but when one acknowledges the ‘triggers’, then they can slowly start reworking their responses to said triggers.
I know that when my anxiety and stress levels get too high or I start to feel a little more depressed than usual—I have a tendency to find chocolate and spend money. So, when I start to ‘auto’ buy things again—I need to pause, shut down the computer (after saving anything I’m working on), and go outside for a while (without any other electronics). That way, I’ll start creating a new ‘neural’ network for reacting to the problems.
But with just hearing about yet another shooting in the Tulsa area tonight (there was another one earlier this week)—I’m tired, and truthfully can’t think of anything else to say tonight—I’m voting out any and every political figure that is funded by the NRA (they may still win—but not with my vote), or who is against common sense gun laws…