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2022-01-31 13:53:11 (UTC)

Goals Reflection: January 2022


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

Just yesterday I had a phone conversation with an old friend of mine. When he lived in town several years ago, he had fitted a pickup truck and its cab with a set of solar panels, an inverter and what amounted to a sleeping and eating space in the back of the truck. I'd been meaning to be back in touch with him, even to the point of saving a voicemail message from him in my phone for over a year. But we caught up on the phone yesterday and I was grateful he had reached out.

I discussed my plans for the move, and he shared his recent developments (he's focusing on hydrogen generation with solar- and wind-powered units, aiming for a completely sustainable system post-construction), and we're both excited for one another and grateful we've stayed in contact. His partner studied at a prestigious law school for the past several years and now they're moving back to the area, in the same old house in the same old neighbourhood. I helped him build the massive greenhouse in his backyard, and apparently the frame at least is still standing, and just needs a new outer covering to be back in business. Of course, with all he's learned in that time, I assume plenty of improvements will take place prior to the greenhouse being back in full operation. We'll see in a year or two.

I've been drilling through the archives of Low-Tech Magazine at a fairly-steady pace as part of my bedtime- and spare-time reading. It's an absolutely fascinating collection of articles and knowledge. [I just learned they released a third collection of articles, and the collected Comments from the articles, and ordered copies on the spot.] One of the articles that has me currently intrigued would be those about low-tech air compressor-powered tools.

That, coupled with the news that the eco-compound I'm moving to just invested in a couple electric bicycles, has me stewing over a potential project while I'm there: what if pedal-power can be converted into on-demand air-compressor power? I'm certain it can be done, of course. It's now a matter of efficiency and utility. We shall see. I need to study up on the mechanics of the ebikes anyway, so I can also consider some prototypes and diagrams, as well as draw on some more informed opinions, prior to my arrival.

Still listening to podcasts, though my quantity of those has slowed. I should have 100 under my belt before I relocate.

There are times when I think of the future, and I am gripped by a momentary panic. How will I pay rent? How will I generate income? I calm myself by reassuring myself that I need to trust the process, do my best, and seek out opportunities where my skills and effort can be most useful and beneficial to my soon-to-be social circle. I really have no concrete plans beyond living there, doing all the things, and then somehow teaching all the things I've done and learned.

How long will that take? I'm not certain. This is the cause of occasional bursts of panic and concern. But too much is unknown for strong opinions on either limitless success or dismal and complete failure. Staying frugal now, learning more now, investing in reusable things now - all while I still have steady income - is a solid strategy. One can cut back only to a certain point, though, before it's no longer possible to reduce things more. Soon enough, it will be time to "be creative" on how I address financial concerns: either by reducing them, or another way to secure the bag.

My resignation was announced at the day job, so I felt it time to announce it to my friends and acquaintances. This resulted in a few people reaching out with congratulations and well-wishing, which I appreciated. I have a few people to meet face-to-face before I head out. Among them, my old best friend from middle and high school and I will have a get-together sometime soon, certainly prior to my departure.

Family has been quiet. I reach out to my mother at least once per week, and she is intermittent with her responses. Over the winter holidays it was clear she was not happy. I'm more deliberately trying to find things that might spark her interest, in an effort to help her resist the winter doldrums. Her life seems fairly bleak from my standpoint, and part of me believes that much of it is her own lethargy and lack of motivation to Do Something.

For a time, it seemed as though everyone was adjusting well. However, I really don't know the depths of her depression and its roots. She's surrounded by little kids all the time - sometimes forced to watch them - and I completely understand how the constant caregiving coupled with obnoxious noise and ever-present sickness and dirty-ness that young children provide can be a downer. That simply can't be the only reason for her weariness. She's mentioned to me that she's unhappy living where she is, and how she misses her old house. Having relocated to even-more-sparsely populated suburbs, into a house that doesn't match the convenience of their previous one can also be an obvious drain.

Meanwhile... My long-time ex and former soap partner has had her two longest-lived pet cats die in recent months. In January, her "first girl" died of kidney failure after a life of 16 years. She's inconsolable. It's been so tough for her lately, and I let her know I'm there to listen. Apparently her boyfriend is garbage and doesn't help matters at all.

So I just finished reading that new best-seller: "My First COVID Exposure." :)

A weekend after returning from the shore was a rough one. I thought I was reacting to eating green potatoes, with the runs and terrible congestion. Or maybe it was the flu, since the symptoms abated after about two days over the weekend. Then the next weekend I receive a text from my landlord that his wife was diagnosed with COVID. I immediately went for a test, found out I was positive, and then - because I was facilitating a training - raced back to the office while no one was around to set things up for remote training. Oh yeah, this happened the first week of 2 three-week trainings I was facilitating...! Timing was fairly terrible.

However, the trainings ended satisfactorily, I worked from home another week, and no one else at the day job became sick from me (as far as exhibited symptoms are concerned). I wear a mask whenever walking in the house and there may be a chance to encounter my landlords. They're elderly, and I can't risk exposing the two of them to anything I might still be carrying with me.

I've scheduled my booster and my flu shot for this coming Friday evening after the day job. I have no trainings over the weekend but another begins the following Monday so I want to make sure I've suitably recovered from any crazy side-effects. Beyond that, I'm back to being on the exercise bike regularly - I'd reduced my routine while feeling more sickly - and am thinking of increasing. I'm also doing planks several times a day just for the helluvit. I like 'em.

It's not just the possibility of long COVID, but the possibility it's become endemic and will not go away for a generation. Meanwhile life goes on, I'm making moves to move and do something new. I doubt I'll have the energy to look back in regret, since I anticipate my life will be full. It seems strange to be excited for my personal future when so many others around me and so much of the world is fuuuuuuuuucked up.

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