Day 956: Run Morning

Good run this morning. And a good day yesterday! Dry and Mighty is starting to take shape; website is under construction, some social media placeholders are set up, and a few good conversations about content, audience, etc.

After a few days off work, am I ready to retire? It sure feels like it — the days are full, and I totally get how people get busier post-retirement. We spent most of the morning cleaning the fridge! It went well! The fridge looks great! But that was, like, the morning. I’m starting to get a better sense of how people fill retirement time, and why my parents’ house always looks so great.

Two weeks till I start my academic career again, and… quick math… 44 days until Dry and Mighty begins. I’m trying to hit one post / piece of writing for the latter every day, which is doable (I do this daily, after all!). Both at the same time? Scary, but (probably) manageable. The key there is not to get too ambitious before it starts, or disappointed if it doesn’t meet up with my completely self-imposed and unnecessary expectations.

Day 954: Bonkers cats, vacation day

No big plans for the day other than hopefully getting out on the water in the canoe for a bit, and supervising the cats — the older cat unfortunately had the “brain reset” thing happen just before the family arrived, so we’ve been isolating cats on top of hosting guests. It’s been a weird time.

Rough sleep so a rough start to the day, but I’m optimistic that I can flip this into a productive day if I get a good beginning, a mid-morning nap, and some focused time this afternoon. Fingers crossed!

Day 941: Hostcation!

A quick entry before I go for a run — on vacation today, and it’ll be mostly Car Adventures, including driving to Toronto to pick somebody up at the airport. But — after reviewing options — it’s more “drive to a train station and then take trains to the airport”, then trains back to where we left the car”. A bit clunky, a bit more expensive, but it saves the stress of driving to and from the airport and frankly this is a pretty cheap staycation in the first place. So.

Off for a run! Gonna knock out 5k, then have some water and coffee and get ready to drrrrrrrrrrrrrive.

Day 925: 75 days remaining!

Final 75, and I’m actually kind of stoked to finish this thing on a high note. Staycation today and tomorrow, which is a state in which I am either grouchy about doing house stuff during my time off, or guilty over goofing off when I should be doing house stuff. Staycations are brutal with my brain.

My wife’s off too, though, so hopefully this is the time when we make big strides on Dry and Mighty and start setting ourselves up for success on that front.

Day 700: Back to Reality

Back to work tomorrow, and 300-plus emails await me… I shouldn’t have peeked. Time offline was great, but it’s nice to be back online (in moderation).

Exercise was the big loser this week, but we’ll be back on that tomorrow. Food? Not terrible. Sobriety? Locked down. Sleep? Excellent. It was a great week for sleep, aside from the “no digital life, weird busy brain” issue getting to sleep. But waking up naturally, no alarm, naps… it was a good sleep week.

So back to exercise, food tracking, the whole nine yards tomorrow. I can definitely credit the “no digital” days for the best staycation ever; I feel like I’ve actually vacationed, instead of just having a long, weird weekend.

Back to it tomorrow!


Day 699: 72 Hours Offline

It seems preposterous that this is a big deal. But it was, for me.  I was anxious going in. I’m anxious coming out! It was… hard, but not like marathon hard, more like “persistent itch you can’t scratch” hard.

What I’ve learned by getting entirely offline for three solid days:

  • I enjoyed it. Increased presence, and in some ways increased peace of mind. Definitely higher focus on being in the moment.
  • We were also doing a lot of low-key travelling, which was interesting: paper map, and finding out about the places we were going (small towns in Ontario) by looking and asking (“hey, is there a bookstore anywhere around here?”) rather than searching. It added to the fun. Also to the stress when you’re not sure if you’re on the right road or not.
  • I can still read! I can read a lot. In the end, I’m not a media snob: I don’t think reading is the One True Form of Entertainment and everything else is somehow lesser. But there’s definitely a different experience to reading and listening to records than to video games, comics on the iPad, etc.
  • I didn’t miss video games at all, which makes me question whether I should be gaming in the first place. Ditto podcasts. And Netflix.
  • My brain was busy. It was hard to sleep. Which is antithetical to what they tell you about no electronic devices before bed. A bit of a detox affect, I’m guessing.
  • The hardest thing, in the end, was not knowing stuff. I have a lot of curiosity, and a hunger to scratch that itch immediately. Learning more about an artist on the radio. Looking up the author of a book. Checking a weird fact I happened to be wondering about. The fact that I can’t specifically remember a single thing I wanted to look up is telling. I had to spend a lot of time living with idle curiosity, and not jamming my brain up with trivia, which is ultimately a good thing.

Ultimately, this felt like a luxury. Removing oneself from the world. So it was more of an indulgence than a legitimate life choice — long term, it would be hard to sustain relationships (and keep my job) doing this.

It was a good three days, though. I definitely feel more rested and relaxed than I have with any other staycation.

Have I learned anything? Is anything gonna stick? Meh. It was only three days. I definitely hope to spend less time with my phone as an extension of my hand. I doubt I’m going to make any sweeping lifestyle changes. But having Netflix/music/podcasts as a constant soundtrack to my life is something I adjusted to doing without very quickly.

There’s a lot to unpack about valuable keeping up and valueless keeping up that I need to thing about here.

Day 651: Staycation End!

The mini-daybed is finished on schedule — glue drying as we speak — I need to wait for the foam to arrive (I’m cutting up some IKEA kids’ mattresses) and then some sewing, which will be next weekend. Then finished! It’s not as good as the first day bed, which is mainly a reminder of the importance of slow, careful lumber selection. It’ll be the sorts of flaws that only I notice, though.

Definitely need to block some time today to think about re-organizing work and volunteer things — if there’s one thing this week has shown it’s that I need to cut back for sure.


Day 314: Staycation In Review

As always, mixed feelings about stay-at-home vacation time. I feel pretty good about having gotten a lot done for the side hustle. I feel nervous about following through on the side hustle. I think I’m moving towards something achievable and possible, but I really don’t know what territory I’m sliding into here. Which is… good? I guess. New things are thrilling.

It has not been good for exercise and weighing the last few days. Very weirdly low-energy, with the “vacation!” narrative generating bad motivational static. So, as stated, RED FLAGS ARE FLYING and I need to course correct.

Step one on that front: talk to my wife! If I’m sliding, I need to sound out why I’m sliding with somebody in person. It’s helpful. And while I find it difficult to be reminded to do things I’m supposed to do, it is helpful.

On the whole, it’s been a good and productive week where I’ve learned a bit of programming, impressed myself a few times with my skills, and gotten closer to, if not financial independence, at least an interesting secondary revenue stream.

A good week? Probably? My life seems to be a constant waltz between soaring optimism and crippling self-doubt. Who’s leading depends on the dance. So it’s hard for me to have clear perspective on what I’ve accomplished… it feels like a lot through one eye, but when I squint, it seems like it might just be another in a long litany of started-and-abandoned projects.

I’d say “time will tell,” but right now, “effort will tell” is probably the better phrase. I have to keep putting some grit into this or I’ll never know if it actually got a shot.


Day 313: Staycation Ending

Last day of staycation! Kind of relaxing into this one. I don’t think the side gig will be 100% out of the blocks, but close. Close enough, anyway.

A fasting day today, and a very late night last night with friends, leading to a bit of a lazy morning this morning. Very sleepy even now — maybe a nap in my future.

Clearing my head to get one last burst of progress on the side thing is kind of the priority for right now, so I’m’a keep this short and get to it!