Happy Independence Day to those of you who are Americans.
- Math relearning – I’ve added the Grade 1 article, and as I explain there, I’ve decided to try a different approach to my notetaking, writing my notes in the form of a program that tries to mimic the way a person does math at each grade level. I’ll also start another part of the project, assembling a table of methods for accomplishing various math operations in various programs and programming languages. But this week will be a break.
- Diet – Two weeks till my blood test, and as soon as I find my Amazon gift card, I’ll be ordering a CardioChek Cholesterol Analyzer to get a rough count of my lipids on my own later as I (hopefully) experiment with different diets. Speaking of different diets, it continues to annoy me when I read food blogs and see them contradict each other with conviction about what constitutes a healthy diet, and this leads me to another project idea, a table of foods that are allowed and forbidden in each diet, so maybe one of these weeks I’ll squeeze that in. Last week’s cooking: muffins, as usual, which were okay, but next time I’ll dump in a whole cup of Swerve, mix in 3 tablespoons of preserves, and bake them for 20 minutes instead of 25; chicken tikka masala, which I put off making until I decided to forget about grinding up the cauliflower for “rice” and just cook it in chunk form with the chicken; and chicken taco salad, which is part of my new experiment to basically eat the same thing every day, since I was pretty much doing that anyway and it lets me think less about food.
- Ulcerative colitis – My symptoms have been getting worse as I’ve removed meds, so I’m adding them back, and at some point I’ll talk about it again with my doctor, but I may have another experiment to do first. People often give me dietary advice for my UC, even though scientists think diet is irrelevant to the condition, and the latest advice came from one of my long-time online friends in the form of a documentary she recommended, What’s with Wheat?, which I found depressing because cooking all my own food, as they recommend, would take up more time and would make many social situations more difficult. My gastroenterologist tells me to eat gluten, and I’m suspicious of the anti-wheat crowd, but who knows, maybe there is a connection, so I’m considering giving it a try, which would mean 6 weeks without gluten. The things I endure for science.
- Daily routine – I had moderate success with the idea of working from bed just before bedtime, meaning that I at least got ready for bed on time, even if I stayed up late anyway, and I’m going to keep taking that approach, hopefully pushing my actual sleep time earlier. I still didn’t do my walks or devotions much last week, and I’m still sort of hoping I can learn to get everything in each day rather than choosing between things, and the problem is surely that I waste too much time, so that’s what I want to focus on, and I’m wondering if part of the solution is mindfulness meditation, a practice I bob into from time to time when I take seriously my need for more focus. I was tempted to try to kill my enjoyment of life again, since enjoyment for me translates into a complete lack of discipline and sleep, but depression isn’t as fun when you know it’s something to avoid, and I can’t sustain it anyway, so I think part of the solution is to enjoy life without equating it with absolute freedom, and I think meditation could help. I bought The Mind Illuminated to help me, and I’ll probably make that my main reading this week.
- Devotions – Saturday night I felt that my mind had been immersed in darkness too long–too many conspiracy theories and not enough spiritual contemplation–and I decided I needed to reverse or at least even the mix, so my main project this week is to find practices and sources of inspiration that will benefit me without raising too many of my doubts and objections.
- Board games – A couple of weeks ago I ordered some more supplies for my board game box, some blank dice, dice stickers, and cloth bags (small, medium, and large). I used the dice to make some Treehouse dice right away, since they were relatively easy, and this Sunday I made Icedice dice, since I’m going over to Jeremy’s place for the 4th to play games. Someday I’ll describe my game box in a wiki article.
- Chapel – Last week we had a missionary who grew up Muslim in Ethiopia, converted to Christianity as a child or early teenager, and shortly after became a refugee in a neighboring country, which made me curious how he eventually became an internationally known church leader (though not known by Google, apparently). The answer is that he was granted asylum in Sweden, where he joined a church and then planted one for Ethiopians in the area, after which he made his way to the US (for education, I think). I’ve noticed that when you get involved and start leading things, it puts you in another world of social connections and opportunities.
- Music – The latest song to stick in my head is Vanic’s remix of Major Lazer’s “Be Together,” which made me want to cry the first time I really listened to it (I have a thing about loss), and the official music video paints an even sadder picture than I was imagining. But I don’t cry now, just appreciate the nice counter-melody. I’m looking forward to buying it whenever it becomes available.