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2023-02-28 20:04:07 (UTC)

Goals Reflection: February 2023


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

I'm dead-tired today, so I suspect this will be a brief update.

It's been a short month, punctuated with the weekly special events and my own set of milestones. There are two new interns here as well, who started right at the end of the month.

One interesting, unusual thing that happened this month is that I lost brake power completely in the middle of town. After having some routine maintenance done on one of the vehicles, I realized that the brakes weren't just soft, eventually they didn't work at all. I ended up using the emergency brake to stop the vehicle on the side of the road, then using AAA to have a tow to a repair shop. That was the first time I'd ever had a vehicle's brakes go out on me, and fortunately I didn't die.

We've worked out a plan for when I'm back East visiting relatives and friends. I'll be checking in with the team either by phone or by Zoom to help coordinate activities for the day. Not ideal, but no other suitable alternative exists at the moment.

I reached an online-post milestone this month, and was awarded somewhere around $1300 for my efforts. I also completed my taxes earlier this month and will receive a considerable refund. I never took any exemptions when I was employed, so I never owed taxes and for the past several years my refunds were a couple thousand dollars. Although I was employed only four months this past year, my refund was no different.

When I head back East, I'll pick up my soap-making equipment from my ex. When I'm back here at the eco-institute, I'll make some soap and see what I can sell.

My trip back East will be happening in April, not in March. This is not the end of the world. I do think I will be driving there, and will likely be staying at Motel 6's and the like on the way. I don't want to fly, and I don't want to be without my own vehicle.

My artist friend is recovering after her surgery, and is exceeding the surgeon's expectations. She and I hope to catch up quite a bit when I'm in town visiting. Not sure exactly how it will all go, but it will be a positive experience for both of us. We chatted in a Zoom call over my birthday weekend and she seems happy and healthy. Just hanging out with her will be nice, in any case.

I've increased the number of friends and acquaintances with whom I've exchanged letters. It's been exciting, and a positive diversion from my usual routine.

I feel like I've improved my conversational skills with the random cashiers and other customer service folks I interact with during my weekend errands into town. I sometimes enjoy chit-chatting with strangers, in an effort to brighten their day.

Weight has fluctuated to the mid-180s lately, and I'm wondering how that's occurred. I've been taking in baking soda each day since my birthday in the middle of this month - I'm experimenting with adjusting my body's Ph to be more alkaline in an effort to fend off sickness - and I wonder if I'm retaining more fluid while I adjust. I may be snacking a bit too much after evening meals.

I enjoy the cold weather, and the chill seems to be easing off during this time of year. There's still several occasions of snowfall, but it doesn't accumulate much and in some cases it actually melts before the end of the day. I'll spend time out there in the quiet, sometimes during an evening snowfall. It's also nice to look up into the night sky and do some stargazing before I turn in for the night. A cat or two will usually come out and visit while I stand out there alone, and I pet or pick it up while I relax.

I treated myself to a weekend at a hotel for my birthday weekend. I visited a number of cafes and bakeries I'd not seen yet, and ate whatever I wanted. I walked along the riverfront in the snow. I drank a bottle of red (which had been leftover from my first hotel weekend, back in October of last year). I treated myself to two boardgames I could play solo.

There have also been weekly film viewings. For whatever reason I've been interested in seeing Spaghetti Westerns lately. Working my way through Clint Eastwood's "Man With No Name" trilogy, and I think -The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly- will be this coming weekend.

A new film has made it to my "Top 5 Films" list: -Thelma & Louise-. It bumped-off -Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas- sometime in the early part of the month.

My 46th year has started. I'm thick into the work here at the eco-institute. Looking forward to a visit to see relatives and friends in about a month.


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