204 // Back From Fantasy

It’s been a little while since I’ve been here, properly. I’ve been busy, as usual, not that business is ever any real excuse, but then I was off vacationing with my wife and I wanted to be present for her, and for me. I wanted to try being in the world rather than thinking about the world for a while and it turns out that’s exactly what I needed.

My wife and I were more than just vacationing. This past week marked our third wedding anniversary, and we chose New Orleans for this year’s celebrations and it was one of the most vibrant and wondrous experiences of my life.

We went looking for good food and rest, and that is exactly what we found. Both my wife and I are adventurous eaters. It’s one of the things I love most about her. We found duck, rabbit, chicken livers, all the oysters we could eat, and more together. When we weren’t eating we slept the rainy parts of the day away and lounged poolside with mimosas.

It was beautiful and even with the heat, the humidity, and the rain, I desperately want to go back. Maybe one day. Maybe one day I’ll make it there and never leave…

For now, I’m trying to work my way back from fantasy. The readjusting to real life, and work-life, has been jarring, and a bit depressing, but much of that is only the circumstances I returned to.

There was work stress well before we left, and it waited patiently for me to return. I had dreaded these last three days for the past month and I find myself feeling quite proud to have gotten through them. Next week will be the real test of my new calm and confidence. I’m stepping well outside of my comfort zone and taking on more than I ever have.

I have strong worries about my ability to do my job well, but I’m doing my best to push them out of my mind tonight. Tonight is time to rest. To ground myself a bit better. To find balance and make room for all the ways time away has changed me.

187 // Marking the Growth

The only thing worse than starting the workweek on a Monday is starting the workweek on a Tuesday. It’s an easy day at least and there is a real possibility it will be an early day too. At least I hope it will be. There’s a growing list of to-dos I’d love to check off and writing projects I’d like to make some progress on.

I was in meetings all morning and though meetings are never anyone’s favorite way to spend their time; I was at least among friends and left feeling more appreciated than I have in a long time. There are things I want to do better, and people whose respect and admiration I’ve yet to earn, but I know I have done my best and outperformed many of my peers, all while surviving one of the hardest years of my life.

My team was informed of big changes coming our way, including higher expectations and more involvement from upper management. I appreciate the advanced notice and I’m marking the growth I have undergone made clear by the calmness with which I took the news. My confidence is growing and some of that old spark I used to feel for my work is returning, ever so slowly but surely.

Too much of the afternoon was wasted with unnecessary chores and napping, as always, but I acknowledged the little voice in my head urging me to think, create, and learn on multiple occasions. A few words were typed and a few more read. It wasn’t enough, but it was better than most days and miles beyond none.

186 // An Extra Day

Well, I wasted another weekend on the couch but thankfully powers that existed long before me saw fit to make the day after the 4th of July an “observed” holiday. Meaning I got an extra day off from work and another chance at my weekend goals. But first, coffee!

We’ve spent these last days running ragged from one side of town to the other and back, trying to buy all our needs and wants for our upcoming vacation. I worry we’ve overdone it, but it’s the first trip my wife and I have taken in a very long time and the first time we’ve flown out of state together at all. We’re understandably excited and overzealous.

There is still a lot left to do, but I’ve in danger of pushing my body too far. It’s better to choose to rest now and be back on my feet tomorrow than to keep going until I’m forced to rest and I’m in pain for days. I’ve got a busy work week ahead and personal projects that have already fallen behind schedule. I can’t afford not to do nothing today.

Nothing, of course, still includes some light cleaning, meal prep, and scheduling the week. I’m looking over my planner, making lists, and counting the hours I have to work, write, and rest. They never equal out the way I wish them to, but I’m thankful to have enough to give both to others and to myself. Looking out through the month and the season, I feel a sense of sadness.

Summer is waning. There’s still much of it left, but not as much as I’d like or not enough of it I can use to explore the mountains, the city, or the night. I want more, but winter will make her way. I’m not ready for this time to end and I don’t know whether it’s better to pretend it never will or to keep the end ever in my mind?

186 // It’s for the Guests

15 days left!

The countdown has been going on for a while now, but we are so close I start shaking when I think about it. It’s strange to think that in just over two weeks I will be a married woman. It’s strange to think that everything is going to change, and yet nothing will change at all.

I’m freaking out beyond words over the wedding. I’m so afraid of so many things. I’m afraid to look dumb. I’m afraid to sweat to much. I’m afraid to say the wrong thing. I’m afraid that my guests will be bored, unimpressed, or somehow offended. As I’ve said many times before today, the wedding may be mine, but it isn’t for me. It’s for the guests and all I want now is for them all to be happy.