Tag: timetostartmakingtodolists

Looking ahead to the next revolution around the sun

So, yesterday was my birthday—and I’m now technically a full year into my fourth decade (even though I’ve kiddingly said that I’m celebrating my 39th birthday for the third time).

Last year I did a post shortly after my birthday on trying to answer the question of which hobbies, passions, and interests fall under the jack-of-all-trades umbrella, and which fall under the specialist umbrella. That posts evolved from a previous post (‘self-reflection, planning, and yet more self-reflection’).

I’d stated then that my two biggest struggles were imposter syndrome and being stuck in the ‘academic’ mindset of career progression (though industry does have clear career progressions—my ‘problem’ has been not knowing which direction to go in).

Recently I’ve been coming back to the possibility of freelance/remote/contract work where I could be doing writing, data analysis, project, and/or product management in addition to writing/blogging on personal/professional development topics as well.

The main reason why I’m leaning in that direction—we’re still in the middle of the pandemic, and I feel more comfortable with going in a direction that is semi-location independent and to a degree company-independent as well.

While at the same time, I want to create a ‘niche’ that will allow me to flow between topics that I feel fall into either the ‘jack-of-all-trades’ category or the ‘specialist’ category. In addition to allowing me to make use of my strengths: learner, intellection, input, achiever, and deliberative/ideation/arranger.

So how am I going to do this?

Well, I’ve come up with three broad areas that will be added to the two ‘fun’ niches that I already have ‘pages/tabs’ for on the blog/website.

The three broad areas that I’m going to be adding will be:

  1. Health and Wellness
  2. Science Education and Communications (abbreviated Science Ed and Coms)
  3. Personal Development (may also include some aspects of professional development as well)

Since each area is extremely broad, I’ll be focusing on certain subtopics within each area (though the science education and communication may remain some broad—only because I find almost all science to be interesting). What those subtopics are–I’m still working on those lists, but my goal is to have three-to-five subtopics per broad area.

They will also have their own ‘tab’ on the website (serving as individual ‘portfolios’), and I’ve decided that the Health/Wellness tab is going to be the ‘renamed/worked’ Fitness tab; Science Ed and Coms will be the ‘renamed/worked’ All Things Science tab; and Personal Development will be the ‘renamed/worked’ Everything Else Bucket List tab.

The two ‘fun’ niches that I will be keeping on the blog (and that already have their own tabs/pages) will be travel and photography (which I’m going to be combining with the birds tab).

Having these five ‘niches’ or areas will allow me the flexibility I need to stay focused, productive, and happy. Science education and communication may also branch out to include social sciences and humanities at some point (as I also enjoy those topics as well).

Other crafts (such as cross-stitching, jewelry design/creation, knitting, and others) may show up from time to time under the personal development tab or possibly just as individual blog posts.

Looking back over the past year, I’ve realized that I have made progress in numerous areas (even if it has been minuscule), and as I continue forward on this freelance/remote/contract path I know that I will continue to improve in those areas. That being said, I’m still going to be working on the following areas:

  1. Time and project management (I have numerous writing projects in the pipeline, but haven’t really gotten anywhere with any of them)
  2. Brainstorming, researching, writing, editing, and publishing–on a schedule
  3. Publishing my writing (in more places than just the blog and LinkedIn)
  4. Different types of writing (though I’m actually doing this a little with the volunteer medical content writing position):
    • Creative/Fiction
    • Scientific
    • Non-fiction
  5. Reworking the blog/website to serve as one of my ‘portfolios’ (with another being my LinkedIn account) in terms of the different areas/niches I want to branch out into

So, I have the overall plan of trying to go freelance/remote/contract for writing/data analysis/project and/or product management. Now it is time to rework the blog/website (slowly, since I have had it going for a couple of years now), and then figure out the other little nuts and bolts of starting my own business.

So, for my next revolution around the sun–I’m going to focus on stepping out of my comfort zone more, write more, create more, and if the pandemic every gets under control–perhaps even travel more.

No Comments careerCraftsfinancesfitnessHealthPersonal DevelopmentPhotographyprofessional developmentReflectionsspiritualityUpdates

Recapping Leo Full Moon Goals: health, craft, & spiritual goals

So we’re going to be heading into the second full moon of 2021 this weekend. That means that before I look ahead to the next full moon, I need to take a look back at the goals that I set for the Leo full moon and see how I did with them.

So what were my goals for the Leo full moon? They included:

Continuing with my fitness schedule–to finish up with Muscle Burns Fat Advance and then move on to Barre Blend.

Write down the current ideas I have for going freelance/independent/remote work in addition to also seeing what other industry direction is of interest. Plus figure out other ways of earning a little extra money

Spend time working on crafts (start trying to learn cross-stitching, patch up the afghans, doodle, make jewelry, color, and if the weather warms up–photography time up at Boomer Lake)

Meditate, tarot/oracle card readings, and finally setting up my altar for doing card readings

So how did I do with each one?

I finished up Muscle Burns Fat Advance on Feb 7th and started in with Barre Blend on the 8th. Barre Blend is an eight-week program that I will be finishing up by the beginning of April. I actually tried to do the program last year when it first came out but I wasn’t a) in the right mindset, and b) hadn’t figured out the best time of day for working out. Now I have the time of day more or less figured out (I try to ensure that i have my workout done by no later than 10am), and the mindset is getting there.

Barre Blend isn’t going to be my favorite Beachbody program–but I told myself that I needed to give it an honest try and complete the program. There will be a review of it come early April when I finish my first (and possibly only) round.

In terms of work ideas: currently I’m leaning towards writing, data analysis, project management, photography, and possibly tutoring (or online teaching). I’m also still looking at other positions as well (clinical data analysis, educational consulting, and possibly going back to the bench). Though there will be more on this in upcoming blog post.

I started to teach myself cross-stitching this past month. It is something that is going to take time–mainly in terms of trying to get the design sketched onto the fabric. I’m currently working on my ‘trial’ or hit-and-miss piece right now. This is where I try to sketch different things (such as numbers or words) onto the fabric and try to then fill in with colored thread. I also did a little iPhone photography as well over the past month, though most of the craft time was doing color by number on the kindle. The weather never did really warm up to be able to get up to Boomer Lake–the one really nice day we had this week, the ground was so muddy that I didn’t feel like dealing with walking through it up at the lake. I realized that I’m going on almost a little over two months since I took at a walk at Boomer Lake.

My evening routine lately had been doing an oracle card reading followed by a couple minutes of meditation. I then decided to try to meditate by candlelight, and have been able to do almost five+ minutes of meditation. This usually means though that if I do a card reading, I usually forget to sketch it out in the journal. What I’m going to start doing is drawing a card (or three) in the morning and have them near my meditation mat so that I can meditate on the message again in the evening.

I have created an altar of sorts–but it is on a low shelf, and therefore still not in the best location for doing a card reading. I will probably just move certain items (such as stones or rocks) back and forth from where I meditate at night (and will be doing the card readings in the morning) and the shelf/altar.

I actually managed to meet the minimum of each goal during the past full moon. I feel like I’m on a more even footing in terms of working out–I don’t freak out if I have to move a rest day around, and I know that if I actually take the weekend for rest I will still be able to push play come Monday. I’m slowly working my way out of my comfort zone (more on this hopefully in another post this weekend or early next week). I’m also slowly branching out in terms of crafts (though I do need to commit to working on different crafts daily), and I’m spending more time also focusing on my spiritual and mental health as well.

All in all, a good start to 2021–a year that I stated was going to be focusing growth, creativity, and curiosity leading to happiness and prosperity.

No Comments AstrologycareerCraftsfitnessFull Moon GoalsHealthPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

200 days into the ~150 goals in 2002 day challenge

So as I mentioned last fall I decided that I was going to ‘restart’ and expand the time frame of my 100+ goal challenge. The new challenge started on July 19, 2020 and I planned for it to run through January 10, 2026 (basically 2002 days–double the normal 1001 day time).

So I’ve been updating this list on-and-off since the first update back in October. One of the things I decided to remove were all of the TV shows that I thought I’d be binge-watching. The reason–currently I don’t feel like sitting down and watching multiple seasons of any TV show. While I may decide to watch an episode or two (or maybe a season)–I just don’t see myself sitting down and binge watching like a total of 20+ seasons of shows over even a five year period.

Then, there is still the pandemic going on–which means that my travel plans (and any plans that requires me to be around other people) are still on hold, and I’m still sheltering in place. While two vaccines have been approved for emergency use (with three more in the middle of phase 3 clinical trials), I probably won’t be eligible for the vaccine until late summer or early fall. Therefore I’m still going to be sheltering in place (and wearing a mask when I do go out and about) probably until August or September of this year. This gives me plenty of time to still try to figure out what my ‘new normal’ is going to be looking like.

So my first check-in on this challenge was in October, and the blog title was ‘check-in on the 150+ goal challenge‘. This was where I first started editing out some of the goals that I didn’t feel were fitting my current projections of what I was wanting to do with my life.

So if you want, you can click on the above link, go read that post and see where the changes have occurred.

Note–some goals aren’t numbered as they’re considered a ‘sub-goal’ of the goal above. But in total (numbered and unnumbered) I do have almost 150 goals on the list.

So how have all the goals been progressing?

  1. Transition into an industry position. Currently thinking of either remote/contract or possibly freelance to start (mainly due to the pandemic). But also thinking of possibly doing freelance and then also finding a ‘in-house’ position doing something slightly different.
  2. Learn a programming language (python or R–ties in with #6). I have downloaded a python program, and will be starting to work through some of the e-courses that I bought that deals with python.
  3. Finish various e-courses that I’ve bought, but in particular:
  4. Clinical Research Coalition (Advanced Cheeky Scientist Program)–started watching the videos in this program recently.
  5. Medical Writers Organization (another advanced Cheeky Scientist Program)–need to finish the writing and editing assignments
  6. Data Science Syndicate (another advanced Cheeky Scientist program)–finished this on September 3rd 2020.
  7. Program Management Consortium (another advanced Cheeky Scientist program)
  8. Management Consulting Firm (yet another advanced Cheeky Scientist program)
  9. All other courses–see additional lists in the journal. Decided to make things a little easier–I have a list of courses that I would like to finish in 2021, and if I manage to finish all of those, then I will go back to the master lists in the journal.
  10. More interacting on LinkedIn. This section is hard to score. I’m doing the best with the first one, and trying to improve on the second and fourth ones.
    • Sharing articles from various biotech pages, and other science pages. I usually manage to share at least two to four articles a week from the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News site.
    • Commenting on posts. Trying to get better at this
    • Giving/Asking for recommendations–need to start doing this
    • Start writing my own posts. I’m slowly trying this, but have started by trying to share photographs and/or inspirational quotes to begin with. I also need to work on the frequency of posts as well.
  11. Creating monthly/weekly/daily calendars for above goals. This is something that I’m still working on. I’ve realized that while calendars are good, I also like the flexibility of deciding what or when to post. Mental block that needs to be worked on.
  12. Renewing professional memberships. I need to decide on which association I will be renewing first, as I had mentioned in a previous post I currently don’t have enough money to renew all of them at once.
  13. Become fluent in Spanish
  14. Become fluent in German
  15. Become proficient in French, Norwegian, or Swedish
  16. Read at least 300 personal/professional development books. This is also including books from my previous attempts at 1001-day challenges as well. I have over 300 books on the list (actually probably closer to 400), and I would like to get through at least half of them before adding any new ones to the list. In addition I’m reformatting the goal slightly and aiming for at least 30-40 non-fiction books a year (so the total number may only be 90-120 instead of 300). Counting in the books read during the previous attempts (2018-2020) I’ve already read 73 books (though I considered 12 of them to be ‘reference’ books on a topic). I’ve also finished 3 books this year. That means in theory to reach 300 books, I need to read another 224 books over the next 1802 days.
  17. Finish the books on scientific writing (tied in with #16)
  18. Start building a portfolio of work (writing/data analysis/other ideas)–may mean either another website, renaming this one and reformatting what I have posted.
  19. Develop a daily writing habit–I usually manage to write in my journal a little every day. Sometimes it is just to make note of the workout I did, or card spread for the evening.
  20. Write a letter to my future self
  21. Paint and frame at least one original painting
  22. More photography–haven’t done as much as I would like so far for 2021, mainly due to the temperatures and not getting outside as often. But I have been updating/adding pages to the bird section
  23. 365-Day Photography Challenge (aim for 365 different pictures). I have a couple of ideas for this, just need to fine-tune one or two of them and hopefully will be starting this challenge again within the next few months.
  24. Updating photography pages on blog. I’ve been adding pages to the bird tab on the website, with the goal of hopefully one new species page a week (with pictures), in addition to pages for the bird order & family. I will also start adding in other pages under the photography and travel tabs throughout the spring as well.
  25. Make my own jewelry
  26. Learn to cross-stitch–I started doing this the other day. It will be something that takes practice at to be good at. I do enjoy doing it and will try to practice at least every other day.
  27. Get a new sewing machine–on hold. Possibly once I move and am willing to take the risk that I’m getting a machine with a defective bobbin winder.
  28. Make a new quilt for my bed–on hold (see #27 for reason)
  29. Make a set of drapes for the bedroom (mainly for backdrop for zoom calls)–again on hold (see #27 for reason)
  30. Start a new afghan (after mending other two and writing a blog post on it)
  31. Showcase crafts on blog–need to have some crafts actually either started or completed
  32. Start writing a book–I have an idea or two for this
  33. Learn Photoshop
  34. Write in journal daily (answering questions/prompts from various books & free thought). Have been doing this–though sometimes it is just noting that I did my morning workout.
  35. Create my own coffee-table photography book
  36. Learn basic sign language
  37. Start a virtual book club–question though is, would it be non-fiction or fiction?
  38. Create monthly budges–currently this is just paying off the bills
  39. Credit card debt down & hopefully paid off monthly–some are still a little high (due in part to impulsive book buying and investing in myself (a couple of courses were rather expensive)
  40. Declutter the house (way of earning extra cash)–need to place a couple of declutter orders over the next few weeks
  41. Savings account up another 20K (hopefully)–this is tied with a few of the other finance goals. In truth the goal should be trying to get my savings to where it was before I started my reboot break
  42. Talk with financial personal about short-term investment possibilities
  43. Continue doing small surveys as a way of earning a little extra cash
  44. Finish the various financial e-courses, and then decide when/how to start investing
  45. Get into the best shape of my life
  46. Multivitamin & supplements daily–I think I’ve only missed a few days here and there
  47. Make it through the following Beachbody programs (at least once):
    • Morning Meltdown 100–First round was finished on 9/15/2020
    • Yoga Booty Ballet (Abs & Butt Series)–~3/4 of program completed by 11/14/2020
    • 10 Rounds–1st Round completed on 12/26/2020
    • Barre Blend–Will be starting this on Monday 2/8/2021
    • Insanity Max:30
    • LIIFT4–2nd round finished on 11/14/2020
    • 22-Minute Hard Corps
    • T20
    • Insanity
    • Insanity: Asylum 1
    • Insanity: Asylum 2
    • 4 weeks of Prep
    • 6 weeks of the Work
    • T25 (have already done this program once)
    • Brazil Butt Lift
    • 21-Day Fix (already done once; 2nd time will be the ‘live’ version)
    • 21-Day Fix Extreme (already done once; 2nd time will be the live version)
    • Country Heat (already done once)
    • CIZE
    • Muscle Burns Fat–First round completed 1/17/2021
    • Muscle Burns Fat Advanced–First round will be completed 2/7/2021
    • Let’s Get Up–Shawn T’s new one
    • 9-week control freak (dumb bell option)
    • Shawn Week
    • 80 Day Obsession
    • Brazil Butt Lift: Carnival
    • Shift Shop: Proving Grounds
    • P90
    • Core de Force
  48. Manage 5 push-ups on my toes (I’ve been practicing & managing between 4-10 on my knees)
  49. Manage 10 push-ups on my toes
  50. Hold a 2 minute forearm plank
  51. Hold a 90 second plank
  52. Meditate nightly–have been doing, though sometimes its only been for a minute or two
  53. 60-80 oz of water daily–getting close though some days its probably between 40-50
  54. Stretch daily
  55. Get at least 10,010,000 steps (breaks down to 5K/day)–on my way to meeting this, as I usually manage to meet monthly goals
  56. Finish YouTube for bosses course
  57. Finish YouTube course creation for bosses course
  58. Finish blog to biz course
  59. Launch a YouTube channel
  60. Launch a online course
  61. Get blog traffic to 500+ views a day
  62. Rebrand myself & website (?)
  63. Get instagram followers to constant 800+
  64. Get pintrest followers to constant 400+
  65. Get twitter followers to constant 1000+
  66. Publish at least two blog series
  67. Editorial calendars (monthly/weekly/daily)
    • Blog
    • Instagram
    • Facebook page
    • Twitter
    • Pintrest
  68. Get becomingJessi (or new name if I change) to 1000+ likes/follows on Facebook
  69. Various top 10 author lists
  70. Various top 10 book series lists
  71. Launch a podcast
  72. Launch a etsy store
  73. Full & New Moon Goals
  74. Create my wiccan/pagan altar
  75. Daily oracle card readings
  76. 15 minutes outdoors in the morning (coffee only)–weather permitting; basically start in spring
  77. Keep at least 3 plants alive
  78. Design a science based board game
  79. Create and update a digital vision board
  80. Reorganize my storage unit
  81. Put in at least 1 flower garden around the house
  82. Help put up a partial privacy fence in backyard
  83. Start downsizing number of clothes I own & creating both different ‘minimum’ wardrobes (work/professional/casual; home/casual/working out) & dressing for my now body
  84. Start downsizing the rest of my things as well–would like to be able to live comfortably in a smallish size house (or apartment)
  85. Develop at least 10 different 100-day challenges–will include 100 days of iPhone photography and 100 days of doodling
  86. Re-pierce my ears
  87. Go to at least 1 scientific conference & present at a scientific conference
  88. Go to at least 2 professional networking events
  89. Move to a new (or maybe not new) city for job
  90. Visit at least 3 new (to me) countries
  91. Visit at least one new (to me) national and/or state park
  92. Visit at least one new (to me) national and/or state monument
  93. Visit at least one new (to me) zoo
  94. Visit at least one new (to me) aquarium
  95. Fly out and/or land at 3 new (to me) airports
  96. Visit at least one new (to me) city
  97. Visit at least one new (to me) state
  98. See the northern lights
  99. Attend at least one blogging conference
  100. Attend at least one author-reader conference
  101. Swim with whale sharks
  102. Parasailing
  103. Buy fabric and foam and make new cushions for chairs
  104. New couch and chair(s) for living room
  105. New dresser for bedroom
  106. New mattress & box spring for bed and/or new bed set
  107. New TV & stand
  108. New desk/craft workstation
  109. New dining table

So while I removed one program from my professional development goals–I added another in it’s place. I also made a list of courses to work through for the year, instead of trying to debate between courses and never getting any done. I’ve already watched three of the small courses from Skillshare during January.

I’ve also realized that I’m behind on writing quite a few posts (such as my thoughts on the Data Science program offered by the Cheeky Scientist Association, and several book reviews). I’m also hopefully going to be done with the Medical Writing Organization program this month (once I block out enough time to work through the various writing and editing assignments).

I’m doing well with the fitness/health goals. I made a bingo card for the next two years (2021-2023) with different programs (1st, 2nd, or 3rd rounds) on it. I made it a goal to make it through 9 programs this year (which includes doing the 2nd or 3rd round of a couple of programs), and then hopefully 7 programs next year.

As I mentioned previously–I’m leaning heavily in the direction of going freelance/online/remote for work. Now I’m thinking on what type of combination of things I want to be doing (such as writing, data analysis, project management, or data entry), and then also stick with something in the personal development/hobby realm as well. The dual, multiple focused combination actually appeals to my mixed-styled multipontialite personality.

This then raises the next question of either changing the name of the blog/site, and possibly archiving older posts, or keeping this as my personal blog and then starting another site from scratch. I need to inquire with various people on their opinion (change name/archive/delete or keep and start a second one from scratch).

I’m also still working on developing an editorial calendar/to-be accomplished list that works for me. Besides swinging between two extremes: trying to cram way too much stuff into a day or not getting anything done, I am also still working my way out burnout (more on this in a later post).

So I am making decent progress with some goals, and need to start working on others. The main thing I need to remember: “Progress over Perfection” and to start embracing the learner and intellection parts of my personality again.

Next check-in will be coming in mid-May.

Have you tried a 101 goal in 1001 days? How did it go?

No Comments 101 GoalsBookscareerfinancesfitnessHealthLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesno spend challengesPersonal DevelopmentPhotographyprofessional developmentReflectionsspiritualitytarot cardstravelUpdatesvision boards

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

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

Is there a reboot button or a return button for 2020?

So entering week 2 of the self-quarantine period due to the global pandemic of the novel coronavirus. Though truthfully, I’ve only been out of the house probably a total of a dozen times or so since early December (and only seven of those times were purposefully around other people)—the other six (or more) have been walks at Boomer, and I’ve only nodded, smiled, or said hello to people.

I’ve realized that while I don’t mind staying around the house (and I didn’t realize how close to being totally burnt out at work I was until I started my reboot break), I truthfully don’t like being told I have too—but I’m going to, because I would like the pandemic to be brought under control.

So what are some of the things that I’m going to be doing during this up coming week?

Cleaning, organizing, and getting rid of things from my bedroom (which also serves as my exercise room, my office, and my zen space)

Filing my taxes—yes there has been an extension, but if you’re going to get money back—why wait longer than you already have?

Organizing all my digital photos—getting rid of the really blurry ones, and then creating folders for all the others. I’m thinking that since most of my pictures are of different birds—I’m going to aim at keeping fifty to seventy-five photos (per year). For the trips I’ve taken—I’ll only get rid of the really blurry photographs.

Continue working on my afghan

Continue with a daily workout schedule (I’m back on doing Morning Meltdown 100 after a two day break).

Continue trying to brainstorm ideas for the blog, and continue journaling in general

Reading

Working through various e-courses that I’ve bought

Ask two or three people what they think my top five skills are

Try to actually then make a daily schedule that I will hopefully keep with so that I can start getting quite a bit more accomplished each day

Finally continue working on trying to figure out what I want to do with my life

Also remember that while it is a pain to be “stuck” in the house now–if we all do our part, the time required will go quickly. If people continue to ignore the request–the time will continue to drag on.

No Comments fitnessPandemic2020Personal Developmentprofessional developmentRebootBreakReflections

Decade in Review: 2010 to 2019

So most people were doing the decade comparison in pictures over various social media sites—I’m not going to do that, mainly because I let my health and fitness slide enough that I’m back to basically the same weight. But I can try to summarize the past decade and maybe that will allow me to try actually projecting ahead a few years (so that I can actually push myself out of the “weeds” or “quicksand” that I feel like I’ve been stuck in for the past few years).

I started out the decade by finally finishing graduate school. I had promised myself that I would be done with school by the time I hit my 30th birthday and I was (more or less). I managed to finish two out of the three requirements (the third was what held up my diploma another five months). But I walked across the stage and accepted the diploma holder for my PhD in May, I presented and defended my dissertation in July, and then dealt with rewrites of my dissertation that finally earned me my diploma in December of 2010.

I took a post-doctoral position out in the Boston area in July of 2010. This required me finding an apartment that was close to public transportation (since that was how I was going to be getting to work every day). I managed that, but then hired the worst possible company to move my stuff out there (luckily they’re now out of business)—to the point that I slept on an air mattress for a month before my furniture and things showed up. I also hired pet movers to move my dog (Chewi) and cat (Pancakes) out there, and I will use them again when I move for my next position (as I also hired them to move Chewi and Pancakes back home when the job folded under me and I had to move back home in 2012).

So from August 2010 to December 2012 (with a short visit back for Christmas in 2011) I was on the east coast. I did manage to visit Maine, NYC, and Connecticut; with drive-troughs of New Hampshire and Rhode Island (to get to Maine [New Hampshire—though I think it was also a brief stop] and then Connecticut & NYC [Rhode Island]). I didn’t do as much traveling in the area as I would have liked, due to 1) not having that much money—postdocs aren’t paid great, even in large cities [they don’t take cost of living into consideration], and 2) I didn’t feel comfortable always hiring a pet sitter (did that once for the trip back home for Christmas 2011).

But I did visit Salem and Rockport, in addition to wandering around Boston. The trips out of state to visit friends and family allowed me to see a little bit of other states—though if I move back there I would like to spend more than 24 hours in NYC playing tourist.

Being out in the Boston area was fun—I made numerous friends and enjoyed exploring the area. It wasn’t the greatest decision career wise though—I only learned a few new techniques, and the position ended on a sour note between my advisor and me. One thing I learned is that I should always try to listen to that voice that warns that there could be issues with the job—I ignored it, and found out that yeah, there were issues with the job.

Christmas 2012 saw me moving back home from Boston. While I could have tried to find something in the Boston area, truthfully at this point I was pretty well financially broke, and emotionally burnt out. I decided that it might be best to regroup, where I knew that I could save money, and maybe figure out what I was doing with my life. But of course, I wasn’t sure what I was going to be doing—I just knew that I really needed to find some job so that I could start paying off all the credit card debt that I built up living in Boston (see above note about how postdocs are paid).

2011 also saw my parents bringing another dog into the family—a Great Pyrenees/Bearded Collie mix that we named Boozer (she was fascinated by the sounds of cans opening when she first came into the house). She was also served as a transition dog for my dad, as we weren’t sure how much longer the St. Bernard had (though she lasted another three and a half years).

I managed to get another postdoctoral position within my alma mater department working with yeast. This meant that I was learning a new biological system (previously I’d work with plants, bacteria, insects, and cell cultures), and new techniques. Alas, the money for that position only lasted a little over a year (and the fellowship I tried for I didn’t get [in part due to being back at my alma mater and not asking my first postdoc advisor for a letter of recommendation]), 

Luckily I managed to find a one-month teaching position that paid well. It kept me busy during part of summer, and reminded me that I did enjoy working with students. I spent the next few months putting out job applications—I luckily managed to get another position within the department this time working directly with undergraduate students. I had to write my own job description after being hired as no one knew exactly what the position was suppose to entail. I coined the job title “senior research specialist/undergraduate research techniques instructor” as I was doing both—research and trying to teach students the basic techniques they would need to know for doing research in a lab.

This was a job that I really enjoyed for the most part—working with students, working on different projects and just generally not being bored (again for the most part). The only drawbacks were working with certain people (and you can have personality conflicts no matter where you go). So this position lasted from basically mid-September 2014 through July of 2017; it was terminated due to funding issues and I became unemployed for the third time. This unemployment period lasted longer than the other two (probably could be considered a sum of the other two), but again I managed to get another staff position within the department just after Thanksgiving in 2017.

2015 was also a slightly off year as it was the year that we had to say goodbye to our St. Bernard Speedbump. She was a loving goof ball that got along with all dogs, and was a cuddle bug.

Now this position taught me a few more things, and it was a paycheck. It was a yearly position that would be renewed if there was funding available for it—so always fun working and wondering if there would be another contract to sign or if you were going to be told sorry only ‘x’ months left. So after signing another contract in November of 2018 I decided that no matter what, this would be basically the last year at my alma mater.

2018 was also another off year as we lost three more dogs—we lost Spelunkers in February due to cancer, and then we lost two other dogs in October (within a span of four days) due to both old age and other health issues (heart problems and cancer). So to say that I was more than happy to see the tail end of 2018 was an understatement.

2019 was an okay year—we adopted two more puppies (my mom got her puppy in May—a boxer mix that we named Rolex (so she could say that she had her watchdog), and then I adopted a puppy about a week before Christmas (a male blue heeler/border collie/aussie mix that I named Chaos—because bring another dog into the house right before the holidays was to introduce Chaos). So yes, two new puppies with names that make a play on words.

This was also the year that I decided that I would quit my job and take a “reboot break”. Since I realized that I could truthfully say that I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, I needed to take a break, regroup, and then focus on my career—I don’t want to say that going through college and earning a PhD was for no reason—I’m going to dedicate time to figure out what the best path for me is in terms of a career change that still will allow me to make use of the skills that I picked up over the past twenty plus years (yes, I figured out that my academic career reached the legal drinking age awhile ago—and since I wasn’t totally happy within that arena it is time to figure out what arena I want to be in).

Here is to 2020—the start of a new year, and a new decade. It is a blank slate and I am capable of writing whatever narrative I want for my life. I control the direction that my life goes—all I need to do is fix the oars, patch the leaks, and look up to the stars. I open myself up to what the universe will send my way.

No Comments careerfinancesfitnessHealthjob searchingLifestyle ChallengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections