Choosing your Challenges

Good morning, Fuzzbutts!

I believe in the importance of challenging yourself to experience growth. It could be a physical challenge to get healthier or stronger, or it could be a drawing challenge. Maybe it’s something that just challenges your discipline like picking a time to sleep every night.

Choosing a challenge is like choosing a SMART goal (specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable, and time-based). The only real difference between a goal and a challenge is that a challenge is designed to stretch yourself regardless if you accomplish it. If you exercise, maybe the challenge is to eat less sweets. If you draw, maybe it’s to try new poses or draw a subject you don’t usually draw. If you’re not the spontaneous type and want to be more-so,

You already know the areas of your life that could use some work. It’s the part about yourself that you routinely think about throughout your day. A random thought will pop into your head like I’m always tired; I want to be drawing right now; I should finish blank. Based on these thoughts, you can pick a challenge around it. I tend to be tired a lot.  So what would the challenge be? Improving my sleep. How do I improve my sleep? Better diet? More exercise? Meditate to reduce stress before bed? How long do I practice this for? 30 days? A couple weeks?

I hope you’re able to identify the areas you should challenge yourself in and pick out something you can do to improve yourself. There’s never been a good story without some sort of challenge arising for the main character. If you’re the main character, what’s the challenge you’re going to face?

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Next Level of Life

Hello fuzzbutts!

I am not only a productive wuff, I also happen to be a homeowner now! I’ve spent the past couple of weeks closing the deal and then the last week moving my stuff over and settling in. What a stressful time! It was the stress where you pray it ends NOW but you’re putting up with it because you’re excited for when it’s over. Huge shout out to my folks for helping me make this happen.

So what’s next? I spent the past few years saving and doing my best to afford this home. Now the money I pay is not really lost value and I can use whatever I have for other things. Well, first is to establish my emergency savings again. I dipped into it for the down payment but I need to re-establish the safety net. After that, I need to fill my new home with some furniture that I want and will use and can entertain guests (I own one chair). Then I’ll start saving for conventions and going out to other things more. Just need to set some goals to make it happen!

Part of this moving process is, again, a chance to declutter! I’ve moved everything I could and then some from my folk’s home and now I can toss or donate whatever I’m not using. Old tablet and stylus I never used? Out the door! Karate trophies from when I was 11 or 12? Bye! I can decorate everything exactly how I want and make it a good den for a good wuff.

It really does feel like a new stage in my own life and I hope to maintain being a productive wuff, advancing in my career, and keeping you fuzzbutts along for the journey while providing value. I appreciate you all and keep an eye out for my next post!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Anxiety Overwhelming? How I dealt with a recent bad patch.

Good morning, fuzzbutts!

Been a busy couple of weeks for me. The job has been working me hard. I’m trying to close a deal on a home. I’ve been talking to various parties on how to get this home purchase done. I’m trying to find the time to draw. I’m working around my folks’ home to improve the place as much as possible before I move (landscaping mostly). I’ve been sleeping really lousy and I noticed I’m starting to get a little shaky in my hands sometimes. When I flop into bed at night, my heart starts to pound and, in spite of how tired I feel, I can’t fall asleep for a long while. When I do sleep lately, I wake up 2-3 times in the middle of the night. Gee whiz! How could anyone not feel so stressed?

The first thing I had to do was realized I was stressed. Not just temporary quick stress but prolonged, untreated stress. Even though I knew I was tired and not sleeping well, it was tough to recognize I was stressed. Once I knew I was really stressed out, I had to figure out why I was stressing. I tallied up the reasons why I was stressed and then needed a way to deal with it. Just diagnosing all of this took a lot of processing.

So what did I do? Normally, sleeping better would be the first step. In spite of trying to sleep better, I wasn’t able to stop waking up in the middle of the night. It was worsening a difficult situation but it wasn’t the cause of my stress. Normally I get stressed due to a lack of sleep but this was me lacking sleep due to stress. I had other things to focus on if I wanted to improve my sleep.

One, I had to stop trying to rush the process on the home buying. Yes, a labor day weekend to move all my stuff and settle in would be nice. No, I can’t actually rush through the paperwork and get all parties to sign it immediately. No it’s not so bad to only have a two-day weekend to move my stuff. Yes I am excited to move into my own home. No, I don’t have to keep talking about moving to everyone or asking for random advice.

Two, just because I was moving didn’t mean I had to rush fixing up the folks’ home. I wasn’t moving super far and would still have weekends to help out if my parents need it. It’s physically demanding enough without me forcing it to happen with everything else going on.

Finding time to draw turned out to be one of the easier things to resolve. During lunch at work, I eat my meal and head to my car. I brave the heat to sit in my car and draw for a while. I don’t care to have coworkers see my furry art and I’d rather keep my time after work to hit the gym. Still, I find this time of the day to give me the least amount of mental resistance and I sometimes surprise myself with a quality piece I enjoyed making.

As far as work, I decided to pace myself better. I have some control of my time and I had been rushing to get as much done in as short a time as possible. If I schedule appropriately, I can get everything done without running around like a wuff with his head cut off. Also, while scheduling my own work, I volunteered any free time between tasks to helping others get their own work done. One of the most satisfying evenings was helping somebody who had to work extra late and save them a few hours of time. Getting out of my head and dedicating a few hours to helping somebody was so helpful.

Last night was the first night in a while I slept well. It’s not like the stress magically went away. It’s still there. I’m still dealing with it but it’s manageable again. Much of the rest will go away with time and once I get through the situation with moving and home purchasing. I also enjoy the thought that my commute will drop by more than half and I’ll have way more free time overall. Things are looking up, even if I got pretty down recently.

Notifications? More like NOPEifications

Hello fuzzbutts!

If you survived my humor in the title, you probably know where I’m already going right now but it’s still important for you to hear.

Here we go. You settle in, start working on a project that you feel is important. Then there’s a familiar beep from your other brain- your phone. You pick it up, answer the message, then settle back to what you were about to do. Then they respond or ask something else, sending you another chime. You answer again, this time holding onto your phone for their inevitable response. As you’re waiting, you get another buzz and realize your favorite game of candy destruction has finished refilling your lives so you can try again now. So you’re waiting for your friend and start demolishing colorful candies since you know you won’t get any work done before your friend messages you back. An hour later, your friend is done, the lives are spent, and now the motivation is gone.

So how do we avoid these situations and stay on task? First, disable notifications for all your games and apps that are more entertaining than useful. The entire purpose of those notifications is to keep you engaged in the app and coming back to increase your chance of purchasing things. If it was really super fun, you wouldn’t need reminders to hop back into the game.

Next, use the Do Not Disturb feature on your phone to silence any beeps and chimes from those texts. Unless you live in drama, there’s not going to be an emergency every time you’re working on a project and they can wait until you’re done and can check your phone.

Since I don’t get a lot of calls and texts, I leave my notifications on. If it’s something I’m really serious about, I’ll turn on DnD to make sure I’m not interrupted. As far as apps I allow for notifications, I leave on TimeTune since those keep me productive and thinking. If I do ever put a game on my phone, I make sure to shut off the ability to send notifications.

Anyway, I hope you continue to lead a distraction-free life and keep working on your goals! Keep up the good work, fuzzbutts!

You’re okay the way you are… or are you?

Hello fuzzbutts!

Happy to be here to bring you another post! Hope you’re all doing great. I’ve been having a good time but I’ve been thinking about something a lot of furries tend to do that pretty much self-sabotages us.

Something in life isn’t going the way we want. It might be something about the job or our bodies or something in our own behavior. We recognize there’s an issue and we get down on ourselves about it. Sometimes we share this with a friend. Our friend, well-meaning, responds with “You’re fine just the way you are.” You don’t actually feel any better about it, but you decide to push the problem away for now. Later, you’ll think about it again, seek validation that you’re still okay the way you are, and then avoid doing anything to help yourself.

However, if the problem is something that would improve the quality of your life like you want to get more fit, stand up for yourself more, be more patient with your friends, etc, then it’s a problem worth addressing. Blow up at somebody over something little? Overweight and think you need to get healthier? Feeling useless or like you’re a drag on your friends? Then you’re NOT OKAY THE WAY YOU ARE! You have some self-development to work on. Don’t let yourself settle for staying the same. You are the lead character of your own story and it’s a FACT that the best stories involve character development. I enjoy reading and nothing is more annoying than a main character who doesn’t evolve and grow as the story plays out. Same for movies. So many of the best stories involve a flawed main character who works to overcome their weakness and become the hero or heroine the observer can respect. That’s supposed to be YOU.

I want you to be the best you can be. I want to see you evolve and grow as people and fuzzbutts alike. You can’t do that if you stare at your own flaws and then say “Well I guess I’m fine the way I am.” Nobody is perfect and nobody will be perfect. On the flip-side, everyone can grow and do better.

Fall in love with your self-development. You know the things you’re doing wrong already. If you can’t think of it right now, stop for 2 minutes to think about it. You’ll come up with a pretty big list of things you could start to work on in very little time!

I love you and I want you to get on this journey to become the best you can be. Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Write Down Those Thoughts!

Hello fuzzbutts!

Ever have random thoughts when you’re out and about? You’re at the store and remembered a quick thing you need to take care of when you get home. You’re at work and think of a hundred small things you need to get done. You finally get home and realize you don’t remember what you were going to do. It happens often and you end up blowing a bunch of time not doing anything important because you can’t remember any of the tasks you wanted to do.

So how do we combat such a faulty memory? Writing things down! Keep a little notepad and pen in your pocket. As you go throughout your day, something will pop into your head with the unstoppable force of a shower thought. So take out your pad and write it down! Write it ALL down!

On a usual day at work, I’ll come up with anywhere from 7-15 items to complete. Once I’m home, I just sort the list and dump anything I can’t finish that day. I don’t write it on an eternal to-do list. I just dump the idea. If the idea pops up on another day, it goes through the same process and I might sort it out or take time that day to handle it. Weekends tend to be a good time to catch up on any of the larger projects that come across my brain.

So try to keep a pencil and pad with you at all time and be sure to write down anything you need to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s to light some incense or write a productive blog post. Once you’re able to sit with your list, look it over and do whatever it is you want to do for the day to call it a great day!

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Organize that Desk!

Hello fuzzbutts!

Sorry for the delay again. I recently started a new job and that has been eating up my time lately as I try to get up to speed as quickly as possible. The good news is I finally made it to the big leagues as far as my career is concerned. Onward to today’s topic!

So in my eternal quest to clean and minimize, I eventually get everything off the floor to wonder if I actually set everything onto my desk. Random tools from when I opened up my computer, sewing needles and thread, canned air, folded pieces of paper beyond numbering. I have a massive pile of random things and trash!

Once the trash was all cleared off, I went ahead and decided to look through the drawers. Well that shattered my illusion that I had everything in order. I’m a productive wuff, not the cleanest wuff. Sometimes, that’s just how wuffs are.

So even if it takes time, it’s important to go through your desk and work spaces and make sure you have everything you need and put the rest into its proper place (or the trash). Removing all that clutter makes it easier to find the things you need at your desk. Do you really need 5 sets of post-it notes? Maybe just keep one and put the rest somewhere out of the way. Also, keeping that fork at your desk for a prolonged period of time after eating that ramen noodle cup is kinda gross. Go wash that.

Good luck fuzzbutts!