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2017 Recap

September 4, 2017

I figure Labor Day is as good a time as any to get back to my labor of love.

I now re-imagine this blog as more about me than about my readers. Sorry, guys, but if you want to come along for the ride, then 1) welcome; and 2) hang on.

I’ve dawdled along the past few years putting something out here in the blogosphere when something significantly kindled my desire to communicate. That method resulted in spottiness and large gaps of time. And it didn’t encourage the massive following I fantasized about.

So, for now anyway, this is more a journal than anything else. That way I can work on any cohesive written works offline and out of the glare and pressure of the oh-crap-that’s-out-there-now-for-the-world-to-see immediacy that happens when you’re publishing and polishing and editing all at the same time.

I think back to a really early blog post, where I was in super-confessional mode. I exposed the relationship I was in at the time as abusive, or at the very least heavily inferred that it was abusive. I wanted to work without a filter, because what good is heavily filtered writing? I’ve always been careful not to call out folks by name, because I am not in the business of shaming anyone or ruining anyone’s life… but at the same time, it placed my now-ex in an unenviable position of having to defend publicly exposed actions that were easily attributable to him, for anyone who knew either of us personally.

Although I am not going to swear that I will never make personal statements about the people in my life, I may take the route of relegating those statements to personal drafts rather than throwing them up here defiantly.

It’s also very passive-aggressive to air my dirty laundry here. With a virtual zero readership, I can call people out “on the internet,” feel better, and have a public record of my grievance. Meanwhile, I have still been effectively writing to myself.

So, having said all that, let me catch you (me) up on the broad outlines of the year so far. It has been eventful on a personal and on a worldwide front. While I have been wringing my hands along with everyone else over the inept and inert Trump administration, Hurricane Harvey, the neo-Nazis and such in Virginia, and North Korea, life goes on.

In January, I tried to emerge from my year-end funk (and it was a significant funk–my partner was sick during the majority of the last week of the year, dampening my Christmas and New Year’s spirit, and I was still reeling from the presidential election) by turning over a new leaf, most significantly on the diet and exercise front. I began a new, limited-carb diet plan of my own making, started cooking my own meals for the week on Sunday, and modified my gym routine so that I could be consistent and quick, going during lunch instead of venturing down the street for frequent fast-food outings.

I also recommitted myself to reading. To my credit, I’ve read more this year than I have in recent memory, but I have also fallen far short of my initial goals. I think I’ve read five or six books. Truly, it was one of those all-in New Years’ deals (“I resolve to fix EVERYTHING about my life!”), but the diet was the part that stuck.

In February, our basement flooded–twice–and the recovery, repairs, and insurance hassles that brought would preoccupy me for two months. About the same time, our cat Beaker passed away rather suddenly, only three days after we noticed that he was looking frail. I was crushed and inconsolable for some days.

Meanwhile, we were consumed with year-end close (accounting stuff) at my job, so I was expected to be on full alert to handle all the associated issues. I routinely worked weekends at home.

March was no fun as we dealt with all the stuff that happened in February. In April, we capitalized on the foresight we had a couple of months earlier to book a cruise to tide us over (no pun intended) until our super-duper-deluxe cruise in September. We really needed that cruise, and it was low-key one of the best cruises of the seven we’ve been on at this point. Unfortunately, it ended with chemical burns in a whirlpool (as documented in a prior post expose).

At that point, things started looking up, and it’s been a great summer (SO FAR–despite what the advertising world would have you believe, summer ends at the end of September, not the middle of August). In May we flew to Chicago to see Hasahn’s sister Isis graduate from Columbia College (yay!); it was a terrific three-day jaunt through the city. I can’t wait to go back.

At the end of June, I attended my first “in-law” family reunion as part of a three-day trip to Charleston. Just like the Chicago trip, it was quick, it was fun, and it was a welcome break.

July was the month that we hosted two sets of families: first, our roommate/friend Damon’s family descended en masse for one weekend, then, my good friend Anna’s family (six strong, including four kids) came over the next weekend. It was exhausting but rewarding. I am very much about quiet time at home, so such arrangements are a challenge for me, but I persevered.

August saw a trip to Nashville to observe the eclipse and visit with my stepmom. Color us three-for-three in the successful quick weekend trip department. For the first time ever, we stayed in a motel instead of with my stepmom, and it made such a difference. Having the quality time during the day with her and some away time to do what we wanted (even if that just meant sleep) at night and early morning was a perfect balance. I think we all benefitted.

Unfortunately, when we returned, my elder and remaining cat Midnight was in bad shape. She had been getting thinner and was having more trouble keeping food down, but now she was weak and staggering. We took her to the vet the next morning. A couple of days later, we had a diagnosis: cancer. We brought her home on a Thursday, pampered her and loved her as much as we could over the weekend, then took her back to the vet on Monday to be euthanized. Those three days she was back home were heart-wrenching.

That was a week ago, and I’m much better now. In a too-convenient bit of timing, we also went to Nashville to pick up a new kitten from my stepmom. Little Evander will never take Midnight’s place, but at least he is filling that empty physical spot and providing his own unique charms to the household. I know he’s making the transition easier.

And now it’s Labor Day. I have my sights set on getting things right with my writing and my own routines, in addition to staying on top of my work in preparation for a week-and-a-half vacation planned for the very end of the month.

I have slacked a bit with my diet, but apparently the momentum of my hard work the first three months of the year has continued to positively affect my metabolism. I started the year at 188 pounds. The heaviest I weighed myself over the past year was 190 and my default weight for the past few years has been about 185. Prior to our April cruise, I bottomed out at 163; I have been much less strict since all the traveling began, but have stuck to my routine of preparing my own meals and not egregiously eating fast food every day, and I have settled in to a new default weight of about 170. My clothes still seem to fit the same as they did at 163, so I like to tell myself that I’ve added muscle mass from my quick lunch gym outings. Probably not true.

So that’s what’s up with me. I won’t apologize for the lack of focus, because, LIKE I SAID, this is about me now, not you. Hoping to gather material for some future blog posts.

Thanks for reading, if you made it this far.

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