Liberate

Today’s session was self lead and full of crying because I don’t fucking know why, but day 30 always is a tear fest. It’s certainly got something to do with succeeding and knowing you’ve been on this journey with thousands of other people all over the world and somehow feeling them through the ether, and it’s very easy to get overwhelmed by someone else’s emotions, but I’ll never really know.

It’s hard to do a forward fold when your nose is stuffed up. Really throws your breathing right off! But I completed a 30 minute practice today with little guidance–sometimes I synced up with Adriene, sometimes I did my own thing, sometimes I modified what I wanted to do because Rutherford had parked himself underneath me in chaturanga. I crave direction in yoga because I have no way of telling how long I’ve been practicing. Sometimes ten minutes feels like an hour, sometimes thirty minutes feels like I just started. Maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be, maybe your body tells you when you’re done like that.

In any case, 30 days of yoga, and thus blogging, is officially over. I don’t think a single day has gone by where I felt like either was a challenge. I missed two days, but I didn’t beat myself up about either, and I feel fine looking back on them, so it seems my mental state has improved significantly. I feel more flexible, stronger, active, and happier. Basically, everything I needed was accomplished.

Most importantly, I’ve reestablished a daily yoga routine. This is something I need in my life, it’s not to be ignored.

In less healthy news, on my quest to become a good kitchen witch and baker, I made pretzels last night for the first time. They were amazing:

Recipe is here, I just don’t mess with the pretzel salt. I ground a little pink salt onto them before they went in the oven, but they probably didn’t even need that after the bicarb bath.

They’re not particularly pretty and maybe not what you imagine when you think of a pretzel (kinda like me as a yogi), but they were so soft and chewy and surprisingly buttery considering I only used two tablespoons in the dough and then just melted one tablespoon more and spread that out over all six of them in the end. I made some spinach artichoke dip on the side as well and roasted some broccoli and cauliflower because of green reasons, or “greasons.” Not the kind of dinner you should have often, but okay for rare occasions and baking trials!

I definitely went to bed with bread gut last night though. Bleck.

This morning I planned out my habits for February in my bullet journal. Here’s my monthly spread for February, keep in mind the designs for the headers I stole from something I saw online:

I was smart enough this time to not put birthdays on here before I took the picture.

If nothing else, maybe my handwriting will improve from journaling. Probably not, but provided it remains somewhat legible there will at least be a little log of my life in 2019. Will my possible future children care? Maaaaybe? I need to make it more interesting if that will ever be the case!

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Power

Today, I have the power to stay on task. I mean, I had the power to stay in those standing splits the whole time and do shiva squats, so I could probably conquer the galaxy if I put my mind and brawn to it today. But we’ll save becoming Supreme Leader of the Universe for another day.

I’m also writing about pirates and an invisible ship today. Sort of like Jack Sparrow meets old school Wonder Woman. Except there’s also dragons. And I’m getting lots of chores done, and planning a tofu fried rice for dinner with leftover hibachi that’s going to be killer. Oh! And I did my February bujo spread and a little planning for the upcoming month. God damn I’m on a roll!

In other, not as great news, I was looking at my credit score and found some discrepancies. 1) A debt that I’m completely unaware of and 2) Two hard inquiries for the same pull. Both are pissing me off, but while I can dispute the debt, I can’t dispute the inquiries using the bureau’s online system, so I’m going to have to call them which I’m sure will be a shitshow. I think it’s utter bullshit that these companies, which are completely private and seem to be held to absolutely no standard and are wrong so frequently. (Seriously, you NEED to watch that whole video in the link.) A very smart friend encouraged me to sign up for Credit Karma a while back, and I am so glad I did. But I’m going to drop the anger, and focus on fixing it.

January is almost over which means I need to soon take a step back and evaluate what habits have been working for me this month and what has not. Specifically, I need to look for a method for tracking habits related to writing that goes beyond sprints and word counts because February is going to be brainstorming and plotting heavy, but I don’t know how to track those things exactly. I’m thinking the best way may be to just set minor goals throughout the month because it’s hard to track progress when brainstorming isn’t exactly tangible. I might write a thousand words about two or three scenes one day, then I might write a hundred words but get down a third of the plot, so it’s a little wibbly wobbly. If you have suggestions, I am so hardcore open to them! And hopefully if I figure something out, I’ll share them here.

I also need to figure out how I’m going to blog going forward. I think I’m going to end January with more views than I’ve ever gotten in one month, so daily blogging is tempting, but I know it’s not sustainable, and that’s the key to any habit or change: sustainability. Also, the content isn’t the quality I’d like to hit. I like utilizing quantity for productivity–and that really does work for me–but we love a quality queen, right?

Curate

I really feel like I’ve been creating a new me, or rather, a slightly improved me, over the last couple weeks. Truly, new year, new me. Annoying but honest.

In yoga, I think my biggest breakthrough thus far has been finding my breath. I heard about it for the past three-ish years, but I always had trouble breathing, and that’s one of, if not the most important, parts of yoga. I’ve improved somewhat, but I still hold my breath in certain poses or sort of gasp for breath when I shouldn’t be winded, but something about yesterday’s practice spilling into today flipped a switch.

When you breathe in, inflate your belly, when you breath out, compress it–Adriene focused on that yesterday, and I paid close attention. Somehow I’d been doing the opposite. I focused on the right way yesterday, constantly correcting myself and pausing to get it right, and then today it just came naturally. I expected breathing to come naturally with time, as you’d expect, but what it really took was me taking responsibility.

I did a bunch more pages in my bullet journal (or “bujo” which I pronounce “boo-hoe” from years of high school Spanish) today, and I am obsessed, so I’m going to show them off to you like a kindergartner asking you to put her scribbles on the fridge. Bear with me, I haven’t made something pretty in ages, and I’m fucking bursting.

One of my future logs, basically for big and immobile things. Blurred out the birthdays for anonymity lol and you’ll see both that I made a mistake on “ten” in November and that I don’t know the exact date upon which Husband and I had our first date, but it was in November!
These are my BIG goals for the whole year with plenty of room for more. I made them lofty, (well some of them–I don’t know if I really have 20lbs to lose, but the idea is get fit, and 1000 followers is just a nice, round number, ain’t it?) but if you don’t shoot for the stars you’ll never eat moon cheese, right? I also plan to read this year. I know 12 is not a lot of books for 365 days, but that’s my minimum. They’ll get added to the page as they’re finished, and The Color of Magic is soon to be added.
This is the spread I’m most excited about: it’s for my writing projects. I’m going to list them as I tackle them this year, and tick off the stages the stories are in. Lots of room here as I’m expecting to have a very productive year.
January monthly spread. I noticed when I looked at examples of monthly spreads that they had calendars, but a lot of them didn’t seem to do anything with the calendar? They had lovely lists next to the calendar of important days but…why? Just put it ON THE CALENDAR! I wanted to make sure I could mark things down especially since it will come in super handy in the future when I need to know when we did a certain thing. Also great for period tracking! I added a habit tracker to the bottom too that I promptly fucked up which is why there’s a line through the “reading” habit. I don’t actually know which days I read in the past two weeks and which I didn’t, but I accidentally copied my blogging days there…womp womp. It will be right going forward.
Finally, here’s a look at the week coming up. Like I said, I am going to track appointments and to-dos, but I want to kind of use this more retroactively to jot down some feelings or record activities about the day at its end.

I’m feeling this thing hard, I just need to make sure I stick with it. It’s quite pretty, so I hope I want to look at it every day, and I can’t do anything to it unless I do the things, so it’s like cyclically motivating! Finally, I’m making me.

Courage

Today we flew! Crow, or bakasana, is one of my favorite poses mostly because when I first saw Adriene demonstrate it and then turn to the camera and expected me, at home, to do it too, I was like “WTF, you want me to do that? But I’m a beginner!” But after a surprisingly short time I actually found that I could do it. Not well, mind you, and still today I am super shaky and fall over quite a bit, but it’s a posture I’ve gotten better at exponentially and, seriously, is there a better family of birds than the corvid? No.

This year, I’m getting more organized, which is something I say every year, but this year I bought something I’ve been kinda pining after for a while: a bullet journal. But let me be absolutely clear: I do not intend on doing the whole like key for tasks thing, moving them forward and backward and basically any of the actual bullet things. I just want a pretty notebook that I draw calendars and doodles in. And look at the start I’ve gotten to:

Just a note: I searched on Pinterest for examples of cute doodles and things, so none of those images are original from my head, but I did freehand them all. I used to draw and doodle quite a lot, but it’s been ages, so I needed a kick-start.

I actually just got the journal today, so I’m starting to fill it out in the middle of January which is making me feel some misplaced–but predictable–stress, but I’m determined to back fill the month! I had another planner that I got in November and used in December as a sort of test, but the paper is SO THIN that everything bleeds through. It was also a ringed binder where one can add more sheets to which I thought was a great idea for someone like me who would inevitably rip mistakes out and have ideas and want to add new things in, but it’s just too bulky–I couldn’t take it on our trip at Christmas, and I was bummed out about that because I wanted to take some notes while we were gone, so I think the portability of this notebook will be key.

Ultimately I want to use this to track my habits, especially writing, and keep track of appointments, but mostly as a sort of journal where I can mark down special things that happened. Less for thoughts and feelings and more for recording activities and, well, I guess my thoughts and feelings about those. I just want, at the end of the year, a lovely little book that sort of encapsulates 2019. So many little things happen to us and then they’re gone, especially, I think, in a world where we take so many photos but almost never print them out or even look at them again. We live through our lenses just to record moments we won’t revisit, and I want to find a way to circumvent that. Now that we have a printer, I think I’ll actually print out some photos and add them to my journal through the year too. So I guess it will be a sort of scrapbook too.

I don’t know if recording life is particularly courageous, but putting it out there that I’m starting this will, hopefully, hold me to keeping up with it.