New year, new musings.

Happy 2014!
Happy 2014!

Its the third day of the new year 2014, and the first thing I did was do my squat workout to tighten up my quads and butt. I feel pretty proud that was my first activity of the new year. I’m really excited about the progress I am making with my leg workouts because my legs are starting to feel as strong as my arms which is saying a lot of confidence in my legs. What has been most exciting is how hard I have been able to hit my legs up just with my body weight workouts here. I feel fairly confident that in the future when I travel I will be able to get a full workout without worrying about finding a gym- this is particularly important for Japan where there wasn’t even room to run outside (well downtown Tokyo- I shouldn’t expect that much). I’m looking forward to cutting down when we get back to Alberta and seeing how far I can push my body. With a new found focus on legs, my exciting achievements with back in 2013 and a craving to pound out some runs with Nike plus, I am feeling much more confident in my hobby of fitness and I really do feel like a bodybuilder now. The diet is the last and most critical component and 2014 is going to be a blast for that.

I’ve recently changed my daily goal focus with S and O to be one journal article a day. This has been really fantastic because its just one topic for me to focus on rather than focusing on filling out a time goal which was December’s daily goal. So far I have been reading up on school violence and bullying incident rates, theories and prevention which has been really great. I am currently prepping for an interview as an RA when I get back which would be really great for my dissertation because I would get access to data and get a chunk of change for my troubles. I’m hoping to be able to really develop this and become an excellent professional in my field.

Which reminds me of one thing that has been on my mind since reflecting how far I have come since my first few weeks in entering the professional psychology program- that I’m evolving my focus from showing how important my field is relative to other competing health care fields, to how I can do a good job/amazing job in my field and let my work speak for itself rather than talk my way through it. I have realized that there is tons of overlap between other health care fields and that in this time of budget constraints and job reductions, I need to do something to prove I am worth being on the payroll still. However, one thing that got me was a quote on studentdoctor forums, where somebody from clinical psychology stated that psychiatrists respect clinical psychologists not because they are clinical psychologists but because they are good clinical psychologists. I have started to realize that it is more important for me to be excellent in my field and stop worrying about why my field can compete and better another field. The former is what will gain respect and comrardery in the work team – you earn respect you don’t deserve respect. As 2014 begins and I really start to critically focus my studies in my daily readings and doctoral candidacy, I’m hoping that this year will really bring that new found focus- I will be able to say at the end of this year I am a good clinical psychology student and I have an excellent and focused understanding in what I am to practice my future career in.

One thing that has really helped has been overlapping material that reinforces my previous learning. I’ve redone my DSM class notes over and over again and I still can’t remember the 16 points of conduct disorder exactly, but I can remember the general gist of it. Nobody is going to ask me what the 16 points are, but they might ask me what the difference between oppositional defiance disorder and conduct disorder is. The specific points won’t help me if I don’t know the overall gist of the disorder. And this is what I am finding really useful – in my school violence and bullying studies, continual reading from different sources is really reinforcing ideas and helping me remember general trends- I’ve been too focused on remembering stats and specific numbers and I can’t recall anything- this was a problem with my DSM studying which has been a frustrating experience to say the least. Now I am starting to feel really confident in making progress with the general nature of school violence and what can be done. Nice!

I accidentally ran into a really exciting store today in Pacific Mall in Markham. I found a store that had old stock of discontinued Sony products amongst others and I died a little. One of the products that really stood out to me was the Sony MDR-SA3000 headphones which were an open air can that was super bright and kind of uniquely designed. I have to admit, now that my 2014 benefits have kicked in, finding a discontinued collector’s headphone at a good price and me being a huge Sony fanboy is a bad idea. Decisions, decisions. The SA3000s just looked cool- they lack the magnesium build of the SA5000s however.  They also had a whole bunch of old Walkmans- A series, Z series, even one of the old A1000 series. I had to do a whole bunch of double takes.

My two watch purchases have been fantastic. The Sony Smartwatch 2 has been reliable and fantastic- it gets notifications before I get them on my phone! I have to admit- one of the saving graces was the app Watchnotifier- it works with whatsapp and facebook messenger- both platforms where I get most of my messages from. Its been really great being able to simply glance at my wrist when a message comes in and not have to dig my phone out- especially with a phone as big as a Note II, this becomes really cumbersome in winter with all my snow gear on. So far the watch has been really reliable and the BT connection very stable. I have noticed that battery life has dropped by 20-30% on my phone which kind of sucks- Sony really should have gone with BT 4.0 for the low energy requirements, but the Note II’s battery life was amazing enough that this doesn’t really matter. Using my phone heavily through the day leaves me with a 10% warning around midnight, so its usable still. I love the build quality too- it really feels premium with the metal band. The Nike sportwatch plus has been amazing for my workouts- I’m keeping lap times of each set I finish to see how long my downtime between sets is, and while I am not obsessed with seconds, I am feeling the pressure to get back into the set when I see the elapsed time move on. I kind of like the slap to th watch to get the lap, as it feels kind of empowering, but I’d have preferred to just hit a button. I’m really looking forward to running outside when the frozen hell outside melts.

I LOVE THE SURFACE RT. The mobile Office app has been absolutely invaluable for my workflow and I have been able to pop open a study session in the most random of places when I have sudden and unexpected downtimes, like yesterday when I finished my shopping/perusing at the Sony store in Yorkdale Mall. I did a full article read on bullying intervention and it was so so so satisfying. I cannot exclaim how satisfying it is to finish a good academic chug of learning. This tablet is amazing. The built in kick stand is so useful. I recently took a look at the Sony VAIO Tap 11 and while similar in weight and style, the extra grand to add an i5 and Windows full blown just doesn’t click in my budget and workflow. I still cannot believe the premium magnesium build the Surface RT has for the 199 CDN black Friday price. So satisfied in this purchase.

Finally, I have to say upon reflecting on 2013- W has really been an invaluable and necessary push for me to get my competitive focus back in gear. There’s so many personal developments I have made that I won’t share here, that have made me feel like I am entering my next phase in life stage development with guns cocked, locked and ready to take on whatever life has for me. I really do feel I have left behind my college years even though I am still in grade 45, and that I am ready for my next stage. I can’t say exactly what that stage is yet, but I cannot believe the real, almost tactile feel that I have right now, that I have completed a stage and that its time to stop wishing for those years to come back and to embrace the future. I remember I used to spend so much time reminiscing and wanting the senior days of my undergrad back, when the old crew used to get together and cram out and try to beat the curve in class, all while we chilled in the dorms, Second Cup and the library. Those were great days, but now I have an amazing next stage to look forward to with W, and my new responsibilities and focuses are just awesome to behold. I don’t know how to say this with words well enough, but I feel like a man. I used to think that being a man was being a big tough physical being- and um I still kind of do, but I realize that for my self concept of family, its about being responsible for others, particularly loved ones and putting them first before you. Seriously. I feel like a man. Being with W has done so much for me in terms of life stage developments.

So as you can tell I am pumped for 2014. Its going to be busy but I feel extremely confident I have the tools to tackle this year and make it a productive season. Its gonna be grand.

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