I Am A Northman

Happy Freya’s Day!

I know we are a long way from snow and ice season here in Michigan. I also know the movie Northman has been recently released and No, I haven’t seen it. But this really isn’t about either of these things but more of a personal reflection. I have done a lot of literal walking the last couple of weeks on the trails close to my current place of residence recently and this has given me a lot of time to think.

The more time I spend here in my home state, the more I realize this is my true home and always will be. I just don’t feel as close to myself down in Houston as I do here. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Texas, it’s just I have never been a cowboy type. I am more of Woods, Hills, and Snow type cut right from the medieval world. I want my cabin in the woods, not an apartment in a big city.

That’s why the more time I spend at home, the more I my plan to spend one more year in Texas, finish my training, mentorship, get one more year of experience, and then transfer home. Here to my home state – Northern Michigan. I am a Northman.

This next year feels more like an upcoming raid. True Northman Viking Style.

I remain.

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

Skal!!!

Summer Time

Happy Sol’s Day!

I have found myself back home in Michigan and I need to do so much in a short time. That said most of it is appointments. It’s the wait time in between that needs filling. Order can be a little flexible on this as it is mostly about getting certain things to happen.

Health: I have started walking every day. I am trying to get my time back up so that hiking is more of a reasonable possibility. It’s actually going better than expected. My old gym is getting used and my diet is more restrictive so I am expecting to lose some weight over the next few weeks.

Reading/Writing: I am going to spend some time reading more every day. I of course am writing each day at this point. trying to find my muse.

Career: By the end of June I want all my training completed that’s still left online and to be ready in some respects with a plan for next year. I have one formal test to take late this month I need to pass so I am studying for that.

Camping: I am trying to get my camping gear tested and ready. The tent is working out and I have lighting and a solar power generator pack coming for testing. I need a few things like a small stove for cooking. etc.

Hopefully, with all this preparation, I will be able to return to Michigan next summer and spend time with a base camp and day hike life at that time.

I remain.

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

Skal!!!

Not a Great Week (Summer Planning)

Happy Sif’s Day!

From a Discipline standpoint, this wasn’t a great week. I am about to shift my life for the next couple of months, but mostly it is a sickness that has kept me from having a lot of energy. Between the end of the school year and this illness, I have been tired and lacking in focus.

That said excuses are not something that sits well with me. So I am looking at using the summer to make adjustments and move forward in a different way. So my summer plans have a lot to do with gaining knowledge, getting back in shape, and getting more consistent with my habits. So with that in mind, I am heading to Michigan for a couple months.

  1. Time to get some walking and hiking on the trials. Part of getting back in shape and getting some fresh air away from the city.
  2. I have teacher training to finish to be fully certified and for professional development.
  3. I and the gym need to get reacquainted – more getting in shape.
  4. Summer Reading List
  5. Camping out – getting back to minimalism and living in a tent for the summer should get me a little different perspective. Hopefully, this will carry over into other things.
  6. I am going to think about teaching but in the broadest terms about class management mostly but also an overall approach to the curriculum.
  7. I am looking at my Atheist activism with more of an overall approach and hoping this will give me some better ideas.

Time to sail home for a bit and regroup. Then come back for another year of pillaging Houston.

I remain.

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

Skal!!!

“Wayfarer”

Happy Tyr’s Day!

Wayfarer

Alone he walks

The snow crunches

beneath his feet.

He is the Wayfarer

The Walker of Paths

He wanders

But he is not lost.

He seeks

He looks for the wisdom

Of the old, the new

And his fellow travelers

Spear in hand for protection

His friends

Two ravens, Two wolves.

He wanders

He walks

He is the Wayfarer

Author’s commentary:

I fell in love with the imagery of Odin a long time ago. I however didn’t realize that is what the original myth was that I was enjoying because I was reading Lord of the Rings and the character was Gandalf, the Grey. But Tolkien took his inspiration from mythology and in this case Odin.

When I finally did get to Norse mythology as a teen the image of Odin appealed to me. The man leading his people trying to delay his fate and the fate of the Nine Worlds. Trying to delay Ragnorok. Warrior and Wizard all in one. The interesting thing is he doesn’t go out and build an army to fight but takes the role of a humble traveler looking not for strength, but knowledge.

I take for myself the moniker The Grey Wayfarer in honor of this inspiration and in truth this was my inspiration not just for this blog but also for some of my interests. I am a scholar and teacher but I lift weights with a warrior’s mind and discipline. I hike, you don’t get much more Wayfarer than that. I guess I came to see my self-image resonate with this image and this poem is a reflection of that.

I remain.

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

Skal!!!

“Circle Routine Focused on Progress” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Sol’s Day!!!

The real problem is now how to take four simple goals and make daily progress on the whole thing.  This has in the past always come down to routine. In his case through the idea is to do the routine with reward at regular steps so it is a little different.  No workday or rest day routine here.  The only difference between a workday and a off day will be that I should accomplish more on my off days simply because I have more time. 

The way it works is cyclical working though the routine and then starting over when it is completed.  What keeps it moving is the time or more concrete goal for each step when it is done to move on to the next thing. My priority starts with health, then career, then writing, then my YouTube channel, the rinse and repeat.

  1. Full Body Stretch / Meditation – Max – once per day.
  2. Walking – 30 minutes – conditional good weather, trails are clear. Max once per day.
  3. Relaxing – 1 hour.
  4. Certification Work – 3 hours.
  5. Relaxing – 1 hour.
  6. Blog Article – write, edit, post – Max four times a week. Posting will be spread out across the week but I will probably write a post on that very soon.
  7. Read 1 chapter of a book.
  8. Write 1000 words.
  9. Relaxing – 1 hour
  10. YouTube Skills development – 2 hours.
  11. Relaxing – 1 hour.
  12. Personal Business – empty inboxs.

There are a couple things that will interrupt this routine because they are conditional to the situation. The routine goes to pause and after they get done, it starts back up again.

  1. Weightlifting – after work when I know I have time to do it and get home in time enough to hand the car off to the wife.
  2. YouTube recording – three times a week but I need no one to be home but me.
  3. Work – when I am at work the routine goes to pause mode.

The routine stops when I go to bed and starts where it left off when I get up. 

A note on nutrition. This is an all day every day issue so doesn’t fit in a routine.

Life intrudes (appointments, life events) with things that will pause this as well. The main thing is to get back at it as soon as possible.

Relaxing time can be banked.  That is saved for later.  I doubt this will happen much, but if I a making progress and enjoying that, I might skip a relax time and save it for later to be taken when I want.

I am coming up on my 52nd birthday. March traditionally has been a good start for me because of it.  Last year I was off to a great start and then COVID killed a lot of things for me.  Not this year.

I remain.

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

Skal!!!

It Worked! – Some Intitial Plans

Happy Tyr’s Day!!!

So the switch in address worked and so I can post to Facebook again. What this does inspire me to do is break down some objectives and start setting some vision for myself. I have four, maybe five areas, of my life that need some work and development of habits to reach and I am hoping this blog will do what it has always done – keep me on task and focused.

  1. Career – The issue is for me putting my Poltical Science degree and my desire to be more educaitonally focused into practice. From a habit standpoint, I have a certificaiton that was delayed due to COVID-19 issues but now I need ot finish it by February so that I can be in a postion to look for new jobs early on. The habit is simply to get some things done every day. That’s all I feel comfortable sharing as recent events show to me my haters are still active.
  2. Health – Need to get back to weightlifitng and nutrition being solid. Going ot the gym and keep the bad food out of the house are good first objectives. My main goal is to get back ot where I was early 2020 and then go from there. Once the weather clears up around here- walking and hiking will be back on my list as well.
  3. Atheist Activism – My YouTube channel is a start but writing and being invovled with other things will lead ot other opportunities. Just need to do some things so my channel is better and more active.
  4. Writing – easist one to see. Need to read more, write more and blog more.
  5. Technical Hobby – this is a new one and still in its infancy as far as an idea. I want a hobby that invovles something technical or scientific – mostly just ot push my mind a little.

All in all the issue is ot get back ot regular habits that keep depression away and make progress on these areas.

As for this blog I am working on a regular rotation along with some posts that are more freestyle so to speak. The one thing I want for sure is to keep them shorter. A blog article from start to finish should take less than an hour from sitting down until ready to post.

Thanks to all of you for sticking with me.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Exercise and Nutrition” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Sol’s Day!

Exercise an Nutrition are a large part of my vision points. The issue here is to keep things real and have them be something that I can execute. Overall the vision is of a strong, leaned out body that has a good deal of endurance and overall health.

Exercise:

Stretching – Flexabilty is soemthing I place a daily importance on as it is the first thing I do after getting up and putting in my contacts so I can see. It also has the aspect of mentally and emotionally starting off stable and meditative leading into the time of looking at virtues and setting my sights on the goals for the day.

Weightlifiting – I have adjusted things a bit here, but it is really always a work in progress. Mostly, I am more of a bodybuilder for health reason so I don’t go too heavy but heavy enough on the last set to bring change. Four sets of 8-10 mostly with a simple split: Chest/Delts, Back/Traps, Biceps/Triceps/ Forearms, Legs. Because I work out at the gym, I go in with a rough idea of the exercises I am going to do but I remain flexable in case the equipment I need is being used by someone else. I know a lot of exercises, so its OK.

Walking – I do a lot of walking at work. That said, I think by doing an hour a day on my days off on top of that might be that little bit that makes things go slightly better. To walk constantly for an hour is a little different than what I do at work.

Nutrition:

Nutritionally, my plan is sitll up in the air. There are a few elements I want. Lower carbs, higher protien and an assortment of good fats. I tend toward the Paleo rather than the Keto end of the spectrum but I can see how elements of both are effective and useful. What I might do will be a hybrid of the two that fits my lifestyle and what works for me. Mostly right now, I just want to make weekly changes that get me to where I need to be. One step at a time in the right direction.

I need some lifestyle habits here that stick so doing what works and is enjoyable to me is important.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Rest Day Routine” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Sif’s Day!

Rest is part of the program. I learned this from weightlifting and that is the exercise breaks you down. It’s nutrition and rest that allows your body to rebuild itself more in ot the image you are looking for. Rest is a necessary element.

That said, it should be noted that some things like the Morning Routine don’t change regardless of Work or Rest Days. Also some things can only be done on rest days because of schedule. Some vision points require an open day to get progress done.

Vision Points:

Vision Point : Maintain my YouTube Channel with at least two videos uploaded a week and reach the goal of 100 subscribers.

Vision Point:  Start a New Career by January 2021

Vision Point: Write a Book for Publication by December 31, 2021.

Vision Point: Be Debt Free by December 31, 2022.

Vision Point:: To write 1000 words per day during 2021.

Vision Point: Start regular significant donations to The Clergy Project and FFRF.

Vision Point: To develop and follow a results-focused nutritional plan that results in fat loss, muscle gain or maintenance, and a lower A1c with the result of a body fat percentage of 8% or lower and a normal A1c by December 31, 2021.

Vision Point: Impliment a Progam of Exercice that involves regular Weight Training and Walking.

Vision Point: Find a way to get the whole family together for a few days in. Christmas or some other time in 2021.

Some of these vision points require time in larger blocks so a rest day is a good time to do them. But I do want to rest and take some time to enjoy life on rest days

Rest Day Routine: 

  1. Morning Routine
  2. Walking – 1 hour
  3. Cleaning – 1 hour
  4. Writing – 1000 words
  5. Personal Business
  6. Make to Do list for next day.

There area few vision points to tackle because their nature is such they don’t fall easily into routine but are either lifestyle issues or setting up a long term plan and executing it on a daily basis when the opportunity arises. I will be going over these over the next two days.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Grounded in the Present” – A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues

Happy Sif’s Day. 

Journal Entry:

There is a legend that has some ring of truth that at the battle of Stamford Bridge a single large Viking with a greatsword or ax held off the Saxons for a couple hours on the bridge until someone underneath the bridge stabbed him in the groin and brought him down.  Such a man died for his kin and had little concern for the past and the only view of the future he had was the possibility that his sacrifice would save his fellow Vikings lives as they retreated across the river.

As much as I wasn’t to learn from the lessons of the past and look to the future, the issue is always the present moment as to whether I am acting in a manner that reflects both. There is no guarantee of anything future and the past is irrelevant.  What can be changed is that brief fleeting present moment.  Moment by moment, change by change one develops one’s life. This is why the self virtues of discipline, perseverance, and fidelity. Virtues that are used every present moment.

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 30th, 2020 – Beltane.

I think if there was any mistake in the goal here it is was to be too specific about the technique of the Paleo Diet.  The real goal was to lose fat and gain muscle through diet and nutrition and for the most part what I do is actually a combination of Paleo and Keto which really works for me although for next year I want to take it to the next level.  it is said abs are made in the kitchen and I want to put that to the test. How lean can I get?

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.

This goal will be a slam dunk come March.  The question is what to do next year.  other than do it again which seems lame. I need a goal to be training for – bodybuilding? powerlifting?  I don’t know.  I like to be healthy and not take training risks that could lead to injury. More thought required here.

Fidelity:

“Fidelity is the will to be loyal to one’s moral philosophy, to one’s family, one’s friends, and most important to one’s self, and loyalty to one’s friends is 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.

Some sort of family and freinds goal I think.  I don’t know.  I want to do something for my children as a way of showing my appreciation to them all. more thought again but, I think that this is a good direction.

It should be noted that the first part of my bucket list goal of discovering all the countries of my origins genetically is already coming along pretty well. So far I have cities to visit in Bavaria, The Netherlands, England, and Ireland (yep, I can drink green beer on St. Patrick’s Day).  But there are still parts where the legal documents so far are not enough so I am still awaiting the results of my genetics test to fill in after the legal trail dead ends.  But it has been a wonderful journey.  No Scandanavian yet. if there is at least 3% Valhalla awaits.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom:

The wisdom of the present moment is something I walk with each day.  Plans and goals are great and all but it is the perseverance of discipline that allows one to make progress each day and one’s relationships that allow one to be strong fora reason.

Rest Day Routine: 

  1. Morning Routine
  2. Wife: Communication / Cuddle Time
  3. Reading – 1/7th of a book
  4. Blogging – Organize, revise, post for the next day.  Write a new post for two days out.
  5. Cleaning – varies but one room of the apartment at least.
  6. Writing – 1000 Words

Short but good.

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

Goals Achieved: 6

  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
  4. Maintain a daily blog streak of one post per day for an entire year (365 days).
  5. By March 31st of 2020, to be the leader/participant in a group of some kind.
  6. Find a new, better paying job by March 2020.

Bucket List Items Achieved: 0

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Wayfarer’s Wells – Part 1” – A Skald’s Life – Foundational Virtues.

Happy Tyr’s Day

Journal Entry:

In searching for an analogy of the purpose of my bucket list items I would say the idea of places on a path that stops at a well where you get to stop, get a good long drink of life and can sit down and pause and reflect on how great life is.   They become these way rest points for the wayfarer’s weary feet.

Under the foundational virtues, the bucket list items are much more about journies – two literal and one of the mind. The issue of be ing a traveler of life comes I up and this is very important to me as I now believe this is the only life I get, so I want to live it to the fullest. At the end of it, I want there to still be my sights on the wayfarer’s wells up ahead.

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).  (achieved)

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

This is my major hiking trip goal.  I want to do this as my first test of whether or not. I can be a true hiker at that point. it is something I want to do and enjoy.

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 went to Budapest in 2011 with my daughter.  I never really had time to explore the city, but it remains the only city so far I have been in that I enjoyed. I want to return, absorb as much of the culture as I can.

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 Honestly Pursue, Accept and Speak Truth to All who will Listen.

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

Bucket List: Read 52 books (one per week) in the year 2020.

This is a journey of the mind I want to take this year.  I sued to love reading but school kind fo ruined that which it always does temporarily.  But I feel those juices flowing again and there is so much new to absorb and read so.  I would also lek to be able to say – ‘yep read one book a week for a whole year.

Higher Virtue: Love:

Love for self comes up again.  I know it is winter and depression is a little harder to control in the cold and clouds right now, but it is more than that. There is so much I want to do and not a lot of time left when you really think about it in relation to my age and even though my health is good, I don’t want to take that for granted.  If I am going to love myself I need to start taking steps to make these things happen at a higher level. I am starting to feel stuck and that from a self-love point of view is not good.

Morning Routine:

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

I find the yoga/stretching with meditation time to be enjoyable. I wish however it was a true habit and I need to work on that.

I remain.

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

Skaal!!!