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2023-04-27 09:55:17 (UTC)

Wrapping Up My Visit

Personal entry follows.

Only a couple days left visiting relatives and friends here on the East Coast.

A number of visits with friends never materialized, but for those I did have a chance to see, I enjoyed it. My ex- and former soap-making partner allowed me to stay over a couple nights in a row, and it was all right. Personally, I'd say she needs to get it together, but it seems like she's navigating a wealth of personal issues so that's understandable. While there, I helped out by vacuuming the carpet and trimming the grass of her backyard. During another day visiting her in town, we went to an Indian cuisine buffet for lunch and talked about her family happenings and day job challenges. We had a pleasant time, all around, and kept things drama-free while I was with her.

A visit to the old day job was entertaining, as well. The dinner with my former exec director clued me in to the future of the organization: they plan to purchase a building, which is a major step forward. Seems like, if she is stepping down, then there's still a few years to put things in order prior to that move. The grants director and I had a dinner together the following evening, which proved just as instructive. He was very curious as to how life was out West, but mentioned that he's personally having a difficult time at the office. It's to the extent that he's on a "performance improvement plan," and is applying for jobs elsewhere. Showed me to the local skate park - which he helped plan and fundraise for - and that was a warm meeting overall.

My artist friend is still struggling with her health, and I don't think I'll be seeing her in person while I'm here. She seemed very enthusiastic about my possible visit, offered me a fold-out couch to crash on, and so on. It just hasn't materialized while she's mending. There have been a handful of complications during the recovery from her surgery, and I encouraged her to focus on her health and healing. We can do Zoom calls between now and the next time either of us has a chance to visit. One visit that has worked out wonderfully was my old friend and game designer. He hosted a game design day while I was in town, and let me stay over. We nerded out an appropriate amount, and I revised a card game I'd been chipping away at over the past couple months.

Beyond those benign happenings, it's been quiet. Still find it discomforting to be in the suburbs and amongst its insanity, but as far as things go they could be tremendously worse. Since it's so remote from my typical stomping grounds (the drive to the town where I used to live and work is over 2.5 hours away), most of the time I'm relaxing in the basement famiily room, where I've been sleeping during my visit. Hung out with the dog, added topsoil to a garden bed, seeded a few areas near the bee hives with wildflowers, and ate a lot. I was barefoot-running on the treadmill, but it seems like I've strained my ankle (maybe a stress fracture?) so that's off the table for the time being.

The big picture is that it's not exciting or engaging here (it's a remote suburb), and the fact I need to check in with the interns twice a day during weekdays - and don't want to be driving while it happens - kinda sorta makes scheduling something more exciting a challenge. As a result, this visit has had a "staycation away from home" kind of vibe from back in the old days when I was part of typical society. I've rolled back to my old, puerile habits of over-eating and playing video games. Not admirable, in the least. I feel kind of restless for my drive back home, out West. There's a memorial for my two dead stepsisters this coming Saturday, which is a down-note kind of way to end my visit. So it goes. I head back likely on Sunday, Monday at the absolute latest.

Have I squandered this visit? I have my doubts that I spent the time as wisely as possible. But why dwell on that when the days past cannot be changed? I am more clear, however, on how I intend to spend my next year at the eco-institute. So I don't feel like my time away has been a total loss. It seems like I had built up my expectations a bit too much, personally. I want to curb the temptation for that tendency in the future.


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