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General Update

After the holiday crazy died down, I started a new gym routine, in preparation for a trip to Peru I'm going to be taking later this spring. Mbala and I, hopefully EK (<3), and possibly some other friends will be going out for a tour of the amazing country from Cuzco to Inca ruins/Machu Picchu to the Amazon rainforest. It's a trip I've always wanted to do and I'm really looking forward to it! However, I needed to be in better shape for it (days of hiking in really high mountains will tax the best of us living at about sea level and used to flatness).

A really nasty burn on my leg stopped me for awhile, but it's healed nicely (other than a quite impressive scar) so we've been going almost every morning during the week. I generally prefer to exercise outdoors or at home, but the lure of fancy strength training equipment and convenience (going in the morning means Mbala doesn't have to walk in the freezing weather and take the bus into town) won me over. The gym is quite posh and has personal T.V.s on almost all the cardio equipment as well as a large, fancy digital technogym setup for strength training. I would really like to get my arms toned to get tattoos - that's a long term goal for me over the next year or so. They have fancy machines called 'alpine climbers' and 'crossramps' which I'm using to build up my stamina for climbing. I also imagine that the upper body strength will come in handy when we eventually have land and I've got 40+ acres of fencing to install. :)

In an effort to make life better in general I've been absolutely scouring the house. I've been getting rid of everything non-essential to the business or general life (with the exception of a small collection of zuni fetishes, some skulls/pelts, and books). I've also been cleaning - the sort of good, obsessive cleaning like a tooth brush to the mineral stains sort of cleaning. Room by room and piece by piece I'm helping to simplify our lives. I don't like clutter, I just tend to be a packrat - so it's things like bird magazines from 1993 and childhood mementos (no, I don't need a pencil shaped like a cactus or a pegasus straw). Also stripped closets of old clothes and took over bags of things to goodwill. It feels good to do and it's giving both Mbala and I more energy.

I've also been clearing out all my old general obligations and streamlining the business. It can be hard, being self-employed, I tend to work all day and then after dinner just work some more... since I've got things to do and I'm here anyways... I want to cut that out and get a better work/life balance. However, unless I have something specific to do it's hard not to justify working ridiculous hours. So I'm trying to find something social to add to my schedule - to force myself to 'relax' and get out of the house more. (Don't get me wrong, I love working from home and by myself, it's just gotten really extreme). I have been enjoying playing the banjo but it will be some time (i.e. at least a year) before I'd be comfortable/good enough to play with any little group.
I'd love to get into obedience/rally and dog events, but it will be some time before I have a dog... I doubt we'll be getting a shepherd puppy this year. It's possible but unlikely, will probably be next year.
I've been considering volunteering for the Mayo Clinic - they need people to run art tours and other things that might be quite enjoyable. It's something I could do once a week or every other week pretty easily. I am tired of being too busy to do anything - there's no reason for it except overextending myself on my own work. I think I'll be more productive and less stircrazy if I allow myself time for something like this. I'd like to meet more local folks as well. :)

I did go in for a really thorough eye exam to see about getting LASIK (well, PRK) done - something I've been considering for years. I found out, however, that if I did the surgery that I would sacrifice my really good near vision for good distance vision. With what I do for a living, that isn't acceptable. I am finally breaking down and going in to get contacts - something I've avoided for years. It might be slightly more convenient for when I travel or am doing things like skiing, hiking, etc. It's disappointing but also a relief, I guess. Good to know, regardless!

I am absolutely enjoying the little bit of time off from shows that I have. I am sad not to be going to F.C. as far as seeing friends goes - but I'm really glad I'm not scrambling to prepare for that convention right now, either. I don't have another show scheduled until April (yeaaah!) so I can hunker down, get caught up on things, and be really prepared for a rigorous spring schedule. I'll be doing a few breed specialty shows across the midwest.

This year so far, and hopefully continuing, is going to be about organization and restructuring. Of my life, my business, my schedule, myself. Change is hard, but it's good.
So, that's where I'm at right now! I think when you feel like you're spinning your wheels, waiting and waiting for things to happen the best thing you can do is what you can where you are. There's always something to be done. :)


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 15th, 2010 09:46 pm (UTC)
Wow... a dense and wonderful update.

I'm excited that you'll be able to do some traveling in the spring. I hope to do the same, though further south to Oz. I wish you the best of luck in getting in shape for the trip.
Jan. 16th, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you! AU is at the top of my 'places to see before I die' list, but I figure it's more likely to be the same in 10 years than a lot of the places I want to see, so it kind of got bumped back a bit for me. I want to see lots of pics when you go, though!!
Jan. 15th, 2010 09:51 pm (UTC)
I had Lasik in 2002. On the plus, I can see good enough to drive without glasses. On the bad, it did not correct astymatism, and it ruined my nearfield vision completely. It now tires me to read a book, and as a writer, I used to devour books. No more.
Jan. 16th, 2010 03:26 pm (UTC)
I've heard this from a couple of people now - I'm really sorry you have to deal with that! I feel like I really dodged a bullet here by having a very honest doctor who told me what was likely to happen.
Jan. 15th, 2010 09:53 pm (UTC)
That sounds like it'll be an amazing trip! :D
Jan. 16th, 2010 12:28 am (UTC)
Man, I've been on a cleaning binge too. "THIS IS CLUTTER. IT MUST DIE." Including the trips to Goodwill. Mind you, my soul quails a little when it comes to art supplies--"But I might neeeeeeed it!"--but at least I've got them sorted.
Jan. 16th, 2010 03:28 pm (UTC)
It feels good to do! I like looking at counters, shelves, spaces neatly organized and massively lacking in clutter. When I look at decorations now (except for skulls and art which are sacred and exempt) I just think about what a pain it would be to dust. I'm glad this is the result as I'm getting older and not the opposite (super packrat horder syndrome...)!
I agree about art supplies - luckily most of those I can stick into neat plastic shelves and consider a 'need' for business. But I have downsized even on that - I just sold about 25 lbs of polymer clay which I'd been holding onto far too long. It's like pulling teeth for me to get rid of art stuff... but in reality I was never going to have time to use that and it went to a good home!
Jan. 16th, 2010 01:13 am (UTC)
I'm soooo excited already. xD I've read through the diff. options, but at diff. times, and they all sound incredible. I need to sit down and compare them side by side at the same time!

Contacts aren't that bad at all. You'll get used to them in time. :3
Jan. 16th, 2010 03:30 pm (UTC)
It's going to be so awesome!! We should touch base soon and chat about some of the major options (like train vs. hiking etc.) and I can start calling places to confirm which ones still have space and who might be willing to haggle a bit. It would be a bummer to decide on one we really like and then have them not open. So I'll pencil in some time to jump on that this next week!
I will have to get over my aversion to contacts - hopefully they will be more convenient than my glasses in some cases so I can be swayed by them. I need to do some research on the different styles before my appointment later this month for a fitting!
Jan. 16th, 2010 02:30 am (UTC)
I'm amazed!
If we painted it, we could have used half of that broken lamp as a paperweight! And I had plans for the rubber duckie with beak piercing. A lot of our possessions could have been glued together to form a stimulating chicken coop - once we have chickens. I am not sure if we're doing the right thing, Fox. :)
Jan. 16th, 2010 10:52 am (UTC)
Re: I'm amazed!
Exactly--there are some sweet beverages you just have to drink through a pegasus straw, or they just don't taste sweet enough! :D
Jan. 16th, 2010 03:31 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm amazed!
Hehe! I never actually used the straw... but I remember when I got it. I was in Vegas with my grandparents and there was a big arcade for me to stay at while they were off enjoying the 'real' casino. This was a Disney Hercules pegasus swirly straw and I had it sitting in my pen cup for... more than 15 years?
Jan. 16th, 2010 11:29 am (UTC)
Various stuffs
Thanks for the update. I applaud you on your resolution to rid yourself of things that are no longer useful to you, and I'm glad it's giving you new energy. It's great you'll be going to Peru!

What kinds of tattoos do you wish for? I have no desire to get tattoos, myself.

It's disappointing to hear about laser eye surgery causing a loss of close-range vision. I looked a little on the web after reading this, but didn't find confirmation of that. Can that drawback be expected for anyone getting Lasik, or does it somehow apply particularly for you?

If you want to add social activities to your schedule, you can start by scheduling a visit to my godmother's place in South Minneapolis on January 30th! I'm going to have a party (sort of a belated birthday celebration) with maybe ten people, featuring Monopoly, music, a reading, and I don't know what else. :) I'm thinking of starting at 2 in the afternoon, but then, I don't know how long you can be away from your beloved critters. If you can't come, that's understandable, but it would be nice to have you there. :-)
Jan. 16th, 2010 03:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Various stuffs
I already have a tattoo on my ankle, I love it - when I got it it was planned to be just one of many. :) I really enjoy (tasteful) tattoos - to me it's like having living art on the canvas of your body. I'm really into symbolism and having that sort of symbol permanently etched and a part of you is really appealing to me. My tattoo speaks of a strong turning point/experience in my life and all of them will be as such.
But I totally understand they're not for everyone. :)
I would like to get half-sleeves on both of my arms - basically thick armbands with intertwined tribal, symbolic animal spirit images in between the spaces. I have a few totems that have been with me most or all of my life I'd like to honor that way. Plus I absolutely love the way black and white ink looks. I'll get them up above the 'tshirt line' so that no one has to/can see them unless I choose to show them off. They're really more for me, personally, than any other reason. I dont care if no one else ever sees them. :)

As for Lasik - from what I've gathered it sounds like people with great/perfect near vision and bad distance vision all experience a loss of near vision quality with Lasik. I didn't find much of anything about this online, either - I looked into it after one of Mbala's friends mentioned it to him as a consequence of the surgery. I don't know why this isn't more publicized... if I had known that off the bat I wouldn't have gone in for the whole work up and had my hopes up! I can see that for some people, it would be more convenient to have distance vision (or if you have to wear glasses all the time, near or far) - but sacrificing close vision is a big deal!

The party sounds great, thank you for the invite! I think we should be able to make it - we may only be able to stay for a few hours (it's a lot of time to leave everyone if we include the travel time so we have to keep most trips like that to a few hours) but it would be great! :) Looking forward to it!
Jan. 22nd, 2010 03:18 am (UTC)
Something I found out about tonight: I have a friend who has a 27" TV (for free) he needs to get rid of. It would work well for the PS2 or a DVD player (you'd need to get a converter box if you want to use it to pick up Television on it)

The disadvantage is it is rather bulky, it takes two people to really move it. It is a nice TV though; he used it mostly for gaming on his 360 and Gamecube)

Let me know if your interested, and I can hold onto it for you. The disadvantage again is the size; you'd need somewhere to put it and not move it.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )