Day 972: Radio Friends

Quick Jerkpod today, then off to do radio with a guest from out of town. Doing the show with friends is always fun and something I’ll miss about it.

Doing things with friends is fun, actually, and something my wife and I both admit we’re not the best at: we’re friendly people, and have friends, but aren’t naturally social — we tend to get into and stick to our own grooves, and while we periodically get cases of the we-shoulds, don’t always actually act on them.

And I don’t think that’s going to change! It’s okay to acknowledge a not-great tendency and not feel like you have to dedicate shattering amounts of energy to change it. It’s just a not-great thing. Nobody’s getting hurt (except us, a bit) by it, though.

Hermits 4eva! Or until we decide it’s something worth making meaningful changes about.

Day 906: My Spouse, My Role Model

My wife’s been very inspiring lately. Despite my being in the doldrums, she’s been relentlessly helpful and supportive, really working to help me cover daily life stuff and being a champion of, well, me at home.

She’s out for a run now, which I should be doing; I’m still in the Grand Funk (but I think it’s been better for the last couple of days).

She’s doing sobriety better than I did, despite being more invested in booze as a writer and podcaster before she started. In fact, in the time we’ve been married she’s led a lot of transformations: veganism, fitness, cat fostering (although we wound up adopting the cats), and a lot more.

In short, she’s pretty amazing and I’m proud of myself for somehow convincing her to hang out with me for the rest of our lives.

Day 850: SpouseTales!

My wife giving up drinking was a bit more monumental in some ways than it was for me. She was doing a podcast and writing about craft beer; she really, really loved it but ultimately loved her sanity more, and when it started wreaking havoc with her medication increasingly over time, dropping it was the only sensible thing to do.

But that leaves a certain “what next?” question. So the plan from here is in May, I do everything around the house. Cooking, cleaning, dishes, laundry, etc. We normally are pretty good about a 50/50 domestic split, but this is going to be all me, all month.

The idea is to give her as much space as possible to try stuff on for a month. She loves reading, photography, (legal) marijuana is of some interest, reads a lot, and used to write regularly but hasn’t done much in the last while. She’s curious about simple woodworking and picking up tool skills. We’ve taken sewing classes.

It’s not a high-pressure FIGURE YOUR SHIT OUT IN ONE MONTH exercise. To be clear. It’s just a way of clearing some space so she has as much “hobby time” as possible to figure out what resonates and is worth continued exploration.

On that note — I gotta go cook!

Day 633: Spouse Booze Cyclin’

I don’t normally talk about my wife directly here,  but she endorsed — nay, encouraged this one. She’s just finishing a 30-day cycle of no drinking following a not-great experience, and while she’s not ready for sobriety (and it’s not for everyone!), she’s thinking about going month-to-month with it: a month of moderate drinking, then a month off, and repeat.

It seems like a good plan; as somebody that moderation just doesn’t work for, it feels like at least a better take on moderation than a floppy “I’ll just drink less” kind of approach. These things are all intensely personal: I know, for me, on/off schemes and unit schemes and whatever else doesn’t work.

But it’s about finding what does work. Experimentation is great. So this is her experiment, which I support her in, and it seems to be a great idea to cut off what used to be my big moderation problem: booze creep. I could stick to “one drink a day” for a while before it would start to slide up to more. So having a hard stop periodically to reset the creep clock seems like a brilliant idea.

There’s not much about it out there. That’s not a bad thing. If it’s a new idea, that’s all the more reason to try it.

 

Day 555: Family Business

It’s good to be well married.

Things happen; and we’re definitely in a things are happening moment right now. But I think it’s been a good case study in communicating and coping: in this household we’ve been having some frank and sometimes difficult conversations about our finances and families.

We’re fine, in case anybody is worried. There’s some ultimately solveable problems in the extended family, and we’re going to solve those problems. The important thing is we’ve been talking it out and working toward a consensus in our house before we look outward.

It’s not the calmest seas ahead, but much more navigable when you’ve got two co-captains who are charting the course together. Is that a good metaphor? Let’s pretend it’s a good metaphor.

 

Day 518: Wife Race Day

My wife is running in Beat Beethoven today with a friend. She does not hope to Beat Beethoven — that’s an 8k in under 50 minutes, and will only be the second 8k she’s ever run. But she’s happy and excited to try!

I’m excited for her. She’s really gotten into running over the past few years, and it’s super cool how much she’s taken to it.

A great day yesterday on my end; good yardwork done, and fixed a fence after some trees got chopped down. Chores today are packed a mile deep, I need to make veggie broth, update the Tiniest Gallery… there’s a list.

So it’s a race morning, but then a jam-packed afternoon. Off to the races!

Day 502: Spousal Runnings

It’s nice to exercise with your partner. It’s not the most intense run I can have, but it’s good to spend the time together, mutually encouraging, and a lot of fun!

Heavy on the food yesterday, due to Toronto chain Fat Burrito opening in Kingston and offering, well, fat burritos. Vegan as well, which is great for my wife! And then the burritos were slow so they gave us free churros. What are you gonna do? More incentive to run.

Next week is a vacation week for me — the big adventure is going to be designated driving with some friends to a Mastodon show in New York state, and otherwise house stuff. No specific plans yet, but it’ll be a lot of yard stuff, I suspect.

 

Day 391: Oathin’

A hybrid remote/local one today, recording the audio as a voice memo downstairs so I don’t disturb my visiting parents in the next room. Considerate! Seems to have worked out all right, and I’ll repeat tomorrow.

My wife completed a ten-year arc toward Canadian citizenship yesterday, which, despite being a Caucasian-presenting (stealth Hispanic!) U.S. Citizen was still lengthy, expensive, and at times dumb. So a small reinforcement there of the power of perseverance in the face of red tape.

Off track yesterday due to the day trip to Ottawa, not being able to Checklist because of a late return and going out for dinner, etc. But still pretty well behaved on the whole: food was eaten, for sure, but nothing extravagantly stupid. I was up late, but not crazy late. Going to retroactively food-log right now and get ready for the radio show…

Day 293: Not Jealous (Honest)

It’s a car weekend. We don’t own a car, for financial reasons, mostly, but rent one from time to time. And my wife, with her women and craft brewing project, Harpy Hour,  has been invited to an out-of-town beer festival.

So I’m driving. This is not the first of such arrangements — it’s probably the fourth or fifth time we’ve done a day trip or longer trip where I’m the driver and she’s… the drinker? That doesn’t sound right.

And it’s fine. Not “Gunshow cartoon” fine, but generally fine. It’s taken a bit of mental jiggery-pokery to get there, though: I have to enjoy the drive, and bring stuff to do while my wife does her thing. The iPad is a godsend. My new phone plan (my phone got replaced post-theft) with its 10GB data plan will be a godsend. I’ll find things to do.

But yeah! It’s been a bit of interior work to be… okay with this. Full disclosure: I told my wife I’d be talking about this today, and she’s kind of displeased. She doesn’t like the image of me being the slave-chauffeur to my boozy spouse. Which is completely understandable. It’s not a great look.

The fact of the matter is, when there’s drinking on the menu, somebody’s gotta drive, and when I don’t drink, the choice is pretty obvious. If there were an alternate, parallel hobby set where, I don’t know, I’d go to cut-your-legs-off festivals and people were to chop my legs off as my passion, I’m sure she’d drive! But that’s where we’re at.

The positive side of all of this is I’m not really jealous (honest) and I don’t feel driven to drink by this. Strangely, being around booze is less of a trigger to inspire booze desires than stress or complacency.

But it does take work to get there. Getting over the pure selfish instinct of “I’m giving up my day for this.” I have to actually grapple with my inner child and smack that kid in the head and say “this is a partnership, dummy.”

Day 280: Back again on track again

Bachelor: no more! My wife’s back, and frankly I’m quite excited to get things back to normal around here. It’s funny: normally I’d swear that I’m an introvert and I need “alone time” to recharge. But too much alone time and I just don’t feel like myself either. It’s all about balance.

It’s an interesting discovery. Because I do need time to myself. I have to say I was excited going into the week, because the hypothetical ability to just be by myself and live in quiet for a while was appealing. But I think it’s something best meted out in smaller chunks.

I still feel a bit… emasculated?… laying all this out. Shouldn’t I be a standalone barbarian that could just as easily be living in a woods cabin doing woods things? Chopping stuff and punching bears. But I think the history of humanity is one that’s ultimately of teamwork. We do better when we do stuff together. That’s what really bothers me about preppers. The best preparation for disaster you can have is to have strong relationships. Self-sufficiency is a noble pursuit, but complementary specialization is a force multiplier.

And our relationship is definitely one of complementary specialization. I’m better with some things, my wife is better than others, and we do complement each other. We also compliment each other!

It’s nice to have all that back to normal.