Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Author: Quix Page 1 of 210

Focus and continue

Hello, superfriends. It’s been quite a few weeks since I’ve penned anything here, so let’s fix that, shall we?

My rogue streaks are emerging again…

Let’s refer back to this part of my last post:

Work has been extra special this month. My logic brain isn’t at full capacity right now, and I keep getting mad about stuff I should be dealing with fine. I actually had to call off sick one day because my body and brain were just kind of shutting down and noping out – headache, nausea, could barely look at a screen. I spent that whole weekend nose in a book and sleeping the whole time. I felt much better after three days of that, but I didn’t realize how burnt out I was until that point and how much all that rest was really just barely enough to get me back to the bare minimum to function.

While, yeah, I’m stressed for reasons, I also have handled stress MUCH better than I have been as of the last 4-6 months, and had a few other symptoms (huge issues with temperature control, my cycle being… well, irregular is pretty generous), so it was time to see the doctor and guess what? I’m just getting old and need some hormone help. I started taking them a week ago and holy wow, my mood, memory, and patience turned 180 degrees almost overnight. The gnawing anxiety edge I’d been feeling pretty consistently just dissolved. Joel said the lack of my stabby attitude was palpable. All of a sudden, a light switch flipped and I could deal again.

The only side effect is that I’m feeling pretty bloaty and the scale is definitely showing it – the last few days I’ve gained like 4 lbs overnight and feel like a water weenie. I’m trying not to freak out because it’s probably just going to take some time to normalize. I am going to continue to track everything, but I realize the next month or so might not go the way I want, even if I do all the right things. I definitely won’t give up, because that’s not an option.

Also, to add insult to injury about my oldness, I had my annual eye exam and I’m now just on the edge of needing progressive lenses (read: bifocals). Way to make me feel even more ancient, universe.

So, for now, I’m focusing on what I can control, which is the fact that my brain is back to normal, happy, peaceful standards, and my body is handling training really well right now. I’ve been back to the gym the last two weeks twice a week to visit the Squat Witch, and plan to keep doing Mondays and Fridays for the foreseeable future (with a home workout in between to maintain the 3x week of lifting). I’ve also been able to run 3x week again for the last month and have been able to increase my distance. After spending almost a full year capped at the 5k distance, between the consistency there and also in the weight room, I’m tolerating some more miles really well. I’m running up to 4 miles for my short runs and my long runs have topped out at 5 miles. And I feel great! I plan to run 10k on Thanskgiving!

Super happy after running 4 miles twice within a few days!

As you may guess there is a race goal with it, if things continue to go along at current course and speed. I’d like to snag a medal that says 13.1 on it in 2024, running the whole way. No PRs, I’d just like to participate. I have no further ulterior motives like a half ironman, marathon, etc – just some motivation to increase my long run from 30 minutes to about 2 hours. But I’m not signing up for anything until I get closer. It needs to be enjoyable and fun, not a slog.

I’ve also continued to walk everywhere. Need something from the grocery store? It’s only a 2-mile round trip walk. Wanna go out to dinner? Time to meander for an hour or two on the way there and back (restaurant food MAYYYY have not helped my goals, but it’s been damn nice, and I’ve been trying to keep it reasonable). So far in the eighteen days of November, I’ve walked 28 miles (beating my run total of 27!). Fall being fall is amazing right now with delicious weather for tromping around outside. I’m loving every minute of it. I’ll get back to cycling and swimming soon, but for now, I’m just enjoying being on my own two feet.

I dino about you but my legs are a little saurus with 55 miles in 18 days

To recenter here on goals #1 (weigh less) and #2 (do sporty things):

  • Keep tracking, keep active with the runs, walks, and lifting, and don’t freak out if the scale takes a bit to get on board
  • Try to get to the pool a few times this month. Mostly for the hot tub after and to remember how to swim
  • Ride bikes when it sounds fun (adventures) or when the weather doesn’t cooperate (trainer)

Regarding #3 (Not Ignoring My Surroundings) I have not cleaned out a damn thing. However, this Thanksgiving holiday week I have resolved to clean out my dresser and my nightstand. Baby steps. Maybe if I get inspired start looking up bathroom remodel stuff but that sounds like so 2024 it’s not funny.

Do geometric art, I said. It won’t take a long time, I said (LIES)

On, #4 (Relaxing Hobbies) – this took a bit of a pause when my old laptop died, the damn thing stopped charging. So, I need to find a way to recover my photos and reinstall my photo editing software on this shiny new one and I can start catching up on photo editing and vacation blogging and such.

However, I finished painting a thing! It’s hanging in my office at work. I’m not sure it will stay there but it was super nice to finish something. And now, my goal, this week of Thanksgiving, is to start another canvas, whatever it may be. In the glow of accomplishment before the start of the next holds such gravity; you just always have to begin again so you don’t get stuck there.

We have also agreed to (and have already today) spend a bunch of time immersing ourselves in Baulder’s Gate this week. It’s fun to play a game with Joel (not against Joel) again. I’m back in a Bloodbowl league, and I’m not practicing at all, but it’s still a regularly scheduled reason to play a game per week. I need to remember to play more games in general, so I can remember why I do what I do for work!

And, finally – #5 (Write a Book). When I wrote this goal a year ago, I didn’t really believe it would happen. Now, I’ve officially finished my second pass draft for book #1 that I am pretty happy with, and have sent to not one, not two, but FOUR readers, and I am awaiting feedback. Awaiting is an incorrect term – I’m 16k words into the first draft of book 2 while my readers take their time.

I’m pretty stoked I was able to do this all in one year! If any goal exceeded expectations – it was this one!

Thinking back to a year ago, I had just began to run again, had a nascent 3x week lifting streak, and was just finding some life balance. It’s been a journey, and not one I expected quite the way it panned out, but this 2023 Year of Momentum has in most aspects lived up to it’s name. As I was about to write myself goals for the next few weeks, yeah, I need to clean out some stuff and kickstart a few minor things that have fallen off, but truly, I just need to focus and continue what I’m doing right now.

Kerrville and everything after, but different…

Hi, hello, it’s been a while so let’s catch up.

First of all, I did a race – since it’s been something like 5 week since, here’s what I posted on Facebook for posterity…

Verdict: much better than 2022, but definitely some work to do if I want to approach pre-pandemic form. And that’s an acceptable place to be! Race prep went just fine, the only annoyance was the heat. It was hot AF yesterday during setup, bike drop off, and the forecast was even hotter today. Luckily, I picked the short course this year, so I was hoping the impact would be minimal. And it was, sort of, definitely compared to slogging through the half in this weather, but also not really.

Morning stuff went like clockwork, I’d be amazed with how little attention I’ve given race prep but it’s my 13th year racing. I guess that pays some dividends. Swim start was very backed up with a huge turnout this year, so we took off about 20 mins late to help with crowding. Somehow, I still got kicked three times and my goggles pulled off once but was up and out of the water quickly. 13 mins and change, but everyone’s swim was long.

T1, I walked up the hill. My body is in so much better condition than last year, but a few spots are touchy since traveling, so I played it safe. A real slow 4 mins, because of that and the fact I haven’t been practicing this. ‘Tis what it is.

On the bike, it was windy, but in the right direction, so it was just sort of a constant effort. My bike training has consisted of 30-45 mins at a comfortable pace, so that’s what I did. The course was crowded and while I felt comfier on DeathStar than I expected with no outdoor riding, I didn’t feel good enough to bike aggressively. So, 46 minutes and change for 14 miles at 18mph was just fine, and about what I could expect for my training.

T2 was also slow. I’m better but scared of my calves cramping running in my bike shoes so I walked it in. I really had to pee so I took care of that quickly and dawdled getting my run stuff on. It takes training to overcome transition gravity and I didn’t. Ah well.

The run is where everything fell apart last year and where I’ve put most of my effort this year. I got out and got my legs under me and felt fine (yay) but already kind of overheating (boo). I managed to fight through and keep running the whole time, minus a quick walk through an aid station to grab water around mile 2. I’d push the pace until I started feeling the beginnings of dizziness and goosebumps and then back off and recover and rinse and repeat. 32 mins and change for 3.2 miles isn’t terrible considering the circumstances. If it was cooler I could have pushed this more. Everything felt great besides the imminent heatstroke ?.

Results 1:40:30, 14th/30 AG, 69 (hehe)/214 women, and well into the top half overall. Considering my training it was a pretty good day at the races and I’m a happy camper. If I want to get back to 201x me (who would have podiumed in 3rd), I need to hammer the bike more and practice transitions. I’m in a bit of a different place now with different focus. Would be really nice to see if I can accommodate both next year. We’ll see what the off-season brings.

Spoiler: the offseason so far has brought stress, slackitude, and a minor (already recovered) injury but I think we’re rounding the bend.

The day after this race, we hiked for 2 hours around Kerrville Schriner Park and the bike and run course. I felt nothing but gratitude I was not out there – it was just absolutely miserable even walking around in the heat and standing in the shade, and these poor schmucks had to bike and run in the sun. When I decide to return to 70.3s, I just don’t think it’s going to be at Kerrville. The weather is way too unpredictable at the end of September.

Also, the middle of my foot randomly decided to hurt after all that and didn’t let me even WALK for the next week and a half. Instead of being a good human, I threw myself a bit of a pity party and didn’t do jack or pucky. I also decided to try and change up my shoes for no reason. The ones I have are just a few months old (and I haven’t put that many miles on them) and my Brooks (this is my second pair) have been fine for a whole year. But, for some reason, going back to my giant Hoka Marshmallows that wrecked my calves last year have been lovely now. It reinforces that I need to be varying my shoes – I can’t wear the same ones day in day out for a whole year for both walking and running. Go figure.

Thankfully I got back to walking just in time for the best season ever

Work has been extra special this month. My logic brain isn’t at full capacity right now, and I keep getting mad about stuff I should be dealing with fine. I actually had to call off sick one day because my body and brain were just kind of shutting down and noping out – headache, nausea, could barely look at a screen. I spent that whole weekend nose in a book and sleeping the whole time. I felt much better after three days of that, but I didn’t realize how burnt out I was until that point and how much all that rest was really just barely enough to get me back to the bare minimum to function.

It SUCKS not being on top of my game. I KNOW I should be doing more – in all aspects of life – but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I need both a break and also to hold myself accountable to do the things that will long term make me feel better.

Perhaps surprising to no one but me – work travel is not vacation and it hit me that I haven’t had a relaxing vacation in quite a while. San Antonio in April was the closest as a long weekend, but our toilet broke in the camper and I had to work a little bit during it so it wasn’t as relaxing as it could have been. Then Krause in July should have fit the bill, but it was stupid hot and the ants invaded the camper so I felt shit crawling all over me for the last two days and I also ended up working a bit during it. Kerrville was a race and it was SO hot and miserable I was pretty miserable and didn’t sleep well (again). After that read/nap weekend earlier this month, I decided we needed a getaway like WOAH and it couldn’t wait for a holiday, so we took last Thursday and Friday off and headed an hour away NOT in the camper.

We went to the Arch at Lighthouse Hill Ranch in Johnson City and rented the Napolean Suite (fancy word for tiniest room in the place with a small kitchenette) and spent the whole time hiking, painting, watching pretty sunrises and sunsets, reading, and checking out the little town. No ants, there was working and functional AC, no toilet issues, and no maintenance needed. I knew I was in a better place when I got dragged into an antique store and I DIDNT HATE IT. After the trip, I felt like my patience and productivity batteries recharge a little bit, and I was able to get through a fairly tough week better than expected. I’ll do a post on that trip soon, mainly to share all the amazing photos of the place.

Happy Anniversary Celebrations

I haven’t been doing the good things I need to be doing. I’ve been succumbing to the short term happy in favor of the long term happy. I haven’t been eating as well as normal, lots of splurges because of celebration or circumstance or stress, and I haven’t been tracking regularly. The scale has reacted accordingly – this week I’ve been 184-185, which is a few lbs up from pre-Germany. And… my weights streak has officially been broken. October has only had eight sessions, and a few of those weren’t complete workouts, just doing half sets or whatever. Which is obviously better than nothing, but I’ve definitely lost some ground in the last few months. And it’s not like I’ve been killing it with the cardio with six bikes and two runs this month (swimming? ha!).

What I have been doing is WALKING. I”ve clocked 31.65 miles of tracked walks since Oct 6 (when my foot decided to let me walk again) and 14.64 miles of hiking the weekend at the Arch alone (and that was true hiking with elevation gain and loss on trails, good stuff). I need to get back to all the other stuff, but I haven’t been SEDENTARY. So, that’s something.

So, here I am, admitting my sins and failings, so I can move on and do better. While stress is stress is stress, I need to prioritize the healthy habits that have been spotty or slipping away the last few months. So, it’s time – as it was around this time last year. We’re going to keep it simple for November. We’re not going to try to put up a bunch of other goals to stress myself out. I’m going to keep to the basics:

  • 10 healthy habits (check as many as possible off daily)
  • Track food and stay in calorie range
  • Strength 3x week and get back to working with the Squat Witch

Everything else can wait while I get myself back on track.

Boy, are my arms tired…

I have flown ten times since we spoke last, and boy, are my arms tired.

I know, I’m hilarious…

We went Austin -> Denver -> Switzerland -> Hamburg, then a few days later took the train 4.5h to Koln, then flew Koln ->Munich -> Chicago -> Austin. Then, 3.5 days later, we turned around and did Austin -> LA -> Seattle (and back). I’ve been in nine different airports, and three different countries. Only once was my luggage lost (it didn’t make the connection from Koln -> Munich, so it had it’s own German adventure, apparently), and twice did I get into the Austin airport after midnight.

I enjoy traveling, I love adventures, and I feel super privileged to have the opportunity to do it for work. However, I crashed into the last few days of Seattle a freaking zombie and have just barely gotten my mojo back. No Covid (knock on wood), no sickness, just exhaustion through and through.

I’ve been everwhere, man

Even though it feels like August barely existed, let’s talk about the triumphs and tragedies in regards to my personal goals.

#1 Weigh some weight at some point…

As of today, we reset at 183.6, the average of what I weighed last week. Not terrible for 3 weeks of travel, but still a little gain. My goal is to not gain anything else in September (losing if I can!) and get back to the goal of four per month in the last three months of the year.

My goal in August was to track all my food. I did… some of it. I actually did the entire Germany trip until the flight home, and then I just fell off through the three days at home and then Seattle. Long story short, I did really well in Hamburg, did REALLY poorly in Koln (convention work is get whatever food you can in you so you can keep going and the drinks, they do flow…), and I’m going to guess I did fair to middling in Seattle.

Yes, I even tracked this appetizer that had a freaking sparkler in it.

At this point, all you can do is start again. I’ve been tracking since last Thursday, I have Snap Kitchen and Factor back in my life, and while it took a bit to detox the extra caffeine and extra calories, I am ready for three months or so of normalcy.

September goals are same as they ever were. Easy to state, difficult to stick with.

  • Track every day
  • 1200 + activity calories
  • Detox the caffeine and be excited for boring food again

#2 Strength Over Stamina:

I was not perfect here, but between work, travel, and conventions, I was able to do:

  • Two runs in Hamburg
  • One row (40 mins in a canoe) in Hamburg (counting this as back and biceps because… yeah)
  • Jack and pucky in Koln (yeah, I officially missed chest and shoulders and legs this week)
  • Back and bi and chest and shoulders at home
  • Two runs in Seattle
  • Legs and chest and shoulders in Seattle
  • One elliptical in Seattle
  • Back and biceps and legs at home last week

This is not as much as I’d hoped but it’s more than I honestly expected. I kept up with all my weights except Koln week, and if I’m being honest, the amount of stairs I was climbing probably SHOULD count for legs. I was thrilled to find a gym in Seattle or I might not have been able to do much. I didn’t feel super comfortable going too far from our hotel. We were in a nice area but five blocks away… it was not so good. In all three places I was getting 15k+ steps per day and lots of standing, so it’s not as if I was sedentary.

Hamburg runs are best runs!

Now, I’m back to being sedentary minus workouts, but thankfully the weather is easing up just a little bit. So, here’s my goals:

  • Swim a few times, at least once in the lake (lake done!)
  • Race distance bike, some shorter (done)
  • Three runs per week, some off the bike (yep)
  • Weights as usual (I really slacked on back and bi this week but… technically done)
  • Stay on top of recovery – 3x week stretch and roll, most days ice and boots (heck yes)
  • Waaaaalks. A few times a week now that the highs are like ten degrees cooler (wheeeeee!)

Oh yeah, and I race in 6 days. Obviously, my lead up has been sub-par for… reasons. Thankfully, I’ve been lifting and running regularly, and cycling semi-regularly, regularly before the travel. Swimming, well, it is what it is. All I need out of the weekend is a good, solid finish, and some quiet time camping. It’ll be nice to return to the race where I hit rock bottom and resolved to stop whining about being so far from fighting form and work on getting back there. I’m not there yet but I’m on the path. We’ll see what that means in the moment.

#3 Surroundings

I cleaned nothing. I did however make sure to take the convention swag I didn’t actually want to the office quickly. Baby steps.

This month I’d like to clean out two drawers of mine. More baby steps.

#4 Relaxing Hobbies

  • Finish London photos. YEP! London Travel Blog – NOPE!
  • 4 Bloodbowl games and 10 hours into Persona – 100% NOPE.
  • Meditate 5x week. Ehhhh, probably about 3x week while I was travelling but I’m back to it.

For September…

  • London Travel Blog, Krause Springs Photo Editing, Krause Springs Travel Blog
  • Guitar 3x week
  • 4 Bloodbowl Games (I’m really rusty!), play some Baldur’s Gate (downloading now, so excite!)
  • Meditate 5x week

#5 Write a Book

My August goal was to share my draft with someone else. On the way to Germany, I finished a read, and I actually think it’s in better shape than I expected. I don’t hate it. I sort of shared it, and then told Joel to wait because man, one more edit pass, and I’ll actually be super proud of it. Well, proud enough to share with Joel. And then maybe two more edit passes before I send it to anyone else. 🙂 Baby steps.

Two goals this month:

  • Not touch my book until after Sept 10th (to give myself some space from it)
  • Do the edit pass and ready it for one more read during camping in two weeks

Spoiler alert: I did both these things. I am giving myself up til I leave to continue to tweak it, but I’m ready to send it to my first reader, and should that go well, my second. 🙂


It’s weird writing this blog over like a week and seeing myself complete things I wrote before I posted this, but what’s left for September?

  • Continue to track daily (no excuses now that I’m back) and weigh most days
  • Prep for Kerrville, and after Kerrville continue to lift 3x week and stay active (5xweek cardio)
  • More waaaaaalks (yay!)
  • Clean out two drawers
  • Photo editing and travel blogging
  • Give my book to my first reader this weekend!

It was nice to go places, but it’s really nice to be back home. Now, it’s time to resume progress on some of these things I mostly paused in June.

Summertime Suck

Summer was my absolute favorite season growing up.

I was a nerd and loved school, but I also loved the freedom of waking up whenever, lounging around the house hanging out with friends, meandering all around town on some form of two feet or two to four wheels, getting into all sorts of trouble, and also frequent trips to the pool.

Well, as an adult, I’d love the hell out of some summer vacation time like that, and the only thing that I’ve got going for me is the frequent trips to the pool. Normally, I also have the meandering around town by my own conveyance, but even that’s been rough lately when it’s one hundred and freaking eight degrees (but it’s a wet heat!). You wouldn’t think that there’s a big difference between ninety-eight and one-hundred and eight, and there’s not, they’re both hot AF. However, when it’s one hundred and eight during the afternoon, it’s unbearably hot from just after sunrise to WELL after sunset, so the outside world is just… no.

Literally the only place it’s tolerable to be outside rn

So, I’m ready. Summer, I’m good. You can go home now for the year. A full month of well over one hundred degrees is enough. Next year, maybe we can agree on some slightly cooler mornings, and some highs in the nineties? Pretty please?

Enough of my whining about things I can’t change and let’s talk goals.

#1 Weigh 180.6 by the end of July

Survey says… nope. There are many other factors that have contributed to this – but the one thing I’m going to call out is that I went from walking a lot to not at all.

Maintaining is better than gaining, but it’s sure not the steady progress I was making last fall, winter, and spring.

  • Week of July 10th – +175 calories
  • Week of July 17th – +822 calories
  • Week of July 25th – -335 calories

That last week was back on track, and it’s because it finally clicked that the trainer is my summer substitute to walking. While it’s not nearly as nice as the fresh air, clearing my head, and pleasant conversation of walking, it does do the job to replace the calorie burn and I am getting to watch a lot more Bloodbowl games!

This month, I have lowered expectations. I’ll be travelling for half of it. Now that I realize I’ll probably be in Germany a few times a year, I don’t necessarily need to EAT ALL THE THINGS every time, but I know I’ll eat some of the things and I need to keep myself in check. I seemed to do okay last time, but I really think that committing to logging my food for this trip is a good thing. Even if I don’t abide by the rules every day, I can see the trends of my consumption and adjust in real time instead of my jeans just not fitting by the end.

Fitness? Or fitten dis EU salami pizza in my mouth? Hopefully both.

So, August goals:

  • Weight 180.3 by the end of August (it’s doable, I have a week and a half before I get on a plane)
  • Log my food daily, even while traveling

#2 – Strength Over Stamina

Here’s another place not walking is showing up:

Ignore week one, as I was on vacation, and I forget why week two was a little lighter, but week three and four (and continued on into August) are pretty steady with the training. But… my hours were more like 6-8 before and the only difference was a few walks a week.

In August, I’ll have to be crafty to keep up training but here’s my plan:

  • Three weights sessions per week, non-negotiable. What is negotiable is what this involves. I may not have access to a gym for weeks. My strategy here is to prioritize back and biceps on days where I have access to weights (either at home or if I can find something in Hamburg). I also have some partial weeks where I’m at home so I may load up Mon/Tue/Wed as lifting so I can have the rest of the week off.
  • Prioritizing biking and swimming while I’m at home (5-6 days) and running when I’m traveling (minimum of 3 runs per week)
  • Enjoy the hell out of walking everywhere in Germany while it’s cooler
Can’t wait to go tromp around Germany again!

#3 Not Ignoring My Surroundings

I cleaned off the vanity and the bathroom counter. I feel pretty good about this. I also cleaned out my pajama drawer because I wanted some new pajamas. This month I am out of town so much, I’m just going to pause this. I’ll say my goal is to clear out ANY one thing and call it a day month.

#4 Relaxing Hobbies

I did pretty well here!

  • Finish April Camping Trip pics – YEP! Moved onto Germany and London.
  • Catch up blogs: April Camping Trip, Day 1-4 Paris
  • Get back in the habit of playing guitar on WFH days – this has been middlding, but I’d say I play at least 2x week
  • Finish the set of geometric paintings – Whomp whomp. I thought I was closer to finished with these and I’m not. And I’ve been focused on other things like goal #5 🙂
  • Meditate 5x week – YEP! Most days before I get out of bed.

I won’t have access to much of the hobby things for most of the month, but here’s some goals:

  • Finish London photos. I doubt I get much further than this but if I do, decide whether to start Krause Springs, my last Cruise, or push through the rest of 2022 Paris.
  • If I can finish the photos in time, London travel blog
  • Play at least 4 Bloodbowl games (now that the league is on pause, I’m out of practice)
  • Get at least 10 hours into Persona 5
  • Meditate 5x week. Always good to keep up with this one on the road

I’ll get back to guitar and painting goals when I’m home for a while. 🙂

#5 Write Stuff

As of midnight last night, I finished the first edit pass. I focused on worldbuilding (eliminating places where the characters feel like floating heads), solving some of the problems I glossed over when I changed from third to first person, some smoothing of the style/tone (though I can do better here), making the ending a bit more meaningful, impactful, and showing more character development with it, and yeah, some fiddling with words just because I couldn’t help it.

I think I’ve now got something I’m proud to share again, and the last test is to give it the laying-in-bed-reading Kindle Test. So that’s up first. If it passes the test, I start giving it to test readers. If not, then I go back and solve more problems. So, my only goal this month is to share it with one other person.

So, August. You’ll be a weird one. Here’s what’s on tap:

  • Track all August, even on vacation, and try to be a reasonable human being while traveling
  • Bike and swim more while home, run at least three times a week while traveling
  • Weights three times a week, and do my best with the equipment I have on hand (or don’t)
  • Clean out a thing. Just one.
  • London photos and blog
  • Play more games
  • Share my book with one person

If I don’t melt, I think it’s doable. 🙂 Let’s go!

Progress, or at least the absence of regression

It’s been a heck of a month, so far, y’all.

I feel like this picture from the Paris Museum of Architecture sums up some days perfectly!

I mentioned here that I came back from Germany with a shiny new promotion. It’s the kind that gets announced publicly and I didn’t think it was a big deal because I thought I was doing the job already but, SPOILER ALERT, no, I was not, at least not fully. It’s funny to look at musings of past me talk of being busy, and talk about feeling the weight of responsibilities. Past me was adorable. 🙂

I know this too will pass. Once again for the fourth time in three and a half years I am adjusting to a new title and set of duties. I like that better than everything staying the same for too long and me getting bored and life feeling stagnant, and I’ll never say otherwise, but I’m really glad that this is the job I think I’ll keep for a while. That means I get to learn how to succeed here and also succeed at having a life too.

One huge non-work accomplishment? Y’know that silly little game called Bloodbowl I’ve been playing for four years, ten league seasons, and something like 1600 hours? Well, I finally won a championship!

This game has taught me a lot about patience and persistence, and how to recover when (not if) I fail. Weirdly enough, I found myself not really loving the Amazons, they are this weird mix of not agile, fast, or tough, but their skills make up for it when everything works. And thankfully this time it worked through the entire playoff season instead of my team imploding somewhere between the quarterfinals and the final game. This was the third time I made it to finals in the last year, and I’m thrilled to have checked that box. Now I get to play a really crappy team – as is tradition for the winner in the season after – and I get to just have fun with it for a while.

Speaking of this non-work life stuff, I’m here to give a quick check in on my year goals. I thought about waiting until the end of the month but that felt like “starting the diet on Monday”. Through these check ins I usually get inspired to be more productive or get back on track. So, let’s go.

#1 – Weigh 180.6 by the end of July

Well, to the letter, sure. I weighed in at 180.6 earlier this week. But, I know I mean trendweight, and no, that’s currently 182.4. My low point was mid-May (180.8) and I’ve gained about 1.5 lbs since then. I’ve deserve it, it’s not a surprise with travel, races, and spotty tracking of my metrics. The good news is I seem to be on a downward trend this last week, and I’m back to normal in terms of what I’m eating and doing a little better at expending calories.

  • Week of July 10th – +175 calories
  • Week of July 17th – not done with the day yet, but I anticipate being about the same here

This is better than last month.

One of my challenges is that I like to walk for extra snack calories (and because walks are awesome, it’s a win win), and it’s hot AF right now. Could I walk in feels like 115? Sure. I have before and I’ll do it again. Do I WANT to walk in this weather? Hells to the no. So, this week I started giving myself the choice of “walk or trainer” instead of “walk or just overeat a little” and so far I’ve been able to convince myself it’s a thing. It sounds like such a minor thing, but many days the 200 calories are the difference between being under or over and when this happens repeatedly, that’s where the inches start building into progress or regression.

I have 8 more days. I don’t think I’ll make 180.6 but I’m motivated to keep playing the game of inches.

I need to get back here

#2 Strength Over Stamina

While I don’t think I’m making too much progress here, I am definitely not regressing, and I’m perfectly happy with that considering life right now. The first two weeks of the month weren’t so great, but I’m back on track here now.

  • Weights 3x week – YEP. This is non-negotiable. I’m not really going up in weight anywhere but I am showing up and lifting the heavy things and that is enough.
  • Resume swimming, hit the lake once – No, and no. I’m going to try and fix both of those within the next week.
  • One brick per week – Techically I’m doing today’s tomorrow, but I’ll average once a week.
  • Three other bikes/runs each week – This week I’ve actually done FIVE (two runs, three bikes)
  • Prioritize recovery – I’ve done really well here. Boots and ice almost daily, stretching and rolling are back 3-ish times a week.

I just need to get swimming back in my life and I’ll really be on track here.

#3 (Not) Ignoring My Surroundings

I am happy to report I made some progress here.

  • Finish decluttering the vanity area
  • Clean out the right side drawers
  • Clear out the space under the vanity

All of these things are not perfect but really close and I hope to check these off this weekend. I haven’t gotten to the bathroom counter/under the sink yet but maybe that can happen too, and Joel hasn’t been motivated to clean the gutters beyond one mention last month so we’ll move on here.

Camping pics done, onto June Germany/London!

#4 Relaxing Hobbies

I’ve needed my relax time this month 🙂 so I’ve done well here!

  • Finish Camping Pics and decide on the next – YEP, and I decided to just knock out this last Germany/London trip next. My goal is to get out of the hole of photo-ception by finishing smaller projects before I get back to Paris. I could also stop traveling but we all know that’s not going to happen.
  • Catch up blogs: The Urban Woods of San Antonio, Paris, je t’aime (part 1)
  • WFH guitar breaks – I’m not perfect but I’m playing a few times a week again and getting my caluses back (OW)
  • Finish the set of geometric paintings – I’ve made progress but I’m a little further away from done than I thought.
  • Meditate 5x week – I have been REALLY good about this most mornings!

So, I’ve got some painting to do. Fun!

#5 Write Stuff

I forgot how much work editing is, in some cases, it feels like it took longer to EDIT some chapters than it did to write them. Probably not, but this first edit pass is not something that’s taking a few hours. I’ve put at least a work day into this over the last few weeks and I’m about 1/3 done. I am still hoping that I’ll have some closure and be ready to share it by mid-next month, but that will take some time and dedication to get there. My goals were:

  • Identify places where my characters are floating heads (build the world) – This is what’s taking most of my time and attention and it’s getting better. I need to remember that even though I can see the characters in my mind, not everyone else can.
  • Find where the story drags – I’m about to get to the middle part where I have to watch out for this. Just because it happened in the D&D campaign doesn’t mean it needs to happen exactly that way in the book.
  • Deliver on the promise/tone at the beginning of the story – This has taken some work as well. I start the story as a child, and then it gets a little dark. I have had to do a lot of editing in the first chapters to make sure I don’t make the promise of a heartwarming family friendly tale and then tell that to screw right off. The overwhelming theme is trust/lack thereof, and it took some work to set that from the get go.
  • Make sure the ending is sufficiently exciting – We shall see when I get there. I’ll try on this pass, but I think this may need to be pushed to the second edit pass or even just be something I ask my readers, I may be too close to it.

So, here’s where I need to focus the rest of the month to have the best July progress possible:

  • Keep up the habits of tracking, weighing, and extra activity (trainer) instead of walking.
  • Get back to swimming and get to the lake.
  • Finish the vanity and the bathroom counter/sink
  • Paint the canvases
  • Keep editing!

Seems doable to me. This is oddly enough the calm before the (travel) storm, so I need to take advantage of being home enough to make what progress I can when I can. The goals in the next few months will definitely be a little… different, and probably more focused on preventing regression than anything.

Page 1 of 210

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén