kestrel

kestrel, walking
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2020-07-27 15:38:47 (UTC)

Goals Reflection: July 2020

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

GOALS REFLECTION - July 2020

OFF-GRID HOMESTEAD
No matter what I try, plants still seem to grow in my community garden plot. No fertilizer, no tilling, no additives... Just water and sun and patience. True, I've not harvested much out of it (and in fact any green beans I pluck from the bushes are snapped in half and then tossed back into the plot), and the first cucumbers are more like tennis balls on the vine... But adding a garden visit to my routine has been a pleasant diversion. And I just might have some tomatoes within a week or so. :)

Depending on the outlook of the day job next year, I might end up heading out to the eco compound early. They knocked their recent kickstarter campaign outta the park, and my lodgings are already reserved. Maybe 2021 holds an extended stay there for me: longer than the single month I've already paid for.

Living in a hobbit house might be nicer than living in one made of shipping containers. Who knows? It might just boil down to aesthetics.

GAME DESIGN
I'm using a fluid version of last month's grid-based engine to create a Pac-Man clone for a game event that runs until September. Maybe I can squeeze a few more games out of the same engine before the event is over. A turn-based version is still on my mind, and in fact it might have smoother movement than the constant-movement one. The "chameleon" mentioned in last month's reflection entry will most likely be a frog instead.

Meanwhile, the day job still enervates me to the point that I spend more time playing games than making them. Some days I'm just not feeling it, other days I'm just lazy.

INCREASED INCOME
I've been over-working this month. I started building a new training program in late June, and had to have it ready to go by the 20th of this month. Then, run two trainings simultaneously, while hosting 6 Zoom meetings with the clients each week. Fortunately, I'm writing this in week 2 of 2, and I took off an entire week next month. Finally, there's the tech intern I've been supervising (another short-notice development, but still quite useful for the office). Until that week's vacation, I'll just be tired.

The board has been hassling my executive director. The organization itself is dipping into its reserve fund to pay its bills, including salaries. I suspect unless a sea change comes along, there's no saving our org at the end of the fiscal year (end of June, 2021). So it goes. Just going to build more skills and sock away money until then.

I had my annual review just this morning, first major thing of the day. It was a stellar review, all things considered. It's been acknowledged that my efforts in building and leading the online trainings have kept our organization afloat these past several months, and the org will be leaning on the training materials into the foreseeable future. Once my executive director conducts my personal review, it will be clear that they don't want me to go anywhere.

Of course this is a pleasant development, and I don't want to seem ungrateful or unable to be satisfied. I know how fortunate I am at the moment. I know how hard others have it in comparison to me. And there's still plenty of work for me to do. That's why I really don't feel like celebrating or taking a moment to rest on my laurels.

FAMILY TIME & FRIENDS
Had a phone conversation with my mother recently, and it's tough to hear how depressed she is right now. She lives with my brother's family and sees those grandchildren daily, and she mentioned how she worries about their future and sees no way out of the current mess. She admitted to me that any time she consoles my sister, she's inevitably asked for money, so she's avoided talking to her (though these days they live a 10 minute drive apart from one another).

She admitted that she and my stepfather put me in charge of everything in the will they recently drafted. I laughed and mentioned something to the tune of, "I'm not sure how [my stepdad] feels about it, but I don't see how you all owe us anything. You brought us into the world, we ended up becoming adults, now we have our own lives. We're not entitled to anything you have." She responded by saying that her lawyer suggested that they spend as much as they can, as well. "Mum," I said. "Why don't you buy that motor-trike you used to talk about wanting to get, and go ride?"

I dated a lady from late June to mid-July. That's done. And that's basically all I have to say about that.

I mentioned to a penpal of mine that hell, I may consider moving to Europe. I wasn't specific, but I was thinking northern Italy and even Scandinavia. Germany seems too weird for my tastes, personally speaking. My penpal (in Europe) suggested I seriously consider it, and become a native English teacher. It's doable and approachable work, even for a dimwit like me who knows only one language passably well.

FITNESS & HEALTH
I like the fact I've been riding my exercise bike as often as I have been. I trick myself into riding by pedaling almost as soon as I sit down, and watching YouTube videos (mostly, it's been underwater diver exploration videos and spelunking) until the timer stops me. Before I know it I am cycling 6 days a week on the regular, and my legs are sculpted. :)

It's just too darn hot for my tastes to go outside and do stuff. So the exercise bike is my primary mode of activity, besides the garden plot. I acknowledge that caring for plants over there is therapeutic in its own right, in different ways than physical exercise. Plus a few times now, I've spied a friendly lady walking her dachshund. Maybe even with my mask on, it's obvious I like what I see, and there's a bit of a spring in my step when we cross paths.

I flirted with the idea of doing something like 30 burpees a day, until I hit like 30 days in a row. My body said, "fuuuuuuuuuuuck that." So my brain replied, "Okay, not now."

Oh, and there's something wrong with my left heel. It's constantly numb, and if I bend over far, without lifting my foot, I feel a searing pain right at the base of my foot, like something stretching over the bend of the heel to the point it's strained or tearing. It's been off and on for a while, but the perpetual numbness is something new.

TO SUM UP
So this is what it's like, living in a declining Empire: looking round for bright spots to cling to in a world circling the drain. Nothing seems that weird anymore. Well... Except for the idea of moving to Germany.


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