Aquarius Goals: Organization & Planning for the year(s) ahead

So the moon has entered the Aquarius constellation over the weekend (Saturday night for those within the Central time zone in the US), and I’m several days late with the post. This is the first new moon of the year, and I can hope that things will start to mellow over the next few months…I’m not going to hold my breath though (I gave that up as a child—it never got me what I wanted)…

Is 2023 going to be better than the past few years? One can hope, there are so many problems going on in the world—that the only thing we can control is our responses…and I am working on better control of my emotions (especially when in stressful situations).

Looking at “Moonology: Working with the Magic of Lunar Cycles” by Yasmin Boland, there are again several things that one can do during this period:

  1. Detach ourselves from things that are no longer serving us
  2. Be true to ourselves
  3. Be inventive
  4. Be charitable
  5. Be social

So, I’m still somewhat semi self-isolating. I leave the house only a few times a week—and that is to go visit my mother (who is still in a hospital). I do try to meet up with a friend once a month for lunch (but haven’t gotten around to that so far in January). Other than those few times—I’ll walk at Boomer Lake (but I try to avoid sharing the sidewalks if possible).

I’m still working on trying to detach myself from negative self-talk and stories, diet culture and mentality, and various other aspects of society that just really do a number on my mental health.

Being true to myself, also requires quite a bit of work—mainly on figuring out who I am…I’ve realized that I spent a large number of years, burying parts of myself to blend into the surroundings/background and not call attention to myself…so at times it is hard to be true to myself, when I’m not sure who I am.

Aspects I’m working at being ‘true’ to—my spiritual health (I’m more Wicca/pagan than following a monotheistic religion), my career direction (freelance writing), mental health (dealing daily with burnout, anxiety, depression, stress, and a dollop of PTSD), and personal/professional development path(s).

I’m trying to be ‘inventive’ in those areas—foraging my own paths (while asking for advice when needed from people I trust and respect).

How do you go about trying not detach yourself from things that no longer serve you? How do you ensure that you’re being true to yourself?

Then I turn to see what zone (or house) the moon is moving into in regards to everything. Remember there are basically three ways to determine which house/zone the moon is in for any new/full moon: your star sign, your rising sign, and your moon sign. I usually go with my rising sign, which is Scorpio; while my star sign is Virgo, and my moon sign is Pieces. 

So this means that the moon is entering into my fourth house, or the home and family zone. So this can also be a time when one can spend cleaning (getting rid of things), possibly moving, and spending more time with family. So there are several suggestions from “Moonology” on what one can do during this time:

  1. Have a garage sale
  2. Hug your parents
  3. Sort out your photo albums/digital photo files
  4. Invite friends over
  5. Renovate or redecorate so you’re more comfortable at home
  6. Sell your home and/or change locations, or even countries
  7. Ask your grandparents about your family’s history

So, there are several things from the above list for my fourth house that I probably won’t be doing this year:

Well, if I feel like hugging my parents—it is fairly easy to hug my father, but hugging my mom is another issue (she’s in the hospital in an ICU unit).

Inviting friends over—hello, we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, and if I’m going to be meeting up with friends, I’d prefer a ‘neutral’ location that neither of us has to clean.

Both sets of grandparents are deceased, but we do have some family history from my father’s side (my grandfather started putting together a family tree), and I have a letter he wrote me back in the late 1990s that talked about life during the Depression, ‘Dirty Thirties’, and fighting in World War II.

I don’t think we’re going to be selling the house, and I currently don’t have plans for relocating anywhere (yet).

Things that might happen this year (not necessarily during the new moon):

Garage sale—there is a talk of doing a garage sale at some point this spring, to hopefully earn a little money back in terms of what we’re going to be having to put into the house to semi-remodel a bathroom (or two).

I’m in the process of rearranging my bedroom, and semi redecorating it—just need to finish organizing the desk area and closet.

I do need to sort through my digital pictures. I have way too many Gbs of pictures on my one external hard drive (and I haven’t downloaded the handful of pictures I’ve taken up at Boomer Lake this month).

I noticed that sorting digital pictures has been mentioned for a couple of years in a row—and I do sort through some and slowly get rid of them. My problem is that I take so many walks at Boomer Lake, I literally have probably four or five dozen folder of pictures from my walks up there and I have trouble deciding which pictures to keep and which ones to delete.

Since I’m a few days late in posting my goals for the Aquarius new moon, I’m going to keep the goal list fairly short:

  1. Continue working on my three-to-five/ten year vision/plan
  2. Continue going through my clothes and decide what I’m keeping and what can be either sold in a farage sale or donated
  3. Finish organizing the desk area of my room so that I can hopefully start working from said desk (at least two or three days a week).

Finding a new normal is one of the big goals for this year…but also remembering that it may be slow, winding, and at times possibly even backtracking slightly—but if I keep striving to making forward progress and focus on my strengths it will lead to this being a year of happiness and prosperity.

When doing long term planning–vision board, goal lists/to-do lists, or something else?

No Comments AstrologycareerLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Meditation and planning: Starting 2023 on the right ‘foot’

So the moon is transitioning into its first full moon phase of 2023—through the constellation of Cancer. You might have noticed that I haven’t posted a review of my December 2022 full moon goals…and the reasons— I’m way behind schedule in numerous areas due to the computer problems last month, and the big reason—I’m still trying to get use to Apple’s versions of word, excel, and powerpoint. We’re barely a week into the new year—and I’m already ready for it to be over…so yeah, it’s looking like another one of those years.

So, what are some questions that one can reflect on during this time? If one looks at the book: ‘Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles’ by Yasmin Boland, there are several questions, and they are:

Have I been insecure, clingy, and no fun this month?

Have I been coming at what I want sideways, instead of tackling it head-on?

Have I been sulky, moody, brooding, or manipulative?

Have I been secretive and possibly even a tad paranoid?

Have I had enough family time, or time with people who feel like family?

If I were to number the above questions one-to-five, I think my answers this year would be:

  1. I think it will depend on the situation for each of those behaviors. I’m not really the clingy type. Semi-insecure in terms of the job search and trying to start my own freelance business? Yes, a little—but working on overcoming those (or acknowledging and working with) those emotions. No fun? Well, still in a pandemic/epidemic, and still basically self-isolating—so yeah, probably can be considered no fun by others.
  2. I would probably say that this is a yes—I’ve been avoiding numerous issues related to different aspects of my professional transition, networking a little more successfully, and getting a freelance business up and running.
  3. Again, I think it will depend on the situation. I’ve been moody/brooding in terms of the on-going family medical issue. Manipulative? I don’t think so—though if need be, I will in terms of the above mentioned on-going family medical issue.
  4. I think again, this will depend on the situation. Have I been paranoid in terms of the family medical issue? Slightly…only when it was really a fifty/fifty chance…I’m not quite as paranoid…though that can always change. Secretive? Well, possibly in terms of the different ideas I’ve had for freelancing.
  5. Well, since I’m still semi self-isolating (and living at home)—there is ample family time. Though I would like to try to have more lunch (or coffee) meetups with friends this year.

The Cancer full moon is also passing through my 9th house (or my ‘Big Picture’ zone). This is the time to deal with issues relating to travel, study, and so forth. There are two questions that you can ask yourself in regards to the 9th house and the Cancer full moon, and they are:

Have you been fussing too much over the details of your latest problems or tasks?

Is your life and mind expanding or narrowing?

If I were to number the above questions one and two, my answers would be:

  1. This is probably both a yes and a no component to the answer. Yes—I’m over thinking things, and not just sitting and jotting down all the different ideas/thoughts/projects or whatever else is coming to mind. On the other hand, I can say that the answer is no, and I’m just not doing really anything because I’m preoccupied with the family medical situation.
  2. I’m striving to make progress on expanding my life and mind instead of allowing them to narrow.

A goal this year is to expand the amount of content I’m creating not just in amount—but in terms of topics covered. I’m going to try to create content on different areas of science, history, geography, social sciences, art history, and crafts (photography, cross-stitching/needlepoint, creating jewelry, and then also teaching myself mosaics, glass etching, wood burning, and painting).

The goals for this full moon period are going to include:

  1. Continuing with my nightly meditations and oracle card drawings, and trying to work in at least one morning meditation session.
  2. Draft my three-to-five (or ten) year plan (with yearly/quarterly/monthly/bi-weekly goals)
  3. Finish at least one more non-fiction (or get at least 75% through one)
  4. Start working through at least part of another personal/professional development e-course.

Also keeping the following two phrases in mind: ‘progress over perfection’, and ‘you can’t start thenext chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one’.

I’ve also chosen my words for 2023: change, strength, health, self-care, and purpose.

What is your word (or words) for 2023?

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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.

No Comments CraftsfitnessHealthmoney saving challengesMonth in Reviewno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Peaking around the corner at 2023: Gemini Full Moon Goals

So, we’re entered the full moon for December on the 7th, and I’m a couple days late in posting…This means that there are now only twenty-two days left in 2022. I have no idea how I feel about that fact, nor do I have any idea how I feel about 2023…other than hoping it goes (or at least ends) a little better than this year is going to be ending.

As I’ve been reflecting back on the past several years—there may be a ‘economic gap’ on my resume—it isn’t a ‘experience gap’—I have added in the science/medical/health content creation, blogger, and writer to my resume (and acknowledged the creative blog as well).

Before I get carried away in the direction of reflections and what I may or may not have accomplished this year (that will be the topic for at least one or two posts at the beginning of the year)—back to the topic at hand: December’s full moon.

Wednesday, the moon moved through the Gemini constellation, and there are questions that one can contemplate during the days surrounding that transition. If one looks at “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland, those five questions are:

Have I been gossipy, superficial, or flighty this month?

Have I been glossing over other people’s feelings?

Have I been too quick to change my mind, or too restless?

Have I been too much of a silver-tongued hustler?

Have I done enough reading to keep expanding my mind?

If I were to number the above questions one-to-five, my answers would be as follows:

  1. Well, I’m still self-isolating for the most part—so I don’t think I’ve been gossipy or superficial this month. Flighty…yeah, I’ve been a little flighty this month, but considering the ongoing family medical drama (that is still ongoing and acting like a roller coaster)…not surprising that I’m a little flighty.
  2. I don’t think I’ve been glossing over people’s feelings either this month.
  3. This depends on what we’re talking about—I haven’t changed my mind in terms of pivoting into remote/online/contract writing and/or data analysis position and trying to start my own freelance company. Being restless—maybe a little, but hey—dealing with a family medical issue (which has entered month four), the damn SARS-CoV2 virus is here to stay, and I’m not sure which way is up anymore.
  4. Nope.
  5. Working on this—I’ve realized this year that I go through cycles when it comes to reading non-fiction. I have enough non-fiction books that I really shouldn’t buy any new ones next year—or at least make sure that I’ve read at least three books for every book I think of buying.

So I’m also going to see what house the moon will be transition through during this time. Using my rising sign (which is Scorpio), the Gemini constellation is moving through my eighth house—the focus of this house on “death and rebirth, reinvention and transformation”.

Thanks to the SARS-CoV2 virus, I’ve spent majority of the past three years doing serious self-reflection and personal/professional development. I’ve decided the direction I want to head in for my career transition—remote science/medical/health communications, with the long-term goal of having a successful freelance business within both that realm and creative/hobby side as well. Therefore, I have allowed the ‘bench lab scientist’ to ‘die’ and I’m going to be reinventing myself in 2023 as a successful science/medical/health communicator.

So this is the time to try to find balance between slowing down, rushing to learn things, being real with people, money, and determining one’s self worth.

Therefore my small goal list for the last few weeks of 2022 (and the first few weeks of 2023), will include:         

  1. Setting up my master 2023 habit-tracking journal. I had fairly good success with the 2022 master habit-tracking journal (just had to remember to take time towards the end of each month to finish setting up the next month—especially towards the end of the year)
  2. Continue reading one of the many non-fiction books that I’d started during the last half of 2022
  3. Finish getting the second website/blog up and running, as it will be one of the major parts of my online portfolio for science/medical/health communications
  4. Get the ‘writing/working’ station setup in the bedroom…aka rearrange the room
  5. Figure out an schedule/calendar for various sites (LinkedIn, the creative blog/website, and the science/medical/health website), plus figure out the other social media sites that I want to use to promote both blogs

But above all, remind myself—that I’m making progress and that is what I should be striving for: progress over perfection, the ‘okay’ draft over the ‘polished/perfect’ never published draft.

Here is to the last full moon of 2022, and sending out happy thoughts and vibes to everyone, and fingers crossed that going into 2023 and beyond—things calm down, and we all figure out what our individual (and global) new ‘normal’ looks like.

No Comments Astrologybullet journalcareerCraftsfinancesfitnessFull Moon GoalsHealthPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

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?

No Comments AstrologyfoodFull Moon GoalsHealthLifestyle ChallengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

November in Review: planning and looking ahead to 2023 & beyond

So, we’re in December…that means there are only 31 days, roughly four and half weeks, or 744 hours left in 2022. That means, I now really need to get serious about planning out things for 2023…because it will be here before we know it (or are possibly willing to accept it).

I’m still feeling massively tired and burnt out on life, and while I would love for the year (and decade) to be over—I’m also not ready for the good-byes that will go along with them.

I’d hoped that November would be a little mellower than the past three months—and it was, and at the same time it wasn’t; if possible it was an even tie for September in terms of being a mess.

Still dealing with the ongoing family medical issue—and the outcome is still up in the air. Then there is the fun of elderly animals…probably having to put one cat and dog down within the next few months (cat due to health issues, that I currently can’t afford to treat; and the dog due to old age and pain).

The only cool thing I can say about the news is Mauna Loa erupting this week. It’s been well over a decade since I’ve been to the big island of Hawai’i—and when I went, I only visited Kilauea (since it was within the main part of the Volcano National Park).

While I wouldn’t want to be living on a island with an active volcano—I think it’d be cool to see it erupt (from a safe distance)—cause while I did see Kilauea erupt—it wasn’t as cool looking as pictures have been lately for Mauna Loa or even when Kilauea erupted a few years ago.

Still staying off the news for the most part—mainly because of my current mental health state. Though if everyone would just grab a snickers bar and take like a three-month timeout, I think that would help things settle down.

By this time next year, I won’t be surprised if I’m diagnosed with moderate cases of depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

Elections were earlier this month, and hopefully Democrats can hold their slim majority in the senate, and knock heads together in the house to get things done. Sorry if that seems ‘violent’—I’m tired of seeing mass shootings in the news, and basic human rights being attacked basically every damn day.

In terms of the total number of cases of the virus within the US, when I published ‘October in Review’ on November 1st, I noted that we had reached a little over 99.3 million cases and now as of December 1st —we have reached just a little over 100.6 million cases (an increase of a little over 1.3 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.

I finally got around to getting my booster shot this past month—and other than a sore arm (for about four days), I didn’t have any other side effect of getting the booster. Flu shot is on semi-hold, only because it looks like I potentially have to schedule a doctor’s appointment to get it—and I don’t want to do that right now.

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 December, its time to look back at the goals I set for November and see how I did with each of them. The goals for November included:

  1. 120-150K steps
  2. At least one partial walk at Boomer Lake, and at least five-to-ten minutes of intentional movement each day
  3. Finishing at least one of the many non-fiction books that 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 (aiming for at least 22 days)
  6. Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily oracle card drawings, daily gratitude journal entries
  7. Craft time
  8. Work through at least part of one personal/professional development e-course
  9. Getting the second blog up and running
  10. Writing, writing, and writing

So how did I do with each of them?

120-150K steps:

I fell short of my minimum step goal of 120,000 steps. I managed to get 116,503 steps this past month. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts throughout the years—I’m an extremely fair weather person, so in order to be outside doing some type of workout I need it to be ‘just right’. We’re heading into winter, though with climate change, the temperatures have been doing a yoyo the past few weeks.

At least one partial walk at Boomer Lake, and at least five-to-ten minutes of intentional movement each day:

There was no walk at Boomer Lake during November. The reason—having to play ‘phone tag’ with medical staff in regards to the on-going family medical issue. I probably could have done a brief walk up there—but I did other chores instead.

I know I’ve probably moved around at least five minutes a day—but I have yet to write down what the intentional movements have been. (Need to get better at this)

Finish at least one non-fiction book:

I finally managed to finish reading INNERCISE: The New Science to Unlock Your Brain’s Hidden Power by John Assaraf. I just need to go back and do some of the exercises within the book (especially those that revolve around setting goals, and putting together routines).

Read at least two-to-four fiction books:

There were six new fiction books read during November, and six re-reads:

The new books:

  1. Someone to Hold (Wild Widows #2) by Marie Force
  2. Always Mine (Honey Mountain #1) by Laura Pavlov
  3. Ever Mine (Honey Mountain #2) by Laura Pavlov
  4. Make You Mine (Honey Mountain #3) by Laura Pavlov
  5. Simply Mine (Honey Mountain #4) by Laura Pavlov
  6. The Path to You (Wilder Brothers #3) by Carrie Ann Ryan

The re-reads included:

  1. Alpha Turned by K.B. Alan
  2. Protect & Defend by Francesca Hawley
  3. Hot & Badgered (Honey Badger Chronicles #1) by Shelly Laurenston
  4. In a Badgered Way (Honey Badger Chronicles #2) by Shelly Laurenston
  5. Badger to the Bone (Honey Badger Chronicles #3) by Shelly Laurenston
  6. Breaking Badger (Honey Badger Chronicles #4) by Shelly Laurenston

No spend challenges:

Well, I did okay with the no spend challenge—managed 17 days (so a little over half the month)…spending money unfortunately is my coping mechanism for stressful situations (and the past several months has been a roller coaster of stress)…but I’m going to work on improving this both in December and then in 2023.

Meditation/sitting quietly, oracle cards, gratitude (aka mental/spiritual health):

Time outdoors is again becoming limited to basically evenings (and when I need to fill bird feeders) due to it being winter.

Meditation and sitting quietly at night (or actually anytime during the day) is something I’ve been fairly good at doing.

I’ve also been on top of doing daily oracle card drawings (I think there may have been one day I didn’t—but I’d done a double the day before), and doing daily gratitude journal entries.

Craft time:

I finished the one abstract science cross-stitch project, and had decided to use buttons to tie off the fabric in the back.

Latest abstract cross-stitch project

I’m currently working on a second abstract cross-stitch project and should be done with that one hopefully before the end of the year.

Working through part of a personal/professional e-course:

I’ve started watching the e-course: Master Business Writing & Editing on Udemy. I’ve watched the first three videos (so about 15 minutes of the three hour course). It looks to be a good course—so, aiming to finish this plus the 15 errors in scientific writing & how to fix them (an two hour course) during December.

Getting the second blog/website up and running:

One of the bigger goals for December

Writing, writing, and writing:

While I’ve gotten quite a bit of writing done during November (kept up with the three ‘series’ that I do on LinkedIn each week; plus the various posts on the creative blog), there is room for improvement.

I know that I need to get the second blog up and running—plus I need to decide on the various social media platforms for each blog, and get a tentative content calendar planned and actually stick with it…goal for December and 2023.

So, other than not getting any work done on the new blog/website—I managed a little on all other goals (while totally meeting at least the reading goals). As I’d mentioned in my #thoughtfulthursday post on LinkedIn today—I’ve been allowing myself to fall into the pits of ‘fear of failure’ and ‘fear of opinions of others’ this year—which has sidetracked, and sidelined my progress on numerous fronts.

Taking today out of the equation—there are thirty days left in the month. I know that I probably won’t be super productive this month (holidays and the on-going family medical drama), but I need to start setting things up so that I can hit the ground running in the New Year.

That means measuring things in the bedroom and rearranging furniture—to hopefully create an ‘office’ space that I actually feel comfortable working in, in addition to creating a portable working space in the living/dining room area (elderly dog likes to be in the same room—and has trouble navigating areas that lack area rugs).

It means getting in the different bullet journals and getting the tracking sheets set up for at least the first several months (besides the ones I did for 2022, introduce some new ones for 2023).

It will mean actually taking the time each day (morning and night) to plan and then reflect on how I did each day. It will also mean creating content calendars and trying to stick with them.

I’ll be spending some time during the next month or so deciding on what other social media channels I want to be active on for each blog…some might overlap (Instagram, Medium, and possibly having a Facebook page for each of them), but others will be specific for one or the other.

Therefore, I’ll still be working on improving my time and project management skills as well throughout the month of December.

The goals then for December will include:

  1. 120-155K steps
  2. Partial walk at Boomer Lake, and intentional movements daily
  3. Finish at least one non-fiction book
  4. Commit to the no-spend challenges
  5. Read at least two-to-four fiction books
  6. Mental/spiritual health (meditation, daily oracle card drawings, daily gratitude journal entries)
  7. Craft time
  8. Get the second blog up and running
  9. Work through at least one module of a personal/professional development course
  10. Writing, writing, and writing
  11. Set up the ‘master’ goal list for 2023; and start the ‘master’ blueprint plan for 2023-2028

The December goals are basically the same as what I’ve set for September, October, and November—with the addition of setting up the ‘master’ goals or plan for 2023 to 2028. What I need to do in terms of that ‘goal’ is start with the five year goals, and work my way backwards. That way hopefully each year I’ll be working towards those ‘larger’ and loftier goals.

As I mentioned the only goal that I didn’t really touch was getting the second blog/website up and running. I have an idea of what I want to write for my about me page (helps that I got my functional resume finished), and hopefully will have at least one blog post in addition to various pages ‘live’ by New Years Eve.

All I can try to do is devise a schedule/plan that will hopefully be able to bear the brunt of whatever happens during 2023…that will be a large focus this coming month.

Becoming more consistent will really let me 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).

Time/project management goes hand in hand with consistency and productivity. I’m going to be making more use of airtable (for content/project management—it’s a calendar and spreadsheet in one space), an old fashion timer, and pen/paper to manage my time and projects.

Curious to know what is your favorite time, project, or productivity tracker/manager?

Namaste….

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Reflecting on 2022, planning for 2023: Sagittarius New Moon Goals

So the moon entered the Sagittarius constellation yesterday, marking the eleventh new moon for 2022. That means there is a week left in November (today is Thanksgiving), and then it’s December…and then 2023.

The SARS-CoV2 virus isn’t going to be going away…it is here to stay (unfortunately)—but there are vaccines, and booster shots—so folks, go get your vaccine (or booster), try to continue practicing social distancing where you can—and wear a damn mask in the store, it’s also flu season.

So what are some of the things that one can do during the time of Sagittarius new moon?

Looking at the book “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland, you can:

  1. Get away–travel
  2. Study
  3. Search for meaning
  4. Laugh
  5. Be grateful

Well, I’m slowly starting to research/plan a trip for sometime in either mid-to-late 2023 or 2024. Since the SARS-CoV2 virus isn’t going away—I’ll just wear my mask when traveling…

In terms of ‘searching for meaning’—I’m viewing that as figuring out what I want to be doing with my life and where I would like to be in say fifteen to twenty years. This is a slow work in progress…hopefully making a little headway this coming week.

I’m starting to ‘study’ again—I have numerous different e-courses that I need to be working through. I just need to buy a couple of notebooks—I’m ‘old-fashion’ and I learn better when I actually writing things down.

With the moon entering into Sagittarius, this is also my second house or the “cash, property, and values” zone. I’m totally not in the holiday mood this year—I mean today is ‘turkey’ day, and then we’re just over a month from Christmas…and I’m in a totally bah-humbug type of mood currently.

This year has currently been a year of ‘whiplash’ with various things going on—and I’m heading back towards burnout. I’m realizing this and will be putting together a plan to hopefully stop the backwards slide in its ‘tracks’.

One thing I’m aiming for in 2023—starting to live a much more minimalistic life. I have three boxes of shirts (so far) that I need to donate, numerous DVDs to sell back, and crafts to create/gift/sell. Anyway, back to the second house—the cash, property, and value zone.

So some of the things that you can do during this time include (again, according to “Moonology: working with the magic of the lunar cycles”):

  1. Start a savings account
  2. Pay your bills, taxes, debt, etc
  3. Hire an accountant if it’s all too much
  4. Showcase your talents
  5. Get a neck and shoulder massage
  6. Invest in an expensive neck cream

My savings account is there—just not as ‘large’ as I would like (but hey—I’ve been on a reboot break for the past few years and surviving off of it), and I’m working on getting the bills/debt paid off. There is still no reason to hire an accountant—since I’m still currently unemployed.

In terms of ‘showcasing’ my talents—I’m in the process of starting the second blog/website (dedicated to science/medical/health education/communications), in addition to brainstorming ideas on how to showcase the various crafts that I’ve been working on as well.

  1. Develop a ‘fluid’ daily/weekly/monthly schedule for getting various things done
  2. Reflect on 2022 (to-date), and determine what went well, what didn’t go so well, and start planning for 2023 (and beyond)
  3. Put in the order for the numerous journals and notebooks needed for 2023
  4. Finish setting up the dedicated work station, craft station, and semi-dedicated meditation area in the bedroom

While I managed to accomplish numerous goals over the past few months—I also realize that my inner critic/imposter syndrome has also derailed me several times as well (not to mention life in general)…but I need to just keep reminding myself: ‘progress over perfection’. In addition to not taking to heart the negative opinions of others.

While 2022 hasn’t been going the way I wanted, hopefully the last week of November will be mellower than the previous months have been.

What are you doing to ensure that 2023 starts on the right foot?

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Scorpio Goals in Review: slow, steady, & continuous progress on all fronts

So the moon is going to be transitioning through the Sagittarius constellation in a day or two—which means it’s time to look back at the goals that I set for the Scorpio new moon and to see how I did with each of them.

The goals that I had set for the Scorpio new moon included:

  1. Working on healing my relationship with food and movement. This includes having random dance parties in the living room on a 15-minute break between task, or getting out of the house with my dog for a quick 20-minute walk through the neighborhood.
  2. Work on getting the second website up and going (focusing on science/medical/health communications), in addition to also focusing on trying to get a remote communications position as well.
  3. Start working through various finance e-courses that I’ve bought over the years
  4. Continue to unplug at night (putting the computer to ‘sleep’ by 8pm)
  5. Continue figuring out my personal/professional brand

So how did I do with each of them?

Healing my relationship with food and movement:

Well, healing one’s relationship with food and movement is an ongoing process. Since colder weather is slowly settling in—I’m mixing up breakfast by also having oatmeal (with fruit) or waffles (not the healthiest—but hey, progress); and I’m thinking it could be more solo random dance parties in the living room this winter than walks…

I’ve always been more of a fair weather person—though I will go for nature walks in the winter with my camera (to try to get pictures the winter birds that are around), so I do find it difficult at times to get in a workout in the winter. Though there is always yard work that needs to be done—though we’re going to be leaving more of the leaves on the ground this year instead of mulching them (mainly because we’re in the middle of a drought—so currently no reason to try to put down grass or clover seeds).

I’m trying to find that ‘sweet point’ between not working out and overdoing the workout. I find I do sleep better after doing some type of workout—but if I overdo it, my sleep cycle is crap…so yeah—I’m still working on this as well…

Working on getting the second website up and going:

I’m still working on the second blog/website. For whatever reason—my inner critic/imposter syndrome has been derailing me (especially when it comes to writing the about me page)…but I managed to write my functional resume two weeks ago—so I’ll be using my professional summary as a jumping off point for the about me page.

Working through various finance e-courses:

I still need to start some of the finance courses that I’ve bought over the years—currently I’m focusing on the writing courses that I’ve bought.

‘Unplugging’ at night (by 8pm):

I’ve been fairly consistent at putting the computer to ‘sleep’ by 8pm—and usually it’s by 7 or 7:30pm. There may be one or two nights when I put it to ‘sleep’ past 8pm.

Figuring out my personal/professional brand:

In terms of the personal/professional brand—I’m still working on this as well.

I’ve been told that I shouldn’t be too much of a generalist, as I won’t get as much organic traffic to the blog(s), so I’m still working on figuring out both the ‘niche’ and the ‘generalized’ topic(s) that I want each blog to focus on. Then I need to work on posting to both sites (and other social sites) in a more consistent manner.

Then I will need to figure out my logo, fonts, colors, and all those other fun things.

The temperatures are bouncing all over the place—last week we were in the 30s, and this week we’re going to be in the 50s/60s—which means I can try to get outside to do something (aiming for at least a partial walk at Boomer Lake this week), without having to bundle up due to the weather.

I did okay with these open-ended goals…while I didn’t start a finance related e-course—I did start watching a business writing/editing one. Progress currently is coming down to trying to silence my inner critic/imposter syndrome daily so that I can get some work done.

There is less than 40 days now in 2022—which means I also need to start looking ahead to 2023 (and beyond) and figuring out the different personal/professional goals that I would like to accomplish over the next 365+ days.

Slow and steady wins more races than pushing to the point of burning out.

Curious question for the week—are you a fall or winter person?

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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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To summarize the Aries Full Moon Goals: Progress not Perfection

So the moon will be entering its next full moon cycle for the year tomorrow night—which means that I should look back at the goals that I had set for the Aries full moon.

So what were my goals for the Aries full moon?

Well, they included:

  1. Making a list of things I would enjoy doing in terms of intentional movement–and then trying to devise a schedule.
  2. Have at least two mini-book reviews written and published 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 started

So how did I do with each of them?

List of things I enjoy doing in terms of intentional movement:

Those things include:

  1. Walking (nature walks, taking Chaos for a walk, walks with friends, and ‘window’ shopping)
  2. Weight lifting (as long as I stay away from lunges and push-ups)
  3. Cardio (can be a DVD workout, impromptu solo dance parties, riding my bike, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and ebing outside)
  4. Yoga, Pilates, and stretching

Have I designed a schedule yet? Nope—this is in large part due to both the ongoing family medical issue and then dealing with the pets (most want to be in the same room all the time—and trying to lift weights when you have cats and dogs wanting in your personal space—not fun or easy).

Two mini-book reviews written and published on various sites:

The two books that I’ve gotten around to writing mini-book reviews over were:

  1. Bittersweet Promises (Montgomery Ink Legacy #1) by Carrie Ann Ryan
  2. Always the One for Me (Wilder Brothers #2) by Carrie Ann Ryan

I’m hoping to finish reading Hunted in Darkness and getting that book review posted by the end of the weekend.

Watch/work through at least one module of a personal/professional development e-course:

I managed to watch a couple of short courses on Skillshare and they were:

  1. 3X your productivity with this weekly planning guide
  2. Content Calendar made easy: Save time and develop a personal brand
  3. Blogging rituals and routines: 10 secrets for increased blogging productivity.

I briefly reviewed each of the courses in my ‘October in Review‘ post.

Finish at least one non-fiction book:

Well, I’ve started a couple more non-fiction books—but haven’t finished any of them yet. As I mentioned in my ‘October in Review’ post—I go in cycles when it comes to reading non-fiction.

The best way to illustrate what I mean—oscillation waves, these waves can vary in both height and width:

That is how I view my reading cycles (regardless if it’s non-fiction or fiction).

Currently my non-fiction trend is more of the top—it’s taking more time to finish a book, and then I start numerous books, and it’s a ‘uphill’ battle to finish one (or more).

Whereas my fiction reading trend (and non-fiction trends in certain months)—resembles the bottom oscillation wave, I can read several books within a short period and have no problems moving on to another book (or going back and re-reading books).

So—I know that I need to try to decrease the ‘height’ of the non-fiction oscillation wave to have it match the height of the non-fiction oscillation wave over the next few weeks/months.

Well—I managed to accomplish about seventy percent of my goals for the Aries full moon. The only one that I didn’t get ‘accomplished’ was the non-fiction reading—which based on how October went, I wasn’t shocked to see that I didn’t accomplish it.

Seventy percent works well with the motto that I’m using for the final quarter of 2022—‘Progress over Perfection’.

Sometimes it is difficult to catch all the little negative stories/thoughts that run through our heads—so when I don’t catch them right away, it means I’ve accidentally let the inner critic/imposter syndrome out to play.

But, I’m getting better at catching them…I think they only ‘played’ for a few days during the Aries full moon.

So now, I’m going to celebrate this win—and then look ahead to the Taurus full moon.

How did you do with your personal/professional goals last month?

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