Refocusing – week 5

Another week of Refocusing has come and gone. This one was a bit wonky on account of the holiday weekend, but I think I did alright. If you’re keeping score at home, though, you’ll notice that I didn’t post anything here Wednesday or Friday. I’d tell you it’s because I was too busy doing other sexy, awesome things, but I’d be lying if I did. I pretty much just blew off the blog last week. I’m trying not to feel bad about that, and so far that’s going quite well.

Anyway, how I’d do?

Progress report — week 4

As per tradition, I’m going to give myself a grade on each of my five goals, then write up my overall results.

I will spend one hour a day exercising and stretching.

I’m still not doing so hot on this one. The stretching? I’m doing that every day without fail. In fact, it’s become such an integral part of my daily routine, so relaxing and invigorating, it’s kind of silly that it was so hard to get started at the beginning.

But as for actual exercise? That’s been a challenge. I am a major, irredeemable wimp when it comes to the cold, and since it’s cold and windy where I live, and since walking is kind of my whole exercise plan at this point, I haven’t done hardly any at all. That said, I did manage to get outside a bit more than I did last week, but I’m still not where I need to be.

I’m giving myself a C- here, instead of last week’s D, because while I have a long way to go, I did improve a little.

I will use a meal planner to eat healthier.

Nailing it. Even with Thanksgiving thrown in the mix, I’ve kept my calorie count down and continue to eat much healthier food.

A solid A+ again.

I will spend one hour a day on meditation and related practices.

Ditto on this. Haven’t diverged an inch from my plan and am just killing this goal with a consistence I never really thought possible.

Another A+.

I will spend one hour a day with my family members.

Nailed it, crushed it, killed it–I need another term to mean “I’m totally kicking this goal’s ass beyond all reasonable belief.” Seriously, it’s almost a gimme at this point, and I’m really happy about that.

An A+ like burning.

I will create something every day.

Alas, we once again come upon a goal I’m not doing so well at. The creative juices are pretty hard to squeeze out these days, but (as with my exercise goal) I did a little better this week than I did last week.

So, that’s a B- because of the improvement, but I really need to get my act together here.


I’m tempted to just copy and past last week’s Results in this spot, because the trend of total awesomeness just keeps going. Energy, patience, lack of anxiety–it’s all there. I did have a rough, semi-sleepless night on Saturday, which was weird, but that’s about it. Sleep’s been great otherwise.

Oh, and I lost another three pounds, putting me at 233. Admittedly, I still have a lot of weight to lose, but my pants are getting looser and I’ve had to use holes on my belt which have never before been penetrated.

That seems kinda obscene now that I’ve written it.


How’ve you been doing?

Refocusing – week 4

Hey, hey, hey, it’s been another seven days! That means the first month of my “Refocusing” is behind me. So, how’d I do?

Progress report – week 4

As always, I’m going to give myself a grade on each of my goals individually, then summarize my overall results.

I will spend one hour a day exercising and stretching.

Oh, I’ve sucked pretty hard at this. Like last week, I’ve been diligently stretching, but getting outside for a walk (or really anything you might call “exercise”) just hasn’t happened. I’m filled with “I don’t wanna!” and the cold weather hasn’t helped.

I’ve giving myself a D, here, and I really need to do better.

I will use a meal planner to eat healthier.

I’m crushing this goal. I’ve stayed under my calorie limit, I’ve been eating much healthier food, and haven’t felt at all like I’m starving myself. Also? My recent stomach trouble seems to be a thing of the past. Awesome all around.

I totally get an A+ for this goal.

I will spend one hour a day on meditation and related practices.

Nailed it! No slips, no days off, I’m rocking everything about this goal.

An A+ for sure.

I will spend one hour a day with my family members.

This is another goal I’m just completely crushing. Every single day in my house there’s lots of hanging out, playing games, and just generally enjoying each other’s company. I’m really happy I put this goal into the mix, because it’d be very easy for me to focus on all my other goals while ignoring the people around me. Having this goal here means that just isn’t happening. In fact, I’m spending more quality time with others than I have in years.

Another solid A+.

I will create something every day.

Not doing so well with this goal. That’s partly due to me just not being in much of a creative mood, but mainly I’m just not making enough “room” to be creative. I’ve done a little writing here and there, but I just haven’t sat down, pushed aside the mental clutter, and really worked at anything.

I’m giving myself a C here, because I have done some stuff, but I’m nowhere near where I should be.


What should I lead with here? The fact that I feel pretty much amazing all the time? The fact that I lost another five pounds this week, bringing me down to 236 from 251 a month ago? Or the fact that I once again had a week where I slept for a full eight hours every single night?

All that stuff obviously rocks, but I think the thing I’m happiest about is the fact that my anxiety issues are gone. Gone. I don’t mean a little bit less, or easier to handle. I mean I haven’t had an ounce of anxiety, dread, or panic in over a week.

I can’t remember having a week like that, even once, in the last decade.

And all of this taken together, these various and awesome bits and pieces, have made me more patient, less frustrated, and the sort of happy that’s hard to put into words. I still have a lot of work to do, but I’m absolutely thrilled about how things have been going so far.

So how are you doing?

Friday frustrations

So, I’ve been generally happy these last few weeks. The cause isn’t hard to discern, but the effect is pretty damn sweet. More patience, less irritation, an enhanced ability to focus on what I need to do–all the usual benefits to being in a great mood.

Unfortunately, there’s a bit of comedy gold to be found in my present, happy state: I’ve grown far more sensitive to the unhappy moods of other people.

Every grumble, complaint, or impatient snap around me seems amplified. Every note of sarcasm, fatalism, or cynicism sounds like a cymbal crash. And, since that sort of thing is rather common these days (perhaps more-so than usual), it’s been downright impossible to avoid.

I’ve kicked nearly all the various social medias to the curb, and when faced with people “in a bad mood,” I’ve kept the conversation to a minimum, but damn…the vibes, man. The vibes.

Still, my mostly happy attitude is exactly that: mostly happy. There have been a few incidents this week which tested my patience in one way or another, and since I have nothing else to write about today, let’s just hit the most obvious low-lights.

  • We seem to have skipped Autumn this year and gone straight into winter, at least in my neck of the woods. A couple weeks ago it was in the 70s. Lately, it’s been in the 20s and lower 40s. That’s not the sort of temperature shift I can easily adjust to, so I’m writing this while wearing a hoodie, listening to the furnace run, and I’m still freezing.
  • Related to the above, I suffer from chronic dry eye, and the constantly-running furnace is turning my corneas into jerky. We have a humidifier running mostly non-stop, but there’s only so much that sort of thing can do. My ophthalmologist has practically begged me to use eye drops every day, but I’m very lazy about that sort of thing, so my eyes are basically on fire all the time.
  • The nagging pain in my neck and head is almost entirely non-existent, except when it’s not. It still annoys me from time to time, and it’s absolutely something I should talk with my doctor about, but…yeah, not a fan of doctors and hospitals. I have an appointment with her anyway, later this month, and I’ll mention it then. In the meantime, I’m just dealing with it.
  • I think I’m finally, this time for sure, adjusted to the time change. Man, that gets harder and harder for me every year. We seriously need to do away with moving the clocks back and forth.

That’s about it. How’d your week go?

More night thoughts

As I laid me down to sleep

All of science (the “hard” sciences, anyway) is built upon an appeal to a common experience. We agree on the definitions of mass, distance, time, and charge, as well as the means and units employed to observe and measure these attributes.

In addition, we agree to follow certain rules of reasoning with regard to what we may conclude from such observations, because these rules tend to lead to conclusions we can verify against this common experience.

However, the “common experience” understood by science has became so nuanced and complex that no single human being can possibly hold it all in mind. Even scientists must rely heavily on other scientists, building their own analyses and explanations upon the word-of-mouth analyses and explanations of others.

So, has science really “replaced faith,” as some would say it, or has science simply replaced faith in a God with faith in one’s fellow humans?

Huh. I could really go for a taco right now.


Refocusing – week 3

It’s now been three weeks since my “Refocusing,” and this one’s been complicated. First by the lack of a well-formed, fifth goal, and second…well, let’s just say that trip to the hospital disrupted things just a bit.

But how’d I actually do?

Progress report – week 3

As always, I’m going to go through my goals one by one, give myself a grade in each, then wrap it all up with an overall assessment of how I fell.

I will spend one hour a day exercising and stretching.

Yeah, I sucked at this one. I stretched every day, and even walked home from the hospital on Tuesday, but I basically just slacked off. It’s the cold, mostly. And the wind. I’m a major league wimp when it comes to going out in the cold, and I really have to get past that.

Still, I’m giving myself a C here, instead of a D. Why? Because I frickin’ walked home from the hospital!

I will use a meal planner to eat healthier.

This goal? I’m still kicking its butt all over the place, though not quite as much as I have been. I babied my stomach for most of the week, and that meant dialing down the amount of veggies I consumed. I subbed in things like brown rice and tofu (yes, really), but my body’s really been feeling the lack of green goodness. Still, I held to my calorie count and what I did eat wasn’t unhealthy by any means.

Solid A, here.

I will spend one hour a day on meditation and related practices.

I didn’t meditate either Tuesday or Wednesday. Tuesday because I was in the ER, and Wednesday because my stomach was still hurting bad enough that I didn’t think it was possible to get anything at all out of meditation. I held to those “related practices,” though. Not quite as successfully as the previous two weeks, but I did what I needed to do.

I’m giving myself an A- for this one. Yes, I can be excused for the mid-week distraction, but a slip’s a slip and it deserves some recognition.

I will spend one hour a day with my family members.

I am totally crushing this goal. I’m spending a lot more time with my family members and having more fun doing it. For example, Alex and I spent much of this last weekend playing Magic: The Gathering and watching Stranger Things.

This is an A+ all around.

I will spend one hour a day on photography.

I will create something every day.

I’m officially dinging the “photography” goal in favor of a new, “create something” goal. So, what’s this new goal about?

In order to earn a grade here, I need to create something each day. That could be taking photographs, drawing, writing a poem–it literally does not matter what form the “something” takes, just that I apply my creative energies to something specific, in a tangible, measurable way each and every day.

Since I’m trading out a goal here, I’m not giving myself a grade for the “five-slot” this week. I am giving myself a great big F in following my instincts, though, because I knew the vagueness in my original goal was going to be a problem and I could have saved myself a lot of mental grief if I’d just trusted my gut.


Between the time change and the stomach stuff, this was a rough week for sleep. Add in the lack of veggies and this is the tiredest I’ve been since I started all this. I’ve been a bit slower to get started in the mornings, and there were a couple of days when I really wanted to take a nap. That said, it’s perfectly understandable that I’d feel this way, and I’m still nowhere near as tired as I was before.

Still, this bit of tiredness has made it somewhat difficult to accurately judge things like my mood, level of stress/anxiety, or overall happiness. I feel pretty good, but I think everyone gets a little “worse for wear” when they’re not sleeping properly. There have a been a couple of times this week when my patience has felt a bit thin, but fortunately those times were brief. And let’s be honest, here: it is (once again) perfectly understandable that I’d be a little “off” given the week I’ve had.

As for my weight? I lost another three pounds this week. That brings me down to 241, ten pounds lighter than when I started. I still have a long way to go, but I have absolutely no doubt that I’ll make it to my “primary target” weight of 180.

So, yeah. Still hanging in there and basically loving it. If I can up my veggies, get some more exercise, and adjust to the existential horror of the time change, I should be pretty good next week!

How are you doing?