Part of why I haven’t wanted to update my Now page is I really like the last update. It was calm, hopeful, and transitional, which makes for a great page.
But we’re halfway through the year and almost five months out from my last update so it’s time to talk about what’s going on.
Without a theme this year, I feel a bit less about writing just about “now” and a bit more about what the trajectory of the last five months has looked like and what I’m hopeful for in the remainder of the year.
In my last update I noted:
I never did rewrite my resume like I planned last year. I want to do more to write about things I know this year instead of things I feel. Part of working on my own self-image includes getting over the part of my that places my professional knowledge under the category as uninteresting because it’s unimpressive and not novel. Of course, that’s true of literally everything I write in public, yet it doesn’t stop me when it’s not about work.
Reading this made me feel a bit disappointed. I don’t think I’ve delivered on this front. In fact, I forgot all about this sort of “commitment” to myself. Yet, reading it back now, I can’t help but to feel like I was on to something. Maybe I’ll do a bit better in the back half of the year.
January has historically been the month I read the most. This month I finished no books. In another sign of growth and changes, I don’t seem to find this concerning at all. I will read again soon, when it feels like the thing I want to do, for as much as I want to do it.
I definitely have gotten back to reading. Maybe not quite as voraciously as I have in years past, but I’m still well on pace for around 30 books this year. Importantly, I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read and I’ve enjoyed the act of reading when I’ve done it. I think this makes clear that the years of motivating myself to stick with something I enjoy has clearly engrained reading as a habit that’s hard to break. I have done the work to change myself, and this is a part of me that has not yet changed into something else. I remain a reader.
Yeah, I did take a break. And when I came back from Mexico, I did, in fact, return to the gym and mostly return to volleyball. I’m playing less than I did at my peak– closer to twice a week versus almost always 3 and sometimes 4 times a week– but I’m still making sure it’s a part of my routine. I was largely maintaining my health overall until April. I got hit really badly with allergies in San Diego. They didn’t really let up for a couple of months. That, coupled with what I can only describe as a bit of a mini-depressive episode led to pretty substantial decrease in overall activity and increase in eating. I gained a lot of weight over 6-8 weeks. I’m feeling better now, and I’m working hard to fight back to a body I feel more comfortable in. It’ll likely take all summer, but that’s ok.
Importantly, movement remains a key part of my mental health. And although I moved less, I never stopped going to volleyball at least once a week. I never stopped going to the gym to lift weights three times a week. I mostly kept up my habits, having largely lost my day time walking and other parts of my motivation, not the bigger parts of my commitment to health.
We’ve hit six months of Letters. Although I haven’t yet added it to my navigation as I rethink my site, I have collected all of the posts. I continue to enjoy this project, and recently posted some thoughts at the halfway mark.
Our 13 year old Pomeranian-Beagle mix is at the end stages of her life. She’s in chronic kidney failure as well as having liver issues and gall bladder issues. After significant time in the hospital, she’s home, she’s happy, and she’s comfortable. She’s not all the way back to herself, and she will never get better. At this point, we’re caring for her best we can, loving her best we can, and in the process of preparing ourselves to say goodbye. With the rate I update Now posts, I suspect that she will be gone long before my next one.
I am trying to find some different adventures to take. I had a week of solo travel due to some circumstances that meant Elsa couldn’t join me on planned trip. It was good for me. I needed that reset and change of scenery. I needed a couple of days outside, post allergies, where I walked 20,000+ steps a day by “mistake” and just did only things I enjoy with myself.
I need more time away from work and away from my existing routines. It’s too easy to find myself feeling trapped in the same worries and anxiety. I feel a heaviness creeping in that I associate with a lot of midlife crisis behavior. I can see the shape of the things I’ve laid down in what feel likes concrete. I need to remind myself that the concrete is an illusion. I can change my life to be more of what I want it to be at any time. I can make different decisions. I get one shot, and I shouldn’t keep doing things just because.
Am I itching for change? Maybe. So much of my life is better than I hoped for. At the same time, I need to know and feel and experience how much change is still possible to give myself the confidence to adjust when it’s necessary.
I never did decide on a theme for this year. But I think maybe I have now.
I want to Lighten.
So much of my stress and anxiety comes from my desire to be able to predict everything. I’m afraid of the uncertainty when things fail or just fail to meet my expectations and how I imagined things would be. The things that feel like the weigh me down and don’t let me make different choices– the heaviness – is imaginary. I want to find a way to feel nimble. I want to feel less anchored by past choices. I want to feel more capable of being tossed in the winds with the confidence I’ll remain aloft, just floating somewhere unexpected.
I want to accept that failing at something is not failing at everything. I want to feel like new opportunities are possible, even if I fail to get everything out of opportunities from the past.
Things can be less serious and more fun.
I need to lighten up. I need to lighten my burdens. I need to lighten my life so that I feel free to seize new things. I need to open myself up to changes that scare me. I need to lighten the pressure I put on myself and the things I care about today. I need to lighten the load I place on those who support me so that I can stand with a bit more confidence on my own.