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Health

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Of the tasks entered on my 101-in-1001 list, few have required so many attempts and so many failures as this one. Even though everybody has bad habits of their own, I think there are enough similarities to enable you to understand my situation. So, in what ingenious way do I damage my fingers? Some people bite their nails, but I have taken a fancy to simply tearing them to pieces. Even though that was a slight exaggeration, this habit is not very good and has made me shed blood occasionally.

It is very difficult to change behaviour like this, because it has to be done relentlessly and over time. After a while, I gained enough consciousness of the problem to be able to notice when I did it. Then, I managed to learn to intentionally stop, which was much more difficult than I expected. So far so good, but since I wanted to remove this habit altogether, one important thing remained, namely doing it over time. I had decided that one month would be enough. If I could manage a month, a year or a lifetime would not be a problem.

The tricky bit is that I still do this unconsciously, mostly in situations of great stress or when my focus is somewhere else than my own ten fingers (which is, believe it or not, fairly often). Only when it is too late do I realise that I have to restart the clock and begin the month all over again. I think I have done this at least twenty times. Gradually, however, I have been able to notice when this occurs, because I know so well in which situation the behaviour appears. Now, I can proudly announce that my fingers have been unscathed for a month. This might seem like a minuscule step for mankind, but it is in fact quite a big step for me personally.

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I have recently completed a number of tasks on my 101-in-1001 list that I feel are too insignificant to merit posts of their own. It is not the case that the tasks are pointless, but rather that I do not feel that I have anything interesting to write about them. Therefore, I have gathered five of them into one post and wrapped things up with an assessment of the list as it stands today. First five accomplished tasks.

Change and organise passwords and logins
This task is on the list to make sure that I change passwords that matter. I have some sort of ad hoc encryption for my passwords that allow me to write them down without any risk of anyone stealing my logins. However, I have been to lazy to uphold this system and a restart was required. I simply went through all my logins and changed passwords for all the site that matters to me and made sure that they now have unique passwords. Task done.

Go through and sort all personal files
I think you all know how it is, heaps of information scattered all over the computer. Yes, there is a search function, but keeping personal files in order is nice anyway. To accomplish this task, I remade my file structure and sorted all files into it. Most of it went pretty smoothly, although it required quite some time.

Submit myself to a health examination
I do not remember why I entered this item on the list in the first place, but it feels like a good idea to check one’s health now and then. I have been to the dentist, as well as checked myself for various diseases. I also passed a general health examination I needed to apply for the scholarship.

Build and fly a kite
This was done with various degrees of success. One of the kites we built did not fly at all, but the other one worked alright. Even though there was scarcely any wind, I held it in the air for some five minutes. This was great fun and something I will try to do more when the wind is stronger. Trying new designs will also be interesting, eventually aiming for combat kites.

Write five serious articles in English
Blogging is one thing, writing with more serious intent is another. I have written more than five serious articles, but I have chosen not to count those that qualify for other items on the list (such as the article on Carcassonne strategy) . Here are the five:

1. Listening to audio books
2. Why I dislike long novels
3. The illusory choice of postponement
4. Relieving a burdened mind
5. Quo vadis, Taiwan?

The list and the future
This means that I presently have 45 items left on the list! That is a lot. First, I have five tasks that will complete themselves or will not be hard to achieve (I know that I will manage the rest of the year without borrowing any money, for instance).

Apart from that, I have a couple of tasks requiring watching a lot of films. A whole lot of films. Probably more than I have watched the last two years put together, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I put the items on the list because I wanted to watch more films, right?

Then there are a bunch of items (around twenty, perhaps) that will require effort, but not more than I now I can cope with. These I will try to clear before the end of August.

Lastly, we have the really difficult ones. First, I have to write a novel. I know what I am going to write and I have planned it thoroughly, but I have a lot of text to write. This will be challenging but fun. This is perhaps the most difficult task left on the list.

Second, I have a hundred metres to walk on my hands. This is extremely tough, much tougher than I can explain or than I understood when I decided that a hundred metres was suitable. Also, it is not as many peolpe believe a question of balance (I could easily walk a kilometre balance-wise, I hardly ever fall). Instead, it requires an extraordinare strength and endurance in shoulders and back. I might be able to pull this off, but it is far from certain. This is probably the most difficult task on the entire list.

Third, I have the films mentioned above. They will be challenging, but I think that I will cope once I get into the habit of watching films more often. Also, I can bring films to Taiwan without feeling that they hamper my activities there.

Fourth, I have to get 2.0 on the Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test. I do not know how hard this is, but I am not counting on that it will be easy. This might be among the more difficult items left, but, alas, I do not know.

Fifth, I have a role-playing game to finish. I am currently working on it, but there is a lot left to do. It is only the text that needs to be finished, illustrations, layout and things like that comes later. I will manage this, but it will require many, many hours.

Sixth, I have to spend a week away from civilisation. This is not inherently difficult, but it requires a lot of time. Fortunately for the lists sake, I can clear some tasks while away. I am looking forward to this week. I planned it for a reason and I intend to do it sometime in August, after I have moved to my parents (temporarily in between this apartment and my leaving for Taiwan).

Conclusively, this looks pretty tough. I would lie if I said I felt certain I would make it. I would even lie if I said it was probable. Still, I am not known for giving up very easily and I think that I will come a long way if I just try. After, all it is said that it was by perseverence the snail reached the ark (Charles Haddon Spurgeon quote). Also, I realise that the tasks themselves are worthwhile, so each step on the way is a goal in itself. Finishing ten tasks is twice as good as finishing five, so let us see how far that will take me, shall we?

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I have now done the health checks required for my year in Taiwan. Even though it does not come as a surprise, it seems like I am free from both human immunodeficiency virus and tuberculosis. Go me. There seems to have been a misunderstanding somewhere, though, because when I asked the Taiwan office in Stockholm about visa application, they told me it was alright as long as the university had accepted me, they were supposed to validate health checks and all that. They have not, however. Still, I thought it would be a good idea to get the relevant checks and make sure that nothing went wrong. It would have been a real bummer if I had failed any of the test, but fortunately I do not seem to have either HIV or TBC.

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Donate blood

Donating blood is one of those small things I fail to do, even though it require a fairly small effort on my part, especially if I happen to bike through the hospital compound on my way somewhere. I often find excuses not to. For instance, I exercise a lot, and draining blood is not very good for performance. But really, I have no good excuse not to, because it only takes so long to recuperate afterwards (I am feeling just fine now, half an hour later, and I expect to be able to practice diving this evening). I entered the task to donate blood to my 101-in-1001 list to make sure that I actually did it.

Donating blood has several advantages, except that it helps people who badly need the blood. For instance, one receives a free health check a few times every year, since they analyse the blood for anything harmful before using it. At least here in town, they also give you biscuits, orange juice and a couple of minutes relaxation, along with a check that can be used to buy things certain things. I think these things taken together makes donating blood worthwhile, even if one only considers oneself. Naturally, I do not, so donating blood is awesome.

I should of course have made the goal more specific. What does it mean to donate blood? Is once enough? No, that seems more like something done on a whim, not intended to be a habit. Three times seems better, so after having donated blood at least three times (actually, it might be more, but I am certain it is not less), I consider this task done. It will be over a year till next time, but that cannot be helped.

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As I have discussed previously, many tasks on my list are there because I want to make something a habit, or at least try what it is like to do it habitually. Flossing my teeth every day is obviously one of those items. It should be self-evident that it is something everybody ought to do, but still I have been lazy and not done it until now.

What sparked my inspiration was a visit to the dentist. He said that if I continued to brush my teeth as I do now and use dental floss, I will probably never have any cavities ever. Giving me a free package of dental floss, I thought it was a good idea to get started (I have had that item on the list from the beginning, though). I do not think that there is much to say. It takes less than a minute each day and probably saves a lot of time, money and whatnot in the long run. There is absolutely no reason at all not to do this, so I will keep going and tick the box of an item on the list. 70 more things to do.

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I have been practicing some sort of sporting activity longer than I can remember, and averaging about 4000 minutes of exercise per month, I do not feel that I need to worry about obesity. However, since I am a vegetarian and rather lazy when it comes to cooking, I have been worried that I do not get enough energy to optimise the outcome of my training. Thus, I decided to write down what and how much I eat during a normal week.

Combined with this, I have also spent many hours researching topics related to training and nutrition in order to be able to assess to what extent I manage to fulfill my needs. The result is fairly positive in that I seem to get about as much of everything as I should, even though the input of carbohydrates is too high. I was worried about not getting enough protein, but fish and milk, which I do consume, provide what I need. The only problem is directly after a demanding session, when I ought to get much more protein than I do now (hardly none, in fact). Here is an approximation of average consumption for last week:

Energy: 12100 kJ/day
Protein: 115 g/day
Carbohydrates: 367 g/day
Fat: 95 g/day

Conclusively, recording food consumption does not really bother me. I thought it would be an extra pressure and that it would feel bad, but it does not. Since I am very interested in getting results from my training, I intend to go on recording what I eat in the future. I will not be as meticulous as I have been this week (weighing everything), but approximating intake should be something that comes more naturally the longer I do it. Perhaps I will do a more in-depth analysis another time, but for now, I am satisfied.

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Ja, det är sant. Jag ska sluta dricka O’boy. Flera ransoneringskampanjer har misslyckats kapitalt och nu är det dags att stänga ned helt. Varför det? Det är onyttigt och dyrt. Enda anledningen att dricka det är för att jag är van vid det. Det finns ingen anledning att lägga ned pengar på saker bara för att man är van vid att göra det. Så nu är det slut. Jag dricker upp det sista kilot jag har i skafferiet och sedan köper jag inte mer. Då och då kan jag dricka hos andra, men det är vanan jag vill eliminera så det blir inget mer köp från min sida. På samma sätt som det är bra för rökare att berätta för andra att de slutat röka, berättar jag nu för er att jag ska sluta dricka O’boy. Välsigna mig!

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