Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

I mean, I appreciate that I got through the chaos first but...

So my first weekend after 14 months of FT work combined with FT school, and I get sick.  Nothing tragic or exciting fortunately- nope, my first truly free weekend was spent medicated fighting a cold armed only w a box of Kleenex *sigh*.  Idk if my body just decided I had free time so it could have a meltdown or what.  I mean - I don’t even get to see people?!?!   Lol I leave the house twice a week for very socially distanced activities and that’s about it.  But oh well.  And of course I had reasonably important meetings (like important enough to be coloured red) on each of Mon, Tues, and Wed this week.  For perspective - I usually have two to three reds per month.  And I’m generally in meetings all day every day, so that’s a v small percentage. BUT thesis AND the vast majority of my YE responsibilities were complete.

So Mon I cancelled / relocated all but two meetings and put all my effort into being conscious and moderately coherent for those.  Did nothing else useful that day and I think was in bed by 8pm.  Tues the powers that be made it so all my meetings, while not super flexible, were at least with friendlies.  And with the aid of long expired cold meds, I made it till about 3:00.  My apologies to the everyone after 3 lol.  I got through them, but with far fewer brain cells than usual.  Gave up at 4:30.

Wed the powers took pity on me and all my am meetings cancelled or moved of their own volition.  It was the most productive day I’ve had in ages!  Lol and at year end (for the banks anyways) and not feeling well, this was ideal.   More cold meds got me through the afternoon feeling human and on the mend.   But since I’d yet to stay awake past 9 (anyone who knows me in person knows this is definitely a sign of things nqr), and because sniffling in public is definitely frowned upon now, I decided prob needed to cancel arial silks class :(.  Still sad about that.

Today is Thursday and I’m pleased to announce it’s almost 10pm and I’m still awake lol.  My brain isn’t there enough to read, hence this post instead.  And I decided driving all the way out to teach was definitely not an okay life choice :(.  But - maybe tomorrow I can have a full day with no cold meds?!?!   That would be really awesome.   Especially as we have plans w actual humans on Saturday and it would be really nice to participate in them *g*

So yeah - nothing exciting, just mildly bemused that my body apparently waited till the moment I was done the worst of work and school before shutting down on me.

"If it's easy, you're doing it wrong" -- Arial Silks Coach

I'm currently typing this lying on a mound of pillows because the nice hot bath I set up to soak in hurt my shoulders too much...  lol just to levelset where we're starting.   IDK what was different in class last night - partially, I was exhausted going in, and partially for whatever reason they (that’d be coach and advanced students) decided it was conditioning day?   Right.

Perspective - this is an adult class.  We are grouped by the fact that we are all over 18, nothing to do with capability.  The class has shrunk since it started but of those still around there’s all the advanced ones, the two intermediate, and me.  Which, tbh, I  actually love cause it's super fun and interesting to watch the advanced work.   Esp when they're learning new things.  Like, that is theoretically within the realm of possibility?!?!   Way more interesting than what we're doing *g*  

At least one of the other intermediates is closer to my beginner level.  She gets it faster as it’s a reminder rather than new, but she’s working for it ;)


So for instance after the normal warmup (which - yeah - I’ve been promoted out of the beginner version and boo - it’s WAY harder now) we started with a hang (basically grab silks above your head and pick your feet off the ground) which you’re supposed to hold 10 seconds in each of 3 consecutive poses without putting your feet down.  Like wtf?!?!   Lol the only thing that made me feel better about lasting all of about 3 seconds was that the other two dropped moments after me.  The advanced participants made it all the way through all.  Like WAY more sheer upper body strength than we’ve done to date.

So then we did the class, which felt pretty normal except I was really dragging.  And I’m laughably bad at it.  So for each move there’s a number of steps.  My problem is I can’t remember what to do next, and I’ve got a 50/50 shot each time.   I can usually remember whether the next step involves legs, hands, or twist - but rarely which leg, hand, or direction.   The number of times I’ve ended up literally tied in knots cause I twisted the wrong direction is….  Excessive ;).  “Uh no, that’s not quite right…” lol one of the more frequent refrains.   On the plus side - most of them I can do if either someone talks me through it OR I’m cheating and following someone else’s attempted step by step ;).  For now, that has to be a win.  Maybe I’ll get to independence next month *g*.  It’s the silks version of being on the lunge line - I need to be supervised till we’re reasonably certain I won’t hurt myself lol.  In my own defence, we learn at least one and sometimes two or three new tricks every week, and - well - I haven’t actually learned any of them effectively.   It’s like trying to memorize a dozen different first level dressage tests at the same time.  You only have a certain number of options to work with, but when there’s too many of them it’s really easy to mix them up (is it test 1 or test 2 that tracks left after the centre line?)

This was me being more successful in 2010!

So we went through all those adventures and at the end of class is always two exercises - a box for one minute and then a hang as long as possible.  So far I’ve failed reasonably badly at the box each time (I can get the legs but usually not the arms) and the hang has been between 3 and 14 seconds.   Well today I gave up entirely on the box - I couldn’t even get my legs to stay in place.  BUT that gave me a slight cheat in that I had like a 45 second rest before the hang, which I made a new record of 24 seconds!  Woohoo lol

lol looked up the box from my previous adventure, and first of all, they called it a star, which makes way  more sense to me, but secondly, this is what I wrote: 

So we went from the easiest to one of the hardest. And this one was NOT worth the effort it took cause it didn't look all that impressive. hahaha difficult things should at least look kewl! This was a star -- so stand on the swing, spread your feet aside, push the silks away from you with your arms. No problem. Except that you're on two ropes tied at the top and the bottom, so the wider you spread them, the shakier it gets. My balance and core strength is reasonable, but I was shaking trying to hold that one! 

I am betting if we did this at the start of class it wouldn't be nearly as difficult lol.  But at the end when your body is already on strike, it's pretty brutal.

Anyways - usually after class I’m WIRED but I was just fully exhausted.  Tried to have a bath and couldn’t stay awake enough so just went to bed.

And my ego was super full of itself when I woke up not at all sore.  Like how is that even possible?   I expected to be dead today.  Win!

Right.  Fast forward to the end of the day.  Part way through the drive home from teaching my side was really sore and I couldn’t seem to get comfortable.  Odd.  And it was getting *really* hard to keep my hands on the wheel.   Hmmm.  Went in and sat down on the couch and realized my abs were done.  Like couldn’t even sit up done.  And shoulders, back, and arms too.

Hmmmm okay so maybe a hot bath is necessary?   Except leaning against the tub hurt.  Omg I’ve literally never felt that before.  And my ego drowned in the tub.

So now I’m typing this reclining against my comfy pillow cause I can’t sit up straight.  And I have some significant concerns about how functional I’ll be tomorrow which is the day after the day after and we all know traditionally way worse.   Wish me luck!

Oh - and on top of it - coach wants to extend class an extra 30 mins to allow more conditioning.  I mean, apparently I need it, but I have to live through it first!

An interesting literary experience

Thesis submitted yesterday -- I'm sure there will be a post about that, but I'm not there yet.  Today I had booked off work just in case I needed extra hours to finish said thesis on time, but since it was submitted early, it meant I had an entire day off.  Like really off.  With nothing hanging over me that needed to happen.  It was also like 25 degrees and sunny out, so clearly the only appropriate use of a day to celebrate the end of studying is to spend it reading for pleasure instead (while throwing a ball endlessly for my favourite dog).   I slept in this morning, took the dogs for a walk, and then settled into the back yard with a book.  A really fascinating one -- but fascinating from a writing perspective as well as a story perspective.  It has some interesting literary twists that as a writer I appreciate but as a reader I’m unsure of.  It’s definitely somewhat uncomfortable, but I feel like maybe it’s supposed to be.

Book 1

The series is The Broken Earth by NK Jemisin  and there is one spoiler below so if you’re actively reading or have in your tbr pile, stop here ;)  It's one I actually bought, probably on the recommendation of one of the book groups I follow, and have been looking forward to reading.

The prologue starts off with a narrator addressing the reader directly.  The narrator sets the stage while very carefully revealing nothing about their role in it.

Not a bad start ;)

So first off - it’s a series that jumps between different characters’ viewpoints each chapter. I’m generally not a fan of this approach but I can deal w it if needed.  Except that one of the characters is written in the second person?!?!  

The first intro to "you" and your story

As I read more I’m becoming accustomed to it so it’s slightly less jarring but it was really disconcerting for quite some time.  Idk if I’ve actually read fiction written in second person before.

Then the interesting twist - spoiler alert - part way through book 1, it’s revealed that all the personalities are the same character at different points in her life.  Which I actually thought was awesome. 

In book 2, the different voices are different people and every once in a while the narrator makes an appearance, still speaking in first person.  Narrator’s identity is eventually revealed and, not surprisingly, he’s not the most trustworthy narrator.

Our unreliable narrator justifying his choice

I haven’t gotten to book 3 yet.  I’m fascinated by these and it’s an exceptionally well crafted work, but I wouldn’t say I’m exactly enjoying them.  These are not light, fun, reads.  But they are definitely interesting and I am absolutely emotionally committed to finding out how it all ends.

Maybe I should go as a flailing octopus for Hallowe'en

So I finished 21 Day Fix and figured I'd redo the first two weeks which would take me to Thanksgiving and find a new program after.  Right.  Turns out I'm *really* bad at repeating things *sigh*.  So for the first week I did nothing.  Fail.  So I decided I'd start the new program even if it needed a minor break in the middle, and learned it's only 5 days/wk - I can take the whole weekend off and not miss a thing.  Win.

The program in question is 10 Rounds.  It's by the same person who did Core de Force, which is still one off my top two Beachbody programs of all time.  And I definitely accept I like punching shadows, so should be good right?

So some learnings from this one lol.  Keep in mind, it's only Day 1.

First - early into 21DF I purchased mirrors that I could strategically put around my basement gym area (think super-cheap Amazon-basics quality full length). These don't cover a whole lot of space, but with strategic alignment I can arrange it so I can see front and side view at the same time.  This was 100% so I could ensure my form (particularly fun things involving any form of plank) where it actually makes a difference if you do it correctly.  I know, historically, my body excels at finding unusual ways to cheat and to compensate (much to the general bemusement of many a trainer).  So yeah - there are mirrors.  And in 20DF it was even slightly inspiring -- I was doing basically what the iPad people were and actual muscles were pretending to almost vaguely consider making an appearance.  Win.

Right.  Fast-forward to day one of 10 Round.  So first of all - I turned the iPad to face the mirror since unlike most of these programs, it's neither mirrored nor equally balanced (eg do everything left, then do everything right).  So to follow along without confusing myself, I watched in the mirror ;-P   Win.

The exercises themselves, I was somewhat disappointed.  They were nowhere near as much fun (or confusion) as CDF, and very slow moving.  I get that they're teaching the basics so it can become more complex, but meh.   But I did break a sweat and my core got a workout so good start.  But those mirrors.  They were painful.  So while I felt strong and athletic with them in 21DF - it turns out I look absolutely embarrassingly ridiculous punching at shadows.   The people on TV look like strong fighters you would not want to be on the wrong side of.  Me?  not so much.   Like the average toddler swinging at the adult with a palm on their forehead looks more formidable.   It made me *really* glad I work out alone in my basement ;-P    

Super-fierce, let me tell you.

And then on top of that, for some reason when I throw a cross I drop my left shoulder.  Like, why?  Where and how did I decide that was a reasonable thing to do?  πŸ˜‚ so completely random, but at least the mirrors showed me that, so I watched the pros for a bit to verify that no, in fact, that is not part of the move, and then spent the  rest of the time trying to not do that.  Sheesh.   Self-coaching 101.  If I could figure out how not to look like a drunk octopus I'd get on that too.

And then we have today.  Where my ego now hurts as much as the rest of my upper body.  Cause yeah - that disappointingly easy workout hurt muscles in my back and shoulders that I didn't even know existed.  Which, perversely, makes me way more excited about the program since it tells me it's working.  But yeah.  Will be an interesting 6 weeks ;-P

Being brave enough to suck (thoroughly) at something new ;)

Alright, so I decided that w the start of Sept, I should get my life back under some semblance of control (my keyboard, however, disagrees and the letter 'n' stopped functioning a few weeks ago.  So it's a ctrl-v for me, but I'm a touch typist so super-frustrating as I'm often way past before I realize an n was involved.  All that to say, please ignore ridiculous typos.)

So school still exists.  Final term!  And it's a lot less than fun.  But I decided I couldn't let it be my WHOLE life anymore.   So two things - new fitness routine and a new hobby of some sort.  Fitness was easy - I have all the gear after several years of collecting little bits at a time, so I signed back up for Beachbody and picked a routine I've had reasonable success with.   Two key criteria: short workouts and short commitment.  I'm much better at doing three, three-week programs than one nine-week one, esp when starting out.  I accept this and move on.   Had a friend doing it with me but she had to stop due to injury :(  Sad.  Anyways - those are going very well and I'm quite happy with the results.  I'm not at all happy w how far I've slipped but at least moving the right direction now.

For the new hobby, I wanted to find something that I didn't have access to anywhere we've lived before.  Something that might make here slightly more appealing.  I tried swimming...  Fail.  I tried adult gymnastics - actually found one, but I really didn't love their coms, and couldn't get any concept of their program, and the only timeslot was 8-9 on Sat nights and it was a 14-week commitment.  So overall, I was less inclined.  Then I looked up the indoor skydiving, which C and I did in Niagara once.  I recall it being fun and a reasonable workout.   Yeah no - they are strictly for tourists.  Zero reasonable packages or groups for people actually wanting to learn or do on any regular schedule.  Sad.

And then I remembered Arial Silks.   I've tried this twice before (I just looked it up - in 2010 and 2012 if you want to see what I'm talking about), both times in Toronto and both times when I was uber fit.  Lol but I enjoyed it, so maybe?   So I googled and sure enough, there's a school in Niagara Falls.   At the time their website said they had adult classes, but had no classes listed, so I was afraid they might've been a victim of COVID.  But when I checked back a couple weeks later there were classes!  Woohoo!  And the website *really* wasn't working well but eventually I got signed up.  7 weeks on Wed nights.   Starting today.

This is on the home page of the school I signed up with.
We lear
ned this move today.  Suffice to say, it did not look like this!

So there were eight of us in the class.  It is definitely an all-levels class πŸ˜‚  One was far and away better than any of the rest, with two others being what I'm going to class as strong intermediate (how do I know what levels are for this stuff?!?!  Expert-chicky was doing super-impressive falling from the ceiling in the most graceful manner and stopping inches above the ground.  The other two were starting the spinning and dropping and impressive in their own right, just clearly not *quite* the same level).  Myself and two others were complete beginners, and the last two I'd say somewhere inbetween us and the int crew?  I get the impression they had done lessons before but several years ago.  So brushing off rust.

Warmup involved a series of back summersaults (on the silks of course!) and hanging upside down.  lol so let's just dive right in!  Us beginner crew had a knot tied in our silks, so this was not at all hard, just made me slightly dizzy!  But the others were doing it with no knot - thus nothing to flip over and needing to hold themselves up.  We then abandoned the silks to do some stretching and such.   All but one other person are vastly more flexible than I.  One of the other beginners is a gymnast.  I suspect 3/4 of the class are either gymnasts or dancers.  That grace and flexibility doesn't exist in adults who haven't had many years of training.

Then was on to learning stuff.  Our instructor set the people who knew what they were doing to practicing stuff and then came to us.  The first step was learning how to tie a knot around our foot, and then to climb. She acknowledged this is one of the more difficult ways to climb, but the knot around the foot is a base skill required for a lot of others, so she wanted us to practice it.  I really struggled to climb this way, but got reasonably confident with the knot at least.  

This is how you do the knot according to Wiki How
The fu
n part is doing it around the second foot, while in the air...

Then we did some weird twisty thing which I actually got?!?!  lol I'm still not sure how that worked but okay!  It requires a fair amount of back flexibility though, so while I could do 1 twisty-thing (I'm sure it has a real name but I'm equally sure I don't know what it is) the second one hurt, and there was no way I had the flexibility for the third (they're cumulative).   Getting untangled from that - esp the first time, was a whole lot less than graceful and left me laughing.     

This is the end result of the weird twisty thing at the level I did it;
Each time you repeat it, the back arch becomes more 
significant (see above pic).

Then the next one.  Oh dear god.  It started with put both your feet in their knots - okay, that's a skill in itself - one is doable, but the 2nd one is a bit of a challenge.   Then just go into the splits, then...   Well suffice to say this is when we learned I'm far too sarcastic for this group πŸ˜‚   Oops.   I had to tell the coach not to be concerned or take me seriously ;-P   But I also had to tell her there was zero possibility of me doing the splits successfully.  Ummm that is something I couldn't even do as a child.   So coach told me I could still do it it'd just be harder, the higher up I was and might restrict how many iterations (again, cumulative).  Sure.  lol I did manage what she was asking...?  Sort of ;)   But only one step worth and I'm pretty sure you need two just to start most of the moves *sigh*.   We'll see ;)   

Yeah no.

So we did a bunch of practicing of these new skills, in-between watching the brilliance going on on the other side of the room.  I'm surprised by how much my fingers hurt!  We were warned we might feel like we have horrible arthritis for the next few days.  Also the foot with the knot around it is the opposite of comfortable, and I'm sporting a lovely rope burn that I'm still not entirely sure how I  earned it (it had to be in the twisty-thing cause that was the only time my rope went behind my arm, but still).  And of course pure core and upper body to haul yourself up.  So yeah - might be feeling it tomorrow.  Apparently your feet get used to being squished pretty quickly, and C has grips to strengthen, well, grip, so I'll borrow those ;)

We finished by tying most of the silks out of the way and turning two sets into trapezes (I definitely double checked that plural with Google ;)).  Theory was and jump super high a couple times (with a back arch on then back swing) and then just flip yourself over.  lol now the flippy flippy moves were the ones I did best on earlier (turns out I like being upsidedown - not something that was ever applicable in riding!) and of course this *looked* super-easy when all the others did it...  Yeah, not so much.  I *could* at least get a good swing and rhythm going - which was more than the other beginners, so I'm deeming that a win, but there was *zero* chance I could get my legs anywhere over my head :(    I honestly thought laws of physics would've made it easier with the motion, but, well, physics has never been my friend ;-P   Anyways - I was also exhausted by that point so I admittedly didn't try that many times.   I'm sure there will be other opportunities.

Biggest downside is that evening activities for me mean I won't sleep.  I come home wired and am up for hours.  Oh well - this week a blog post, maybe next week I'll be productive and put effort into my paper.

The MBA Journey continues

Two more classes complete.  These were two of the top three I was looking forward to.  Managing Change last term was a horrible disappointment.  

Strategic Management this term was slightly better.  The instructor at least appeared to have an interest in instructing so that helped πŸ˜‚.  While the course wasn't quite as useful as I'd hoped since much of it was covered already in other classes, it was still interesting.  The first paper was a waste of time really, but the second one was a good learning exercise.  It may even have been practical in a smaller org, but by focusing on RBC it's highly unlikely I'll ever be determining RBC's overall strategic approach.  We could do it for a single line of business; arguably I could've used the PMO which I *am* responsible for.  But that's not nearly as much fun ;)   If you're gonna dream, dream big.  

The one significant objection I had to this course was being graded both on a forum post and our response to a forum post.  If you're going to grade me on a post, make it part of an assessment.  And responding to other people's posts is essentially a giant waste of my time.  It took a TON of reading of really pointless posts before I found one with enough meat to respond to in any worthwhile fashion.  And while there were several comments on my post, they were all of the "this is excellent" or "I hadn't thought of that" variety.  Which would be an ego boost if it was anybody I knew or whose opinion I cared about.  But it was complete strangers and not at all helpful in evolving or challenging my thinking.  So yeah - found that super ignorant, which in-turn made it very hard for me to engage with the rest of the course.  I understand what they were trying to do, but really - that kind of learning comes organically through the chat groups and random zoom chats.   And THOSE conversations really have helped my learning.   But that's not something profs have access to to mark so they do this kind of stupidity.   This paper took me twice as long to write as it should've mostly cause I was bored and dis-engaged.  Almost every aspect of it has been covered already in another class.

Side note - if you ever end up in a situation where you have to write the SAME thing a dozen times but can't repeat yourself verbatim -- Quillbot is awesome!  lol such a thing didn't exist when I was in uni, and I definitely can see it being used for nefarious purposes.  But I have zero issue with using it to rewrite my *own* writing.  lol.

The other course I was taking was Artificial Intelligence for Business.  It was the primary reason I chose AIB for my MBA and also the *last* course I got to take.  I was super-disappointed that my favourite prof so far, who was supposed to teach this class, left the school right before this term started :(   The replacement was good and enthusiastic, but nowhere near as good as the person who was supposed to teach it.  The course itself though was *excellent*.   Partially, to be fair, that's because I have a significant interest in it, but also partially because all the material was current, there was a wide variety of sources, and the assessments were relevant.  The only piece I didn't care for is part of one of the assessments included an implementation plan.  Now for me, this is easy marks.  But I would've greatly preferred spending those marks on learning more about AI strategy than writing up what was essentially a project agreement for a project that will never happen.  I didn't use the bank for this one - I don't have any line of sight into their AI strategy and I suspect in some areas its fairly advanced (I was somewhat surprised that the financial industry is one of the leading adopters of AI).   So I made use of a smaller semi-fictionalized company that I've used for other projects that similarly needed less-scope than RBC offers.   But yeah, this one was definitely one of my favourites.  Maybe not as immediately relevant to my real life as some of the others, but super interesting.

And now I'm done coursework!!!   All that's left is the mini-thesis.  It's nothing compared to my other Masters level work for sure (I mean really, it's an eight-week effort.  How big can it be?).  The biggest challenge for me will be picking a topic -- I know broadly it'll have to do with Leadership (we had to select the subject already, from a finite list), but more than that I really haven't decided yet.  Hopefully I'll think of something interesting so this isn't a completely horrible eight weeks.

AIB administration continues to be pretty horrific.   The very senior people are awesome and will go out of their way to solve problems.  But they seem to be one-off solutions unfortunately, and that attitude doesn't trickle down.  For instance - they still aren't able to provide webinar times that don't conflict with one another.  This isn't hard.  I did it for every class the entire term as an example last time around and it took me less than ten minutes.  And for reasons I don't understand, while every class to date has been during the work week, as per all schools ever, for this one it looks like it's going to be on the weekends?  It's either going to be Fri nights at 9pm or Sundays at 5:30.  And that's IF we even get a time that works for Canadian students -- that has been guaranteed for every class, but apparently not for this one.  So we shall see.  I will be very glad to see the end of this.

The new normal?

As some of you may know, I experienced a *few* issues with my eye a few years back.  As a result, I still have annual check-ups with the surgeon -- as much to make sure the good eye is still good as to check on the iffy one.   Anyways - today was that day.   But it's more of an adventure when I'm not downtown every day.  

And an interesting experience since *nobody* is downtown anymore.  Wow.   Caught the train at mid rush hour am.   In the before times, this would've been a sardine ride at best.  Definitely no seat.  And thankfully express from one stop past where I boarded.  

The world shut down in March of 2020;
this was a pic from Feb 2020.  
Note on this day I was lucky:
I had a seat and nobody I felt obligated to give it to.

Well I pulled into the usual parking lot...  And it was completely empty.   Like growing grass empty.   Drove over to the "main" parking lot, which, since I'm not an early morning person, I've never experienced before.  And it too was empty.  There were people on the platform.   I mean, a couple of them - not the packed several layers deep of the past, but signs of life at least.

You can't even really see the parking lot I used to park in from here;
yet still more empty spots than not.

Found my platform and waited for the train.  A little disconcerted because half the platform was closed for construction and because I couldn't remember where to stand so the doors would open right in front of me.  Not that it mattered - everybody on the platform could have their own car with many left over. 

Rush hour.  I'm not even kidding.

Express trains no longer exist and it's easy to see why.  Interesting balance of eerie and awesome to have the upstairs pretty much to myself (I think there was one other passenger).  Once I got downtown, same thing.  Even exiting the platform - while not social distanced, was nowhere near the overwhelming pack of people that made me hate commuting so much. 

Before times I rarely entered this tunnel in rush hour  because 
people were packed side to side and I found it claustrophobic.  
Today, well suffice to say I didn't bother with the slightly longer
outdoor walk that would let me avoid said tunnel.

So last night I had calculated what the last train I could get that would make me on time for my afternoon meetings was if I was planning to work at my parents, or if I was planning to go all the way home.    And I kinda scoffed at the all the way home one as not possible.

But then I got through the dr process super fast.  Doctor had seen me (all status quo - nothing exciting, nothing scary; we'll deem that a win), and I still had 15 min to check out and have enough time to make the train.  Their checkout is traditionally slower than the average sloth, but maybe?   Except the the doc took my paper and disappeared :(.  And 15 min later, reappeared.  So now I could go to checkout but now was when I had to be walking to the train.  Hmmm

Alright we’ll for the first time ever, not checkout AND the phenomenally slow elevators were aligned in my favour.  Okay so end up in front of the hospital, 11 min before the train will leave.  It’s a 15 min walk and a flight of stairs to get to the platform.  

I used to run for the train all the time.  And, well, there are no pedestrians to dodge, so sb good to go.  

I'm not exaggerating about the empty streets.
This was shortly before 9am.

Lol - used to run.  Used to.  As in, not currently.  But I gave it a solid effort - I still had drops in so couldn’t even see my watch to see if I was likely to make it.  And the worst - about 3/4 of the way there, some dude jogged by me like it was an easy stroll while I was huffing and puffing my sprint to the station.  Talk about demoralizing.  Sheesh

Had a moment of concern that I wouldn’t be able to read the platform board - and there were all kinds of notices on the way in that platforms have changed, but when I got there, I could make it out.  Win!

Had a moment of east or west?  Crossing the bridge has entirely f’d my sense of direction.  But I picked the right one and took the stairs two at a time, jumping into the closest car with more than 30 seconds to spare!

Except - heard the end of a message about “if you want to get off at *insert my stop here*”. Hmmm. So I walked through the train to the customer service person to find out that all was well - just certain cars weren’t opening there for consareuction, but the one I had randomly hoped into was fine.

However, by thiis point I was a hot mess.  Panting and sweating buckets.  Ugh.  So I went and found an empty car (ie - literally the first one I checked) so I could walk a bit till I cooled off.

All good, made it home in time for my call, but what an experience.  Toronto in pandemic time is a very different world.  Will be interesting to see where it lands once those people inclined / required to return to offices actually do so.

Procrastination: working tomorrow for a better today

Today I had exactly one thing on my list: write my paper for Strategic Mgmt.   This paper needs to be written this weekend and has a ridiculous amount of work that needs to happen before it can be written.  ONE thing on the list.  One.

Now, let's consider the things that *actually* happened today.

  • Went with Chris to pick up temporary fencing for our yard.  This was a FB marketplace pickup, so clearly had to be done right away.  And obviously took two people (narrator: it most definitely did NOT require two people).
  • Did some banking (this required the computer, so it was a good start)
  • Got caught up on some Spanish (also requires computer AND is educational!)
  • Decided to make cookies
  • Realized I had no unfrozen butter with which to make said cookies
  • Got groceries
  • Actually made cookies!
  • Took Tucker on multiple walks
  • Vacuumed 
  • Finally put the anti-slip mat under the rug in my office (this was more of an adventure than it should've been)
  • Folded and put away some laundry
  • Made up the spare bed in our guest room.  To put in perspective - we don't have an actual bed frame, or any furniture for that room, nor are we likely to have guests anytime soon lol.  But Tucker was pleased ;)
  • Had a nap.  I mean, it'd been a busy day so far.  And it was a *wonderful* nap - the kind dreams are made of.  The kind where several hours later you wake up wondering what day it is.
  • Did my workout for the day.  Side note: I'm loving the stretching program that's part of my current rotation.  Definitely the first time in my life I've said that, but it's awesome.  And it keeps moving so I don't get bored the way I generally do.  For the curious, it's here: Power Stretching.   Also - I will *never* be able to do the move pictured on that site, although it was in today's workout lol.  The beginner version, however, was easy (neither back bend nor splits required!).
  • Unpacked and organized a bunch of stuff that definitely won't be used before the paper is due
  • Am back in Oakville next week, so booked a few things there that don't exist in my new world
  • Deemed today a mental health day and walked to 7-11 for a slushy instead of using what little reasonable work time was available to actually work
  • Researched and purchased a few items that have been on the list for a while but clearly not important enough they also couldn't wait
  • Went down multiple online rabbit holes -- but hey, I now know and understand about the Olympic fencing rule changes.  lol the fact that I didn't know anything about fencing before this is completely irrelevant ;)  That's educational right?   Have to laugh that one of the rabbit holes included watching the TED talk about procrastination (I'm not even kidding).  
    Procrastinator's Brain, according to the TED talk (it's on the Internet, so it must be true!)  
  • Wrote this very long list.

Things that didn't happen today:  
  • Writing the paper.  Or even reading the requirements of the paper.  Oops.
I mean, to be fair, I also avoided both stabbing or reading (of non-educational material) - either of which has the ability to slurp an entire day away, and both are high on my "after MBA" priority list, so overall I'm deeming that today was at least somewhat productive procrastination.  That's a thing, right?

Anyways - future Lauren is going to hate me when the Panic Monster steps up, but today Lauren is happy, energized, and relaxed, so we're deeming it a win.

Grace, drama, flexibility... I see no way in which this can go wrong.

So I started a new stretching routine today.   While in most items, I will consistently pick an absolutely ridiculous challenge every time I decide to do something, this is the one area I don't generally do that.  I am one of the world's least flexible people.  I have been since I was a kid.  Like I can't even pretend "I could do that when I was 10" cause I couldn't.   πŸ˜‚ 

Okay so before the move, I had started a new ab workout that was *awesome*.  Insanely difficult (like I almost always stuck to level 1 out of 3 -- and 3 involves things like handstand pushups?!?!), but awesome.   Was definitely getting results super fast.

But then we moved and things kinda fell apart.  And in the new house, I really didn't have anywhere to work out.  But *finally* I've set up space again, so excuses are over.  Figured I'd start abs over from day 1 (it's a 30 day program), but the same group recently published a new workout that's stretching.  Same thing, 10 minutes per day.

Alright, says me, I know I desperately need to do some stretching.  I like their other program.  This one is on sale.  Maybe worth a try.  Sure why not?

So the first warning sign should've been that it's not the same coach.  One woman does all their other programs (strength based) but this one, flexibility, they hired sisters who work together in Cirque du Soleil.  lol I see no way in which this can go wrong.  But they have one demonstrating "level 1" so maybe?  

And you know, at first it was great.  But then there was one move that I was like wtf?!?!  And when I finally figured out what they were doing and tried to put my body in that same position...  lol well suffice to say I wasn't sure I was going to be able to untangle my body after.  

I'm not convinced I was meant to be a pretzel! Ow ;)

There were a few times I just laughed - like there is ZERO possibility my body will ever go in that direction.   One was sitting down, extend one leg one direction, and "point the other knee the opposite direction".   

It doesn't look like this when I do it.

Lol that is NEVER going to happen.  BUT - I could do the same exercise, just my knee pointed perpendicular *g*.  So unlike some other exercise routines where I literally couldn't do the exercise, these ones I can do, just lacking some range of movement, grace, and drama that the demo ladies demonstrated. The one that really made me laugh had to do with bending at the waist and "try to make sure your head is on the ground, if that's really easy you can . . . "  I literally laughed out loud.  Like I'm over here proud that I can *touch* the ground.  My head is nowhere near it.

Yeah no.

BUT - I have to say this is the first stretching routine that I was never bored in.  I actually enjoyed doing it and I was surprised when it ended.  So this is just Day 1.  We'll see how it goes, but a stronger start that I expected.  We shall see ;)

Somehow the MBA didn't deign to take a break just so I could move ;-P

So this term is Strategic Management and Artificial Intelligence.  Two of the topics I was most looking forward to.  

Strategic Mgmt is okay, but imo would've been better at the start of the MBA adventure as an overview/introduction since most of the topics have already been covered in other courses.  Also, I'm pretty annoyed that one of the assessment criteria is to write and respond to a forum post.  Which, in itself is a giant waste of time, but made worse by the fact that the forum posts are all on the same case study.  Super boring and very little to respond to.  AND they still require academic sources etc so not even an opinion piece.  Definitely not a good use of my time or learning.  If they want us to write a case study response, include it in the paper.  Mutter mutter mutter.

AI I'm finding fascinating, although the prof is incredibly dry.  Disappointing as until this term, the person who taught it was amazing (I was lucky to have him for HR).  I'm enjoying the modules and the learning, but omg classes are just dude reading ppts.  No discussion, no engagement...  Admittedly I have very little to contribute to discussion on this topic, but I was hoping to learn from those that do :)

Honestly, so glad I accelerated this program, as I'm just done.   But close enough that I can see the actual end, so it's all good.   Arguably, if I weren't doing it at such an insane pace, maybe I wouldn't have burned out so fast, but either way...   I have these two classes and then the thesis -- which doesn't appear to really be a thesis, but we'll see.