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2023-05-01 16:18:59 (UTC)

Goals Reflection: April 2023


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

This month, I've been off-site though still connecting with the rest of the interns via phone call at the start of each shift: twice a day. While the situation did present its share of challenges, the team and I endured the potential weirdness and as far as I can tell they were still able to get shit done.

The roster has also changed a bit while I was away. The flaky guy has returned although I don't know yet how long he intends to stay. Another guy has arrived, and he seems to know his way around tools and hard work. One other guy has left, but will be back later in the summer (he worked as an intern for several months in order to pay his way for a summer event). After I return, a lady who spent a short time here last year will be back, and this time will bring her daughter along to work alongside her.

I'm glad there will be more people on site these coming weeks, which will include a lot of gardening. I imagine that kind of thing is what most people would expect when they come to a place like this, at least during this time of year. Depending on whether or not the well is installed quickly, they may have less work to do than even I expect. We'll see.

An interesting side-effect of being away from the eco-institute is that many of the people I hung out with asked me about my future plans: "So what do you hope to accomplish? What's your goal?" The result is that I'd done some thinking about what my acre will look like at the end of my two years of service. Aside from my tent, I intend to have two small structures (a storage shed and a toilet/outhouse) and a lot of space for growing food. I'll spend the growing season there, and then the colder/building season likely somewhere warmer. So if anyone asks, I can finally share more details with them.

I still have a -long- way to go to finish this internship, but at least my visions of the future are clearer. If things are rough, I can focus on these plans for the future to re-center myself and keep my main goal front-and-center.

Extra money was spent this month on hotel stays and refueling the car. I also had to spend over $450 on repairs because I somehow added diesel to the fuel tank during a refueling stop. However, once in town I was able to stay overnight at friends' houses and spent most evenings at my relatives' place. They let me eat a lot of their food as well, so once in place my expenses stayed low.

I picked up my soap-making equipment from my ex while visiting, and I will be looking into making soap at the eco-compound in my spare time.

This visit was all about spending face time with my family and old friends. I accomplished those goals handily. Being able to stay at my relatives' place ensured that there would be near-constant leisure time along with them whenever I wanted. I played board games: not just with my family, but with my game design friends as well. I ate wonderful food, and way too much of it. I baked pastries. I sowed wildflower seeds, filled up a garden bed with topsoil for a future planting, and taught my nephews how to grow mushrooms out of those ready-made mushroom grow kits. They harvested some the morning I left.

My midwestern aunt constantly shoveled food in my face (including a delectable carrot cake!) and wouldn't let me down the road without me carrying armloads more. BOTH times I visited her.

Spending time with a couple of my old coworkers was instructive in context of "how the sausage is made." The natural foods store is still in business, though the lady who runs the place is as grumpy as ever. My ex's life is still chaotic, though it does seem like some aspects of it are clearing up for the better. My artist friend seems to have attracted more health issues after her life-altering surgery.

The last Saturday I was in town, I attended a memorial for my two stepsisters, who both died last year. It was a sad occasion, but I was glad to be there for the family and was pleased to be the driver for my stepfather.

If there's one thing I was reminded of during my vacation this past month, it was this: attitude is nearly everything. I could easily dismiss my impressions of how other folks are by simply stating, "Oh, city life and suburban life are crazy!" However, though that may be true, I think that minimizes or simplifies the problem in an inaccurate way.

It seemed so strange to observe that one of the main ways my relatives began conversations with one another was discussing health problems. I did injure my ankle(s?) while there through running barefoot on the treadmill, and on more than one occasion I was diverting conversation -away- from the topic. Like, how is me stating out loud, "yeah, my ankle is sore," going to help anyone? I've wrapped my ankle with an ACE bandage... How much more of a clue do you need?

I recall hearing the guy who runs the eco-institute starting off conversations a similar way. Sometimes when I'd ask him how things are, he'll begin by discussing his own health problems, then shift to various issues with maintaining or moderating the website. He'll then eventually wrap up by discussing things that aren't done yet. Well, at least I can help with the last of those three uplifting topics...

My point is that whining and griping happens regardless of one's environment, or whatever stage of life they're in. Kids will pick up on it from their parents, which seems to me as the truly unfortunate thing.

I've resolved to never complain in front of others. No one else needs to hear it. The only exception will be my doctor who might be able to help with my health problems. But whining and whinging to others will do nothing to solve them. If someone asks what I want, I'll let them know (perhaps in a diplomatic tone), but as far as simply sharing frustrations or disappointments without solutions, no one else will know mine.

I felt idle much of the time away from home, on my vacation. I played a lot of video games this month. I also played a lot of board games. A lot of time was spent practicing knots, at least in the start of the month. I ran around like an idiot in the yard with the dog, again mostly at the start of the month. I sang a lot while driving around in the car. I listened to a lot of lectures on Stoicism and positive habit-forming while in the car, as well.

I also finally set up an account on Literotica. I intend to post some of my old writings. Should I receive any feedback, I'll strongly consider writing more whenever I'm away from the eco-institute.

This month was all about my trip back east to visit friends and relatives. I am pleased to be heading back to the eco-institute to continue moving forward with my future plans.


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