On the 12th of the month (for many many months), I try to take 12 pictures of my day and blog them. [Sometimes I forget to blog them.]

Here are my pictures for February 12, 2016.

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7:08 am – bedroom. Messy morning hair. Feeling like it’s an Addison Road t-shirt day.

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9:05 am – Starbucks. I really wanted an Earl Grey tea latte, which I had not desired in months/years, but Starbucks was out of Earl Grey. (I know… What?) This “Royal English Breakfast” tea latte is NOT the same. I went for brunch with Mindy after, and fortunately Stella’s could make me a London Fog.

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12:01 pm – Annex. Purrza… Persia?

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12:01 pm – Annex. Yes. Unicorn kitty (not Unikitty), eating pizza. Garbonzo’s, you never fail me.

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5:42 pm – kitchen. Quantified self-ing to get my priorities in-order. Optimized.

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7:30 pm – kitchen. Looking up recipes. [If you glance to that sugar-free tag in the URL, well, I’m still into sugar and not into fake-sugar. I do own Stevia however. And agave that I’ve never used.]

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8:42 pm – kitchen. Sometimes I try to draw stuff. This day, I tried to over-ambitiously draw a representation of the Farewell Fighter song I’ll Be Max, You Be The Monster. My drawing skills are lacking so it is far less rad than I wanted it to be.

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9:03 pm – kitchen. I drew an octopus, but got bored prior to colouring it.

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10:09 pm – kitchen. Here’s my computer background, the Manitoba Goalball logo I designed… yeah, all that non-tactile Braille and all. Still not sure my feelings on the pink with it, but too lazy to change it.

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10:39 pm – kitchen. Yeah, if you were wondering about that sugar free tag? I just made eggless single serve cookie dough. Because that’s reasonable. 

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11:40 pm – kitchen. I’ve got a minion living under my cereal dispenser. 

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11:55 pm – bathroom. I friggen love my Oral-B Bluetooth toothbrush. My mom however does not love that it creates a light show in the bathroom as it charges, so I have to cover the blinky lights with a cloth.

I’m not a resolutionist for the simple reason is that I don’t think resolutions help to build habits. People get off to a great start or a bad start and often that sets the tone for the year—at some point, I read on Forbes.com that only 8% of people accomplish their new years resolutions. And I’d probably definitely be in the 92% that doesn’t. (Look, I’m not being a defeatist here, just honest.)

Simplicity.

Simplicity is the intention here. Akin to the final notes of 2015’s soundtrack, here’s what I’m aiming to accomplish in 2016—even if that takes me the next 362 days to sort-of get right.

1) Write with my hands more. 
I picked up a couple unlined Moleskines on sale at Home Outfitters on Boxing Day. Since January 1, I’ve been trying to write daily, even if just a few lines (or, not lines. I’m hoping to be freed by the totally blank pages. 

Not that I consistently write on lines or anything. Overrated.

2) Read 40 books.
It’s a little more realistic than 75. In progress—new for 2016—Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick and an advance review copy of a book called Millersville by Brendan Detzner.

3) That self-care/mindfulness/exercise/wellness thing.

4) Create.
Even if that’s just colouring, or writing more (even typing). In some fashion, I want to aim to write (non-work-things) for 20 minutes a day—at least. Goes back to the “just start” thing.

5) Engage more on Twitter.
Sometimes it seems like it’s counter productive to have a goal to engage more with people on social media, but you know what? I think I engaged a lot less that year, and realized repeatedly how much I missed it. So, the Twitter part of my heart is getting some focus. 🙂

That’s it.

Keeping it simple—God knows I’ll complicate stuff in other ways. Let’s go.

I’m only a week late—here’s my 12 of 12 from November 12th, 2015!

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12:37 am – kitchen. Hello, reminder. Hello, November 12th. [I often ignore these alerts for HOURS…]

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10:29 am – bedroom. It’s getting to be that time of year… Mittens.

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11:23 am – bus. My buddy, Murray, Steve’s guide dog. Hard at work!

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12:11 pm – bronuts.
 Boston creme, aka Edgar? Yes, please!

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12:20 pm – bronuts. One of the bros brought Murray water :].

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12:28 pm – King Street. For my friend Riki: yes, Bronuts is wheelchair accessible!

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1:20 pm – mts centre. The boys (aka Steve and Gerry) and I went to Starbucks and it was very full, so we took our drinks and sat at the far end of the Tim Hortons in MTS Centre.

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3:30 pm – graham at donald. Waiting for my bus to go to work. This post with a graffiti-ed name tag was interesting to me.

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6:20 pm – respite. You mean you don’t make paper french fries at work?

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6:30 pm – respite. Apparently the five year old didn’t like some of my shading that got a bit out of control, so I made it better by making the offending french fry have ketchup on it. [I mean, also, when the little one found a freezie and we couldn’t find a second for the 5 year old, I convinced him that frozen bananas were the greatest thing ever… and won him over.]

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8:50 pm – kitchen. Went shopping on the way home. I’m doing NaNoJouMo (national nonstop [art] journal month], so, I have to give my inner [non-]artist some new tools.

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10:49 pm – kitchen. My first oil pastel creation in years. I think I had better pastels as a kid, actually…

What did I do with my lostness today?

Created.

In Spring 2013, I bought a sketchbook. I was in the season of make yourself (it didn’t work out that way, at least not the way i planned).  Today, I finally tore off the plastic wrapping. Opened it.

Blank.
Pages.

I’m thinking about other things I heard about today
All this week and tomorrow.
And how these hands could create some better things for bettering, 

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but you see them now, I got my own things […]

I don’t usually draw things. Create things that could maybe be art. I don’t consider myself an artist, at all. Except, as I drew the piece above, I had this moment of I’m doing this wrong—and in the same thought—art can not be wrong. My fingertips dotted with Sharpie, I realized the reason that people make art such as this.

Cause you got your own things,
We all have our things…

I haven’t drawn in months. Drawing was a thing that I didn’t do till I worked in daycare. When I stopped working in daycare, I stopped drawing. I didn’t think anything of it, really. Drawing was just a thing I did at work, and not a thing I ever thought about doing elsewhere. Until my friend Bob started creating things. And I realized I could try that, too.

I guess my mind wanders off from time to time
sometimes I convince myself that all is fine…

I said try. I drew this using an index card and a ruler and copying off an embroidery thing on Pinterest (yes, I said Pinterest. I still don’t really get that thing despite being a beta user. At the very least, while I am starting to get it, I don’t get the hype.)

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This paper plane is probably actually my thoughts wandering off…
That’s a cool thing, actually. My brain can go wherever it pleases doing this stuff and it actually does not matter.

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have the habits had you?
has it been for long?
can you feel the souls behind what’s going on?

—do you feel, the rocket summer.

The avoidance of the sketchbook from 2013, I suppose, had become yet another habit.

Habit broken.

I might be hooked. (I might want to find something less toxic than Sharpies—they’re probably bad for my asthma, but I also might not care.) I hope I am hooked.

i wanna feel everything, when everything feels wrong with me.

save, the rocket summer.

Unlike writing, or music, there can be no wrong here. Look, even music has “accidentals”, people. They may not be wrong, but look what they’re called
Even if that airplane is geometrically imperfect and slightly optical-illusion-y and even if it looked like the Batmobile [note: I do not know how that would happen unintentionally], what it is is what it is about, not what it could be, or could have been.
 
In this space, state of mind, this process, I cannot be wrong.
What do we learn by constantly being right? Shouldn’t this be life? 
Challenging ourselves to feel more, even if not feel better?
Embracing discontent that we are not good enough and trying to be better,
Breaking the monotonous “perfection” we strive to live in because we’re scared of being wrong?
That, perhaps, is why I found some degree of meditation inside creation.

words are too messy,
and it’s way past time
to hand in my mouth,
paint my face white and
reinvent the sea
one wave at a time
speak without my voice
and see the world by candlelight

i ain’t afraid to let it out,
i’m unafraid to take that fall
but i have found beyond all doubt
we say more by saying nothing at all

—pantomime, incubus.

The last six weeks was, I am sure, more than enough to make me unsettled (in a not-good way).

Last week, the seventh week, was about reclaiming ground, becoming more settled in my body, knowing things are getting better.

Saturday . . . i had this feeling arise over me. For the first time in a very long time, I felt healthy. I have clung on to that feeling for the past 30 hours. (My lungs still don’t feel right, but hey, otherwise I feel good, I can deal with the lungs. I’m blaming the rain for that).

Finally feeling healthy, though, made me realize everything I need to work on. Things I have the energy to work on. Finally.

Physical Activity.

Exercise is a thing that suffered–which is also a thing that I’ve found keeps me balanced . . . contributing to the state of emotional unbalance on top of the obvious physical unbalance.

Exercise graph

Part of this dropoff was intentional. When my hemoglobin was slipping bad, I was intentionally not exercising beyond walking to and from the bus, because I didn’t want to contribute any to the state of dropping–the reality is, I’ve been sicker than I cared to admit since March. And I was trying to be proactive and my doctor was not engaging with me on working with me on that.

The other part is that I simply could not do things. I would walk home from the bus and have to take breaks because it was too hard–my heart would pound inside me with even small amounts of moderate exertion. I would get short of breath and it wasn’t the asthma. I was a mess for a lot longer than I admitted to many people, but what else was I supposed to do? I didn’t know better that what I was feeling would become as bad as it did down the road.

This, I need to rectify.  Back to paying attention to the fitbit, and doing some TribeSports challenges to bring my focus back to where it should be.

Nutrition.

It is not so much the fact of micromanaging the micronutrients that I need to work on, it is just simply making healthier food choices. Leaning away from all of the stuff that I know I don’t feel good from or about after eating, and having all that stuff on a less frequent basis. It’s a fine line, and I know myself–and I know that I have a hard time balancing this stuff in the most basic way.

Creativity.

Writing has for as long as I can remember been my release. I started journaling and writing lyrics/poetry in the fourth grade. These things have been the sole methods of getting me through so much of the tough stuff in my life.  2013, having the theme of Make Yourself, I want to expand on that. I’ve been trying to make a more focused attempt at journaling–“and i scratched these words / into a black notebook”.

Words have always been my weapon. Music has been a second.

Visual art? Even farther, yet still something I have gravitated towards and wanted . . . but seldom wrapped my fingers around.

Friday . . . I started to transform that with a quote inspired from one of Andrew McMahon’s tattoos.

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my intention / a bullet / my body / a trigger finger / . . . and my pen is a pistola.

my secret arsenal is an infinite, ageless inkwell / it’s a fountain of youth and a patriot’s weapon of choice.

pistola, incubus

I’ll be capturing that process on deviantART.

Balance.

I’ll be honest here. It’s a paradox: when my health is at its worst, the things that keep my body and mind balanced are the first to go in the effort to simply survive. I’m realizing now that this is incredibly backwards, yet . . . it feels incredibly necessary at the time.

when dark clouds cover the sky / like there’s no hope, You are my light / You tell me to live. / when i’m all by myself / and i’m scared about my health / You tell me to live. / and when You heal my broken wings / yes, You heal my everything / You tell me to live.

You tell me to live, the rocket summer

Be intentional.

This week . . . I am rolling back onto Operation Intention. Getting back to making better choices . . . for all of me. Body, mind and heart.

Recovery.