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from eriki

Rising early is something I find very rewarding. FWIW it is now 0508 local time as I'm finishing this post.

It used to be that I'd wake up at the last possible moment (to get as much sleep as possible) and stay up at night as far as possible (to get something done or be social). At some point I finally realized that I am no night owl, so I tried looking into if I could rather rise earlier. Turns out I can, I now more or less comfortably wake up somewhere between 0345 and 0430 and get things done.

Those hours between 4 and 6 are kind of magic: Nobody execpt me and the flyer delivery driver that keeps putting stuff in my mail box on my wall seems to be awake. I can write, plan my day and even sometimes program a little.

FWIW, here are some tricks/observations that might help you if you want to try this:

  • It seems I feel less tired if I wake up around 0400 sometime than if I stay in bed until the rest of the family wakes up.
  • Generally it seems I need to get up about a couple of hours earlier than I'd usually have to so that I can get some time to get stuff done.
  • My brain need to have a reason to be awake, just waking up to stare at the wasll doesn't work.
  • For a couple of years I've used the app Sleep as Android which would wake refuse to turn off until I scanned a QR code in my bathroom. (I later used an NFC sticker that I placed underneath a shelf so that it didn't bother anyone by looking ugly.)
  • Now I just rely on my normal alarm clock but I use one really nifty trick:
  • From time to time, either when I know I've had little sleep lately and know it will be hard to get out of bed the next day, or if I find my early rising habit slipping I do the getting-out-of-bed-drill[0]. The longest version of the getting-out-of-bed-drill goes as follows: I go to my bedroom, set my alarm clock app to ring in two minutes, go to bed and pretend to be sleeping. When the alarm goes off I do the exact steps I'm planning to do every morning:
    • Sit up in my bed, yawn
    • Step out on the floor
    • Stop (not snooze) the alarm
    • Head for the bathroom
    • Get cold water in my face
    • I then go back to bed and repeat
  • Now that I've been rising early for a while I'll just pretend that my alarm clock rings (I'm that lazy : ) and go through the rest of the drill.
  • But if necessary I'll do a longer one that even includes going downstairs to put on coffee.

Comments and ideas can be sent to @eitland@mstdn.io

[0]: While I call it my drill, I didn't come up with this drill on my own, rather I read about getting up early on Steve Pavlinas blog: – How to Become an Early RiserHow to Become an Early Riser – Part II How to Get Up Right Away When Your Alarm Goes Off

 
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from Niklas Anderson's Blog

About This Blog

This blog is also available to Tor users here: http://writeas7pm7rcdqg.onion/niklasanderson

I used to have my blog hosted by Netlify running Jekyll. But I found it all cumbersome and annoying, so I have swapped to write.as. While Write.as does not offer all the features I would like, it is more or less in line with my expectations of privacy. It is also simple enough for my simple mind.

I apologize if you have found this blog. I occasionally write here, but I do not accept any responsibility for any damage caused by this blog.

You can find my linkedin profile at linked.niklasanderson.com.

I have these categories which you can sort my posts by:

#MyIgnorantViews

#MeaninglessAphorisms

#TechnoPosts

#IsThisCreative

 
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from Niklas Anderson's Blog

Wishing For The End: Pessimistic Worldviews

#MyIgnorantViews

I used to be a savage connoisseur of apocalyptic theories: Peak oil, Irreversible and Extreme Climate Change, Nuclear Holocaust, World War III... On good days I engaged with the predictions of less disastrous theorists, like the mutualist-anarchist Kevin Carson, who predict a degradation of State Capitalism towards a less industrialized and militarized society of small scale society.

In many ways I hoped these predictions would realize themselves, and realize themselves rather soon. Those around me saw this as an expression of mere pessimism and cynicism, and while I cannot meaningfully call myself an optimist, I always acknowledged to myself the loose ground these ideas stood upon.

I knew the next world war was a real possibility, but not immediately likely. I knew state capitalism was struggling to maintain itself in the age of recession, but never fully believed that technology could fully vacate the men in suits from central control. I also quietly believed that "green energy" alternatives could relieve the worst results of "peak oil" *if* it happens, given that the bureaucrats would suddenly have an overwhelming need to make it happen.

I wanted to believe these things because I hoped for them. I saw no place for myself in the adult, modern world. It was always too complex, to the point where even those who were certain of their skills and desires stood little chance, and I preferred an alternative. An alternative where every other person, and institution, was equal in its failure as I.

I hardly think of these theories now.

Personal disasters have way of shortening your life planning, away from thirty to fifty years away, to thirty of fifty days away.

 
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from O Idiota

Vez ou outra, quando me pego esperando para atravessar a rua, uma cena rápida roda na minha cabeça, onde eu deliberadamente dou um passo à frente enquanto um carro atravessa em alta velocidade, provocando um atropelamento fatal.

E então os carros dão uma folga, olho de novo para os dois lados pra ver se posso atravessar, e continuo em frente.

#Curtas

 
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from O Idiota

Pode parecer óbvio, mas vou ser bem sincero com vocês: eu sou um idiota. É o que está no nome do blog, afinal. Aliás, por ser um idiota, eu não tenho muito a dizer sobre o assunto. Vamos começar pelos livros: sobre os que li ao longo de toda a minha vida, passo por um triz de poder contá-los todos nos dedos das mãos. Fora os livros lidos — nenhum particularmente interessante —, todo o meu arcabouço intelectual se resume a conhecimentos adquiridos através da Internet. Eu me entristeço com isso, mas também não estou fazendo muito para mudar.

Só pra não dizer que não estou fazendo nada, estou começando de leve: a minha meta para este ano é ler dez livros quaisquer. Mas o que me deixa pra baixo é ver que essa meta poderia ter sido batida há muitos anos, tivesse eu parado de bater outra coisa. Tempo realmente é algo que não se recupera.

Também não domino nenhum instrumento musical ou qualquer outra arte. Enfim... fosse essa vergonha se dar somente no campo intelectual, vá lá. Mas no campo profissional também está acontecendo. Já faz tempo que não estudo novas tecnologias. Hoje trabalho majoritariamente com Windows Forms (!!!), e com essa correria de trabalho e faculdade, tudo o que consigo fazer é dar umas arranhadas em Vue.js e React, dar umas espiadas em algumas novidades sobre Java e desenvolvimento backend com Node.js, olhar alguma coisinha sobre Python — especialmente TensorFlow — e fuçar em alguma coisa sobre desenvolvimento mobile. Tudo superficial, nenhum conhecimento de verdade. E porque minha atenção anda dividida entre tantas coisas, termino por não fazer nada, nem entender de nada.

Enquanto isso, olho para os meus pares e vejo eles sempre se exibindo, falando sobre como eles acabaram de aprender algo novo ou sobre algum projeto que eles estão desenvolvendo fora do trabalho. E o pior é que todos eles são mais velhos do que eu. Eu sou jovem e já pareço ter oitenta anos de idade, todo travado e ficando pra trás.

Espero que as coisas mudem quando eu terminar a faculdade e começar a ter algum tempo livre. Mas será que o problema realmente é falta de tempo?

#Textos #Organização #Tempo #Trabalho

 
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from study blog.

So you've decided you want to take the leap and become a nurse. Great! Welcome to the frying pan! Now, before you & I jump into the actual fire (I'll be jumping in soon – March is when my nursing classes and clinical practicums start so yay!), let us talk about surviving the prerequisites.

What are the Prerequisite Courses?

First, let me define prerequisite courses.

These are the courses that your school's nursing program requires that you take before they consider you for the program. These are the courses that they focus on and care about the most. They place priority on these courses over the other classes that the college may require. While GPA is, of course, what they look at, the grades you get in these prerequisite courses can be the deciding factor about whether or not you get into your program.

Meaning when the Nursing Department is deciding on who gets the very last available seat in the class, you or another person with the same GPA as you, your grades in your prerequisite courses are the deciding factor. If you get a 4.0/A in a non-prerequisite course, but the other person has a 3.3/B+ in Anatomy and Physiology, the person who has the better grades in A&P will be the one to get into the program. You will either be rejected completely OR placed on a waiting list.

For my school, nursing prerequisites are the following subjects. These subjects are counted TWICE when they’re trying to calculate your GPA: * Anatomy and Physiology I & II (only A&P I is counted twice, but I include A&P II here because you need to take it before you go into the program anyway) * Chemistry * English I * General Psychology

My nursing program also requires the following subjects, but these you can take after entering the program. If you do take these before getting into the program, they will be counted into your GPA. This is helpful to boost up your GPA, but it can lead to trouble if you get a low grade in this class, thus pulling down your GPA, although they won’t do as much damage as getting a low grade in the subjects mentioned above these: * English II * Developmental Psychology * Statistics * Microbiology (which must be completed before the second semester of the nursing program)

Still with me? Yes? Good.

Let's go with the easy stuff first aka general advice.

General Advice

Know yourself.

I know this seems so trivial and simple, but seriously, know yourself.

Maybe, you're like me, and you want to get all your prerequisites done and dusted ASAP. When I was advised, the general advisor had me sign up for all of my requirements in one semester. Meaning that I had signed up for A&P I, chemistry, general psychology, and English for that first semester.

I survived, and aside from my B+ in chemistry, all my other courses worked out. I only got an A- for A&P I (funnily enough, my professor thought he gave me an A but oh well), however, my GPA was pretty good at the end (it was a 3.7). Later in the summer, I also took developmental psychology and statistics which bumped me up to a 3.8 because I had gotten As in both classes.

I was able to handle the course load due to several factions, mainly the fact that I don't have a job and I gave up going out in favor of studying and going to class every day of the week that first semester. Yes, I had classes every day of the week. Monday-Sunday.

Aside from my obligations at home, my focus was on my classes. I hardly hung out with friends, and when I did, it was on weeks when I knew I had a light load in terms of readings and homework. Even then, I was more likely to stay home and play video games than I was to go out. It was a sacrifice I made.

The stress levels were insane. Even worse because I had to take my finals early due to a previously booked trip to Japan I had with my mom which we had booked almost a year in advance. I took my A&P final and chemistry final on the same week, with me taking another A&P test just before my final for that class. So two A&P tests in one day, then the chemistry final five days later which was the same day as my departure.

I slept on that flight. I was knocked out like I just got punched in the face. Worth it though.

Now, I'm sure you don't have to worry about the same thing, but the point still stands.

Realistically, can you do about the same and take two science courses that have labs and two writing/reading intensive courses in the same semester? Can you take these important prereqs in the same semester AND get an A/A- in all of them (or one B+)?

Dig deep because this is your grade on the line. I can say 100% that it's doable, but this is my opinion based on my experience and personality. The fact that I was able to do it doesn’t mean others are going to be able to do the same. It all depends on you and your ability.

If you think that you can handle chem and A&P at the same time, go for it. But if you know that you are someone who struggles to memorize concepts and can only handle so much, don't do it. You need to not only get good grades in these courses, but you especially need to understand the concepts presented in the courses, especially A&P.

Establish Your Study Space and Designate a Study Time

This is another given. However, it is important for you to have your study space. This place can be private, or it can be in a public space. It can be a library or a cafe or your room or somewhere quiet in your house or dorm.

Wherever it is, make sure it's a comfortable place for you to study where you can focus. If this means leaving your home/dorm because it’s too loud, then leave and go somewhere else that you’re comfortable sitting in for a few hours.

You should also have a set study time every day. Obviously, things come up, but establish a time for studying and try to stick with it. Be consistent and have your routines to put yourself in the mind space for studying. If this means going to the gym first, showering, and then studying? Do it. If this means making coffee or tea before going to your study space? Then go!

Have a routine. Make it consistent.

Use a Planner

Buy yourself an academic planner, make a bullet journal, or use a digital calendar. Something. Anything! But make sure to use a planner of some kind to keep track of:

  • Homework
  • Exams
  • Days off
  • Cool Stuff
  • Payday
  • Life in general
  • When things are due

Don’t rely on memory or even your syllabus to tell you when things are due. Write them down in your planners. When you’ve completed whatever it is you need to complete, mark it as completed and move on to the next task.

Set Daily Goals and Reward Yourself When You Complete Them

Have daily goals that are reasonable and doable. This will prevent burnout and cognitive overload. Once you’ve finished your daily goal, reward yourself with a little something!

Of course, this would require that you have good time management which means?

Stop Procrastinating!

Seriously just don’t do it. It’s not worth the trouble or the stress later on. It might seem like a good idea at first, but believe me – trying to finish a semester’s worth of chemistry homework right before finals won’t do you any good. You’ll just end up with a lower grade than what you could have gotten if you had done your assignments on time.

Take Breaks and Have an Alarm that Goes Off at Midnight

Take those breaks. Have those delicious snacks. Go to the gym for a bit. Go for a run. Drink! Go to the bathroom. Take a bubble bath or even just a quick, but relaxing shower. Just take a break every so often.

Also, don’t pull all-nighters. Just don’t do it, especially if you have classes in the morning. This is why I say right above this one to stop procrastinating because if you manage your time well, you should be able to avoid having to pull all-nighters.

I have an alarm that goes off at midnight. Why? That’s my signal to stop studying and go to sleep so that I’m more awake during the day. Sure, I still drink coffee, but coffee + good night’s sleep the night before? It’s good shit, and I highly recommend. I also do it because I’ve found that on days when I’m more awake, I do better on exams and quizzes than when I try to stay up to study. It’s easier for me to dig deeper into my brain when I’m awake than when I’m half asleep.

Electronic or Handwritten Notes?

You’re not confined to one or the other. However, it’s good to keep things consistent and organized. Regardless of what your decide on, make sure to record lectures for playback later on while you’re revising.

If you go electronic, make sure you’re organized by having folders for every semester and class. Whatever program you decide to use for your notes (i.e. Google Docs, OneNote, or Word), make sure that you have backups saved somewhere. If you’re using Word, make sure the file saves automatically and to upload those files to Google Drive as soon as you can. If you’re using OneNote, copy & paste your notes into Word and upload the file to Google Drive. Don’t underestimate technology’s ability to screw you over when you need it the most. Backup, backup, backup.

If you forget your laptop/tablet? Don’t worry. Handwrite your notes and then just type it up later. You could also scan the handwritten notes and just save it into the proper folder.

If you go with handwritten notes, make sure to have separate notebooks and folders for each class. If you’re more of a looseleaf and binder person, just make sure to have the binders organized with tabs if you’re going to use just one binder. Make sure everything is labeled.

If you got too lazy to write and just want to type (which I have done), then just rewrite your notes later on into your notebook/binder or print out the pages and staple them into the notebook/stick them into the binder.

Just don’t rely on printouts of powerpoints and other documents to do the work for you.

Remember that these classes are trying to prepare you for your nursing classes.

You Need to Learn and Understand the Material Well Enough to Teach It

This should be your goal. You need to imagine that you’re going to teach this to someone else. The best way to gauge whether you understand a concept is if you can teach it to someone else and they understand it.

Remember that the most important thing isn’t just getting an A in these classes. You need to learn these concepts. You need to understand them. You need to be able to use your knowledge of these concepts to answer difficult questions. It’s great if you can memorize every muscle in the body, but if you don’t understand how action potential works and how neurotransmitters work, how will you be able to answer clinical questions?

So this brings me to another point!

Don’t Cheat

Don’t cheat. I don’t care if you need a 100 to get a B/B+ in that class. I don’t care if the moon started falling to the earth Legend of Zelda style and you cheating is the only way to save the planet.

Don’t care.

Do you want to become an RN? Do you want to earn that sweet, sweet high salary that RNs get?

Then work for it from the start.

I have no patience for cheaters, and neither do any of your future RN professors. If you get caught cheating? I have no doubt the program will have no issue tossing you out. Cheating does nothing for you and will not do you any good when you’re taking the NCLEX-RN.

Now, if you’re having trouble?

Ask Questions. Go to Tutoring When Needed

Don’t be afraid to ask your professors questions. They’re there to teach you, after all.

Don’t be afraid to use your college/university’s resources such as tutoring or study halls. They are fantastic tools that will help you study in the long run.

You are paying for this education, so you may as well use the resources that your school is providing for you so you can succeed.

Make Friends and Share Notes/Recordings of Lectures

Pretend we’re all in grammar school because it’s time to learn/relearn how to make friends! I can’t stress it enough how important it is to have friends (or at least people you’re friendly with) in all of your courses, but especially in these prereqs.

Form group chats with your classmates. Make friends. Form bonds. Be supportive of each other. Share notes and recordings.

Technically speaking, some of these classmates are your competition for those seats in the nursing program. However, it’s rather harmful to think of them as such. Thus, don’t think of them as competition, but rather as your cohort, potential coworkers. You need to learn how to play nice with people and work together with them because someday, you’re going to be working in an environment that requires cooperation and good relationships to ensure patients get the best care. In a semester or two, you’re going to be in the program with these people and if you want to survive, having friends is a good thing.


In the next post, I’ll talk about surviving lecture. See ya there!

#howtosurviveprereqs

 
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from Ian's Comment

On the previous platform that hosted my writing, Silvrback, comments were available by linking a Disqus account.

I've now moved over to write.as, and just about the only feature I was using on Silvrback that they don't have here is commenting (at least, not yet). As I was considering the switch, this initially gave me pause, but as I thought about it more I realized that, firstly, considering the very infrequent posting and thus tiny readership that I had commenting was in any case pretty much moot; and, secondly, in order to reduce spam, comment systems need to present some kind of barriers to commenting, all of which are an annoyance either to the commenter, the blog owner, or both.

Furthermore, as anyone who's read just about any comment forum anywhere on the web can attest, another big problem with commenting is the very small signal/noise ratio. Low-quality comments are easy and therefore ubiquitous, a problem that increases in direct proportion to a website's popularity. Genuinely high-quality, original and insightful comments, that actually add value to a discussion, are much more difficult, and thus far less common.

Done properly, comments could and should be a great addition to any weblog; the promise of the web has always been not only to give everyone a voice, but also to foster discussion and the exchange of ideas. Having everyone's writing contained within silos clearly doesn't realize the second part of this promise, but previous attempts at solutions have all tended to fail due to the problems outlined above.

Other than a traditional blog comment system, one solution would be for write.as to have a dedicated comment forum, where each of the blogs they host would have their own categorized space for readers and authors to interact, but separate from the blog itself. Maybe remark.as will turn out to be something like this? And maybe it will fix the problems I've discussed here, but to do so it would require heavy moderation, either from dedicated moderators or (more likely) from blog owners.

In the meantime, I've decided that the simplest solution for me right now is to put up my email address to give the ability for readers to submit any comments or feedback. This will work like a letters page in a newspaper or magazine, and I'll act as editor and filter out anything that needs to be filtered, and publish (and respond to) anything that merits being seen.

It doesn't seem like composing and sending an email should be too onerous for anyone who actually has something worthwhile to say, but maybe even this small amount of friction (along with Gmail's algorithms) will eliminate most of the spam.

We'll see how this works. If I end up being as prolific as I plan to, comments may even start becoming a regular thing! So, please, if you'd like to respond to anything I write — especially if you disagree with me — please do so and if what you say provides insight I'll add it directly below the relevant post.


As an addendum, my impressions of write.as so far are fantastic. It's fast, clean and easy to use, with a great selection of features available for what I think is a very good price. Consider that an endorsement!


#blogging

 
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from Florence

Published by maloki as a Medium post and a write.as post: Some of you may remember me from hit series such as “Mastodon has a Project Manager”, “I've returned as Project Manager for Mastodon - a love-letter”, and “Time to Fork This Stuff”. It is time for a reboot.

picks up Mastodon This does not spark joy. Thank you Mastodon for all you've done for me, but I'm moving you into the no-joy pile.

In true Konmari spirit, I want to thank Mastodon for the time we've had. While Mastodon has been problematic to say the least, Mastodon has also been great in a lot of ways for a lot of us. We've found community, love, support, and valuable friendships. We've had opportunities to learn new lessons and grow. We've had people calling us on our bullshit, and it's generally been an open and welcoming space. I want to thank Mastodon for this.

Now some of us, both long time developers and contributors, as well as community members, are choosing to pick that up to continue building something new. I wish you the best, Mastodon; you served us well.

picks up Florence This feels different. I like this.

Florence

Fediverse Loves Open Responsible Ethical Networks for Communicating with Everyone

It's been a long time coming, and it's time we keep moving this forward.

Florence will be a lot more than just a Mastodon fork. We are still putting some of those thoughts into words, but we have plans to contribute to all fediverse software that will have us. Our goals include focusing on anti-harassment tools and accessibility. We want to utilize the strength of the diverse experiences, backgrounds, and knowledge we have seen to build something together. We want to listen and have open dialogue with all of you as part of the development process, and it will be at the heart of our work. We will bring this with us to any project that wants to take advantage of what we have to offer. We are stronger together.

Which is why today we want to present you with Florence Mastodon, and the plans for it.

Florence Mastodon

Instead of continuing the existing versions from Mastodon, we're going to be using semantic versioning, to make it obvious when you need to update your software or when there will be game-changing updates or important patches. We'll be sure to list what Masto-main version each release corresponds to.

  • 0.1: For our first release we will have set up the repo and created an upgrade path from Masto-main, you can switch over now, if you like (glitch.soc or other forks would be a downgrade).
  • 1.0: We will have incorporated changes from existing forks, to create Florence-Masto's unique flavour. At this point you've been on other forks, with other features, you should be able to switch. Since the goal is to get 1.0 out there as soon as possible, we will put new additions in the next update.
  • 1.1: New features not existing in other forks, or features that need to be reworked, will probably end up here.
  • 2.0: When we reach this point, the goal is to have included major UI changes which have been requested. What else is in store, time will tell.

There will be a longer post available soon if you want to read about our thoughts about how we'll version and work on the development for Florence. The idea is for the development team to elaborate on that to figure out how they want to work with Florence.

Organization goals

There's a few other things we're interested in, that I'll just list below:

  • We are signing the Post-Meritocracy Manifesto as part of our goal to focus on compassion, community, and creating ethically sound software. We want to hear from marginalized people when creating this software, we want you to be part of our organization, we want to pay you (when we can, and according to need), and we want to give you credit for your work.
  • We will always aim to utilize Open Source Software as part of our infrastructure. However, that won't always be practical, so we also want to be pragmatic.
    • Some of the conversation is still happening on Discord, but one of those conversations has been about moving off Discord, and we aim to finalize that in the next few weeks. More info soon!
    • Yes, we're starting out on GitHub, but it's for some practical reasons, and we are looking at putting the code somewhere more accessible, as we want it to be easy to provide feedback.
    • Yes, chosa and ocdtrekkie, we've forked now!

Now we look forward, and start building, together.

 
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from Poänglösa berättelser

I dag hade jag velat vara i skidbacken, men då barnens utrustning var hos deras mamma och jag inte har bil fick vi hitta på något annat. Det blev en promenad ner till älven (det är knappt 100 meter fågelvägen) och fika i solen. Rebeccas katt Liam fick följa med också. Han satt skräckslagen på parkbänken medan yngste sonen klappade honom.

Katten Liam blir lugnad av yngste sonen.

När vi kom hem var katten helt slut och tillbringade hela eftermiddagen liggandes på sängen.

 
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from steph

I spend a lot of time alone these days. I moved into my own apartment in November, and broke up with my girlfriend two weeks later. Where nearly all of my free time used to be spent with her, or in the company of my roommate (we didn't consciously spend time together, but I always felt her presence in the room next door), now my time is spent alone. I still see friends a few times a week, but this doesn't account for the many hours alone over the span of a weekend, or the time after work and before bed on week nights.

You could say I'm purposely doing this. I've had another relationship opportunity that I turned down in favor of spending more time with myself. I am trying to fall in love with solitude, I am trying not to see it as a negative but rather an opportunity to take full ownership of my time. I'm an introvert so some of this comes naturally. I always needed a certain amount of alone time each week when I was in a relationship. Now, I find the default of alone time quite nice, with the sporadic interruptions of socialization throughout the week.

So what am I learning? What have I been doing?

I'm learning there are times when I am really uncomfortable with my mental state. Where I want it to change, I don't want to just let it be. This is when I turn to CBD oil or edibles. I'm not sure if the resulting change is qualitatively better, it's just different, and that is what I'm seeking in the moment. Writing this out makes me think I need to give meditation another earnest chance.

Other times, I feel content, like now. I am sitting in my bed, drinking French press coffee, listening to Small Million, writing this. Moments like this I wish could stretch out and unfold deep into the night. I could probably live out my days like this, breaking only for food, bathroom, and an hour bout of exercise each day. Alas, even today I will have to break from this situation soon enough, because I have plans to go to the Legion of Honor with a friend.

I am learning that TV does not make me very happy. I resort to it when there is nothing else I can think of doing. I'd just as well do away with it altogether, and watch the occasional movie. That said, right now I have more time than any other particular pursuit demands, so TV often wins out.

I'm learning that passive creativity suits me well. I find it hard to sit and focus my attention on just one thing, but if my attention can disperse to a couple things, I can stay engaged for a while. For example, yesterday I drew and colored with the TV on in the background. I was barely paying attention to the TV, but I would not have been able to sit and draw for that long without it on. Similarly, I have music on right now – without it, I would not be able to sit and write this. Once again, this makes me think I need to give meditation another shot. My attention span is nearing zero; even at work it flitters from one thing to the next with barely a minute in between.

I'm learning that I am in love with my apartment, and my neighborhood. Home environment is so important to me, and I love making small improvements to it over time to make it feel even more like home. I hung up my guitar yesterday, thus creating a little “music nook” where my piano and now guitar live. I could just sit and look at the way my bed is situated against the gabled windows, or my clean kitchen floor, or my bathtub, for a while and never tire of it. My apartment makes me so goddamn happy.

I'm learning that a few good friends are way better than many acquaintances. I only feel the need to socialize maybe 2 or 3 times per week, so I'd rather fill those times with deep connections, with people I can skip the small talk with. It is enough for me, and I have no desire to fill up more of this treasured alone time with people I don't like or know very much.

I'm learning that I need to be creative. I spend my work day as a manager, which, for however challenging it is, is not the most creative. Of course I often need to come up with creative solutions for dealing with people or distributing work, but I mean “creative” in the literal sense, where one creates something. I do not produce anything at work. In my free time, I need to. I like to write, draw, code, practice music. I like to cook. I need to be making things to feel fully content. I'd like to nurture this side of me even more. Right now, I dabble. I'd like to get really good at some things, though. On my list right now: writing, piano, data visualizations.

I'm learning that I still need rituals to moor me. Every weekend morning I make a batch of French press coffee and drink it in bed while reading or perusing the internet. Every evening I stretch and use the foam roller. Every night before bed I read the New Yorker. These little things create predictability, comfort, they serve as guide posts from one day to the next. I can't imagine not having small habits like this. Daily repetitive acts that are unique to me remind me of my own personhood.

 
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from Ian's Training Notes

This week I began the final mesocycle of the Pre-Season plan, consisting of twice-weekly VO2max intervals in addition to the usual low-intensity weekday rides, long Saturday group ride and an easy Sunday recovery ride. This will be repeated for three weeks, followed by a recovery week before I move into the In-Season.


The VO2max rides went pretty well. I was fresher for the Tuesday session than I was on Thursday, but did five decent reps on both days plus some extra medium-intensity work towards the end of each ride.

When I re-introduced intervals back into my training again for the first Pre-Season mesocycle, I started with 8-minute reps at super-threshold intensity. Now I've moved to these tougher 4-minute reps. In this way the Pre-Season acts as a bridge from the long, predominantly easy rides of the Off-Season to the much higher-intensity workouts of the In-Season.

I expect to be getting some PRs/KOMs by the third week of these VO2max rides.

nearly Spring It's nearly Spring!


The weekend rides were good. Both days had occasional light rain/drizzle, and consequently damp roads, but I got two nice workouts in.

I did four hours on Saturday. I think this is an ideal ride length for a Saturday; there's plenty of time to do a high workload, but it's nowhere near as fatiguing as doing a century (something I got carried away with last year).

I did some decent, shortish intervals and a couple of relatively (for February) fast sprints. Again, I really felt like my leg speed work and improved strength are paying off, especially when it comes to these maximal efforts.

My greater base fitness also told in the latter stages of the ride. The first time down Marshland I did most of the work chasing down Gary who'd got himself about 100m up the road coming off the bridge. Unfortunately, although I halved the gap three times during my turns on the front, by the time I'd cycled through the 6-man chasing group and got back on the front, the gap had opened back up again. So we never actually caught Gary, but I did get some good work in.

I'd also tried a breakaway win of my own on the morning's first sprint, North Forest Beach, but went off way too quickly and was reeled in by Gary who'd had some help to get him to the halfway point. But again, the important thing was that this was a good long, anaerobic, interval; at this stage of the year my main focus is on ramping up my fitness.


As often happens, a few of us continued on an extra loop after the main ride, and this time on Marshland I was a lot more circumspect regarding the effort I put in when on the front of the group (partly because I was getting tired, but mainly because I wanted another shot at the sprint).

It was still a pretty fast approach though, so with a mile to go riders started dropping off the back, until by the last 800m it was just me on Gary's wheel. He put in a nice effort, gradually accelerating up from 40 to just under 50 km/h. I glanced back, saw it was just the two of us, and had one of the best feelings you can have in cycling: knowing I was easily going to win a competitive sprint. All I had to do was pick when I wanted to go past him.

I went with 250m left, quickly getting about three-quarters of a bike length lead, looking across at him the whole time to see if he'd try to kick again. Sure enough, he stood up and tried another acceleration, but of course he didn't have much left and once I responded he immediately sat up.

It was a big role reversal from what happened so frequently last summer. But this summer I'm going to be much fitter, faster and (I dare say) wiser as well. Now I recognize the importance of conserving energy and picking the correct moment to attack. It's all part of the challenge, and I can't wait for the fun to start in earnest once the rides get fully populated later in the spring.


Sunday was just another 80 km recovery ride. The roads were again a little wet, meaning the recreational group I often ride with were reluctant to venture out. So I rode on my own on the local roads, nice and easy to finish off a good training week.


Next week I'm planning on heading to Savannah for the Saturday slugfest. I'll do these rides once per month or so, as they're the toughest ride in the area and so are a good indicator of where I am with my fitness and speed.


Designation: Pre-Season, Build 4 Time: 17.3 hours | Distance: 465 km | Low:Medium:High Intensity: 82:13:5 Weight Training: 3 x Lower Body, 1 x Upper Body | Walking: 15 km


As ever, if you want more detail follow me on Strava, and see my full training plan.

#cycling #training

 
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from steph

What do we do with our finite time here, our lives bumping up against those who happen to be here at the same time? What if you and I were alive at different times so that I never knew your curls, your two different laughs, and you didn't know my insatiability?

What if I died before I met you? What if you weren't born for another century? I'm so glad we won't have to know I'm so glad we won't spend this lifespan apart

 
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from O Idiota

Escrevi e postei isto no pastebin (pra não perder), mas reproduzo aqui (com mudanças drásticas):

A JMJ deste ano, apesar dos pesares — apesar dos muitos pesares —, me proporcionou um período longe das minhas preocupações quotidianas, além de ter me garantido uma boa dose de penitências pra me fazer deixar de ser frouxo. Foi um tempo pra parar e refletir.

Uma das coisas boas que mais me marcou nesta jornada foi a homilia que o Papa Francisco deu na missa de encerramento, onde ele enfatizou muito o “agora” de Deus. Esse agora, que “é a alegria do hoje, do concreto, do amor”.

Quando ouvi o Santo Padre falando sobre esse “agora”, e já que a missa era direcionada aos jovens (a mim), me surgiu uma outra definição de “agora” — definição mais comum entre a juventude de hoje: o “viver a vida”, o “curtir o momento”. Me lembro de ter anotado uma frase que achei engraçada, mas verdadeira (infelizmente esqueci de anotar também o autor):

Quando se fala em “viver a vida”, em 99% dos casos quer-se dizer: contrair doenças venéreas, ter diarreia alcoólica e falir.

De onde eu já trago em seguida um outro trecho que guardei de uma das páginas que sigo no Facebook:

Olha um pouco para ti mesmo, e verás a que ponto estás aprisionado pelo desejo de dar prazer ao teu “eu,” e somente a ele.
Tua liberdade está presa pelos laços estreitos do amor por ti mesmo; assim, és balançado ao acaso, como um cadáver inconsciente, da manhã à noite. “Agora, estou com vontade de beber,” “agora, estou com vontade de sair,” “agora, estou com vontade de ler o jornal.” A cada instante, teus próprios desejos te conduzem como por meio de uma rédea; e, se algum obstáculo se coloca no caminho, imediatamente perdes a calma, sob o efeito da contrariedade, da impaciência ou da cólera. Se sondares as profundezas de tua consciência, descobrirás as mesmas coisas. O sentimento de desagrado que experimentas, quando alguém te contradiz, possibilita facilmente essa verificação. Vivemos, assim, como escravos. Mas ”... onde se acha o Espírito do Senhor, aí está a liberdade” (2Cor 3:17)
Caminho dos Ascetas” de Tito Colliander

É “a ficção da alegria” da qual o Papa fala: vivemos — eu também — tíbios, tristes, em um agora sem raízes, desprendidos de tudo e sem nenhuma perspectiva, como “cadáveres inconscientes”, como a semente que caiu entre as pedras. Não é à toa que a depressão é a doença que mais cresce entre os jovens, e também não é à toa que o Papa Francisco deu tanta ênfase às raízes que os jovens precisam para se desenvolver apropriadamente: o estudo, o trabalho, a família e a comunidade. Se vivermos o “agora” sem estarmos firmados nessas raízes, e portanto sem ter alguma perspectiva de futuro, então vivemos como animaizinhos, autômatos programados para aproveitar o momento, arrastados pelos ventos dos instintos. Se surge uma boa vontade, é infrutífera e apenas passageira, como qualquer outro sentimento que temos.

É claro que viver o momento é importante — aquele clichê de que o passado já está pra trás e que o futuro ainda não existe — mas acredito que há uma forma correta de enxergar tudo isso:

Portanto, se tu também caminhas, se estás em tensão e prestas atenção ao que está por vir, esquece então o que fica para trás. Não olhe para trás, para não ancorar-te no lugar onde puseste teus olhos, lembra-te da mulher de Ló... Ao mesmo tempo que somos perfeitos, somos imperfeitos. Perfeitos em nossa condição de caminhantes, imperfeitos porque ainda não chegamos à meta... Somos caminhantes. Ainda assim, perguntas: O que significa caminhar? Em poucas palavras, significa avançar. Mas pode ser que, ainda entendendo tudo isso, comeces a andar mais devagar. Avançai, meus irmãos, examinai-vos honestamente mais uma vez. Ponde-vos à prova. Não estejais contentes com o que sois se quiseres chegar ao que ainda não sois. Se dizes “chega!”, então estás acabado. Então acrescenta sempre algo mais, avança sem parar, progride sempre.
Citação de Santo Agostinho retirada da última parte do livro de orações da JMJ de 2019

Vivemos em uma tensão (entre o que somos e o que queríamos/deveríamos ser), e é dessa tensão que surge a energia que nos leva para frente. Mas se vivemos sem raízes, apenas a passar pelos momentos sem saber para que se vive, então não há tensão, e portanto não há caminho, pois não existe para onde avançar.

Presta atenção ao que está por vir. Avance, caminhe. Hoje, agora. Na sua casa, no seu trabalho, na sua comunidade, apoiado por seus estudos, em raízes firmes, sem medo das inseguranças.

É simples para nós tomar decisões “loucas”, “de momento”, “Vamos? Vamos!”, impulsionados por uma força de vontade tão breve quanto o sentimento que a acompanha. Fracassamos quando temos que decidir firmemente, quando temos que decidir agora. Santo Agostinho diz que para Deus “tudo é um eterno presente”, de modo que tomar uma decisão agora é renová-la a cada instante. Mas para entrar nesse agora de Deus, é necessária a ajuda da graça divina: “Eis que faço novas todas as coisas”.

Para mim, que ultimamente não tenho tido vontade de nada, que me considero alguém sem caminho nenhum, que sou esse cadáver inconsciente, uma maquininha seguindo rotinas programadas, as palavras do Papa Francisco vieram como um soco na boca do estômago.

E me engano quando me desespero ao pensar que não tenho caminho certo, achando que o caminho é só um, ou que existe somente alguns caminhos bem montados e bem definidos para se chegar a Cristo. Bento XVI disse uma vez que que “Há tantos caminhos para Deus quanto há pessoas, porque cada pessoa tem seu próprio caminho”, enquanto o Papa Francisco completa dizendo que Deus não espera por situações oportunas para agir na nossa história. Preciso urgentemente entender que, no fim, Jesus é o Caminho, e que “faz-se caminho ao andar”. O projeto pra depois desta JMJ é tomar uma decisão firme e renová-la todos os dias, apesar dos sentimentos. Planejar o que der e confiar o resto à providência divina, seguir o meu caminho e O Caminho.

Para terminar, lembrei de um poema que fala exatamente sobre isso:

Caminante, son tus huellas el camino y nada más; Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar. Al andar se hace el camino, y al volver la vista atrás se ve la senda que nunca se ha de volver a pisar. Caminante no hay camino sino estelas en la mar.
Caminhante, são tuas pegadas o caminho e nada mais; caminhante, não há caminho, se faz caminho ao andar Ao andar se faz caminho e ao voltar a vista atrás se vê a senda que nunca se há de voltar a pisar Caminhante não há caminho senão há rastros no mar.
Antônio Machado

#Textos #JMJ #PapaFrancisco #Deus #Caminhante

 
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from The Monday Kickoff

Welcome to this week's edition of the Monday Kickoff, a collection of what I've found interesting, informative, and insightful on the web over the last seven days.

This week's reads were a lot easier to pick. Why? Some of the subjects were on my mind, while others jumped straight out at me off the screen. Well, not in a 3D sort of way ...

Let's get this Monday started with these links:

History and Archaeology

Do civilisations collapse?, wherein we learn that we might need to revise the way in which we think about how states and civilizations decline and peter out.

Axes of Evil, wherein we learn how a deadly incident involving a poplar tree at the Korean DMZ prompted a response that could have developed into something even more tragic.

Mesmerising Science: The Franklin Commission and the Modern Clinical Trial, wherein we join Benjamin Franklin in 1874 Paris as he leads an investigation into animal magnetism and it's most famed (and infamous) proponent Anton Mesmer.

Arts and Literature

What Was Virginia Woolf Looking for in the Night Sky?, wherein we learn of the author's fascination with stargazing, and how that fascination bled into her writing.

A good bookshop is not just about the books – at last we realise that, wherein Sian Cain explains that an independent bookshop is more than a place to buy the latest bestseller — they're agents of culture rather than just instruments of commerce.

How the CIA Helped Shape the Creative Writing Scene in America, wherein we get a glimpse into how conservative, and later CIA, support for the Iowa Writer's Workshop churned out a couple of generations of writers whose work was used to battle Communism.

Ideas

Tools Are Not Skills, wherein we're reminded of something I've been saying for years: the cultivation of skills in pursuit of mastery of one’s craft is a worthwhile goal in itself.

Why Is Japan Still So Attached to Paper?, wherein Nikil Saval explores why one of the world's most technologically-advanced nations still embraces a millenia-old way of recording and sharing information.

The Rise and Fall of the English Sentence, wherein we're treated to an analysis of complexity in both written and spoken language, and learn why sentences in English have gradually become less complex.

And that's it for this Monday. Come back in seven days for another set of links to start off your week.

Scott Nesbitt


If you enjoy The Monday Kickoff, please consider supporting it by buying me a coffee or a smoothie, or making a micropayment via Liberapay, or PayPal. Even if you don't, I'll keep doing this. Your support (even if you just read this space) is appreciated!


The Monday Kickoff is licensed under CC0 Public Domain.

 
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from AverageDom

... and I want to share some information about it with you.

Long, long ago...

I was fit and healthy. I was member of 3 gyms. I only ate fresh, vegan food, counted calories and only drank water and tea. I had healthy habits like daily meditation, breathing practice and saved money every month. I could say that this was the peak of my physical and mental health, but this has changed, sadly. And here is why...

It all started with a foot injury and a job without perspective

Strong habits only build over time, so do bad habits. Due a foot injury I couldn't do cardio, dead lifts or other standing exercises. Even bench-pressing wasn't possible due the missing stability. So, my gym routine got screwed over and I had to pause. What did my weak ass do while this pause? – Eat more shit. As I mentioned before I'd lived vegan and I started to eat cheese again. Just once a week. Then twice a week. Then more fast food and sugar and so on, you get the picture. Besides this really frustrating fact I just had started a new job in which I had almost no perspective. I've learned almost nothing, the majority of coworkers weren't really supportive/ motivated and the CEO seemed to live in another world. It was a hopeless situation but for 2 years I've thought I could change a damn thing, but they proved me wrong. I think a lot of people can relate to this feeling . This was almost 3 years ago and from then I went down hill. I won't talk about other problems I've had, but those were the main problems I can talk about.

My current situation

In a short period of time I've gained over 35kg. I don't go to the gym any more, I eat exclusively fast food, industrial produced food and snacks. I spend way too much money on things I don't need and could save way more money. I've ignored my mental health and you can believe me: I really regret it.

This is currently the worst time of my life, but I am happy that I have the will to change my situation. That is at least something, right?

Fat2Fit – The Project

So, as I mentioned a blog post before I am not really creative in regards of names, so I picked the first name that crossed my mind. I like the name tho. The main goal is to improve my physical and mental health. This should be a great way to get my life back on track.

The execution – Stage 1

As I mentioned before strong habits are build over time and it is impossible (at least for me) to start where I've left almost 3 years ago. Start small, finish big. Stage 1 will start tomorrow and will be active until the end of March.

  • Vegan Fck it, it is easier than a lot of people think and – for me – the smallest problem. Not recommended for beginners. Why? It simply doesn't make fun this way.
  • No caffeine This will hurt. I currently drink at least 3 liters of energy drings/ soft drinks + coffee at work, but it is bad (in this amount)
  • Going to the gym At least once a week, but I will try to do it more often and do more cardio.
  • Daily meditation I miss to meditate, but my 'inner me' is an asshole.

This is Stage 1 for now. It won't be fun, but it will be worth it, I know it. We all have to start somewhere. I've just bought a calender to keep track of my progress. I plan to build a web app for that, but not for now.

I've already got some ideas for Stage 2, but we will see how Stage 1 is going to be.

Conclusion

I believe this is a great way to start over. It won't be easy nor will it make fun at the beginning, but I used to love the healthy lifestyle, just the beginning really sucks. I try to share my progress every two weeks, but I have to find a 'readers friendly way' to do so.

TL:DR

Was really fit and healthy, kinda successful. Foot injury, job situation and personal problems have started bad habits. Got fat, lazy and frustrated. I want to change it by changing my habits again. Stage 1: Vegan, no caffeine, more sport, daily meditation until the end of March.

___

Best regards Dom

Disclaimer: Not a native speaker. Found a spelling error, grammar mistake or other bullshit? – Feel free to share your feedback!

 
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