marsden_online: (Cat Yarn)
The life updates I've posted so far this year have all been pretty shit. As is often the case when I've had enough positive energy I've been too busy trying to get things done to take or make the time to update here about day-to-day stuff. Facebook really has claimed that space in my life; although even there it is mostly a stream of articles and links about what I have read today online that I consider important, and jottings from gaming sessions.

There are still many things I could be attending to instead of posting, but someone worth writing about has come into my life and her presence and support is helping me get back on track. Yes, I have fallen into a relationship with a lovely lady of about my own age, based in Wellington but that's not an insurmountable issue in this age of electronic long-distance communication and affordable plane travel. We have just spent the better part of a fortnight in the same city (a trip arranged pre-relationship around other circumstances) and I was surprised at the feeling of loss as she walked out to the plane home; I am very cautious about letting myself feel too deeply too fast for anyone but apparently she managed to sneak something past my guard ;)

Positive impacts on my life and ability to do stuff include
- talking on the phone in the evenings winding down my brain for sleep
- wake-up calls and encouragement to get out of bed in the morning
- the "companionship" segment in my life filled in enough that life rolls a little more like a wheel and a little less like a triangle
- various topics and triggers of angst not having anything to get a grip on any more
- an overall improved feeling of wellbeing

Some of these will also be due to the season and increased daylight hours; and of course I'm not miraculously un-depressed. My sleep quality is still pretty rubbishy and quantity required still high. Anxiety about my performance at work has actually jumped even as I have found more reason to be there and work better.

But. Enough mental cycles have freed up that I am looking towards and thinking about the future with an energy that I have not had for a long time.

Happy days.

In other news
- my Monday gaming group has wrapped up for the moment; work and other commitments taking some of us away from the table.
- my Sunday game continues to progress although again real life means making some adjustments there.
- I've managed to slightly dent the reading pile.
- Friday just past was the 13th and I hosted another Gothic Vampire party (last year the opportunity was missed). There were fewer people than I had expected; but most seemed to be having a good time
- LBTC Gytha continues to be herself
- One of the Hall rabbits (domestics "released" into the grounds by someone at New Years) crossed the road and got itself picked up and taken to the vet by a neighbour; so we now know they are not microchipped and may be one step closer to rehoming them.
- We might just about be on top of the spring growth at the Hall this year; working bees have managed to be almost-monthly although it is still rare that anyone other than the Rovers and myself show up.
- I have had some issues with the number of requests for Hall time we've been getting from people who seem to think we're open 24/7 at the drop of an email.
- I've kind of given up on managing it myself and started paying someone to deal with some of the gardening and such.
marsden_online: (elf)
If I am honest I have been procrastinating starting this post. But I have also been rolling bits of it around and around in my head.

To start go and read the comic No 'I' in Sex from Toby Morris's PencilSword, if you haven't seen it already. The rest of this post will wait :)
continued )
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
This long weekend I spent at a family reunion. Sparked by the current owners of the High Country station my (paternal) grandparents and parents built up having constructed quite a cosy wee lodge looking up the river as part of their tourist operation, it at some point became a thing that the three kids (my aunt, father and uncle) and as many of their families as could make it should all get together up there for a couple of nights. There were in the end only a few missing from the assembled tribe although some were only able to stay the first night.
family things )
Will link scenic photo gallery here when it is done.
Scenic photo gallery
Across the river
marsden_online: (camera2)
Couched as a "Farewell"* this event was actually an even more thinly disguised attempt to tap alumni for money than expected. Jokes on them; I judge not many of the people in attendance were the sort with money to spare.

Of the speakers only one evidenced any real connection to the building. If not for him it the ostensible purpose of the event would have been all but omitted from the proceedings.

How do you wish "Fare-well" to something which is going to be destroyed? I have titled the Gallery "Goodbye" to reflect this.

KAOS Contingent
KAOS Contingent

My memories of from the building are mostly of evenings with the roleplaying/boardgaming club and days around KAOS. Many of those years I was not actually a student. From a somewhat under-socialised starting point I grew up through the people I met there.
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
Ref this OotS comic . Also disclaimer for wee-small-hours rambling.
personal blah )
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
Back to my current favourite source of advice on procrastination
The procrastinator is in the bad habit, bordering on addiction, of letting the monkey win. He continues to have the intention to control the monkey, but he puts forth a hapless effort, using the same proven-not-to-work methods he’s used for years, and deep down, he knows the monkey will win. He vows to change, but the patterns just stay the same. So why would an otherwise capable person put forth such a lame and futile effort again and again?
The answer is that he has incredibly low confidence when it comes to this part of his life, allowing himself to become enslaved by a self-defeating, self-fulfilling prophecy. Let’s call this self-fulfilling prophecy his Storyline. The procrastinator’s Storyline goes something like this:
For the Have-To-Dos in my life, I’ll end up waiting until the last minute, panicking, and then either doing less than my best work or shutting down and not doing anything at all. For the Want-To-Dos in my life, let’s be honest—I’ll either start one and quit or more likely, I just won’t ever get around to it.
The procrastinator’s problems run deep, and it takes something more than “being more self-disciplined” or “changing his bad habits” for him to change his ways — the root of the problem is embedded in his Storyline, and his Storyline is what must change.
And the takeaway - good advice for anything you want to achieve in life...
3) Aim for slow, steady progress—Storylines are rewritten one page at a time.
In the same way a great achievement happens unglorious brick by unglorious brick, a deeply-engrained habit like procrastination doesn’t change all at once, it changes one modest improvement at a time. ... The author who writes one page a day has written a book after a year. The procrastinator who gets slightly better every week is a totally changed person a year later.
So don’t think about going from A to Z — just start with A to B. Change the Storyline from “I procrastinate on every hard task I do” to “Once a week, I do a hard task without procrastinating.” If you can do that, you’ve started a trend. I’m still a wretched procrastinator, but I’m definitely better than I was last year, so I feel hopeful about the future.

This storyline concept has shown up in a number of other articles I have read and also in my counselling sessions. Here are some of my most pernicious - by externalising them here I intend to given them substance whereby I can challenge them going forward.
marathon post )
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
One of the things on my to-do list for this holiday was to step back and assess my life from the new vantage provided by higher mood. To see what looks different from up here and what new options may be visible; to see if there is anything old or new I now feel it is within my power to change for the better.

This post pulls together some of those thoughts.

insecurity )

procrastination )

fear/pain )

This post has felt like forcing myself open from the inside and I've procrastinated more than a little while writing it, but I think I have reached some insights. Still more yet to come, later.
marsden_online: (Default)
What is most important is that I went back Sunday morning feeling absolutely on top of the world, mood level 10, the best I have felt in a very long time. Whatever the combination of factors that led to that I'd like to thank Jen and the other organisers of SanCon for their part.

Beyond that I'm not going to try and record everything I did, but it breaks down into board games and running around with my camera. So when the galleries go up, there will be a pretty good record of where I was at any given time.

For those hanging out for photos, I have to get some from the Steampunk jewellery workshops (which I managed to miss both of) before I upload, and I'm still processing my own photos. The SanCon gallery will get a link in the <-sidebar so people don't have to hunt for it, I handed out several of my cards over the weekend.

There will also be a standalone gallery for Operation Sugar Plum, as the there are too many good photos from that to reasonably include in the SanCon gallery.
marsden_online: (gemmed)
Dear diary )

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