kestrel

kestrel
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2022-07-31 19:08:01 (UTC)

Goals Reflection: July 2022

GOALS REFLECTION: July 2022

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

SUSTAINABLE LIVING
"Event season" has concluded, and I successfully stepped-up my involvement here. Early reviews are in - from the event organizers/main facilitators - and reception was positive regarding my involvement. I'm pleased with this, for sure. For this past event, I learned just as much as I taught, including felling trees with chainsaws and bow saws, peeling logs, dimensional woodworking (that is, putting together planks instead of logs), and some basic tool maintenance.

I've been doing soap-less showers every day for about seven weeks now. I still use deoderant, but in general my showers are over in less than 4 minutes and everything is clean. Of course, I keep my distance from people as a general rule but I'm convinced that were I doing the typical 9-to-5 thing, I could easily get away with this.

There have been a few staffing shake-ups here recently, but the general mood is still positive and we're all getting along with one another well enough. The weather has been insanely hot - several days in a row reaching over 100 F and today, for example reaching 105 - and keeping plants alive with double-watering duties has been the priority.

Stone-working has entered my interest this past month - I was tasked with facilitating dry-stack retaining walls and had to learn it before teaching it - and I now have a couple projects ahead of me planned to be done before the end of the summer. Additionally, I'm strongly considering a large "wall tent" to live in to extend my outdoor tenting season. I authentically enjoy sleeping outdoors instead of in a house, and frigid winters here would be the only thing to force me indoors.

One thing... I've been burning through work gloves! This month I visited a Tractor Supply Company store, and finally invested in some serious cowhide work gloves. Hopefully they'll last longer than two weeks before I blow-out a couple fingertips.

FINANCIAL FITNESS
The initial quote has arrived from my car insurance company, and for some reason its $300 higher for six months. What's up with that? A phone call is in order, likely tomorrow/Monday during my lunch hour. Still sticking with my plan to pare down to the bare minimum required by this state, plus PIP coverage so I'm not instantly fucked should I be hit by a car.

Despite that state of affairs, I feel financially-comfortable. However, I am not -building- any savings, so this is in general a worse financial situation than even when I was in Americorps, all those years ago. I just have more of a cushion this time round. Generating some form of income - particularly in the long shadow of impending recession and likely financial depression - seems to be a must. It's quite a challenge to think as an entrepreneur even while urging myself in that direction, simply because the world around me is so financially-strapped. Are we all just crabs in a bucket, pulling others down while we're all being steamed? I'm about 95% convinced that we are. "Modern society" is an oxymoronic phrase, anymore.

FAMILY & FRIENDS
Wow, I was whining a bit too much in last month's entry. So, I'm not seeking a relationship right now... No big deal. The only thing I'm entitled to is to be able to do my best with no excuses. No other guarantees in this life, and I could be dead at any moment. I'm not convinced I'm missing out on anything beyond what I already do with my life, and considering what I am doing and where I am, life is pretty great. In a microcosm, life is fantastic.

Still in touch with relatives, still writing letters to old friends in and around my old town. Still writing to my Czechen penpal and even re-opened my penpal account to see if I can gain one more. I don't think I'll be tired of "being alone" anytime soon. I was reflecting upon this circumstance with coworkers, and instead of instilling pity in them, I emphasized that relationships really aren't a priority at this time and if anything, I'm focusing on developing platonic relationships. I am seeking out "my new tribe" or whatever, and romance really isn't part of that, in my opinion.

My ex/former-soap-partner's birthday is this coming week so I sent her a letter this past weekend to wish her the best and to keep making good choices for herself, and so on. Still sending friendly text messages to former coworkers, though I've left that city and lifestyle far behind me. I'm still regarded as a valuable member of this community here, and taking on more responsibility. And hey, the cats are fantastic. :)

HEALTH & WELLNESS
The heat is oppressive and surprising. It's a dry, arid heat, however. So anytime one is in the shade or catches a breeze, it's heaven-sent and feels wonderful. Just like when keeping the plants alive, staying hydrated is the biggest challenge.

Still gaining muscle, still cutting weight. I was less than 180 this week, and did not expect it. I'm turning a bit "wiry and sun-baked," maybe. I definitely carry off the visage of a rural farmer. I'm just missing the overalls. I am more pleased with the way I look right now than I have been in a long time. I suppose I'm trying to be "handsome as well as handy."

Felt a little home-sickness this week, oddly enough. Maybe it's just loneliness working its way out. Mostly, it was in the context of watching a documentary about classic European films of the '60s and '70s, which reminded me of visiting the cinema in my old town and watching revival screenings.

ENTERTAINMENT
I ate donuts and pizza to celebrate my weeks. While the events were happening, there were occasional card game nights, and I joined in a few of those. This month, even a couple magazines arrived from lingering subscriptions. I held off on multiple trips to town or the local diner/watering hole, opting to eat-in most of the time. The event chef's food seriously helped with variety, I must admit. Additionally, a coworker's birthday dinner was at "the fanciest restaurant in town," and I enjoyed myself. I even wore a collared, button-down shirt for the occasion, and I think I looked half-decent and half-human.

TO SUM IT UP
I'm turning into a honest-to-goodness gardener. I seek to be "handsome as well as handy."


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