a blog on tech, politics, life and zombies


12 Changes, A New Blog and The Suburbs

Long time no see, blog readers.

Bad blogger! I know, I know. I'm bad at this, at keeping up with things. I'm fickle, I change my mind, and lately I haven't had the space or time to write. But I'm endeavouring to change that. Now, as such, there are a few things I wanted to share with you, dear reader.

12 Changes

I, likely like many of you reading this, decided to join the 12 Changes project started by Katherine and Stephany. In short, we're looking at trying to make 12 small life changes over the course of 2012. See how that matches up? I thought you'd like that. The idea is that we're all in this together, all working together to achieve our goals and to support each other. Community support on these things is key. Community accountability is also key.

Now, I'd love to set out my 12 Changes in advance. But, honestly, that makes me less likely to follow them. I have some rough ideas. I'd like to exercise more, to stay in touch and involved better, to save better, get more sleep, and eat better. I'd like to feel better about myself, and in my own self confidence. How I tackle those, though, is what I'm still working on.

For January, I chose to focus on daily meditation. I haven't fully kept up with it, but I continue to try and do a 10 minute meditation every day. Barring that, I try to just find a quiet minute or two to clear my mind, watch my breath. And it's helped. I generally feel more calm and centred, and I find when I'm sitting there, waiting for something to load, I'm less fidgety. I find myself just stopping for a second, closing my eyes and breathing deeply in, holding it for a moment, and then deeply out.

Fun fact? I feel like I have a greater lung capacity than a lot of people. In a lot of these guided meditations they'll be like "breath in…and breath out…" and on their "and" I'm still breathing in. Remnants from my days as a runner, perhaps?

Now, for February, I have a bit of a bigger challenge. I had heard a bit about people calling for Fast Food Free February. While I think this is noble, I can't honestly commit to that. My life is too up and down, and there are too many times where I am randomly stuck with nothing else to eat. Plus, honestly, I don't ever WANT to fully cut out fast food. I love it, occasionally.

My 12 Change for February is to eat more whole foods.

What do I mean by this? Foods that have a limited amount of processing done to them. I will be doing my best to follow some of Michael Pollan's Food Rules on this (a great, quick, easy read, by the way). This doesn't mean raw or vegan, but ideally, more fruits, more vegetables, more salads. Trying to eat things with less than 5 ingredients, and all ingredients I can pronounce. I don't intend to stick to this hard and fast, but the idea is to avoid desserts after dinner, have more fruit as a snack and not looking at a Power Bar as a meal replacement.

The biggest exception I'll make here has to do with grains. I'm not comfortable with the whole Atkins/Primal thing, and since I live in a shared household and am largely cooked for, this isn't really an option anyway. So I will still have bread, but I'll be trying to have less of that, and more whole grain bread. Truthfully, living with my parents will pose a problem in this. They support this, but have no interest in it themselves, so there will continue to be cookies, ice cream, pies and the like around. But I feel stronger these days on that. The sweets don't hold quite the same allure they once did. I'm busier, and spend less time lying, bored in front of the TV, and more time with my friends downing bosses and pwning n00bs. Well, actually, we don't PvP, and tend more to try to help new players and not call them n00bs. But they cook whatever they feel like, and often that means processed, easy food. And since they take offence when I don't want to eat dinner with them, and I can't get home in time and cook for myself in order to eat with them, I basically have to eat what they eat for dinner, or try and have some alternatives ready. Let's just say I will likely be eating a lot of quick salads.

But I think this is doable, and I'm excited to start at it. Feel free and encouraged to check in and see how I'm doing.

This blog is moving

You read that right! I've decided to shift this blog to Why? Well, week11 was initially started after my attempt to lose 20 pounds in 10 weeks, as a kind of idea that the 11th week was the rest of my life. But lately I've been feeling more like I want to consolidate it all under the tomfromhr banner. I tend to be fickle with internet pseudonyms, and that's the one I've stuck with for the longest. Is it perfect? No, but neither am I, so I think it will work.

I'm still figuring out exactly how to do this. If anyone has experience with FTP, WordPress, Thesis and the like please let me know!

And so am I

Well, not right away. But I have been increasingly thinking that I would like to move out sooner rather than later. As much as I try to live a minimalist life, there's only so much life I can fit into a small room, and only so many choices I can make when I live as someone else's tenant, essentially. I love my parents, and they have been great, and I really don't have anything other than First World Problems to complain about. But I want to make my own way, make my own decisions, and have a bit more space to live.
What had held me back a bit from this before was money. I had been looking at moving into the city, but this is not only expensive, but it allows me, in ways, far less freedom. I have to search for a place, push my budget, and try and find something that doesn't end up leaving me further from work than I am now and with no money to enjoy life.
So on a whim one day, I decided to look at places further out from the city. Actually, further away than I am now, even. And suddenly my searches started returning results. Nice results. Place for 50k less than I would ever see in the city, that weren't just tiny 1 bedrooms, but huge, 2 or 3 bedroom places. What the hell would I do with a third bedroom?!
What had held me back from this before was people. I already spend more than a few weekends holed up at home, alone, relaxing, sleeping in and just chatting with folks online, reading, gaming, and occasionally venture into the city to meet up with friends, riding the comfortable commuter train home, a little bit early.
Wait, what? Why is that bad?
This is what occurred to me. I don't really hate that life that much. Sure, it would be nice to randomly meet up with friends for brunch on a Sunday morning. But I have friends out in the suburbs too. I realized that, honestly, I'm an introvert. I don't need, or want, to be meeting up with people 24/7. I like my time alone, I need that time to decompress, to recoup, to recover. I don't really WANT to be out drinking til 2am. My body can't take that anymore, nor can my stomach. And even if I do want to drink til 1 or 2, with the money I'd save living out in the suburbs I could rent a hotel room, or still take the later commuter trains back home, and cab from the station to my condo.
So this is where I'm at for now, looking at suburban condos to move to. Not only will these be far easier on my wallet, they will allow me to have a huge, comfortable space to myself. Hell, the ones I'm focusing on are even on the commuter train line I already take, meaning I'd just ride my train for about 10 more minutes each way and I'd be home.
Part of me does still want to live in, or nearer to, the city. But part of me is also tired of the rush. I've been working here for 3 years, and there's such an energy, such a fast, GO GO GO pace that I find a little exhausting and a little sad. Where are we all rushing to, exactly?
I don't know exactly when this will happen. I still have to save a bit, and get a few things in order, but I'd likely be looking at the Spring or Summer, for now. But I am excited, folks. To have my own space, to be able to set things up, spread out as I want. This is something that motivates, and excites me.
So, that's me. How've you been?