“Routine Rewrite”- A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day. 

Journal Entry:

Yeah. I am rewriting my routines again.   Mostly I am trying to make writing more central and along with that reading. This means shifting some things or resigning myself to the fact that days I work don’t have a lot of free time and that is OK.  I am working toward being a published writer and a solid secondary job that allows some progress toward my other goals.

My good report on my health is no cause to rest on my laurels.  I still don’t have a ‘normal’ A1c and I would like to get there. Exercise and nutrition are still central to this so we continue.  Some changes are needed as far as diet and getting back to walking more regularly before the snow flies, and that is all part of my routine as well.

Discipline:

“Discipline is the willingness to be hard on oneself first and then if needed help with the development with others, so that greater purposes may be achieved.”

Principle: Apply discipline to every aspect of life that it can be applied.

Goal: To be following a full Paleo Diet by March 31, 2020.

Bucket List: Do a rebellious act on April Fools Day, April 1st, 2020.

To be following a full paleo diet I need to do a couple more things.  One is to eliminate all liquids that are not water and two get rid of dairy products.  The first means slowly making sure I drink less and less of other things and put more water into my routine instead. The second is a bit harder, I like cheese and cheese has no carbs.  But I must see if full Paleo has solid effects before I modify it with say some Keto elements.

Another thing I am returning to is intermittent fasting.  Mostly from the time I get up until lunchtime.  I skip breakfast and any early snacking.

My cheats on this are to allow one thing I am craving a day and two cheat meals a week which are basically an hour slot of time where I can eat what I want to eat and drink what I want to drink.  Part for social reasons but also it’s nice to get off script every now and then.

Perseverance:

“Perseverance is the ability to stand up and return from defeat and failure”

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

Goal: To engage in an exercise program that involves weightlifting, hiking/walking, and stretching/ yoga an average of three days a week from April 1st, 2019 to March 31st, 2020

Bucket List: To get at least one tattoo by March 18th, 2020.

Weightlifting is doing well, but I need to walk more. Fall colors will be out soon and that is not something I want to miss as it is my favorite season.  But also this might be the little bit more that I need to get truly leaned out.

Fidelity: 

“Fidelity is the will to be loyal to one’s Gods and Goddesses, to one’s Folk, to one’s self, and loyalty to one’s friends was as valued as highly as loyalty to one’s family.”

Principle: Be loyal to those who have been loyal to me.

Goal: Celebrate my wife and I’s 30th anniversary (June 10th, 2019) with a mini-vacation (achieved)

Bucket List: Discover all the countries of origin from my genetics and visit them all by March 18th, 2029.

Goal achieved here.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom:

Being wise right now is key.  Balance and focus are all important and I need to order my life more effectively so that the things I do each day lead to my eventual success. The best course of action every day is what I am looking for now.

Rest Day Routine: 

  1. Morning Routine
  2. Wife: Communication / Cuddle Time
  3. Blogging – Organize, revise, write a new post for the next day, 15 min. work on fiction.
  4. Walking – 1 hour.
  5. Cleaning – varies but one room of the apartment at least.
  6. Reading – half an hour for enjoyment.

Of all my routines, this one will probably change the least.  This one is more about execution.

Goals and Bucket List Items Achieved (Since Summer 2018):

Goals Achieved: 3

  1. Graduated College with a BS in Political Science and minors in Economics and International Business – December 2018
  2. Finalize last requirements for my degree – Internship by May 2019 – May 2019
  3. Celebrate my wife and I’s 30th anniversary (June 10th, 2019) with a mini-vacation – June 2019

Bucket List Items Achieved: 0

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Viking Blood” – A Skald’s Life – Foundational Virtues

Happy Mani’s Day

Journal Entry:

Every time I set aside these journal posts for a little while I get reminded of their importance. I feel I lose focus every single time I do it so I might just want to make a mental note that I should not set these aside again – ever. That said, it has been in some way a good break so I can refocus what my life and this blog are about. For those of you that might be new followers, these posts are more for my benefit, but if you can learn something from my example then bonus.

This week I want to focus on my goals so below will be some notes regarding them under each virtue. I figure a four-week focus rotation might keep me from getting repetitious or bored.  Week 1 – Virtue, Week 2 – Principle, Week 3 – Goals, Week 4 – Bucket List.   This will allow for constant review and the ability to focus on more specific aspects once a month.  I haven’t talked about my goals in a while so this will be week 3 so to speak.

The title ‘Viking Blood’ is actually a reference to some good news that happened this week.  I had some blood work done Frigg and Freya’s Day this past week and the results were much better than expected.  All my indicators are right down the middle so I am healthy in that respect and my A1c dropped from 7.5 the last time to 5.7 this time.  1.8 points in the last year and a half.  Diet and exercise are definitely working.   Still no complications due to my diabetic condition.  Good News but still trying to get my A1c into the normal range which I am now .1 away.  This Viking Blood of mine seems to be doing fine.

Honor:

Honor is the feeling of inner value and worth from which one knows that one is noble of being, and the desire to show respect for this quality when it is found in the world”

Principle – To possess a feeling of inner value about myself and my future with a desire to find the same in others.

Goal: Maintain a daily blog streak of one post per day for an entire year (365 days).

Bucket List: Hike the Northern Lakeshore Trail along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan by March 2024.

When this post drops it will be 344 days straight for the Grey Wayfarer.  That leaves 21 days to go. Goal complete on September 30th.

Courage:

“Courage is the bravery to do what is right always.”

Principle – Act with Courage at the right time.

Goal: Cross one thing off bucket list every year. Deadline March 31st.

Bucket List: Go Back to Budapest, Hungary for a vacation by March 2029.

I am a good job and some savings away from one of my bucket list items.  Getting the tattoo would fulfill one of them. I just need the money.

Truth:

“Truth is the willingness, to be honest, and to say what one knows to be true and right. It is often better to not say anything at all if one cannot be honest.”

Principle – To Be Honest, and Speak Truth to Myself and Others.  To Be Silent in the presence of Fools.

Goal: To Write a Non-Fiction Book by March 31st, 2020

Bucket List: Learn Latin by March 31st, 2021 to the point I can take a test and show my self proficient.

Now that I have determined my primary identity is a writer, I look at this goal as the first challenge of that. Getting that non-fiction book written my march is doable.  I just need to discipline myself to write every day on it.  I guess I look at this blog as stage one of my journey in becoming a writer and now it is time to write for publication purposes.  Developing the discipline and habits to do that is my next priority along with finding a new job.

Higher Virtue: Love:

I still struggle with keeping my love of self right up there with love for family and friends.  I know what happens when I continue to give up things I want and need to make others happy, eventually, I don’t give a shit and need relief at all costs.  I want to avoid that situation,  so self-love is on my mind a lot. Making sure I am taking care of me is and should be my number one priority. More on this later today.

Morning Routine:

  1. Review Nine Noble Virtues (NNV), Principles, Goals and Bucket List
  2. Meditation – 3 min.
  3. Check Communications and Email.
  4. Paper Journal: Create a Daily Log and To-Do List.
  5. Stretching / Yoga
  6. Breakfast, Medications, and Supplements.
  7. Shower and Personal Hygiene
  8. Get Dressed for the Day

As for my Routine, I am going to get back to them a couple of days at a time.  Tomorrow I want to get back to this one in full and then in a couple days my work one and then my rest one. Time to get my work and rest day routines back to where they need to be as this helps me the most with all my stuff.

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Taking A Few Deep Breaths” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Sif’s Day

These last two weeks have been interesting and challenging. I was in the doctor’s office on Thursday and as always a little anxious. I was there for my routine checkup and consultation. But as I waited I did some thinking.  I have had the following experiences this last couple of weeks.

  1. I have had more denials from potential employers in the last ten days than in a couple months previously.  It’s like all the applications I filed came back with nulls.
  2. At my current employer, I was passed over for a job and it was given to someone with no experience whatsoever.
  3. I have had another bout with The Grey and while it was not severe. The cause was known, however.
  4. I have had a doctor’s appointment and while a lot of the news was good, there was some news that reminded me I am getting older.   And that sucks by the way.
  5. The End of August marks one year that my wife and I have been back together after our separation last summer and that has lead to some very reflective moments about my marriage.

This post is about taking a few deep breaths and looking at each of these a little reflectively and spiritually.

Deep Breath. 

I guess I have to say the whole job situation has caused me to look at the basic fact that I have not really discovered what my new identity is. It is in-process both practically and spiritually and so there is that.  Mostly though the practical concerns will start to become forefront issues in the next couple of months I don’t find something better. For now, though my meditations center on who am I?

Deep Breath.

The decision at work at first angered me and then I just felt disrespected. It was like really, could have slapped all of us from the department any harder, especially those of us that work hard over here and have management experience?  Then I took a breath, realized that this is not my place, I am in my heart looking to move on to something better, so I might as well get about it.

Deep Breath.

My bought with The Grey recently was brought about by a song played on the radio at work. It was my song to Miss Salty and it triggered the whole mess of feelings involved in that.  One thing they never seem to mention about being empathic is that emotions experienced in certain situations stay and lay dormant until something triggers them and then there you are all over again. Which triggers a whole lot of meditation on the problem.  My most recent meditations have led me to a question: What exactly is The Grey?

Depression?  It involves depression but there is that switch that goes off to protect me from the sadness so I feel nothing. In that state, am I depressed or something else entirely?  I think I might have had an introspective moment because of this that might lead to an awakening.   I hope so.

Deep Breath.

I took a lot of those deep breaths before I met my new doctor. I just passed 50 so the protocol becomes: ‘You need this test done, you need to start this medication as a diabetic.’  I am like – what is this malevolent magic that took place where all this was unnecessary at age 49 and 364 days but one day later, a whole list of evil fairies have comes and makes you vulnerable to a whole new crops of shit. I hope my new doctor is a good salesman and explains things well, because if you don’t sell me – Yeah, fuck that shit.

The problem is that all my health indicators indicate I am healthier than I was last year, but somehow my medicines need to be increased and new treatments engaged for possible problems down the road. I hate American medicine, they either engage in damage control after the fact or their definition of preventative medicine is purely put more pills in your body. Not my thoughts on how to approach my health.

Deep Breath.

I don’t take too much for granted when it regards my marriage.  Our reconciliation is in truth a work in progress. I simply acknowledge here that It still might not work, something I started when we first decided to go down this path to my family and something I remind myself of right now. I want it very much to work, don’t get me wrong. But I also acknowledge the struggle in my heart between how much do I have to give up as far as my personal happiness to stay married? I shouldn’t be looking at it that way should I, but I am, and that is very troubling to me.

  1. My wife and I have very different values now.  That is basically because I ‘fuck it’ to my former faith and she has not.  What is important to me is very different than what is important to her.  And it is growing more divided.
  2. Our goals are very different and trying to find common ground either involves a lot of compromises or straight up, from my perspective, me giving up a lot of my goals entirely.  I am growing weary of having to give up what I desire simply to make my family and friends happy, and that is exactly the state of mind I was in that caused me to walk away a year ago. Not good.
  3. I now know what aspects of a relationship with a woman I am missing and still desire. It creates a longing in my heart that I cannot seem to shake.

Deep Breath.

I think it is time to look within.  Discover who I am again and out of that might flow a lot of answers.  It is time to awaken and to take that first breath of who I am now.  It is time to find that person and become them.

Deep Breath.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Thoughts on Health” – A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues

 

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Journal Entry:

I have been thinking a lot about health these days as I have hit some milestones regarding health.  1) I just passed my third anniversary of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and 2) I stepped on a scale at the gym and for the first time in roughly a decade, I fell below 282 lbs to 281 lbs. The first of these was a wake-up call as far as nutrition was concerned as I had relied heavily on exercise to keep my weight under control and it was not working as well as before.  The second is representative of losing 67 lbs. in the last year and watching my sugar scores drop accordingly.

I have to say the first thing I had to chuck was the traditional government recommended nutritional guidelines because after doing them for roughly a year, I was getting nowhere. So headed a different direction by basically dumping the idea that regular interval carbs were going to help me.  In fact, I felt it was kind of weird that the answer to having an insulin resistant body was to give it more work to do.  I found there were some doctors who agreed with me and the video below is one of them who did a TED talk. I share this for anyone struggling with diabetes, you may have to do what your doctor and nutritionist says is wrong but actually works.

So I went Paleo for the most part.  I have my cheats so I can enjoy some of the things I love to eat from time to time but it is for the most part severely limited to a couple times a week.  The results speak for themselves. That said healthy living is more than about living better and hopefully longer. I find what I have to do to get there each day is a direct reflection of my Self Virtues of Discipline, Perseverance, and Fidelity.

Discipline:

“Discipline is the willingness to be hard on oneself first and then if needed help with the development with others, so that greater purposes may be achieved.”

Principle: Apply discipline to every aspect of life that it can be applied.

Goal: To follow A FULL Paleo Diet Plan from April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020.

Bucket List: Do a rebellious act on April Fools Day, April 1st, 2020.

Nutrition is the main focus of health when it comes to discipline.  The discipline of going to the gym when I can and walking are both almost automatic for me.  The real struggle and the real key to long term and lifetime results are watching with discipline every single day what you are putting into your body.  It really has stretched my notion of discipline being applied to specifics such as exercise and events with a time limit.  I now extend the idea to the overall lifestyle which is much more important.

Perseverance:

“Perseverance is the ability to stand up and return from defeat and failure”

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

Goal: To engage in an exercise program that involves weightlifting, hiking/walking, and stretching/ yoga an average of three days a week from April 1st, 2019 to March 31st, 2020

Bucket List: To get at least one tattoo by March 18th, 2020.

In weightlifting, we talk a lot about pushing to failure. It is intentionally taking that last set until you can’t do another rep.  It is intentionally failing so that you can get results through perseverance. It has changed my perspective about failure as a tool for getting better results. To intentional push things until you can’t do anymore – you fail.  Then the next time you do that same thing you often find you can go a little further, lift a little heavier, etc. Probably a mindset that is applicable to more than weightlifting.

Fidelity: 

“Fidelity is the will to be loyal to one’s Gods and Goddesses, to one’s Folk, to one’s self, and loyalty to one’s friends was as valued as highly as loyalty to one’s family.”

Principle: Be loyal to those who have been loyal to me.

Goal: Celebrate my wife and I’s 30th anniversary (June 10th, 2019) with a mini-vacation

Bucket List: Discover all the countries of origin from my genetics and visit them all by March 18th, 2029.

In all of my health pursuits, I find that this is where I feel the most loyal to myself. I am not doing healthy things for anyone else.  I won’t say no one else benefits but the bottom line, the person who most directly benefits from me eating right and exercising is me. There is no feeling like being healthy and that is totally directed at me.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom: 

The wisdom of all this extends far beyond all the health results that will allow me to live long enough and healthy enough to dance with all my granddaughters at their weddings (the oldest of them is five and the youngest is one).  It goes far more into a spiritual vein as well as all the things I do are leading to me the wise paths of discipline, perseverance, and fidelity.

Weekly Routine: 

  1. Weightlifting/Stretching – Minimum 3 days per week.
  2. Walking – Minimum 3 days a week
  3. Job Search – Minimum 3 days a week
  4. Cleaning – 3 days a week.
  5. Writing – 3 times a week
  6. Latin – 3 times per week
  7. Cheat Meal Count: 3 per week.

I really want a full week of routine this coming week.  I need to prove this is practical and not a time consuming or realize things need to be changed so they are both practical and not time-consuming.

Goals and Bucket List Items Achieved (Since Summer 2018):

Goals Achieved: 2

  1. Graduated College with a BS in Political Science and minors in Economics and International Business – December 2018
  2. Finalize last requirements for my degree – Internship by May 2019 – May 2019

Bucket List Items Achieved: 0

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Meditations of Iron” – A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Journal Entry:

This last month and a half’s progress has been greatly aided by my return to a gym.  This is not just true of my body although stepping on the scale this week and seeing that I am 281 lbs., which is the lowest I have been in a decade, was a particular thrill.  As most of you know the thing that I enjoy about lifting is the mental state it trains in you. Meditation is central to lifting in that every set, rep, and exercise has a way of challenging your mind as well as your body.

The goal is actually not weight loss either, but fat-loss coupled with muscle gain which is an entirely different thing.  I measure this with a mirror. This is Jack LaLanne’s method of staying motivated, which is to step out of the shower and gaze at your naked body in the mirror until you get angry enough and motivated enough to do something to change it and reforge it.  I do this every day.

See the source image

I still have a long way to go.  But the goal is to trade fat for muscle, not just lose weight, so I meditate on the best way to do that.

Discipline:

“Discipline is the willingness to be hard on oneself first and then if needed help with the development with others, so that greater purposes may be achieved.”

Principle: Apply discipline to every aspect of life that it can be applied.

Goal: To follow A FULL Paleo Diet Plan from April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020.

Bucket List: Do a rebellious act on April Fools Day, April 1st, 2020.

My diet has been more spot on and for the most part, this is due to the fact that every time I eat something off plan it makes me feel like shit. Not because I don’t make allowances for cheat meals or carbs during the day, but it literally makes me feel a little queasy and I think my body is trying to tell me something.  I think I am ready for some more purging of things I shouldn’t have in my diet.

Perseverance:

“Perseverance is the ability to stand up and return from defeat and failure”

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

Goal: To engage in an exercise program that involves weightlifting, hiking/walking, and stretching/ yoga an average of three days a week from April 1st, 2019 to March 31st, 2020

Bucket List: To get at least one tattoo by March 18th, 2020.

The exercise plan is coming along, I just need to make some changes as far as routines and when I do things to have it completely consistent. There is a spiritual side of all my exercise.  Weightlifting is not alone in that regard as hiking and stretching have their meditative side.

I have been saving for the tattoo.  I am currently engaged in the process of deciding what to do first.  Much has changed since I last spoke on this but there are some tattoos that keep rising to the top. The question is which one would be the most significant as the first one. Right now I leaning toward something like this as it is the most complete expression of my philosophy I have seen in a single tattoo:

The only problem would be where to put it.

Fidelity: 

“Fidelity is the will to be loyal to one’s Gods and Goddesses, to one’s Folk, to one’s self, and loyalty to one’s friends was as valued as highly as loyalty to one’s family.”

Principle: Be loyal to those who have been loyal to me.

Goal: Celebrate my wife and I’s 30th anniversary (June 10th, 2019) with a mini-vacation

Bucket List: Discover all the countries of origin from my genetics and visit them all by March 18th, 2029.

My wife and I are scheduled and we both have the time off for June 9th through the 11th and we have our reservations at a hotel so the mini-vacation is set.  It is less than a month away so it is something we are both looking forward to.  There is also this family vacation on the horizon, so the next goal of saving for that might simply fall into place.

A genetic test is not beyond the realm of possibility within the next year.  Once I know the results I can start the research into where my ancestors got on the boat and got off.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom: 

The wise choice in this is to take care of my body and be loyal to myself first. Something I meditate on often to assess whether or not I am staying true to this. If I don’t do either of these things, the rest of it becomes jeopardized.  Painful but important lessons learned.  Wisdom gained and being implemented.

Weekly Routine: 

  1. Weightlifting/Stretching – Minimum 3 days per week.
  2. Walking – Minimum 3 days a week
  3. Job Search – Minimum 3 days a week
  4. Cleaning – 3 days a week.
  5. Writing – 3 times a week
  6. Latin – 3 times per week
  7. Cheat Meal Count: 3 per week.

This routine needs more dedication, but it is solid as a plan.

Goals and Bucket List Items Achieved (Since Summer 2018):

Goals Achieved: 2

  1. Graduated College with a BS in Political Science and minors in Economics and International Business – December 2018
  2. Finalize last requirements for my degree – Internship by May 2019 – May 2019

Bucket List Items Achieved: 0

I added the completion of my internship this week and thus the requirements for my degree are finished.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues – Realigning Discipline

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Journal Entry:

Discipline is a very interesting word as it defines a lot of different things. Mostly in this context it is doing the things that need to be done every day to achieve the goals you want to achieve. When coupled with perseverance, it is an unstoppable force to getting where you want to go.  I was recently browsing through Barnes and Noble in the business section and found that there were at least ten books on discipline and many others where discipline is a key element among a very few.

For me discipline expresses itself in routines and doing things when they need to be done. The issues for me; most of the time, are procrastination and The Grey.  In any case though the one thing that keeps me moving forward the most is discipline and both those opposing problems are overcome by discipline.

“Discipline is the willingness to be hard on oneself first and then if needed help with the development with others, so that greater purposes may be achieved.”

I don’t really have a problem with this virtue as it is written. In fact, it is one of the best definitions of discipline I know.

Principle: Apply discipline to every aspect of life that it can be applied.

Don’t really have a problem with the principle either. It has kept me thinking on the issue of connecting my life to discipline.  No the real issue is the goal and bucket list item. Both have to be self oriented and connected with discipline. I originally thought my weightlifting would be a good fit, but in truth while this can be hard at times, it is not the self-discipline I struggle with the most.  No, that belongs to Nutrition.  At the same item as I looked at the other goals and bucket list items, weightlifting does not fit anywhere else all that well. I realize the whole issue of health fits here as it is the most easily seen thing where discipline leads to results but at the same time.  The weightlifting, nutrition and walking all are part of this taking charge of my body and living healthy as possible. So which to choose.

This is the point in the realignment that I realized that a complete rewrite of some goals and bucket list items might be needed to make this realignment a reality. I also looked at my goals and bucket list items and realized some just straight up don’t work anywhere.  This is particularly true for the bucket list.  So what goal to set and what bucket list item to pursue? It also becomes clear at this point that may goals I have currently are not that SMART. Goals should also have a singular point not be multifaceted.  Simplicity here is key.

Goal: To follow A FULL Paleo Diet Plan from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.

Nutrition is by far the most challenging thing for me and it is time I take in on full speed.  This gives me the rest of March to prepare.  I also can start to look at what items I can eat and drink.  Mostly, what I see is eliminating dairy and the other items in my diet that I need to purge. Coming up with Paleo alternatives is going to be the real challenge and I hope a fun one.

Bucket List: Do a rebellious act on April Fools Day, April 1st, 2020.

Smoke a Joint, Get Drunk, Visit a Nudist Resort. I haven’t decided yet. Something along those lines.  My tattoos are not on this list because they will be connected with Perseverance. The idea is to plan an act of rebellion and execute it. Live life a little as a reward for successful discipline.  Something undisciplined to counter all the discipline.

One other thing.  This realignment thing has pointed out that I can streamline the A Skald’s Life posts. I can do this by including the specific goal and bucket list item under each Virtue as well as the principle.  This would allow me to consider them together.  I will start this process next week.

Discipline:

“Discipline is the willingness to be hard on oneself first and then if needed help with the development with others, so that greater purposes may be achieved.”

Principle: Apply discipline to every aspect of life that it can be applied.

I think I have spoken enough on this today, but there will be changes to the routines that reflect all this.

Perseverance:

“Perseverance is the ability to stand up and return from defeat and failure”

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

As I said my tattoos will probably be here as the Bucket List Item. The goal might have to involve exercise.  I do two things for this Walking and Weightlifting. How to couple these into one exercise program. Stretching fits in here too. Something that involves a complete exercise program is what I am thinking.

Fidelity: 

“Fidelity is the will to be loyal to one’s Gods and Goddesses, to one’s Folk, to one’s self, and loyalty to one’s friends was as valued as highly as loyalty to one’s family.”

Principle: Be loyal to those who have been loyal to me.

Still thinking on this one but it involves relationships so my marriage. family and friends come to mind.  Mostly though I think both the goal and bucket list will be about my wife and I.  It may involve family and friends but it is going to focus on the two of us. I have some ideas but I will keep them to myself for now.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom: 

The wisdom of all this realignment is centered on two principles – minimalism and simplicity. The goal is a more streamlined system of working the virtues out in my life that is simple.  So the effort required is much less. I want o achieve my goals as efficiently as possible and that involves making the pursuit less time-consuming and yet remaining effective.

Weekly Routine: 

  1. Weightlifting – 4 days per week.
  2. Cleaning – 3 days a week.
  3. Walking – 4 days a week
  4. Writing – 4 times a week
  5. Cheat Meal Count – Currently 2

The decision to go full Paleo Diet and next weeks exercise changes will involve some rewriting of the routine here.  I am hoping it will make these things more likely to get done.

Evening Routine:

  1. Take supplements and medications.
  2. Brush and Floss Teeth
  3. Out the Door Preparation
  4. Reading – 15 min.
  5. Go to Bed

Still need an effective trigger here. But also look at the idea of beating diabetes so the first one just says supplements.

Nutrition:

Full Paleo by April 1st.  Means doing some homework and dumping some things from my diet. I still think a cheat meal once a week is a good idea. Keeps you from going completely bonkers with cravings.

Weekly Recap:

The weekly recap is going to change because I think I can divide what I normally do here among the three A Skald’s Life posts as well. But a weekly recap is still needed on Friday but it might be where I keep my Goal and Bucket list Counts as well as have a more general feelings about the week and what needs work.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues – Running a Tight Ship

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Journal Entry:

This week has been a simple assessment of how to keep the virtues going during times of The Storm or The Grey.  Depression to the rest of you. Foundational Virtues make sure that I am facing The Storm with courage, honor and truth.  I am not running from it.  Business Virtues mean I stay on course.  I did point out the problem here was having a course and I think I have started to take that. Where the Self Virtues come in is the notion of running a tight ship.

The idea is that you stay disciplined, keep doing what needs to be done and trust your crew but make sure everyone is doing their job, including you. Right now keeping  my self together is running a tight ship and it is what will probably help me get to the end of this time of feelings.

Discipline:

“Discipline is the willingness to be hard on oneself first and then if needed help with the development with others, so that greater purposes may be achieved.”

Principle: Apply discipline to every aspect of life that it can be applied.

The Routines, the daily doing of things that I am trying to make into habits are what helps here.  It is what keeps my life from going completely ape shit.  This state would lead to shipwreck because things would start to full apart and The Grey Storm would then take over.  Nothing good then would happen.

Perseverance:

“Perseverance is the ability to stand up and return from defeat and failure”

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

You keep going.  I get the definition of defeat and failure being a part of this, but there is a part of me that also understands perseverance is also going forward despite resistance. You keep sailing and you keep the sail trim.  You keep rowing when the wind is contrary or non-existent.  You don’t let circumstances stop you from making progress.

Fidelity: 

“Fidelity is the will to be loyal to one’s Gods and Goddesses, to one’s Folk, to one’s self, and loyalty to one’s friends was as valued as highly as loyalty to one’s family.”

Principle: Be loyal to those who have been loyal to me.

All ships have a crew.  Even though this whole analogy means looking at my life, I couldn’t get where I am without support.  I just keep my circle small and value loyalty more than numbers these days.  It is hard sometimes when I get in The Grey Storm to do the proper maintenance of those relationship even though they are few in number.  So I go do it anyway.  That can be the hard part.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom: 

Wisdom – it’s a difficult thing sometimes to figure out what it is.  I have had many trying times these last few weeks.  Mostly though I have come to realize that doing things as a matter of habit can help you keep yourself together when you really just want to go back to bed.  It is not a wise course to set to just quit. It just makes things worse.

Weekly Routine: 

  1. Weightlifting – 4 days per week.
  2. Cleaning – 3 days a week.
  3. Walking – 4 days a week
  4. Writing – 4 times a week
  5. Cheat Meal Count – Currently 1

There is a real practical problem with this routine and that is some of the things are just missing. The Cheat Meal Count is very low and I am sure I have broken it this week with Valentine’s Day, The Grey and so on.  Cleaning and Writing have been good. but that is about it.  I really need the snow to go away and to get some sort of weights in my life again.

Evening Routine:

  1. Take supplements and medications.
  2. Brush and Floss Teeth
  3. Out the Door Preparation
  4. Reading – 15 min.
  5. Go to Bed

If I get the notion to do this right after my evening meal, it gets done.  The real challenge is thinking about it at that time.  I need some way to remind me consistently.  Reading has been nice at the end of the day, but I did take some time with this to watch movies with the wife instead.

Nutrition:

I may have to modify things here.  The intermittent fasting goes pretty well. I get up and food stays away until I have been up eight hours or so. The real issue is the Paleo Diet and finding things that are quick and easy.   The last month here is going to be tight but I am not sure practically I can get rid of all carbs.  I would like to, but eating with my wife and making dinner with her means carbs get in and I eat them.  So I might stay at one cheat meal a week and one carb source a day for the duration but I might extend the intermittent fasting to more hours a day or I might simply eat less each meal.  My 50th Birthday is very soon and I want to see how healthy I can be and look by then.

Weekly Recap:

Foundational –  I don’t perceive a problem here with myself.  I actually feel this part was what helped me though this week the most. I probably will do another “The Grey and The Wayfarer soon that reflects the last week and a half, but I can say now that it is my sense of courage and honor that kept me going this week.

Business – I think I have identified the core problem which is a lack of vision for my new career.  I need at least basic compass direction and I think I have done that this week by heading down a business path. I want to keep writing as a side career.  It might take off and be my business someday, but until then I think I at least can board the ship I call my life and say – ‘were heading this direction”.  What we will find may still be a mystery, but then again that is kind of the point of an adventure.

Self –  This has been a struggle, but through the struggle I have found a sense of keeping things together.  Don’t get me wrong, I have messed up on this week at times. But it is the times I do get the routines done and do what needs to be done and keep going that I have found my way through The Grey Storm. It has been good overall.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

A Skald’s Life – Foundational Virtues – How to Deal with Illness

Happy Moon’s Day. 

Journal Entry:

I spent the majority of the weekend in bed.  I even called in to work to tell you how bad it was. Except I have learned that the best way for me to handle things when I am sick is to rest and sleep as much as possible.  Let my body have all the resources it needs to fight off whatever it is and then I recover quicker.

When it comes to my routines, meditation, etc. It pretty much goes out the window that day.  Some things take precedence over those things and recovery of health is one of them. That said, I woke up Sunday, did my morning routine and headed out the door to work. I wasn’t 100 percent but I was capable of working so there I went.  My hope was hope was to get back home and rest some more.

That said some meditation found its way to my sick-bed.  It is strange the things you think of when you are sick and perhaps it is best not to dwell on anything too much in that state of mind.  Nothing positive will come of it.  But Meditation was used to calm myself down a couple of times and relax so I could rest.  The point of routines is to develop strengths that you can use in moments of crisis or struggle and sickness is a little of both.

I started the week coming out of sickness but still managed to go the first day pretty strong but probably resting and sleeping more than I wished.

Honor:

Honor is the feeling of inner value and worth from which one knows that one is noble of being, and the desire to show respect for this quality when it is found in the world”

Principle – Be positive about my future

I think one of the hardest things to do while sick is maintain a positive attitude. You really have those moments of challenging your self-worth or honor.  it is hard to see the end of things when sick, like certain sicknesses will end eventually.  It’s probably the only positive thing you can think of at the time – ‘this too will pass’.

Courage:

“Courage is the bravery to do what is right always.”

Principle – Act with Courage at the right time.

I don’t know if courage counts while sick unless you are facing something major and life threatening. The normal flu and colds are mostly a matter of Perseverance.  But I have to say when you feel sick and have to function and do so I might take an action of courage to keep going.

Truth:

“Truth is the willingness to be honest and to say what one knows to be true and right. It is often better to not say anything at all if one cannot be honest.”

Principle – Pursue knowledge, wisdom and truth at all times.

Truth.  I am not immortal. I am not invulnerable. I am not super man.  I am human and subject to human frailty. Hard lessons every time I am sick but lessons I need to remind myself of each day.

Higher Virtue: Love:

My wife is a saint when I am sick.  I ask very little of her because I don’t want to be one of those men who is a big baby when he is sick.  That said, she often does a lot of things on her own to help me and take care of me. I have to say there is a lot of love to it and for that I am very grateful.  I always plan to return that when she is sick.

Morning Routine:

  1. Review Nine Noble Virtues (NNV) and Principles
  2. Review Goals and Bucket List
  3. Meditation
  4. Full Body Stretch
  5. Shower and Personal Hygiene
  6. Get Dressed for the Day

Major adjustments here are the removal of Breakfast and Supplements and Medications which are now part of the evening routine.  Meditation is now more ‘formal’ but also more focused on what it needs to be.

Bucket List:

  1. Go Back to Budapest, Hungary for a vacation.
  2. Get My Tattoos.
  3. Actually Get Drunk.
  4. Smoke a Joint.
  5. Hike the Northern Lakeshore Trail along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
  6. Write My Novel.
  7. Learn Latin.
  8. Learn Hungarian.
  9. Weightlifting – Bench 225 lbs, Squat 315 lbs, and Deadlift 405 lbs.

I think number 2 is up first. then number 6 for the second half of the year.  I just need a better job with more income to make the first happen.

Weightlifting:

I don’t know, the problem of getting a new gym is made more complicated by the fact that I have no idea where my new job might be. This would have a tremendous bearing on that subject.  I don’t want my new gym to just be a temporary place but a new gym home and that means I would have to have some sense of permanence to both my work and life which is something I don’t have right now. I might simply have consider what I can do at home for minimal cost.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

The Pagan Pulpit – No Service

Happy Sun’s Day

I spent the majority of Friday and Saturday in bed, I am sick with something but that means I didn’t have the time or energy to do the pulpit this week. Remember I do things one day ahead of time. Enjoy the day off.  Hopefully, I will feel better soon.

One thing I will say about next weeks Pagan Pulpit is that it will feature Robin Williams. After that I am probably going to do a series of stuff on something.  Haven’t decided what but doing series always kept me going when I was a preacher so it will here on the Pagan Pulpit.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues – Nutritional Reorganization

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Journal Entry:

As I look to tweak my Self Virtues I can see that most of it revolves around tweaking my diet and is very much of a nutritional nature.  Nutrition is probably the most challenging thing on my discipline virtue list because it isn’t a routine or once a day thing.  It is a constant thing.  Nutrition simply is all the time and it is probably the most important thing to grasp if you want to live longer and live better.

The first thing to note is that I have not been currently doing the intermittent fasting. I was going to do this every other week, but decided I would rather do it the all the last weeks of the diet instead.  So next week I will not be eating anything from the time I go to bed to the time  normally get up which is usually 1 am plus eight hours which means not eating from the time I go to bed until nine o’clock in the morning.  If I ever get a normal job with normal hours I would have to adjust this accordingly, but the idea is not to eat anything for the first eight hours of being awake and while I sleep of course.

Yes, I know nutritionists are gasping in horror over no breakfast, but I have never bought into this notion of breakfast being the most important meal of the day.  I know too much about the FDA and the US Department of Agriculture these days; so I know much of their nutritional advice is politically motivated to appease farmers, and that much of what has been suggested is an experiment.  Much of these have failed and particularly applicable to me the advice on combating diabetes. I never got anywhere following their standard advice there, just a higher sugar score. After watching the video below, I realized my skepticism was justified and I changed course.

On a practical side this means changing my morning routine by moving two items out and moving one of them to something new – an Evening Routine. The thing that will be gone for good is breakfast.  It will just be gone.  I do take some medication and supplements and most of them require food; so with breakfast out, I need to take them later and I figure right before bed is the best place as my body then can utilize them while I sleep.

So basically here under Self Virtues I will add the section Evening Routine for discussion.  Much of that is basically preparation for the next day, hygiene and a little nutrition.  Evening Routines are problematic for me but I think this one has the best chance of working because it involves my medications and nutrition.  Hopefully that will provide the motivation to do it right after I eat my last meal of the day.

The focus of all this is of course my goal of being in the best shape I can be on my 50th Birthday (March 18, 2019).  How I will evaluate that is basically to stand naked in front of the mirror sometime that day and evaluate.  That of course will not end nutrition or exercise for me, I will just start another one year plan for my 51st year.

Discipline:

“Discipline is the willingness to be hard on oneself first and then if needed help with the development with others, so that greater purposes may be achieved.”

Principle: Apply discipline to every aspect of life that it can be applied.

Once again I am applying discipline to something that needs it.  Nutrition is a lifestyle discipline.  It may make use of routines but it is an every day all day thing. It presents a great challenge to Discipline.

Perseverance:

“Perseverance is the ability to stand up and return from defeat and failure”

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

Nutrition also has moments of failure. The one thing I have learned is that when you do have a moment of dietary failure is to not make it the end of the world.  Pick up from there and stay true.  One meal or bad choice can be countered by a bunch of good ones. Learn from the failure and move on.

Fidelity: 

“Fidelity is the will to be loyal to one’s Gods and Goddesses, to one’s Folk, to one’s self, and loyalty to one’s friends was as valued as highly as loyalty to one’s family.”

Principle: Be loyal to those who have been loyal to me.

It has been a very good week in terms of my marriage.  We had a date night which was fun but also as much as my wife and I struggle with things we continue to turn to each other. That is probably the greatest thing I can say because it is so different from what it was before.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom: 

Making the right choices whether as far a routines, nutrition or marriage is always a question of wisdom. What is the best and wisest path?  That is a question that is always before me. So far I think I am doing well in this regard. The problem with wisdom sometimes is you can’t see if a decision was a wise one until you look back at it through the eyes of hindsight.

Weekly Routine: 

  1. Weightlifting – 4 days per week.
  2. Cleaning – 3 days a week.
  3. Walking – 4 days a week
  4. Writing – 4 times a week
  5. Cheat Meal Count – Currently 3

Every time I think I am going to have enough money to do a gym membership so walking and weightlifting are back in my life, something comes up.  This week it was books for school.  I really need to be lifting and walking again by next week.  I will have to see where I stand next Wooden’s Day.

Evening Routine:

  1. Take supplements and medications.
  2. Brush and Floss Teeth
  3. Out the Door Preparation
  4. Go to Bed

What I mean by Out the Door preparation is that if I say overslept or got called into work early, I could be ready and out the door in ten minutes.  Part of this though; beyond crisis, is to have my daily paper journal ready for the next day and my meditation stuff laid out for the next morning as well. The idea is to take the time to prepare so the morning runs smoothly.

Nutrition:

One other thing as I head into next week is to reduce beverages from other things to strictly water by mid February. To do this means to reduce slowly what I drink otherwise which is usually some artificially sweetened drink of some kind. Probably at first I would say I must drink a bottle of water in between each drink of these and then increase that to two then three and then eliminate the other leaving only water after that.

Weekly Recap:

Foundational – Love, Honor, Courage, and Truth.  All of these things are more than words for me. When people ask me if my morality has changed since leaving Christianity, I say no because most good ethics and morals are based on very simple principles and that’s the core of the virtues.  I can’t say anything here was a problem this week.  Just a time of readjustment.

Business – Business is about how I interact with others.  Exercising Justice, Self-Reliance, Industriousness and Hospitality is core to that.  When dealing with other people, these things are on my mind and offer me a way of loving my neighbor as myself as many religions propose as an ethical standard. I would say these virtues do more than that, they make sure I also love myself.

Self – Self is Acting in Wisdom, Discipline, Perseverance and Fidelity in order to improve as person. So far I like the results

This week has been about tweaking a few things. Hopefully by the end of next week all things will be pretty much in place.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!