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2021-03-27 18:34:38 (UTC)

Goals Reflection: March 2021

GOALS REFLECTION: March 2021

[Names and other identifying details have been removed to preserve privacy.]

SUSTAINABLE LIVING
Garden is operational now. Two out of the past three weekends, I'd dumped a bunch of fortified garden soil and humus in the plot, and dropped in about 10 potato plants and 7 ginger rhizomes. I have one bed that will be for about 10 more potatoes, and the final bed that will occupy the center and have some early-season greens followed by a pumpkin plant or two. Things are about half-way in place for a hopefully-fruitful season.

Exponentially more money is invested in the soil this year (so far, total is about $120) and same with the time and sweat equity. That said, being out in the sunshine and dirtying my hands has been good for me. The perception of me as a "know-nothing ignoramus" is on the way out, as several of the garden regulars have seen me these past several months at the clean-up days and the garden opening day, and now with actual garden beds in the plot instead of a lawn like last year. Today I assisted my garden plot neighbour with laying mulch paths to surround both our plots. He's a nice family man, and it will be a pleasure to be crossing paths with him throughout the season.

Seeing as though my day-job schedule has been severely demanding, I've missed a couple online meetings with the eco-compound this month. I'm commuting home Friday afternoons when the meetings take place, and it can't be helped.

GAME DESIGN
I'll keep making game-play videos of that car racing game both because it's a very fun game, and because I have a chance to practice video editing while making them. Just today, I completed one which includes a snippet of music I made in Audacity in about 15 minutes. Sure, it's about 10 seconds long, but it was a multi-track recording that did exactly what I wanted it to do.

There's a game design contest that's been announced, and game submissions start in May and the deadline is June. A light, animal-themed tile game I created some time ago may be a worthwhile candidate for this. A sales sheet and 2-minute video would be required for each submission, so it's not like it would be an effortless endeavor. Some feedback from a publisher and/or designer would be guaranteed, so at least that would be valuable. I should do this.

The map-making game is back in the drawer. I'll wake up at three in the morning screaming out a brilliant idea to resurrect it. Until then, I reckon it's gonna be off the drawing board.

I've not really touched my videogame-making software lately. Projects for the day job are often stymied because many clients have iPhones for Internet access, and those devices in particular lack the compatibility required to run the games I make (unless I consider shelling out money to Apple and that's a big nope). I think it's time to look for a game jam to focus my energies. I will do that in April.

INCREASED INCOME
The two trainings at the same time this month have been a drain. Clients need more instruction time, so I offered online meeting time slots for both days this weekend, plus gave them my personal phone number to contact me. It's unconventional for me to do that, but in the case of the training this month I think it's warranted. I have the impression the clients didn't receive enough instruction yet, since we had two employer presentations this past week that took up that time. Trying to strike a balance between employer presence (which both piques the interest of clients and engages employers) and instruction (which helps clients pass the exams) is a challenge.

Meanwhile... There's one client in particular who seems to be a Grade A Bullshitter: "talkin' loud, ain't sayin' nothin" to borrow a phrase from Chuck D back in the day. His attitude colours the reception of all the classes for the rest of the clients, and in general it reduces enthusiasm. Worst thing is, he totally bombed the first exam and it didn't even faze him. One would hope he would take his head out of his own ass long enough to catch a breath and notice, but no. Exam 2 ends this coming Monday, so we'll see what's to be done then. This is a professional challenge and a learning experience I'm addressing right now.

I had a meeting with our Executive Director this past week, and it was announced that everyone is pleased with my performance from last year. What this means in concrete terms is that I will receive a raise, a bonus, and will eventually be supervising and training a junior trainer. The new fiscal year begins in July and that's when the raise will take effect, but the other things will very likely occur before that. Our office has made it through the worst of the global pandemic, and is well-positioned and financially-stable.

I mentioned my expatriation plans to the Executive Director in that meeting, and she took it in stride. In fact, she suggested I visit her home country as a place to consider moving to...! She strongly advocated I take a vacation there, and she would hook me up with local guides and assistance in making it happen, so I'd be a fool to not consider at least visiting. It's a bit too close to China (geographically-speaking) for my liking, unfortunately. So Denmark, The Netherlands, and Scandinavian countries are still higher on my list.

Laser-cutting is moving forward. I've resolved to put up a set of coasters for sale each month, plus various small projects that come my way on occasion. That's a pace I can manage outside day job responsibilities.

FAMILY & FRIENDS
The trip to visit the family went very well, and everyone was glad to see everybody. The house they moved into is definitely a fixer-upper, though you wouldn't notice this at first glance. My brother pointed out the next years' worth of projects, and I heard plenty of gripes about the money already sunken into the house to make it serviceable. I assisted my brother with mold-treating the attic, and additionally received a tour of the (very large) lot on which they live. There's potential for it to be quite a suburban compound. All it will take is time and good fortunes, and given enough time it all works out.

The dog is doing okay, though since there's no backyard fence in place he has to stay on a lead and he and I weren't able to run around as much as in the past. It was good to see him.

An old band-mate of mine and I met at my weekend milkshake-break spot out in the county. He brought one of his kids along, who is like seven years old or whatever. He's picked up a new banjo and guitar in the past few months and maybe he was testing the waters to see if I'd be interested in making music with him again. I think it would be an excellent idea, personally. Besides, I'd walk over hot coals to bring a bucket of hot sauce to that guy anyway. I'm glad to see family life hasn't turned his brain to mush. Both he and my brother are good dudes.

The office lady and I have cooled our correspondence. Both of us are currently neck-deep in our own projects which leaves us little time for idle chit-chat right now, but she (also) likely did some thinking on where we stood. It's fine with me to keep things mild between us.

My soap partner on the other hand - the lady I split up with after a four-plus year relationship - has joined me in what can best be described as a "casual exploratory" relationship. To sum it up, she's dated shit guys most of her life, and I'm the only one in her memory that didn't beat her, leave her with black eyes, break her bones, etc. when intimate with her. Through the help of a counselor and a therapist, she's been re-wiring her brain in terms of relationships and intimacy. Whether things actually turn physical between she and me while we're both navigating being single remains to be seen, but we both have the option on the table. We've known one another long enough that we can both consider various levels and stages of intimacy while not conflating the depth of our friendship with romance.

HEALTH & WELLNESS
I have an appointment to follow-up with the surgeon next month, as well as an eye exam. I've cut weight a bit. Exercise bicycling is at most every other day, and now garden time will be integrated into my activity cycle throughout the season - as there's much more to work with this year.

I booked myself a four-day weekend out at the shore for early April, so I can recuperate away from everyone and ride my bike. I picked a cheaper spot than my usual, so that I keep my end-of-year trips distinct and even more special.

TO SUM IT UP
Spring is in the air, and a lot of new developments are percolating. It was a good time to read and listen to Earl Nightengale.


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