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31 December 2019

Another Decade Done

Another year through… but this time, I don't feel as though I have much to say.

In some regards, it's just that I'm not particularly feeling reflective tonight.  A mid-week Christmas contributed to a whirlwind holiday season for the family, and so it feels as though I've really only just finally managed to slow down a bit.  In other regards, it may just be that at this point in my life, no news is good news.  Or at least, not bad.  The usual, anyway.  Meh.

Not that nothing happened, of course.  My mother visited me in Pittsburgh for two long weekends this year, in both March and September, to help me get out of some ruts and catch up on some ever-needed cleaning.  And I visited, as usual, in May, July, and around the holidays. 

In January, I finally found a local dentist, and even though they're a little far away, they're great.  I served on a jury for a three-day trial in February, and I moved my office at work in July on the very day I returned to work from Music Camp.  Elections were relatively uneventful this year, and all of the normal fall events were successes.

But zooming out to the whole decade, it's really interesting to see how far I've come.  It's amazing how much is hidden at that level: I was still in college ten years ago.  Now I'm several years into a career.  Careful (and even not so careful) readings of past year-end recaps would show you that it hasn't actually been that effortless.  It still isn't.

But, really, tonight, I'm just feeling thankful most of all.  Wrong holiday, but eh.  Those are my feelings.

Happy New Year, all!

Random tangent: Fox's New Year's Eve with Steve Harvey was excited about breaking the world record tonight for most people performing YMCA.  A record which was last set by me and (apparently) 40,147 other people in El Paso at the 2008 Sun Bowl, 11 years ago today.  I still participated from home while I watched.


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14 May 2019


Last weekend, I visited home as I tend to do this time of year, and my mother gave me a crossword puzzle which contained the clue "Teen turmoil", five letters.  After conferring with the crossing clues and determining that the answer was, indeed, "ANGST", I reflected a bit on where I am in life right now.

Much like my teenaged years which launched this blog, it's recently been a tumultuous time.  Of course, it's different — it always is.  A lot of big projects and initiatives at work are just kinda… up in the air.  This is normally the time of year we'd be figuring out answers and solidly charting a course to get through as much of the list as possible through the upcoming summer months.  This year, though, there happen to be a lot of externalities, and so many details remain largely out of our hands, at least for now.  Which certainly brings up some anxious feelings, but also, at the same time, maybe is a good thing?  It's important to focus one's efforts on what can be controlled, after all.  But it is an adjustment, and one that's still in flux at least for a while yet, so that all has left me a bit unsettled.

Meanwhile, my personal life just seems kinda disorganized.  My mother came down to my place 22–25 March for a long weekend to help me start the process of reorganizing the physical manifestation thereof (read: cleaning my apartment).  The intent was that that could have been a launching point of sorts, the catalyst required to overcome inertia, but alas, life has had other plans.  It seems many of my usual amusements just feel like they're adding to the mental to-do list rather than creating calm.  And I don't feel like I have the time I need to step back and assess why.

Ironically, earlier tonight, I actually only got halfway through a podcast episode about millennial burnout before I found my attention turning to "more pressing" matters.  And that's exactly the kind of "mental load" framework it was discussing.  I'm hoping there are some coping strategies in the second half, because I need them.  And perhaps a little more separation from the busy-ness of the school year might help, too.

In the midst of it all, I am at least trying to take time to enjoy myself, but it's getting tough to balance.  It's unclear to me how much of that is the uncertainty and how much is just executive dysfunction rearing its ugly head, but I'm definitely in a weird funk these past few weeks.  For now.  This, too, shall pass.

But at least I can cross one thing off the to-do list: Bloggy cake number fourteen!  Digitally baked and served!

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01 January 2019


I have to admit, the nineteen is throwing me off a bit.

Even though, at work, we've been in the 2019 Fiscal Year for six months already, that largely exists in one partition of my life.  There's something a bit different about everyone else using it all of a sudden.

It wasn't helped, of course, by the branding of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve '19.  Because even though it's been nearly two decades since the last time those two digits appeared together in the year, there are still enough personal milestones, relevant family dates, and the like in my memory that my natural reaction to "nineteen" in such a context is to wonder — "nineteen-what?"

I suppose one could answer "nineteen-wonderful", if one is a fan of Rudolph's Shiny New Year.  Interestingly, though the family has more-or-less settled into a holiday routine in terms of our television consumption, we somehow missed that particular special this year.

Nevertheless, alas, the concept of dealing with "what-nineteen" instead is messing with me, numerically, a bit more than other years have.  And it means that 2020, which has often been a nebulous, intangible, futuristic year, is just around the corner.  Politicians are already throwing their hats into the ring for the next cycle.

I'm back in Pittsburgh now and, while working on my annual doodle, I've been assessing how I'm going to tackle the first few days of the year.  The advantage of the short work week ahead, especially having followed the long holiday, is that I basically have my priorities there pretty well planned out already — with room, of course, for adjustments as necessary.  But, with an unreliable phone battery, having left the bag containing one (or both!) of its wall chargers at my parents' house — thank goodness for power bricks! — and arriving to a bit of mildew on the sheets in my darkened bedroom, the domestic chores are also going to be pretty high on the list.

Here's hoping I find the return to work energizing enough that I can start chipping away at it with aplomb, leaving just enough time to celebrate my birthday on Friday.  "Get through the week" isn't the most exciting resolution, I suppose, but it'll do for now.

Random tangent: I think the "9" kinda looks like it's smiling, don't you?  It's half the reason I left it the way I did.


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