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Daniel G's Journal


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4 hours ago, DanielG said:

I decided to make dinner for us tonight, and used some of the spice blends to test out. Oven-baked chicken thighs with 2 of the rubs, chicken breasts marinated in a olive oil/soy sauce/garlic/worcestershire sauce mix, rice, peas, carrots, and mushrooms. I pan-seared the breasts and cooked the mushrooms in the pan afterwards, de-glazed with red wine vinegar to get all the tasty bits. Bit of butter, salt, pepper, garlic.

I had food right in front of me and still salivated extra at all that lol - nice

Β 

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I slept in today πŸ˜…. I didn't go to bed late, either. I guess I just needed the sleep. I spent some of the morning reading, some of the Bhagavad Gita and some of Atlas of the Heart. Some of what stuck out to me was this idea of paradox, being able to feel two potentially conflicting emotions at the same time. I'm not sure I'm at the level of awareness to identify that yet, but I am hopeful. In the afternoon, I had an appointment with my addictions counselor, Harsharan. It was a shared appointment with my mom and I. My mom ended up talking about some of her trauma around her now defunct marriage with my dad. I inherited some of my fun bits from him: bipolar disorder and alcoholism πŸ™ƒ. I'm glad she had the opportunity to talk about what happened to her in a therapeutic setting. She seems to be doing better since I've stopped playing video games.

I also got a chance to speak about how I've been. It's been pretty good, so that's what I told her. I've noticed I'm getting more aware of emotions coming up, like when I'm looking at something beautiful in nature, or if there's some sort of event/story that moves me. I'm not at the point where I feel confident labeling/identifying what's going on, which is something I think would be helpful, but I imagine that will come in time. One thing that struck a chord was when I was talking about my own childhood, and Harsharan mentioned that she didn't detect any hint of resentment or anger about it. That's pretty amazing for me, I feel. I did qualify that sometimes it feels like my resentment with my dad can resurface at times, but by and large, I've let go of a lot of shit I used to carry around. Considering how much I used to ruminate, roil and boil, be hurt, be profoundly sad, just... feel shitty about my childhood and my parents, it's a lot of growth.

We went out for some Colombian food after the appointment. The excursion doubled as a walk through the neighbourhood as well. The food was really good, and the coffee was on point. I had an arepa with chorizo and huevos (a flatbread thing with spicy sausage and eggs) and a couple of empanadas (pastry made with corn batter, stuffed with chicken/beef and rice/potato). We did not opt to stop in at the ice cream shop next door, but it was tempting! When we got home, I made the phone call to the lawyer about my record suspension/pardon for my DUI. We're going to be meeting up next week on Monday morning. So, hopefully that will finally get sorted 😊.

I spent a decent chunk of time just vibing to music/chatting on Discord after that. Another big thunderstorm rolled in, lots of rain. I had some of the leftover chicken dinner, and then got a ride to yoga because it was still raining. It was a relaxing, rejuvenating kind of class. Holding stretching poses for a long time type deal. I think it's because the teacher had moved a bunch of furniture during the day and needed it herself, haha! The walk back was nice too. It had stopped raining, so everything just smelt fresh and pleasant. And now I'm writing the journal. 😊

One Thing That Went Well Today:

The therapy session with Harsharan felt productive.

Gratitude:

I am grateful for Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. There's something about a couple of their songs that I connect with.

I am grateful for my ability to walk. I get to enjoy the different sights and sounds around us, and get lost in my thoughts.

I am grateful for memes. It feels good to laugh at the silly, niche, weird shit.

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Feeling tired early, so I'm starting the journal a little earlier than normal. I slept in again today. I'm not beating myself up over it, just good to be aware of it. My Health Gamer Coaching session got cancelled last minute because the coach was feeling ill. I hope she gets better soon. I think the plan might be to extend sessions so we all finish together as a group. We'll see how it plays out. I shared a bit of my experience with 12 Step/AA in the Discord server we have for the group. One of the members is always highly encouraging and complimenting me on my speaking/writing skills, lol. I appreciate that, it's definitely less uncomfortable than it used to be, taking compliments. It's still a work in progress, though. Another one of the group members opened up a bit about one of his struggles as well, which was cool to see. It's a pretty big deal because he has a lot of shame and guilt associated with this particular issue, so I'm happy and proud of him sharing about it 😊. He cited my recent good streak as inspiration to himself, which made me feel good too. I often wondered what effect I had on the group, especially when I was more on the struggling side of things (still playing video games).

I took the dog on a walk after that. It was a pleasant experience. Fidel's a pretty good walker these days. He's 15 years old now, getting to be an old boy. After that, I tried to help move/place a couple of big rocks my mom wanted for landscaping. Operative word "try", lol. I felt a bit useless, didn't really know what to do/how to help. But I showed up, at least. More than I would have done if I was still playing games.

Thursday there's a farmer's market down the street, so I decided to go buy some fresh produce for dinner. Feed the fam and test out dishes for the bachelor/bachelorette party. I also went to the regular grocery store to pick up some bocconcini, basil (only had a paste), and some pork chops. Tested out the 3rd spice blend, the Chicago one, and used the BBQ Belt one as well. Beets and carrots with Italian seasoning and honey drizzle as veggies, garlic dill potatoes for starch (my mom still warmed up some leftover rice because she loves rice, lol), cherry tomato Caprese salad with the fancy olive oil and balsamic reduction, and the pork chops done with the spice blends. I'm going to do the beets and carrots a bit differently next time, more time in the oven less time boiling, and they could've used more honey, but other than that it turned out pretty tasty! I did most of the dishes too to help out, since I used a decent amount of them πŸ˜….

Oh, and I pulled the trigger on the improv classes! They start on Monday. It should be an interesting experience πŸ˜„. Took another walk after dinner and now I'm here.

One Thing That Went Well Today:

Dinner turned out pretty good.

Gratitude:

I am grateful for the fresh smell of rain. It is invigorating.

I am grateful for my Healthy Gamer Coaching group. They're a solid group of people.

I am grateful for my health. I get to enjoy a lot of different stuff without too many barriers.

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I slept in again! It's almost a habit now, lol. I still had a pretty good day, I feel. Coffee and reading on the deck, then off for a walk to the coffee shop to read again. The coffee was still quite delicious at Credo. The barista wasn't friendly or anything, though. He was sick, I think he was having a bad day. But yeah, the Bhagavad Gita continues to be an enriching thing to engage with.

After coffee, I went to visit the bookstore a little ways down, Ascendant Books. They had a reader there that I spoke with briefly. I asked her a bit about how she came into her profession. From a young age, she feels like she was a spiritual medium, able to see spirits and garner insight from tarot cards. She seemed pretty genuine to me, I tried to approach with an open mind. Sometimes I worry about frauds and other malicious actors preying on people who are vulnerable, but I didn't get the sense that she had that kind of energy, I guess. She gave me her card and a 'mini-fortune', a little tab that said 'Forgiveness - let there be peace.'. She assured me it was for me.

On the way back home, I reflected on what that might mean. My therapist had recently told me that she did not sense resentment when I spoke about the thing that had caused the most resentment in my life for a long time. So, I thought not much of it. When I came back home, my mom's best friend was visiting in the backyard. She herself has been going through some troubling times with her husband. It kind of clicked for me that perhaps it was meant for her to hear the message, not me, so I brought it up in conversation and showed them the fortune. To the medium's credit, it did seem to elicit an emotional response in her. We ended up talking a decent amount about spiritual principles, like forgiveness and joy. It was an enjoyable and meaningful conversation, I feel. She gave me a big hug when she left, and was thrilled that I had recently reached 7 years sober. ('Where did the time go?!' she said, lol). One day at a time.

After that, I took the dog for a walk. When we got back I was getting pretty hungry, so I decided to take over dinner duties. My mom had already pulled out some homemade hamburger patties to de-thaw, so I just went with that. We also had some bacon we needed to use up. So, bacon cheeseburgers! The picture I took isn't good, so I won't include it lol. Caramelized onions and mushrooms too. They turned out tasty. For sides, my mom and her boyfriend made a caesar salad to accompany some of the leftovers from yesterday. A delicious meal, and a team effort!

After that, I've been putzing around on the computer, chatting with people on Discord, listening to music. Writing stuff.

One Thing That Went Well Today:

Dinner turned out pretty good (again, lol).

Gratitude:

I am grateful for my keyboard. It clickity clacks and lets me spew out my random thoughts much faster than writing by hand.

I am grateful for the Game Quitters community. It's nice to read the daily journals from other members.

I am grateful for Brezelhaus. They have delicious pretzels!

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Writing yesterday's journal today. I came home late and was tired.

I had my morning coffee as usual, and spent some time on the computer chatting with some folks. I was mostly working on the menu for the upcoming bachelor/bachelorette party in three weeks. I've got a better idea of what I'd like to do, it's now more about narrowing down the options, maybe trying a few more of the dishes. I'm feeling slightly nervous at this point, though I have some idea of what I can do beforehand to make the day I have to cook everything easier. I also went on a walk, an hour-long bike ride, and made dinner again (chicken fajitas, using roti as the wrap instead of tortillas). It was fairly relaxing during the day.

Last night, I went out to karaoke with my elementary school best friend, Michael. We very occasionally get together over the years, and he reached out to me about getting together a couple weeks ago but I was busy. So, I took the initiative to see what he was up to this week, and voila, we ended up hanging out. It was pretty fun! Lots of singing, some on-key, some off-key πŸ˜…, all fun though! The staff seemed eager to kick us out at the end, I think it's because we were pretty rowdy lol. We hung out a bit at his house afterwards. He's a big car enthusiast, so he has like 4 different cars, and everyone who came to hang out after also had some cool-looking cars. I gave Michael a couple big hugs throughout the night. He's a good guy. The plan is to get together more often.

After I got home I had a late night second-dinner (bad! I was pretty hungry) and then went to bed.

One Thing That Went Well Today:

Dinner turned out pretty good (for the third time, lol). And singing karaoke was a hoot.

Gratitude:

I am grateful for cold drinking water. I think I've said this one before, but I'll say it again, very refreshing. Especially on a hot day like today.

I am grateful for honesty. It's an important quality that lets me see things as they truly are.

I am grateful for the sense of purpose I have today. The morning reading talked about our objective, as recovering alcoholics, to strive towards the ideal, our Higher Power. I think part of that might touch on my perfectionism, which I need to be cautious of. Put in the work without being attached to the outcome.

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Today was a good day. I got a full night's rest in, so I got up a bit late, but it was still early enough to have my morning coffee and write out a journal entry. It was kind of nice, spending some time reflecting before heading out to my AA homegroup. It's walking distance from my mom's house, which is convenient and also served as a way of beating myself up over not going for a few months. There were quite a few shares that resonated with me, and I was also asked to share. It felt like most of what I was saying came from the heart, not the head as much. Definitely grateful to have a space where I can open up, and do my best to share my experience, strength, and hope. I did notice that the vulnerable/raw/exposed feeling came up for me when I sat back down from the podium (not all meetings are set up like this, ours is just old school lol), and it went away fairly quickly after I acknowledged it. I also noticed that my mind went to a place of 'I hope people could relate to what I shared, I hope it was good' for a while. These things aren't new, and I think they come from my attachment to the 'outcome' of when I share. I still need to work on letting expectations of outcomes go.

After that, I took the dog for a walk. He bee-lined it for some people on the walk to get pets, and of course they obliged. The people asked me to take a picture of them, and I took a few, though Fidel forced himself into the picture because he still wanted pets πŸ˜„. It was a nice interaction. It's easy to forget that he's 15 years old by the way he acts a lot of the time. He's pretty deaf now though, so that kind of gives it away.

I took the e-bike out for another ride. Pretty similar to the one yesterday, up and down the River Valley, just went in the reverse direction for my loop. I forgot to charge it so I was mostly manually pedaling, and saved the last of the battery for the hills and the climb out. It was a near thing, I ran out of battery right at the precipice of the climb out, pretty lucky!

After that I just hung around the house. Meditated for a bit, did a bit of yoga. Putzed around on the computer, chatting on Discord. We ended up having leftovers and hot dogs for dinner, which was still pretty good. I had my meeting with Cam in the evening, and I felt it went well. I'm going to be making a more concerted effort at reaching out to people, at least one person a week. Taking the initiative. I had tea with my mom and her boyfriend, and now I'm finishing up this journal.

I felt pretty thankful today. Usually do on days I go to AA meetings. There was a guy in the AA Discord chat I go to sometimes who was quoting the Big Book at me after I shared a bit about how my day was going, and how I felt thankful for what I had. Felt kinda weird. So, took his input. Looked at what he quoted. I guess it might've been a dig at me, saying that I should've been doing more service work? Get your head out of the clouds? I'm still slightly confused as to what he was on about. I hope he was well-intended, and maybe it'll come to me later what he was trying to say. Maybe he was just a cranky boy, IDK. I'm likely giving this more brainpower than it deserves, so I'll leave it at that.

One Thing That Went Well Today:

The battery held out for the bike ride!

Gratitude:

I am grateful for my social safety net. I am blessed to have opportunities to just work on myself like this.

I am grateful for my friend, Michael. He's a good dude.

I am grateful for my ability to think critically with an open mind. A willingness to try things on, see if they fit, and discard them if it's not true.

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Today was another good day. I'm enjoying this pink cloud πŸ˜‰.

I had a meeting with the lawyer my dad hired to help me with the pardon/record suspension. I gave him all the documents I've collected, now I have to fill out one last form (which he'll rewrite into lawyer-speak) and I'll be able to ship the whole lot off as my application for the pardon. It's good to get that done, I've made it into a 3 year process through my procrastination. It's kind of wild, the last time I talked to the lawyer I hadn't even gone to NAIT yet.

After that, I decided to take an adventure bike ride. I followed along the river valley again, this time down south. I hadn't really gone down those paths before, so it was interesting. There was a bit that ran alongside some horse pastures! It reminded me of my time in treatment when we went to animal therapy. There was a ranch not far from the treatment center, on Vancouver Island, where they had specifically trained therapy animals that you could spend time with. It was a healing experience for sure. Nala was the horse that I got to spend time with. She was rescued from being put down by the center; allegedly she had been aggressive with the previous owner, but she had never been aggressive with any of the staff. And she was most definitely a kind and gentle soul from the time I spent with her. Lots of pats and cuddles 😊.

But yeah, bike ride! Since I was already about halfway there, I made my way to the west end of the city. I decided to go for a quick pit stop at my dad's place. I gave him a call beforehand but he's away in Radium Hot Springs until Wednesday, so no one was home. He said I could stop in anyway. I helped myself to a 'natural' energy drink my brother hates and told me I could drink up and enjoyed the sunny day in the backyard for a bit. I had sent out a text in a group chat that I have with some of my friends to see if anyone is around, and two of them were just hanging out at the house we usually go to. So, I made my way over.

It was pretty chill. They're still pretty big gamers, so they were watching some Satisfactory videos. No cravings or urges to game from watching that, though. My cousin, who is one of my friend's wife, eventually came back from her nail appointment to hang out as well. When it comes to my own stuff, I'm usually pretty open, but I think I'll try to keep some of the other stuff private. Basically, there was a talk and I felt my cousin was getting a lot of problem-solving from my friends, not necessarily having her experience be validated or really being heard. I voiced this concern, and I think she appreciated it. She gave me a nice compliment later on during the conversation. What I heard from her analogy/words was that I was a good listener, that she noticed I make an effort to validate people's experiences and that I try to provide poignant feedback with gentleness. She started the analogy off by comparing me to people in a vegetative state that she sometimes spends time with as a nurse, lol.

I hustled back after the visit using a slightly different route because of construction. I made good time, which allowed me to have a quick shower and some dinner before heading off to the improv workshop. It was a blast! Everyone was friendly, present, engaged and fun to spend time with. We went through a few different exercises, and we had a good energy about us. I was present throughout, except maybe near the end when we shared about our experience of the class, I felt I got in my head a bit. Oh well! We're on, same time next week!

One Thing That Went Well Today:

I had a lot of energy for improv despite biking around a lot today, which was cool!

Gratitude:

I am grateful for AA. It's not perfect, but I think it's quite unique that it's only aim as an organization is to help other alcoholics to get sober.

I am grateful for the moments when I am present.

I am grateful for the Serenity Prayer. It's beautiful.

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More of a relaxed day today. I didn't really have anything planned, so I relaxed for a lot of the day, even had a nap. I think I was tired from the bike ride and improv yesterday. I had my usual morning coffee + reading, and then I went for a walk and picked up a fresh loaf of bread to contribute to breakfast. We had potato wedges, soft-boiled eggs, back bacon, salad, and of course the bread. It was pretty good! After that, my mom and I went to a butcher shop that she had a gift certificate to. We spent some time talking to the butcher about what kind of cuts of meat would be good for the party, and how much advance notice they would need for a big order. They'd need a week notice, and we bought two different kinds of cuts to try, the Denver and the Flatiron. When we go home, I spent some time chatting about bachelor/bachelorette party stuff with some of hte coordinators on Discord.

I watched a couple episodes of anime and then had a nap. It went longer than I'd have liked, so we ended up not trying the steaks and had chicken nuggets instead for dinner. The meat should keep for a few days, so we'll be able to try them tomorrow and Thursday, probably. Thursday I'll probably try more side dishes out at the same time. After dinner, my mom and I went on a bike ride to scout out some places to get clay. We found a couple promising spots. We also went for ice cream! I had a double scoop, Dark Cherry Lemon Curd and Hot Honey Haskap. Quite delicious! And now I'm here.

One Thing That Went Well Today:

I was able to listen to my body and take it easy today.

Gratitude:

I am grateful for my bed. It's comfy!

I am grateful for lofi. It's chill music.

I am grateful for sunscreen. Sunburns suck.

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I continue to sleep in. I went to bed pretty early yesterday and still ended up sleeping until like 11:30. I woke up with a sore neck and back. That didn't stop me from preparing my morning coffee and reading, though. After the usual routine, I went for a walk to loosen up my back. I visited Paul Kane Park, which has a nice water feature where some ducks and Canadian Geese usually hang out. I ended up spending more time in the nearby church's public gardens, though. It felt appropriate to pray and meditate there, so I did. I grew up Catholic, but I would say I don't really follow a specific religion these days. I get a daily reprieve from my alcoholism contingent on my spiritual condition, it doesn't really matter the specifics so long as I live and pursue spirituality.

After that, I walked over to another coffee shop, Iconoclast Coffee Roasters. They had an excellent Americano as well, definitely giving Credo a run for their money. I'm fairly certain the cashier lady was Ukrainian; she had an accent and spoke slowly and methodically, as though she were speaking a language she was still learning. That isn't to say she was difficult to understand or did not provide good service, it was just something I noticed. She was also quite pretty, haha! She said they roast their beans in-house, which is pretty cool! I might pick some up when I run low on coffee. It was a relaxed vibe in the cafe, and I definitely felt pretty relaxed and comfortable just having my coffee, occasionally jotting some notes on my phone about the upcoming dinner.

There's a pretty fantastic bakery in the same complex, the Brio Bakery. I popped in there just to see what they had, I didn't really intend to buy anything. I called my mom to see if she wanted anything. because it's been one of her favourite spots. She said if they had any croissants left to get some. They did, so I picked up three, one for each of us at home. The cashier lady was pretty friendly and pretty too.

When I got home, we made sandwiches out of the croissants that tasted pretty amazing. I opted for a BLT, except instead of tomato I used kimchi. It was still tasty, in my opinion. The bacon from the Butchery was pretty dang good. Beautiful colouring on it, and quite flavourful. After our late lunch, my mom asked me to go through a bunch of stuff in the bedroom upstairs to see what could go to charity, what could be trash, and what to keep. Most of it was my younger brother's. I made a phone call to the dentist to set up an appointment for my fillings and sent a text to my old head chef to see if he had any suggestions/ideas for the upcoming dinner. He sent me a lot of good suggestions, which are now added to the notes. I spent a little bit of time chatting on Discord with some friends after that, then it was about time to make dinner.

I opted to take over dinner duties. I made a marinade for a couple chicken breasts using olive oil, garlic powder, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, and the Chicken + Rib rub spice blend. For vegetables, I fried up the last of the carrots, some peppers, and red onion, hit 'em with a bunch of the fancy honey I bought from the farmer's market, and some smoked paprika. The potatoes I did the same as before, with butter, garlic, and dill. And my mom and her boyfriend made a salad to go with everything. It turned out delicious! Team effort. It makes me glad that I can contribute to the household in some meaningful way.

After dinner, I went to a yoga class. Hatha and yin, so strong poses and stretching poses. It was a smaller class tonight, I think people decided not to go because of the heat. Still, it felt good. Rejuvenating. I'm happy when I make time to practice connecting with my mind, body, and heart. I spent a bit of time listening to the conversation after class; I didn't really have a chance to speak up/interject, which was okay. That's how it goes sometimes. One of the instructor's dogs might have cancer, which is pretty sad. She said she had already lost a dog a couple years ago, so it's still a bit fresh in her mind. My heart goes out to her for sure.

One Thing That Went Well Today:

Yoga felt peaceful today. I feel like I was able to focus for most of the class, and successfully drew my attention back to my breath when my mind would wander.

Gratitude:

I am grateful for this journal. It gives me a set time to reflect on my day and gets me to think about the many gifts I have and can give in life.

I am grateful for cold drinking water. THIRD TIME BABY, it's still on here because boy howdy does it feel refreshing after hot yoga.

I am grateful for the back roller my dad gave me. It really helps when I get a tight/sore back.

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9 hours ago, DanielG said:

I opted to take over dinner duties. I made a marinade for a couple chicken breasts using olive oil, garlic powder, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, and the Chicken + Rib rub spice blend.

That sounds delicious.Β 

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Yesterday's journal in the morning, because I was tired and just went to bed again.

I had my usual morning routine, coffee and some reading. I also looked up a couple recipes for dinner: watermelon + feta salad and kale + apple salad. After that, I went for a walk, then a bike ride.

I had my Healthy Gamer Coaching session in the afternoon. We mostly talked about romantic relationships and expectations. I had suggested it as a topic because one of the members of the group was planning on asking out someone from his dance classes. I could relate to him in the sense that he hadn't tried before out of fear of rejection and failure.

After coaching, my mom and I went on a grocery shopping trip to pick up ingredients for the salads and some potatoes for french fries. Costco for some produce (and hot dogs + buns for the kid coming to dinner), Home Depot for some fresh herb plants, and the farmer's market to pick up more veggies and some apples. It left me ample time to prepare stuff, so I wasn't rushed chopping up all the ingredients and preparing the steaks.

We had both my brothers over, my older brother's girlfriend and her kid, and one of my friends. My mom picked up more steak to accommodate the extra people. It turned out pretty good! The Denver cut (similar to a ribeye) was the most popular/best flavour and texture, so if we end up going for steaks for the party, that's what I'll order from the Butchery. The fries were pretty flavourful as well, not quite as crispy as I would have liked but that's just because I took too long to 'blanch' them, so they didn't have enough time to sit/cool down. I don't think I'll do fries for the dinner; the deep fryer is too small for the volume we'd need. The Kale + Apple salad was also quite popular. It had roasted pecans, cranberries, thinly sliced radishes, and a nice vinaigrette dressing.

Once people left, I just went to pass out, lol. I might be going to play football (soccer) with Michael on Sunday. I felt pretty peaceful throughout the day. People were hungry/I forgot, so there aren't any pictures of the finished product. Just some of the process while I was cooking.

One Thing That Went Well Today:

The dinner turned out delicious, everyone liked it!

Gratitude:

I am grateful for my coaching group. They're a good bunch of people.

I am grateful for running water. Like, fountains and rivers, that kind of thing. The sound is really peaceful to me.

I am grateful for online recipes. It's helpful to have guidance from randos on the internet.

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Big social day today. After writing the other journal entry, I went for a half-walk with the dog before getting picked up by a friend for brunch. On the half walk we ran into a couple fallen branches. Luckily they didn't damage anything. But yeah, brunch! We went to a pretty fancy spot that has really tasty breakfast. I opted for the breakfast poutine, some slow-roasted pork, a couple of poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce on top of herb potatoes and arugula. It was delicious. We also ordered some deep fried perogies to share which were also quite good. We picked up some delicious, massive cookies after as well.

After that we headed to my friend's place to hang out. We watched a couple of movies with the kids, and then had some fried chicken for dinner. We ate a lot of delicious food today! After that we watched a bunch of anime.

I'm pretty bagged, so I'm keeping this pretty short. It was a fun day.

One Thing That Went Well Today:

Lots of socializing, which was nice.

Gratitude:

I am grateful for my morning routine. I like how relaxed it is, and how it sets me up for the day.

I am grateful for physical affection. Hugs feel good :).

I am grateful for patience. It definitely helps with kids!

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Another day. It was a peaceful one 😊.

I slept in a lot, until 2 pm. I had my morning coffee and chatted on Discord for a while, then went on a walk. I stopped by the book store, had a coffee at the coffee shop, and sat in the park for a while.

While in the book store, I asked the pretty lady who worked at the book store for a recommendation. Part of my motivation was making an excuse to talk to her, for sure. I had my doubts that she'd want to be accosted while working, though I still wanted to get to know her better. My brain sometimes puts the thought in my head that I don't have much to offer at this point in my life, especially in terms of being a romantic partner/interest. That definitely happened in this instance, and I froze up a bit, and got self-conscious. The insecurity and fear won out, which is okay. Sometimes they get to have their day, I'm not perfect. I think by exposing myself to more of these kinds of situations, I'll get better at "leaning back" from the fear and insecurities. One thing I would have liked to have had the courage to do was to explain that to her. "Hey, I can get nervous around pretty women like yourself, so to work on that I'd like to try talking to you if you're willing." I think most well-adjusted people would appreciate the candidness. The book she recommended was a different Michael Singer, a newer one called Living Untethered: Beyond the Human Predicament. I'll probably pick it up tomorrow if I have time.

I went to Iconoclast for the coffee, again. It was still really good coffee. There was another attractive lady barista who made my coffee. It felt like my interactions with her were more natural, she seemed genuinely pleased when I thanked her for the coffee and praised its quality. In this case, the fear and insecurity was quieter. Maybe because it had already manifested earlier, maybe because I let it go this time instead of getting caught up in it. Whatever the case, it was still more practice at actually talking to people which is good. Poor service people, being forced to talking to me because of their job πŸ˜‚.

The park was quite busy. I still felt grounded and enjoyed the trees moving in the breeze, the sound of the water, the ducks swimming along. Occasionally I'd people watch. There were a couple kids playing next to the water who seemed to be having a good time 😊.

When I got home, I helped with supper a bit. We had chicken souvlaki, Greek salad, rice, and fried kale. It was pretty good! After dinner I went for a bike ride. I rode about 20km or so in about an hour. It was pretty fun. After that I came home, chatted with someone on Discord for a while, and then went for another walk. After the walk, I'm here writing the journal out.

One Thing That Went Well Today:

I put in an hour on the bike which was nice!

Gratitude:

I am grateful for my sleep. I am glad I don't have problems falling/staying asleep these days.

I am grateful for bananas. They're pretty tasty and healthy.

I am grateful for the shower in the basement. It's quite spacious and nice.

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12 hours ago, Faroe Islander said:

Good progress keep it up it will become more natural as time goes on, congrats for forgiving yourself and having the courage to take small steps

Thanks! 😊

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It was a busy day today, in a good way! 😊 I had ambitions to scan the farmer's market for some mushrooms, grab some coffee from Iconoclast, pick up the book that the pretty lady recommended, go to my AA homegroup, go to a free yoga class, go to play soccer, and have my weekly meeting with Cam.

This morning I did not sleep in as much as usual! I got up at around 9-9:30. I had my usual morning coffee, and spent some time chatting on Discord with my younger brother. He has been writing backstories to various art commissions he's had done (an expensive habit for sure), giving them to ChatGPT and asking it to write out hypothetical scenarios. The stories it comes up with are actually quite gooddd. He's also excited because his longtime friend from high school is going to be moving in with him soon. After the call, I grabbed my yoga gear and headed out for the day.

The first stop I made was at the bookstore. I went straight for the book and brought it to the counter. The lady, also pretty but not the one from before, gave me two stamps instead of one on my stamp card, which was nice. The farmer's market I wanted to check out is conveniently a few blocks away from the bookstore, and on the way to Iconoclast (it's almost like I planned it) so I went there next. Unfortunately it seems the mushroom people aren't participating in the market this year. I'll keep an eye out for them in case they make a late appearance. Leaving the market, I ran into Michael's roommate randomly and said hi in passing. He didn't recognize me, haha! Which is alright, we only met the one time. After the quick encounter, I made it to the coffee shop. It was earlier in the day so it was much busier than yesterday. Still, the same barista was there and she was still pleasant. She seemed to remember me, and I talked to her a little bit after I made my order. She pointed me in the direction of their coffee roasting equipment, which I checked out before sitting down. It was neat. I parked in the corner of the shop and read some of the book; it made a good first impression. I get the sense it will be an enriching read. I also people watched a bit, which was fun.

Caffeinated and ready to walk! I headed back up the street to the Alano Club, where my homegroup is at. I met friendly faces and received a warm welcome. One of the members who sometimes can't make it due to health issues was there again, which was good to see 😊. He's probably the reason why I gravitated toward the meeting initially. A genuinely friendly, warm, loving kind of guy. He was chairing the meeting. The meeting itself went well I feel. Lots of relatable shares, with strong messages of hope and strength. I was one of the people asked to share. I felt present and grounded when I went up to speak. The words seemed to come up naturally, which I usually attribute to being connected to my heart. After the meeting, we had a quick discussion about who might be taking over a service position in the group. One of the ladies who's been doing a lot better this year put herself forward to volunteer, which the group accepted. It's cool to see her growth. I was also offered a chance to fill a vacant position that serves as backup for the other one, and I accepted. It won't take place officially until December, but I'd still be able to shadow the person holding the main service position to see what mine would entail.

Hot yoga! Because it's pride month, this weekend at the yoga studio I frequent the classes were free. The class that fit into my day's schedule was a Hatha/Flow class. This means, at least at the studio I go to, that it was a more active class, the kind that kicks your ass πŸ˜…. The class itself went well. I listened to my body and took breaks when appropriate. It felt pretty good to move like that, even if I didn't keep up with everything. I was also acutely aware that I was going to play soccer after, so I didn't want to go overboard. Even though I paced myself, it still took a lot out of me. Suffice it to say, I was glad when we lied down for savasana (corpse pose) πŸ™ƒ. I didn't bother to change out of the workout gear, I just grabbed my things from the change room. After a quick, friendly chat with the instructor, I went on my merry way.

I came back home to meet up with my mom for a ride to soccer. My friend Michael wasn't there when I arrived, but I sort of found the people we were going to play with. The impression I got is that it's a public pick-me-up game with a small entry fee. There were lots of Spanish-speaking players, which was cool. The fellow who ended up playing goalkeeper for the opposing team, Alex, was quite friendly and put in a lot of work. That isn't to say he was an exception; everyone was encouraging and friendly. Michael showed up not too much later than I did, and we ended up playing on opposing teams. I gave it my all, and I think I did okay for the most part, especially considering it's been nearly two decades since I played outdoor soccer. I feel like the stamina I've built up over the past month definitely helped me. There were a couple plays that I made where the enemy team ended up with the ball, and I was completely gassed by the end of each half. However, I did stop one potentially dangerous situation, though it took a lot of stamina. I launched myself sideways hard enough to lose my footing, so I ended up rolling on my shoulder to recover and still managed to stop the play, which felt good. Michael scored a few times. When we played on the same team growing up, he was good at soccer, so I was not surprised. It was pretty fun! I'm hoping my schedule allows me to participate every week.

After soccer, Michael and his wife invited me out for dinner. We went to the Original Joe's that's close to my mom's place. It was good to share a meal with my old friend and catch up in a more intimate setting. The conversation itself felt natural and the 'depth' of it was gratifying. We talked about things you'd hold closer to your heart and not share with people you didn't trust/know well. We ordered calamari and chicken gyoza to start, which was delicious. For my main, I went with what I usually order from OJ's: the Kona burger. Pineapple on a burger works surprisingly well! It was also really good, like it usually is. I tried to be cognisant of my portion size, so I ended up saving half the burger and sweet potato fries for later. I finished the Caesar salad though. That's one of the cool parts about OJ's: two sides! It was a good time, and they gave me a ride back home.

I was late to my meeting with Cam because of dinner. The meeting itself was good, I feel. A lot of positive reinforcement, and more action planned moving forward. 2 hours a day committed to, loosely, productivity work. Cam said he thinks I'm in a good place to handle it. It does seem reasonable and doable. I had a shower after the meeting, my mom made me tea, and now I'm here.

A longer journal today. I sometimes don't like using 'blessed' to convey the appreciation I have for my life, because it gives me real strong "live, laugh, love" vibes. Overdone and perhaps not said sincerely. I do feel like a day like today warrants it, though. Lots of blessings in my life. And maybe more to come, so long as I'm keeping an eye for them. I want to come up with some profound shit to leave here, but nothing comes to mind. Which is okay. I'm trying to do this for myself, but as I've said before, this thing's on a public forum. Part of what I'm writing is for you 😊. If you've stuck around this long, thanks for reading! Hopefully something resonated, you related, or you just kinda chilled out for a bit.

One Thing That Went Well Today:

I didn't pass out during hot yoga πŸ˜…

Gratitude:

I am grateful for my body. Even though it's starting to show its age a bit, it still serves me well, especially now that I'm being more mindful to take care of it.

I am grateful for my homegroup. It is good to have a place where we can share our experience, strength, and hope. And have a sense of community.

I am grateful for cold, clean drinking water. That's right, four times! The sensation sweeping the nation: Hydration! Only reason why I made it through the soccer game.

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Don't worry they are nice to read, by the way I have to ask you where do you get these recipes? they are great, do you have a list or some references?

I've been wanting to get into cooking but sometimes I lack the recipes so I just end up sticking to basic or traditional dishesΒ 

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2 hours ago, Faroe Islander said:

Don't worry they are nice to read, by the way I have to ask you where do you get these recipes? they are great, do you have a list or some references?

I've been wanting to get into cooking but sometimes I lack the recipes so I just end up sticking to basic or traditional dishesΒ 

Thank you for the kind reassurance 😊.

Some of the recipes are based on food I made while I was working in the restaurant industry, some are from my mom and dad, some are just Google'd. There's a couple cookbooks my mom has kicking around I might dust off now that I'm getting back into it. There's one I bought her for mother's day a few years back from our local fancy bakery that might be fun to try out. It is definitely one of those skills that you hone over time, figure out what tastes good together, what doesn't. Some cooks are really precise, use measuring spoons/cups for everything. Others kind of go by feel. I definitely lean into the 'feel', kind of wing it/eyeball a lot of stuff. So it's hard to pass along some of the cooking I do. It can definitely be daunting at first. And, in my opinion, as long as it tastes good, there's nothing wrong with basic or traditional dishes.

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Thank you for the advice and the diary I'll ask you for recipes or references when I have more time to dedicate to cooking, it is also good to learn new dishes,Β 

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Another good day today. One month of no video games!

I felt really sore when I got up, which was expected given yesterday's shenanigans. I had some morning coffee, read a bit, and browsed some volunteer opportunities before heading out for a long walk. I stopped in at Iconoclast and had an Americano, which was delicious as always. Today my senses seemed heightened, or I was more aware of them, or something. There was a delicious smell coming from the kitchen at the coffee shop, which was really strong even though I was quite far from it. The flavour of the coffee was more intense as well, it seemed. After that I headed down into the River Valley and rested in the shade for a bit. Since it was in the middle of a hot day on a weekday with smoky weather, no one was really hanging out along the river bank. I took advantage and sat on one of the benches/alcoves they have set up that are usually occupied, one that had shade. I felt tranquil, peaceful, sitting there. So much so that even when a few ants and a spider crawled up on me, I just flicked them off, unbothered. After enjoying the moment for a while, I decided to head back home.

When I got home, I briefly looked at more volunteering possibilities, and then had an Epsom salt bath to alleviate some of the soreness. It worked okay. My mom made chili for dinner, which tasted really good. Usually I can't taste the spices when she makes it, but today the flavours seemed to pop. When I asked her about it, she said she actually used less spice than normal because she'd run out of some of them. Just an interesting thing to notice, I guess. I got a ride to my improv workshop after that. It went really well! There were moments where I felt I was struggling, but that feels like part of the process. We meshed really well as a group, and had a lot fun with the various activities. We did a lot of physical kind of stuff. I ended up doing fine despite being sore, which was cool.

I also reached out to some of the men I connected with back in British Columbia via WhatsApp. I let them know I was doing better and that I had quit video games. They were pleased to hear from me. They have a Zoom meeting early Sunday morning that I can attend, and a lot of them also go to an AA meeting that's done on Zoom as well on Sunday night. I am planning on hitting both if I'm able this week, just to reconnect with some good people.

One Thing That Went Well Today:

Improv was a blast!

Gratitude:

I am grateful for my relationship with God. It helps keep me sober, and is a beautiful part of my existence.

I am grateful for my mom's willingness to give me rides to places. It saves me a lot of time and I appreciate that she takes time out of her day to do it.

I am grateful for Atlas of the Heart. It's a good read for someone like me who can struggle to identify emotions in myself.

2 Hours of Productivity? Maybe not all the way there at time of writing. Probably an hour and a half.

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The morning went well today. I woke up fairly early (for me, anyway) and had a strong urge to finish up my laundry and clean my room. I tuned in to a Discord fitness/nutrition Q&A stream while having my morning coffee and then started at it. I also cleared out nearly all my old video game consoles and games. I'm going to try to sell my Switch, but the rest was given away to friends, charity, or the eco-center (if it didn't work). As well, I threw out a bunch of random junk that was in my room, including a bunch of empty electronics boxes I was hanging onto for some reason. It was good to get a lot of the crap out of my space. I might go through the drawers to cull/organize more after writing this out, we'll see. My mom asked me if it felt good to clear things out. I told her no, there wasn't really a good 'feeling' for me; it was something that needed to be done. A lot of the time people talk about a sense of accomplishment/triumph after doing tasks. I generally don't seem to notice anything like that. Maybe it'll change over time.

The 'break' I took was going to a dental appointment to have a temporary filling looked at. It's 'reset', but I'm guessing it'll probably end up being a root canal situation. Yikes. There was a strong taste from the filling, so I called the dental office after I left. They explained that the filling has some clove in it to help soothe the nerve. I'm trying not to mess with it, the dentist said it would take about 8 hours to 'set'. I think some of it came off though πŸ˜…, hopefully it was just some excess.

My mom's friend popped in for a quick visit while my mom and I were sorting through the stuff. She had words of encouragement and was happy that I was cleaning things out. After she left we finished sorting everything, threw most of it in the car, and dropped it off.

It took the majority of the day to do that, so I'm feeling tired and want to relax. Also still really sore! Part of the reason why I'm writing this early-ish. Oh, I found my e-reader and my copy of 'A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' while I was cleaning up, too! So some more leisurely type reading ahead perhaps.

One Thing That Went Well Today:

Clean room 😊

Gratitude:

I am grateful for being literate. It opens up a lot possibilities for me.

I am grateful for my mom's willingness to be helpful and supportive in general. It's pretty awesome having her in my life.

I am grateful for food. I'm missing it right now since I can't eat it lol

2 Hours of Productivity:

If you count the room cleaning, definitely hit the mark.

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2 hours ago, DanielG said:

The morning went well today. I woke up fairly early (for me, anyway) and had a strong urge to finish up my laundry and clean my room. I tuned in to a Discord fitness/nutrition Q&A stream while having my morning coffee and then started at it. I also cleared out nearly all my old video game consoles and games. I'm going to try to sell my Switch, but the rest was given away to friends, charity, or the eco-center (if it didn't work). As well, I threw out a bunch of random junk that was in my room, including a bunch of empty electronics boxes I was hanging onto for some reason. It was good to get a lot of the crap out of my space. I might go through the drawers to cull/organize more after writing this out, we'll see. My mom asked me if it felt good to clear things out. I told her no, there wasn't really a good 'feeling' for me; it was something that needed to be done. A lot of the time people talk about a sense of accomplishment/triumph after doing tasks. I generally don't seem to notice anything like that. Maybe it'll change over time.

The 'break' I took was going to a dental appointment to have a temporary filling looked at. It's 'reset', but I'm guessing it'll probably end up being a root canal situation. Yikes. There was a strong taste from the filling, so I called the dental office after I left. They explained that the filling has some clove in it to help soothe the nerve. I'm trying not to mess with it, the dentist said it would take about 8 hours to 'set'. I think some of it came off though πŸ˜…, hopefully it was just some excess.

My mom's friend popped in for a quick visit while my mom and I were sorting through the stuff. She had words of encouragement and was happy that I was cleaning things out. After she left we finished sorting everything, threw most of it in the car, and dropped it off.

It took the majority of the day to do that, so I'm feeling tired and want to relax. Also still really sore! Part of the reason why I'm writing this early-ish. Oh, I found my e-reader and my copy of 'A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' while I was cleaning up, too! So some more leisurely type reading ahead perhaps.

One Thing That Went Well Today:

Clean room 😊

Gratitude:

I am grateful for being literate. It opens up a lot possibilities for me.

I am grateful for my mom's willingness to be helpful and supportive in general. It's pretty awesome having her in my life.

I am grateful for food. I'm missing it right now since I can't eat it lol

2 Hours of Productivity:

If you count the room cleaning, definitely hit the mark.

Cleaning counts imo πŸ˜›Β I sprayed and wiped my surfaces and it's nice to see them clear - maybe it's the part of gaming that wouldn't end. Hitchhiker's Guide, wow, what a blast from the past - I read that waiting at the doctor's when I fractured my leg in 05; my mum gave it to me

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