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2023-03-26 19:06:54 (UTC)

Goals Reflection: March 2023


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

We're gearing-up for the transition to "growing season" once "mud season" is mostly-done. These days, just a bit of snow might fall overnight, and it's melted by lunch. Seeds have arrived, we have our gardening aspirations, and I think everyone is looking forward to putting our hands in the dirt.

Of course, I'll be away from the eco-institute through the month of April. It couldn't be helped, as I had deferred my trip back East to visit friends and relatives from March into April, instead. Personally I'd like to have been here for the start of the growing season, but oh well. I'll be in contact with the rest of the team on a near-daily basis via phone or Zoom so everyone's on the same page, and I'm not -completely- left out of the proceedings.

Beyond the logistics and planning, it's been a weird month. I feel like I had been dealing with a lot of negativity being thrown at me these past few weeks. "No, that's not gonna work." "No, we can't make it there today, we're gonna try tomorrow." "No, it's not done yet." A new litter of kittens was abandoned by their mother in a matter of days.

I feel like I dealt with all this well enough, though also this month I wrestled a lot with being inexperienced when it comes to homesteading and gardening, as well as in leadership. To sum it up, I'm doing my best to not take things personally, still do my best every day, and to remember that my long-term plan is based on putting up with the challenges of being the supervisor. These difficulties are part of me earning my keep.

We wrapped up our special events for the season, and it all ended on a high note. We completed several interesting projects as the year went on, ranging from cat houses to roundwood kitchen chairs. Learned how to use a few new tools and refreshed my memory on a few familiar ones.

As of this writing, I have six more days before I hit the road for my trip back east. To say I'm excited for the break this affords me is a drastic understatement.

Tax refund came in, no problem. I may have to remit some additional paperwork because I'm a new resident of this state, while I didn't have any income. Not sure how that's gonna play out, and admittedly I've stuck my head in the sand about it and am flat-out ignorant of the process beyond the warning letter I received.

I have made zero income while here. There's nothing to be taxed. Not sure how to substantiate that other than stating, "I have made no money." Maybe that's what the paperwork is supposed to do for me. I don't know yet.

When I take the trip out east, I will be sure to collect my soap-making stuff and do my best to crank that out ASAP. There has to be some way to make some extra cash with my setup. To be clear: I'm still living off savings and am not in dire straits. However the ability for me to continue to afford this kind of lifestyle is a concern that has only grown as time has gone on.

Provided the world isn't destroyed by nuclear holocaust any time soon, I wonder what life will be when I am authentically old. Quite a morbid thought when coupled with the "financial fitness" topic, eh? Just read today about Russia's hypersonic missiles, and that has me wondering.

It will be so, so good to see my family again. I am concerned for my mother's heath, as well as my step-dad. This may be one of the last times I see either of them, or maybe both of them. Going to focus on the positive however, and make sure I maximize the quality time with them while there. My aunt in the midwest offered to let me crash at her place on the way over, on both legs of the round trip, so checking in with her will also happen. She's a pretty great old lady.

Letters and phone calls continue, though admittedly this month it was a tad inconsistent. I did jam out a few whoppers though, I must say. One of my letter-friends is a published author, and she had sent me a couple of her early drafts. My response was all about what authors do, how they realize the story in their heads for their audience, what does it mean to create characters and how much of them are "us," and so on. Much more metaphysical than my usual, and it was an uplifting experience. The story I'd read kick-started it, of course. I think she's a fine writer.

Looking forward to crossing paths with my ex soap partner and with my artist friend when I visit back east, whatever that may entail. I at least want to bake them some scones or bread or something like that.

This month seemed to beat me down, at least in terms of mental and emotional health. It was like back in the "old days," when I was a trainer. I end up exhausted by the end of the week, and I don't want to talk to anyone. I'd just rather shovel pastries in my mouth. Weight has dropped as well (in the low 180s), so I feel like my pastry consumption is justified - or at least doesn't hurt.

Spending a lot of time outdoors: hiking, hauling, and otherwise moving myself and things from place to place. When I'm in town on the weekends I kind of just park the car and then walk from one cafe'-bakery to the next, hitting the happy hours at my usual spots and eventually completing errands.

A highlight from this month for this category is my knot book...! Someone on the gardening forum posted a video they made about basic knot-tying, and it reminded me of how much I enjoyed doing that in the past - and just how useful a skill it is. So I invested in a couple affordable knotting manuals with easy-to-understand instructions, and I had a blast this past weekend working through a half dozen or so knots.

I also picked up a few books from a senior center's thrift store I found while walking about town. These would include manuals on solo hiking, reading maps and using compasses, and finally a couple fun books including a retelling of the voyages of Sindbad the sailor, from Tales of the Arabian Nights.

Finally, I tracked down a copy of a more recent version of "The Guide to Getting It On," which is essentially a sex manual. Not like I anticipate I'll need it for anything, but I suppose I'm more looking for masturbation techniques or whatever I might be missing. Part of me says it's unlikely I'll be having sex with anyone else for pretty much the rest of my life, but just in case the opportunity shows itself, it may be worth reviewing some of the chapters on oral sex. Next time I'm with a woman in that kind of situation, I want to make it something for her to fondly remember.

A complex and challenging month, with a few bright spots and pastries to smooth things over. I'm looking forward to being away for a while.


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