life

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NOTE: This post is from Christmas, the anniversary of the car accident.  The weather is warming up around here, and I look forward to getting back on the bike.

It’s Christmas morning…

Instead of gathering around a sparkling tree and tearing away at presents, I’m on my bike riding the North Central Rail Trail. While I’ll be headed to see family soon, I need this time in the morning for me. The universe was stingy with its gifts this year, so it’s important to observe this one: time on the trail with the bike. A gift from my youth rediscovered, what a lifeline it would become this year.

The trail is cold and–past the first mile of the trailhead–mostly empty. A few hardy types like myself and few locals walking their dogs. The green and gold have given way to gray and brown. It would be easy to call it ugly, but as the trees stand naked, one can seen the hills beyond them. Crags of schist and gneiss stone, breaking through skyward, as the Gunpowder River winds bayward below. The occasional quartzite boulder face stands strong, indifferent to the oncoming winter.

This trail, where a century ago industry lurched from Baltimore to Sunbury and back, has become a refuge. A year ago on this day I was lying in an emergency room, having just survived a head on car collision. And this on the heals (days after) of one of the bigger relationships in my life ending. The breakup at the time had seemed a relief, but I had yet to dive into the well of misgivings lurking behind me… and the mental health problems that would follow the closed head injury would only make all of that worse. I tried to do a lot of forgetting, but what I did instead was a lot of letting go. The accident took me close to the brink, and the major change in life would have me gazing deep over the edge… into life, into myself. It was a journey. I wish I could say it was fun, but the most transformative seldom are.

I’m at the point where I’m mostly recovered and am finally starting to talk about it. “Hey do you remember how I suddenly ran out on your birthday that night? Panic attack.” “Hey do you remember that concert I inexplicably bailed on? Depression’s a bitch.” “Hey do you remember that crazy letter I sent you? I was on the verge of a breakdown. Still not sure who I was even trying to help.”

I’d been talking to some close friends about it the whole while, but not many. I learned a LOT about my support network–a process that involved some painful trial and error at times. I saw a whole bunch of doctors and professionals for therapy both physical and mental. It’s interesting: the one who was with me and remains with me after the whole ordeal? My acupuncturist. Big advocate. If you’re thinking about going, go.

It’s hard to talk about these things, though. It’s hard to write this. But a lot of recovery is talking about things. Hell, a lot of just being better and a little more alive every day is talking about things. And the truth is that I started seeing a therapist and working on improving myself a year or two beforehand. But you learn a lot in the crash and rebuild. If people were like computers, every day crashing and rebuilding, we’d each be amazing in our own lifetimes. As such, we build and rebuild simply what we can.

In either case, it is Christmas morning, and here I ride: on trails resurrected from the bones of industry, bicyclists and dog walkers trekking the hills of the Piedmont Plateau as it leans towards the great Blue Ridge. After each ride, I feel a little more alive than when I started it. I’m glad I started doing this. For me, this motion, this vitality is both the build and the rebuild.

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NOTE:  This is a post from last year, a draft dated 07/31/16.  In it I talk about mental health problems following my car accident, moving on from a major breakup, which was still very much on my mind at the time… eggs.  The eggs were all good last year.  Other things not so much.  At the time that I wrote this, I was feeling rested, somewhat recovered, but about a month later I would fall into one of the worst depressions that followed the car accident, one of the worst that I’ve had as a grown adult honestly.  It’s strange to look back on moments that felt like clarity with something much more accurately resembling clarity.

Sunday Morning

Just before Ten. I’ve slept in. The dim hopes of waking early and going on a hike dashed already. But I needed the sleep. It’s okay. Awoken by the phone, buzz buzz, a text message from (and I know it before I even look…) Mom. I’m still not texting her back. I should call today, though. Things have been good lately. The family visit last week much better than expected.

Breakfast: eggs, potatoes, sausages.

Light and healthy chicken sausages. I’ve done a good job of losing weight and getting back into shape this year. Need to keep at it. The tater tots: my weekend luxury. Besides, I bake em.

Scrambled Eggs a la Jon

1x free range brown eggs
1/2 pat of butter
1-2 tsp cream, whole milk, or half and half
Dash salt and pepper

Pictured: some other morning’s breakfast

Fifteen minutes prior to cooking, scramble the eggs in a bowl. Add salt and pepper. Adding the salt and letting it sit loosens up the proteins and makes the eggs fluffier (credit: J Kenji Lopez-Alt on the tip). In a non-stick pan melt the butter. Add eggs. Stir while they cook. Just as the eggs are setting, add the dairy. Do not add the dairy earlier than this. The timing is the point here. (credit: Michel Roux on the tip.) The proper ratio of milk to eggs, in most recipes, I’ve found to be a quarter cup of dairy per dozen eggs. So bear that in mind. You don’t need much. Just a bit. Continue to cook the eggs until just about fully set. Turn off the heat and let the eggs rest. Like pasta or fish. The timing can be tricky. I’ve really only just gotten any good at it myself. Had to crack a lot of eggs, as they say….

No solid plans for the day. Need to practice Pilates. Should do weights too, maybe the treadmill. Would like to play some pinball. I’m still no good at it, but I’ve taken an interest in it lately. I haven’t been gaming much lately, but I’ve been working pinball in about once a week.

Might make pickles. Been wanting to try some fermentation, but feel pretty intimidated by it. Perhaps more to post on that later. In either case, it would involve a trip to Target, which I may or may not be willing to make this afternoon. Perhaps of there is a Target close to some pinball….

Been doing a lot of redecorating and reorganizing around the house. I reclaimed my spare bedroom this week. It has sat vacant since my ex moved out, and it has lent a certain hollowed quality to the home. After she moved out, I did a pretty big purge, getting rid of things that reminded me too much of her. Tossing some, boxing others. Memories can be difficult to un-entwine when you’ve lived with someone. I imagine, it was easier for her. That’s just how she is. For me, not so easy. In fact one of the hardest things about the breakup was that I was stuck in this house that we had tried to make into a home together. She got to just leave. Make something new. A process of potential and excitement. I had to rebuild. Again.

The car accident complicated everything. Months of physical therapy kept me from doing much of anything around the house. I had not understood it at the time, but as painful as the PT process felt, there was a sweet structure there. A regimen to my days. When that regimen ended, things really went off the rails for me mental health wise. I believe the concussion had much to do with this, but the timing right after such a major breakup could not have been worse. I leaned into my support network and found mixed results. In the end, really, I found myself very much on my own.

It’s been a long summer, but I’m doing much better. I started leaning pretty heavily on behavioral techniques with the help of my therapist. Setting boundaries, removing triggers, avoiding things that I simply cannot handle right now. It’s been hard. I’ve had to let go of some things dear to me for the time being.
And so, here I find myself reclaiming my home. It’s not just my ex moving out, but that I’m living here alone altogether now. No roommates. No one. Just me. At times it’s felt like I’m the one haunting the place. It used to be filled with such life, so many people. And now I roam about, talking to my sweet cat.
I now type from my reading and writing room. This bedroom was home to several others, but now it is me who sits at this window looking out at the shady trees, the ivy creeping up the chimney, the patches of lawns visible in the distance. This is the shady side of the house after all. It’s very peaceful. I feel like a stranger here. A stranger I am trying much harder to like again. Sometimes it’s tough. Like I said, it’s been a difficult summer.

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I ran into a friend at work yesterday, and he asked me how I’d been lately.  It had been awhile, I realized.  We used to see each other often, but I couldn’t actually tell you the last time we had spoken. I like him.  We haven’t known each other long, nor were necessarily besties or anything, but he is one of the few coworkers who I actually feel like I can talk to.

My answer, “Well…”

He’s not on my social media, and as I began to casually comment on bouncing back from things, his eyes began to grow wider.  The last six months were something of a Greek tragedy, a Southern gothic.  I told him about the family stuff (which I won’t mention here), but I had a lot more to say about the car accident and the breakup that happened right before it.  And there was more… so much more.  But why get into the minor stuff.

It was a strange moment for him I think because I was smiling and looking great as I recalled a litany of drama.  I’ve been on the upswing.  I was speaking to my acupuncturist (a treatment I highly recommend if you’ve recently experienced trauma), and I observed to her that my life of late has been in strange sync with the seasons.  Winter was awful.  A winter among winters.  But spring… ah spring.

“Most people wouldn’t think of it that way,” she said. She meant that in a good way.  So far I really like her.

So: spring.

Having weathered a saga of things that I won’t get into much here, I’ve turned with the weather to greener things, newer things.  As rough as the past six months have been, there’s a great relief that comes from passing through hell:  freedom. I find myself very unencumbered as of late.  Perhaps I set the stage for much of this last year when I was busting ass and paying off my student loans, maybe I would have gotten here sooner had not life intervened, but in either case I’ve entered a phase where I’ve put down or been released from a number of burdens. Work, family, debt, relationships. Unencumbered.

I’ve been doing things on my own lately.  Going to shows.  Exploring new places.  Pushing hobbies to new places.

This weekend I dropped by a Maryland trail that I can’t wait to get back to: The North Central Rail Trail.  It runs from Hunt Valley up to PA, close to York they tell me.  It used to be a railroad but became one of the many Rails-to-Trails projects that have swept across the country (an awesome parks project that everyone should support!).

On a chilly Sunday in March, the winter still holding spring back for one more week, it is a very peaceful place. The last of the season’s white was trickling through the trees, while the first of the season’s green was pushing up along the path.  Once past the first mile marker, I had the place to myself.

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I plan on buying a new bike soon, and this is the first place I intend to ride it.  The crushed gravel is easy, and there is plenty of shade.  It’s one of those strange places where one can feel very removed from society and yet in fact be still quite close to it.  The peace of a country garden without losing any cell signal.

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I’ve taken up trail running.  That’s what I was up to this weekend.  I do a few 10k’s every year, but I want to add some trail runs in this year.  They just sound fun.  I might have to join a runner’s group or something, as I can’t seem to generate any interest in it among my friends who run.

Or I could just keep going it alone.

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More to come.  Tonight I start another new thing: Pilates.  Since my car accident, I’ve become committed to developing more and better-balanced core strength (I might even start observing leg day at the gym!). I’m looking forward to tonight. It will be fun.

 

 

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It’s been a busy summer.  What follows are some photographs from Quebec, earlier this summer.  I wrote some deep thoughts in my journal about our French neighbor while stowed away in a cabin up north, far north, as close to the Arctic Circle as I’ve yet been.  It’s an interesting place.  It’s a strange kind of nationalism that one encounters–a country within a country truly.  Our cities and states here in the U.S. seem like such distinct microcosms to us, but really they are not so much.  We Americans are more alike than unalike.

 

Saguenay Steps

In either case, the journey is what has been on my mind.  Thus the stone stairs and vista.  Deep, meditative spiritual stuff.  This is Saguenay Fjord.  A distant place, beautiful, sparsely inhabited, and largely unspoiled.  Hardy French northerners live here, and even the tourists are mostly fellow French northerners.  These smooth rounded peaks were gouged and polished by glaciers thousands of years ago.  The water of the fjord runs deep, as deep as the peaks that tower above it, and it is rich in iron, red ferrous tides sweeping throughout.

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I’ve learned a lot about being happy this summer.  Specifically the great cost of happiness for some of us.  I’ve learned in these sunnier days how to draw strong boundaries and place myself first and that escaping the cycle of bad habits has little to do with the habits themselves.  There’s this journey.  You cross boundaries and set boundaries.

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This is a hidden spot in the Montreal Botanical Garden, tucked away behind an Asian temple.  It has become one of my happy places, and I look forward to making it back there.  There are these times in your travels that you say to yourself, I will return.  Other places come and go, but some, a few–you just know you will be back.  This place was so.  I’ve been carrying it with me and look forward to returning as well.

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Christine asked me this morning what I was doing, and I promptly–perhaps a bit haughtily–informed her that I was “making goals.”  She laughed.  Perhaps it seemed to her that I was merely writing things down on paper (or preparing to do so). “Like, life goals?” she asked.  I smiled, “Just goals.”

I suppose I tend to think of such lists of ordinary.  Here, for example, would be a survey of just such a list:

  • Replaced the downstairs smoke alarm
  • Finish your taxes
  • Gym three times this week
  • Put turkey thighs in the freezer
  • Look into car repair costs
  • Do overtime at work
  • Call your sister
  • Finish computer updates

But the truth is there’s been a renewed interest for me in these weekly registers of planned activity.  Since being forced to reckon with some of these aforementioned health issues, it’s gotten me to thinking about mortality.  Mine. Yours. Ours.  I’m not diving off into mid-life crisis mode here or anything, but I’ve been asking myself a bit lately… what the hell am I doing?

I’ve actually spent a lot of time this past year thinking about happiness and what that means or should mean.  A year ago at this time, I believe this was around when I had purchased a juicer and I was diet crazed and soon to be playing four or five different sports each week (floor hockey, volleyball, broomball, kayaking, etc…).  I spent a lot of time thinking then about how things were fine.  Wait, let me clarify, I spent a deal of time then being astonished that things were fine.  I had gotten so used to crisis mode that I didn’t even really know what to do with myself when times were calm.  I played a lot of sports, apparently.  I was in pretty good shape.  (Although my addiction to anything bad for me–pizza from Vito’s primary among them–would do short work of that in the Fall.)

Sometimes I feel like happiness is a victory condition of life.  That’s what we’re taught. Cross X, Y, and Z off of your list of life goals and it all adds up to happiness and–hooray!–you’ve won!

Jesus Christ, what does that even mean?

For context, let me clarify that I’m in a phase at the moment where just about everyone around me is accomplishing major, major life goals.  The Onion even ran a piece a short time ago that ran along the lines of “Obnoxious Friend Won’t Stop Accomplishing Major Life Goals.”  Marriage, children, career… you name it.  I suppose at some point we have to add buying a boat to that list.

I don’t want a boat.  Or maybe I do, or don’t, or I don’t care that much either way. I mean a kayak would be nice.  But what is a kayak as far as victory conditions are concerned? What is a marriage?  Kids?

I don’t know, and I’m not sure I need to know.  But I do keep thinking about time lately.  Acquaintances who it seems were so recently single and young and aimless are now so married and so on their second kid.  Jesus.  A few years go by, and I see them with a whole new life.  How do they see it?  Have the changes been so gradual as to evade perception?  Have they even paused to consider it?  Do they even care?  Or will they be in mid-life crisis mode in a few short years… no doubt while I’m still scratching my chin here, trying to perceive the breeze that time kicked up as it flew by.

I guess I’ve had it with victory conditions is what I’m digging at here. Had it with the life goals and the big ideas… but then what?  Forego any daily activity that could be quantified in an ordinary list and live each day fresh as the last?  I’ve got a mortgage, man.  And besides, planning is in my nature.  It just doesn’t seem that crossing planned items off the list begets any real victory. Just a turned page. A new list.

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It’s a cool 62 degrees outside here in LA, although the outlook is anything but the typical sunny vista Los Angelinos are accustomed to. It’s raining like a mofo right now. There have been evacuations in some counties, as torrential mud slides are expected before the weekend is over. Coming from Baltimore, following blizzards, thunder snow, ice storms, tornado warnings and–yes–a few perfectly sunny days, I suppose mud slides are just another thing. If a wrinkled old mystic had warned me in recent days to avoid mountains, then I would have done well to listen.

Rainy downtown LA.

Rainy downtown LA.

 

Christine is off at a conference, some small gathering of academics trading discussions on the indigenous peoples of the Pacific. That’s how we ended up here, but we’re extending our stay to explore and visit with friends. It is for both of us a much needed break.

I’m in my pj’s in the hotel, trying to figure out how I can work in two lunches today, so that I can cross multiple food explorations off my list. Local institution Philippe’s is a few blocks away, and Roy Choi’s Chego a few blocks from that. Dinner is already planned at new local darling Alma. We made the reservations a month ago, and I expect to be impressed. I am quite disappointed that we were not able to fit in a trip to animal. Next time, LA, next time.

This excessive meal planning is par for the course for a food nerd like myself, and as you might imagine Christine is no different. Before I said a word, she already had a list of LA restaurants not dissimilar from my own. I really have no idea what to think about LA yet (I’m trying to reserve judgment), but at least when I come to town here I know there’s food of every kind to be explored.

I did get my first real sense of LA’s sheer scale yesterday. It was during a long $75(!!!) cab ride from the airport. I had understood LAX to be in LA, and I guess it is, but if you set the needle of your compass at downtown and extend the arm to the airport and it’s a sheer hour away… are we really in the same town? Or at some point did someone just say fuck it and decide the whole county was itself the city?

It seems to me almost immediately that when so many Americans say they don’t like LA, what they really mean is that they’re exhausted by LA. The town exacts a toll of mental fortitude, and payment is expected immediately upon receipt. No skipping out on this check. I haven’t had much time to socialize here, but the social aspect seems little different from what I know of it. Rigid pretentions and expectations about carved out personal identities. We’re a little less interested in that on the East Coast. Or maybe we just pursue it differently. A number of our personal rivalries are fought by proxy of our sports teams, for example, not by the make of our clothes or who we might know.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written in here, and there’s been a lot going on. I’ve actually had some health issues going on lately, though I’m not sure that’s anything I need to get into here. But my doctor has advised me to make some adjustments, and I think that journaling might prove an appropriate outlet yet again.

More posts this weekend, maybe. But they’ll need to be short. Typing at length on this tablet without my keyboard (that I left at home) is akin to squeezing the toothpaste back into the tube. Not exactly fun.

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I don’t have many poems committed to memory… okay let’s be honest, I have almost no poems committed to memory. However this little ditty has always stuck in my mind, and of late I find it to be particularly apropos.

My candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night;
But, ah, my foes and, oh, my friends
It gives a lovely light!

– Edna St. Vincent Millay

Life has been busy. Crazy silly busy.  Here’s a short to-do list to give you an idea:

  • Buy new headphones
  • Fix up that bike a friend gave you
  • Floor hockey night
  • Bocce night
  • Text your aunt back
  • Start getting ready for your big summer party
  • Book Asheville trip
  • Book Denver trip (well, decide if you’re going first)
  • Book Portland (figure out when first, though)
  • Celebrate your birthday
  • Kayaking safety training
  • Pick up tickets, so many shows coming up…
  • Build shelves, lots of shelves
  • Paint the mud room (do this before the shelves)
  • Paint your bedroom
  • Text that girl you went out with the other night (can’t tell how interested she is though…)
  • Start getting ready for another juice (or semi-juice)
  • Figure out which 5k’s your doing this summer
  • Finish The New York Trilogy (good luck finding time for that!)
  • Practice your French

I’ll be happy if I get to half of these… though at least half are not optional.  To top it all off I volunteered for a special detail at work, which has been leaving me exhausted every day. Time is at a premium, sleep is at a premium, and the list just grows.  Sigh. Things are, despite my frustrated tone, quite good though. 

But enough of that.

What interests me most at looking at the above list is what isn’t on it. I’ve been doing a pretty poor impression of the video game and tv loving homebody I used to be. I’ve been doing and watching more sports than ever… it’s strange. Floor hockey, running, biking, kayaking… what happened to that nerd who used to stay up all night playing Xbox games? I miss him. Those Xbox games were fun.

It’s confusing really… my social circles of late have evolved along with my sporting activities…. Sometimes while sitting at happy hour I wonder if folks I’m with realize what a bonafide nerd is sitting at the table. I may be wearing an O’s cap and cooling off after a close game of hockey, but man I have a book case full of RPG books (mostly D&D) in my den downstairs… books I have no intention of ever getting rid of.

I don’t know, I suppose I’ve been feeling some dissonance about it lately. Perhaps I should journal more of it later.

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So I have a new hobby. It’s called annoying the living hell out of everyone by going on nonstop, seemingly uncontrollably, certainly–to say the least–with an egregiously unchecked sense of enthusiasm, about my shiny new juicer. Yes I am that guy: the dude who bought a juicer and won’t shut up about it.

It’s only been a week, and it’s been amazing. I’m still in the early stages, experimenting with recipes, but I’m in love with this new appliance. Just the hum of it as the engine spools up, it sounds like a mini aircraft engine. It hums. And then with frightening ease and efficiency the little bad boy shreds up anything I can put into it. Carrot-apple-ginger, my morning green juice, my homemade V8 (still a work in progress…) Juice man, it’s the best!

I’d already been incorporating V8 into my diet as a snack anyway, but this has felt like a gateway being thrust open. Just a whole world out there of juices to make. And all of them (well most of them), delicious, fresh, healthy snacks. This all ties into my healthier diet of late, which I’m not even sure if I’ve journaled about here.

It’s funny, for a guy whose pride and joy was once his secret chili recipes, I’m subsisting these days mostly on things like chick peas, juice, granola, greek yogurt. And cheese. Of course, delicious life-giving cheese. It has been good, and I have been feeling great (and not to mention looking better…).

But the juicer has kicked it up a notch. I feel as if a new plateau has been reached. In fact, our house has quickly become such a juicing hotbed that my roommate showed up the other day with a Fronana. This is a type of juicer that makes deserts with yogurt and frozen bananas. I promptly dubbed it the Bronana maker and declared it as a victory for our house.

So perhaps in the coming days I’ll post some juice recipes. At the least it would be nice to figure out my own homemade V8. My first attempt did *not* go as planned… but some experimentation is to be expected, even desired.

Anyway, spring is starting and here are the things I am currently looking forward to most:

Sunshine
Kayaking
Floor hockey
Bocce
Game of Thrones Season 3
NOLA
Swimming
BBQs
Gardening
Fitting into all of my old t-shirts again (woohoo!)

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I’ve been thinking a bit lately about motivation.  In part, I suppose, because that is part of my job these days.  I should be keeping my techs motivated to do good, accurate work.  It’s tough, though.  I suppose I try to just be fair and lead by example, and maybe I haven’t gotten much further than that with it right now.  And that’s institutional motivation anyway.  Everything is different when working within an organizational framework.  One needs to consider corporate culture.  Ethics.  The law.  It’s complicated.

Shouldn’t personal motivation be simpler?  Sometimes it doesn’t seem so, but I’ve been keeping at it.

I really got my ass kicked in broomball Thursday.  It was a good night, let me be clear.  I got my first assist, and I had some shots on goal–even if they weren’t great ones.  But man did I push myself.  I was aggressive and kept pushing.  In the second half, I started to go too far and felt it immediately.  I was playing wing, and I could feel their defense getting tired.  I scrambled like mad on a few back to back plays, sprinting harder than I had since basketball in high school.  I rotated back to the bench a minute later, out of breath and panting like I’d just gotten run over.  My breaths came so deep and hard, for a second I thought I would hyperventilate.  Right there, mortified in front of these teammates who are still very new acquaintances to me.

Things cooled down. I caught my breath, and in the end we chalked it up as a somewhat successful loss, as for the first time this season we were playing with some real teamwork and putting pressure on goal.  I spent the next day completely laid up.  I’m getting old, man, I can’t keep doing this.

And yet I do.

I’ve been striving for discomfort lately, and from it I’ve been finding a new reserve of self motivation.  It’s tough when you’re in your thirties, and so many things in life seem to be on…. I want to use the phrase “cruise control” here, but instead I think I’ll say schedule.

You live by the schedule, you die by the schedule.  You have a career–an organization and a set of peers that have daily expectations and challenges for you.  You have a home–a never ending set of responsibilities and projects.  You have a family–where do I even begin with that one?

You live by the schedule, you die by the schedule.

It’s easy to lose your motivation when locked into a circle. A routine that can seem as meaningless as it can directionless.  I’ve taken to the inconveniences to break it up and keep me moving.  The problems, the challenges.  Too many people let go and let the schedule make all the decisions for them.  I mean, it’s easy.  I can’t even call someone lazy for simply checking in every day and meeting those tasks of career, home, family.  After all, there are many who fail to even do that.  Those destined to wipe the schedule clean and start over.  Once, twice, maybe again and again. We all know a few of those folks.

It’s tough, but I’ve been at it in little ways.  Playing in a more competitive broomball league is just an example.  It’s hard, it’s kicking my ass, I have no idea how successful I’ll be, and yet I’m keeping at it.

I woke up today sore as fuck and yet as refreshed as ever.  Decided to hell with stopping by the office on a weekend (I had planned to go in).  Today I’ll set my own schedule.

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Right, so it’s a new year already.  Been meaning to make a new years/last year summary kind of post but haven’t quite gotten to it, and honestly wasn’t entirely sure what all I had to say.

Last year was definitely a year with its ups and downs, but all in all, I really managed to right things and pull onto an even keel, which is what I wanted.  It was on the whole a successful year.  I’ve always been a bit vague on here about the past two years, but suffice to say I dealt with a little more than a normal share of hardships and it was tough getting through some of that.  These past six months were about putting the last of that behind me.  And much of that meant just working my ass off, which I did, even if it meant not being around a lot.

So that’s the thing I’m looking forward to the most in the coming year: being around. Focusing on what I want to do as opposed to what I need to do. Life is good, and I’ve worked hard to enjoy it.  It really does change things, if subtly, when you know that.  When you’ve worked through that.

So, I’m not much of a resolution maker but here are a few things that I’m looking forward to in the coming months.  Perhaps I will bother myself to journal about them on this modest little page that I pay a tidy little annual sum to reserve.

1) Vacations

So far I’ve got a ski trip planned and a tentative Vegas trip, but it’s time to plan some more. Currently I lack a default travel partner, but whatever. I worked my ass off last year and took like two trips. This year there needs to be more, even if they’re just here in the U.S.

2) Dating

Yeah… I don’t really have anything to say about the break up I went through last year… and I don’t have much to say about the dating I’ve done since then.  The only woman I dated last year who I actually really liked ended up–in the end–making fun of me on her blog and basically calling me a homo. Because I like flowers. I don’t know if that’s a remark on my taste in women or a remark on the emasculating power of flowers, but I sure hope it’s not the former. And anyway, as a good friend of mine put it to me lately: “…well, we’ve got you as a +1 for the wedding.”  So I need to get on that.  I hate dating, I really do, but there’s no reason for me to be hanging back and getting made fun of for my homophilic love of flora in the meantime.

3) French and Motorcycles

I’ve been meaning to learn some French and learn to ride a motorcycle for a little bit now.  I could see me skipping out on the motor biking, but getting more and more into cooking has really made me want to learn some basic French.  I mean, just to pronounce and spell things.  I don’t expect to be great at French anytime soon, but I’d like to at least sound like a competent chef.  It seems that if you want to get serious about cooking, there’s just no side-stepping a little bit of French culture.

Which sounds fine to me. How about some French classes and then maybe a trip or two to Quebec? These are worthy and easily attainable goals.

I guess I’ll park it there and leave it at that. Three goals sounds good, and things all around are good. Also things are tired. It’s late, and I’ve a busy day tomorrow providing for my technicians.

Au revoir for now!

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