Summer Intentions

I’m participating in the Big Time Literacy blogging challenge and doing some of the posts here and others at my professional blog, In Another Place. The intention board seemed more personal so I’ve shared it here. It was a perfect assignment for yesterday as I’ve had these intentions in my head but had yet to execute, especially the yoga and bike ride. But, by the time I sat down to make the board, I had done both yesterday!

I LOVE my new bike with its basket and bell. And riding a bike gives me a different view of the neighborhood. I stopped to say hello to a gardener about his lovely vegetable patch and waved to a man waiting for a ride. I haven’t been out today: we are in the midst of the first major heat wave so today’s exercise was a long dog walk. Maybe I’ll get on the bike later this evening.

I parked my bike by the garden down front and took a few pictures. My gardens are a labor of love and have taken five years to get where they are. There is always work to be done but for now, the beautiful blossoms cover up the weeds.

And part of the intention is to eat better: we have squash and cucumbers flowing from the garden right now and I should be able to get fresh tomatoes and corn at Saturday’s market.

intention_posterI added the superhero avatar today after spending last night and this morning reading Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stephenson. I made a donation to the Equal Justice Initiative but I want to do more. It may be letter writing or online advocacy, but I also have a sense that I can do more hands on kinds of work with local kids in areas of coding and robotics. Focus on ways to have a positive future.

Finally, I am just excited about the blogging I’ve done in the past few days!


Oh no! The Game is Down!

One of my big goals this year is to eat better and exercise more, making the kinds of lifestyle changes that, I hope, will help me feel stronger and more energetic. More vegies, less sitting, that kind of thing.

A couple days ago, I logged back into Jane McGonigal’s Super Better health game where you identify your epic win and then work towards it one activity, power up, and quest at a time. McGonigal has partnered with other organizations so some of the content comes from third parties. For instance, those interested in weight loss are connected to the free resources provided by the Full Plate diet. I took the time to set up my account and started logging some points and achievements. It was fun to drink a glass of water and then, rather than just recording it in a database, being rewarded with a few points. For 48 hours, I felt successful and was having fun making changes that had been real challenges for many years.

Here’s Jane talking about the genesis of the game in her own illness:

Then, the game went down. I couldn’t get in on my iPad and the website wouldn’t load on the laptop. WHAT? I had completed at least a few things that would get me some points. I wanted to remind myself what else I should be doing. Mostly, I just needed those few minutes of game play to focus my attention on my goal. And I wasn’t sure I could really do this without the game; goodness knows I had tried often enough. The game was going to be the edge that helped me succeed this time. Nothing in the game is a surprise: eat better, move around, think positive thoughts. It’s just that the game both reminded me and made it fun to do those things. Now, it was gone.

I’m happy to say it wasn’t gone for long, but I was a little surprised at my visceral reaction when it didn’t load, as though I had lost a really valuable tool!

The ephemeral nature of the web can be frustrating. This week, as I proofread a colleague’s dissertation, I longed for the return of CiteRefs, an online tool that checked citations and references for both format and correctness. It’s painful to do it manually, and CiteRefs was an elegant solution. I used it extensively in my own doctoral work. It has, sadly, disappeared, perhaps killed off by support costs, changing software or just time.