Noisy Deadlines

journal

I’ve noticed that almost every morning I wake up to my racing thoughts. My alarm has not gone off yet, but my mind can’t go back to sleep. For the most part they are illogical thoughts, anxieties, worries, in no coherent order. It feels like I’m half-dreaming. Sometimes I look at the time and it’s only half an hour before my usual alarm clock. Then my alarm goes off and these crazy thoughts stop after I get up.

I was thinking that the moment I realize those thoughts is the moment to actually wake up. Like if it was a natural waking up time for me. Like my brain is telling me: “ok, that’s enough for today, let’s get up!”. I’m not sure that’s the case, but I wonder if it makes sense. I’m so conditioned to getting up after my alarm clock! I don’t remember the last time I woke up on my own.

One thing I’ve been doing right before I close my eyes to sleep is: I mentally lay out my morning routine and tell myself how great it will feel. My morning routine is:

  • Get up, drink some water.
  • Go to the next room where I have my yoga mat.
  • Sit down and meditate for at least 10 minutes.
  • Do at least 15 minutes of yoga.
  • Do a final stretch and go take a shower.

I noticed that when I don’t take these steps, my day will not feel the same. I’m known to sleep in on the weekends and then I skip this whole routine, only to regret it later. So, I’m trying to keep the same morning routine even on weekends because I know it works for me.

Another thing I’ll try is: noticing when my brain is racing in the morning and actually getting out of bed (even before my alarm clock) and see what happens. Will I have the mental awareness to get myself up? Can I wake up “naturally”? I’ll see how this experiment goes...

#journal #noisymusings #sleep #thoughts

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

I feel like I was in the middle of a storm for the last couple of months, and now I see clear skies and calmness. I spent 10 days in my home country, reconnected with my family, got stressed about Brazilian bureaucracy, had some fun, organized paperwork and got back to Canada, a place I recognize as home now. Fall is my favorite season, so I was back in time to see leaves falling, the orange hues of dusk and cool days.

I’m ready for winter. I’ve accomplished a lot this year already, so I just want to chill. I’ve had challenges and good stuff happening, and I’m grateful for all of them. After all, we are what we do every day. I can highlight a few things:

  • It was our first year as homeowners: the joys of shoveling snow from our driveway during winter and worrying about squirrels in the attic.
  • Enjoyed all the trails and bike paths around my neighborhood.
  • Me and my partner are Canadian Citizens now!
  • I completed an important step of a professional designation I’ve been working towards for the past 4 years.
  • My dad passed away and I now see that as a good life lesson in awareness of our mortality. It was tough in the beginning, but I used mindfulness to acknowledge it and accept it.
  • I visited my family in Brazil, and I feel that closed off nicely this year’s cycle of goals, challenges and joys.

So, for the rest of this year, I want to reconnect with my writing and hobbies, enjoy winter, and remember to practice “non-doing”. I read about this in the book “Wherever you go, there you are”. It has nothing to do with being lazy:

“Non-doing simply means letting things be and allowing them to unfold in their own way.” ― Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life

The author also mentions that any meditation practice is a form of “non-doing” in which we are able to step away from the busyness of our lives and to “contemplate, to make time for being, for purposefully not doing anything.”

I will choose only a couple projects I want to focus on this winter and put the rest away for the spring. I will focus on activities that are relaxing and help me wind down, such as: yoga, meditation, reading, long walks, calm mornings, journaling.

⛄ I wish all a cozy winter (for all you folks in northern hemisphere)! And a happy summer, if you are in the southern portion of the globe.

#journal #NoisyMusings

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

I’ve been having moments of deep reflection in the past few weeks. Maybe even the past couple of months. I got an urge to reinforce the simplicity principles that have lead me to where I am right now.

I noticed at first that I wanted a simpler process to organize my thoughts, ideas and actions. I always write about the GTD method and how it’s been an excellent tool for me. The interesting thing about GTD is that you can make it as simple or as complex as you need. Right now I need simple. So I’ve been experimenting with MS To Do with the very basic GTD setup, just contexts lists, no linking to projects, and I noticed less effort from my part to keep the system current.

Then my dad passed away recently, and that was a traumatic experience. It was hard because I’m far away, and I’m in the middle of waiting for my new passport to be able to travel. That will happen in a couple of weeks, fingers crossed. I’ve been journaling privately a lot, trying to process the grief and working towards acceptance. Grieving can give us a whole new life perspective, on the things that really matter. And that all comes back to what I was talking in the beginning: simplicity. Enjoying the simple things in life, and also having a simple life, with less stress. I’ve been prioritizing meditation, yoga and walks with my partner. I’m taking care of my diet and my sleep. Those are fundamental things.

My reading taste has been changing as well. I’m in a phase where I want to read stories about people, but I still prefer fantasy or sci-fi settings. I’ve just finished the fifth book of the “Parasol Protectorate” series by Gail Carriger and it was such a delight! It’s steampunk, Victorian inspired, funny, witty and super relaxing for me. After finishing it I continued on to Gail Carriger’s other series “The Custard Protocol”, which is the same setting, with the daughter of the protagonist of the “Parasol Protectorate”. That’s what I need right now: something fun and smart, with not too many high stakes and some sensibility in it. I’ll probably be reading more romance-like books in the future. It’s one of those phases.

#journal

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

I’ve been through some hard times, my dad passed away last week and I'm dealing with grief the best I can. I find myself wanting to engage in contemplative activities, nothing noisy, nothing too intense. Long walks are great, I haven’t had the desire to go running yet.

I find that meditation and yoga help a lot. Reading also helps, but I can't seem to focus on a book for too long now. And I can’t seem to be able to read anything too intense, serious, or complex. For some days I couldn’t decide what I wanted to read. I’m gravitating towards feel-good romance books. So, I picked up a novella by a romance author I enjoy, because it was short and easy-going. I’m taking my time.

I felt I was also in need of some mindfulness inspiration. Something that encourages me to contemplate the present in a non-judgmental way. So, I remembered that I've had Jon Kabat-Zinn's work on my to-read plans for a while now. I picked up “Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life” and it’s been soothing.

#grief #journal

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

I’ve always had some dietary restrictions after I found out I was lactose intolerant years ago. It turned out I had acid reflux without even realizing it at the time. Some symptoms can be very similar to a cold (irritated throat, nose dripping, coughing), and after some exams I found out I had lactose intolerance, a hiatal hernia and acid reflux as a consequence.

That diagnosis made me change my diet and I started taking stomach medication: proton pump inhibitors (PPI). After a few years I got better and I tried to stop the medication on a daily basis, and only taking it if I knew I was having a meal that were outside my dietary restrictions. It worked for a while.

By that time I stopped consuming:

  • Coffee
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Soda
  • Alcohol
  • All carbonated beverages

Then life happened, I’d start eating something that would trigger my symptoms again, and I was back and forth with prescribed medication, over the counter antacids and diet changes to feel better.

A couple of years ago I tried a restrictive diet called “Fast Tract Diet” which seemed to work well for the symptoms, but I had cravings and in the end the diet was not sustainable to me. It was very similar to a keto diet, but with even more restrictions about starchy foods and carbs.

Anyway, I slacked off recently. I thought I was doing okay, I started consuming more tea, I felt that my lactose intolerance was not that bad anymore so I added cream in every cup of tea I had. I was eating more chocolate and more processed meats (like ham and sausages).

So for a few months I felt symptoms coming back, specially my throat being sore, my nose dripping with no apparent reason and dry coughs EVERY DAY. And also, bloating and indigestion. That was a huge red flag that I should have noticed earlier but I thought it was seasonal pollen allergy or something.

My 28 day restriction phase

I’m starting a diet that focuses on replacing high-acid foods with low-acid foods and eliminating trigger foods (Reference: The Acid Watcher Diet by Jonathan Aviv, MD, FACS.)

It’s a less restrictive diet for me, because it allows fruits and nuts and even small portions of whole wheat bread.

I already don’t consume: alcohol, coffee, carbonated beverages, vinegar and soda. Those are already off limits for me for some time now. And I don’t miss them at all.

Now, for 28 days I WON’T consume any of the following:

  • Tea (I will allow some herbal teas only)
  • Tomato, tomato sauce
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Bell peppers
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus fruits: lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, pineapple
  • Processed foods / processed meats
  • Milk (I will replace it with Almond milk)

And I will consume fruits and vegetables with pH higher than 5.

I will work on a complete meal plan for the next weeks and see how it goes.

After the 28 days phase I will evaluate my symptoms, check how I feel and I will slowly reintroduce some foods I one at a time and see if they are triggers. If they are, I know I have to continue avoiding them.

#journal #diet #health

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

One thing I’m learning is that it is OKAY to stop reading a book. I can just abandon it and move on with no guilty feelings.

I did just that today. I usually try my best to finish a book even when I’m not enjoying it too much because I have hope it will get better eventually or I’ll learn something by the end of it. A book can have ups and downs and that’s okay.

I’m finding that if after reading 20-30% of the book and it is not grabbing me, it’s time to let go. I’ve always found it hard to give up on a book, after all, I’ve invested hours into it, and giving up seems weak.

Now I have more awareness of the signs showing me it’s time to let go:

  • I’m not reaching for the book at every given opportunity. When I’m into a book, I’ll read it during lunch break, breakfast, before bed, while waiting in line, or during any downtime when I’m not working. If reading the book feels like a chore, then it’s best to let go.
  • I can’t relate to the characters and their motivations. I like to have enjoyable characters, even if they are villains. This is subjective. Sometimes I don’t care about the main character because of “reasons”. It’s like a gut instinct, if they don’t click with me, I’m not engaged.
  • I’m not enjoying the tone/theme. I’m getting more sensitive about some themes in fiction. Too much gore and violence can throw me off. Some trigger warnings for me: child abuse, gore, body horror, sexism, racism, and physical abuse.
  • I give the book a chance (read at least 20-30%) and I feel it’s not the right time to read it. If after a few chapters I still do not feel like I’m in the right place emotionally or mentally to finish it, it’s time to stop reading it.

The book in question today is Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse. I read 20% of it, roughly 8 chapters in total. It is a pick for my local Book Club and I’ve heard great things about it. It is a fantasy set in an alt pre-Columbian American world with magic and old prophecies. The setting is dark from what I could gather and the very first chapter threw me off with a brutal scene involving a child. I couldn’t get past that. Later on, we are introduced to a great character, a strong female ship captain whom I loved! But the story is told from 4 different characters’ viewpoints, and I didn’t enjoy the other three POVs.

Anyway, it’s time to move on. Maybe I’ll pick it up later, but there are so many other books I want to read that I’ve decided to put Black Sun on the back burner. Deep inside I still feel bad about it, it’s one of those situations where “I wanted to have enjoyed it”. Well, I’m sorry, it didn’t work out this time.

In Bookwyrm there’s a shelf for “Stopped Reading” and I added a comment so that in the future I know why I stopped reading it.

#reading #books #journal

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

It was great to hang out with Write.as folks on the Remark.as chat yesterday. Thanks to tmo for coming up with the idea in the first place and Matt for providing this space and looking to improve it even more!

I felt completely exhausted Saturday evening and that’s probably because of my mid-week work trip. I can think of at least 3 reasons. First: 6 hours train ride each way. Second: change of routine, I slept way less than I’m used to for 3 days and I didn’t do my daily morning yoga. Third: I didn’t walk or run or did any exercise, it screw up my energy levels. So, I guess I was sleep-deprived after the trip.

Also, this weekend was “Doors Open Ottawa”, when buildings open up their doors for visitors. I saw that a big research center near my home was open for visits, so that’s where I decided to go (CanmetENERGY). It’s located in the middle of the Green Belt, so I could get there through the hiking trails around my area. It was a nice day and a nice walk. This research center has cool stuff going on in terms of Sustainable Energy, Solar Power, Bio-energy, Heating/Cooling Efficiency for buildings, etc. And the buildings are federal heritage, built in the 60s in what is called Brutalist architecture, all concrete and steel. That was nice!

After that, I was exhausted and today I slept for 9+ hours, trying to catch up. I felt better, spent the day doing chores around the house, read books, and went for a run in the evening.

#journal

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

I’m going on a 2-day work trip today. It seems like it’s been ages since I last travelled somewhere. It will be a 6 hours train ride, which is nice because I love trains. And we are still required to wear masks inside the train and while we are inside the train station, which is good. I was a little nervous about being in a closed space with unmasked people for 6 hours. But that’s not gonna be the case, so I’m okay.

I did a travel checklist to make sure I got everything I need and I still think I might be forgetting something. I used to be good at travelling, knowing exactly what to bring with me. I’m out of practice now. So, I’ll see if my check list is any good!

I’m actually looking forward to the train ride. Train travel is comfortable and spacious. I love sitting back and enjoying the scenery. Also, it will great to get some reading done 😎. I’ve got my ebooks loaded in my Kobo. I’m planning on reading these books next:

  • Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention-and How to Think Deeply Again by Johann Hari (currently reading)
  • Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files #8) by Jim Butcher
  • Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed by Ben R. Rich
  • Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse

#journal #travel

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

I started running again the last couple of weeks. The first week I was running around my neighborhood, mainly a residential area using the sidewalks. But this week I explored a trail that is part of the Trans Canada Trail (aka The Great Trail), which is a cross-Canada system of trails running from the east to the west coast.

In the area near my home, this trail is located where once there was a Railway, so it’s a straight line and connects to cities to the west of Ottawa, which is pretty cool. It should be a nice bike ride (something for later this year).

Trans Canada Trail – I can’t wait to see how the scenery changes from early Spring to Fall

Anyway, I’m still not running 100% of the time, I go for a total distance of 6 km to 7 km (round trip), running for 8 minutes, walking for 2 minutes, and repeating this rhythm till the end. I’ll gradually increase the running time and decrease the rest time as I get more physically fit. I don’t want to hurt myself, and I did the same recipe last year which got me to run non-stop for more than half an hour at a pace of 6:30 min/km after 2-3 months.

#running #journal

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

We have this bookshelf that has never been full. We had it on our previous apartment and when we moved to the townhouse we put it in the living room.

We still don’t have a sofa so our living room looks quite bare right now.

And…you know what? I like it!

I think it’s nice when a room has decor and things hanging on the walls, some of them are really well done. But I don’t see my own space being that busy. First, because I’m frugal, I will never know exactly what to buy and how to coordinate everything. I usually go for practical furniture, that serves a purpose. Second, I don’t like to spend time cleaning stuff. The more items I have the more I need to clean, organize and maintain. I like to live with less. I like to live with the essential. Third, furniture and decor cost money, I don’t like to spend money on things that will not bring value to my life.

I plan on getting a sofa for this room eventually, mostly for the times when we have guests. I still prefer to watch movies or read on the armchair, it’s way better for my back than a sofa.

But for now, the books in this bookshelf are all the physical books I own. They are mostly text-professional related books with no digital alternative or because it was required to have the physical book to write an open-book exam. There are also a couple travel mementos, a thermometer with humidity meter and some reference material from both me and my partner.

This weekend I did some organization on the bookshelf with a few boxes, I filled in two of them, the third one is still empty.

Moving from a one-bedroom apartment to a small townhouse was a huge upgrade for us in terms of having separate spaces. No more having to coordinate time for cooking (which is noisy) when one of us is having a conference call or being distracted by the TV when I wanted to read and my partner was watching a movie. We have our little corners in the house now.

At first I thought that because of the extra space in the townhouse I would turn into a hoarder and start buying all sorts of furniture to fill in spaces to be filled with stuff. But, almost 6 months in, we still have empty corners and empty closets, and that’s okay. I like the minimalist vibe. I hope it stays that way.

#minimalism #house #journal

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.