Tag: readingchallenge

A Review on ‘The Little Book of Hygge’

I just started playing my ‘never-ending personal/professional board game’, and I have ‘read’ down twenty-six times between the two boards–the reason, I have almost (or probably more than) 300 non-fiction books to read (and that isn’t counting any that I may buy as I continue with the game).

I randomized the book list after copying it down once, that way ‘older’ bought books were mixed in with ‘newer’ books. The roll of hte dice would decide which book (or books) I’d be reading.

The first book chosen was ‘The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living’ by Meik Wiking. I think I picked up the book after reading an article on how the Nordic countries were topping the list of ‘happiest countries’ (and I wanted to know why), or I was just browsing through e-books and I came across it and the title caught my attention. I’ve had this book on the digital to-be-read pile for quite awhile, it was one of the many books I bought back towards the end of 2017. That was when I decided I was going to develop a large ‘personal/professional development’ reading list. Needless to say, that list has ballooned from approximately forty to fifty books in 2018 to almost (if not slightly over) 300 books today (approximately 3 1/2 years later).

The little book of hygge basically talks of how to make the most of each day–looking for the little things that create happiness. I liked how the author (and country) goes for the more rustic, handmade, mellow, less is more over the glitz, glamor and more that seems to take over here in the US.

The author takes you through the different components of the ‘Hygge Manifesto’ which includes the atmosphere, being present, pleasure, equality, gratitude, harmony, comfort, truce, togetherness, and tribe. All are things that as a global society we should be striving for. I liked how the ‘truce’ example was that one wouldn’t be talking about politics, and I feel like there are actually two sides to that coin–the ‘political’ side (how to balance budgets, raise taxes, and so forth), and the ‘human-rights’ (women’s rights, minorities, and so forth) that somehow gets ‘colored’ political–but that could be a topic for another post. I agree that one can disagree on basic politics, but when it comes to human rights–not so much.

One main central focus of ‘hygge’ is lighting. The Danish seem to be big on candles and diffused lighting and that is something that I can get behind. The only time(s) I may turn on my large overhead light is to workout, clean, or if it’s really dark and freary outside and I need the ‘extra’ light; otherwise I keep my room lit with only a lamp (the shade diffuses the fluorescence enough that the room isn’t overly bright).

Looking at the ‘manifesto’, I realized that the one element that I need to ‘work’ on improving is actually getting together with people. I’m a ‘pro’ at hygging by myself or with family. But at the same time–we’re in a pandemic (so not really the best time to be trying to host a party), plus I’m still living at home.

Going forward I’m going to try to aim for a mixture of hygge and minimalism in decor and ambiance. I’m also going to try to turn the ‘hygge manifesto’ into a cross-stitch pattern/project as well.

For anyone who needs a little help in the ‘hygge’ department–I highly recommend this book. I give it five out of five start rating.

*Note: This is the first book review of many to come as I continue to play the ‘personal/professional board game’, and is also the first of many blog posts related to the board game as well. I’m hoping that I can possibly get a book review (or two) up every couple of weeks (depending on the book), in addition to other posts, articles, and/or pages associated with various topics.

What’s your favorite way to bring hygge into the house?

No Comments Book ReviewsBooksLifestyle ChallengesPersonal Development

A quarter of the way through the year: Reviewing March Goals

So we’ve made it through the first quarter of 2021–three months down, and nine to go. While non-essential trvel (bacially anything other than work) is still semi-frowned upon hopefully by mid to late 2022, it will be allowed again. While numbers are still going up worldwide, hopefully between the various vaccine that are available the pandemic is starting to come under sometype of control.

I have a feeling that basically every year now there will be several ‘WTF’ moments scattered throughout the year. Though so far in 2021–we’ve had at least one WTF moment a month:

January & February saw issues with both the supporters of the orange blob and orange blob himself (for more see the post February in review), and winter weather. March then saw a cargo tanker get stuck in the Suez Canal for almost a week before it was unstuck and traffic started moving again. I loved the one meme that basically stated that you weren’t really having bad week unless your problem was visible from the international space station.

In terms of when I’ll be eligible for the vaccine–the state has opened up Phase 4 (which is my phase)-so all I really need to do now is call one of the local pharmacies and find out what the times are for the shot(s) and go get mine. So that means I should hopefully be ‘protected’ by summertime. Though I will still be social distancing and possibly self-isolating still as well.

I like the fact that we have a new administration that actually listens to science–we’re slowly starting to get the virus under control. When I published ‘February in Review’, I noted that the US was at a little over 29.2 million cases, and as of last night the US is at a little over 31.1 million cases (an increase of less than 2 million–and I’ve forgotten when the monthly increase was that low). Hopefully it is due to people getting the vaccine and listening to the experts. Though spring break was two weeks ago–so we will have to see if there is any upswing in cases during the early part of April.

So before I look ahead to April (with the plans of trying to become slightly more productive), I should look at the gaosl I set for March and see how I did with each of them.

Goals for March included:

Getting somewhere between 135-155,000 steps

Finishing up Barre Blend

Reading (or finishing) 2 non-fiction books

Reading 3 fiction books

Finishing up the assignments for the MWO & finishing the Clinical research coalition and Regulatory affairs council programs

No spend days/no spend weeks/limited spending month

Time outdoors and meditation/sitting quietly

Daily craft time (more emphasis on cross-stitching and jewelry design)

Finish at least two other e-courses

So how did I do with each one?

Getting somewhere between 135-155,000 steps. I manage to hit and surpass the step goal for March. With teh weather warming up and getting outside more–I managed to get 197,430 steps for the month. I had been able to do two walks at Boomer (a full ~5 mile walk and a shorter ~1.5 mile walk), plus walk Chaos through the neighborhood a couple of times.

Finish Barre Blend–well I managed to do the first four weeks of the program, and then switched and did CIZE and/or yard work/walking for my exercise regime for March. I switched the programs mainly because I’m not a barre fan. Being bowlegged/knock-knee didn’t help and the ‘modifier’ was still a professional dancer–so I felt like it wasn’t really a ‘modifier’–she was just someone who is doing the workouts low impact.

I am going to finish up the last four weeks of the program throughout the year–possibly a week at a time between other programs.

Doing CIZE has been fun–I still have two left feet and have to go slower and modify more than I would like to currently (there are certain moves that I just don’t feel like I can do them ‘on beat’)–but I’ve managed to try five of the six workouts (routine six will be tried next week), but currently I actually prefer the second and third one over the others (though how I feel on #6 is still up in the air until after next week).

Read (or finish) 2 non-fiction books

I managed to finish the following: ‘The Renaissance Soul: How to make your passions your life: A creative and practical guide’ by Margaret Lobensteine

I’m also halfway through the following: ‘You Turn: Get Unstuck, Discover Your Direction, and Design Your Dream Career’ by Ashley Stahl

I’m working on a post that incorporates an exercise from The Renaissance Soul, so I will also be posting it as a partial book review, along with it also being a partial book review for ‘How to be everything: A guide for those who (still) don’t know what they want to be when they grow up’ by Emilie Wapnick. I finished that book back in October last year.

Since I’m only halfway through ‘You Turn’–I’m about a half a book behind ‘schedule’ for the year. I’ve managed to read 5 non-ficition books so far–I’m a sixth of the way to my goal of 30 non-fiction books by the end of the year.

Read 3 fiction books

I read the following books during March:

Billionaire Unexpected–Jax (Billionaire Obsessions #16) by J.S. Scott

This is the 16th (though technically 17th book since there was a novella released within the ‘Washington Billionaires’ arch) billionaire obsession book. This series focuses on ‘ultra-rich’ billionaires and the trials and tribulations of being able to find someone who will love them for them and not their money. While every book is a stand-alone book, they’re ‘grouped’ into mini-series that usually introduces the next ‘mini-series’ (usually within the last book of that ‘mini-series’), and I would suggest reading them (at least each ‘group’ ) in order to have all the backstory for each character. Jax is the second in the ‘California’ group following his older brother’s book: Billionaire Undercover: Hudson, which had come out back in July of 2020.

Loving Arms (Slick Rock #30) and Wild & Reckless (Slick Rock #31) by Becca Van

I have the entire series and have been slowly re-reading the last 15 books since I decided to pre-order #32 which is out on April 2nd. This series (and all series by the author) are at the ‘hotter’ edge of romance (they’re menages), in addition to fact taht the heroines are all dealing with some contemporary social issue–so if you’re not into reading menages and don’t like dealing with various topics-then these books aren’t for you. While I would like to see a book where the female lead isn’t dealing with societal crap, I do like how she has numerous shoulders to lean on within the book and series. I read romance mainly to escape reality and transport myself somewhere where there is still a decent amount of good in the world–not saying that there isn’t good in the world, but with the way the world is going and the news–I’ll take my escapism every day thank you.

Exception to the Rule (Beautifully Imperfect #7) by Becca Van

Another contemporary series by Becca Van–again similar background to her Slick Rock series, so again–if you’re just into sweet and rosy romance series, again not for you.

There was also a sale on free e-books mid-month and I bought/downloaded probably another 30-40 books, so I will have pently to chose from during those weeks when I don’t have a new book to look forward to.

Finish up the MWO assignments and the Clinical Research Coalition & Regulatory Affair Council programs

I’m also through the third module for the clinical research coalition program. There are another eight videos left in this module (which is all about job search strategy) and then the fourth module (which has five videos about job trajectory) to finish. While I find the field to be interesting-if I decide to go this way, I think I will be focusing on the clinical research scientist side (the one that writes the protocols and does the analysis of the data collected in the study) instead of the clinical research associate side (which is the side that oversees the clinical trials–too much traveling for this girl).

I didn’t make any headway into the regulatory affairs council program this month (I’m still somewhere within module 1) and I ididn’t try to power through the writing/editing tests for the MWO.

No spend days/no spend weeks/limited spending month

I’ve been pretty good at this challenge (and will have a more detailed breakdown on it in the monthly update on this challenge).

Time outdoors & meditation/sitting quietly

For the most part I’ve been able to spend a little more time outside in March than I did in January or February, since the temperatures are warming up. The issue now will be to make sure that I’m not spending so much time outside that I neglect doing what I need to do on the computer.

I’ve been doing better at evening meditations, as I think I only skipped one night last month.

Daily craft time–so I’ve done ‘crafts’ daily (if one counts being obsessed with the color by number app on the kindle), but other than that or the few days of photography–I haven’t expanded my ‘crafts’ niche yet.

Finish at least two other e-courses

Since I’ve been thinking more and more of going freelance/independent in terms of the next career stage I decided that I should start figuring out my ‘personal/professional’ brand and brushing up on digital marketing.

Therefore I watch the following ‘short’ courses on Skill Share (each were less than a half-hour):

Personal Branding: Your Copywriting Secret Sauce by Bonnie Summerfeldt

Create a Simple Digital Marketing Plan by Tamara Budz

Both were good short courses, and of course left me with more questions than answers (plus an assignment or two to work through).

I’m also starting to refresh my Spanish with the website Mondly as well. I’m happy that I remembered that I bought a premium subscription to the site and have the choice of numerous languages to learn. I’m starting off by refreshing my fluency in Spanish, and then will refresh my fluency in German, and then move on to another language).

Since it is April already the goals for the month will include:

At least 130-150,000 steps

Getting a new pedometer; my fitbit zip is currently acting up and since I can’t find a decently priced replacement–I’ll be going with a different brand of pedometer (hopefully getting the new one on Saturday–so steps may be off for the first two or three days of the month

Finish up CIZE and move on to 21-Day Fix Live

Read (or finish) 3 non-fiction books (plus hopefully post book reviews within 2-3 days of finishing)

Read 3 fiction books (again post book reviews within 2-3 days of finishing)

Finish up the Clinical Research Coalition program, work on the writing/editing assignments for the Medical Writers Organization, and work through at least the first module of the Regulatory Affairs Council (bonus if I finish all threethis month)

No spend days/No spend weeks/Limited Spending Month

Time outdoors & mediation/sitting quietly

Craft time (more photography and designing/creating at least 1 necklace/bracelet set)

Finish (or start) at least two other e-courses

Manage at least 30-45 minutes a day on Spanish

While I didn’t hit all goals 100% (especially reading non-fiction and working through professional development courses), I’ve realized that part of the problem is that I’m afraid if I decide to go that ‘direction’ in terms of my career I may end up bored before too long, and unable to articulate the reason to managers/supervisors and end up either being dissatisfied with my work or possibly fired.

But now that I know what part of my issues are–I should be able to recognize the signs and be able to prevent boredom from either totally occurring or getting too out of hand (because lets face it–all jobs are going to be slightly boring at some point).

I’ve figured that the best way to deal with this issue is to create personal/professional development plan for the next few years–I’m going to tailor it towards freelance/remote/contract/consulting/blogging and actually try to reach out for help in a few areas (something that I’ve been slightly petrified of doing lately–not admitting that I need help, but trying to figure out who would be the best to ask for help from–aka trying to find mentors).

Currently I’m reminding myself of the following: “Progress over Perfection”, and “You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one”. In addition to keeping the following words at the forefront: growth, creativity, curiosity, happiness, and prosperity.

How did your first quarter go?

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Reflections and planning for 2021: Cancer Full Moon Goals

So tonight is the last full moon of 2020–that means there will only be two days left in the year. This has been a very long year with everything that has happened, especially the SARS-CoV2 pandemic that we’re still in the middle of; while there have been two vaccines that have been granted emergency use–I’m not eligible for either of them until probably the summer time (I’m currently in tier four for OK in terms of need). Therefore I’m probably not going to be making any major plans for any type of traveling until maybe sometime in 2022 going towards 2023.

So the full moon tonight will be moving through the Cancer constellation. Looking within “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland, there are several questions that one can reflect on during this time:

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?

Well, if I were to number the above questions 1-5, my answers this month would be as follow:

  1. I don’t think that I’ve been insecure or clingy this month. While I’m still not 100% certain of what I want to do with my life–I have several ideas, and need to fine-tune a plan/schedule to be able to devote enough time to each potential project. In terms of not ‘being fun’–we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and therefore there really isn’t anything to do, if one is listening to the health officials and staying home. Finding time for hobbies, in addition to the different ideas for my career are on the agenda–I’ve realized over the past year or so, I do have the tendency to be laser-focused on one thing to the determinate of other things (for example–laser-focused on career/job/school and ignoring health/fitness/hobbies).
  2. Yes, I probably have been going at what I want sideways instead of tackling it head-on. I think I found it a little easier to do it this way, since I’m not 100% certain of what it is I want to be doing.
  3. No, I have not been sulky, brooding, or manipulative. Yes, I’ve been a little moody–but hello, we’re entering the tenth month of this damn pandemic–everyone is getting a little moody.
  4. No, I have not been secretive or paranoid.
  5. Yes, I have been having enough family time (again–there is a pandemic and I’m self-isolating at home with my parents; and we’ve seen my younger brother twice since it started. We’ll probably be seeing more of him once he moves back into town). I would love to spend more time with friends, but again–pandemic, and it really isn’t safe to be getting together with people who aren’t in your immediate family/household.

In addition to the above questions, the full moon in Cancer is also entering my ninth house. The ninth house is the “Big Picture” zone. Basically this zone deals with all things in terms of personal growth, professional growth, travel, religion and philosophy, and so forth.

There are actually two questions you can ask yourself in terms of the above topics:

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 1 and 2, my answers would be as follows:

  1. This is both a yes and no answer. Yes, I have been fussing too much over the details. I like lists, and I also like to basically have an outline (or at least rough draft) for various projects before starting things. This is more difficult to try to do when you’re thinking of switching directions career wise–especially, if you’re still uncertain about the direction. So instead of doing various things like networking, reading, listening to podcasts, and so forth I’ve been trying to make lists of skills, jobs, companies–but always second guessing and asking myself–“is this really the direction you want to be going”, and more often than not the answer comes back “I have no idea”. I don’t think I’m fussing over the tasks, but that is mainly because I’m not certain of what those tasks should be.
  2. I think that I’m slowly getting back into a learning mindset, and therefore I am slowly starting to expand both my life and mind again. I fell into a ‘closed’ mindset for awhile, more out of self-preservation since I didn’t know what I was wanting to do with my life. I now realize that instead of investigating things and asking questions, networking, reading and trying to figure things out (basically where I am now)–I narrowed my focus to just getting through the day/week to the weekend, and that isn’t the best way to live one’s life.

So the goals for this full moon period may look like a long list–but a couple of them are hopefully going to be checked off the list before the New Year (as they’re part of another goal series that I’ll share in another post).

The goals for the Cancer Full Moon include:

  1. Continue with my night tarot/oracle card reading and brief meditation.
  2. Update various goal posts (150+goals in 2002 day [next installment will be in Feb]; Level 10 life)
  3. Develop a fluid schedule/planner
  4. Make a list of books (mainly non-fiction) to read in 2021 and e-courses to finish in 2021
  5. Read at least one personal/professional development book from said list
  6. Finish one small e-course from said list
  7. Renew one professional membership

And as always the following quotes are going to be coming with me into 2021: “Progress over Perfection”, “You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one”, and “Not caring what other people think is the best choice you will ever make”.

No Comments AstrologyBookscareerCraftsfitnessFull Moon GoalsHealthPandemic2020Personal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

July Capricorn Full Moon Goals: A Review

So now it is August, with a full moon right around the corner. We have 151 days left in 2020—wondering what how the rest of the year is going to be going. The next full moon is coming up (some time between today and Tuesday—depending on where you are in the world). But before I get to contemplate the Sagittarius full moon, it is time to reflect back on the goals that I had made for the Capricorn full moon.

So what were the goals that I made for the Capricorn full moon?

Continuing with Morning Meltdown 100 (I should be at day 54 at the end of the month; and day 57 by the next full moon).

Work on creating a new long-term goal list; the pandemic threw quite a few monkey wrenches into my latest 101 goals in 1001 days, plus I never really got specific about the industry position. So the goal is to have an least a rough outline of the major goals for different areas (health/fitness, finance, career, personal/professional development, spirituality, and living space).

Continue reading through my huge to-be-read digital pile. I think that I’m currently up to a total of 367 (since there are ~10 books on the list that I consider to be more of a reference book). I started this list in 2018 (or maybe late 2017), and it only had ~80 books on it but has now ballooned to almost 400—and between the start of 2018 and now—I’ve read about 50 of them so far; I’m averaging about 20 non-fiction books a year. This means that if I don’t add any more books—it will still take me about another 16 years to get through the list of books. Though some of them may fall into the “reference” book pile.

So how did I do with the goals?

In terms of working out—I will be on day 57 of Morning Meltdown 100 on Aug 3rd. I’m sticking with the plan of pushing play sometime between 8:30 and 9:15 every morning. I’m modifying each workout as needed as well (since lunges aren’t really my thing—hard to have a nice straight step back when you’re knocked-kneed). I should be finishing up the program come mid-September.

In terms of the long-term goal list—I had made a new goal list/time frame schedule. Instead of saying 101 goals in 1001-days, my new list is 150 goals in 2002-days. I added in the workout programs that I want to complete, and doubled the time frame. One thing that I’m going to be doing is taking say 5-10 goals every 2-3 months and breaking them down in steps and pinning those to-do lists to my bulletin board.

In terms of the reading challenge—I managed to finish three more books over the past month. This means that I have 309 books left on the list to read—though the number may go up, since I have this habit of buying books that sound interesting and adding them to the list.

So I actually was able to meet all three of my goals for the Capricorn full moon. I will be continuing all three goals as I move forward as well—working out is helping with my mental health and sleeping, reading is something I’ve always enjoyed (trying to increase my enjoyment of non-fiction reading), and making the 150 goal list has me actually trying to think long term (and not just day-to-day as I’ve been doing for quite awhile). This progress may have had bumps in the road, but it is still progress that is moving me forward. The path may still be shrouded in shadows and mist—but the path is there, I just have to light the path myself.

No Comments AstrologyBooksfitnessFull Moon GoalsHealthPandemic2020Reflections

Capricorn Full Moon Goals

So we’ve entered July, and there is now only 180 days left in 2020. Hopefully, they’ll be more (or less) uneventful days—I’d say we’ve had enough excitement already for 2020. The moon is moving into Capricorn today (or tomorrow, depending on where you are in the world), and it is also going to be another eclipse—viewable (maybe) from the southern part of the US; so if I stay up late enough I may be able to see it (also depends on if there is cloud cover or not).

So looking to book “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland—what are the questions that can be asked during the Capricorn full moon??

Have I been ambitious to the point of ruthlessness?

Have I been obsessed with work to the detriment of my personal life?

Have I been hard headed, hard-nosed, or just too hard on others?

I have allowed my head to overrule my heart?

Have I been planning my life enough? Or have I been planning it too much?

So if I were to number the above questions 1-5, my answers would probably be as following:

  1. No, I haven’t been ambitious to the point of ruthlessness. I may be a little indifferent towards certain things or people—but I’m not ruthless. I would say that there are parts of society today that act ruthless towards others (especially the idiots that refuse to wear masks in stores). Truthfully, I’m not an overly ambitious person—all I would really like to have in life is a decent amount of money (I don’t have to be a millionaire) to live on, a nice, safe place to live, and being able to spend time with friends, family, pets, and doing other things besides working.
  2. Well, this could almost be considered a trick question. For one thing, I’m currently on my “reboot break”—I resigned from my position at the beginning of December to take time to relax and then really figure out what I want to do with my life. The second reason why this could be considered a trick question—with the pandemic, there was the work from home mandate, and not to mention a lot of jobs that were lost due to not being “essential”. Also during this time it is really hard to have a personal life, when you can’t get together with people or travel anywhere.
  3. This depends on the issue—for the most part I’m easy going and I usually don’t interact with that many people right now anyway (hello, self-isolation). But, I will be hard on others in terms of wearing facial masks in public—we’re in the middle of a damn pandemic, and it has been shown that wearing a mask can help slow the spread of the virus. If we’re wanting to get out of self-isolation, and being able to travel again (because, hello the EU has banned Americans from entering their countries for the next few months, since we can’t seem to handle the virus here at home)—we need everyone to wear the damn masks!!
  4. Not recently—looking back at the same questions from last year, I was wanting to adopt a puppy for quite a few months before I went ahead and adopted Chaos. Truthfully, right now I’m just taking things a day at a time. I know that I should be planning long-term goals, but with the current atmospheres (political, environmental, social, and health) it is difficult at times to think five, ten, or twenty years into the future.
  5. No I haven’t been planning my life enough. This is currently due to several things: the pandemic—travel really is a no-go right now (unless you drive places, and I don’t drive), networking and interviews are probably going to be done over the computer, and I should probably think of investing in a decent external microphone for the computer (for better sound quality), and truthfully I still have no damn idea of what I want to be doing with my life (I know that trying to have informational interviews will help—but again look back to the needing a microphone). Also I have realized that I’ve been stuck in the “fear zone” (that zone between the comfort zone and the learning zone) for too damn long—overthinking leads to anxiety which leads to not doing much which leads back to overthinking—I’m actually going to be trying to break this damn cycle over the next few months.

So the Capricorn full moon is also going to be traveling through my third house—or the communication zone. This zone deals with both communications with people that you would see on a day-to-day basis (more or less): friends, co-workers, and possibly family; but it also deals with other things as well: to-do lists, self-expression, and so forth. While it is a time for communications—the communications are best done when people are in “good” moods—you don’t want things to spiral out of control and a disagreement started because someone took something you said the wrong way.

Currently, I’m not in the middle of any type of major disagreement with people that I talk to on a day-to-day basis, which thanks to the self-isolation mandates are my parents (since I’m living at home still). There have been one or two disagreements on Facebook, but those have been resolved with either party pressing the unfriend button (and sometimes the block button as well).

So what are my goals for the Capricorn full moon period?

Continuing with Morning Meltdown 100 (I should be at day 54 at the end of the month; and day 57 by the next full moon).

Work on creating a new long-term goal list; the pandemic threw quite a few monkey wrenches into my latest 101 goals in 1001 days, plus I never really got specific about the industry position. So the goal is to have an least a rough outline of the major goals for different areas (health/fitness, finance, career, personal/professional development, spirituality, and living space).

Continue reading through my huge to-be-read digital pile. I think that I’m currently up to a total of 367 (since there are ~10 books on the list that I consider to be more of a reference book). I started this list in 2018 (or maybe late 2017), and it only had ~80 books on it but has now ballooned to almost 400—and between the start of 2018 and now—I’ve read about 50 of them so far; I’m averaging about 20 non-fiction books a year. This means that if I don’t add any more books—it will still take me about another 16 years to get through the list of books. Though some of them may fall into the “reference” book pile.

And of course remembering: Progress not perfection.

No Comments AstrologyfitnessFull Moon GoalsHealthPandemic2020Reflections

Capricorn Full Moon Goals

Well we’re a little over halfway through July already. The moon is moving into Capricorn today (or maybe it was yesterday or tomorrow for you). I’ve realized that while I can make lists—trying to make the master list is one of the things that almost put me into an anxiety attack. So, I’m going to try to do one this weekend—but I will call it a brain dump (and see how I emotionally process that).

So, since it is the eve of the full moon, one can look at “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland and find a series of questions that you can ask yourself during this time:

Have I been ambitious to the point of ruthlessness?

Have I been obsessed with work to the detriment of my personal life?

Have I been hard-headed, hard-nosed, or just too hard on others?

Have I allowed my head to overrule my heart?

Have I been planning my life enough? Or too much?

So if I were to answer the above questions (again, numbering them 1-5), I think my answers would be as following:

  1. No, I don’t think that I’ve been ambitious to the point of ruthlessness. I’m pretty sure that people will tell you that I’m not ambitious enough, and that I currently go with the flow. I know that to make it in industry (at least move up the ladder or between companies, and to have good mentors), I need to become a little more ambitious that what I currently am. I also know that currently I’m not in a good mental space to really care of how ambitious (or not) others perceive me to be—there are too many other problems in the world, and I don’t rate this very high on that list.
  2. I don’t think I’ve been obsessed with work to the detriment of my personal life. That is one nice thing about having to clock my forty hours—even if I wanted to go over on the weekends—it probably wouldn’t be approved, therefore why bother. I will also be the first to admit that I really don’t have much of a life (I feel like I’m currently in the middle of a midlife crisis, with trying to figure out what the next career stage is going to be). Currently in terms of my personal life—I’m my own worse enemy here.
  3. No, I don’t think I’ve been hard on others. I really don’t interact with that many people in my current position, and I’m also the bottom of the totem pole in terms of hierarchy within my little unit anyway.
  4. Yes, I have let my head overrule my heart—while I really want to adopt a puppy, I’ve realized that I should wait until I either have moved (or am closer to moving), so that the puppy will be more or less totally raised in an apartment. I feel like it would be easier than having one that is used to the yard, and then having to all of a sudden be satisfied with two or three walks a day on a leash.
  5. Here, I actually think that I haven’t been planning my life enough. I’ve always been more to go with the current or flow and not try to battle my way upstream. This however has resulted in me taking several different positions that I probably should have passed on. I’m now trying to plan my life a little more—but going back to question 1, I have to try to do it in a way that it doesn’t induce an anxiety or panic attack.

So the Capricorn full moon is also going to be traveling through my third house (or my communications zone). This is the zone that deals with basically the people you see more or less on a day-to-day basis: friends, coworkers, and siblings. Also it reminds us that there is a to-do list that items that needed to be taken care of. Luckily, I can’t think of any major disagreements that I’ve had lately—I know that not everyone agrees with my idea of a “reboot break” but I’m going to do it anyway—I’ve decided that since I’m going to be 39 this year, it’s about damn time that I start putting myself first a few times.

So my goals for the Capricorn full moon period will include:

Continuing to work on my drafting my “reboot break” and also working on my transition plan to move from academia to industry.

Read (finish) at least one personal or professional development book.

Finish my second round of Country Heat.

Slow steps towards progress are better than trying to make running jumps and ending up falling behind on everything. I’m slowly figuring out ways of coping with my anxiety and stress, and as I continue to find better solutions to the triggers of both—I’ll continue to make more and more progress towards all of my other goals.

Motto for now: Progress not perfection.

No Comments Fitness ChallengesFull Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional development

Gemini New Moon Goals

So the moon is transitioning through Gemini today, as it marks its new phase. We’ve entered June, and I’m sure somehow it will seem like its August before I get this post done. Pretty soon we will getting to the longest day of the year, then the days will be getting shorter, and then the year will half over.

So what are some of the things that one can focus on during the Gemini new moon?

            Think about how you communicate with others.


            Socialize more.

            See your siblings.

            Read more.

But then I should also look to see what house the new Gemini moon is moving through as well. So the new moon in Gemini is also moving through my eighth house, or my “sex and shared finances”. This zone can also be referred to as the money & relationship zone (or at least that is how I think of it). So what are some of the things that one can do during this time in regards to the eighth house?

            Pay off a loan (or take one out).

            Open a savings account and make your first deposit.

            Cancel a credit card you know you can’t afford.

            Ask for a pay raise (but really only if you believe you might get it).

            Refinance your mortgage.

            Talk dirty to your partner.

            Try a sexual position for the first time.

I find it a little amusing that two new moons in a row have aspects that deal with relationships—and I’m determined not to be in one currently. Basically to restate what I said last month: I don’t have the time or energy to put into the dating scene and finding someone. In terms of relationships and being with someone—I seem to be one of the odd ones that doesn’t mind being alone and unattached. I also know that I have other things to work out on my own before even attempting to stick my toes into the dating pool.

So in terms of things one can do for the eighth house:

I have a savings account already (with a decent amount in it).

Currently I can afford to pay all my credit cards off (I try to keep them low).

I don’t own a house—so trying to refinance is not necessary.

I don’t have any loans (and currently not thinking of taking one out).

There are no pay raises being given this year due to the budget (yet another reason to get out of academia).

And finally, I’m not in a relationship—so the last two aren’t even on my radar.

So my goals for the Gemini new moon include:

            I’m going to put making a financial plan back on the list. I’ve realized that I’m not getting any younger, and that there are still things that I either want to do (travel more for leisure) or will need to be doing (moving for a new job) that will require having a decent amount of money saved and/or invested.

            Try to get back into meditating nightly (I got out of the habit last month, and I need to try to get back into it again).

            Read at least three more non-fiction books (out of the large list that I have going).

I’m going to try to focus on my mental and financial health during this new moon period.

The goals might seem a little repetitive, and it may seem to others that I’m not making progress between months/years—but slow and steady is the way to go and again, not everything is publicaly shared.

No Comments AstrologyNew Moon GoalsPersonal Development