Week ending 12/19/2021

:ice_cream: One thing I don’t talk about here all that much is food. Most weeks I get at least some dessert from a local shop or pop-up, and I try to at least get take-out from new restaurants here and there as well. Pre-COVID I went out a couple times a week, mostly to try new places. This past week was full of a bunch of holiday dessert orders and trying some new things, so while I won’t go into detail on any of it here, I thought it was worth a mention. I hope at some point to decide on how I might want to talk more about the things I am trying, especially the ones I enjoy…

:rose: It was a bit of a frustrating week for dating, with a few more interesting candidates falling out of the possibility sphere. One in particular sticks in my mind. I am friends with a majority of my former partners, in some cases very good friends. I understand this is not a situation that some people want to encounter in a new partner/date, but I’ve never had someone flat turn me down because they felt uncomfortable with it. This person had a history of dating people she said “weren’t over their exes”, so fair enough. But it was a bummer, she was otherwise a rather intriguing and unique person that I hoped to at least get to know better.

:blush: On the bright side, I did have some really nice connections with friends this week, and from many of my different circles. I even got to see some people in-person, which is a rare treat these days! And making a friend a cocktail was oddly satisfying. I can’t remember when it last was that I was able to do that. A simple but very real pleasure. Last but not least, I sent an old friend some photos on his birthday that I’d taken many years ago at another birthday of his but never shared with him. This practice of sharing artifacts of memory is one of my favorite things to do with the people I care about in my life, and I feel like it’s a great way to (re)connect with people, too.

:money_with_wings: I ran into some plumbing problems this week, so I reached out to my landlord for options. In the process I learned some information that makes me suspect my rent might be notably (though still legally) increased in the next 3-6 months. I’ve been casually looking for a place to buy in the area, and with each passing month of the pandemic wishing I had done so sooner. Now I’m wondering if soon I’ll regret not buying something even more. :grimacing:

:thinking: In my work with my coach, we have shifted over the past 2-3 years from focus on what my next job/career would be, to entrepreneurship, to “passion projects”. Except for the shift away from work, which happened because I found a salaried position, the others have come more after some struggle and to a certain degree as a realization that we were probably focusing on the wrong thing (by which I mean “wrong for me at that time”). For example, I have many potentially entrepreneurial ideas, and some ambition, but it seems I don’t currently have the motivation or self-discipline to engage seriously with it. And while I have a lot of things I’m passionate about, and projects I want to work on which connect with those, it now seems like focusing deliberate effort towards all that and trying to crystallize some clear direction has not led where we might have thought. On the bright going through both of those periods of differing focus did help clarify a lot of things.

We’ve now turned our attention more towards my recreation category of life, which on the one hand seems like a potentially odd thing to work seriously on. But I think in fact that some important part of me really wants that, and has been polarized with other, more ambitious parts for a long time, and perhaps preventing serious progress on some of the areas we were focusing on before. So I’m hoping that by giving some attention and focus to the part(s) of me that value and appreciate the things I do for recreation, I will perhaps release some of the polarization that seems to exist here. Ultimately I would love to be able to split my energies well between these (and other) areas of my life and make all of them more effective at realizing their highest potential (as cheesy as that sounds). But for the moment it feels good that recreation is getting time time and focus.

:herb: I’ve been in a long-term project to better decorate my house and make some of the more common, guest-oriented spaces more welcoming and enjoyable to spend time in. Getting a new sofa and various other things have been part of that. More recently I turned my attention as well to my front porch. I already added a bench some time ago, but it’s still a pretty barren and uninviting place to spend much time. The thought occurred to me that a nice plant wall might be a good way to spruce things up, while keeping it looking nice through the seasons and not taking up too much space. So I got some planters and this week I started looking at what sort of plants might look good on a wall. I am mostly thinking of hanging plants, like “string of pearls” succulents and the like, but there are no doubt many other options that might be nice. I may even decide to focus on herbs and use it as a way to get fresh garnishes and whatnot for my home bar. Now if only more herbs were “hanging”…

:tv: Well, I’m still watching Parks and Rec. It’s just good enough that I keep going back (it also helps a lot that the episodes are only 20 mins, no other shows on my list are that conveniently short :smile:). I don’t know that I’ll make it to Season 4, though. I think it might take some seriously good episodes and/or characters/character moments to pull me through. We’ll see…

:popcorn: While I do watch TV regularly, one thing I don’t really make time for is movie watching. It’s not that I don’t have a ton of movies I’d like to watch, but quite honestly I don’t allow myself the time. It feels like I have “more important/urgent/valuable” things to do with 2hr blocks of time and it is hard, emotionally, to make space for this largely entertainment-oriented pursuit (although you can bet I’ll be thinking about the possibility of doing so as I shift toward focusing on recreation!). But somehow this week I did find time to watch two, whole movies. First, Netflix’s corny, violence-glorifying “Nobody”, which was enjoyable enough despite its somewhat concerning messages. Second, and with a friend this time (which was a good part of the reason I made time for it), Ford vs. Ferrari, which I quite enjoyed. I’d definitely recommend the latter, and mostly the former only if you really like action movies and John Wick-style ridiculousness.

:ear: I finished John Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charlie” audio book and I must say I really enjoyed it. Steinbeck certainly has a way with words and description, and I was unsurprised to learn he may have had a way with people, as well. His tales of traveling around the US made me yearn to go out for some traveling of my own again soon. And when I do I hope to keep some of Steinbeck’s eye for places and people in mind.

:face_with_head_bandage: Occasionally in past winters I’ve suffered from some dry skin and cracks on my hands. But this winter it’s been the worst I can remember. I am a person who hates lotion, mostly because it seems to stick around forever and get on everything, unless you simply let it soak in for ages. I just don’t have the patience (though maybe it would be a good opportunity to practice some more mindfulness, stillness, and even get in touch with the experience of boredom…). So I decided to try wearing gloves with lotion at night. I haven’t been consistent enough about it yet, but I do think it helps. It’s just that I often don’t think to do it until after there are painful cracks, and those need to heal, which lotion won’t really help with. It needs to really be a preventative, not a curative, and that requires me to think about it in advance. Perhaps keeping a pile of the gloves on my dresser will be reminder enough…

:sneezing_face: I’ve had a few very minor, unaccounted for symptoms the past week, a few more sneezes and coughs than usual, an odd tickle in my sinuses on occasion. Pre-COVID I wouldn’t have thought much of it. Even if I might have been coming down with a cold, there wouldn’t be much I could do about it. But now I pay close attention to every little difference, anything seemingly out of the norm, and I think it becomes almost a paranoia. Anyway I took a home test and it was negative, but I know they’re not 100% accurate. I’m probably fine, but I’ll be extra cautious in the coming week just in case (also my mom is supposed to visit in a little less than a week, so I really hope things are clear by then!).

:neutral_face: Have you ever gotten something you really thought you wanted, that seemed like it would make things better/easier, only to discover that in fact it changed almost nothing? Yeah, that happened this past week with one of my projects. I’d rather not share details at the moment, but it helps to share the frustration anyway.

:cocktail: I’ve been planning a small cocktail get-together (since canceled) for a few weeks now and have been working on some new cocktail recipes to share with my visitors. It took me a while to get some decent results, but I think I ended up with one or two that I’ll feel good sharing. I do wish I’d had better luck, but it does seem like inspiration (and good outcomes) come and go, to some degree. That said I do think I could be doing more to gain both knowledge and experience that would help increase the odds of success. I’ve had intentions to better verse myself in some of the classics and more deeply acquaint myself with my spirits library, but the allure of an interesting, new cocktail generally takes precedence for me (I’m a bit of a novelty-chaser I must admit). But I really do want to make space for building that foundational knowledge over time. Quite honestly I think I have a decent intuition for creating recipes, but I also shun the classics a little too much for good sense as a bartender (amateur or otherwise).