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?

185 // Summertime

This is summer in Colorado.

Hot dry heat the settles in early and clouds that build by the hour through lunchtime. The thunderheads make their meandering march down from the mountains and east across the plains, throwing lightning and turning the skies alternating shades of bright and blue to dark and grey. When the rain begins it confounds, falling softly in the darkest hours and flooding the street while the sun shines.

This is my favorite time of the year. Soon, hopefully, the clouds will part and the illegal neighborhood fireworks shows will begin. Most people hate them, and I understand. If my anxiety were triggered by the loud booming or if my pets were freaking out, I might hate them too, but it’s quite the opposite.

Both our dog and elderly cat practically sleep through them, and I am awed by both the sound, the light, and all the pretty colors. They are illegal, so I don’t actively encourage them, and I don’t buy or light them myself, but I appreciate those willing to risk a fine and a finger or two to light up the skies tonight.

We left to walk our little street after sundown and the locals didn’t disappoint. We attempted to bring the dog, but we learned she has her limits. The sounds and smells of fireworks going off directly above is overwhelming. She was sent inside, where she promptly forgot all about them.

The neighbors all had their garages open or their kids in tow while they walked the streets. I love the feeling of community on nights like these. No one calls the cops and all get to enjoy an exciting show. On the flip side there seems to be a mutual understanding that setting these off after midnight is unacceptable.

I’m sad to read on social media that other communities don’t have such unspoken understanding. Many called the cops, and many more complained. Many called them out and many more argued and argued and argued.

I realized that my community is, perhaps, a good one, and I am grateful today for my home, my place, and the surrounding people. Though they are little more than strangers to me, they make me feel a sense of peace and connectedness. This and only this is what I celebrate tonight.

The Midnight Miracle

The Midnight Miracle Podcast • Ep 1: “How to Inspire (Side A)” //  Talib Kweli, yasiin bey, and Dave Chappelle

Why didn’t anyone tell me that Dave Chappelle started a podcast with yasiin bey and Talib Kweli?! Well, I found out on my own and it turned out to be the most perfect podcast I’ve ever heard. The first episode and a few clips are free but there is a subscription fee if you want to hear more—and I’m warning you, you will most definitely want to hear more!

182 // A Second or Seventh Chance

It’s the first of a new cycle here at work, we’ve officially moved on to the 2021-2022 school year. A lot of changes go into effect, including new bosses, new team members, new expectations, new anxieties, and new possibilities too.

I’m thinking this muggy morning of my life outside of my work and how I might take advantage of this new beginning, a second—or seventh—chance to get it right, depending on how time appears to you and how desperate you’ve been to begin again.

I’m feeling pretty desperate myself. I have some big goals for the second half many of which look nothing like the goals I set out at the beginning of this calendar year. A lot has changed, and that’s okay. I never want to go on wanting what I used to. I want to change and my life should reflect who I am now. The hard part is only keeping up. I have to start moving a lot faster, and with a lot more confidence if I want to accomplish anything before I become a new me again, and again, and again…

I’m grateful for the chance to start the month off slow. With the 4th of July just around the corner, little has been expected of me this week. I’ve had time to reflect, to set out some concrete goals, to think about what progress will look like for me.

As for today I have a little work, but time is flying and I have a feeling I’ll be back home before I know it. I started a 100 squats-a-day challenge and already got 35 of them in. I’m writing this post and my goals for next week are taking shape. Later I’ll get 500 words in toward a new post and get some of these fragments from my notebook organized. After I’ve made it through these hours of daylight, I’ll reward myself with a glass of wine and a walk through the neighborhood before bed.

Looking out at the many hours before sundown I feel excited rather than afraid, motivated rather than overwhelmed, capable rather than helpless. The only way today could be better is if it were tomorrow.