Lazy Daisy

I remember being told I was lazy a lot when I was younger.  I’ve struggled with motivation and keeping my passion high on any one thing for a long period of time.  It’s not that I get bored of what I’m doing; it’s more that I enjoy so many things that it’s hard to be passionate about only a few.

I read something the other day about my astrological sign, cancer, that makes a lot of sense:  “Cancer spends about half of their life enjoying the social or more interactive scene and the other half in a reclusive, “I-want-to-be-left-alone” state.  For them, it is very pivotal to have a balance between these two spectrums.” ~Thezodiaccity.com  I’m not deep into astrology but sometimes it makes sense and helps me explain myself in ways I can’t on my own.

I remember hurting my dad’s feelings a lot as a kid.  I would get to to their house where I was the only child and feel a sense of release and relief.  There isn’t much calm and quiet in a house with three other kids so I remember feeling like my dad’s house was a sanctuary and a place where my reclusive half could recharge.  I would only want to hang out in my room and relax.  It had nothing to do with not wanting to hang out with my dad or stepmom…I just needed to recharge.  As an adult I reflect on those times and feel deeply sad that I hurt them and gave them the wrong impression.  I also wonder if this contributed to the impression of me being such a lazy kid.

Let’s be honest, kids are lazy.  They need to be taught how to be a productive individual and do their part.  I am sure guilty of that.  What I’m unsure of as an adult is how much of my need to recharge is being lazy and how much is healthy?

This is a picture of my dining room table yesterday.  I have two computers open and stacks of papers everywhere.  I completed 17 things on my to-do list yesterday.  Some big and some small.  Many of the day’s activities were not on my to-do list.  And yet, with a full and productive day I still felt lazy.
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It is important for us to give ourselves time to recharge and permission to not be running ourselves mad.  It is important for me to realize that there is only so much that can get accomplished in a 24-hour period.  There is a point where busywork will lead to inefficiency.  I have always struggled with this balance.  Somewhere in the back of my mind there is a constant voice telling me I’m lazy if I’m not pushing myself to the max every single day.  When I listen to that little sucker I end up frustrating myself for my own unrealistic exceptions.

Don’t be like me….give yourself a break.  Give yourself a reasonable amount of stuff to do in a day.  Don’t stress about not getting the ironing done or the laundry fully put away.  Pace yourself and don’t forget to pencil in some time to enjoy your day.  Trust me.

xoxo,

Christi

Daily Tidbits

  • I’m hungry for my Arbonne breakfast shake.  Tummy time!
  • Violet is slowly waking up.  She is so funny to listen to as she moans and mumbles and grumbled about getting up.
  • We are working on some projects around the house.  It feels good to finally be turning our attention to putting our own stamp on this place.  🙂
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How to Survive a Shitty Year

One of my favorite things I’ve posted on Pinterest is a saying that goes, “I love Jesus, but I cuss a little.” I won’t explain myself or apologize for the title of this post. Sometimes an almost-cuss word just won’t do the trick.

This calendar year has been a tough one on my little family. We started out New Year strong with close friends at our house having a night of fun and laughter. It seems like things have been challenging ever since.

I started my new job in November of last year but didn’t really start traveling until January 2016. These kinds of careers, like all, have challenges on any family situation. We are adjusting to it in our own way and in our own time. I finally feel like we’re starting to hit a cadence with the travel schedule 3 months later.

My health has been concerning as well. With the extra travel and time on my feet and in unusual atmospheres I have been noticing more swelling, soreness and overall fatigue. After speaking with my amazing Rheumy we are pretty sure the increase in travel is what is taking the toll on my tired joints. More decisions to follow regarding this 2016 challenge.

Probably the biggest and hardest part of our year thus far has been losing our majestic boy, Denali. He was 185 lbs. of pure awesome and we miss the hell out of that big guy. Sometimes I have to stop myself from thinking of him to avoid bursting into uncontrollable sobbing in public places. I prefer to cry alone and in private, thank you very much. When my heart can type more I will have an entry on this specific topic and the grieving process of it all.

Our girl, Violet has had a tough time coping with her brother’s passing as well, which has added stress onto this year. She is the sweetest, most gentle soul you’ll ever meet in your life. I’m not sure what if feels like to lose a twin but she must be very lost. We are trying to do everything we can to help her heal.

We have lost human friends as well this year. You know the kind …the ones that make us question if we are good friends to those we let into our lives. Do we give enough time to the people who matter to us? The challenge here is that once we let someone in, we love him or her completely. There doesn’t seem to be enough time in a day to spread the amount of love, laughter and friendship around that we want to. In the end we’re left wondering if we loved enough.

Our other big stressor this year has been trying to figure out why we haven’t been able to start a family. We’re fairly private when it comes to things we’re currently dealing with. I’m not sure why. I think part of it is that we want to figure out how we really feel about our situation before opening ourselves up to suggestive advice or emotions of others. We realize there are many who want to be there for us but in the early phases and stages of things unfortunately that kind of “love” hurts us and doesn’t help us.

Probably the biggest stressor is helping to care for one of my family members in their time of need. There is no avoiding the situation and no ignoring it. Someone has to take the reins and help share the load. Even though it is out of love it does add stress to take care of others.

A laundry list of stressors… Even with the long list and short explanations I gave it still pails in comparison to what others are going through this year. Someone very close to me asked my husband recently what I meant when I said, “It’s been a tough year.”   Although this person had full knowledge of all of the struggles we were going through their personal challenges were, to them, more center stage than what we were going through. Although it hurt my feelings a bit I came to realize that I couldn’t expect people to put our issues before their own.

So, you might ask, “How do I get through a shitty year, Christi?” Well, I’ll tell you what I know to be helping me cope so far. If I think of any more I’ll keep adding to this post.

  1. Rely on your support system. They said they wanted to be there for you. Pick something they can listen to you talk about or something they can do for you.
  2. Find an escape…or two…or three. Make sure you have mechanisms in place to help you take your mind off of all the things that are happening around you. It might be music, movies, reading, yoga, mediation or gaming. Whatever it is do it in healthy amounts not to avoid dealing with your situations but to give your mind a mental break from them every now and then.
  3. Eat Right. If you succumb to the emotional eating habits of your 13-year-old self for all of the months that your stressor is in your life you’ve just added another stressor. Congratulations if you wanted to feel worse. Shame on you if you didn’t. Allow yourself indulgences. They’re important. Don’t down a carton of ice cream every other night and expect to have your mind, body or self-esteem feel good in the morning.
  4. Don’t Self-Medicate. It is important to go through all of the emotional stages of whatever you’re going through. They’re not fun. They don’t feel good all of the time. If you don’t feel it now day by day you will feel it all at once some day.
  5. Find a way to laugh. Laughing is healing. That’s all I have to say about that.
  6. Remove the negative. Hard times have a way of exposing relationships for what they truly are. If you’re in an unhealthy relationship (intimate, friend or otherwise) it might be time to examine what should be done. Although it might add a stressor to your life it is better to deal with it and be free than to put up with something that isn’t going to help you heal.
  7. Learn to say no. There are times you need to be more selfish with your time and your energy. When you have a personal situation going on, learn how to say no to others who need your time and attention. You’re of no use to anyone if you aren’t in good shape yourself.

That’s all for now.  Good luck to you.  I’ll see you out there…

xoxo,

Christi

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You can learn a lot about a woman who…

Many years ago I was caught off guard by a phrase that you can learn a lot about a woman who has lost her luggage.

I had just started traveling full-time for work and was the epitome of the control-freak who liked everything to happen just as I had planned it.  Don’t get me wrong, I still carry some of those same traits today but I’ve toned it down considerably.

Simply hearing that phrase made me think of how I was presenting myself to the word by the way I reacted to it.  Sadly, I hadn’t thought about myself like that before.  Now it seems that every thing that sends my life veering off the course I have laid out for it I hear myself thinking, “You can learn a lot about a woman who…” and I finish the sentence with whatever challenge is coming my way.

I still have pain.  I still have grief.  I still make stupid choices and overreact.  That is part of being human.  My saving grace is eventually coming back to this phrase and considering how my reactions and attitude towards life’s challenges reflect my personal growth.

So, every time life loses my luggage with my medications or a change of underwear in it or anytime life changes my plans without my permission I will continue to ask myself…”What are you going to learn about yourself in this situation?”

I’m not totally there yet, but I like to think of myself as a work-in-progress.

xoxo,

Christi

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Taking the Scenic Route

Picnic White Sands National Monument

 

Over the past few years as I’ve been getting to know my husband I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned about myself and how I want to be. I was thinking about all of the things he’s taught me while we headed out and about the other evening.

You see, I am a control freak who loves to pack as much into one trip as humanly possible. I am the person you’ll find with arms full of crap hauling more than I should to make less trips. I love to find the most efficient way of doing things and in the quickest amount of time. Some call it a sickness, I call it a gift.

This particular evening his idea was to sweeten our time together with a trip to our amazing local ice cream shop. True to form, I threw in an added step of taking our dogs to the newly opened dog park. As he often does with my scheming, he agreed with effortless calm. And, off we went.

While we were driving away from the ice cream shop (he had an Oreo or cookie dough shake – I can’t remember which and I had huckleberry ice cream) I started wondering, as I often do, why he wasn’t taking the most direct and quickest route to the new dog park. It wasn’t just indirect; we were headed in the complete opposite direction of where we needed to go.

He must be developing a spidey sense of what I’m thinking because he’s getting better and better at anticipating my comments, questions or remarks. Within an instant of me swallowing my bite of ice cream in preparation to ask “Where are we going?” he turned to me and said “I’m taking the scenic route.” It impressed me that he headed me off on the topic at my thought process and knew exactly what I wanted to hear. I mean, who does that?

I spent the next several minutes becoming annoyed with the inefficiency of our route and the amount of time we would waste taking it. Then, it hit me. Who freaking cares? Why was I in such a hurry to spend quality time with my family in a different way than I had previously planned in my head? Did it matter that we spent more time together in the car taking a scenic drive? Does it matter where and how you get your quality time in? The answer, in case you haven’t figured it out yet is: No. It does not.

I shamed myself a bit over my initial reaction. I have always reacted this way when someone isn’t doing exactly what I thought the “best” way. It’s stupid and selfish, I know. Then I decided that there’s a reason why we surround ourselves with others. It isn’t to have people that think and act exactly as we do, it’s to have influences to help us continue growing and learning. Enter my husband stage right.

He teaches me patience, calmness, forgiveness, kindness and most importantly on this night, he taught me to enjoy the scenic route. After I accepted his proposal to wander off my almighty course I relaxed and settled in. As he drove, I watched the sun kiss and hug its way through the buildings and the trees. I watched the people we passed. I noticed the homes we drove by and beheld their exterior design. I enjoyed my aimless meandering in my own mind. In the end, I enjoyed every single second of my renewed perspective on our current path.

I’ve thought about that night for several days now. It makes me wonder what other paths I put myself on that should have been scenic routes instead. It’s something I will try to keep in mind as I move forward with all decisions in life. Since it is against my nature I know I will struggle. Luckily, I have a wonderful partner who compliments my personality with his. Lead on my handsome wanderer…lead on.

xoxo,

Christi

  • I had THE best southwest chicken salad for lunch. Yum!
  • I’m throwing a friend an 80’s bachelorette party on Saturday. I’m dreaming of all the makeup looks I can put together. 🙂
  • For Labor Day we’re going out to the lake with my mom’s side of the family. I’m so excited to spend the day with them. I’m very ready for a long weekend!
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Poshmark or Smoshmark? A review.

The Backstory

My rheumatologist has been telling me for years that I need to wear better footwear than the Payless flats that I love so much.   With that, my current shopping wish is a pair of Birkenstock Gizeh Birko-Flor sandals for the summer that, ironically, is almost over.   With a goal in mind and recently acquired birthday money in hand I set out to find the best price on these summer sandals to treat myself.  You see, recently we participated in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University classes.  Since then I’ve been looking at ways to decrease my spending and make smarter buying choices.

Of course there are local discount retailers locally and online options such as eBay but I was looking for something a bit different.  I had heard the name Poshmark before but I haven’t ever checked them out…until now.  I know it’s been around for a while but what can I say?  I’m late to the party.  Poshmark is an online retailer that allows you to buy and sell your fashion items.

Of course, as with most sites now, I had to sign-up to join their website.  You can create an account with email, Google or Facebook.  Although it’s undoubtable easier I prefer to use my email that way I control the direction of the information instead of granting access to my other accounts to another website.  Rant over.

I used their search box and menu to find exactly what I was looking for, however you can also search by category, designer or navigate one of their showrooms.  Some items are brand new and some are gently used.  I read reviews, shopped for “new” since these sandals mold to the owner’s feet form and looked through other styles and colors until I found the perfect sandals for me.  It was love at first search.  😉

I used a gift card for my purchase and once confirmed I immediately received an email from Poshmark confirming my order with a description and order number.  Then my inbox beeped again with the familiar “You’ve got mail” chime I’ve assigned to my email.  The second email from Poshmark included a greeting, welcome and quick run-down of how Poshmark works, what I could expect, etc.  I found this second email extremely helpful and a great idea for customer service to new members.  If I hadn’t received that I wouldn’t know how the payment terms, etc. are designed.

Business Model

One thing that impressed me the most was that the seller doesn’t get paid until they send the purchase.  Here is their sales pathway:

The buyer places the order & makes the payment to Poshmark –>

Poshmark sends the seller a shipping label –>

The seller ships the item to the buyer –>

The buyer receives the item, confirms condition and receipt of the

purchase through their online account –>

Poshmark pays the seller

I’m in love with this business model.  There is no risk for anyone in this situation.  The buyer has transferred their payment to a secure account.  The seller knows the money is secured and doesn’t have to pay and arrange shipping.  Poshmark just holds the money until both parties agree that the transaction is completed.  Unlike eBay where you pay the seller up front and rely on their approval ratings and reviews to trust that they’ll send you the goods you just purchased the Poshmark model takes the risk out of the picture.

A seller has 7 days to respond to Poshmark’s shipping label email or the buyer can cancel the order.  Unfortunately, this was the issue on my order.  I utilized my Poshmark account to send a reminder to the seller that I was still waiting for the sandals.  A few days later Poshmark sent me an email letting me know I had the right to cancel since the seller wasn’t responding.  I did cancel the order and within seconds Poshmark emailed me to let me know the credit was applied back to my card and some general timeframes it takes to get the money back on the card.

Additional Thoughts

I mean….what an awesome way to buy used!  Sure I’m disappointed that the purchase of my summer sandals has been delayed but do you know the first place I’m going to look for a deal?  POSHMARK!  I am incredibly impressed with this company, their business model along with the terms and responsibilities they hold buyers and sellers to.  We’re all adults here, people.  If you want to sell your junk you have to respond.  No games, no delays…just send it.  How awesome to have an infrastructure that removes the anxiety of purchasing from someone you don’t know.

I thought I’d share my new favorite site with you!  Have a great week!

xoxo,

Christi

  • I’m so thankful for the mild summer we’ve had so far.  It’s been so beautiful.
  • If you follow me on Instagram (simplychristi) you’ll know I received the most beautiful flowers from my longtime friend.  Love those kinds of surprises!
  • We’re having a family pizza & game night tonight.  I can’t wait!

 

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Actively Enduring

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I’ve been unsettled the last few months.  I’ve started a new job, moved into a new house, got married and had a few other major challenges.  None of those are bad; they just have me feeling quite out of a routine lately.  Do you ever have that?

I can’t seem to get a new rhythm into my life.  I keep trying to make sure I get all of my tasks or to-dos done each week but I seem to still remain unbalanced.

A new job is always an adjustment but especially in a new industry.  I have switched from healthcare technology to energy and although the work and tasks are largely the same I am learning new terminology, new methods and techniques as well as new people.  Add that to the fact that I’m back in an office environment after having worked at home for the last 7 years and its easy to see why the transition has left me in a fog.

Denali (our boy dog) had TPLO surgery on his rear left knee to correct a torn ACL.  This has been a challenge of it’s own.  He has had several complications and only recently did we learn that it’s all stemming from a staph. infection that has carried over from his surgery.

Married life to the man of my dreams and my absolute best friend is more amazing that I could have ever dreamed.  With any new phase to a relationship there are changes and discussions to help us get on the same page.  In addition to the relationship growing pains there are also adjustments at home.  Chris moved in very shortly before we were married to help with Denali’s surgery recovery.  I don’t care if it’s the best person in the entire world, a friend or a random roommate…learning someone else’s living style and meshing yours with theirs always takes some work and time.

I’ve been wondering why I haven’t blogged or put up a YouTube video in a while.  A lot of it has to do with the demands on my time but it also has to do with not feeling completely settled with all of my new recent changes.  Although most of them are so spectacularly wonderful, I am still foggy.  As I slowly get into my new routine I am excited to navigate through all the nuances in my days.

My pastor said a few weeks ago that “Perseverance is not passive waiting but an active endurance.”  I took that very much to heart.  Things take time.  There is constant growth.  There is always something to learn.  And with that I will continue to navigate the place I have in all of the new magical and wonderful chaos.

xoxo,

Christi

  • Our town has a wonderful music festival every summer.  I was out there most of the day yesterday enjoying friends, family, sun and music .
  • I’m addicted to “London Fog” tea lattes.  If you like chai tea you should check them out.
  • I’m on a fashion and lifestyle refresh cycle.  I’m looking at clothes, make-up and home decor in a more refined way.  Maybe there will be some of that coming soon to the blog and to Youtube.  😉
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Anger is as anger does.

I had someone ask me the other day about the anger I experienced when I was first diagnoses with RA.  I was completely honest with them.  It was an anger like I’ve never experienced before.  For the first time I was mad at my body for limiting me in ways I never dreamt.

I spoke of RA’s influence on my childbearing prospects, my ability to mindfully participate in my sister’s wedding and overall how in one appointment my life was different.  People don’t often know or think about the moments that their lives turn and go a new direction.  November 2, 2011 changed my life.  It changed my dreams.  It changed my immortality outlook.

Although anger is an important part of the grieving process for anyone who has been diagnosed with a chronic illness it is a scary one to accept.  You’re expected to be sad.  You’re expected to be transformed.  I’m not sure many people are aware that you’re also expected to be angry.

I’m not an expert.  All I know is that whatever situation causes you any type of emotion can be a game changer for your life.  And if you don’t deal with the feelings you’re having you might not be able to move onto the next phase of your grief.  Experience your anger.  Find a healthy outlet for it and let it process itself out of your system.  No one has a magic formula for how long this will go on.  You have to ride it out until your mind and body are ready to move on.

Find those that understand and give you strength to weather the angry storm.

xoxo,

Christi

  • Its finally warm enough to start planting outside here.
  • The puppies are shaved and so soft with their fuzzy hair coats.
  • I’m working on redoing my phone pictures and music.  I wish it was easier.  Lol.
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A Snub or Not To All Things Wedding

I’m beyond excited to start my series on everything wedding.  But first I think there are some important things you learn about me.

I never wanted a traditional wedding.  The idea of standing in front of a crowd of 500 of our closest friends and family makes me break into a panic sweat just thinking about it.  I don’t like to be the center of attention in a huge group of people.

I also plan things as a profession.  I organize, make lists and plan things all day at my job and the last thing I want to do is add yet another “project” for me to manage, organize and plan.  I’m good at it but adding another huge one in my personal life is less than appealing.

All of the dread I had leading up to Chris’ and my wedding day was so quickly diffused when the day turned out so incredible and more amazing than I could have ever dreamed of.

So, I write this for you girls who dread your wedding day; who dread 300-1000 eyes staring at you.  I believe if you follow one basic rule you’ll have the time of your life.  That rule is simply this:  MAKE IT YOUR OWN.  We are long past the days where you have to have the factory wedding that anyone, any thing or any magazine tells you to have.  You have the choice to decide what it is included and excluded.

If you still chose to elope or march yourselves down to the courthouse you have my unconditional support.  I hope you will read this series before deciding for sure because you could be a resister of all things wedding up until the very end like me and find so much more bliss and fun than you could have ever wished for.

Thank you for joining me on this series while its fresh in my mind and I wish you all of the happiness for your wedding day regardless of what you chose to do or how you design it.

xoxo,

Christi

  • I’ve had a terrible canker sore for a week now.  One of my medications makes me more susceptible to these.  If you ever have these try a product called Glyoxide.  It cleanses the area, makes it feel better and helps it heal so much faster.
  • I’m re-joining the paper planning world!!  I just ordered my very first Erin Condren planner.  Stay tuned for a post & review in the next few months.
  • I’m looking for interesting things to do with my wedding dress.  I hope to wrap that into this series as well.  Comment below with any suggestions!
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Back in the Groove

Hola!  Let’s start with an easy question such as “Where have I been?”  The answer is EVERYWHERE!!

Chris and I have survived some of life’s most challenging and stressful events over the last few months.  We moved into the new house one at a time.  I started a new full-time job.  Our boy doggie, Denali, had ACL repair surgery on his knee and has been recovering.  We finalized our wedding plans and got hitched at the most amazing and love-filled ceremony ever.  We just returned from our honeymoon to Cancun late Monday night.  We’ve been blessed with so many exciting things in a short amount of time and now we’re trying to process it all.

If you’re still reading, I thank you for your loyal following.

Over the next few weeks we’ll find our new rhythm here at our house and I hope to get back on a constant posting and filming schedule. One thing I learned for absolute certain is that it is OKAY not to do everything all of the time.  I set goals for blogging that I was truly unable to fulfill during the last few months.  And you know what?!  It’s OKAY.  I give myself the permission to not dwell on over dreaming.  Be sure to give yourself a break as often as you give others theirs.

Stay tuned!!

xoxo,

Christi

  • Chris and I are working through “House of Cards” on Netflix.
  • Denali went upstairs for the first time in 7 weeks today.  It was a special field trip for him. You could almost see him smiling.
  • I have married the most amazing man.  I can’t stop looking at him thinking it’s a dream.  <3
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Animal Therapy

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Every season after the holidays are over I experience a bit of the January blues.  Its similar to a sugar or caffeine crash after a noon binge.  There are far less things to do, people to please, presents to shop for and overall happiness in everyone you greet.  I know the holidays are a stressful time but I often miss the rush and over scheduling part of the season.  I know…I’m crazy.

Most of the time when I’m feeling blue or sad I end up snuggling with my fury kids.  These dogs; these massive and beautiful creatures have a way of lifting my spirits regardless of the mood I’m in.  I know I’m closer to my animals than a lot of people are.  I realize some people are allergic.  I really feel bad for those folks.  I’m a total animal lover and rely on them heavily when I need a pick-me-up.

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Regardless of what you’re going through this January or at any stage of your life its important to lean on those that help you refocus and regain the love for life you usually have.  One hug on the neck of these gentle giants and I instantly feel better.  There have been many times where I’ve kept pushing through for them because they need me.  Being needed is such a driver for getting through the hard days.

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Besides…who couldn’t love these majestic faces?  I’m honored to be their mom and I truly believe they became my fury kids because someone knew I would need them by my side through my RA and life journey.  So hug a dog, a kitty, a bunny or a friend.  Then get out there and enjoy the day…

IMG_1045xo,

Christi

  • I have a chill running through me today.  It’s a sweater and hot tea kind of day.
  • I found a lady’s wallet in an empty shopping cart in the parking lot today.  I called her, met her and got her wallet back to her.  I’m thankful it was me and not someone with bad intentions!
  • I can’t wait until Chris moves in!  I just love all of the time we get to spend together.  <3

 

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