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2019-07-02 08:48:53 (UTC)

Goals Reflection: June 2019

[any identifying names and locations will be changed for protection and privacy.]


I've determined to start consciously moving towards my long-time dream of living in an off-grid, more-remote living space. Time to add this one to the list of priorities on which I will focus for the foreseeable future.

For decades now, I've wanted to live closer to nature, and further away from other people. I'd lived in a large city for over 20 years, but that was because I could live within bicycling distance of my day job. After being hit by the car I resigned to never biking to the office again, so there was no need for me to live in the city anymore. I moved out to the 'burbs: first, to live closer to a woman I was seeing at the time, then again closer to the day job office. It's a quiet neighbourhood, and I routinely describe my living situation to others as "okay."

During all that time of city livin', I'd casually researched and read a fair amount of literature on homesteading and off-grid living. I'd done things as uncommon as volunteering for a year at an alpaca ranch, just to see what life with animals might be like: feeding and watering, administering medicines, trimming teeth and hooves, even assisting with a birth. Alpacas aren't really practical, as it happens, at least in terms of homesteading. More manageable would be chickens (or maybe ducks), specifically for harvesting eggs. I think at this point in my life I still want to remain a vegetarian, but if I were able to raise my own eggs I'd go back to eating them.

In terms of specifics of my living arrangement, I envision it thusly:
- remote living "in the county," within commuting distance of my day job.
- a structure partially-underground.
- Using shipping containers as a main shell for the living space. I have seen plans that use two FEUs (40' long containers), and that seems like more than enough space.
- A well and/or reservoir, septic system, and solar power battery bank.
- I'd be able to go back into gardening, raising mostly greens and root vegetables for myself.

There's still -much- to determine, but I figure starting with basic plans and using that as the foundation is a decent way to move forward on this.

Not much progress on this lately. I've gone into playing games more often than designing them in the past few weeks. I did make one One Hour Game Jam game this month, and I'm pleased with the end product, but it was a small project at best. There's another long-term collaborative game jam I signed up for, and the partner to whom I was assigned becomes available to work in July, so I'll be back in the saddle in some capacity next month.

The video game collective has received acceptance from the arts festival happening in July, so we'll exhibit our games then. There's another local event in August for which we were accepted (kind of like a video game showcase at a local brewery), so there's some planning and coordination for that to happen.

Also, I've attended a few more tabletop game designer meetings, but haven't touched my prototypes since the retreat in mid-May. It's more of a challenge because my typical group is now meeting a 90-minute drive away on weekends, and that's a bit much for me to commit to. At the same time, just round the end of the month a nice guy who found one of my game designs on a discussion board where I participate regularly reconnected with me, and we've chatted back and forth about the design of mine he's interested in.

I have a couple other ideas percolating in my head: one is a revamp of a dice game released by Milton Bradley back in the late 70's or early 80's called -Dungeon Dice-. The original game's mechanics are too basic to make it worthwhile, but the dice are neat - there are little icons for shovels, lanterns, ladders, and etc. - and I hope to come up with something entertaining based on throwing those around. There's another idea I'm percolating on for the day job, to teach people about managing the paperwork for international shipping, and that's a challenge to make interesting. We'll see what I come up with in the next month or so.

I officiate another wedding on 4th July, and with the gift card I receved as a thank-you, the fee for becoming a mail-order minister is almost paid for. Another coworker mentioned to me that a relative (maybe her son, or grandson?) is wanting to marry later this year. I reiterated that I was an "atheist minister," and she replied that it's "just what he's looking for." That's a good sign it'll be another gig.

I also attended a screen-printing workshop late in June, which was exciting and illuminating. I have ideas of printing posters, tee shirts, and other media. As soon as the day afterward, I was talking with people about doing printing jobs for them, including the cinema I visit on Sunday mornings. It's pretty clear there's a demand for hand-crafted print media, for all manner of events, initiatives, and businesses. I want to follow-up on these leads throughout the rest of the year, and complete a few print jobs to see how things work out.

The paperwork for the bike crash settlement has been sent in, and I assume "the check is in the mail." Also, employee reviews were completed in late June, and I'm receiving a raise at the day job. I reached my "second four-year anniversary" at the day job earlier this year without my knowing - and my boss's knowing - so I have back-logged vacation time coming to me. This is a pleasant windfall.

Long story short, I've visited my nearby relatives, and meanwhile my old aunt sent me an email to be in touch. I wrote her back briefly, explaining I will be writing back to her longer, soon. I've also reiterated to my mother that I want to interview her for posterity about her earlier life. Perhaps I should do this with my aunt as well.

I really like hanging out with my family's dog.

Earlier in June, I did my first 30 mile bicycle ride since 2017! It was another large group ride, on a loop that started and ended at a local brewery. I don't really drink, but they had an excellent food truck there. My most recent ex-girlfriend was there as well, with her business set-up. I sent her a message later that day with a greeting, as I didn't want to cross paths her while she was working.

I also picked up an ebook regarding "burning your belly fat," which has led to some small changes. I no longer eat after 8pm, in an effort to adjust my metabolism. Adjusting my intake of nutrient-dense foods has also been adjusted, and I'm mindful and observant of over-eating. I realize this will be a long-term process, and looking at this landscape with a sense of adopting healthy habits instead of "losing weight" seems like a wiser perspective.

There was an inspirational lecture from - of all people - Arnold Schwarzenegger, which I found personally motivating and energizing. I'm still dedicated to morning pushups and crunches, and the use of the exercise bike has also persisted.

It seems like once I stopped prioritizing a romantic relationship, other areas of my life have fallen into place. I don't feel shorted or deficient, as other parts of my life are filled with meaning and importance. On the one hand I'm anxious about this season of life without a special woman, but on the other hand I am looking forward to other aspects of life with just as much or more interest.