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2021-08-28 18:11:29 (UTC)

Goals Reflection: August 2021


[Names and locations have been obscured to preserve privacy.]

Garden visits continue. Every visit is enjoyable: doing physical work that's completely different from the day job. Radishes are totally done and have been for a while now. Same with the potatoes. There's a gargantuan bush of a geranium that I started from a li'l sprout, and right next to that is a pumpkin about the size of a soccer ball. The vines for that were sprawling so much I put a couple tomato cages up so they'd have somewhere to go that I wouldn't step on. Just this morning I was out there, trimming back grasses, tending the ginger, and putting more wildflower seeds in the bare spots.

There's still a tumbleweed-sized mass of radish pods in my room, waiting to be emptied of seeds. I just need to spend an hour each evening until they are done. It's as simple as that.

I'm debating on whether or not I will be living here come the growing season next year, but there's no definite decision made. I think I'll have a clearer picture in January. I may pull up stakes and head out to the eco compound in early- or mid-Spring. In terms of the garden, I don't need to reserve a spot until after the decision is made. If I'm here, then the garden is a go. If not, then I'll have plenty of time to inform the garden coordinator.

Just last night - and, I guess, early this morning - I completely wiped myself off the video game group and website I'd been participating in for nearly 10 years. I simply felt the difference between me and the social group that had formed round the website were too different, and after a brief exchange late last night, I said to myself: "Yep, I don't belong here." So I erased the posts for all my games (they're stored on a different website, anyway), and then deleted my account. The event I started is still going on, but I think it had stalled out and was a reflection of my attitude. My departure was overdue and although there are some things (and people, I suppose) I'll miss, it's better off I'm not doing anything else with them. I'd been distancing myself for a while now anyway and this is just the natural resolution, finally come to pass.

Tabletop game design hasn't moved forward. I have no excuses for this behaviour.

There are some times I am at the day job and it's almost as I am already acting as if I'll be out of there by Spring of next year. I'm not slacking off, but my attitude has adopted a lot more acknowledgement of how things are, and my place in them. I finished some excellent projects this past month, to include helping onboard a new staff member (though not a junior trainer...), moving my workstation to a larger room (again, to be shared with a junior trainer once they arrive), and orchestration of a battery backup and computer system reset. There's a lot that went well this month.

The city I work in, however, is just flat-out broken. I'm worn out, and someone hungrier and greener than me needs to do this work. There needs to be someone who expects things to improve as a result of their efforts. I used to feel that way, but I don't anymore.

I'm on another stay-cation. The week after I return we start another training: the first one we've hosted in-house since March of last year. It's been refreshing to dig back into the in-house class materials I'd developed back then, and to integrate some of the new things I'd put in the virtual classroom for face-to-face use. We'll see how September goes.

Everyone in the office is enthusiastic, and I'd say "cautiously optimistic" about these future developments. This goes for literal COVID precautions, as well as figurative attitude preparation. There are some staff who were hired during quarantine and haven't worked in our office while clients were in house on the regular. We'll see how they do.

Meanwhile, I accepted another laser-cutting commission, and continue to make soap. I researched Etsy and learned about just how much of a ripoff it is. I picked up materials on negotiation, brand development, and gathering customer testimonials. Maybe an Autumn project will be to set up a legit Internet storefront or local connection for selling soaps.

Of course, to effectively move forward on this, "doing the numbers" on pricing and stuff like that needs to happen. That's what I should do in September. I think I have done enough of the easy stuff now that concrete steps forward are required. Assets and expenses are obviously part of that, and the sooner I have solid, realistic info on that, the sooner I'll be confident enough to move forward on aggressive business actions.

I felt like I was kind of out of touch with family this past month. However, I think a lot of that is out of my control. In the few conversations I've had with my mother, it seems like tensions are brewing in their household. Maybe she's just not enthusiastic about discussing things with family tensions, vaccine dilemmas, and being old and in pain seem to be on her mind constantly.

It also seems like I am less in touch with friends these days as well. If I want more social interaction to happen though, I can't just sit at home. My time going to the cinema is typically on my own. I chat with the staff briefly, perhaps, see the film then come home. Eventually it's back to the day job and I'm friends with 95% of the people there. The stores I regularly visit are small businesses, and I suppose they make it a point to recognize their customers as a matter of course. I feel welcome at those places.

To accommodate with this perceived social void, I am reaching out more to the community connected to the garden and the eco compound. This month was the community garden's annual potluck, and I assisted with the setup and then enjoyed the company of fellow gardeners. It's pretty clear that the majority of them are retirees and while I'm a grown-ass man, still I'd be the age of their own children. All things considered, it feels all right to be liked and considered a novel addition to a long-established group. It's a nice place to be.

When it comes to the eco compound, I'm reading and posting messages more often at their discussion forum. I hope to "click" with a few people there, so I'm on the lookout for topics that really resonate with me personally, and where I have something to offer. I sent a message to my contact there regarding their residency program, only to find out that she no longer has that position and someone else will be coordinating long-term visitors.

With the reduction of pizza and pastries, my weight has also experienced a proportionate reduction. I'm back down to 200-ish after flirting with 210 for a few weeks. It seems like my sense of worth has a lot to do with my physical fitness and capability, so after paying more attention to this part of my life I have seen some positive results and "latitude in my attitude." Gut is still there (and maybe this is a significant cause for my lack of confidence and desire to date?), but my energy is back to substantive levels.

Pains in my shoulder and in my abdomen come and go, seemingly at random times. I've been able to work additional exercise cycling into my routine, and I no longer balk at 400- to 500-calorie sessions, six days a week. I'm feeling the way about physical activity and exercise like I felt when training for my long-distance cycling trips. Whether it's a walk over to the garden or random thoughts about hopping onto the exercise bike for another half hour, there's a visceral jolt of energy. It's the sense that my body actually likes the physical activity. I'd been missing that feeling for a while, so earlier this month when it began appearing more often, I became even more pleased with my situation.

Though I dislike the summer, my routines of gardening and exercise keep me positive. I detect a growing rift between myself and my day job, emerging almost unconsciously. Everything else seems strange, including family and friends. I think it's important to maintain routines and patterns, but it's equally important to avoid life in a rut.

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